Is much of current climate research useless?

by Kip Hansen

John P. A. Ioannidis dropped another cluster bomb on the medical research world two weeks ago with his latest paper which concludes:

“Overall, not only are most research findings false, but, furthermore, most of the true findings are not useful.”

Ioannidis [pronounced yo-NEE-dees) ] is not some grumpy gadfly or crusty curmudgeon casting stones at his fellow medical researchers. He speaks from a high bully pulpit at Stanford University School of Medicine where he is a Professor of Medicine and of Health Research and Policy, a Professor of Statistics (Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences) as well as the Director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center.   [full bio here]

He is famous, or infamous — depending on your point of view — for his 2005 paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” (.pdf here), the first cluster bomb. This earlier essay is a must read for anyone concerned about the state and efficacy of scientific research – regardless of the field. Ioannidis boldly proclaims “most research findings are false for most research designs and for most fields”.   Further, Ioannidis states simply: “Claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias”.   Some of the causes for this are further discussed in a 2011 essay in Scientific American entitled “Epidemic of false claims” [link]. Judith Curry discussed this in an essay by the same name at Climate Etc. in July 2012 as it relates to climate science.   It is important to understand that the basis for Ioannidis’ assertion of the falsity of most research claims is not that researchers are knowingly biased, poorly trained or engaged scientific misconduct of any kind – read it, the text of the paper is just a few pages.

In his latest essay, Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful [.pdf here] Ioannidis is referring specifically to clinical medical research – which he defines as “all types of investigation that address questions on the treatment, prevention, diagnosis/screening, or prognosis of disease or enhancement and maintenance of health.” He clearly distinguishes that type of research from what he terms “speculative, blue-sky research…[which]…cannot be easily judged on the basis of practical impact”.   In a nutshell, “many of the features that make clinical research useful can be identified, including those relating to problem base, context placement, information gain, pragmatism, patient centeredness, value for money, feasibility, and transparency.“

Ioannidis says “’Useful clinical research’ means that it can lead to a favorable change in decision making (when changes in benefits, harms, cost, and any other impact are considered).” In this essay, I will attempt to apply, to translate, Ioannidis’ criteria for “useful clinical research” – research that does not waste research dollars and research effort – to the scientific field known as Climate Science.

Let’s acknowledge that there seems to be a more clearly defined line in medicine between clinical research and general research, Ioannidis’ blue-sky research that looks for new knowledge and better understanding of the complexities of the human body. Nevertheless, there is something for us to learn from Ioannidis’ comments about useful research. Moreover, this is not intended to be an essay of answers but rather an essay of questions.

For the purposes of this essay, we will set the definition of “useful climate research” as:

“Climate research that can lead to a favorable change in decision making regarding climate when changes in benefits, harms, cost, and other impacts are considered.”

The first criterion is that research findings be true – for climate science, that means that the issues raised in Dr. Ioannidis’ first essay must be satisfied – that there has been proper design, execution, and analysis of the right problems so that the results are correct, a faithful reflection of reality, and not just a reflection of prevailing bias in the field.

Remember, we are leaving aside “blue-sky research” (no pun) – research into the larger questions of Earth’s climate – the cause of ice ages, what causes clouds, the causes and effects of ocean currents and the like. Much of this type of research needing yet to be done revolves around and includes the getting at answers, better understandings, to the known unknowns and discovering the unknown unknowns.

Judith Curry, in her 2013 essay Pasteur’s quadrant, presents this graphic, which I have modified slightly, that helps to make the distinction between Ioannidis’ blue-sky research – the Bohr Quadrant – use-inspired research — the Pasteur Quadrant of blended values — and clinical (for us, practical) research – the Edison Quadrant:

Slide1

I have labeled the lower left quadrant, which I labelled the Ioannidis Quadrant, comprising research that is low in its ability or intention to bring us fundamental or new understanding and also low in usefulness.

In the accompanying essay (linked above) Curry refers to this diagram in this way:

“….the defining characteristic of basic research is its attempt to find more general physical and natural laws to push back the frontiers of fundamental understanding.”

“With regards to climate science, the concern that I have is that there is too much research in the lower half of Stokes’ diagram, scoring low on making advances to fundamental understanding. Applied research that is useful and used is a good thing, but at the end of the day I don’t see all that much applied climate research actually getting used by decision makers. The primary problem being that there is too much focus on the climate models, and the climate models are not yet up to the task.”

“This leaves us with the unnamed 4th quadrant, which is often characterized as ‘taxonomy’, i.e. research that is neither useful nor contributes to fundamental understanding. Climate model taxonomy is characterized by endless analysis of IPCC climate model runs and projection of ‘dangerous impacts’ . If these are not being used by decision makers, then they are in the 4th quadrant.”

I would add, in the present, that many the results of climate model taxonomy may be worse than useless, they may be harmful if they are being used by decision makers to set policy based on findings that are most probably false. At best, such results certainly lead to confusion and unfounded concern for the general public.

There is a second, and possibly more harmful effect of useless research, highlighted by Ioannidis and applied to climate science by Curry in this quote:

“…I am immensely concerned by the overemphasis on climate model taxonomy, whereby scientists write papers analyzing the output of the IPCC climate model simulations, and infer future catastrophic impacts, and it seems far too easy for this kind of research to get published in Nature and Science. In the meantime, the really hard research problems are all but ignored, such as fundamental research into ocean heat transfer, multi-phase atmospheric thermodynamics, synchronized chaos in the coupled atmosphere/ocean system, etc. Not to mention the more manageable problems such as careful consideration of the attribution of climate variability during the period 1850-1970”. – from the essay Lennart Bengtsson on global climate change May 13, 2013.

When scarce, precious research dollars and research time/effort are spent on useless research, then important basic, fundamental research and pragmatic useful research do not get funded and does not get done.

In this regard, we can identify current areas of climate research that can be classified as neither “blue-sky research” or “useful” – research which can be rather readily classified as “not useful”, to use as an example for discussion.   Recognizing that careers and livelihoods are at risk in such an assessment, we might want to be careful in our listing, and will not use identifiable examples, but rather, we will use Judith Curry’s example — climate model taxonomy.

An Example of Not Useful Climate ResearchClimate model taxonomy … characterized by endless analysis of IPCC climate model runs and projections of ‘dangerous impacts’.

Using Ioannidis’ definition of useful above, let’s apply it to this example of “not useful research”.

It is hardly necessary to give specific examples, since they appear at least weekly in the media – yet another projection made using climate models that predict or project that in 50 years or 100 years, such things as the 6th Mass Extinction, millions of climate refugees storming borders as they are forced to move North to cooler climates, destruction of World Heritage sites, inundated island nations – you see the headlines yourself.

Remember, here we are not asking if the results are true or accurate – we are not asking, will the projection turn out to have been right? — if Ioannidis is right, nearly all are equally probably wrong – if Curry is right, such projections are based on models which are currently technically incapable of returning correct projections.

What we want to know is: Has it — the research, the money spent, the research hours spent analyzing, the expensive computer time, the effort of the publishing process – added anything useful to our knowledge of the climate? Has there been a gain in information commensurate with the cost — the expense in money and researcher-effort? Does this information help us make better decisions? Or has it been wasteful research of the same nature as the wasteful clinical medical research described by Ioannidis?

For each research proposal, Ioannidis suggests these questions, to which I offer my guesses both for our example and in a more general sense:

Problem base –> Is there a health climate problem that is big/important enough to fix?

Climate Model Taxonomy – What is the problem to being solved? What are we to do with projections so far out and so speculative? Does the projection offer solutions, even if true? These types of studies add nothing to our knowledge base.

Generally – There is a great deal of research that could be accomplished by collectively identifying climate problems/questions that are big and important enough to justify the effort.

Context placement –> Has prior evidence been systematically assessed to inform (the need for) new studies?

Climate Model Taxonomy – Unfortunately, many of these studies seem to be performed because they are relatively easy, readily publishable, and produce fame-enhancing press releases for the researchers and their institutions. They have nothing to do with the need for new studies.

Generally — Climate Science does not seem to be engaged in systematic assessments to determine need for new studies, or, possibly, is not a mature enough field to be sufficiently self-aware to see the need to review and replicate, verify, and critically assess its own prior evidence and assumptions.

Information gain –> Is the proposed study large and long enough to be sufficiently informative?

Climate Model Taxonomy – Except for curiosity value – feeding the public’s apparent love of scary stories and the activists need for alarming ‘science-based’ scenarios – there is no perceivable information gain at all in these types of studies.

Generally — In climate science, this question revolves around the available data being long enough (time), broad and dense enough (spatially) and accurate/precise enough to inform us in a useful manner — it may be necessary to use available data, even if insufficient, to incrementally improve our understanding, as long as uncertainties and imprecision are fully acknowledged. For example, topics like Ocean Heat Content, Ocean pH, General Cloudiness, Global Rainfall and many other important data sets do not have sufficient data over sufficient time periods for reliable analysis. These fields, and many others, may need blue-sky research efforts focusing on long-term data collection.

Pragmatism –> Does the research reflect real life? If it deviates, does this matter?

Climate Model Taxonomy – It is unlikely that any of the results from climate model taxonomy reflect the real world in any meaningful way as the climate models are known to be too immature to return reliable results at the claimed scales of time and space.

Generally – Current climate models are known to have problems, some quite major, and are generally acknowledged not to reflect the real life climate system adequately, certainly at least for making projections on a decadal and regional level – the type of projections most in demand by policy makers.   Paying more attention to the real-worldness of research problems and research design, posing pragmatic questions for researchers to answer, would be a positive step for the field. Judith Curry recently mentioned that her private company’s “energy sector clients are already asking about next winter’s temperatures, and whether we can expect a typical La Nina pattern.” That is a pragmatic question.  In a climate related field, ocean acidification, they have had to establish new research guidelines to try to improve on the applicability of their research findings to the real oceans and its biota because, “Yes, it matters”.

Patient Stake-holder and Policy Maker centeredness –> Does the research reflect top patient stake-holder and policy maker priorities?

Climate Model Taxonomy – It is doubtful that any important stake-holder or policy maker has been demanding a continuing stream of alarming projections – outside of the activist realm.

Generally — climate science does not seem to be asking stake-holders and policy makers what they need to know to make decisions, instead it seems to continue to speak-truth-to-power while simultaneously ­­advocating political solutions. It is unwise for the field to assume that it already knows the answers to that question.

Value for money –> Is the research worth the money?

Climate Model Taxonomy – To have any value, it must first be true, or at least truer than existing knowledge. If it has passed that test, then it must supply some of the value in regards to the questions above as to utility – if it does not lend support to making better decisions, or advance our knowledge of how the climate works, then it is worthless, regardless of veracity or actual cost.

Generally – Climate Science is dealing with a question deemed ultimately important. Will we, humanity, be able to continue to survive on this planet? Or will we be forced to find another home in the future due to the consequences of climate change? There are limited resources available for climate research, and they must, because of this framing, be spent on useful, meaningful research.

Feasibility –> Can this research be done?

Climate Model Taxonomy – Unfortunately it is far too easy (comparatively) to write new code to reanalyze massive amounts of data and tune the parameters to produce differing results, even if they are entirely speculative.

Generally – The experiment many would like to do is jack up the atmospheric CO2 on Earth-Beta to 600, turn the speed knob up to 100x, and watch the results for a year. That experiment cannot be done. We cannot stop of Gulf Stream for a few years and observe what happens. We cannot call up a decade long El Niño to witness the effect on Global Surface Temperatures. As the saying goes, we only have one planet. The very nature of the climate system – its nonlinearity, its complexity, its interconnectedness – make feasibility a major issue for climate science. The corollary to this question is: If we do some feasible version of some climate experiment, will it really inform us of the thing we want to know? Will it also pass the pragmatic, real-world-ness test?

Transparency –> Are methods, data, and analyses verifiable and unbiased?

Climate Model Taxonomy – probably not (though there has been some improvement).

Generally – Climate Science has an abysmal record in this area.   There are major efforts being made to improve all fields of research in regards to these questions. Because of past failures, some of our current work based on past results may be tainted beyond utility. Quoting Ioannidis (regarding clinical medical research) “Trust has been eroded whenever major subversion of the evidence has been uncovered by legal proceedings or reanalysis with different conclusions …. Biases in the design, analysis, reporting, and interpretation remain highly prevalent.” Does this apply as well to current research in climate science?

Bottom-line Questions:

Should climate research be useful?

If it should be useful, can climate research be useful?

What are the climate questions that need answering so that there can be “a favorable change in decision making” – questions that when answered provide reliably true information that facilitates decisions that will bring about real benefits to society and the environment when harms, cost, and other impacts are considered?

And for individual climate researchers and research teams: Is the research I/we are currently involved in sufficiently useful to justify the costs and effort?

 

Ioannidis concludes his essay with this:

“Improving the Situation: The problem of nonuseful research should not be seen as a blame game against a specific group (e.g., clinical climate researchers) but instead should be seen as an opportunity to improve. The challenges and the problems to solve involve not only researchers but also institutions, funding mechanisms, the industry, journals, and many other stakeholders, including patients policy-makers and the public. Joint efforts by multiple stakeholders may yield solutions that are more likely to be more widely adopted and thus successful.”

733 responses to “Is much of current climate research useless?

  1. Regretfully, government funding of research seems to have destroyed the basic integrity of the scientific method. In order to get research funds, we have all been reluctant to speak frankly about the absurdity of Standard Models of Whatever Government Bureaucrats Want to Fund

    • Who’s been reluctant to speak out? I mean, we’re literally talking about this on the webpage of someone who’s speaking out.

      Go to a scientific conference on climate. Do the scientists there disagree just as robustly as scientists do in other fields? Yes.

      Do they put forth new ideas and alternative hypotheses in the literature? Yes.

      I see very much the same sort of tussling and back-and-forth in climate science as I do in my own field. But as in my own field, if you’re going to challenge some long-standing finding, you need to come with new data. (And as always, those whose claims overstep their data will be mocked).

      • Benjamin Winchester,

        You wrote –

        “Do they put forth new ideas and alternative hypotheses in the literature? Yes.”

        Is the science not really settled? Can you actually state one of these alternative climate hypotheses?

        If you can’t, you’re just blathering. All mouth and no trousers, as the saying goes.

        Cheers.

      • I speak from my own experience. For example, the first planetary system observed beyond the solar system was three, rocky, Earth-like planets orbiting a pulsar. This observation was largely ignored at Lunar Science Conferences, although it showed how the early solar system probably looked shortly after being formed by a massive explosion of the Sun about five billion years (5 Ga) ago.

      • dogdaddyblog

        My bad. Please see (way) below for my response to Mr. Winchester.

  2. Useless or remunerative to, among others, “Environmental activists who love any issue that has the capacity to frighten the gullible into making hefty contributions to their numerous NGOs.” (Prof. Lindzen)

  3. “I remain as enthusiastic about science as ever!” (Dr. John Ioannidis) He went on to describe all the benefits of science, why it is “the best thing that can happen to humans” (Dr. John Ioannidis): the value of rational thinking, of evidence over ideology, religious belief and dogma. “We have effective treatments and interventions and useful tests we can apply. We have both theoretical and empirical evidence that science is beneficial to humans and it’s a wonderful construct of thinking. . . Science is beautiful because it’s falsifiable.” (Dr. John Ioannidis)

    • Reply to JCH ==> Thank you for the Ioannidis quotes. It is important that readers know the Ioannidis is a “scientist’s scientist”, very much an active researcher, and not in any way ‘anti-science’ but rather an enthusiastic promoter, a campaigner, for good science well-done.

      • Has he ever published a study about climate science?

      • Reply to JCH ==> Not to my knowledge — there is a link to his bio in the first paragraph.

      • Well, if he publishes that the human body is not made up mostly of water and that the images were all created in a studio in Hollywood, he’ll be ready for blog climate science.

      • JCH,

        Climate science – ” . . .climate science is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.. . . ”

        The study of averages, which can only be derived from existing data. 12 year old level of expertise.

        Astrology is as much use as climatology, where predictions are concerned. And it’s been around a lot longer, too!

        Cheers.

      • JCH
        The point of his statement is generic and transcends any specific scientific field.

        The subtext is that one should not attempt any cognitive heavy lifting after bedtime. You have delighted us in demonstrating why.

      • cerescokid said:

        The subtext is that one should not attempt any cognitive heavy lifting after bedtime. You have delighted us in demonstrating why.

        Ha! Ha! Ha!

        Really. Who needs straw men when we have JCH, willard, Benjamin Winchester and Steven Mosher?

      • Strawman – wasn’t he the one without a brain?

        Mosher has a brain. JCH might have one, but it appears age related dementia is taking hold. Willard (aka Aqualung)? We’d have to head over to the school yard to find out.

      • Evan Jones

        The study of averages, which can only be derived from existing data. 12 year old level of expertise.

        You can go pretty far on that. Throw in a little 12-year old level algebra and that’s what I do.

      • At first my Chinese radiologist said my fMRI indicated I have severe dementia, but now he says it turns out that was way wong.

      • > Who needs straw men when we have […]

        I see you haven’t got the memo yet, Glenn.

        Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough last time. If you mention me, you’ll get a response. If you don’t mention me, I might not even notice the crap your peddling.

        Which means that if you mention my name, I might pay due diligence to the crap you’re peddling. I say might, for sometimes I notice but prefer to wait. You had a preview of that in the last presidential thread.

        Differential conditioning. It just works. Look it up.

        So here, just because you seem to care for topicality:

        The claim that most biomedical research is wrong is being challenged by a new result suggesting that only 14 per cent is wrong.

        https://www.technologyreview.com/s/510126/the-statistical-puzzle-over-how-much-biomedical-research-is-wrong/

        The whole idea of editorializing based on a headline goes against Ioannidis’ point.

      • Reply to Willard ==> In regards to the Jager and Leek claim that “only 14% of biomedical research is wrong” — reading the article linked comes up with the well known, rather pragmatic facts that:

        “Last year, Amgen reported in Nature that its oncology and haematology researchers had failed to replicate 47 out of 53 highly promising results. And in 2011, the German drugs giant Bayer reported that it could not replicate about two thirds of published studies identifying drug targets.

        That most biomedical research cannot be reproduced is increasingly seen by many pharmaceutical companies as a costly commercial reality of science.”

        Statistical fun has to be compared to external realities — when not, one gets “probably wrong” and useless research.

      • > Statistical fun has to be compared to external realities — when not, one gets “probably wrong” and useless research.

        Even I need to work to create opaque sentences like this one, Kip. Clarify this and you might get something. Handwaving to Ioannidis is just not enough. Instead of defining uselessness as what is not useful, which begs the question of what (or how do you know what) is useful anyway, you might go for the good ol’ Copernician revolution, for which so many have fell before:

        One could even put your conclusion on its head and argue that we’d need even more crappiness is science. Think about it – the cheaper science becomes, the more we can produce. A bit like what containers did for shipping, or what Ikea did to home furniture.

        Crap is the future:

        Thank you.

      • Willard,

        I had no trouble understanding Kip Hansen’s sentence. May you’re just a bit slow, or thick, or something.

        On the other hand, when you wrote –

        “One could even put your conclusion on its head and argue that we’d need even more crappiness is science.”

        – I did have a bit of trouble understanding what you wrote.

        Not as bad as Steven Mosher, but it might help if you wrote what you meant. Or did you really mean to write “is” instead of “in”?

        Maybe you should obey Steven Mosher’s exhortations to read harder and try harder.

        I know I’m a bit picky. Would that really stop me from being a scientist?

        Cheers.

      • The only thing that stop you from being a scientist is that you don’t do science, MikeF.

        Add one or two letters and I’d agree that you are being picky.

      • Willard,

        You wrote –

        “The only thing that stop you from being a scientist is that you don’t do science, MikeF.”

        Odd combination of defective English expression, defective logic, and defective mind reading abilities.

        Apart from that . . .

        Cheers.

      • timg56 said:

        Strawman – wasn’t he the one without a brain?

        That wasn’t the sense in which I was using the word. I was using it to refer to the rhethorical strategy of standing up a “straw man” — a purposely weak argument that is easily refuted, but that one’s opponent didn’t actually make.

        The so-called typical “attacking a straw man” argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e. “stand up a straw man”) and then to refute or defeat that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the original proposition.

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

        In the case of JCH, willard, Benjamin Winchester and Steven Mosher, there is no need to “stand up straw men,” because their arguments are so weak and easily refuted to begin with that no straw man is needed. Thus my statement: “Who needs straw men when we have JCH, willard, Benjamin Winchester and Steven Mosher?”

        If you look at Willard’s comments above, he gives a perfect example of what I’m talking about — an argument that is weak and that is easily refuted. There’s no need to stand up a straw man, because Willard has already made an argument that is so weak and easily refuted that there is no need for a strawman.

      • tim56,

        And there is a precedent for the type of individual this blog seems to attract its fair share of: the artists and intellectuals who supported the Bolshevik Revolution:

        They were all extraordinarily polemical, often verbally prolix, and always violently certain in their assertions.

        They wrote and spoke a great deal of nonsense which was frequenly incoherent and irrelevant, and undoubtedly alienated many of those they sought to convert or convince.

        Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of their words conveyed pure idealism, pure youth and the vibrancy of pure and total commitment. It is a touching testament to an entire generation of artists in every field who placed themselves at the service of a revolution which betrayed and destroyed most of them.

        — VICTOR ARWAS, The Great Russian Utopia

      • > If you look at Willard’s comments above, he gives a perfect example of what I’m talking about — an argument that is weak and that is easily refuted.

        And which argument would that be, Glenn?

        You got your concept of strawman upside down, BTW.

      • russellseitz

        Speaking of bad medicine, Kip Hansen has dropped a cluster bomb on his foot by embracing a homeopathic approach to climate policy.

        He is not the first to try to make hard policy problems go away by serially denying their every aspect until no trace of intellectual seriousness remains.

    • “the value of rational thinking, of evidence over ideology, religious belief and dogma”

      Spoken like a true communist.
      One should expect nothing different from Stanford, the sinkhole of communist intellectualism.

    • Evan Jones

      Mosher has a brain.

      Yes. Mosh has a brain.

    • JCH

      Science is beautiful because it’s falsifiable.” (Dr. John Ioannidis)

      You’ll find that Steve Mosher does not agreed with this last sentence.

      • Steven Mosher

        the phrase “science is falsifiable” barely has any meaning and is a category error. Science is a type of human behavior.. although there are algorithms that probably do science and most sentient beings do some science. ONE of the modes of that behavior that is interesting is the mode where the organism actively seeks out information which will undermine its existing explanation of the world ( its base map as it were )
        It may do this randomly ( lets see if X works) or it may do it systematically. . It is a mistake to represent the whole of sciencing behavior with that one distinctive mode. Popper was guilty of bad synecdoche. It’s far more useful and scientific to merely describe what scientists do.. in fact… than to seek some kind of demarcation between science and “non” science.

      • ONE of the modes of that behavior that is interesting is the mode where the organism actively seeks out information which will undermine its existing explanation of the world ( its base map as it were )

        “Curiosity killed the cat.”

  4. Danny Thomas

    Inclusive, comprehensive, and representative. Sounds like a great concept.

    Re: conclusion.

  5. Thanks a bunch! Je sui un sceptic, ergo a scientist… ;)

  6. I don’t really see this as a problem. So what if most research results aren’t that useful? As long as it is properly done research with good methodology, what is the issue? Sometimes you have to get 10 useless results before you get a useful result.

    By declaring ‘useless results’ as a problem, we are likely creating more problems than we solve. Desire to avoid ‘useless results’ is one of the main reasons why bad science is done, or why a lot of findings are wrong. Some researchers desire a ‘useful result’ so much that they may fabricate data, constantly change the model until they get the result they want, or only use a subset of the data in order to get a certain conclusion.

    • Reply to -1=e^iπ ==> It is possible that you have missed the important points. Read to latest Ioannidis paper and the Curry essay ‘Pasteur’s Quadrant’ (linked the the main post above) and see if you can’t see my point. It is not just that there has been a ‘useless result’ — it is that the study concept, design, reasoning, approach, analysis — or too many of these — guarantees that the results will be useless, thus the entire thing was a waste of research money and effort.

      This is not the MSM’s whipping boy of ‘silly science experiment funding’. It is far more serious and involves the waste of untold millions of precious research dollars and untold years of wasted scientific effort.

      The types of scientific misconduct you describe, while all too common, can not be blamed on the very reasonable attitude that research should either be designed and carried out to advance our knowledge base or supply useful practical answers to questions, or both — Curry’s three quandrants. Research misconduct is a moral ethical issue and possibly involves the failure to train researchers in inviolable scientific standards.

      • Kip,

        It might be useful for you to give some examples of the types of research that you’re talking about, and to estimate how many papers of this sort are published each year.

        My expectation is that it’s fairly small. Most major runs of climate models do more than tell us about climate sensitivity. They tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of a given model, they’re used to shed insight into recent phenomena or other potential scenarios, and ultimately they help us understand better how the climate works.

        So I expect that the number of papers that deal only with the big scary projections for policymakers is relatively small.

      • Actually, there is an enormous cottage industry in using global climate models to infer local impacts. TONS of publications, and tons of funding. These studies do not help us understand how the climate works.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Gee, Mr. Winchester, where did you get your expertise in climate modeling? How do model runs “…help us understand better how the climate works.” when they are based on the (generally undocumented) assumptions of the modeler and his buddies, with arbitrary parameters tweaked to the late 20th century warming and fanciful aerosols thrown in to bridge obvious miscalculations? Even the IPCC admits they don’t get major climatic features nor regional phenomenon right, including the actual sign (plus vs. minus) of precipitation. When the models ramp up 1910 to 1940 temperatures (after earlier decreases) the way they ramp up 1970 to 2000 temperatures, maybe I’ll reassess their validity.

      • dogdaddyblog said:

        Gee, Mr. Winchester, where did you get your expertise in climate modeling? How do model runs “…help us understand better how the climate works.” when they are based on the (generally undocumented) assumptions of the modeler and his buddies, with arbitrary parameters tweaked to the late 20th century warming and fanciful aerosols thrown in to bridge obvious miscalculations?

        Yep.

        Mr. Winchester has certainly drank the Kool Aid.

      • David Springer

        Winnie is so young and goofy he probably accidently sloshed the Kool Aid into his mouth while posing for a selfie holding the cup.

      • You’re trying to justify the kind of research that wins Ignobel Prizes.

      • Dr. Curry,

        If they’re being used to attack problems regarding regional climate, how do they not help, either with our understanding of regional climate or with regional climate modeling?

        Do the models really exhibit no skill at all? And moreover, they aren’t even failing in an informative way? Or am I misunderstanding you?

      • The global climate models exhibit no skill at all on decadal time scales and regional spatial scales, this is admitted in the AR5. See the posts from a workshop I held a few years ago, which included luminaries such as Tim Palmer and Lenny Smith:
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/03/19/uk-us-workshop-part-v-broadening-the-portfolio-of-climate-information/
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/02/18/uk-us-workshop-part-iv-limits-of-climate-models-for-adaptation-decision-making/

        This is why I suggest alternative methods for projecting future regional scenarios (my talk is described in the first link above)

      • @ Judith –
        “Actually, there is an enormous cottage industry in using global climate models to infer local impacts. TONS of publications, and tons of funding. These studies do not help us understand how the climate works.”

        They may not be useful in helping us understand how the climate works, but understanding local impacts can still be useful in terms of making decisions about mitigation or adaptation policy.

        “The global climate models exhibit no skill at all on decadal time scales and regional spatial scales”

        Do you want to replace ‘no’ with ‘little’? No skill is a pretty strong claim.

      • Reply to -1=e^iπ
        New York State has funded many regional scale climate research studies and I agree with Dr. Curry that they are mostly worthless. Living in Central New York a primary driver of local meteorology is the effect of the Great Lakes. The climate model grid scale is too coarse to include the Great Lakes and even if the grid scale was fine enough to include them then I doubt the model could incorporate changes to the Lakes. Bottom line I firmly believe that the projection guesses would be better served by evaluating historical data and responding to the extreme values observed instead of cranking up a model that projects the future.

    • As long as you are paying for it, fine. Problem is, the rest of us are as well.

    • -1=e^iπ | What would you make of the paper by Karl et al, using less reliable data to adjust more reliable data to arrive at the conclusion that the pause isn’t and wasn’t. I’d call that a piece of ‘useless’ research by the criteria laid out and a piece of research that seeks, by standing logic on its head, to confirm conventional biases. What say you?

      • Karl’s paper is an example of scientific excellence.

      • A lot of stuff was written, especially in op-eds, on the “pause” being proof that CO2 had little or no effect. That turned out to be useless, but it taught people not to use only 15 years of data for climate conclusions. The 30-year rule stands.

      • JimD, “A lot of stuff was written, especially in op-eds, on the “pause” being proof that CO2 had little or no effect. That turned out to be useless, but it taught people not to use only 15 years of data for climate conclusions. The 30-year rule stands.”

        So I guess than Santer’s 17 year minimum for a significant trend paper was pretty much useless :)

      • JCH, “Karl’s paper is an example of scientific excellence.”

        Then that would make Kennedy et al. bucket to intake adjustments pretty much useless. No wonder you called it HADcrappy, completely useless :)

      • captd, the “skeptics” have put a lot of stock in Santer’s statement even if they don’t believe him for anything else he said. Why don’t they listen to the people who define climate as at least 30 years which is the more traditional view? 17 years is exactly the wrong period because it is one and a half solar cycles. A lot of aliasing goes on with the 11-year variation. I wouldn’t see much use for 17 year trends, if I were you.

      • JimD, so you are agreeing that the paper was useless.

      • I don’t think they fully considered solar cycles because it was based on models, and also they didn’t consider that the soar activity was declining in the period in question. Their paper was focused on 2000-2009. It is now known that 2009 marked the end of an especially long solar minimum. So, yes, some of their assumptions were flawed with hindsight.

      • JimD, ” So, yes, some of their assumptions were flawed with hindsight.”

        I guess the uselessness of much of current climate science is an emergent property.

      • You can check how useful UAH and RSS are from this. 20 years should be enough, right? Useless data.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996/trend/plot/uah-land/from:1996/trend

      • dogdaddyblog

        Linear plots from 1979 show them essentially parallel.

      • JimD, Perfect example of uselessness. UAH 5.6 has been replaced with version 6.something, so you not only have to allow for variance in the product but for variations in products. Probably 50 years is required for a reliable trend :)

      • Yes, he did it just in time for Paris. While Karl had to show Congress all his data for a much smaller trend change, Spencer didn’t have to explain his large change to anyone at all. If the data before was so wrong (but agreed with the surface record), he needs to say why he got it wrong, otherwise people may not trust this new one either.

      • almost forgot about that, Karl et al. brings ERSST up to version 4. Version 3 had considered satellite data in the optimal interpolation, but that data wasn’t warm enough :) So whoever came up with the dumb idea to use satellite data for improving interpolation was useless :)

      • captdallas,

        So I guess than Santer’s 17 year minimum for a significant trend paper was pretty much useless :)

        More like poorly understood and/or strawmanned to death. A typical example of the latter is, “Teh Paws couldn’t last more than 17 years because St. Santer sez so,” when in fact Santer et al. (2011) says nothing of the sort:

        Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.

        That’s models, mind. IRL …

        … thirty-year Hiatuses aren’t uncommon. What this tells me is Teh Modulz might not do AMO very well:

        If slope (or sign) of a linear trend were all I cared about, I’d double Jim D’s 30-year standard to 60 and thus capture a “full” AMO cycle. But there’s no guarantee that AMO has maintained or will stick to a six-decade period.

        The way I’d argue it is that during those previous Hiatuses, increasing CO2 over the interval prevented some amount of cooling. For 1880-1910, I make it 0.1 °C, and 1945-1975 0.2 °C. Over Teh Paws Era (1998-present) I get almost 0.3 °C, which was apparently sufficient to prevent any cooling trend whatsoever.

        I guess the uselessness of much of current climate science is an emergent property.

        More like Denizens’ understanding of the iterative nature of *all* science isn’t an emergent property. Thus we see so many “But Santer” Zombies running amok.

  7. Science is beautiful because it’s falsifiable.” (Dr. John Ioannidis)

    And what do Warmists claim to be science?

    It’s going to get hotter somewhere, unless it doesn’t. When this happens (or not, as the case may be), people may be subjected to unprecedented weather events, such as floods, storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, cold snaps, polar vortexes, and so on.

    Or not.

    Trying to get a Warmist to commit to a falsifiable position is about as difficult as nailing water to a tree.

    Cheers.

    • Lol. You’re completely lost.

      • JCH,

        So what’s your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        Cheers.

      • So what’s your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        /grabs any introductory book on climate science and throws it at Mike Flynn.

        Here. Knock yourself out; you’ll find many falsifiable claims in these pages.

      • David Springer

        Winnie comes back with a literature bluff.

        Weak tea, says I and throws the climate science book back at him saying ‘Show me where it describes how to falsify the hypothesis that ECS is 1.5 – 4.5C with 95% confidence’

        Hard to believe, isn’t it? I love it so!

      • JCH, I found an illustration just tonight of what Mike and Kip are talking about while reading deep ocean studies. Here Tung(2014) asserts he has found the “missing heat” in the Atlantic AMO and points to past evidence observed of the 60-year climate cycle. But just as the ball is tee-ed up and he makes his prediction that 15 years from now will be the return to the warm cycle, he hedges:

        We are not talking about a normal situation because there are so many other things happening due to climate change. [So you can’t hold it against me if I am totally wrong, especially if you can never prove it. Ha ha.]

        The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

      • Benjamin Winchester,

        And yet you can’t actually provide an example of the scientific theory of CO2 heating. Not so difficult to provide, is it?

        Or is it secret Warmist business, not to be divulged to unbelievers?

        So what’s your falsifiable CO2 heating theory? Is it too long to cut and paste?

        Cheers.

      • JCH, thanks for the links but I did not find anything other than the obvious argument that one cannot discount natural variability, particularly a likely observed 60-yr AMO-PDO (or IPO) cycle.

        My point in my last comment is that even Tung, a serious scientist, could not resist from using the “climate change” to escape from the scientific requirements of proving their hypothesis by demonstrating an improved skill in prediction.

      • Benjamin Winchester | July 7, 2016 at 12:07 am |

        So what’s your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        /grabs any introductory book on climate science and throws it at Mike Flynn.

        Here. Knock yourself out; you’ll find many falsifiable claims in these pages.

        Which have all duly been falsified. Q.E.D.

      • Which have all duly been falsified. Q.E.D.

        The radiative properties of CO2 and H2O have been falsified? Thermodynamics, falsified? Blackbody radiation is falsified? (Etc., etc. etc.)

        You should publish a paper! =D With such important fundamental research, you’d win a Nobel Prize, I’m sure of it.

        Most skeptics haven’t even cracked a textbook on the subject, much less found the basics of GHG theory to be falsified. And.. how can you debunk something, until you understand it?

      • David Springer

        “Most skeptics haven’t even cracked a textbook on the subject”

        You have some kind of survey to base that upon or just talking out your ass again?

      • catweazle666

        “Most skeptics haven’t even cracked a textbook on the subject, much less found the basics of GHG theory to be falsified.”

        Utter nonsense.

        Speak for yourself.

      • Steven Mosher

        Its funny.

        All the skeptics on the thread are confused about what
        FALSIFIABLE means.

        A few examples.

        If the the sun goes supernova, the earth will be destroyed.
        if we cut all taxes, the economy would improve
        if we hold a kitten under water for an hour it will die
        if we place a stick of dynamite up….. well never mind

        To be falsifiable you dont actually have to do the experiment
        the experiment doesnt have to be doable.
        there is a difference between falsifiable in PRINCIPLE and the methodological application of falsification.

        being falsifiable in principle means that there are Observables as a consequence.

        Falsifiability is intended to separate science (the demarcation problem) from
        A) logic and math
        B) metaphysics

        So 2+2 = 4 is not falsifiable. We dont test that. we dont run experiments.
        Metaphysical statements like ” Being is a monad” have no observable consequences. God is Love, has no observable consequences.. we say he is love regardless of what we observe.

        some help for skeptics so they stop looking silly

        Popper has always drawn a clear distinction between the logic of falsifiability and its applied methodology. The logic of his theory is utterly simple: if a single ferrous metal is unaffected by a magnetic field it cannot be the case that all ferrous metals are affected by magnetic fields. Logically speaking, a scientific law is conclusively falsifiable although it is not conclusively verifiable. Methodologically, however, the situation is much more complex: no observation is free from the possibility of error—consequently we may question whether our experimental result was what it appeared to be.

        Thus, while advocating falsifiability as the criterion of demarcation for science, Popper explicitly allows for the fact that in practice a single conflicting or counter-instance is never sufficient methodologically to falsify a theory, and that scientific theories are often retained even though much of the available evidence conflicts with them, or is anomalous with respect to them. Scientific theories may, and do, arise genetically in many different ways, and the manner in which a particular scientist comes to formulate a particular theory may be of biographical interest, but it is of no consequence as far as the philosophy of science is concerned. Popper stresses in particular that there is no unique way, no single method such as induction, which functions as the route to scientific theory, a view which Einstein personally endorsed with his affirmation that ‘There is no logical path leading to [the highly universal laws of science]. They can only be reached by intuition, based upon something like an intellectual love of the objects of experience’. Science, in Popper’s view, starts with problems rather than with observations—it is, indeed, precisely in the context of grappling with a problem that the scientist makes observations in the first instance: his observations are selectively designed to test the extent to which a given theory functions as a satisfactory solution to a given problem.

        On this criterion of demarcation physics, chemistry, and (non-introspective) psychology, amongst others, are sciences, psychoanalysis is a pre-science (i.e., it undoubtedly contains useful and informative truths, but until such time as psychoanalytical theories can be formulated in such a manner as to be falsifiable, they will not attain the status of scientific theories), and astrology and phrenology are pseudo-sciences. Formally, then, Popper’s theory of demarcation may be articulated as follows: where a ‘basic statement’ is to be understood as a particular observation-report, then we may say that a theory is scientific if and only if it divides the class of basic statements into the following two non-empty sub-classes: (a) the class of all those basic statements with which it is inconsistent, or which it prohibits—this is the class of its potential falsifiers (i.e., those statements which, if true, falsify the whole theory), and (b) the class of those basic statements with which it is consistent, or which it permits (i.e., those statements which, if true, corroborate it, or bear it out).

      • Benjamin Winchester,

        You wrote –

        “The radiative properties of CO2 and H2O have been falsified? Thermodynamics, falsified? Blackbody radiation is falsified? (Etc., etc. etc.)”

        If you were able to provide an hypothesis relating to the planet heating properties of CO2, the things you mention might be relevant.

        Like all foolish Warmists (as opposed to delusionally psychotic Warmists), you cannot provide any experimentally falsifiable hypothesis, so instead fall back on the foolish Warmist tactics of deny, divert, and confuse.

        What is your CO2 heating hypothesis? Does one really exist, or were you just gullible enough to believe the incompetent fumbling bumblers pushing the Warmist Cargo Cult Scientism juggernaut?

        CO2 has no heating properties. None.

        Cheers.

      • Evan Jones

        Most skeptics haven’t even cracked a textbook on the subject

        And most alarmists haven’t put a grease-stain on one peer-reviewed paper.

      • @Evan Jones

        Also true. But they aren’t the one claiming that a century+ of science is wrong.

        @catweazle

        I do speak for myself. I’ve studied the subject in some depth (eh, about at the level of a sophomore undergrad in the subject). And most of the skeptics that I’ve asked haven’t opened a textbook on it.

        I mean, you can go and ask around for yourself, if you like. Maybe you’ll get different responses.

      • SM: “…astrology and phrenology are pseudo-sciences.”

        I appreciate and agree that the definition of science is not cut and dry, especially to the public at large. Astrology, phrenology and eugenics failed as sciences where paleontology and quantum mechanics succeeded. Why? Because the later built logical frameworks that could be tested. Tests, by definition must include the risk of failure and thus they must provide predictive skill.

        The pseudo sciences all claimed to be sciences, complete with methodologies to provide predictions. The catch was their predictions all required such a length of time to test that they could enjoy the benefits of wearing the brand of science for a practitioner’s lifetime before being debunked.

        Much of the heart of climate science takes 60-100 years to test. More focus perhaps needed to be applied to the shorter-term testable aspects. And, like medical science, their needs to be strict protocols (blinds, controls, etc,).

      • Benjamin Winchester,

        And yet, you are still unable to provide an hypothesis of the mechanism by which CO2 is supposed to raise the temperature of a planet (or anything else, for that matter).

        Your appeal to the authority of unnamed scientists who have never proposed any falsifiable hypotheses relating to the matter under discussion is both pointless and irrelevant.

        CO2 has no heating ability at all. There is no falsifiable hypothesis stating the contrary, as far as I am aware. Climatology? Scientism at best. Collective delusional psychosis, maybe. Wilful ignorance driven by hubris, maybe.

        Never has so much money been spent, at the behest of so few, to achieve so little.

        Cheers.

      • > CO2 has no heating properties. None.

        OTOH, opium has dormitive properties, which is why it causes sleepiness.

        If you ever have a citeable source for “CO2 has no heating properties,” MikeF, I’ll gladly add it to level 0 of the Contrarian Matrix:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/lots-of-theories/

      • Willard,

        Re : no heating properties of CO2.

        United States Government – National Institute of Standards and Technology.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers.

      • > United States Government – National Institute of Standards and Technology.

        That’s not a citation, MikeF. It’s not even close.

        Try again, this time with more feeling.

      • Willard,

        “. . . a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source).”

        I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you were talking about the Warmist Weaselword definition of citation. I wrongly assumed you meant a normal definition.

        Oh well. Expecting normality from a Warmist is like expecting the Nobel Committee to give Michael Mann a Nobel Prize. Unlikely.

        Cheers.

      • Here’s an example of citations I had in mind, MikeF:

        https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dormitive_principle

        Your “CO2 has no heating properties” looks a lot like the virtus dormitiva Molière invented for the Denizens of his time.

      • Willard,

        What part of “CO2 has no heating properties” do you disagree with? Do you not understand the statement?

        If you believe that CO2 has heating properties, you can no doubt provide details of them. Only joking, CO2 has no such properties. I’m just having fun at your expense.

        Poor form I know. Sorry.

        Cheers.

      • > What part of “CO2 has no heating properties” do you disagree with? Do you not understand the statement?

        I don’t find the “heating properties” part very unclear, MikeF. It smacks of essentialism. Here’s a little something that gives a table of the properties of of saturated liquid Carbon Dioxide:

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/carbon-dioxide-d_1000.html

        As you can see, it has density, specific heat capacity, kinematic viscosity, thermal conductivity and Prandtl number.

        The concept of Global Warming Potential may be closer to what you have in mind:

        Global warming potential (GWP) is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide.

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

        You’re playing a dictionary game and you can’t even cite, MikeF. Please desist. There’s no sport.

      • Willard,

        Your reference to an assumed Global Warming Potential does not provide any answer to any proposed heating ability of CO2. CO2 has no intrinsic ability to heat anything.

        The Warmist claim that CO2 raises the temperature of that which it surrounds is specious nonsense. Complete rubbish, in simple terms.

        Attempting to deny this by confusing the issue with the irrelevant physical properties of saturated liquid CO2 is just crazy. No heating effect there either.

        You’re deluded, it seems. I’ll leave you to your contemplation of your fantasy world, where you can sit around your container of CO2 in the arid desert at night, basking in the CO2 generated warmth. You might use the CO2 back radiation to make yourself a nice cup of tea, before nodding off to sleep, warmed by the wonderful insulating properties of CO2.

        Any Warmist will tell you that insulation raises your temperature, so you won’t have to worry about hypothermia in the freezing conditions.

        The average temperature of the desert is quite pleasant.

        Good luck! Let me know how you get on with reality!

        Cheers.

      • > CO2 has no intrinsic ability to heat anything.

        Your “intrinsic” reveals some kind of essentialism, MikeF. As I suspected. Tell me more about the intrinsic properties of CO2. Does it have any? If it has, there should be easy to provide a citation showing where the intrinsic properties of CO2 are listed. I don’t think you can find any citation. That kind of science did not survive Molière.

        You’re using an old trick, old chap.

        Also, if you could tell how the (for now empty) list of intrinsic properties is relevant to AGW, that’d be great.

        Cheerios.

      • Willard,

        “Simple Definition of intrinsic
        : belonging to the essential nature of a thing : occurring as a natural part of something”

        The intrinsic properties of CO2 are well documented in many places. I provided one reference, the US NIST, which you refuse to accept apparently because it doesn’t satisfy your Warmist definition (undefined, of course) of a citation.

        CO2 has no intrinsic heating ability.

        You are unable to provide a falsifiable hypothesis relating to any proposed heating qualities of CO2.

        And yet you claim such a property must exist, and has planet heating capacity.

        I assume you are either mentally disturbed, or in the grip of Warmist fervour, where fact is supplanted by faith.

        I wish you happiness and peace, in either case.

        Cheers.

      • > I provided one reference […]

        You paid lip service to NIST, MikeF, but citation you haven’t provided any. URLs usually helps. For instance, here’s an analysis of the concept of “intrinsic”:

        http://web.mit.edu/langton/www/pubs/DefiningIntrinsic.pdf

        Also, here’s a Compound Summary for CID 280:

        https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/carbon_dioxide

        There are 53 mentions of the word “heat” on that page alone.

        ***

        Please find back the NIST page on Carbon Dioxide. Report.

        If you could quote the “Gas phase thermochemistry data,” that would be great.

      • Willard,

        Your Waffling Wandering Warmist Weaselword ploy is not working.

        Complain. Complain. Complain.

        Don’t like the definition of intrinsic I cut and pasted from a US dictionary (I assume you’d find it authoritative).

        Don’t like the CO2 properties listed by NIST.

        Want me to provide specific URLS because you’re too lazy, incompetent, or just plain pigheaded to do it yourself.

        Complain that I won’t accept the word “heat” in relation to the intrinsic properties of CO2 as support for its alleged planet heating properties, just because it’s irrelevant.

        For example, I’m not sure what relationship CO2s specific heat has to its alleged planet heating abilities, and neither do you.

        You’re complaining that I’m bringing facts to your Warmist fantasy fight.

        You still cannot find a falsifiable hypothesis relating to the mad Warmist claim that CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere can raise the temperature of the planet.

        CO2 has no intrinsic heating ability. Whining about my reluctance to obey your commands won’t change the properties of CO2, will it, Willard?

        I don’t believe you’re stupid, per se. Ignorant, gullible, and possibly delusional – probably. Believing that surrounding an object with CO2 will cause its temperature to rise, is just unbelievable. However, the effects of delusional psychosis cannot be overcome by the sufferer being presented with factsrunning contrary to their delusion.

        Continue to believe that CO2 has heating abilities if it gives you solace. I wish you well.

        Cheers.

      • > Don’t like the CO2 properties listed by NIST.

        I’m not even sure where NIST list properties, MikeF, let alone intrinsic ones.

        The only thing that could look like a property is under the heading “Gas Phase Heat Capacity.”

        Your reference does not seem to corroborate your story, MikeF.

        Your story stinks, intrinsically or not.

      • Willard,

        You wrote –

        ‘I’m not even sure where NIST list properties, MikeF, let alone intrinsic ones..

        That’s probably because you’re not half as capable as you think. Certainly not as capable as me, by the look of things.

        One other thing I’m very sure of – the inability of CO2 to raise the temperature of the Earth.

        As you admit that I am more capable than you, you should just accept what I say. Alternatively, you might care to present a falsifiable hypothesis countering my statement that CO2 has no intrinsic heating abilities.

        I’m very sure you can’t, any more than you can present a falsiable hypothesis that CO2 is actually a highly radioactive multicoloured liquid metal alloy. That’s about as silly as claiming you could heat up a planet by putting some CO2 in its atmosphere, isn’t it?

        But give it a try, if you wish.

        Cheers.

      • Willard, to help you, I think you are needing to specify radiative properties of CO2. Of specific interest is the 15 microns wavelength area which is within a couple of micons of where the black body radiation curve peaks for a temperature of the TOA, which could be around 200K – 250K.

        I you use the tool at this link you can see the CO2 relevant bands:
        http://www.spectraplot.com/absorption

        Atom: CO2
        XCO2: (400ppm) 0.0004
        P (2% pressure Atm): 0.02
        T (degK for TOA): 220
        Start v (frequency) 500 cm-1 = wavelength 20 micron
        End v (frequency) 900 cm-1 = wavelength 10 micron

      • > To help you […]

        Try to help MikeF find the intrinsic properties of CO2 instead, RonG. If you can’t find any, that means that just like MikeF, you can’t even pull off the intrinsic property trick. How will Denizens be able to argue that blankets don’t (nay, can’t) warm if you can’t pull that trick?

        Denizens are not what they used to be.

        ***

        Since you’re into unsollicited advice, try this:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/essential-accidental/

        Intrinsic properties are on the way out. Even if I granted MikeF’s essential talk, he can’t even identify one single intrinsic property. In fact, intrinsic properties goes against the very idea of falsificationism.

        You just can’t make this up.

      • Willard, here is another hint: in the absence of radiation from the sun, how is it that CO2 would warm the planet?

      • catweazle666

        “Willard, here is another hint: in the absence of radiation from the sun, how is it that CO2 would warm the planet?”

        By its reaction with the unicorn droppings of course!

      • > [H]ere is another hint: in the absence of radiation from the sun, how is it that CO2 would warm the planet?

        Now we’re talking, KenD. Try this and report.

        If you could give MikeF and RonG an example of an intrinsic property of CO2, that’d be great.

  8. It is a mistake to frame the case against climate science in terms of models because we also have observations, and observations came first. For example we can take the last 60 years during which we have produced 75% of our emissions and 75% of the temperature change has occurred too. We can plot CO2 and temperature in this well measured period.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25
    We scale at 1 C per 100 ppm, which corresponds to 1 C per 1500 GtCO2 emitted, and this scaling fits the data well (making over 2 C per doubling). Look, no models.This alone can inform policy. Business as usual gets another 5000 GtCO2 between now and 2100 putting us near 700 ppm and 4 C in committed warming. Do we want 5000 GtCO2 given what 1500 GtCO2 does according to observations? The models help to explain the observations, which is a bonus, but you can make the argument with observations alone. You may say, but natural variations… Well the sun is less active now than it as in the 1950’s so we add something to the sensitivity for natural variation to make those people happy.

    • Jim D,

      May I respectfully point out that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. The Earth appears to have cooled over the last four and a half billion years ago. Due to steadily reducing CO2 levels, do you think?

      What is your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

      Cheers.

      • Correlation is also evidence.

      • Jim D,

        What is your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        Cheers.

      • 2-3 C per doubling.

      • Jim D,

        “2-3 C per doubling” doesn’t actually look like a falsifiable scientific theory to me.

        What is your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        Cheers.

      • That is falsifiable because it is quantitative. A doubling gives you 2-3 C of warming. What else do you need?

      • Jim D,

        “2-3 C per doubling” is meaningless. Are you trying to say that the temperature of a volume of air will rise by 2 – 3 C if the proportion of CO2 it contains is doubled, or something else entirely? Would the relationship be linear, logarithmic, asymptotic, or something else? Science requires some rigour, not vague assertion.

        What is your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        Cheers.

      • MF, it is not meaningless. Try harder to understand it in the context of the subject of this blog, which (clue) is not CO2 in boxes.

      • Jim D,

        What is your falsifiable CO2 heating theory?

        I can’t even begin to understand something that you refuse to tell me. Your silly Warmist attempt to deny, divert and confuse, by demanding that I try harder, is a worn out tactic employed by the likes of Steven Mosher.

        Cut and paste your CO2 heating theory, if you have one.

        If you haven’t one, why not just say so?

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        The hypothesis is simple.
        If you double co2 concentrations in the atmosphere from 280 ppm to 560 ppm and hold all the effects of all other forcings equal , the temperature of any randomly selected location above land will increase by no less than 1.5 c.

        Falsifiable in principle.

        Evidence today supports the hypothesis.

        Co2 does not warm the planet. It reduces the rate of cooling and consequently we are warmer than we would be otherwise. Now I am going to drink my coffee. I put it in a thermos 3 hours ago. The radiation barrier in the thermos kept my coffee warmer than it would be otherwise. It did this by limiting the heat loss due to radiation.

        Flat earther flynn can’t win.

      • catweazle666

        “and hold all the effects of all other forcings equal”

        Which, as it is utterly impossible to arrange, nullifies your whole argument.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Which, as it is utterly impossible to arrange, nullifies your whole argument.”

        not really.

        you have three ways to arrange for it.

        Guess what they are.

      • Steven Mosher

        I love catweazel

        If the sun is extinguished, then the earth will get colder.

        using catweazel logic since we cannot “arrange” for this, its not falsifiable.

        Falsifiable refers to this: Being able to specify Observables as a consequence.

        Lets take an example of something unfalsifiable ( recall where the notion first got traction )

        God is love.

      • catweazle666

        “If the sun is extinguished, then the earth will get colder.

        using catweazel logic since we cannot “arrange” for this, its not falsifiable.

        Buffoon.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “The hypothesis is simple.
        If you double co2 concentrations in the atmosphere from 280 ppm to 560 ppm and hold all the effects of all other forcings equal , the temperature of any randomly selected location above land will increase by no less than 1.5 c.

        Falsifiable in principle.

        Evidence today supports the hypothesis.”

        Foolish Warmist! Unfortunately, you have still not provided anything falsifiable by experiment. Mindlessly repeating “in principle”, or putting in impossible constraints such as “hold the effects of all other forcings equal” does give your hypothesis any more weight than the usual Warmist assertions. If you associated with real scientists, and understood the meaning of falsifiable in scientific terms, you might know this.

        You still appear clueless about the scientific process, preferring to follow the fumbling bumblers mindlessly pursuing Cargo Cult Scientism, and very expensive and useless computer games.

        It is obvious you have no experimentally falsifiable CO2 heating hypothesis, so I will move along.

        You also wrote –

        “Co2 does not warm the planet. It reduces the rate of cooling and consequently we are warmer than we would be otherwise. Now I am going to drink my coffee. I put it in a thermos 3 hours ago. The radiation barrier in the thermos kept my coffee warmer than it would be otherwise. It did this by limiting the heat loss due to radiation.”

        Now in spite of proposing an hypothesis which claimed that increasing atmospheric carbon concentration would result in heating, you now say that CO2 does not, in fact, warm the planet – that is, increase the temperature. I agree with this statement. No warming at all.

        You then, in the finest foolish Warmist tradition, provide an example which supports your opponent’s position.

        You acknowledge that your coffee does not rise in temperature when it is well insulated, yet you claim that the Earth does, when not nearly as well insulated, according to the physical properties of the atmospheric gases.

        Warmists claim that CO2 causes heating – an increase in temperature.

        Your coffee analogy does not show heating at all. It is the usual Warmist attempt to deny, divert, and confuse – being true, but pointless and irrelevant,

        What is your falsifiable CO2 heating hypothesis, then? You assert that CO2 has heating properties, but cannot show experimental verification.

        No experimentally falsifiable proposition – no credibility.

        Cheers.

      • Try 1950.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Why would I do that? Do you think equilibrium to forcing happens in 11 years? If so why worry?

      • 1950 was the period I was plotting, and the point I made was about the sun since 1950, or maybe you were just putting up random things unconnected to what I was saying. If so, go ahead.

      • stevenreincarnated

        You pick your cherries and I’ll pick mine thank you very much.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Yes, it looks great given the proper amount of smoothing to show a solar effect on ocean heat transport. Just look at the linear trend. Perfect match.

      • Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Speaking of boats, I bet there is a correlation between temperature and kayaks also but the mechanism is still a mystery. Going back to the point I made previously, in this comment string and in numerous strings over the years, how long before equilibrium with a forcing in reached in your opinion? At least then we can make a fair comparison between what you think and solar instead of what you wish to propagandize and solar.

      • You don’t complain when people use 15 years, but when I show you 60 years of data, no way does it have any meaning to you, no siree bob,

      • stevenreincarnated

        15 years of no warming (ENSO adjusted) would falsify the models according to the paper written by Knight et al. So 15 years does have some meaning although I haven’t seen where the ENSO adjusted results say they have been falsified. Even then you still have to work through the data sets and determine the uncertainty. Still, people have a reason to talk about 15 years and they believe there is some significance to it.

        You don’t believe that equilibrium is achieved in a short period of time so the only reason you could possibly be starting the comparison with solar in 1950 is to make a point even you don’t believe in. See the difference?

      • 15 years of slow warming followed 15 years of extra fast warming making 30 years of average warming. 30 is better to look at than 15, 60 is even better for actually detecting climate change. It also averages out some ocean cycles people talk about. If I wanted to cherrypick for warming, I would not start in a solar active decade, but it was when the CO2 record started, so no choice.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I’m sorry, Jim. How long did you say to equilibrium, again? I must have missed it. BTW, 1950 is cooler than 1940. Wouldn’t even longer be better instead of waiting until right after the temperatures dropped?

      • I didn’t say anything about equilibrium. That was you. This is about the transient sensitivity since 1950.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Oh, you didn’t mention solar. I must be seeing things. I still am.

      • Huh? Solar forcing does show up in the temperature record on decadal scales. It doesn’t require equilibrium to show up. It is transient. You are making some connection to equilibrium that I didn’t, and I still don’t know what it is.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, you would think that the 27th time we are having this argument you’d stop acting like it is brand new. Now how long to equilibrium?

      • It’s asymptotic. Depends how close you want to get. More than half occurs within a decade after a step change, I expect. It’s a response function, but while the land responds almost immediately, the ocean doesn’t, so it also depends where you measure. So for the last few decades the land has warmed by 0.3 C per decade while the ocean has warmed about 0.15 C per decade. Their temperatures are separating under the forcing.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Well if you are only making up half the change from the weak cycles previous to the large cycles mid century but the cycles post mid century are larger by more than half of the weak cycles after mid century, then you are still dealing with a positive forcing. I think my linear trend says pretty much the same thing. So we are back to questioning if LW and SW radiation have different feedbacks.

      • it gets cold
        it gets hot
        the sun has spots
        and then does not

      • stevereincarnated,

        You wrote –

        “Speaking of boats, I bet there is a correlation between temperature and kayaks also but the mechanism is still a mystery.”

        I don’t know about kayaks, but pirate ships are definitely involved. As a matter of fact, the Australian Government Bureau of Statistics wrote (about a pirate/global warming correlation graph) –

        “The graph is trying to say ‘As the number of pirates decreases, the global average temperature increases’. Do you think a change in one variable has caused a change in the other?

        Probably not, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an explanation for the association or correlation. Have a think by yourself, and then discuss what sorts of explanations we can come up with to explain the association of correlation between the number of pirates decreasing, the global average temperature increasing. Which of the four types of explanation for association above best suit the ideas you have come up with?”

        Statistically, there is a very strong correlation. Stronger than the correlation between temperature and CO2, for example. Maybe kayaks play a role. Eskimo pirates, perhaps? It makes about as much sense as believing that CO2 can heat a cooling planet.

        Cheers.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Yes Mike, I know you don’t believe your own arguments either. I think you just enjoy seeing how long you can get people to argue about nothing. It’s amazing how much type is wasted at times.

      • stevenreincarnated,

        That’s with 12 month moving averages for both series. Same thing with 264 month running means for TSI:

        Multiply by four to account for the fact that the Earth is roughly spherical and only half of it is sunlit at any given time, and those regression coefficients imply a climate sensitivity parameter to total solar irradiance roughly between 1.8 and 3.8 K w-1 m2.

        Going back to the point I made previously, in this comment string and in numerous strings over the years, how long before equilibrium with a forcing in reached in your opinion?

        Millennia for the deep oceans to equilibrate and slow feedbacks like ice sheet albedo to come into their own. Noting the AR5 estimates for ECS of 1.5°C to 4.5°C and TCR of 1°C to 2.5°C, we can guess that between a half to two thirds of the total equilibrium change happens within about the first 70 years. Much depends on the magnitude of the external forcing, and its rate of change of course.

    • Go back and read harder.

      • It’s all about models in this article, as though that is all there is. This is a very shortsighted view of climate science. Observations are where the real evidence is. He chose the wrong basis. He needs to be denying the reliability of observational evidence to make his argument stick. I say try again.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Jim D, I absolutely agree with you that “Observations are where the real evidence is.” [Vs. models in climate science.]

        We observe biological and geological changes consistent with a slightly warming world through the end of the 20th century. One of the observed changes is the retreat of mountain glaciers. But, What Ho! Their retreat uncovers ancient forests and prior human habitations! Does that mean that temperatures were actually warmer in the past? Enquiring climate science minds would want to know, don’t you think?

        We could talk about the observed lack of change in the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events in response to the late 20th century warming, but why belabor the point.

        Happy Observing, Climate Scientists!

        Dave Fair

      • The Eocene, 50 million years ago, with CO2 levels well above what we have now were much warmer. Forests in polar areas, no glaciers at all, high sea levels. Makes sense in the observational perspective.

      • catweazle666

        Jim D: “Observations are where the real evidence is.”

        Really?

        “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”

        ~ Prof. Chris Folland ~ (Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research)

      • The models support the past data, and vice versa. You can phrase it how you like. For the future, we have no data yet, only some very obvious present trends.

      • @Jim D…

        You obviously didn’t take my advice. Either that, or you didn’t read enough harder.

        It’s all about models in this article, as though that is all there is. This is a very shortsighted view of climate science. Observations are where the real evidence is.

        If so, it’s quite plausible that the large majority of model-based research is useless. and model-based research is the vast majority of “climate” research.

        So at best your point is irrelevant, more likely you’ve shot yourself in the foot. By forcing your preconceptions on an article saying something almost opposite to what you seem to think it says.

        The Eocene, 50 million years ago, with CO2 levels well above what we have now […]

        …Also had a completely different continental configuration.

        If models can’t even get the monsoon effect right, which they can’t; if models can’t even get rid of their phantom double ITCZ, which AFAIK most of them can’t, how can we expect them to provide anything worthwhile about Eocene climate?

        And if they can’t, why should we expect them to provide anything worthwhile about the climate effects of CO2? (As opposed to the climate effects of different continental configurations?) And if model-based “climate research” is worthless pseudo-science, then the author’s point is made for him.

        And if model-based “climate research” is worthless pseudo-science, so would anything based on it, such as “attribution probabilities according to the IPCC”.

    • Jim D,

      In the observations you refer to, you forgot to include the radiative forcing of aerosols and GHG other than CO2. On average, the radiative forcing of other GHG and aerosols is about 50% of CO2 radiative forcing. We define this somewhat uncertain fraction as “beta” approx. = 0.5. Therefore the total global mean surface temperature (GMST) increase in each year since 1850 due to radiative forcing of CO2, GHG and aerosols can be modeled very simply as

      T(year) – T(1850) = TCR(1+beta)LOG[CO2(year)/CO2(1850)]/LOG[2]

      where Transient Climate Response (TCR) is the GMST increase that occurs due to doubling CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

      The long term fit of this function using 284.7 ppm for the atmospheric CO2 concentration in 1850 (CO2(1850) = 284.7), the yearly average Mauna Loa CO2 concentration for CO2(year) in the above equation, and the HadCRUT4 GMST anomaly since 1850 yields

      TCR(1+beta) = 1.8C

      This quantity only has the uncertainty of the HadCRUT data in representing actual GMST changes that is much less than the uncertainty in “beta” due mainly to effects of aerosol concentration history in our atmosphere (see Lewis and Curry (2014) for this conclusion). Therefore if we use AR5 data to estimate that beta = 0.5

      then, TCR = 1.2C,

      not 2 C as you claimed in your comment. When a more realistic value for TCR based on observations is used, and a future trajectory of CO2 in our atmosphere constrained by realistic evaluation of official US government estimates of world wide reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas and how fast these reserve estimates are growing with time, vs. energy demand growth, it becomes apparent that a market driven transition to non-fossil fuel sources must begin about 2060 to meet world-wide energy demand. Using this approach we estimate about 585 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere in 2100 and a maximum of about 600 ppm when currently estimated fossil fuel reserves are exhausted. Using the above equation and TCR(1+beta) = 1.8C (THE OBSERVED VALUE), one can project that GMST would be only about 1C above the 2000-2015 average of HadCRUT4 temps. So what is the problem that needs urgent mitigation with potentially severe economic consequences?

      The problem with all of the useless climate research discussed here today is that we have governmental entities willing to throw taxpayer funds away on useless un-validated climate model simulations. In my NASA and aerospace industry experience, we have strict policies against using un-validated models for decision-making. If the reason governments are wasting climate research “investments” is the concern about AGW, the above simple formula derived from Conservation of Energy considerations, and validated with 166 years of climate data, is all you need to assess the AGW issue for decision-making. Political agendas have clearly corrupted climate science.

      • You can work it out that 1 C per 100 ppm over the range 300-400 ppm does give you greater than 2 C per doubling. This is an effective value as it assumes that aerosols and other GHGs change in proportion to CO2, which itself is 80% of the net, if you use this to project forwards. Due to air quality standards, aerosol effects may not grow in the same proportion with CO2 compared to the last 60 years, but it is not clear whether other GHGs will change in proportion, so, if anything, the effective rate based on the last 60 years is a low estimate. So, from this 700 ppm does give 3 C from TCR, probably 4 C for equilibrium, with all aerosol and GHG changes taken into account along side. It is misleading to just compute the CO2 sensitivity alone and forget these other factors. Also my curve showed that the CO2 is a good proxy in explaining the temperature for the last 60 years, not surprisingly to anyone because it is by far the largest contributor.
        If you think we will stop at 585 ppm at 2100, that is already a major global emission rate reduction (I estimate 30% averaged between now and 2100 despite the population increase and development), which doesn’t happen unless you leave coal in the ground. You need policies against inefficient fossil fuels, like coal, and effective replacements for energy and fuel to achieve that. So 585 ppm is what you get from a half-hearted policy, but it does need a policy.

      • catweazle666

        “You can work it out that 1 C per 100 ppm over the range 300-400 ppm does give you greater than 2 C per doubling.”

        You may be able to, nobody else can.

        Stop making stuff up.

      • log(400/300)/log(2) then take 1 over this = 2.4 C per doubling.

      • Jim D,

        Like other foolish Warmists, you make the rather bizarre claim that CO2 has the ability to warm a cooling planet.

        What is your CO2 planet heating hypothesis? A simple cut and paste will do, supported by one repeatable experiment supporting the hypothesis.

        I don’t believe you have one, but I’m always prepared to accept new facts.

        So where is it? Feel free to fly off into a perfect paroxysm of deny, divert and confuse if you wish. This would be the expected response from a Woebegone Witless Wandering Warmist.

        Cheers.

      • It’s insulation, Mike. Insulators work by restricting the escape of heat to space. They don’t have to be warm to work.

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “It’s insulation, Mike. Insulators work by restricting the escape of heat to space. They don’t have to be warm to work.”

        Indeed, A cooling body, insulated, still cools.. Warmists claim CO2 heats the planet. Causes a rise in temperature, which as you say, is not a property of insulators. An insulator does not cause the planet to heat up. The planet still cools, as it has for four and a half billion years.

        So what’s your falsifiable (by experiment) hypothesis on how CO2 raises the temperature of a planet? Or is the 1 – 2 C increase of temperature you claim merely a figment of your imagination?

        CO2 heats nothing.

        Cheers.

      • MF, a glimmer of understanding from you. Yes, if the sun heats, not cools, insulation prevents cooling. Exactly right. Well done.

      • Jim D,

        So what is your hypothesis about the method by which CO2 raises the temperature of the cooling planet? A simple cut and paste will do.

        So far you’ve said nothing of substance except that sunlight heats the part of the Earth which absorbs it. Hardly novel.

        How about CO2 raising the temperature? Will CO2 raise the temperature of anything else? Why hasn’t the surface temperature risen over the past four and a half billion years?

        Your hypothesis will explain all these, I’m sure, but you seem remararkably reticent about actually stating what the hypothesis is.

        Insulation will not increase the temperature of a non internally heated body which it insulates. I’m not sure whether you are mentally impaired, or just pretending to be so, in order to garner sympathy.

        In any case, a CO2 heating hypothesis, with a repeatable experiment to support it, would settle the matter.

        CO2 heats nothing.

        Cheers.

      • The sun heats the earth and an insulator, any insulator, prevents cooling, so the surface is warmer with an insulator than without it. Maybe you understood that part. What was the question?

      • Jim D,

        Give it a try. Wrap something (like the Earth) in an insulator. Put it in the Sun. Surprise! Surprise! It doesn’t get as hot as an uninsulated body in the same circumstances.

        Do an experiment. It doesn’t matter what insulator you use.

        Get back to me.

        What is your falsifiable CO2 heating hypothesis? What experimental support does it have? Blathering about insulators and their magical one way energy trapping properties is just silly.

        Cheers.

      • You can do an experiment with your house. Keep the heating the same, and add insulators. Do you expect it to be warmer with more insulators? See, the heater is like the sun, and the insulator is like the GHGs. Bingo, you got it. The penny dropped.

      • Jim D,

        My house does not have heating. As I said, I use insulation to keep cool. You may not believe it, but it’s true.

        Desert Berbers wear thick dark coloured woollen robes to insulate both from daytime heat and nighttime cold. Researchers using actual thermometers have confirmed the effectiveness.

        I am surprised you did not know this, or chose to reject it.

        Try an actual experiment. I have.

        You can choose to accept reality, or you can retreat to a Warmist fantasy world. The choice is yours, of course.

        Cheers.

      • MF, the difference is that CO2 lets the sun in, but not the heat out, but I don’t expect you to understand that at all.

      • Jim D,

        Still no hypothesis, eh? Just –

        “MF, the difference is that CO2 lets the sun in, but not the heat out, but I don’t expect you to understand that at all.”

        Just more magic! So the CO2 lets the “sun” in, and maybe lets the “sun” out, but keeps the “heat” in. Until the “sun” goes down. Then, it seems the CO2 lets both the “sun” and the “heat” out. Until the “sun” comes out again!

        You’re right. I don’t understand it. Neither do you. Neither does anybody else.

        Maybe you could formulate a falsifiable hypothesis which uses normal scientific terms, but I doubt it. Keep sprouting magic. If you really, really, believe, maybe it will come true!

        No CO2 warming. Four and a half billion years of cooling so far. Warmist prayers and supplications not working so well. Maybe next year. Who knows?

        Cheers.

      • Doubling CO2 leads to 3 C warming. That’s your falsifiable hypothesis. So far, at half a doubling we are at 1 C transient, so it works so far, but maybe you need several doublings to be convinced, so it will be a slowly unfolding experiment for you. Unless you just look at paleoclimate, which shows you the results because it already happened millions of years ago.

      • Doubling CO2 leads to 3 C warming.

        Warming of what?

      • Jim D,
        I did “work it out”, showed you how I did it, and also included radiative forcing of other GHG and aerosols as a fraction of CO2 radiative forcing, and made my projection of no more than 1C additional warming by 2100 based on effects of CO2, other GHG and aerosols.

        If I understand your reply correctly, your 2C value should be compared to my TCR(1+beta) = 1.8C value. Since you are using GISTEMP data that has risen more steeply than HadCRUT4 since 1950, and are only looking at data since 1950, I can accept that your value extracted for TCR(1+beta) might be as high as 2C. When you say CO2 “which itself is 80% of the net”, I interpret that to mean you claim that CO2 causes 80% of the net of all GHG and aerosol radiative forcing, indicating your value for “beta” would be 0.25, meaning TCR(1.25) = 2 and yielding TCR = 1.6C.

        I believe beta is closer to 0.5 meaning CO2 is only 67% of the net, but our projections should not vary too much, if I use TCR(1+beta) = 1.8C based on HadCRUT4 data and you use TCR(1+beta) = 2C based on GISTIMP data since 1950, 100 years of data less than I used. Somewhat hidden in the differences in our projections is a value for beta based on past observations and how one assumes beta will change in the future. These seemingly small differences in our interpretations of available data make big differences in AGW projections. Our numbers don’t seem to be too different but our projections for how much warming we expect by 2100 without a POLICY to try to intervene with “business as usual” differs by more than a factor 3 from my estimate of 1C to your estimate of 3C to 4C.

        We agree on one thing. We don’t want or need un-validated climate simulation models to guide policy decisions. We can use available data to guide these decisions, but we need broad scientific review and agreement on how we interpret the available data. I believe research focused on using observations to nail down more accurate values for TCR, beta, and a more rational “business as usual” future GHG and aerosol scenario than represented by the IPCC’s RCP8.5, is needed to remove uncertainty from AGW projections to justify any POLICY adopted. Clearly, this is not being done, and given the great uncertainty embedded in AGW projections, is sure worth taking a few years of focused research to remove the uncertainty to support better POLICY decisions.

      • Harold D, if CO2 rises by 0.9 C for 90 ppm as it did in the last 60 years from the graph I fitted, you get an effective TCR of 2.4 C per doubling. You may say not all of that 0.9 C was CO2, maybe 80% was and the rest was other anthropogenic effects, but the fact remains that this is an effective TCR and if those other effects continue to scale with CO2, the effective TCR can be used with hypothetical future values to project temperature outcomes of different policies. Also we can convert to temperature rise per emission rate and find that at today’s CO2 emission rate we get 0.25 C per decade, and this is what is happening from emissions going on now.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Jim D, please post the graph you reference showing a 9 degree C temperature rise over the last 60 years.

      • dogdaddyblog

        The linear trend from 1955 to 2015 appears to result in a temperature change of less than 0.8 degrees C.

        Your superimposing a scaled CO2 chart over a temperature chart is a fun way to show a direct correspondence. Since temperature is supposed to be a log function of CO2, why doesn’t your “one-to-one” correspondence charting show that?

      • Over a short range like 300-400 ppm it is supposed to be more linear, but you can get the sensitivity as 2.4 C per doubling which is a log relation.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Oops: Graph with 0.9 degree C warming in the last 60 years. Just got done feeding the horses and poop scooping in 100 degree F. Apparently lost a decimal point there.

        None the less, without an El Nino I’m pretty sure there is not a current 0.25 degree C per decade warming going on. Gotta live or die by weather vs. climate, Jim D.

      • You think not, but it just has to keep following the CO2 gradient for that to be true. It applies to the last 10 years, so why not.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Because temperatures did not follow the CO2 gradient in the past. Additionally, it is only the past 2-plus years (driven by the Blob and El Nino) out of your 10 years that push the period to follow the CO2 gradient.

      • It even followed it during the so-called pause, which is impressive. Are you really not seeing the 60-year correspondence at all?

      • dogdaddyblog

        No, because I think, like for the 1915 to 1945 period, temperature changes are not strictly anthropogenic in origin.

        I have another comment from upthread in moderation.

      • The sun increased in strength from a relative lull around 1910 to its highest activity in the century by 1940. That was a factor for sure, possibly as much as 0.2 W/m2 forcing change. I would not disagree. More was going on in that period than the relatively weak anthropogenic forcing at that time which was only growing at about a quarter of today’s rate. Today, there is not much the sun can do to counter the much greater anthropogenic forcing change rate. It’s in a different league now at 0.3-0.4 W/m2 per decade.

      • dogdaddyblog

        This thread is getting all out of whack because two of my responses to you are in moderation.

      • dogdaddyblog

        After hydrating with an enhanced beverage to recover from the usual Nevada heat (no AGW evident here), Jim D, I’m ready with another question. Where did you get the idea that CO2 plus other anthropomorphic forcings were the sole drivers of global temperatures over the last 60 years?

        Dave Fair

      • OK, I’ll bite. What else do you propose? Let’s take a look at it.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Cool! I’ll bet 1915 to 1945 warming, presumably without man’s depredations. Do you want to raise me, pass or fold?

    • I like the simplicity of the approach you mentioned. What about the oceans to their full depth? They would probably dampen changes. I suppose similar to an attractor. As much as we do to the atmosphere can it ever get away from a huge moderate ocean attractor? I am not saying that attractor is not warming but because of its thermal mass, it’s mostly limited to the SSTs which now have to warm kilometers deep water.
      I didn’t know you were as low as 2 – 3 C per doubling. I am at 1 – 2 C based on years of doing tax returns.

      • I mean 2 for transient, 3 for equilibrium. Those would bracket the effect at any given time. The oceans just determine the time it takes to get from 2 to 3 C for a doubling if emissions stopped there. The warming of the deeper ocean would mean the imbalance takes a long time to reach zero, but it could become quite small. It’s an asymptotic process because of the deep ocean.

    • With a dampened spring, as the atmosphere tries to pull away from the oceans, the first real progress is going to be the easiest. Perhaps I am suggesting adding one more factor in.

      • The oceans are holding the global temperature back, but the land, for sure, is warming fast, and that is where we live.

      • From around 1985 until 2014-15, internal variability also held back AGW.

      • Danny Thomas

        JCH,

        “From around 1985 until 2014-15, internal variability also held back AGW.”

        Could it reasonable be rephrased to say that from 1985 until 2014-2015 AGW held back internal variability?

      • The natural system was fully aligned with substantially cooling the planet, so yes.

      • Danny Thomas

        JCH,
        Thank you. Ben W discussed earlier the uncertainties and that they cut both ways. Now if we could just figure out the math as to how much ‘cooling’, how much ‘natural warming’, and how much Anthro we’d be on to something.

      • It’s negative… the planet used to be molten.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Well, people, I believe it is better to say that the pattern of 1985 to 2014-15 temperatures (except for a major El Nino at the end) mimicked the temperature pattern of 1915 to 1945, and AGW played little to no part in either one. Prove me wrong!

        Dave Fair

  9. Is much of current climate research useless?

    YES</b30 years of science research, there are no useful answers to any of these important issues.

    Clearly, much of climate research conducted to date is useless
    .

  10. Is much of current climate research useless?

    YES

    It is useless because it does not address the critical issues that are necessary for policy analysis and for making good policy decisions. These important questions have hardly been addressed:

    1. What are the economic impacts of global warming (both positive and negative consequences)?

    2. What is the net benefit-cost of abatement policies?

    3. What is the net benefit-cost per degree of average global temperature change (both warming and cooling)?

    4. What is the probable time to the next abrupt climate change (which is due any time now and, if not for our GHG emissions, would be more likely to be an abrupt cooling than an abrupt warming)?

    5. What is the likely sign of the next abrupt change (warming or cooling), rate of change, and total magnitude of change?

    6. Uncertainties and pdfs for all these

    After >30 years of science research, there are no useful answers to any of these important issues.

    Clearly, much of climate research conducted to date is useless.

    • Good questions

    • Is much of current climate research useless?

      YES

      It is useless because about 97% of it concerns the effects One Trace Gas. This is wildly out of proportion to its influence on our planet’s climate.

      It is little wonder that after >30 years of science research, there are no useful answers to many important issues.

      • “A faithful reflection of reality,” .Ionnidis ponders
        …and therein a problem regardin’ reflection,
        so much lies betwix’t the cup and the lip,
        nuthin’ simple about perceiving a reality
        out there and it’s registering, transmissioning
        etcetera, etcetera via a human brain … even
        events jest day ter day! And if that ain’t enough,
        why, in SCIENCE involvin’ proper research
        program design, execution … analysis of the
        ‘right’ problem, da da da, lotsa’ cup and lip stuff,
        ‘n don’t fergit, in cli-sci, historic context, no “We
        -hafta’-git-rid-of-the-medieval-warming-period,”
        -shenanigans – tsk! So machiavellian, so 1984
        down-the-memery-hole-scenario, so politico-
        consensus-nonsensical,’n so fergitful of
        the history of science’s heretical overthrow
        of past certainties, teachin’ a skeptical-provisional
        acceptance of theories ‘n test and test agin.

      • KenW | July 7, 2016 at 3:08 am | Reply

        Is much of current climate research useless?

        YES

        It is useless because about 97% of it concerns the effects One Trace Gas.

        Echoes of the One True Church, complete with its proselytizing and inquistions, carbon indulgences and crucifixes.

    • 4. What is the probable time to the next abrupt climate change (which is due any time now and, if not for our GHG emissions, would be more likely to be an abrupt cooling than an abrupt warming)?

      It’s interesting (but not unpredictable) that the IPCC’s last report managed to exclude at least one piece of real science that attempts to answer that question.

      “Each one of those regimes lasts about 30 years … I would assume something like another 15 years of leveling off or cooling,” he told Fox News.

      Considering the source (MSM, of sorts) I would expect the ellipsis to include a variety of caveats.

      So: if events follow the previous pattern, we’ve got 10-15 years till the next shift.

      Given that the last shift was from steep warming to level/cooling, the next shift might be expected to be back to significant warming. (But not for certain.)

      But there’s no way of knowing, at our present level of science, whether increasing CO2 has changed the rules WRT timing. (Or, for that matter, direction.)

      We also don’t really know whether the last few centuries’ warming trend is really due to CO2 or century-scale unforced variation.

      Conclusion: we need more money for real science, rather than endless GCM runs to nowhere.

      Pending better science, for policy purposes, assume a relatively flat PDF regarding the timing (with a peak at about 2030) and extent of the next shift, with a somewhat higher probability of upwards than downwards.

    • Perhaps it would be easier to list which pieces of “global warming” research are useful (I look forward the response of those with keener insight in the field).

      I am unaware of any global warming research that is useful.

      The funding for global warming should be terminated and some of the funds transferred to general atmospheric/oceanographic studies. The unneeded super computers should be transferred to NOAA to improve weather prediction.

    • Just ain’t gonna happen that way is it, Peter? Been there seen that…

      • 4. What is the probable time to the next abrupt climate change (which is due any time now and, if not for our GHG emissions, would be more likely to be an abrupt cooling than an abrupt warming)?…

        Replicating this study, I have found that the next abrupt climate change is due real soon.

  11. SIGNING OFF FOR THE NIGHT ==> I will be back online in the morning (Eastern Time) and will try to field your questions and comments then. Thanks for reading, — kh

  12. Steven Mosher

    Transparency –> Are methods, data, and analyses verifiable and unbiased?

    ########

    I experimented with this. The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics. The only people who refused to actually check methods were skeptics.

    Just sayin.

    Finally all methods contain potential bias. The question you ask is really dumb.try again. Be more specific. Ask smart questions and you might learn something. But I suspect you ate not asking questions to learn.

    • Mosher,

      The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.

      A blatant lie!

      What about the infamous Michael Mann?

      • Apologies to Peter Lang. My long reply was intended for Mosher.

      • Peter Lang,
        Mann doesn’t do science, he issues fatwas. No data is required.

      • Well, like Lewis and Curry, Mann is an AMO believer.

      • Steven Mosher

        I never asked Mann for data. I would not know.
        in MY EXPERIENCE the only times I have been denied data and code
        was when I asked skeptics for it.

      • Peter Lang

        Mosher, you said:

        The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.

        That was dishonest. Do you have the Intellectual integrity to admit your assertion was misleading, disingenuous, dishonest?

      • The real question is:

        Did Mosher ask any skeptic that was publicly funded for his data?

    • Obviously you have not read the report of the Inter-Academy Council Review of IPCC’s processes and procedures (available online at
      http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/ ) This documented the following problems viz. political interference, bias, lack of transparency in the selection of personnel and technical material for analysis, vague statements not supported by evidence, failure to respond appropriately to critical review comments, poor handling of uncertainty, failure to consider the full range of valid scientific views, and a lack of any policy to address conflicts of interest (lead authors reviewing their own work). In passing, that report also mentions ‘authors reluctant to share their data and code’.
      Notwithstanding IPCC’s claims to the contrary, I seriously doubt whether the recommendations of that report have been implemented effectively. Indeed rather than improve transparency the IPCC chose to focus on ‘confidentiality’. Can anyone inform us as to the protocols in place for selection of IPCC personnel?
      Regarding the selection of technical material for analysis, cherry-picking would appear to be the IPCC’s modus operandi. Yes they review the literature but can anyone point to an IPCC protocol which requires answers to the following questions viz.

      who does the literature search(es)?
      what databases are searched?
      what time periods are covered?
      what search strategy (search terms & Boolean logic) were employed?
      what was the justification for that search strategy?
      how many citations were retrieved at each stage of the search?
      what were the selection criteria for inclusion/exclusion re the final analysis?

      [Answers to these questions were routinely required by an Australian Government regulatory authority where I worked for more than 20 years.]

      Without such a protocol, the IPCC has been at liberty to cherry-pick anything which supports the agenda of its political sponsors while ignoring/excluding any contrary evidence. That is not science. It’s just advocacy.

      • The IAC also documented use of reference material which had not been critically assessed.

      • gyptis444,

        Mosher, having so unabashedly picked sides in the CAGW fracas, is completely blinded to the IPCC’s transgressions. In his mind, skeptics are the only ones who commit the sort of wrongdoings you enumerate.

        It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one’s own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.

        — BUDDHA

      • Steven Mosher

        ” In his mind, skeptics are the only ones who commit the sort of wrongdoings you enumerate.”

        In MY EXPERIENCE.

        Kip asked a question.

        I get to answer his question WITHIN MY EXPERIENCE.

        Within my direct experience, where I have direct evidence, where I can speak with authority and not rely on hearsay I will repeat.

        I have had more trouble getting methods and data from skeptics.

        That it is
        That is all

      • Steven Mosher

        “Obviously you have not read the report of the Inter-Academy Council Review of IPCC’s processes and procedures (available online at”

        Actually I did read it and I commented on it.
        Obviously you did not read what I wrote.

        Within MY EXPERIENCE ( not “reports” I may have read) within my direct, EMPIRICAL, FIRST HAND experience…

        Skeptics have denied me more times than any warmist.

        Now YOU?

        You read reports. words on a page. I bet you trust them.

        Me? I ask skeptics for their data and code. They say No.

        You can verify this for yourself by asking them as well.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Ha! Ha! Ha!

        I can’t help but being amused at some of the stuff you come up with.

        Just how “unbiased” do you believe your anecdotal experiences are?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Without such a protocol, the IPCC has been at liberty to cherry-pick anything which supports the agenda of its political sponsors while ignoring/excluding any contrary evidence. That is not science. It’s just advocacy.”

        obviously you havent read the comments on IPCC chapters.
        If relevant research is left out, then commenters will point that out

        Its far from perfect, and constructive criticism works wonders.

        here is WGII as an example

        http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/review-comments-disclaimer

        http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/njlite/

      • Steven Mosher

        “Just how “unbiased” do you believe your anecdotal experiences are?”

        Totally unbiased.

        1. I only ask for data and code WITHIN my field of interest
        A) temperature methods
        B) Simple lumped parameter climate models
        2. I ask everyone who doesnt publish their code and data to do so.

        You see here is my objection to Kips question.

        Kip asks a really broad question to a blog full of people who have NO DIRECT EXPERIENCE in getting code and data.. except for a couple of us who do have direct experience

        A better question would have been.. What’s your direct experience with data and method transparency

        Instead, he whistles and everyone who has ever read a blog post about data replies… Mann Mann Mann. or Jones destroyed data… blah blah blah

        I think those episodes taught some people some lessons

        Ironically… Skeptics have now turned into Mann and Jones.

        I had no patience for data and method hiding between 2007 and 2009.
        And you all cheered me and others as we beat up on Mann and others.
        Well, they took their beating. They learned a lesson. And the pitiful thing is that skeptics didnt learn. They didnt maintain the high ground.
        That is just facts
        So if your theory is that skeptics care about open data and warmists do not????
        Well then
        Talk to Dr. Feynman. Your theory is busted.

      • Maybe it is just a bunch of guff after all?

      • Stephen Mosher,

        The question which Kip Hansen asked was this one:

        For each research proposal, Ioannidis suggests these questions….

        Transparency –> Are methods, data, and analyses verifiable and unbiased?

        To which Hansen answers himself:

        Climate Model Taxonomy – probably not (though there has been some improvement).

        Generally – Climate Science has an abysmal record in this area. There are major efforts being made to improve all fields of research in regards to these questions. Because of past failures, some of our current work based on past results may be tainted beyond utility. Quoting Ioannidis (regarding clinical medical research) “Trust has been eroded whenever major subversion of the evidence has been uncovered by legal proceedings or reanalysis with different conclusions …. Biases in the design, analysis, reporting, and interpretation remain highly prevalent.” Does this apply as well to current research in climate science?

        Do you see an indictment of any one faction of the climate science community there: warmist, luke warmer, skeptic or denier, or other?

        Nevertheless, you took this as a cue to launch into an internicine attack:

        I experimented with this. The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics. The only people who refused to actually check methods were skeptics.

        And in order to attack the skeptics, you rely on anecdotal evidence, which logically is a BIG FAIL:

        Anecdotal evidence: Discounting evidence arrived at by systematic search or testing in favor of a few firsthand stories.

        You follow up this paralogism with yet another:

        Finally all methods contain potential bias.

        This is the old Adolf Eichmann defence: “If everybody is guilty, then nobody is guilty.”

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to Steven Mosher ==> I’m not fighting the Climate Wars here. The essays, Ioannidis’ and mine, are about the philosophy and practice of scientific research — the Climate Wars are small potatoes in comparison to the scope of the problem.

      • Steven Mosher

        too funny. You throw a grenade, call it a queston, and then claim innocence.

        Looks like a drive by “terrorist” act to me.

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to Steven Mosher ==> I ask Ioannidis’ questions of Climate Science here because this is a climate science blog. If this were an epidemiology blog, I would have asked his questions of Epidemiology.

        I have little interest in the climate wars, in particular, over other science wars. I find them all interesting intellectually, as a curiosity of the modern world. They all do serious harm to science in general.

        Quite honestly, I find most everything about the Climate Wars silly, particularly the kind of idiotic sniping that passes for discourse in the comment sections of the various CliSci blogs — even here at Climate Etc.

      • Kip Hansen,

        As Otto von Bismarck said, “The making of laws, like the making of sausages, is not a pretty sight.”

        You may wish to rise above the fray, but you do so at your own risk:

        The Menshevik Party and others did in fact walk out of the meeting. Sukhanov, among those who left, later bitterly castigated himself for abandoning the field of the revolution to the Bolsheviks.

        In short, while the Bolsheviks did not use violence to win power, they used it, instantly and lavishly, to keep power.

        — JONATHAN SCHELL, The Unconquerable World

        And science is a fundamental and integral part of law-making:

        Since the eighteenth century…the authority of God as a source of absolute truths in the world — the essence of the historic claim to authority of Jewish or Christian religion — has been superceded in many areas of society by the rise of science.

        — ROBERT H. NELSON, Economics as Religion

        I find the actions of 20 prominent climate scientists and 20 attorneys general to criminalize dissent to the CAGW religion to be extremely threatening, not because they are attacking their ideological enemies, but because they are attacking the liberal, democratic process by which we arrive at truth in modern society:

        • Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics
        http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/17/scientists-ask-obama-to-prosecute-global-warming-skeptics/

        • 20 Attorneys General Launch Climate Fraud Investigation of Exxon

        http://www.ecowatch.com/20-attorneys-general-launch-climate-fraud-investigation-of-exxon-1882200092.html

    • The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.

      Steve McIntyre might provide a different perspective on paleoclimate research, even beyond the mysteries of Mann.

      • Steven Mosher

        Steve’s perspective on my request to him to release data that he analyzed for Anthony

        “But Hu.

        1. Anthony has put it out for blog review and cited muller as a precedent for this practice. that practice included providing blog reviewers with data.

        2. Anthony brought Steve on board at the last minute even though hes been working on this paper for a year. Steve has a practice as a reviewer of asking for data. Since we bloggers are asked to review this, we would like the data.

        3. if, they want to release the data with limitations, that is fine to. I will sign a NDA to not retransmit the data, and to not publish any results in a journal.

        4. You have to consider the possibiity than Anthony and Steve could now stall for as long as they like, never release the data and many people would consider this published paper to be an accepted fact.

        Steve: Mosh, calm down. this is being dealt with.”

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

        That was 4 years ago.

        The “results” in question have been published twice, talked about for 4 years.. and yet

        My prediction of 4 years ago still holds true

        MY EXPERIENCE?

        My experience is that I have more trouble getting data from skeptics and getting code from skeptics. period.

        My point is this.

        Kip asked a REALLY DUMB REALLY BROAD QUESTION.. and the question was just a DOG WHISTLE

        There was no analysis in his piece. he just Whistled

        Well I GET TO HEAR HIS WHISTLE and bark

        Except this dog has had NO PROBLEMS since 2009 in getting data from climate scientists. This dog has only had problems with skeptics who are trying to do climate science.

        So Kip asked questions. GUESS WHAT? I get to answer his questions based on my experience.

        And I draw no conclusions from that.

        You can look and judge for yourself

      • I just remember this total hole showing up on RC arrogantly demanding the code and the data, and I figured GS would totally stonewall this total hole. And instead he gave, maybe after a little growling, the total hole all the data and the code. I wuz shocked; not a normal move in a bar fight. And then this total hole went through the code line by line, and wrote his own code to do the same, and he appeared honorable in showing his results; not a normal move in a political fight. I wuz again shocked. So I actually did have to reevaluate; most have not. Not quite ancient history, but soon will be. It’s hilarious it still gets raised.

      • Steven Mosher

        JCH.

        It is amazing what people forget.

        what’s funny is no skeptic complained about my abrasive manner
        when gavin was in the crosshairs.
        and to this day I still get people complaining out hansen’s code
        or CRU data…

      • dogdaddyblog

        Mr. Mosher, your weed-wandering and smarm seem not to discriminate amongst targets.

      • Steve’s perspective on my request to him to release data that he analyzed for Anthony

        Interesting point, but not paleoclimate research. Read more closely.

        For example, McIntyre has documented difficulties with dendro and glacial studies. Your experience is, therefore, not universal.

      • Steven Mosher

        “For example, McIntyre has documented difficulties with dendro and glacial studies. Your experience is, therefore, not universal.”

        Did you see me claim universality?

        Kip blew a dog whistle.

        And you might note that Steve Mc’s experience was not universal.

        However, when I asked him and anthony for data……

        Opps.. its been 4 years

      • Steven Mosher

        “Mr. Mosher, your weed-wandering and smarm seem not to discriminate amongst targets.”

        yup. everyone gets the same treatment.
        whiners.

    • “The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics. “

      Well, we have the climategate emails so we know the statement isn’t true.

      Perhaps if Mosher lists the people who gave him data and those that didn’t it would give insight or at least context to his claim.

      • “people who refused to disclose their data and methods”

        Mosher even wrote a book about these kind of issues and the transgressors were Warmers.

        Andrew

      • Has Spencer published his methodology or code for his latest version of satellite temps, yet? It’s been, enh, a year?

        That’s pretty damn unusual. Normally, you publish results and methodology at the same time.

      • Steven Mosher

        Code Requested Warmist
        1. Hansen. Status: Delivered
        2. Jones. status: Posted
        3. Menne Status Posted
        4. Gavin: status Posted

        Code Requested: Skeptic
        1. Scafetta: Denied
        2. Evans: Denied
        3. Monckton: Denied

        Data requested: Warmist
        1. Jones: eventually posted sans Poland
        2. Imhoff. Posted

        Data requested: Skeptic

        The best example ever… coming up on 4 years

        https://climateaudit.org/2012/07/31/surface-stations/#comment-345389

        Now IF I wanted to I could request Intermediate data and source data from Roy Spencer and I Bet that he would deny me.
        Recall that Santer denied Mcintyre intermediate data.

        Do you guys want me to test this? huh? come on dare me..

        How about that.. I will request that UAH produces their source data, and every intermediate data step?

        Anybody want to play that game?

        Kip Hansen… calling Kip

        i have questions questions questions

        Shall we challenge Roy Spencer to produce copies of his source data and every intermediate step?

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

        here is the thing everyone forgets that the FOIA to CRU were for both data and AGREEMENTS. The agreements were posted.
        The data was eventually posted.. they dragged it out for a while..

      • In my experience people do not see and assimilate the word grouping “in my experience”.

      • Steven Mosher | July 7, 2016 at 1:28 pm |

        The best example ever… coming up on 4 years

        https://climateaudit.org/2012/07/31/surface-stations/#comment-345389

        Now IF I wanted to I could request Intermediate data and source data from Roy Spencer and I Bet that he would deny me.
        Recall that Santer denied Mcintyre intermediate data.

        Well, has Mr. Watts been published yet?

        There are people who would try to mess with him to prevent publication. Past data releases as I understand it have been used to that end.

        And his work as I understand it, isn’t publicly funded.

        Spencer’s work is publicly funded and I would be surprised if he denied you data unless the volume made access problematic or release required data reformatting or writing a thesis on data structure and handling. In the past delivering terabytes of data that satellites provide was problematic and processing terabytes of data took a supercomputer.

        What is the size of the intermediate files? Do you have the software to process them ported and built on a target machine? If you aren’t equipped to process the data the request for data would be premature and you would just be annoying him for no reason.

        In the past data requests that were denied skeptics in some cases could have fit on a floppy. Further, Jones and his cohorts destroyed or claim to have destroyed some publicly funded raw data leaving only a processed version to keep the raw data out of the hands of skeptics. They put more data on a laptop and scrubbed it from the servers to keep it from skeptics.

        Then we have Mann who has made numerous statements about his work that appear to be false and still not released some data or methodology.

        Are any of your “skeptics” publicly funded? Have they behaved like the publicly funded ones?

        Benjamin Winchester | July 7, 2016 at 11:39 am |
        Has Spencer published his methodology or code for his latest version of satellite temps, yet? It’s been, enh, a year?

        That’s pretty damn unusual. Normally, you publish results and methodology at the same time.

        More silliness. Get informed and ask better questions.

        The methodology is stuck in peer review. As far as code, NASA didn’t pay for Version 6.0. Spencer has said they will release it, but depending on how they were funded they aren’t under an obligation to release and could charge a license fee. Go ask Mears for his source code.

      • More silliness. Get informed and ask better questions.

        …it’s silly to ask people to publish their methodology when they publish their results?

        Whatever happened to the emphasis on transparency and reproducibility?

      • Reply to Steven Mosher ==> I’m sorry that you feel that somehow “you and yours” have been specifically or especially indicted on the issue of transparency/data sharing either by Ioannidis (who says nothing whatever about Climate Science); Judith Curry, who says what she says about ‘climate model taxonomy’ but nothing particular about who has or has not shared data or methods; or myself.

        On my part, I simply point out that historically, over the long run, CliSci has a very poor record in this area, an opinion with which you seem to agree rather vigorously, and then:

        “Quoting Ioannidis (regarding clinical medical research) “Trust has been eroded whenever major subversion of the evidence has been uncovered by legal proceedings or reanalysis with different conclusions …. Biases in the design, analysis, reporting, and interpretation remain highly prevalent.” Does this apply as well to current research in climate science?”

      • Benjamin Winchester | July 7, 2016 at 9:53 pm |
        More silliness. Get informed and ask better questions.

        …it’s silly to ask people to publish their methodology when they publish their results?

        Whatever happened to the emphasis on transparency and reproducibility?

        Read more post less.

        The article that contains their methodology according to Dr. Spenser is in peer review. If warmunist peer reviewers are holding them up it isn’t Spencer’s fault. You ask “why isn’t it published”? I tell you it’s in peer review. You then wander off to complain about lack of transparency with absolutely no justification. What part of “it’s in peer review” don’t you understand?

        What is probably happening (my conjecture) is Mears is taking his time reviewing the paper. They had fun with Mears paper, Mears is probably having fun with theirs. UAH and RSS end up peer reviewing each others papers since the two groups understand all the issues and an outside reviewer would just go “gee that’s clever”.

        As I understand it, UAH was highly critical of the RSS 4.0 paper, but recommended publishing. The original publisher declined to publish and it got shopped to another journal with the proviso that UAH not get another shot at it.

        However Spencer visits once in a while and better we get it from the horses mouth.

      • Steven Mosher

        “There are people who would try to mess with him to prevent publication. Past data releases as I understand it have been used to that end.”

        That is why I said I would sign an NDA and a ;licence
        never to

        USE or copy or transmit the data or publish anything based on it.

        Sorry.. U lose

        Plus he has published it as a poster and in 2012 on his site.

        took it down when we spotted errors.

    • I find that climate science is waaaaaay more open with data and code than other fields. It used to be more like other fields, but that’s changed a lot in the last 20 years, largely thanks to skeptics.

      In other fields, if you asked us for data or code, we’d laugh you out of town. Yes, we’ll tell you what you need to write your own code, or how to generate your own data, but we’re not gonna just give you ours.

      • I might disagree a bit with the latter part of your comment. My own experience is that many rewrite the code, or generate their own data, because they regard that as part of the process. Outside climate science, it is rare – in my experience at least – for someone to ask for data and code to simply test/audit what someone else has done. What might happen is that you have a new idea and you ask if you can use the data/code and – often – that would be granted. Also, many codes and a great deal of data is simply publicly available, and so there is no real need to even ask.

      • Steven Mosher

        There are a few non skeptical folks ( rasmus Benestad as a prime example) who deserve some credit for being great examples of how to do your own science AND help others build upon what you have done.

      • The situation is a little different in CFD than perhaps in a field like planet formation with little practical implication. Generally, a lot of the big codes are written by NASA and as such are available to U S persons. Some big codes are proprietary and there are limitations in this case. However, within these restrictions, its quite common for people to ask for code and data. It is an expectation that it will be shared and unwillingness to do so is viewed very negatively. Likewise, in matters of public safety and/or health, data sharing is required by government agencies. Why should climate science be any different?

      • DY,
        I don’t know if you were responding to my comment or to Benjamin’s. It’s quite hard to tell because, if it was to mine, it’s almost as if you didn’t bother reading it.

      • Ben and Ken, It seems to me we should be demanding more openness with data and code and more auditing and replication. Surely that’s one of the solutions to the replication crisis. If you know someone else will be checking up on you, you may be quite motivated to not look dishonest or to avoid errors. KenRice, you might benefit from that attitude.

      • DY,
        As I said, it’s almost as if you didn’t even bother reading my comment.

      • I find that climate science is waaaaaay more open with data and code than other fields.

        Huh? Go to Sourceforge.

        Other than “for profit” software companies. Open Source is pretty much the standard.

        Because Climate Science is sucking on a part of the public anatomy as its sole source of nutrition and has a death grip, all the data and source is supposed to be public domain.

        Praising climate science for being open with data and source is like praising a mugging victim for his generosity.. It wasn’t voluntary in either case.

      • Because Climate Science is sucking on a part of the public anatomy as its sole source of nutrition and has a death grip, all the data and source is supposed to be public domain.

        I’ll agree with you, but because climate science has huge policy implications, rather than because climate science is publicly funded.

        The norm in the sciences is that either the universities or professors get to keep patents and proprietary code. We can argue about changing that – I can see some pluses – but there’s nothing particularly unfair about climate science operating the same way as other sciences do.

        Ben and Ken, It seems to me we should be demanding more openness with data and code and more auditing and replication. Surely that’s one of the solutions to the replication crisis.

        I’d prefer more openness, yeah (for all fields). But we’d probably need to reshape the research funding process to incentivize it.

        As it stands now, you get funding for publishing, and both quality and quantity of the research matters. I don’t get funding just for gathering data – I get funding to publish. If I go out and collect some new data or write some new code, I want to be able to use that data and code as much as I can to generate new publications, because that’s what you’re incentivizing.

        Say I write a new model, and I can get 5 publications out of it. If you force me to publish the code with the first paper, then other groups can and will swoop in and steal some of the later publications. Since you want me to publish, not just to write code, this is a problem for me. You’re giving me conflicting goals. And scientists will look for ways around that – wait to publish until you have a few papers ready, make the code hard to use, etc.

        You can try to just flatly enforce a “you have to share your code” policy, but you’ll get much better results if you also incentivize it. Change the incentive structures for research to encourage code development and the open release of data.

      • I’ll also note that sharing code isn’t strictly necessary. To reproduce my work, all you should need to know is my methodology. If you can’t reproduce my work with the methodology provided, then either the methodology is incomplete or the work is incorrect.

        There are also benefits to reproducing the work from scratch. It forces the newcomer to fully understand the methodology, to really put the necessary work in, which means they’re more likely to catch the subtler errors.

        However.. I still think science will advance faster with more open code and data, which is why I support shifting that way.

      • Ben, I think sharing actual code is needed. We have found bugs in NASA codes for example. Another thing that can be done is compare different implementations of a turbulence model for example.

        One serious problem with science as currently practiced is that replication is as you said not done very much. Everyone prefers to write their “own code” which really makes exact replication difficult.

    • David Springer

      Steven Mosher | July 7, 2016 at 12:26 am | Reply

      “Just sayin lyin.”

      Fixed that for ya!

    • catweazle666

      “The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.”

      Climategate…

    • SM
      I experimented with this.

      He ran his own experiment. His results were X# of here you go and X# of go to heck, and you’re calling him a liar. Weird.

    • Mosher said:
      “I experimented with this. The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics. The only people who refused to actually check methods were skeptics.”

      Then changed it to:
      “I would not know. in MY EXPERIENCE the only times I have been denied data and code was when I asked skeptics for it.”

      Then again to:
      “I have had more trouble getting methods and data from skeptics.”

      Then again to:
      “Skeptics have denied me more times than any warmist.”

      The first assertion states flatly that only skeptics refused to disclose data and methods. He also states flatly that it is part of an EXPERIMENT, meaning that (if he’s anything close to a scientist) that the experiment is controlled and used to produce meaningful results that reflect reality.

      The second one is just a rehash.

      The third however is a change from what came before. Now he has MORE TROUBLE getting data and methods from skeptics. He has now admitted his first assertion was false/dishonest.

      The fourth is even worse. Now he is denied by the collective of skeptics more than “any” (meaning one) warmist.

      If he keeps going he will soon say the exact opposite of his original assertion.

      Just wow.

      • Indeed, Moshpit used different words, therefore his story changed, which means he lied all along, ergo BEST is the worst.

      • Absurd. On this blog SM has related his experiences with asking various scientists for their code and data multiple times through the years, and probably on other blogs as well.

      • What is the current intrinsic value of known AGW science?

        http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/intrinsicvalue.asp

        There must be a model.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The third however is a change from what came before. Now he has MORE TROUBLE getting data and methods from skeptics. He has now admitted his first assertion was false/dishonest.

        ‘“I would not know. in MY EXPERIENCE the only times I have been denied data and code was when I asked skeptics for it.”

        How stupid are you?

        Example.

        ask 5 skeptics for data
        ask 10 warmists

        in 10 out 10 times the warmist gives me the data
        in 0 out of 5 times the skeptic gives me the data

        1. the only times I have been denied is from skeptics
        2. I have more trouble getting data from skeptics

        Which part of this is hard for you to understand.

      • catweazle666

        “n 10 out 10 times the warmist gives me the data
        in 0 out of 5 times the skeptic gives me the data”

        [Citation required]

    • Steven Mosher To continue with your copy and paste from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Karl Popper:

      ” Formally, then, Popper’s theory of demarcation may be articulated as follows: where a ‘basic statement’ is to be understood as a particular observation-report, then we may say that a theory is scientific if and only if it divides the class of basic statements into the following two non-empty sub-classes: (a) the class of all those basic statements with which it is inconsistent, or which it prohibits—this is the class of its potential falsifiers (i.e., those statements which, if true, falsify the whole theory)*, and (b) the class of those basic statements with which it is consistent, or which it permits (i.e., those statements which, if true, corroborate it, or bear it out).”

      Can you, can anyone here, MikeF, Willard, JCH, etc., fill those two sub-classes.

      At one point, you said, “…all things being equal…” Many times I’ve argued with people who quote Arrhenius’ experiments to me as proof of the causal connection between temperature as measured in the atmosphere and CO2. I point out that you can’t take a simple lab experiment to the earth’s atmosphere as a whole and maintain that ‘all things are equal.’ Which invalidates using Arrhenius’ experiment as some kind of proof of a causal connection. I don’t know that there isn’t, but that experiment doesn’t qualify as the proof required.

      So, in addition to filling the two sub-classes with the statements required, what is the causal connection between CO2 and temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere? There is a rough correlation but is there a known and verifiable causal connection?

      Just trying to learn and make sense of it all.

      *Resonates with Richard Feynman

  13. Related: “Inconvenient Truth: Most scientists are lousy statisticians; AAAS says the “‘Misunderstanding and misuse of statistical significance impedes science”

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2016/07/inconvenient-truth-most-scientists-are.html

  14. dogdaddyblog

    Mr. Winchester, to generally respond to your questions/comments:

    People aren’t reluctant to speak out. —- Those with academic and government careers/funding at risk are.

    There are different voices at climate scientific conferences. —- Different voices don’t get invited and/or paid to attend.

    There is equal access to the literature. —- Not with current gatekeeping. [Note: See Climategate.]

    There is tussling and back-and-forth. —- Those in government, academia, and NGOs refuse to debate.

    New data is needed for the skeptics to be believed. —- Objective (empirical) data is rejected or ignored. Skeptics are “mocked” based on falsehoods.

    You do need to get your head out of your field and objectively look at the climate fables being foisted on the ignorant and uncritical.

    Dave Fair

    • Dave Fair,

      EXCELLENT, this rejoinder as well as the one above I commented above.

      We have to look no further than Dr. Curry to see what happens to those who question the one true faith.

      • Nothing has happened to her. Science is a mean game.

      • JCH,

        I think Dr. Curry would beg to disagree. For instance take a listen to this interview done at about the time she was being demoted from her position as department chair:

        JCH, your remoteness from reality never ceases to amaze me.

        It’s not difficult to see that science has gone off the tracks when the #1 tactic of the orthodox “scientific” community is to attack the messenger, and not the message.

      • CH, your remoteness from reality never ceases to amaze me.

        And what amazes me is your seemingly infinite capacity for swallowing hooks, lines, and sinkers.

      • JCH,

        Nice try at an ad hoc rescue, but no cigar.

        I wonder, just what would it take to disabuse you of your conviction that “Nothing has happened” to Dr. Curry?

        Would burning at the stake for her apostasy to the one true CAGW faith do the trick?

        Or would it require something even more severe, like what Denmark’s King Christian II did to Sten Sture to put down apostasy and insubordination?

        First two Swedish bishops were beheaded in Stockholm’s public square at midnight, November 8, while eighty of their parishoners, who had been summoned to witness the execution, were butchered where they stood. The Danish king then disinterred Sten Sture’s remains. After ten months in the grave they were scarcely recognizable. Rotting, crawling with maggots, emitting a nauseous stench, the corpse was nevertheless burned. Next Sture’s small son was flung — alive — into the flames. Then Dame Christina, who had been forced to watch all this, was sentenced to live out her days as a common prostitute.

        — WILLIAM MANCHESTER, A World LIt Only By Fire

      • Yes, when Professor Curry is burning at a stake, I’ll admit you might not have been completely wrong.

    • People aren’t reluctant to speak out. —- Those with academic and government careers/funding at risk are. … There is equal access to the literature. —- Not with current gatekeeping

      Yeah, I just don’t see it. How often do we see papers linked here that y’all claim pose problems for climate change? Weekly? That’s a direct contradiction to the idea that skeptics are muzzled.

      Moreover.. yeah, what you saw in Climategate was entirely like what you’d see in other fields. Editors and reviewers try to block publications they think are faulty. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t.

      There is tussling and back-and-forth. —- Those in government, academia, and NGOs refuse to debate.

      Nah, there’s plenty of debate in academia. There’s just not a lot of debate about climate sensitivitity. Observationally-based studies are nice and all, and there’s a little bit of back-and-forth there, but the observational data is a bit on the weak side, and the requisite models for observational sensitivities are so simplified as to be near useless.

      Most of the focus in climate science is on better understanding the climate, nailing down the questions that really matter, improving our models, gathering better data, etc. The debate is generally over nitty-gritty details… same as in other fields.

      Objective (empirical) data is rejected or ignored. Skeptics are “mocked” based on falsehoods.

      I don’t see anyone ignoring empirical data. Rejecting it? Eh, if the data is known to be faulty, sure. But it’s not just “I don’t like it so Imma ignore it”, you need to have an actual, solid scientific reason for it.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Mr. Winchester, a prior comment of yours indicated you work in a non-climate science field. Yet you make a number of definite statements as to the specifics of what is or is not going on in the trenches of climate research.

        Your sweeping statements are belied by: Science journal editors flatly stating they will not publish skeptical articles. Publication of highly dubious “science” articles after “pal review.” “Authoritative” climate pronouncements based on models that cannot hindcast, much less forecast. Legal witch hunts of skeptic individuals and organizations orchestrated by members of Congress and State Attorneys General. Public attacks of climate scientists (including lies about factual statements) by President Obama’s National Science Advisor, among others. Denial of access to publicly-funded research. Obstruction of legal FOIA processes. Political modification of scientific analyses at the IPCC. Need I go on?

      • > Need I go on?

        Yes, Daddy. Please continue.

      • > Need I go on?

        Please, do continue.

      • The ways of WP are mysterious.

      • Obstruction of legal FOIA processes.

        No, scientists are not obliged to give you their data before they’ve published it. That’s an unreasonble request, and again it’d fail in other fields. (It just happens that other fields aren’t pestered with so many FOIA requests).

        “Authoritative” climate pronouncements based on models that cannot hindcast, much less forecast.

        False. Not only can the models hindcast if given the necessary data, you could totally throw them out and the case for AGW would still be quite strong, as it’s based on multiple independent lines of evidence.

        Publication of highly dubious “science” articles after “pal review.”

        *snort*. Who told you these were dubious papers? Did they bother to read and understand the papers, first? Almost uniformly not, if we’re going by websites like WUWT.

        And how do you even know who the reviewers are, to claim that this was pal review? Reviewers are private; not even the authors know who they are. It sounds like you just made this up, sans evidence.

        Denial of access to publicly-funded research.

        Perfectly normal. Go look up scientific articles in any field. (Luckily, there’s a push to force the journals to open up, and I fully support it).

        Public attacks of climate scientists (including lies about factual statements)

        I’m against lying about climate scientists. However… you see just as much of this from the “skeptics”, too, complete with shenanigans like Anthony Watts publishing pictures of scientists’ houses (creepy).

        And you have governments trying to shut down “alarmist” scientists, too, and yet those scientists still keep talking and publishing. So, yes, there’s sometimes pressure on scientists (mostly from the public), but that doesn’t seem to actually change their willingness to speak out.

        I hate that this is a politicized subject. But that’s.. what it is. I still favor free speech, and I abhore manipulation or pressure on scientists. But even when scientists are free to speak their minds, most of ’em still say that climate change is real and happening.

        Hell, that’s true even in countries with conservative, pro-fossil-fuel governments, like Australia and Canada. The scientists there still stand by anthropogenic climate change. Must be all that government pressure. ^_^

        In any case: no, there’s scant evidence that folks are being pressured out of presenting evidence either for or against ACC.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Mr. Winchester, your CAWG talking points and misdirections speak (loudly) for themselves. Look into yourself and answer me just one question: Do any possible lies/criticisms by relatively unknown skeptical bloggers rise to the level of the lies and/or outright attacks on scientists and other skeptics by members of Congress, President Obama’s National Science Advisor (or, for that matter, Mr. Obama himself), State Attorneys General, editors of scientific journals, and prominent members of the climate apparatus (Climategate, anyone?)?

        While I did not intend to get into a tit-for-tat with you, please read anything by Bob Tisdale (at his blog or WUWT) and tell me how good the climate models are. Other than that, I’m not going to waste any more of my time on your canned and unoriginal responses.

      • David Springer

        Winnie does Stellar know you are phucking off on this blog so much when you should be working?

      • Mr. Winchester, your CAWG talking points and misdirections speak (loudly) for themselves. Look into yourself and answer me just one question:

        Whoa, hold on. Could you answer my questions first? Pretty please?

        You say that scientists are being browbeaten into silence, right? But then why do scientists in other pro-fossil-fuel countries come up with the same results as scientists here?

        And particularly so, when their governments actively *try* to muzzle them, as the Canadian government did under Stephen Harper? (And actually, something similar happened under Bush).

        C’mon, you’ve got to admit that this doesn’t make sense. Even when we have evidence of active muzzling, the scientists are still publishing the same stuff. (Hopefully our government won’t go anywhere as far as Canada’s did. I can at least agree with you on that).

        Other than that, I’m not going to waste any more of my time on your canned and unoriginal responses.

        So.. you ask questions, I answer them, and.. you insult me. Hmm. And after I addressed most of your points, you just move on to new ones, rather than addressing my rebuttals.

        I’m starting to get the feeling you’re not really interested in discussion, but simply in telling me that I’m wrong. Isn’t that a bit ironic? I mean, don’t you want more discussion about climate change?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Hansen complained about being muzzled in the Clinton administration also.

  15. Talk about avoiding the issue. This fra-dulent nonsense about so called CAGW is supposed to be mitigated by Paris COP 21. But Obama’s US govt latest 2016 EIA report clearly states that global Co2 emissions will grow by 34% by 2040.
    Most of this growth will come from non OECD developing countries, like India, China etc. Even Gore’s adviser Dr Hansen called COP 21 just BS and a fra-d, yet the first world will waste trillions of dollars for zero change in Co2 levels, temp etc until 2040.
    See the Co2 projections on page 3. If this isn’t a super waste of trillions of $, then what is? Will these donkeys ever wake up?

    https://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/sieminski_05112016.pdf

  16. Another discussion of the serious problems with science and the reproducibility crisis. Yet there is a strong scientism contingent that continues to deny that there are real problems or at least that they are not serious. KenRice and GavinCawley come to mind here. Both of course are members of the science establishment and seem to convey a lot of errors themselves.

    • With you, it’s always the other guys…

      • Well, no-one is perfect, but some are more honest than others. Honesty is a core value of science and a prerequisite for progress. Denying that there is a problem is a sign of dishonesty, don’t you agree. One sure sign of dishonesty is an insistence on legalistic formulations ( that are often wrong or misleading) and a refusal to discuss broader issues.

      • DY,
        For someone who thinks I’m dishonest and convey lots of errors, you do seem to make an awful lot of comments about me. I’ll clarify something, for the benefit of others. There’s a difference between not agreeing with someone (you, for example) about the scale of the problem, and denying that there is one. Deciding not to discuss broader issues with some individuals (yourself, for example) does not imply a refusal to discuss broader issues in general.

      • David –

        You say

        ==> Yet there is a strong scientism contingent that continues to deny that there are real problems or at least that they are not serious.==>

        Anders responds:

        ==> There’s a difference between not agreeing with someone (you, for example) about the scale of the problem, and denying that there is one. ==>

        I think that perhaps, if you’re interested in meaningful discussion about such issues, you should show accountability for the logical flaws in your conclusion-reaching process.

        What evidence do you use to determine that Anders thinks that there are not “serious” problems?

        Step up. If you fail to do so, it might suggest that your agenda is more personal than it is focused on the issues at hand.

      • I suspect you are almost entirely political, so your comments about honesty are, I suspect, one sided, and therefore… I suspect, useless.

      • Joshua, Ken Rice has banned me from his blog so it is impossible to discuss it in detail. In the past when I was not banned, Rice always dismissed the mention of these problems with vague denial that the problem was significant or impacted fields like physics. There is some truth in this, but not a lot.

        Rice’s most obvious recent error had to do with the idea that we could dismiss any model that violated the laws of physics. At the Blackboard this is discussed at length. It is indeed an error albeit a common one among those on the fringes of CFD. Rice refused to really address it. That shows lack of honesty don’t you think? Lucia entered the fray and pointed out that Rice seemed to be unable to clarify exactly what he was saying and was not saying.

        This is Ken’s pattern. You limit the conversation to small legalistic points while ignoring the large and significant mis statements you or others make.

      • Joshua, Since Rice banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail. Previously, he simply dismissed any concerns about a reproducibility crisis as not significant or not affecting fields like physics. There is some truth in that latter statement. But we easily forget the Hockey stick and other lapses in climate science. Another clear one is the issue of statistical analysis of climate models where it’s pretty clear that he and Cawley are struggling.

        In any case, Ken’s recent error is discussed at the Blackboard and is related to whether or not we can dismiss any model that violates the laws of physics. Simply put, all CFD models of high Reynolds’ number flows do violate conservation of momentum by using a turbulence model. Ken’s error is a common one among those on the fringes of CFD, but it is an error none the less. Lucia had trouble getting Rice to explain exactly what his post was saying and what it was not saying. That’s a common problem as Ken often denies saying something he clearly said.

        In any case, it is important to the discussion of models to get our facts straight and not misrepresent what models do, don’t you think? Rice being a somewhat naive user of CFD is not really in a position to become an apologist, particularly given the already prevalent positive results and selection bias prevalent in the field.

      • Joshua, Since Rice banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail. Previously, he simply dismissed any concerns about a reproducibility crisis as not significant or not affecting fields like physics. There is some truth in that latter statement. But we easily forget the Hockey stick and other lapses in climate science. Another clear one is the issue of statistical analysis of climate models where it’s pretty clear that he and Cawley are struggling.

        In any case, Ken’s recent error is discussed at the Blackboard and is related to whether or not we can dismiss any model that violates the laws of physics. Simply put, all CFD models of high Reynolds’ number flows do violate conservation of momentum by using a turbulence model. Ken’s error is a common one among those on the fringes of CFD, but it is an error none the less. Lucia had trouble getting Rice to explain exactly what his post was saying and what it was not saying. That’s a common problem as Ken often denies saying something he clearly said.

        It is important to the discussion of models to get our facts straight and not misrepresent what models do, don’t you think? Rice being a somewhat naive user of CFD is not really in a position to become an apologist, particularly given the already prevalent positive results and selection bias prevalent in the field.

      • Joshua, Since @TP banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail. Previously, he simply dismissed any concerns about a reproducibility crisis as not significant or not affecting fields like physics. There is some truth in that latter statement. But we easily forget the Hockey stick and other lapses in climate science. Another clear one is the issue of statistical analysis of climate models where it’s pretty clear that he and Cawley are struggling.

        In any case, Ken’s recent error is discussed at the Blackboard and is related to whether or not we can dismiss any model that violates the laws of physics. Simply put, all CFD models of high Reynolds’ number flows do violate conservation of momentum by using a turbulence model. Ken’s error is a common one among those on the fringes of CFD, but it is an error none the less. Lucia had trouble getting Ken to explain exactly what his post was saying and what it was not saying. That’s a common problem as Ken often denies saying something he clearly said.

        In any case, it is important to the discussion of models to get our facts straight and not misrepresent what models do, don’t you think? @TP being a somewhat naive user of CFD is not really in a position to become an apologist, particularly given the already prevalent positive results and selection bias prevalent in the field.

      • Joshua, Since Rice banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail. Previously, he simply dismissed any concerns about a reproducibility crisis as not significant or not affecting fields like physics. There is some truth in that latter statement. But we easily forget the Hockey stick and other lapses in climate science. Another clear one is the issue of statistical analysis of climate models where it’s pretty clear that he and Cawley are struggling.

      • DY,
        I’ve no idea why you think I’ve banned you from my blog, as I haven’t done any such thing. Don’t, however, regard this as some kind of invitation to start commenting again.

      • DY,
        Once again, this is not what I said. Try taking your biased glasses off! Jesus!

        we could dismiss any model that violated the laws of physics.

      • DY,
        Since you continue to bring this up, I guess I shall have to conclude that you think that we can’t eliminate models, the results of which violate the fundamental laws of physics.

      • David Springer

        Ken Rice says:

        …and Then There’s Physics | July 7, 2016 at 11:43 am |

        “There’s a difference between not agreeing with someone (you, for example) about the scale of the problem, and denying that there is one”

        There’s difference between listening to a different opinion and banning it from your blog. ROFLMAO

        Seriously, we are in agreement. I don’t deny there’s a climate problem. There is and it’s scale is zero.

        Thanks for playing, dumbass.

      • Ken Rice, Have you even understood the point? It says a lot about your honesty that you apparently haven’t. ALL MODELS of high Reynolds’ number flow VIOLATE the correct conservation of momentum by the introduction of the eddy viscosity or other equivalent model. It is not a small violation either, the eddy viscosity is orders of magnitude larger than the “real” viscosity.

        I’ve said this many times at the blackboard for example. Apparently, reading is not your strong suit.

      • JCH, Have I ever mentioned my politics in the blogosphere? I don’t think so. The issues I’m concerned about are issues of the dishonesty and unreliability of the scientific literature, and the self-appointed public apologists for science like Ken Rice, who is really on the fringes of these modeling issues, at least judging from his sticking with a common but fundamental gloss about turbulence modeling.

      • BTW, I apologize for the duplicate comments. They seemed to go into the bit bucket and then later magically appeared.

      • DY,
        Whether you like it or not, I think your politics is showing.

        who is really on the fringes of these modeling issues, at least judging from his sticking with a common but fundamental gloss about turbulence modeling.

        Just to be clear, this is you not me. Apart from responding to you, I haven’t mentioned turbulence modeling. You’ve brought it up to supposedly suggest that we can’t eliminate models that violate the laws of physics. This is such a bizarre suggestion that I can’t really bring myself to actually address it. My main reason for responding is to point out that you’re misrepresenting what I’ve said, which you’ve now done again. I think you can’t actually help yourself.

      • Ken, if I am right about turbulence then the Ken Rice erroneous dogma would force you to reject all GCMs as well as all CFD. I think that’s silly and even you would disagree with the erroneous consequences of your error.

        Think logically Ken and critically to see yourself as others do

      • DY,
        A couple of things. Firstly, you still seem to be confused by what I actually said, and what you continually claim I have said. They’re not the same thing. It’s not my dogma, it’s really a dogma that you’ve imposed upon me (or are trying to). I presume we both live in societies where we get to decide for ourselves what our own dogmas are; we don’t need to accept what others impose upon us. Secondly, the opposite of what I said is “you can’t eliminate models the results of which violate the laws of physics” which – if you think I’m wrong – would seem to then be your dogma, which would seem rather odd.

        I’ll ask you one question. I’m not confident of an answer, but I’ll give it a try. Are you actually suggesting that mathematically, GCMs do not conserve mass, momentum and energy?

      • Ken, You are getting warmer. All models is high Re flow violate conservation of momentum. We should NOT reject them for that reason. Your original statement has really very silly outcomes which I’m sure you reject too.

        GCMs like all such models have momentum sources that violate the physical law of conservation of momentum. That is a source of concern but only the least of the problems of GCMs. At least for simple turbulent flows we have a lot of good data.

      • DY,
        Once again, the inverse of what I said is that you can’t eliminate models the results of which violate the laws of physics. Until such time as you claim otherwise, that is currently your position.

        Now, can you please answer my question. Mathematically, do GCMs conserve mass, momentum and energy?

      • Ken are you thinking about this at all? The inverse of what you said is correct and your original statement is very badly wrong. We canNOT and should not reject models whose results violate the fundamental conservation laws. Discrete conversation of the pseudo-momentum is valuable however.

        The results of GCM’s do NOT conserve momentum as correctly defined. No model of high Re number flow does either except direct simulation which is impractical now and into the foreseeable future. What confuses people is that the momentum equation that is solved has the EDDY viscosity which is dramatically larger than the real viscosity so when people say finite element methods are conservative, they mean numerically this pseudo-momentum is conserved. It’s an important distinction.

      • DY,
        Wow, so you really think that we can’t eliminate models the results of which violate the fundamental laws of physics. Amazing. I’m also not sure you’re really answered my question. Mathematically, do GCMs conserve mass, momentum and energy?

      • dogdaddyblog

        Then, amazingly, some GCM’s with net radiation to space still manage to show warming surface temperatures. Magic?

      • Yes Ken, that’s right. There are only 2 choices. You reject all CFD simulations because the unphysical momentum sources violate the correct conservation law or you admit that sub grid modeling is not “just physics” but can be useful despite being wrong.

        BTW, your view on this (which I think is wrong) is very common so there is no shame in falling into it. I believed it myself before getting into turbulence modeling.

        So all GCMs fail to correctly conserve momentum because they use eddy viscosity models. Mass and energy may be conserved to truncation error even though corrects need to be added to make up for subgrid models other than turbulence that add sources.

      • DY,
        Okay, I’ll go back a few steps. Physical systems have structural constancy – they obey the laws of physics. This means that you can reject models that would not – under any circumstance – obey the laws of physics (given all possible models). In other words you can eliminate those models the results of which would not satisfy these conditions. This is so obvious that I’m amazed that you’re disputing it. Another way of putting this is that you would clearly design models that at least mathematically would obey the laws of physics – they would conserve mass, momentum and energy. That we’ve now debated this for days is – I find – utterly bizarre; it’s almost as if you have no wish to actually accept anything that is said by someone with whom you desparately want to disagree…oh, hold on….? Of course, in reality you can’t actually conserve these quantities exactly, but I assumed that noone who worked in CFD would possibly imagine that anyone would suggest that you could.

        Now, I still don’t think that you’ve really answered my question. So maybe you can try one more time. Mathematically, do GCMs conserve mass, momentum, and energy? In other words, if you could solve the equations exactly and could keep track of energy, mass, and momentum, would they be conserved?

      • Ken, I fear you may be just repeating what you regard as a truism without thinking about it carefully. The momentum equation has viscous terms that are too small to be resolved. Turbulence models introduce a nonohysical viscous source term based on empiricism and many would say wishful thinking, but all would agree NOT on fundamental conservation laws. It is this nonphysical momentum that is conserved.

        I think I answered your question about GCMs. They fudge the momentum just as all CFD models do. I have heard 2nd hand accounts of other nonconservative subgrid models besides turbulence.

        This is not a small effect either. Inclusion of eddy viscosity makes an O(1) difference even in forces.

      • Ken, The reason to make a big deal about this is that its an important point and causes a lot of the bias in the CFD literature. The results are only as good as the turbulence model and they leave a lot to be desired as the best people in the field readily admit.

        in fact, models of human behavior in principle are no different. Bertrand Russell once made a good point about statistical mechanics. If an alien came to England and observed the movements in and out of London every day, he might invoke a statistical explanation. But in fact, there are causes that can explain this movement in very great detail and offer more information. Ignorance of the causes of human behavior does not mean such causes do not exist.

      • > Ignorance of the causes of human behavior does not mean such causes do not exist.

        Once upon a time, Russell argued against causal determinism:

        Why should we start so globally, speaking of the world, with all its myriad events, as deterministic? One might have thought that a focus on individual events is more appropriate: an event E is causally determined if and only if there exists a set of prior events {A, B, C …} that constitute a (jointly) sufficient cause of E. Then if all—or even just most—events E that are our human actions are causally determined, the problem that matters to us, namely the challenge to free will, is in force. Nothing so global as states of the whole world need be invoked, nor even a complete determinism that claims all events to be causally determined.

        For a variety of reasons this approach is fraught with problems, and the reasons explain why philosophers of science mostly prefer to drop the word “causal” from their discussions of determinism. Generally, as John Earman quipped (1986), to go this route is to “… seek to explain a vague concept—determinism—in terms of a truly obscure one—causation.” More specifically, neither philosophers’ nor laymen’s conceptions of events have any correlate in any modern physical theory. The same goes for the notions of cause and sufficient cause. A further problem is posed by the fact that, as is now widely recognized, a set of events {A, B, C …} can only be genuinely sufficient to produce an effect-event if the set includes an open-ended ceteris paribus clause excluding the presence of potential disruptors that could intervene to prevent E. For example, the start of a football game on TV on a normal Saturday afternoon may be sufficient ceteris paribus to launch Ted toward the fridge to grab a beer; but not if a million-ton asteroid is approaching his house at .75c from a few thousand miles away, nor if his phone is about to ring with news of a tragic nature, …, and so on. Bertrand Russell famously argued against the notion of cause along these lines (and others) in 1912, and the situation has not changed. By trying to define causal determination in terms of a set of prior sufficient conditions, we inevitably fall into the mess of an open-ended list of negative conditions required to achieve the desired sufficiency.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/

        Since David P. Young from the Boeing Company prefers Lord Bertrand’s prose, the law of causality, like much that passes muster in philosophy, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.

      • Let’s rewrite Lord Bertrand’s quote, since it’s a good one:

        The law of causality, like much that passes muster in philosophy, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.

      • Willard, You have to go back to 1912 for this gem of ignorance. Russell clearly repented of this silly argument about causation by 1945. You should be more concerned with Russell’s almost commitment to free speech and use that in your censorious role at Ken’s blog.

      • DY,
        Tell you what, the next time you want to talk about turbulence (which appears to be all you want to talk about) rather than spending a few weeks knocking down strawmen and insulting people, why don’t you just write a post of your own and ask if you can post it somewhere (Lucia’s, Judith’s??).

        You also haven’t really answered my question as to whether or not if you could solve the equations in a GCM exactly, it would conserve mass, momentum, and energy. The answer, I think, is yes, it would conserve mass, momentum, and energy. If, as you seem to be suggesting, they didn’t conserve momentum, there would need to be a net external force, which I do not think they have. It’s possible that they have dissipation/viscosity terms that transfer momentum across some boundary artificially fast (for example). However, this does not mean that they violate the fundamental laws of physics, since you still know where that momentum has gone.

      • ATTP

        I followed the link over to Lucia’s thread on Brexit and there is obviously a lot of back story to your debate. It is very difficult to follow any of it and I think your idea of an article on the subject-should it have any relevance to the general content of this blog-is a good one and we can then all debate it armed with some knowledge.

        tonyb

      • Ken,

        You keep rephrasing your question about GCM’s. Your latest version is whether “if you could solve the equations in a GCM exactly, it would conserve mass, momentum, and energy.” The answer for the Navier-Stokes equations is yes. However, this is a gloss and a straw man since that’s not possible in any foreseeable future at least in our lifetimes. Rather like Russell’s point about the causes of human movement into and out of London. In principle, complete first principles modeling is possible, but in practice, is impossible.

        Thus, the necessity of the sub grid models which introduce very significant sources as explained above. The effect is O(1). I am not sure about GCM’s as they are much more complicated, but they at least have turbulence modeling and many other sub grid models such as clouds. I believe there are correction terms that are needed to account for sources in many of the GCM’s.

        As to writing a post, I have thought about it and even started doing so, but am worried it would be too technical for the climate blogosphere clientele. Gerry Browning has already amply documented his issues with extra dissipation. He is right in what he says, but I believe few really understood it. I would guess you didn’t read it, which is OK or course. We have a paper on this that I will submit next week that discusses it in detail.

        The main point I think is that laymen and even professors in related fields tend to erroneous thinking about CFD models that tend to produce overconfidence in the model results. That is compounded by the literature and commercial marketing of software. That’s true especially for those who set themselves up as apologists for climate science.

      • > Russell clearly repented of this silly argument about causation by 1945.

        He did, David P. Young from the Boeing Company? A quote might be nice. I don’t think you’ll find it his History of Western Philosophy, for the argument is still there. For instance:

        I think perhaps the strongest argument on Hume’s side is to be derived from the character of causal laws in physics. It appears that simple rules of the form “A causes B” are never to be admitted in science, except as crude suggestions in early stages. The causal laws by which such simple rules are replaced in well-developed sciences are so complex that no one can suppose them given in perception; they are all, obviously, elaborate inferences from the observed course of nature. I am leaving out of account modern quantum theory, which reinforces the above
        conclusion. So far as the physical sciences are concerned, Hume is wholly in the right: such propositions as “A causes B” are never to be accepted, and our inclination to accept them is to be explained by the laws of habit and association. These laws themselves, in their accurate form, will be elaborate statements as to nervous tissue–primarily its physiology, then its chemistry, and ultimately its physics.

        If you consider that moderation goes against free speech, you might need to have a word with Lucia. I doubt you ignore why you can talk into people’s back over there and it’s a bogus argument, but go right ahead and raise your concerns to her.

      • DY,
        Answer which ever version you like; I’m not trying to trick you. The point (as I think you’ve acknowledged) is that GCMs are set up so that if one could solve the equations exactly, the system would conserve mass, momentum and energy. Clearly we can’t do this in reality, but that is rather beside the point. The point I was making (and which you have since strawmanned for a few weeks and insulted me as a result) is that these conservations laws are fundamental laws of physics and so if you encountered a model the results of which would not (even in ideal circumstances) conserve these quantities, you can eliminate it.

        You’re of course correct that there will sub-grid processes and approximations that will mean that the model will not evolve the system as accurately as we might like and, in some cases, may introduce substantial errors. That, however, does not change the key point that I was making (the one that you have strawmanned) that physical systems have structural constancy and hence you know the fundamental conditions that your model needs to satisfy (there will be many other conditions too, but conservation laws are pretty fundamental). That the system we are trying to model is very complex, does not change this.

        One day you may recognise that others do understand that you think you alone understand. One day you may also recognise that when others choose not to respond to your strawmen, it’s not because they do not understand what you’re saying, but is because they do not trust you to respond in a constructive manner. Of course, based on past experience, I fully expect that day to be a long time coming.

      • Ken, After weeks of stonewalling, you appear to have finally gotten the point. Thank you for that. However, you seem to think that it does not make your original statement look like a gloss and of little practical importance. GCM’s and CFD rely on empiricism and what some would call questionable statements about turbulent flow. These things are critical to avoiding answers that are O(1) wrong. So, your original point about the laws of physics is simply wrong and misleading at a practical level. As Lucia pointed out (and you never responded), this error would seem to undermine the whole point of your post on McArdle. Lucia found it hard to understand exactly what you were saying.

        You would find your online life so much easier if you could just limit your posting to well thought our pieces that are fairer to those being attacked (and perhaps a third of your output is just attacks on others) and avoid the personal insults and repetition that seems to be your hallmark.

      • DY,
        After weeks of strawmanning, you appear to still not get it. Your latter paragraph is truly remarkable. You really do not disappoint.

      • > Russell clearly repented of this silly argument about causation by 1945.

        He did, David P. Young from the Boeing Company? A quote might be nice. I don’t think you’ll find it his History of Western Philosophy, for the argument is still there. For instance:

        I think perhaps the strongest argument on Hume’s side is to be derived from the character of causal laws in physics. It appears that simple rules of the form “A causes B” are never to be admitted in science, except as crude suggestions in early stages. The causal laws by which such simple rules are replaced in well-developed sciences are so complex that no one can suppose them given in perception; they are all, obviously, elaborate inferences from the observed course of nature. I am leaving out of account modern quantum theory, which reinforces the above
        conclusion.

        If you consider that moderation goes against free speech, you might need to have a word with Lucia. I doubt you ignore why you can talk into people’s back over there and it’s a bogus argument, but go right ahead and raise your concerns to her.

      • Ken, I do get it, I really really do. Your original point, like a lot of rhetoric contains an element of truth, but is really just a gloss that hides the fact that GCM’s are modeling very complex systems and solve the Navier-Stokes equations only in the loosest sense. This is due to the large number of sub grid scale models that are based on heavy doses of empiricism and assumed relationships for which the evidence is often sketchy.

        The real truth here is that there are similarities between economic models and GCM models. GCM’s are so complex and the Earth so complex (with very variable boundary conditions and effects) that high levels of skepticism about their output is fully justified. Even the high Reynolds number Navier-Stokes equations are hard enough and the perception among those on the fringes is far too optimistic about the results. In so far as you encourage that overconfidence, you are retarding progress in science, which above all else requires a clear view of the serious problems in current science.

        As I said previously, trying to be fairer to those you attack publicly would I think make your wife like you more.

      • DY,
        Your response would seem to indicate that you still don’t get it, but that’s unlikely to change, and you not getting it is not really my problem. I will, however, highlight the irony of someone who thinks they’re in some kind of position to lecture me on how to behave publicly, saying something like this

        As I said previously, trying to be fairer to those you attack publicly would I think make your wife like you more.

        Not only is it a bizarre thing to say, you appear to also be one of those who defines any criticism of a position you agree with as an attack, while regarding actual attacks (such as those you yourself conduct) on those you disagree with as being perfectly fine.

        Now, rather than going around strawmanning other people’s posts (and insulting them in the process) why don’t you just get on with writing your own?

      • Ken, Now you are just repeating yourself without adding anything.

        To summarize, you claimed that models whose results do not satisfy the laws of physics can be discarded. My response is that’s silly and wrong. All models of high Reynolds’ number flows violate the proper conservation of momentum. Your response is to say I don’t get it. And just as at Lucia’s you then state it in many slightly different ways in the hopes of finding a vague formulation that seems to be correct.

        You have a long history of very personal disputes with highly respected people such as Richard Toll, Paul Matthews, and in fact Judith Curry, even though you seem to like to comment here a lot. Perhaps its more interesting than your blog because there is a wide diversity of opinions. Recently, you seem to have turned over a new leaf and to have become less personally insulting and degrading. I’m not sure I’ve insulted you. I’ve said your error is a very common one and there is no shame in making it. I even said that I believed it myself until I started examining turbulence modeling in detail.

      • DY,
        1. You still seem to fail to recognise that I was more discussing the systems being studied, than the models themselves.

        2. Of course you can eliminate models, the results of which violate the fundamental laws of physics. Obviously, I mean in some substantive way, not simply because it isn’t possible to evolve them exactly.

        3. Unless I’m mistaken, what you’re referring to is different to what I’ve said (you really should look up strawman). Even in a high Reynolds number flow, you would expect the model to conserve mass, momentum, and energy (to within the accuracy of the scheme). If, for example, it didn’t conserve momentum, that would suggest that some kind of net external force had been introduced.

        4. It appears that you and I have very different definitions of what is an insult, and what is not.

        5. Even if I do have some personal disputes with some people (which I would dispute, especially as one of those you name is someone I actively try to avoid) that doesn’t excuse you personalising our discussion and insulting me.

      • Ken, Point by point I correct each of your errors or comment on your statements.

        1. If you meant systems, you should have said so. The whole discussion was in the context of models, GCM’s in particular. In any case, if you include the turbulence and sub grid systems, then the systems also fail to conserve momentum as rigorously defined.

        2. Your formulation is simply false and a common gloss covering ignorance of sub grid modeling and its effect on the conservation laws. Do you agree that sub grid models MUST modify the conservation law (else they would change nothing)? If so, you must admit that they introduce sources that violate the original conservation law. QED. Really Ken Rice, please try to step back from your emotions and try to refute the above simple argument. It is a proof, or as close to one as one can come in these matters.

        3. Yes of course, the turbulence model introduces forces other than the ones in the conservation law. That’s what they MUST do. See the proof in 2 above.

        4. and 5. For someone who has a history of insulting people in the most personal way, your sudden high standards would appear to be hypocritical. I usually try to not personalize things, even though I may have failed in your case. If so, that was wrong of me to do.

        Summarizing: Ken, your teaching and your science would be improved if you did some research (or simply talked to some experts) on real modeling of fluid dynamics (which GCM’s really are mostly). The issue of turbulence modeling introduces a lot of empiricism and dubious formulations that show that the idea that its “just physics” is apologist rubbish.

        As I have said, we do have a publication record on these subjects. Look for Forrester T. Johnson or Venkatakrishnan, or Dmitri Kamenetskiy if you don’t want to read something I wrote. We have a new paper about to be submitted if you email me I can send it to you. My email is on any of our papers.

      • DY,

        If you meant systems, you should have said so.

        I did. Did you actually read my post?

        The whole discussion was in the context of models, GCM’s in particular.

        No, it wasn’t, as I have been pointing out, over and over again. You introduced this in order to (consciously, or sub-consciously) knock down a strawman.

        2. Your formulation is simply false and a common gloss covering ignorance of sub grid modeling and its effect on the conservation laws. Do you agree that sub grid models MUST modify the conservation law (else they would change nothing)? If so, you must admit that they introduce sources that violate the original conservation law. QED.

        No, adding sub-grid models does not have to modify the fundamental conservation laws. The conservation laws are very simply the conservation of mass, momentum and energy. It is quite possible to add sub-grid models that do not then result in the model violating the fundamental conservation laws.

        3. Yes of course, the turbulence model introduces forces other than the ones in the conservation law. That’s what they MUST do. See the proof in 2 above.

        No, again, the conservation laws are very simply the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. Adding sub-grid, or turbulence models, does not mean that the model will violate the conservation laws, which are – once again – the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy.

        4. and 5. For someone who has a history of insulting people in the most personal way

        Find an example. I don’t think you can.

        Summarizing: Ken, your teaching and your science would be improved if you did some research (or simply talked to some experts) on real modeling of fluid dynamics (which GCM’s really are mostly).

        My research is in fluid dynamics!

        The issue of turbulence modeling introduces a lot of empiricism and dubious formulations that show that the idea that its “just physics” is apologist rubbish.

        I’ve never said that it is “just physics”. Could you possibly avoid putting words in my mouth? I suspect you can’t, but you could always try.

      • Ken Rice, This is getting surreal. I said that the sub grid model MUST modify the conservation law. That is by adding sources and sinks that are not there in the physically CORRECT conservation law.

        You are thinking of something else entirely, namely that if the sources put are in conservation form, then whatever is conserved by this new form (which is NOT the “law of physics”) can be conserved by a well chosen numerical method. The problem is that what is conserved is NOT the momentum but a pseudo-momentum that includes the sources. Can you respond to this point. You may want to take a while to think about it as it is a subtle point.

      • Ken, You say your research is in fluid dynamics, perhaps you mean the dynamics of planetary formation. I would be happy to review what you consider your best work on fluid dynamics of computational fluid dynamics. Then perhaps I can better diagnose where you are in your career and your understanding of modeling. It is no shame for a younger researcher to be mistaken about some things. Gavin Schmidt for example didn’t know that Reynolds’ averaging as commonly done requires a stationary assumption. There is no shame in that especially as he admitted it freely. No one can digest and understand even a very small percentage of the knowledge of these things.

        What one would expect of an honest person though is to try to look up the issue and at least consider that they may be too inexperienced to think about the issue clearly without further research.

      • Ken, I did a cursory look at your publication record and what I see indicates that you are a user of fluid dynamics simulations, but I couldn’t find a single thing devoted to actual theoretical fluid dynamics or computational fluid dynamics per se, aside from applications. That would have been my guess based on what you have said, as it falls in with the truisms (actually false of course) amoung the users of simulation codes. It is a little odd then that you say that your research is in fluid dynamics. That’s a rather gross gloss on the truth I would say.

      • DY,

        You are thinking of something else entirely, namely that if the sources put are in conservation form, then whatever is conserved by this new form (which is NOT the “law of physics”) can be conserved by a well chosen numerical method.

        It is you who is thinking of something else. As I’ve already explained time and time again; the point I was making was about the difference between physical systems (which have structural constancy) and social systems (which do not). Physical systems obey the laws of physics (conservation of mass, momentum, and energy) and hence any valid model for a physical system should be one that would obey these laws – in other words, if you kept track of energy, momentum, and mass, they would be conserved, to within the accuracy of the scheme.

        The problem is that what is conserved is NOT the momentum but a pseudo-momentum that includes the sources. Can you respond to this point. You may want to take a while to think about it as it is a subtle point.

        Momentum is a precisely defined quantity. Linear momentum is mass x velocity. Either a model conserves momentum, or it does not. Either your sub-grid model is implemented in such a way that it introduces an unphysical external force so that overall momentum is not conserved (which would seem odd if this was not the intent) or it is implemented in such a way that – within the accuracy of the scheme – mass, momentum, and energy are still conserved. As I’ve already said, these sub-grid processes could indeed act to transfer mass, momentum, or energy through the system in a way that ended up being unrealistic, or they could introduce errors so that the model results don’t actually match at all what it being studied. That does not mean, however, that such a model would no longer obey the laws of physics.

      • DY,

        That’s a rather gross gloss on the truth I would say.

        You really can’t resist accusing me of being dishonest. As I said, your interpretation of an insult and mine are clearly different. (as an aside, I notice you haven’t found an example of me making a highly personal insult, despite stating that I had a history of doing so).

      • Angech, ATTPs MO in the climate arena seems to be to deal in vague half truths. When challenged that’s an advantage for him as he can always shift his ground or say he didn’t say what he did say. Here I think his original statement like a lot of vague statements contains some truth but omits a critical point that undermines his entire thesis.

        You noticed he also likes to claim he is insulted. He then doesn’t have to respond to the substance of true statements. However, I am learning something from the interaction so it’s worthwhile.

        Joshua and Willard are just anonymous trolls who have nothing to say on the science. I don’t know what could motivate these people. Have they nothing better to do than make irrelevant comments on blogs? Psychiatry no doubt has an answer. Willard has in this thread turned quite nasty and personal.

      • DY,
        I think this has probably go on long enough. Tell you what, though, the next time I feel like being strawmanned and insulted, you’re the first person I’ll think of.

      • Ken, I gave your spurious momentum statement the benefit of the doubt and ran it by my brain trust of experts. Momentum = mass X velocity is simply not conserved in any case where there are pressure variations, viscosity, or external forces. Divergence of momentum is equal to the sum of all these forces. And that’s all cases of practical significance including the atmosphere.

        The “laws of physics” here are the Navier-Stokes equations, which include all these forcing (correctly stated) and not your mythical conservation of momentum. Divergence of momentum is simply not zero.

        Subgrid models therefore violate the NS equations and even more so your “laws of physics”.

        It is a pity that you cannot get past your “feelings” and address true statements you don’t like about what I suspect is inflating your expertise. As a relatively inexperienced fluid dynamicist I would normally let a few lapses pass. This issue of subgrid models is too important to allow half truths such as you are peddling here pass.

        The import is that these models are far less (or more perhaps) “just physics” than inexperienced people say.

      • ==> Have they nothing better to do than make irrelevant comments on blogs? ==>

        Classic.

      • DY,

        Momentum = mass X velocity is simply not conserved in any case where there are pressure variations, viscosity, or external forces.

        Okay, this is getting slightly bizarre. I’ve already pointed out that it isn’t conserved if there is an external force: F = dp/dt is basic physics. However, unless the pressure is external, or the viscosity is implemented in some odd way, pressure variations and viscosity do not produce a net source of momentum. Total momentum is conserved in an isolated system.

        Divergence of momentum is equal to the sum of all these forces. And that’s all cases of practical significance including the atmosphere.

        Yes, exactly. This still means that total momentum in an isolated system is conserved or, if the system is not isolated, the change in momentum with time depends on the external force.

        The “laws of physics” here are the Navier-Stokes equations, which include all these forcing (correctly stated) and not your mythical conservation of momentum. Divergence of momentum is simply not zero.

        You really should look up strawman, as you’re knocking them down wonderfully. But really, conservation of momentum is “mythical”? You do realise that I’m not suggesting that momentum does not change anywhere in the system? That would be ridiculous. However, in an isolated system, momentum is conserved. That it can change within a system does not mean that it is no longer conserved. And, no, the NS equations are not the laws of physics; they satisfy the laws of physics. Furthermore, I’ve told you repeatedly what I mean by the laws of physics (mass, momentum and energy conservation). Redefing what I mean, and then knocking it down, is the definition of a strawman.

        Anyway, as I’ve already said, the next time I feel the need to be strawmanned and insulted, you’re the first person I’ll think off.

      • Ken Rice, The total divergence of momentum = mass times velocity is never zero in any CFD simulation that’s interesting. That’s what most would say means it is not conserved.

        Now that you have admitted the role of the forcing terms, you must admit that subgrid models violate the proper form of the NS equations, which are the correct expression of the laws of physics for a fluid. Perhaps you want to say NS is wrong. You are probably not that naive.

        Your original formulation about models is just a half truth at best and a confusing falsehood at worst.

      • DY,

        Ken Rice, The total divergence of momentum = mass times velocity is never zero in any CFD simulation that’s interesting. That’s what most would say means it is not conserved.

        If your simulations have no external force and don’t conserve momentum, maybe you should rewrite the code.

      • Ken, This is getting very tutorial. I am going to make a number of statements. Direct answers as to whether you agree and if not why will help you understand it.

        1. Of course, if I draw a flux box around the universe, the total momentum flux for that flux box is zero. That has ZERO practical significance and leads to nothing computationally.

        2. All practical simulations deal with very small parts of the universe. In any practically interesting problem there are always external and internal forces (viscous force and pressure forces).

        3. To derive anything useful you need LOCAL”laws of physics.” For fluids, the Navier-Stokes embody those laws. They include internal and external forcings and momentum is simply not locally conserved. That is required by the laws of physics.

        4. Virtually all interesting simulations involve high or very high Reynolds’ numbers. In this case, its impossible to properly resolve the “laws of physics” and so sub grid models must be used. Thus these simulations violate even the local NS equations as properly formulated.

        5. These violations are not small and generate O(1) effects even in globally computed forces and moments.

        6. These sub grid models are based on empiricism and more or less questionable “rules of thumb.” All honest turbulence modelers say so.

        7. Thus essentially all high Re simulations violate the laws of physics, and not just by a little either. This included GCM’s.

        Please answer without trying to subtly shift the argument to something else.

        Practical simulations are totally different I fear than astronomy ones, where inaccurate models of the entire universe can be contemplated. Real world simulations by necessity must play by very different rules.

      • Isaac Held is a GCM expert and answered DY’s questions a year ago at Held’s blog.
        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2015/06/07/60-the-quality-of-the-large-scale-flow-simulated-in-gcms/
        Basically these models resolve the energy-containing scales well enough to match global reanalysis climates. To do this they have to resolve the main eddies which are weaher systems. Weather systems provide the horizontal transport of heat between latitudes. If the GCM did not get these right, the zonal means would be off, and they look fine.

      • > Psychiatry no doubt has an answer. Willard has in this thread turned quite nasty and personal.

        Have I, David P. Young from the Boeing Company who started your contributions to this thread by talking about me behind my back?

        A quote might be nice.

        As far as I’m concerned, I mostly corrected the crap you were peddling about Russell.

      • Yes, JCH, I saw that. It’s a weak test of a model, I would say. One wonders whether it continues to hold if you vary parameters or refine the grid. GCM’s get important aspects of large scale circulation well over short time scales. Held’s groups model does in fact use the Woodward Collela scheme which is a pretty good method developed in the 1980’s. There are better ones available now, but maybe not significantly better.

      • > I saw that.

        Yet you haven’t responded much over there, David P. Young from the Boeing Company.

        You’re here instead, engineering strawman over strawman while misreading Russell and talking behind people’s back.

        Fancy that.

      • I remember a guy that everybody said was conceited but he was always quick to point out to you that, that is what happens to perfect people.

        http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/12/obama-mentions-himself-45-times-during-memorial-speech-for-dallas-officers/

        Do you think you have bias? He does.

    • Joshua, Since Rice banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail. Previously, he simply dismissed any concerns about a reproducibility crisis as not significant or not affecting fields like physics. There is some truth in that latter statement. But we easily forget the Hockey stick and other lapses in climate science. Another clear one is the issue of statistical analysis of climate models where it’s pretty clear that he and Cawley are struggling.

      In any case, Ken’s recent error is discussed at the Blackboard and is related to whether or not we can dismiss any model that violates the laws of physics. Simply put, all CFD models of high Reynolds’ number flows do violate conservation of momentum by using a turbulence model. Ken’s error is a common one among those on the fringes of CFD, but it is an error none the less. Lucia had trouble getting Rice to explain exactly what his post was saying and what it was not saying. That’s a common problem as Ken often denies saying something he clearly said.

      In any case, it is important to the discussion of models to get our facts straight and not misrepresent what models do, don’t you think? Rice being a somewhat naive user of CFD is not really in a position to become an apologist, particularly given the already prevalent positive results and selection bias prevalent in the field.

      • > Since [AT] banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail.

        There’s always Lucia’s, David, so your excuse is moot at best. Why don’t you write a blog post over there? She’s always look for your “technical” comments.

        Also, we could discuss the crap you’re peddling in my back about Russell right here right now.

      • Willard, AKA Lord Russell’s squirrel, When I was 18 years old I read Russell’s early sophomoric work and was impressed. When I became a man and read Kauffnan, I realized these early works were really quite wrong particularly about Christianity. Grow up Willard and wean yourself off your mothers milk and go for some real meat.

        Seriously, you have never said anything of substance about your hero except that he is a hero of yours. Posturing does not make you knowledgable.

      • David P. Young from the Boeing Company,

        Young Russell was a Hegelian. Old Russell was a man who needed money to cover for his many divorces. Neither are studied much by philosophers nowadays, even if his Why I Am Not a Christian, a lecture he presented when he was in his fifties, still stings many, including you.

        So please check back your Russell chronology. Only then will you be able to come back flex your muscles with any credibility. Speaking of which, how you almost interacted with Gerry Browning at the Auditor’s tells all there is to know about your formal kung fu.

      • Willard, AKA Lord Russell’s squirrel, Russell’s work on religion is sophomoric and modified in his later work such as his History of Western Philosophy, which is far more cynical about modernism and far more realistic. His early work on Islam and Christianity has been shown by modern events to be almost the opposite of the truth. Have you actually read these works? Given your lack of detail you either haven’t or are suffering a serious loss of memory.

      • > Russell’s work on religion is sophomoric and modified in his later work such as his History of Western Philosophy.

        You have another work to cite, or would like to share how Russell modified his views on religion, David P. Young from the Boeing Company?

        I already told you about the late Russell:

        The book provided Russell with financial security for the last part of his life. […]

        The reception of the book was mixed, especially from academic reviewers.

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

        A wonderful writer, no doubt. Still far from being his best philosophy book.

      • Lord Russell’s squirrel, The History of Western Philosophy may have not been popular with academic philosophers at the time. That’s understandable as it harshly criticizes large parts of modern philosophy. Romanticism comes in for very harsh criticism and the claim that it helped cause the rise of fascism. Without looking up the exact quote, Russell says that he prefers the Church fathers to Modernists like Dewey because at least they agree on the supremacy of reason and dialogue. Russell was right in much of this criticism.

        The early Russell’s treatment of Islam is transparently ignorant and really whitewashes the religion and its influence. This is I think based on the idea that during the dark ages, Islam kept alive Western science and philosophy.

      • > Without looking up the exact quote, Russell says that he prefers the Church fathers to Modernists like Dewey because at least they agree on the supremacy of reason and dialogue.

        I doubt you could ever find a quote Dewey saying anything against the supremacy of reason and dialogue, assuming that “supremacy” is just a fancy word for “very important,” David P. Young (who was?) from the Boeing Company. Dewey’s philosophy was centered around the concept of inquiry, which does not affect the “primacy of the will” (Bertrand’s wording) much. There is a bit of a clash between a realist and a pragmatist about belief and truth, but nothing over which your mention of the Church fathers is of any relevance.

        The word “modernist” does not seem to appear in Russell’s Western History. The third section of his book is dedicated to Modern philosophy, but it might be hard to identify Kant, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Leibniz, or even Bergson as being “like Dewey.” Also note that the last chapter of that section is about Russell’s own ideas.

        ***

        Before I pay due diligence to your anti-islamist crap, let’s take stock.

        Your chronology of Russell’s work was self-servingly wrong. Your injection of causal determinism into Russell’s work was more than wrong. Your coatracking of Dewey was caricatural.

        There are 11 occurences of “Islam” in the book, 9 if we exclude the index. As far as I can see, none of them points to any criticism of Islam. They look more like storytelling than anything.

        What you’re doing to an author you appreciate is pitiful, David P. Young (who was?) from the Boeing Company.

    • Joshua, Since KenRice banned me from his blog it is impossible to discuss it in detail. Previously, he simply dismissed any concerns about a reproducibility crisis as not significant or not affecting fields like physics. There is some truth in that latter statement. But we easily forget the Hockey stick and other lapses in climate science. Another clear one is the issue of statistical analysis of climate models where it’s pretty clear that he and Cawley are struggling.

      In any case, KenRice’s recent error is discussed at the Blackboard and is related to whether or not we can dismiss any model that violates the laws of physics. Simply put, all CFD models of high Reynolds’ number flows do violate conservation of momentum by using a turbulence model. His error is a common one among those on the fringes of CFD, but it is an error none the less. Lucia had trouble getting him to explain exactly what his post was saying and what it was not saying. That’s a common problem as he often denies saying something he clearly said.

      In any case, it is important to the discussion of models to get our facts straight and not misrepresent what models do, don’t you think? KenRice being a somewhat naive user of CFD is not really in a position to become an apologist, particularly given the already prevalent positive results and selection bias prevalent in the field.

      • Willard, you quote a review of A History of Western Philosophy by copying this: ” The book provided Russell with financial security for the last part of his life. […]” and “The reception of the book was mixed, especially from academic reviewers.”

        But you left off, this, in the same review:
        “When Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, the book was cited as one of those that won him the award.”
        and
        “…it was criticised for its over-generalization and its omissions, particularly from the post-Cartesian period, but nevertheless became a popular and commercial success, and has remained in print from its first publication.”

        You seem to want to imply by innuendo that he just dashed it off as a doddering old man to make some money to dodder with. Really?
        I’ve only read parts of it (long ago) and all I can say is, I remember it being well written. To critique the whole work would take more than I have to give it but using selective quotes to trash a book you haven’t’ read is tawdry at best.

        I have empathy for him as a fan of his ‘Why I am not a Christian.’ He should get his due.

        Of A History of Western Philosophy…

        ‘A precious book….a work that is in the highest degree pedagogical which stands above the conflicts of parties and opinion’ – Albert Einstein

        ‘Remains unchallenged as the perfect introduction to its subject … exactly the kind of philosophy that most people would like to read, but which only Russell could possibly have written.’ – Ray Monk, University of Southampton, UK

        ‘Beautiful and luminous prose, not merely classically clear but scrupulously honest.’ – Isaiah Berlin

        ‘It is a witty bird’s-eye view of the main figures in Western thought enlivened by references to the personalities and quirks of the thinkers themselves.’ – The Week

        ‘A great philosopher’s lucid and magisterial look at the history of his own subject, wonderfully readable and enlightening.’ – The Observer

        And as far as causality goes, what I remember, is being irritated with people for thinking he was anti-causality which one might get from a superficial reading when all he was really saying is that he was irritated by people treating causality so simplistically. Yet, when you get into it, he is using a ‘street’ version, or the common man’s version (vernacular) of causality to highlight what he has to say which was more along the lines of describing a ‘state,’ rather than a point. Not fair. And really not accurate for if you supply the context each time a cause is specified then much of the hew and cry of his so-called anti-causality stance was rubbish.

      • Daniel, Thanks for these excerpts from the Wiki article. I saw them but didn’t want to get into it with Willard. I have read History of Western Philosophy and the Modern Philosophy section many times. It is I think quite remarkable for its frontal attack on much of modern philosophy. I actually believe much of Russell’s critique is correct. It is basically that starting with Rousseau, truth has been demoted in favor of various forms of feeling as the standard by which we are to think and act. Russell clearly and persuasively links the rise of Fascism with Romanticism. Barbara Tuchman (The Proud Tower) is also good on this period. In retrospect, one must I think view the whole Progressive political movement with a degree of skepticism as well. There were strong undercurrents of Social Darwinism and racism (dressed up in pseudo-scientific garb). In this time period, in my view, distinctions of left and right were less important than distinctions of social control though the state vs. individual freedom.

        Russell’s critique of Neitsche is also direct and brutal, even though Walter Kaufman offers another perspective. Thomas Dewey also is attacked mercilessly.

        In any case, History of Western philosophy is remarkable I think for its strong opinions, its attempt to place philosophy in the social context of the day, and its coverage of the important topics. Not everything in it is correct in my view, but it is a remarkable work and shows a more mature Russell, chastened by the catastrophe of WWII.

        One of Russell’s weaknesses in my view is his sophomoric attitude toward Christianity and Islam. Walter Kaufman is far better in my view because he actually was an observant Jew early in life, and shows far more familiarity with ancient and modern theology. Russell’s whitewash of islam (he regards it as having saved much of Ancient knowledge from the evil Church during the dark ages) is grossly ignorant and unfair. It is worth noting that several of Russell’s children became fervent Anglicans and Russell was fine with that being a strong and almost absolutist advocate of freedom of speech and thought.

        Many of Russell’s social attitudes seem quaint or prejudiced to moderns. He had a low opinion of homosexuality for example. However, his strong belief in reason and freedom of thought are still shining examples for moderns who often subvert these values to political correctness.

        As to Willard, he is an anonymous troll as described by Kip later in this thread. He specializes in finding minor or superficial inconsistencies and highlighting them. A truly small mind. I can just see a 30 something British bachelor and green party member sitting in his Mom’s basement with nothing better to do than quibble over trivialities. He clearly forgets nothing and learns nothing as a wag said of the French between the World Wars.

        I use the blogosphere to learn and have really broadened my scientific and mathematical horizons. Despite a lot of erroneous material, there is some really good stuff too, particularly in the links offered. It is hard to know what Willard’s motivation is. Psychiatry may have an answer.

      • > And as far as causality goes, what I remember, is being irritated with people for thinking he was anti-causality which one might get from a superficial reading when all he was really saying is that he was irritated by people treating causality so simplistically.

        You should check what you remember, DanielH. Russell disputed that causality could be treated in any other way than in simplistic terms. His argument against the law of causation (which he used to remain suspicious of the concept of cause) was based on logical analysis. To give you a whiff of the limits of your remembering:

        One of Russell’s key arguments concerns the time-asymmetry of causation – the fact that effects are supposed to occur later than their causes (or at least not earlier than their causes). Russell says that there is nothing to ground such a difference between past and future in fundamental physics. More recent writers have noted that there is a similar time-asymmetry in counterfactual reasoning. If the lights had failed at the beginning of this lecture, the proceedings since that moment might well have been different – I would not have progressed this far, for example – but events before the failure of the lights would have just the same; or at least, so our intuitions tell us. David Lewis (1989) calls this the asymmetry of counterfactual
        dependence, and proposes to use it to explain the asymmetry of causation, that Russell had taken to be missing in fundamental physics.

        http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/10040/1/InauguralPreprint.pdf

        You know, I still have uncles who pontificate in parties the same way Denizens do daily at Judy’s. They have yet to adapt to the Internet. In family’s defense, they don’t pontificate on the Internet.

      • David, I admire your perseverance in the fight against a team of triple tag fighters from ATTP.
        The fact that a team of 3 was needed means you are seriously aggravating and probably right .
        Splitting your efforts into 3 parts is wasted as it is falling into their game plan of moving the target and misdirecting.
        Advice (always a bad thing so no advice).
        Observation, much better, Joshua is a heavy weight flibbertigibbett best engaged with when you want to,never when he wants.
        Willard has a lot of knowledge, only engage when he actually wants to discuss an issue.
        ATTP is in deep trouble over his comments as evidenced by his attempts at evasion. Usually he can find a away to get around his statements but to his credit he has admitted errors in the past when unavoidable.
        He has made one admission above that Is inescapable.
        July 8 6.33 pm
        Admits must exclude all models that do not satisfy physics.
        Admits CFD causes models to not satisfy physics.
        Admits these failing models do not need to be excluded because even though they fail to satisfy physics he redefines them to state if being used they must satisfy physics, because he says so.
        Logic failure.
        PS not really a 4 man tag as JCH did not stick.

      • Angech, I replied in the wrong place and its in moderation. Sorry about that. Troll might one of Judith’s moderation words.

      • > The fact that a team of 3 was needed […]

        Get your facts straight, Doc – David P Young from the Boeing Company pulled me into that one.

  17. And for individual climate researchers and research teams: Is the research I/we are currently involved in sufficiently useful to justify the costs and effort?

    Absolutely, I don’t charge myself anything for my time.

  18. Pretending that the last twelve thousand years of climate never happened is rather a bad start, I should think. Mix New Class politics with Publish-or-Perish then the intellectual climate is bound to be more Phnom Penh 1976 than School of Athens.


  19. There, fixed it for you.

  20. Now here’s HARD science. Your climate dollars at work!

    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-climate-deniers.html

    • This paper requires a fifth quadrant, below and to the left of the other 4.

      • Ken W,

        Jeez, mate! Five quadrants? You better watch yourself, you’re displaying Warmist thinking!

        Bad play on words, I know – sorry.

        Cheers.

      • Mike, not only that, i think we need another axis, orthogonal to the others – going from “Reallly true” -to- “Just made this stuff up”

    • Ken W,

      From the article –

      “Dr Ballard worked with European researchers Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Professor Klaus Oberauer and Dr Rasmus Benestad on the study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change.”

      Totally unbiased of course. Slightly marred by the fact that Ludicrous Lew isn’t a scientist – and of course that one of his papers about “recursive fury” was retracted by its publisher. That might explain why he modestly declines to take credit as lead author in the linked puff piece.

      It is particularly interesting to note that the authors of the current paper involved a panel of “expert economists”. Who better qualified to comment on climatology than a group whose predictions are equally as poor, if not worse? Dills assessing drongos, or vice versa?

      Of course, I’m biased. As a non believer in the magical heating powers of CO2, a consensus of every psychologist, economist, and climatologist in the world is less likely to change my mind than one, just one, repeatable experiment showing the power of CO2 to heat anything, let alone a planet!

      Thanks for the laugh!

      Cheers.

      • Mike, papers by Lev (and a few others) demonstrate that 4 quadrants just aren’t enough. Some research take the axes into negative territory, i.e. “Consideration of abuse” and “Quest for fundamental ignorance”.
        That’s how bad it is.

      • Ken W, Do you think the world will ever see an age of glaciers again?
        If we do how long will it last this time? We will sure know it when we see it.

      • Arch, glaciers come and go – but looking at the time series of where we’re headed, the fat tail of stupidity is going to wipe us out much sooner.
        Have fun, ken.

      • It is very easy for mankind to direct the climate, so no, there will never be glaciers in the continental USA for as long as a significant population of human beings exist on earth.

      • Mountain glaciers excluded…

      • JCH said:

        It is very easy for mankind to direct the climate….

        Talk about Prometheanism!

        Obviously, you’ve forgotten about what happend to Icarus.

  21. Actually advancing knowledge is not always the primary objective of published “research”. Just as medical research claims can attract ever more funding over time (common conclusion: “further research is needed”), climate research claims might be seen as “useful” to the extent that they justify further funding. Nothing unique about climate research in that regard.

  22. David Springer

    Yes. Pretty much all of it is useless.

    • And I even wonder if anyone can produce any examples of it being useful in a practical sense, not in the political sense of it that it supports preferred policy.

      Andrew

  23. Most of climate science is like those $37 screws, $7,622 coffee makers, and $640 toilet seats the government buys.
    http://articles.latimes.com/1986-07-30/news/vw-18804_1_nut

    Somebody has to pay for them, and if the government doesn’t do it, who else will?

  24. Of relevance to today’s topic: The usefulness of useless knowledge
    https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/07/27/the-usefulness-of-useless-knowledge/

    • Add-on to curryja ===> The .pdf of the original essay, The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge, by Abraham Flexner, published in Harper’s magazine in 1939 is available here.

      It celebrates one of my lifelong core beliefs: “Life is too short not to satisfy one’s curiosity.”

      Flexner sums up: “Curiosity, which may or may not eventuate in something useful, is probably the outstanding characteristic of modern thinking. It is not new. It goes back to Galileo, Bacon, and to Sir Isaac Newton, and it must be absolutely unhampered.”

      With that all said, the value of “useless knowledge” must not be confused with the problems of modern scientific research that result in “useless research” which wastes precious research dollars and intellectual resources. highlighted by Ioannidis and outlined, referencing CliSci, in today’s essay.

      • Apologies ==> A comment inadvertently routed to spam by the auto-magic comment tools has resulted in this posting to two nearly identical comments by me.

    • Add-on to curryja ==> The original Abraham Flexner article, titled “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge”, was published in Harper’s in 1939. [ .pdf here ] In it, Flexner celebrates the value of pure intellectual curiosity — in both the physical and spiritual realms.

      One of my lifelong guiding principles has been: “Life is too short NOT to satisfy one’s curiosity.”

      Flexner states: “Curiosity, which may or may not eventuate in something useful, is probably the outstanding characteristic of modern thinking. It is not new. It goes back to Galileo, Bacon, and to Sir Isaac Newton, and it must be absolutely unhampered.”

      Flexner is absolutely right.

      But we must not confuse his “usefulness of useless knowledge” with Ioannidis’ “useless research” — the later is a huge and important problem not only in clinical medical research, but I fear in “…most research designs and for most fields”.

    • With the advent of modernism, one of the central questions that arose is what should be the purpose of science.

      Many thought that Bacon’s “concern with ‘human goods’ vulgar, or even sinful: it was enough for scientists to find the laws ruling natural phenomena, the better to glorify God, who first created Nature,” notes Stephen Toulmin.

      Rejecting in both method and spirit Bacon’s vision of a humanly fruitful Science, Descartes and Newton set out to build mathematical strucutres, and looked to Science for theological, not technological, dividends.

      — STEPHEN TOULMIN, Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity.

      Neil deGrasse Tyson, however, notes that frequently things discovered for more theological reasons end up being useful at a later date:

      But one [Einstein] equation stands out above the rest for the famed director of the Hayden Planetarium….

      “My favorite equation of Einstein’s is when he derived the stimulated emission of radiation,” deGrasse Tyson said during the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate in 2012. “We study that in astrophysics and that’s the equation that enables the construction of lasers.”….

      [The equation] today supports a multi-billion dollar industry involving barcode scanners, laser eye surgery, and DVD electronics.

      The word “laser” began as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Stimulated emission is a special way in which atoms can make identical particles of light that Einstein first predicted in 1917. But it wasn’t until the the late ’50s when physicists actually built the first lasers…..

      DeGrasse Tyson uses this example during the debate to emphasize the importance of “basic research” that might not necessarily have any immediate application but could set the stage for future, fundamental technology.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/neil-degrasse-tysons-favorite-einstein-equation-2015-3

      Einstein wrote about what motivated him, and he seems to be pretty solidly in the Newton and Descartes camp:

      Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue.

      What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics!

      Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.

      http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm

      So are those who work in climate science motivated by such noble drives as Einstein was, or do their toils look more like this?

      The writer who drops in on this world is bound to feel like Gulliver visiting the Royal Academy of Lagado, with its solemn “projectors” laboring to extract sunbeams from cucumbers, build houses from the roof down and restore the nutritive power of human $hit, all convinced of the value of their work.

      — ROBERT HUGHES, Culture of Complaint

  25. I posted this comment a few days ago in the “week in science” but it seems relevant to this topic as well. Cut-and-paste below:

    Remarkable claims in a paper on statistical software used to interpret MRI scans. Demonstrates the importance of validating models. Also criticizes “lamentable archiving and data-sharing practices” within the field. Sound familiar?
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/06/27/1602413113.full

    Functional MRI (fMRI) is 25 years old, yet surprisingly its most common statistical methods have not been validated using real data. Here, we used resting-state fMRI data from 499 healthy controls to conduct 3 million task group analyses. Using this null data with different experimental designs, we estimate the incidence of significant results. In theory, we should find 5% false positives (for a significance threshold of 5%), but instead we found that the most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%. These results question the validity of some 40,000 fMRI studies and may have a large impact on the interpretation of neuroimaging results.

    • “Sound familiar?”

      No.

      • That’s because…

        ‘Rapid cooling’ underway: Big Drop In Earth’s June Temperatures According To Satellites’

      • And here I thought El Nino temps would go up forever. Seriously reevaluating.

      • Get ahead of the curve is always a nice position.

      • Arch rapid drop in Earth’s July temperatures, more re evaluating by JCH.
        And a lot, lot more to come

      • Angech – lol… exactly what do you mean “a lot more”? And what would cause it? lMAO. 3 to1 La Nina dominance just got its head punched in so hard the nose mush is squirting out its ear holes. What’s on your bench?

        Is the mighty stadium wave coming? Oh boy! We’ll get to twist on the ACO2 control knob and clobber yet another great white hope.

      • 3 to1 La Nina dominance

      • We’re talking about the current fight… physics in action. You put up a chart of the history of boxing. After losing rounds 1 through 5, in rounds 6 through 13 your fighter cooled off the globe, and then he got his head battered in rounds 14, 15, and probably throughout 16… once the bell has rung. One La Nina is not going to help your inferior position. With politics as your guide, you put your money on the loser.

    • Reply to opluso ==> Yet another broad field of research has been found to produce “mostly false” results due to the factors outlined by Ioannidis in Why Most Research Findings Are False. It would be interesting to list the fields that this applies to, over the last five or six years.

      Ocean Acidification, fMRI, several psychology fields of study…can anyone add to the list here?

      • Wake me up when Ioannidis lists physics, mathematics, chemistry, etc.

      • The use of inappropriate tools and methods seems to be a common denominator for underwarranted research results.

        Recent pushback by statisticians against inappropriate applications of p-values highlighted a misleading aspect of many peer reviewed papers across disciplines.

      • Actually, let JCH nap undisturbed. He needs his rest.

    • opluso,,,the world seems to be eating hands full of stupid pills. Just weird. Or lead in the water? Aluminum in the beer? Has the world always been so stupid? Are we just noticing it? Would the literature from 1830 or 1930 reveal a similar level of such widespread incompetence?

  26. Is much of current climate research useless?

    Yes. Next question?

  27. Note that what he said about global warming 10 years ago still applies today:

    Mistakes are common in science and they can take a long time to correct, sometimes many generations. It is important that misguided political decisions do not block science’s capacity for self correction, especially in this instance when incorrect science is being used to threaten our liberties and wellbeing. Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science. The earth’s climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past. We are currently in a warming cycle that began in the early 1800′s, at the end of the little ice age. Much of the current warming occurred before the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were significantly increased by the burning of fossil fuels. No one knows how long the current warming will continue, and in fact, there has been no warming for the past ten years. Carbon dioxide is a natural constituent of the atmosphere, and calling it a ‘pollutant’ is inaccurate. ~Dr. William Happer

  28. Pasteur’s Quadrant ==> Originates from Donald Stokes in this conference transcript of “Science The Endless Frontier 1945-1995: Learning from the Past, Designing for the Future”, which took place at Columbia University circa 1995 — and is featured in Stokes’ book “Pasteur’s Quadrant“.

  29. Nice essay, linking to Ioannidis most recent paper. Some observations on distinguishing truely useless research from ‘good tries’ that may have simply failed to produce a useful resultmor to have advanced fundamental knowledge.
    1. When the research means are a priori provably inadequate. This category includes climate model taxonomy. There is a six or seven order of magnitude computational difference between present finest resolution climate and present weather models. And weather models aren’t good out beyond a few days.
    2. When the data is simply inadequate in length of time, spatial coverage or reliability. Much (not all) of the paleoclimate stuff is in this category (treemometers). Until Argo, OHC was in this category.
    3. When the proposed result, whatever it may be, is itself a priori useless for scientific purposes. Climate consensus papers are in this category. Showing that most climate scientists know which side their bread is buttered on does not make them right. Such research is merely propaganda oriented.
    4. When basic scientific hygiene is not followed. Failing to archive data and code makes reproducibility difficult to impossible. Failing to pre validate statistical methods (Mann’s centered PCA abomination). Failing to correctly characterize data (OLeary’s WA SLR academic misconduct, PMEL oyster misconduct, Marcott’s paleo misconduct, all three the subject of previous guest posts).

    • Reply to ristvan ==> Thank you for weighing in here today. As for your #2, inadequate data, OHC will someday be adequate, now that the ARGO effort is underway, and may produce true useful results only if great care is taken prior to analysis to validate intended techniques for utilizing the data developed by the floats. A great deal of blue-sky research is still needed to determine such things as the sources of the heat energy, why OHC might be changing, where it is changing, what the sign of the change is where change is found to be taking place, and onward.

      Throwing a lot of thermometer readings into a super-computer and churning out a impossibly precise single-number for Global OHC will not be good science.

      • Kip, far too much money wasted on desk bound ‘computer game’ research, and way not enough spent improving basic data quality/coverage or doing basic blue sky research on topics of known uncertainty like clouds, or the impact of tropical convection cells (Lindzen’s adaptive infrared iris hypothesis, for example). That CRN was not set up until this century is stunning. Ditto Argo. That AW had to crowdsource the surface stations project because NOAA had no clue as to the quality of its USHCN stations is beyond disappointing.

        Modelling based on data that isn’t fit for purpose has become a useless career for far too many. I suspect in part because the more good fit for purpose climate data we have, and the less uncertainty about big things like cloud feedback and OHC, the less there will be any genuine concern about speculated CAGW. The pause, lack of SLR acceleration, increasingly apparent basic model failings (delta T projection/observation, lack of symmetrical polar amplification), and the increasing stridency with which such things are denied/suppressed/distorted all sort of give the game away. It was from the beginning politically motivated pseudo/useless ‘junk’ climate science for the most part.

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to ristvan ==> While acknowledging the shortfalls, we don’t want to discount the overall value climate research too far….there is a lot to learn, a lot to known, and a lot of utility available in learning about what makes the climate system tick, what causes changes, asking if we can, ultimately, come up with reasonably reliable climate projections on regional and decadal scales. It would be a huge gain if we could even predict local regional climatic effects as far as the next planting and growing season.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        BWinchester,
        You note not a lot of discussion about climate sensitivity and some problems with its estimation, then you proceed to mention other work being done.
        The problem that you seem to miss is this. Climate sensitivity is a numerical way to show whether CO2 affects global surface temperatures and if so by how much. This is the main basis for current, hugely expensive dictates to change energy generation methods.
        If there is no credible CS number or range, we have to minimise the global warming GHG theory that now dominates.
        To some like me, the unwillingness of many to finally prove or disprove GHG theory is telling. I regard it as intellectual crime to allow political changes to deal with GHG outcomes when nobody knows if natural variation accounts for all observations.
        The diversion of research minds to other matters is not a compensation or consolation unless the fundamental assumption that GHG produce net atmospheric warming is settled. Note the word net.
        Until it is shown that GHG cause significant net warming, the rest of the derived work is simply wasted on chasing a straw man.
        That is, we have a scientific con similar to the global cooling scare, the Club of Rome scare, the chemical cancer scare and others.
        From this, you can see why much current research expenditure is wasted, or worse, it is falsely creating unnecessary social change at great expense.
        Where is the critical paper that proves GHG raises net atmospheric temperature? It does not exist, despite its Nobel potential.
        If you cannot see the severity of political action that this poor climate science is producing, you are blinkered. It is billions of dollars pissed against a wall.
        Geoff

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Kip and Rud,
        This short interchange has much that resonates, thank you.
        I have not brushed up on the original justification for big dollars to go into Argo. Kip, with your implicit approval for Argo, do you now know if it is fulfilling its original purpose – or are you liking it because of its serendipity capacity, being a programme pointing to more possible outcomes than originally thought, in the spirit of Judith’s leading essay?
        One can extend creativity through technology, as Argo will hopefully show. However, the ocean temperature programmes before Argo seem to have gone by the wayside as unfit for purpose, a hurdle that Argo now faces. So technology able to nurture creativity has one day to be shown fit for purpose.
        Just as, more widely, GHG theory has to be shown fit.

      • Reply to Geoff Sherrington ==> I’ll try to answer this:
        “Kip, with your implicit approval for Argo, do you now know if it is fulfilling its original purpose – or are you liking it because of its serendipity capacity, being a programme pointing to more possible outcomes than originally thought, in the spirit of Judith’s leading essay?”

        I do not necessarily approve of ARGO, nor disapprove. It is a bold experiment in data gathering about the oceans. What value it returns will depend on Ocean Science researchers paying very close attention to the points raised by Ioannids in the two essays highlighted by me here, and by others, such as in the recent book The Rightful Place of Science: Science on the Verge available as an eBook at little or no cost (with apologies for linking to a commercial site).

      • OHC will never be able to be estimated with any meaningful range in our lifetimes and probably a thousand lifetimes.
        Too much water, too little measuring devices, ARGO is pitiable, and too much unknown circulation
        If, a big if, it could be broken down and reproduced then you could, for instance tell when the necpxt 3 El Ninos would occur and, what’s more be right .
        Care to hazard a guess?

    • ARGO and Deep Argo will start to provide useful ocean temp data and thus planet heat balence, leading to temp measurement increase in global estimate but never down to 0.1 *C. Temps should be reported in degrees not anomolies to illustrate the magnitude of the estimated change vs the base measured observation.

      How they come up with, “the heat is now hiding in the deep southern ocean”, with no measurements is a useless set of projections?

      Kind of like single tree ring estimates for a 1,000 years record.

      Just admit what is an unknown and identify unkown unknowns to the extent observations allow. then make the hypothesis and test it in model projections. Focus on the new measurement platforms not on models.
      Scott

  30. If a particular item in scientific research is valid, that item frequently has applicability to other disciplines as well and can be used to explain another piece of an observation.

    The analysis of cigarette smoke identified the particulates and gases of incomplete combustion when burning biomass, in this case the tobacco leaf. The 7,000+ components that have been found has had applicability to burning other biomass whether farmers burning their fields, women cooking meals with biomass like dung, wood, charcoal, etc., and the contamination of the regional and micro local environments like the air people breath.

    The applicability of the individual components of biomass burning has changed over the years, such as in filtered cigarettes and non-filtered cigarettes. There was a rapid increase and subsequent decline in the use of woodburning stoves for indoor heating and an increase in respiratory disease during the “oil crisis” here in the US when OPEC turned off the oil spigots briefly. This was a short term experiment in respiratory illness initiation that had only a relatively brief relevance in the US.

    Globally, the linkage of indoor biomass burning to respiratory illness was the result of a paradigm shift from researchers searching for microbes, i.e., viruses, bacterial, fungi, etc to looking at the smoke from biomass burning leading to direct toxicity to the respiratory defense mechanisms.

    Components of biomass burning, when studied individually and in the aggregate also has applicability to air pollution, likely some high atmospheric changes, as well as immediate ground level impacts.

    The basic research into the components of cigarette smoke led first to the micronized filters on cigarettes, then to a greater understanding of human health impacts and to a broader recognition of individual components of smoke from biomass burning to other disciplines resulting in paradigm shifts.

    The basic research was valid for immediate impacts as well as longitudinal results.

    • Reply to RiHo08 ==> This is a side issue — but I am not so sure of your historical precedent — smoke. It has always been at least folk wisdom that breathing smoke daily/continuously (indoor hut/teepee/yurt/shack) was “bad for your health”. Early industrial age cities (such as London) had a lot of experience with general air pollution, and were well aware of its deleterious effects. Benjamin Franklin developed the cast iron “Franklin Stove” partly in an effort to reduce indoor air pollution in colonial American homes.

      So, the idea that smoke is bad for the pulmonary system of humans certainly did not originate with cigarette/tobacco research.

      Perhaps that is not what you meant to imply…..maybe that tobacco research simply lead back around to another, similar, even if well-known, problem.

      The effort to reduce the effects of indoor air pollution — caused by burning organics as cooking and heating fuel — that anyone cares about its effect on the profoundly poor — is fairly new — I first ran across it about 20 years ago, and it has been gaining momentum.

      During my years of humanitarian work in the Dominican Republic, I discovered that the vast majority of Dominican homes included a wood/charcoal cookstove — either as the primary cooking stove, a back-up system for when propane ran out/became too expensive, or for family events, at which cooking would be done in huge pots on a wood fire as a matter of course. This applies to nearly every Dominican home I visited (100s all across the class spectrum) except High Rise apartments in the capital city, Santo Domingo.

      • Kip Hansen

        Thank you for your reply.

        Re: Historical context: In early Colonial days, tobacco smoke was believed to be a herbal curative and was widely used by the prevailing health practitioners as such. Pipe stems were used to blow tobacco smoke up the rears of people with bowel disorders. Tobacco smoke was blown into the face of those who were in the midst of an acute respiratory difficulty. Such a practice continues to today in some of parts the Black communities as a legacy of traditional healers maintaining colonial health care traditions. In some of the areas of US, blowing cigarette smoke in the face of a child having an asthma attack still has its advocates and practitioners.

        Yes, the London Fog of 1952 did cause an increase in the incidence of respiratory death, falsely attributed at the time to “influenza” later identified as to coal burning and an atmospheric inversion. King James banned the use of coal burning by homes because of the visible pollution that coal burning caused. There was not a direct link to respiratory health at the time by what I have read.

        What I meant to say, that the research into the incomplete combustion of biomass, as in tobacco leaf, resulted in identifying 7000+ particulates and gases. That research on the composition of biomass smoke lead to applications in other research disciplines.

        During the oil embargo by OPEC 1972, there was a rush to use wood burning stoves as an alternative to oil heat for homes and businesses. The smoke indoors from the wood burning stove (WBS) that ensued from opening the firebox door made a lot of people, particularly children ill with respiratory diseases. When OPEC turned the oil spigots on, essentially, WBS became less popular as an alternative heating source, so did the incidence and prevalence of children’s respiratory illness, except of course for those children exposed to adults smoking (all sorts of things) in the homes.

        On a global scale, where 1.2 billion people use biomass for cooking almost exclusively, their life spans are much shorter, they die from pulmonary tuberculosis, still the most deadly disease in the world. The particulates and gases from burning biofuel injure and suppress the respiratory defense mechanisms and make those breathing these substances vulnerable to local infectious diseases.

        Ben Franklin’s stove, as you observed, was a fore-runner of the stoves which were popular in the 19th, and, in the more rural regions of US into the early 20th Century for heating homes and cooking meals. Ben’s stove was in part developed to save on wood, since the open hearth fireplace is only about 5% heat efficient and required much fuel, particularly in winter. When the fire dies out, the heat of the room goes up the chimney. There is a comment I believed ascribed to Ben that when standing in front of a fireplace, your front gets scorching hot and your backside is freezing cold. The Franklin stove reduces the amount of wood fuel one burns per year. This was at a time in Philadelphia when finding wood for fire burning took much more time out of one’s day/life as the forests were being denuded and one had to travel further out of town to get firewood.

        I am glad you had the opportunity and made the observation of biomass burning in the Dominican Republic.

        Regards

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to RiHo08 ==> And in my earlier life, in my back-to-the-land phase, we burned wood exclusively for heat in the first two of our homes in the American northeast, though we never had a wood fired kitchen stove. My grandmothers, both of them, did — and that during my lifetime.

        Smoking tobacco is a horrible idea (and so is smoking hemp).

        Nicotine, however, is a very powerful drug and has lots of acknowledged medicinal properties, many of which are under active research (as are the compounds found in marijuana, which may contain medicinally usable substances). Discover Magazine recently (2014) ran a feature story on nicotine.

        It is the delivery system — the smoking — for nicotine that is responsible for the harm — not, in most cases, the nicotine itself (given that all medicines can be overused, given in inappropriately high doses, etc).

        Doctors don’t prescribe smoking opium or laudanum for their patients but opioid compounds are used to create medicines/drugs that are mainstays of anesthesia and pain management practice.

      • Kip Hansen

        Thank you for sharing your New England WBS experiences and those of your grandparents. A Vermont Stove perhaps?

        As for nicotine, the human body has nicotinic neuro-receptors such that a physiological response is expected and researched. Much more information is being funded now after the passing of the social stigma of cigarette smoking and nicotine addiction once again allowing research dollars to flow into the understanding of nicotine and its body’s response.

        Marijuana, the kind that is smoked medicinally and recreationally has been selectively modified to enhance the mind altering compounds so one gets “stoned” quicker, the “high” stays longer and the impairment to cognitive function remains long after the high leaves. This cognitive impairment has been noted primarily in young and adolescent children resulting in “permanent” brain damage; i.e., lack of growth in intellectual capacity.

        The particulates of smoke frequently have attached molecules of anthracene and its cyclic analogues most of which are highly carcinogenic.

        The gases of incomplete combustion contain aldehydes such as acroline and formaldehyde coagulating respiratory mucus and impairing the muco-cilliary escalator clearance system.

        Other components to cigarette smoke and by extension biomass burning are substances that impair the macrophage phagocytic system and neutrophil and lymphocyte killing systems.

        None of this information is all that new. This information has been available in various portions of the literature, coming in part from the early cigarette smoking literature, which has impacted many areas of human physiology, biochemistry and clinical medicine research areas.

        My point was that understanding cigarette smoke composition opened many areas of research that hitherto were focused upon infectious diseases alone to explain human health impairments.

  31. Judith Curry

    On this beautiful sunny day, I am in moderation. I do not have a mean thought in my head, how can this be that I am in Purgatory, literally, Purgatory Harbour.

  32. Half of the years after 2009 will be warmest years:

    2010 – warmest year
    2011
    2012
    2013
    2014 – warmest year
    2015 – warmest year
    2016 – warmest year
    2017 –

    Definitely… no skill.

    • Cool.
      If they were the coldest, I’d be gettin’ really nervous.
      Wonder which calendar Gaia uses?
      Too bad we can’t have a more consistent planet like Mars.

  33. Steven Mosher

    Is much of current climate research useless?

    No. Next question?

  34. Is much of blog activity useless?

    • Very true.

      But some is enlightening and some is entertaining.

      About all one can ask from the free web blog sites.
      Scott

    • Yours is.

    • Steven Mosher

      is asking questions useless?

    • Let’s put our remarks into quadrants. Ioannidis seems to be winning.

      • Would this mean that Kip seems to be winning too?

        Guess who wrote this:

        The fact that science is so difficult to conduct is really telling in terms of how important it is. Science cannot be replaced, despite the denialists of HIV and climate change and those who espouse creationism approaches. Their chances of being correct are practically zero percent. We may get it wrong initially but hopefully, by using the scientific method, we have ways to improve on our initial errors and try to correct them.

      • That was before it became known that all of climate science research is useless.

      • JCH,

        Thanks for the confirmation. I thought there might have been some benefit, somewhere, somehow, but I’m probably wrong.

        I’ll accept your word that all climate science research is useless.

        Cheers.

  35. As we speak a Cat-5 global warming event is headed for Taiwan and China. This incredibly dangerous super global warming event may hit populated areas tonight! The global warming event already is lashing Taiwan. This heavily-impacting global warming event is the strongest in a long time– 160 mph AGW. 24 million people are endangered by the growing power of this global warming event’s eye wall. As we go into this weekend hopefully we will not hear horrible stories of loss of life and property caused by this global warming event.

  36. Audit this:

    Is much of military toys useless?

    • Monster bill for useless global warming research may swamp the economy– News at 11…!

      • I’ve never seen that Monster bill, Wagathon. Do you have it?

        Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse of what real auditors do:

      • The multi-billion-dollar agenda reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to using climate change to radically transform America. It reflects a determination to make the climate crisis industry so enormous that no one will be able to tear it down, even as computer models and disaster claims become less and less credible – and even if Republicans control Congress and the White House after 2016 [there exists] … a long list of regulators, researchers, universities, businesses, manufacturers, pressure groups, journalists and politicians with such strong monetary, reputational and authority interests in alarmism that they will defend its tenets and largesse tooth and nail. ~Paul Driessen, “The tip of the climate spending iceberg”

      • That’s not a bill, Wagathon – that’s the testimony of a conspiracist.

      • I think you are confusing the cost of global warming with the “bill of goods” that many in academia have sold us called global warming and that the counterculture of the 60s that is now the dominant power in Washington is selling its soul to push down the throats of gullible Americans — and to feather the nests of the 47%’rs — to hang onto political power.

      • > I think you are confusing […]

        Whatever you might think, Wagathon, which is not something I need to assume, either you are referring to a “Monster Bill” in your usual hyperbolic fashion, in which case we can discount it as your usual crap, or you can produce evidence for that Monster Bill.

      • The trans-fatheads of the global warming hoax apparently don’t pay taxes — everything is a free lunch with the productive footing the bill.

        But advocates of global warming with their dire warnings about the evils of CO2 emissions have got too firm a hold, their thinking become too widely accepted, for anything that sensible to be an option. Instead, they’re changing the sums, and manipulating the maths.

        The result is a growing burden of green taxes, renewable energy subsidies and unseen charges that will cost us — and particularly our children — billions and billions of pounds.

        Already, these additional costs are adding 50 per cent to all our energy bills, and 50 per cent to air-fares. At a time of severe economic hardship, when thousands of jobs are being lost and households struggle to make ends meet, this is a potentially ruinous burden. ~Johnny Ball

    • Willard,

      So let me get this straight.

      The military wastes gobs of money, so that justifies squandering gobs of money on CAGW research?

      It’s the old Adolf Eichmann defense: “If everybody is guilty, then nobody is guilty.”

      • > So let me get this straight.

        I doubt you ever will, Glenn.

        Here’s to the EU, wasting the taxpayers’ money on art:

        On art, Glenn! Can you imagine!

        Art!

      • In Australia we’ve found a way to merge mad military spending with mad climate spending.

        Green South Australia is a green basket case, with energy costs through the roof. A recent solution was to spend 50 billion dollars on manufacturing just 12 diesel powered French submarines (involving a very dodgy company called Thales) in uranium-rich-anti-uranium South Australia.

        The catch? If all goes well we’ll get one sub within the decade and the rest in maybe fifty years. (We have to hope that detection tech stays the same as now or gets worse. We also have to hope that South Australian unions behave ten times better than they ever have and that France will still be run by white-baguette Christians later in this century.)

        The contract was also meant to save a Federal seat for a government minister and stimulate the steel industry in the state. It has been pointed out that the South Australian steel industry will get ONE day’s extra production from the submarines over the next five decades. (Not making this up, Glenn…)

        So can you waste money on military hardware and climate white elephants at the same time? Bien sur! It’s like walking and chewing nougat.

      • > So can you waste money on military hardware and climate white elephants at the same time?

        Compare the size of both.

        Report.

      • The number one reason for voting for Brexit in the exit polls was “self-governance”. Nice try branding the Bexiteers as racists but it’s just not true.

        The tantrum being thrown by the fans of Euro Central Planning over the desire of a majority of Brits wanting to have the ability to hire/fire the people who write and enforce their laws is a hoot!

      • I’m guessing that Big Weapon is even bigger than Big Green in the US. I suppose it all depends on how one calculates (or forgets to calculate). Know any crafty data handlers?

        Here is Oz, nobody can waste like Big Green. Just the emergency diesel and imported coal power for our green states, Tassie and South Australia, would probably fund a small war.

      • > [N]obody can waste like Big Green.

        This begs to be audited, Moso, but first let’s put things in perspectives:

        This toy costs more than Australia:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/03/the-f-35-a-weapon-that-costs-more-than-australia/72454/

      • Willard, you know Hillary will need to be kept in the armaments to which she has become accustomed.

      • Climate – ‘change’ word – games
        and hockey -schtick fooling,
        pronouncements of Doomsday
        by Gore, Hansen, Suzuki,
        fiat-decisions by philosopher kings,
        these are a few of my un-favourite things.

        When the whips bite,
        when the scorn stings,
        when I’m feeling sad,
        I simply remember my un-favourite things,
        And that makes me feel more mad!

      • beththeserf,

        I sympathise, although the disabled deserve our compassion, rather than than our condemnation.

        Something along the lines of “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

        Being imperfect, I don’t always practice what I preach. Oh well, nobody’s perfect, eh?

        Cheers.

      • Schadenfreude – Mike,
        fer the politcos of
        resentment; never
        leave home w/out it,
        don it like an old coat,
        that schadenfreude
        that keeps on keeping on.
        )

      • Before Miss Andrews bursts into Dough Pay Me in honour of Hillary…

        Willard’s linked Atlantic article is remarkable. The headline promises to tell of a toy which costs more than Australia…then you find out that if you buy enough F-35s, like 2,443 of ’em, you can reach Australia’s GDP. Of course, if you buy enough jelly beans or badminton rackets you can also reach our GDP…

        The Atlantic is sort of a thinking amoeba’s HuffPo. While the article complains about supposed Tea Party attitudes to weaponry it shows great restraint in not mentioning the government of the time (2011) which was responsible for the arms – and for those bombs dropped on Libya four days after the date of Willard’s Atlantic article. Then Syria, Yemen…

        I wonder if President McCain and Vice President Palin can sleep nights. And I wonder if President Romney and Vice President Ryan can look at themselves in a mirror…after all that wasted military expenditure and senseless violence.

        We’ll soon find out more. I hear of a US presidential candidate whose “foundation” has taken a motza from the likes of Lockheed and Boeing, not to mention the Gulf States. They will tell us the money is going to help “kids” and “folks”…yeah, right.

        It can only be that beastly Mr Trump!

      • > you know Hillary

        Look, a liberal squirrel!

    • An auditor was asked, Why do you audit banks? They said, That’s where the money is. Areas are weighted by how much money there is there. To make something up, 10% of the accounts contain 90% of the money.

    • The question is whether much of climate research is useless. Cost is a red herring.

      • > The question is whether much of climate research is useless. Cost is a red herring.

        Check Kip’s definition of “useful climate research” and report.

  37. Part of the problem is the widespread use of statistics as a form of confirmation bias.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/beliefs-and-uncertainty-a-beyesian-primer/

  38. Comparing climate research and clinical research doesn’t really work for me.

    If we are testing a drug, diet, or lifestyle intervention, assuming we have a good design, we have a possibility at finding useful knowledge. We are also testing in an environment where we have at least some control over the variables relevant to the test. If whatever we are testing has some provable effect, we can tell doctors and patients to either do it or stop doing it depending upon the nature of the effect. This should have benefit which can be measured in longevity, improved health, and maybe dollars and cents. Now maybe many studies lack provable effects or have only marginal effects. I am not sure we should complain about that because part of knowledge is finding what does not work or what has no effects. On the other hand, if too many studies are not designed well enough to produce clear recommendations or to gather potential effects, that is a different issue which should be addressed.

    What is the equivalent to a drug, diet, or lifestyle intervention in climate science that we could test that would generate a measurable effect?

    We can’t put a bubble over a tropical island and measure what happens with marine life and plants if we pump in air conditioning or remove CO2 from the water. The best we can do are observations of the real world as it is or models of how it might be. We don’t have control over the variables in observing the real world. If a species is declining, is it temperature, rainfall, or the people clear cutting the forest nearby? Models in many cases may be the best we have but nobody would approve a new drug based on a model of how it might affect humans without actually testing it on humans (or at least animals).

    Producing useful research in climate science is much more problematic than it is in clinical research.

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to James Cross ==> You must have read the essay! You are right:

      “Producing useful research in climate science is much more problematic than it is in clinical research.”

      and while it may be more difficult to define, and do, Ioannidis suggests approaches that will help the field at least avoid known useless research — research that should be easily identified in the planning stages as guaranteed to be useless once completed.

      One problem Judith Curry has identified in climate science is the practice she calls “climate model taxonomy” whose results are always utterly useless and should have/could have been predicted to be so from the design stage.

      The questions raised by Ioannidis for clinical research and by me for Climate Science deal with the philosophy and practice of scientific research in the quest to cease the utter waste involved in doing useless research that is not designed to advance our knowledge base and does not produce usable results that inform decision-makers and policy-makers of the information they need to do their jobs.

      You seem to have an active interest in the topic, so I recommend a recent book: The Rightful Place of Science: Science on the Verge available as an eBook at little or no cost (with apologies for linking to a commercial site, not my usual practice).

    • James Cross said:

      Producing useful research in climate science is much more problematic than it is in clinical research.

      Well miracles never cease. There is finally something that we can agree on.

      But who is it, pray tell, that has made an industry out of conflating research in climate science with clinical research and of character assasination of anyone who doesn’t march the CAGW straight and narrow?

      • Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have demonstrated what many of us have long suspected: that the ‘debate’ over the climate crisis–and many other environmental issues–was manufactured by the same people who brought you ‘safe’ cigarettes. (Former Vice President Al Gore)

      • There can be no science without doubt: brute dogma leaves no room for inquiry. But over the last half century, a tiny minority of scientists have wielded doubt as a political weapon to halt what they did not want said: that tobacco kills or that the climate is warming because of what we humans are doing. (Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University)

      • With the carefulness of historians and the skills of master storytellers, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway lay out the sordid history of tobacco industry protectionists, who framed the debate as scientifically ‘unproven,’ gaining decades of market share for those merchants of death–who knew all along the risks of their products. Merchants of Doubt shows that some of the very same individuals were part of the plans to frame the climate change debate as unproven, using the same tried and true tactics of misrepresentation of facts, non-representative scientists, and industry-friendly legislators. (Stephen H. Schneider, Professor, Stanford University)

      • In their impeccably researched genealogy of denialism Merchants of Doubt, Conway and Oreskes show that a key group of figures in global warming denial earned their spurs in tobacco-industry-funded attempts to discredit the links between smoking and cancer. (New Humanist)

      • All in all, Oreskes and Conway paint an unflattering picture of why some scientists continue to stand against the overwhelming scientific consensus on issues at the center of public discussion. (USA Today)

      • The disturbing tale of how some scientists sell their souls to advance political and economic agendas. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

      https://www.amazon.ca/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

    • Well that isn’t entirely true. Rats aren’t a very good analog for a human. But they are easier to cage, take up less resources, and are less likely to have relatives that will hunt you down if you experiment on them.

      The climate models aren’t a good models of climate and don’t match real world data either.

      In the medical world they aren’t trying to make humans more like rats so that their study results are valid.

      However in the climate science with real world data…

  39. Pingback: Climate Research | Transterrestrial Musings

  40. “.. the utter waste involved in doing useless research that is not designed to advance our knowledge base and does not produce usable results that inform decision-makers and policy-makers of the information they need to do their jobs.”

    You’ve combined with an “and” advancing knowledge base and producing usable results.These are fairly different.

    Usable results are the sort that would be an emphatic do this or don’t do this other thing. You’re never going to get that sort of answer from climate science. I am mainly addressing the producing directly usable results part which I am basically saying may be almost impossible in climate science.

    The advancing knowledge part has its issues for sure but they are somewhat different, I think, from advancing science. I am all for better and more science but I won’t expect more than fairly general statements with little clear cut direction about what to do from climate science.

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to James Cross ==> I have tried to be careful to delineate Stokes’ three ‘good quadrants’ — the Bohr, Pasteur, and Edison Quadrants — and keep my criticism in line with Ioannidis and Curry to the lower left, the fourth quadrant, which I have labelled the Ioannidis Quadrant — signifying its low level of knowledge seeking and low level of “usefullness”.

      Yours: “Usable results are the sort that would be an emphatic do this or don’t do this other thing. You’re never going to get that sort of answer from climate science” conflates the rightful place of science with the role of policy-makers/decision-makers. Part of the problem with CliSci in general, as a field, is that it has taken the political stand that it has the right to tell policy-makers what solutions they must accept and enact. That is not the proper role of science. Scientific research results are only one of many informational-inputs to the policy/decision process.

      At another blog, I have been writing a series of essay (two so far, third in the oven) about Modern Scientific Controversies –Science Wars (The Salt Wars, the Great Barrier Reef Wars). One feature these public scientific squabbles share is that one of the polarized scientific positions feels it has the right, maybe even the duty, to dictate policy solutions.

      Interesting views on this point will be found in the same book recommended above.

      Thanks for taking an active part in the discussion here.

  41. David Springer

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/07/uah-global-temperature-update-for-june-2016-0-34-deg-c/

    Dig it. June 2016 global LT temperature anomaly a mere 0.34C following the second largest 2-month drop ever in the 38 year-long satellite global temperature record.

    Crisis averted!

    Now you break into your happy dance…

  42. David Springer

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/07/uah-global-temperature-update-for-june-2016-0-34-deg-c/

    June 2016 global LT temperature anomaly a mere 0.34C following the second largest 2-month drop ever in the 38 year-long satellite global temperature record.

  43. It was interesting to read one of the latest articles in The Economist and wading through the relentless barrage global warming propaganda about how human intervention is destroying the forests as proven by animal- and tree-killing wildfires, to then see in the 10 paragraph an admission that 2000 years of history tells us nothing unusual is happening and everything is completely natural, as follows:

    In much of the West fire is an important part of the natural system. The trees have evolved with it; slice through a 2,000-year-old giant sequoia, if you must, in one of the scattered groves of the Sierra Nevada where the world’s biggest tree is found, and its stump-rings would show burn-marks every 10-35 years. At such intervals, wildfires expunge disease, remove leaf litter and thin the understorey, creating space for new growth. They also moderate their own system, by preventing a build-up of fuel that can turn a restorative scorching into an inferno. Many plants are adapted to survive and take advantage of frequent burns. The sequoia’s thick bark makes it almost fireproof; it releases its cones in response to the heat of a wildfire and without this it may not reproduce.

  44. Here’s more on the problems with medical research, published in the NIH Record:
    Much Biomedical Research is Wasted, Argues Bracken
    BY ERIC BOCK
    As much as 87.5 percent of biomedical research may be wasteful and inefficient. So argued Dr. Michael Bracken at a recent Wednesday Afternoon Lecture in Masur Auditorium.

    “Waste is more than just a waste of money and resources,” said Bracken, the Susan Dwight Bliss professor of epidemiology at Yale University School of Public Health. “It can actually be harmful to people’s health.”

    For every 100 research projects, only half lead to published findings. Of those 50, half have significant design flaws, making their results unreliable. And of those 25, half are redundant or unnecessary because of previous work. “That’s how you get to 12.5 percent,” he said.

    The full article at:
    https://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2016/07_01_2016/story3.htm

    • Reply to Roland Hirsch ==> Thank you for the link to and the quotes from Dr. Bracken’s address at the NIH. His views and data are right in line with Ioannidis.

  45. I apologise for ignoring the threading, but Steven Mosher wrote –

    “To be falsifiable you dont actually have to do the experiment
    the experiment doesnt have to be doable.”

    Warmists are trying to redefine the scientific method. Warmists seem to think that “doable experiments” are no longer necessary. Computer model outputs are considered to be experiments, and so on.

    What complete Warmist foolishness. I’ll no doubt have a great pile of steaming Warmist dung dropped on me for referring to a dead scientist, but as Feynman said –

    “And now you find a man saying that it is an irrelevant demand to expect a repeatable experiment. This is science?”

    At present, climatology does not satisfy the requirements of science. A mad proclamation that a cooling planet can be heated by increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s all. Assertion, unsupported by either theory or experiment.

    Repeatable physical experiment is the foundation of the scientific method. That’s all I expect from the obviously Witless Warmists – a repeatable experiment. Steven Mosher, at least, believes experiments are irrelevant.

    I don’t.

    Cheers.

  46. I knew this post would set off a flurry of handbag fights! Love it!

  47. Peter Lang

    Mosher said:

    The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.

    The statement is blatantly false.

    However, there is another important point. The playing field is strongly tilted in favour of the alarmists and against the sceptics. The alarmists – such as Mosher – get enormous amounts of funding to support the resources that enable them to respond to requests for data and methods and other information. Sceptics, in general, have nowhere near the resources needed to properly test the alarmists “science” / advocacy or to respond to their requests and spamming. Often the sceptics are self funded. The CAGW advocates get most of the $1.5 trillion spent each year on the climate industry. The sceptics get almost none of this.

    To get to the truth, the sceptics should be getting more funding than the alarmists so the research done by the alarmist is thoroughly tested. This is not happening.

    I’d suggest, if an alarmist wants code and other data from a sceptic, the alarmist should offer to pay the full cost of whatever is necessary to prepare it. Mosher, if you want data or code from a sceptic, offer to pay for the full cost of providing it to you. This might stop you being a bloody nuisance.

    • Hi Peter,

      Just IMO:

      Steven Mosher | July 7, 2016 at 12:26 am |

      I experimented with this. The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics. The only people who refused to actually check methods were skeptics.

      Steven Mosher | July 7, 2016 at 1:47 pm |
      I never asked Mann for data. I would not know.
      in MY EXPERIENCE the only times I have been denied data and code
      was when I asked skeptics for it.

      I read these statements as clearly attaching significant qualification/context to “The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.”

      —————-
      Mosher, if you want data or code from a sceptic, offer to pay for the full cost of providing it to you. This might stop you being a bloody nuisance.

      In a litigious environment, an adversarial environment you [the author(s)] open the books. It is not incumbent upon you to translate the ‘books’–though it may well be advantageous in advancing your position–but you open the books. That is a cost of substantive participation in the present and in the future.

      Though–as you know–am not optimistic about achieving a rational decision making process, e.g., Peter Lang | July 6, 2016 at 11:30 pm | , it is still a worthy goal.

      • MWGrant,

        Thanks you.

        Does science have to proceed by litigious environment? I suggest this is not what we should be aiming for. I agree with what Omanuel often states: i.e. science became corrupted when the state started paying for research to get the answer it wanted (often for political advantage).

        I’d suggest, if we are going to continue with public funding of research (and I agree we should, but the proprtions should be unbiased), we need to find a way to remove the bias in the allocation of funds. Perhaps some five times more funding should be allocated to testing the hypotheses and reproducing results of others’ research than on simply doing new research. Research to attempt to falsify the hypotheses should be given more funding that research to support the consensus.

      • Peter,

        Does science have to proceed by litigious environment?

        Many contentious problems involving science and decision-making and dealing with much lower risks than than climate change do at some stage take place in such an environment. Our institutions are in part put and place to resolve and solve contested issues. As you are aware the idea is to engender rational policy approaches. Given the higher risks associated with the complete set of actions, i.e., including no action, in climate change it seems only reasonable to consider approach “successful” or at least tested in litigious circumstances as a model to consider in the much more risk-ladden climate change issue.

        I’d suggest, if we are going to continue with public funding of research (and I agree we should, but the proprtions should be unbiased), we need to find a way to remove the bias in the allocation of funds.

        This is a red-herring issue in the context of policy. It is an ‘general’ issue but not nearly as important as determining what is needed to advance a rational ‘best’ climate policy. Also of course ‘science’ is only part of the game and thus many scientific experts are not initially intellectually equipped (without further training) to effectively contribute in multi-faceted decision-making. Needs of policy determine the science for that policy. Science informs but does not determine the policy–the latter is the driver.

        Anyway, that’s IMO.

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        It would take a lot of space to discuss this. Science will get nowhere if it has to be run on a litigious basis with lawyers ultimately making the decisions.

        I interpret (perhaps misinterpret) your comment that you are assuming GHG emissions are dangerous. I am not convinced that is the case.

        This is a red-herring issue in the context of policy.

        I strongly disagree on this. IMO the bias in funding for climate change research is a major and fundamental problem. If it had not been for the funding bias, we’d have much better understanding than we do, the main stream media scare mongering would not have happened to the same extent, wouldn’t be wasting $1.5 trillion per year on the climate industry which is making absolutely no difference to the risks or consequences of GHG emissions.

      • Peter,

        I interpret (perhaps misinterpret) your comment that you are assuming GHG emissions are dangerous. I am not convinced that is the case.

        You misinterpret. As a decision-maker, at this point in time I would admit the possibility that GHG emissions are dangerous, but I have been careful to use the term risk. I consider characterizing that risk and the risks from all other alternative/outcomes a paramount task, but also recognize that there are limitations. That is, my decision still will have to be made under some degree of uncertainty.

        As far as the ‘red herring’ comment. I can not do anything about history but fixing funding is useless for climate policy if we do not put in place viable decision-making processes. Also doing the latter increases pressure for doing the former.

      • Peter Lang

        Mwgrant

        As a decision-maker, at this point in time I would admit the possibility that GHG emissions are dangerous, but I have been careful to use the term risk. I consider characterizing that risk and the risks from all other alternative/outcomes a paramount task, but also recognize that there are limitations. That is, my decision still will have to be made under some degree of uncertainty.

        I agree with all that in theory. But we have to be pragmatic. We need to move on and stop wasting so much money on the climate industry. We’ve spent 30 years and billions of dollars on researching climate change, mostly aimed at trying to evaluate climate sensitivity. However, the uncertainties on ECS have hardly changed in 30 years. And the climate industry globally is now costing around $1.5 trillion per year for no benefit. It would be foolish to think that continuing to focus on climate research is going to change much anytime soon – especially as it has become more like a religion than science. There is no sound justification to support a case that human caused GHG emissions are dangerous or catastrophic. The attempts to show that have failed so far. All the advocates have is innuendo and scaremongering. If you disagree with me on this, can you please tell me the probability that human caused GHG emissions will be catastrophic for life on earth, or cause billions or millions of human deaths – and the authoritative, unbiased source for your figure.

        As far as the ‘red herring’ comment. I can not do anything about history but fixing funding is useless for climate policy if we do not put in place viable decision-making processes. Also doing the latter increases pressure for doing the former.

        Well, again, implementing formal, sophisticated decision making would be great. But it hasn’t happened yet. How do you propose to proceed to get it in place and widely accepted quickly?

        I’d suggest there is much more chance of politicians recognizing the huge bias and waste in the public funding of climate science (given mostly to advocates of CAGW) than there is of getting the IPCC and the world’s nations’ governments to implement the sort of decision making you are suggesting – and getting the required input data in anything shorter than decades. Addressing the enormous bias in the funding and the enormous funding for climate research would be beneficial for many reasons.

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        You suggest we need to:

        put in place viable decision-making processes

        I agree that is highly desirable. But, realistically, how could it be achieved? How could we even influence it?

        I’d suggest a start might be to offer to write a post for CE that explains and shows an example of how this could be done. You could use some example values (e.g for probabilities) and ask contributors to post alternative values from authoritative sources. I’d be very interest in such a post.

      • You might need a means of having a frequently updated summary of the science.

      • You might need a means of having a frequently updated summary of the science.

        Great Idea! Let’s set one up.

        We can start by banning anybody associated with the IPCC AR5 from playing any part beyond making comments to a public repository.

        We also ban anybody who’s been part of any UN bureaucracy or environmental NGO within the last 10 years.

        But first, we have to abolish the IPCC.

        Oh wait! Perhaps we can start here.

      • JCH,

        Updating climate science. Fantastic idea! I’m sure Steven Mosher would volunteer to recalculate historic temperature averages, fabricating missing data as necessary to achieve the required outcome. He calls this science, and calls himself a scientist, so you get two for the price of one!

        Or maybe, having downloaded the code and data, he could produce even more different and pointless model outputs (all different, of course) from the current crop of computer games played by the motley ragtag crew masquerading as scientists.

        Maybe you could consult an expert like Gavin Schmidt – a mathematician, not a real scientist, but calls himself a climate scientist. He says he’s an expert in communication, or some such.

        You would have to ignore the IPCC (you probably consider them a pack of fools, anyway) which states categorically that predicting future climate states is impossible.

        I admire your faith. Keep calling the charade “climate science”, and maybe it will come true. CO2 heats nothing.

        Cheers.

      • Peter Lang,

        Well, again, implementing formal, sophisticated decision making would be great. But it hasn’t happened yet.

        And it will not happen. As an exercise, ‘climate change’ presents an extraordinary problem–in the technical world and decision world–admitting multiple approaches. As a practical matter I do not think that there is much point (for society) in pursuing the matter. Our political structures are in shambles.

        How do you propose to proceed to get it in place and widely accepted quickly?

        I don’t, but writing hypothetically: Work small from the perspective of a tool* to probe the decision and explore needs and priorities–and broaden perspectives. The idea is that a tool is used for a restricted task. The problem is complex. Multiple perspectives are needed. Use the tools to explore the decision/policy needs and ramifications finding the soft spots in information and proposed policy–and would not be to ‘make’ decisions. One would anticipate considerable bootstrapping.
        ————–
        * A set of tools–there is are a lot of methodologies out there each with its own pros and cons.

        I’d suggest there is much more chance of politicians recognizing the huge bias and waste in the public funding of climate science (given mostly to advocates of CAGW) than there is of getting the IPCC and the world’s nations’ governments to implement the sort of decision making you are suggesting – and getting the required input data in anything shorter than decades. Addressing the enormous bias in the funding and the enormous funding for climate research would be beneficial for many reasons.

        Getting rid of the waste is only part of a solution and your chances at that (at least here in the US) are virtually nil. Addressing bias in funding is not addressing the ‘climate change’ issue–except maybe emotionally for some folks. These are two separate problems–related but separate problems. Alll I intended above is to keep a focus on ‘climate change’. This reflects my sense that time is a key factor. [To be clear: not time to avoid certain disaster but time does influence downstream alternative outcome risks.]

        For fun: permit me to ask the ‘same’ question of you: How do you propose to get politicians recognizing and acting on the huge bias and waste in the public funding of climate science quickly? :o)

      • JCH,
        You might need a means of having a frequently updated summary of the science.

        No doubt. Iteration is unavoidable.

      • I’ve only just noticed your last comment here:

        And it will not happen. As an exercise, ‘climate change’ presents an extraordinary problem–in the technical world and decision world–admitting multiple approaches. As a practical matter I do not think that there is much point (for society) in pursuing the matter. Our political structures are in shambles.

        I agree it is idelogically driven. That’s why we need to
        1. keep pointing out the enormous bias in the funding and the enormous waste of money on the climate industry (claimed by the industry and insurers to be $1.5 trillion per year)

        2. Encourage the use of formal decision analysis to justify GHG mitigation and energy policies and to justify funding for research.

        I accept the climate issue is a wicked mess and our politics and legislatures are a mess. We can all throw up our hands and do nothing. Or we can continually knock down every rational proposal or we can try to make a constructive contribution – I choose to try to contribute to the latter.

        I agree there is no point trying to discuss this in blog comments. I look forward to discussing by email how we might contribute to progress by showing how decision analysis might be used to make better decisions on the most important issues.

    • @ Peter Lang –
      “The alarmists – such as Mosher”

      If Steven Mosher is an alarmist then I’m completely lost as to what your definitions of alarmist and ‘skeptic’ are. Could you please define them for me?

      I’ve thrown the term alarmist around in the past, but there should be limits.

      • -1=e^iπ

        Long history to this. No matter how often Mosher is asked what are the impacts of GHG emissions, he dodges the question (often flying into a rage or going into a sulk for daring to ask the Great Mosher a question he can’t answer). But despite dodging questions about the impacts, Mosher keeps saying (in effect) that GHG emissions are dangerous, and sceptics are dumb and stupid for not accepting his religious beliefs, sceptics have lost the arguments, sceptics have nothing and ….”Too funny” and bla bla bla!

        If the impacts cannot be shown to be a significant problem, then there is no valid justification for the $1.5 trillion per year being wasted on the climate industry. It could be much better spent on many other policies that would deliver much greater benefits to humanity.

      • I’d like to help out, Peter.

        An alarmist is one who ignores natural history and the natural world around him in order to accelerate the production of white elephants through the provision of “data”, usually superficial numbers drawn from shallow assumption and inadequate observation.

        (White elephants may not be the motive, but they are the inevitable result. From Brussels to Washington to Canberra, we now live in a lobby kind of world.)

      • If the impacts cannot be shown to be a significant problem, then there is no valid justification for the $1.5 trillion per year being wasted on the climate industry.

        This doesn’t follow. Your overall argument seems to be structured as “if the impacts are uncertain, they can be ignored”.

        “Dangerous” just means that something is risky. And even with a low sensitivity of 2C/doubling, we’d still be putting ourselves at a rather substantial amount of risk with current emissions.

      • Steven Mosher

        Let us see if we can edumacate peter.

        ” No matter how often Mosher is asked what are the impacts of GHG emissions, he dodges the question (often flying into a rage or going into a sulk for daring to ask the Great Mosher a question he can’t answer). But despite dodging questions about the impacts, Mosher keeps saying (in effect) that GHG emissions are dangerous, and sceptics are dumb ”

        1. GHGs will lead to more warmer.
        2. How is uncertain.
        3. Best science says between 1.5 and 4.5

        Damages? Impacts? Strictly speaking not my area of expertise. Rather than spout off like Peter and assert certainty where there is none , I will stick to saying ..estimates of possible damage vary and that we really don’t need to calculate damages because cost benefit analysis is the wrong tool for wicked problems. Better to forge sensible agreement about advancing nuclear and building resilience into our systems.

      • Moisher,

        That’s a clear example of your ignorance about policy and you confirm you are an alarmist. You admit you know nothing about damages or impacts and yet you assert that GHG emissions are dangerous. You are clearly an Alarmist, gullible, and ignorant of what informs policy.

      • Mosher’s comment at July 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm is after I posted my replies to his earlier two comments; my two replies are here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/07/06/is-much-of-current-climate-research-useless/#comment-795895

        It seems Mosher ignored them or realised he is wrong but cannot admit it. However, these comment confirm he is an alarmist. He argues that GHG emissions are dangerous with zero evidence, but uses innuendo to imply scary something. he also admits he knows nothing about impacts.

    • Mosher said:

      The only people who refused to disclose their data and methods were skeptics.

      The statement is blatantly false.
      #################################

      Err No it’s not. As I said in MY EXPERIENCE the only people who refused were skeptics.

      I listed the people who provided me code and data, Most famously
      Hansen. You were not here in 2007 when I went on a crusade following Steve Mcintyre to get the code from Hansen. we succeeded. He deserves more credit than me. I was just a pest in the comments to RC I used to sign out every post I made with “Free the code, Free the data, Open the debate”. As I noted in the comments “Free the code” worked. You can go search RC for all my comments

      https://climateaudit.org/2007/09/08/hansen-frees-the-code/

      ON the other hand when it came to getting data from Skeptics who had Publsihed papers. Scafetta, Monkton, and Watts all refused

      Scaffeta not only refused me he refused Steve McIntyre and Gavin in 2009

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/04/new-scafetta-paper-his-celestial-model-outperforms-giss/#comment-403346

      Later Scaffetta refused to disclose his code for his paper with Craig Loehle.
      Craig ( a free the data kind of guy ) apologized.

      SO… You dont believe me?

      Here is Scafetta’s co author

      “Mosh,
      Yes I condemn Scafetta for not sharing data and models, but he does not work for me. For my part, all my work is done in Mathematica, and if anyone wants to see anything, the entire analysis is in a nice neat package.
      Rob pointed out that the large number of authors was to give a “robust” reply. I interpret that to mean “powerful” as in not just one or two guys but the entire field.
      I do not think my comments about fear are misplaced wrt critiqueing Mann. Disregarding those who agree with him, there is in fact trepidation and a number of specific cases of people driven from the field or fired (editors) or attempted to be fired from their jobs.
      I would be curious to see Rob’s response to Jim Bouldin’s new summary of the issues with tree ring analyses (and it applies equally to MXD unless it can be shown othewise). http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/author/jrbouldin/

      Nov 27, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

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

      Watts, refused in a paper he published online in July 2012. He has since updated that with a AGU poster. Still refuses to release the data even under an NDA.

      “However, there is another important point. The playing field is strongly tilted in favour of the alarmists and against the sceptics. The alarmists – such as Mosher – get enormous amounts of funding to support the resources that enable them to respond to requests for data and methods and other information. ”

      HUH? I worked for free from 2007 to 2012. Posted code and data.
      Trust me I dont get enromous sums. Finally. It COSTS NOTHING
      to upload your code to github and to host your data. I have EXPLICITLY STATED THAT I REQUIRE NO SUPPORT. When anyone posts their code and data I NEVER ask them questions about it. Period. All they need to do is make it available. I’m self supporting.

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

      “Sceptics, in general, have nowhere near the resources needed to properly test the alarmists “science” / advocacy or to respond to their requests and spamming. Often the sceptics are self funded. The CAGW advocates get most of the $1.5 trillion spent each year on the climate industry. The sceptics get almost none of this.”

      Here is my position. IF you want me to LOOK at your claims, if you want me to accept or reject them, then I request the data as used and the code as run. Nothing more. Otherwise I cannot evaluate your claims. I have no obligation to “disprove” your claims if you cant make them in a rational open manner.

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

      To get to the truth, the sceptics should be getting more funding than the alarmists so the research done by the alarmist is thoroughly tested. This is not happening.

      I’d suggest, if an alarmist wants code and other data from a sceptic, the alarmist should offer to pay the full cost of whatever is necessary to prepare it. Mosher, if you want data or code from a sceptic, offer to pay for the full cost of providing it to you. This might stop you being a bloody nuisance.

      1. The full cost of providing it is ZERO. to publish the paper they had to already write the code and collect the data. The cost of posting it or emailing it is ZERO.

      2. You cannot make a scientific claim without sharing your code and data.
      You can ADVERTISE that you did science.. but to demonstrate that
      you did it, you have to supply the code and data. Sorry.
      3. I hold the same rules for everyone. Read them carefully.
      A) IF you expect me to believe you
      B) IF you think I have an obligation to “find your error”
      C) IF you think that what you say is true UNLESS someone finds the error,

      Then, share your data and your code. Otherwise, you have not made a claim worth considering. You might be right.. other people may swallow what you are dishing.. but not me.

      Now I find it particularly funny since Peter you always ask people information to back up their claims

    • Peter

      “I’d suggest, if an alarmist wants code and other data from a sceptic, the alarmist should offer to pay the full cost of whatever is necessary to prepare it. Mosher, if you want data or code from a sceptic, offer to pay for the full cost of providing it to you. This might stop you being a bloody nuisance.”

      Alarmist?

      Huh.

      Lets see if I can help you.

      I’m a luke warmer. One of the originals.

      Let me see if I can explain what that meant to me.

      1. GHGs will warm the planet all else being equal.
      2. How much is the key question
      3. The best estimate is somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C.
      4. IF you asked me to bet, I would take the Under bet at ECS =3C

      So the best science tells us that the world will warm somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C. Please note that this says nothing about damages. please note it says ZERO about catastrophe. Its just a simple recitation of the best science.. and that science is of course not perfect. Its simply better than what skeptics publish.

      Calculating damages is fraught with uncertainty, not to mention the benefits.

      Consequently I suggest a different approach that doesnt even look at future damages.

      A) The science tells us that some additional warming is going to happen REGARDLESS of what we do.
      B) Experience tells us that we are not prepared for the Weather of the PAST much less the weather of the future if it gets worst.
      C) It makes sense, while we sort out the picture of future damages to do the following.

      1. Shift away from Coal to Natural gas and Nuclear,especially the latter.
      2. Invest more heavily in innovation in energy rather than subsidzing
      deployment of unripe technology.
      3. Start adapting now for the weather of the past. In short start adaptation now while we make some sensible moves on the emissions front

      Alarmist? No hopeful. Some people call us Luck warmers. and to large extent there is truth in that. Put another way if ECS is 4.5C we are effed.

      • Stephen Mosher,

        Thank you for your two good, informative, well explained comments. [As an aside: It’s a pity you don’t write all your comments like that.] I accept most of what you say. I did know about your good work back around 2007 (I don’t remember the exact date) to get the data code etc. from Michael Mann (I seem to recall).

        Your comments since I’ve been participating on CE have seemed to me to be alarmist. For example, you call people who do not accept your position “deniers” and “skeptics” (used in pejorative meaning).

        You say:

        Consequently I suggest a different approach that doesn’t even look at future damages.

        This is clearly starting with an assumption GHG emissions are dangerous or doing more harm than good and this requires market interventions to correct the perceived problem.

        If it cannot be demonstrated that GHG emissions cause damages that exceed the benefits there is no rational justification for the massive funding for climate research or for IPCC or for the EPA regulations to strangle fossil fuels and damage the US economy, and policy interventions in all other countries.

        Therefore, the damage function is the most information we need to justify interventionist policies and funding for the climate industry (estimated at $1.5 trillion per year). If GHG emissions are net beneficial, or produce insignificant damages, or damages are less than the opportunity cost of the funds required for mitigation policies, then we should not be funding the climate industry.

        I support truly ‘no regrets’ policies and I agree that reducing the cost of energy is a massively beneficial policy for the world. Removing the impediments on nuclear power would be one way to make massive improvements to the human wellbeing globally. I think we agree on that.

      • Stephen Mosher,

        Put another way if ECS is 4.5C we are effed.

        This is an unjustified assertion. This assertion is based on several unstated (alarmist?) assumptions

        1. ECS is 4.5C or greater, AND
        2. We will continue to emit CO2 at a high rate, AND
        3. That carbon sinks will not respond by taking up CO2 faster, AND
        4. The consequences of increasing GHG concentrations in the atmosphere is highly damaging or dangerous or catastrophic – but we do not seem to have evidence to demonstrate that!

      • Steven Mosher

        Peter.
        ” This is clearly starting with an assumption GHG emissions are dangerous or doing more harm than good and this requires market interventions to correct the perceived problem.”

        Wrong.

        The assumption is this.
        1 we will continue to emit ghg.
        2. Co2 doubling will cause the planet to warm.
        3. Assuming an ECS of 3 or more this warming
        May cause damages.

        It’s future emissions that may have dangerous consequences. For example they could lead to sea level rise that would cost billions to adapt to.

        Since limiting emissions is small cost it’s basically worthwhile as insurance.

      • David Springer

        Mosher quickly backtracks from “if ECS is 4.5C we are phucked” to “we might be phucked”.

        Then he clumsily asserts, to save some face, since reducing emissions doesn’t cost much it’s worth it.

        Okay, now either walk that back or state how much the cost and how much damage is reduced per unit cost.

        Imbecile.

      • Mosher,

        May cause damages.

        It’s future emissions that may have dangerous consequences. For example they could lead to sea level rise that would cost billions to adapt to.

        Since limiting emissions is small cost it’s basically worthwhile as insurance.

        Wrong! Wrong! and Wrong!

        Anything “may” happen. It’s meaningless but an example of innuendo for scaremongering purposes. You can’t make policy and commit multi-trillion dollar funding for unjustified beliefs of people trying to get more funding for an irrational belief – stupid!

        If you cannot quantify the impacts of GHG emissions and show they are significantly negative, then you have no rational argument for funding. You are simply an alarmist involve in baseless, reprehensible scaremongering.

        The estimated costs of mitigation greatly exceed the hypothesised benefits of reduced climate damages (even with inputs based on alarmist’s assumptions – read this to understand them: http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/ )

        Perhaps you are dummer than I had though up till now. perhaps you thing degrees of temperature change is a measure of impact. To enlighten you, it is not. As Springer says: Write that down!

  48. Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog and commented:
    “Overall, not only are most research findings false, but, furthermore, most of the true findings are not useful.”

  49. I remember a conversation with another petrophysicist many years ago. He said he never read papers on petrophysics because 90% of them were bullsh*t. I replied that I read them for the 10% that actually had something to say. I must have a very high tolerance for bullsh*t.

  50. I think that an accountants job is to provide information that is useful to management. They do a lot of history. You can’t count something that has not happened yet. I suppose the information is like keeping the score. Is it enough for climate science to keep score? The policy makers can make their charts and argue from there. One chart will show the pause if we still have one, and the next one will show a rising staircase and do the policy makers really care about the new heat in the deep oceans? We can keep score of the sea level rise. More charts from both sides of the debate. If a company hired accountants to do the kinds of GCM studies that are being done, studying potential real bad things, I think someone would figure out they were wasting a lot of money for something no one was using to make money or limit expenses. If accountants were working on how to prevent something 30 years in the future, the consensus would say no one cares. We have to watch the next few years. Trying to be agile and adaptive. Okay, we can have a meeting about potential problems 30 years from now and pay a consultant but let’s limit that to more than 3 hours once or twice a year. But do we need to hire the consultant full time? I don’t think so.

  51. David Springer

    Mosher’s an imbecile playing at being a scientist. In a long diatribe he tries to describe falsifiability and then drones on about falsifiability in principle. Popper’s widely accepted demarcation between science and pseudo-scientific hypotheses, that a valid hypothesis must be falsifiable, needs only be falsifiable in principle not necessarily in practice.

    Here’s difference.

    Hypothesis 1: It will not rain in Texas in the year 2017.
    Hypothesis 2: It will not rain in Texas in the year 2517.

    Hypothesis 1 is falsifiable in practice. Observing one rain event in Texas next year will do it. It’s falsifiable in practice.

    Hypothesis 2 is falsifiable in principle. One can wait 500 years and one rain event in Texas will falsify it. It’s not falsifiable in practice to wait that long for experimental results.

    Climate science is largely falsifiable in principle but not in practice.

    So I’ll ask again. Someone please describe how ECS in the range of 1.5C to 4.5C with 95% confidence may be falsified in practice.

    If it can’t be falsified in practice then we must either wait or take it as a matter of faith that the hypothetical ECS range is true. If faith then it’s a religion not a science.

    • A religion that gives their faith to the unknown god. Catch a gold coin in the lap at the same time…very efficient.

    • Steven Mosher

      “So I’ll ask again. Someone please describe how ECS in the range of 1.5C to 4.5C with 95% confidence may be falsified in practice.”

      easy

      ECS = ExtraWattsFromdoublingc02 * Delta C/ (Delta F + Delta Q)

      demonstrate that The extra watts from doubling c02 is zero.
      you can do that by falsifying radiative transfer physics.
      if you falsify radiative transfer then ECS falls apart.

      Basically sky dragons try to falsify ECS by claiming that there are no excess watts from doubling c02.

      just rearrange the equation silly

      • Steven Mosher,

        You jest, of course.

        There are no excess watts from doubling CO2. There. Said.

        Dry ice is 100% CO2. It emits less watts (your term) than 50% CO2 at a higher education temperature. Doubling CO2 results in a lower temperature, here.

        Cylinders of CO2 cannot be distinguished from each other on the basis of temperature alone, regardless of the amount, pressure, or concentration of the CO2 they contain.

        Fill a party balloon with CO2.

        Fill another one with Argon.

        Let them come to equilibrium with the environment. They are both at exactly the same temperature. No extra anything from CO2.

        Saying, as you, that doubling CO2 produces extra watts, is just mental aberration.

        CO2 produces nothing, except in the febrile imaginings of deranged or gullible Warmists.

        Cheers.

      • David Springer

        Extra watts of sunlight over the ocean is one thing. Extra watts of sunlight over land is the same thing. Extra watts of infrared over dry land is the same thing.

        Extra watts of longwave infrared over land is the ocean is a different thing. It is absorbed in the first few microns of the surface stripping off water molecules by evaporation without any measured warming.

        The warmist hypothesis is that the ocean is warmed by longwave infrared illumination from above. How has that been tested?

      • David Springer

        “extra watts of infrared over the ocean is a different thing”

      • David Springer

        No, I have falsifiability correct. Too funny is you pretending to be a scientist.

    • too funny. you got falsfiability wrong David, so now you copy what I wrote about demarcation ( you had to look that up too funny ) and now pretend that you understand the philosophy of science.

      amusing.. Mr scott

      • David Springer

        I’m not sure where Mr. Scott comes from. My middle name is Scot with a single ‘t’. However, in that spirit I’ll address you in the same manner, Mr. Poseur.

      • Steven,

        You’ve really lost the plot.

  52. Kip Hansen wrote:

    For the purposes of this essay, we will set the definition of “useful climate research” as:

    “Climate research that can lead to a favorable change in decision making regarding climate when changes in benefits, harms, cost, and other impacts are considered.”

    I do not care for this definition. The important variables–and potentially some areas of research–in a decision are determined by structuring the decision. That is, one first must determine what information is needed for the decision based on a concise and unambiguous formulation of the decision(s).

    Also “can lead to a favorable change in decision making” is nothing more than a hope and a pray. Who knows where a given line of research will lead. The best you can hope to do is maximize your chances of a good outcome from the decision/policy. And there are no guarantees or silver bullets in the face of uncertainty–good decisions can have bad outcomes.

    • typo “a hope and a prayer”

    • Peter Lang

      MWGrant

      IMO,

      Step 1 is to determine if catastrophic global warming is a realistic outcome of humans GHG emissions. I’ve been asking the alarmists to provide persuasive evidence and argument to support their belief that catastrophic global warming is a realistic possibility. They have not done so. I doubt a persuasive/valid case can be made.

      Step 2, If the ‘catastrophic consequences’ are ruled out then the decision should be based on rational economic cost benefit analysis – i.e. expected monetary value of mitigation versus expected monetary value of reduced climate damages as a result of the mitigation costs expended. http://www.brighthubpm.com/risk-management/48245-calculating-expected-monetary-value-emv/

      IMO, the probability of catastrophe is negligible.

      The Social Cost of Carbon should be set at zerohttp://reason.org/files/social_costs_of_regulating_carbon.pdf

      That means, and policies to reduce emissions must be justified without taking into account any assumed reduction in climate damages.

      We’re back to where we were in 1991 – i.e. the only mitigation policies that can be justified are no regrets policies.

      • Peter, I am reflecting on Kip’s definition of ‘useful research’ here.

        BTW what constitutes a “realistic outcome “? I am sure there are various opinions on that topic and they would need to be sorted out.

        Also in step 1 where would you go if the determination–to a finite degree–is affirmative? Are your research needs different? Also that determination requires time to carry out. How does that potential constrain the research and by extension policy implementation?

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        I am not sure where we are going with this. It seems like we are delving down into being pedantic about meaning of general terms before the big picture is agreed. I fully agree that terms would have to be defined. But we risk missing the point of my comment.

        As I said above, to try to drill down to address your comments in detail in here is impossible. I could try to be more careful with choice of words, add definitions and caveats to everything statement, but clearly that is not possible.

        I’ll improve the wording of the two points you asked about:

        Step 1 is to determine if human-caused GHG emissions can cause catastrophic global warming (where “can” means more than a negligible probability). A definition of ‘catastrophic’ might be something like end of human civilization, or billions (or millions) of deaths attributable to human caused GHG emissions.

        People may jump in here and argue endlessly about the definition of “catastrophic” or “dangerous” global warming, or “negligible probability” and then the point I made becomes obscured in FUD.

        Also in step 1 where would you go if the determination–to a finite degree–is affirmative?

        Then you proceed with what I said here (all of them, and 4, 5 and 6 are essential): https://judithcurry.com/2016/07/06/is-much-of-current-climate-research-useless/#comment-794773

        However, I emphasise, IMO the case has not been made that catastrophe or dangerous consequences can be caused by human-caused GHG emissions. The geologic record shows we are in a very cold period, perhaps the coldest period since multi-cell animal life began. It will take millions or tens of millions of years for the planet to warm, and that will depend on realignment of the tectonic plates. Life thrives when the planet is warmer, and struggles when colder. Life thrives during rapid warming events (at and near the temperature the planet is now). So there seems to be no convincing argument that warming is dangerous. IPCC AR5 stepped back a long way from IPCC’s previous dire warnings about impacts. After 30 years of poorly target research we have virtually no understanding of the damage function. There is no rational justification for spending huge sums of money on the climate industry. The money could be much better targeted to improve human wellbeing and make people more resilient to whatever happens.

        All is IMHO, of course :)

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        This is a chart posted on CE recently by:

        Note the 150 million year period between ice ages (i.e. periods when there is ice at one or both poles)

      • It seems like we are delving down into being pedantic about meaning of general terms before the big picture is agreed.

        How can you or should you agree on something if you do not agree on the language used to describe it?

        As I said above, to try to drill down to address your comments in detail in here is impossible. I could try to be more careful with choice of words, add definitions and caveats to everything statement, but clearly that is not possible.

        Don’t. I will try to be to the point. One of the reasons I advocate structured decision making is it helps catch omissions. You came back with a process which had a significant omission–a catastrophic determination*. I pointed it out by using a question. I should after cut to the chase. Also the point was the omission and not what else you wrote. I had already waved off the topic with my “I am reflecting on Kip’s definition of ‘useful research’ here.”
        ————-
        * From another perspective it was not omitted but was dismissed you as not likely. Well that certainly is a process short circuit. ;O)

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        How can you or should you agree on something if you do not agree on the language used to describe it?

        Can you help me out? I don’t understand what you are suggesting. Can you suggest a corrected wording for what I said – but practicable, not theoretical and impracticable.

        I defined “catastrophic” in my response to you. Do you accept that definition? If not, can you please suggest an alternative definition.

        I said that, IMO, evidence to support catastrophic consequences is lacking. We’ve spent 30 years trying to prove AGW is catastrophic and co9ncistently IPCC has been having to back track. In AR5 they backed right off. So, IMO< now we can and should leave "catastrophic" out and focus on defining the economic consequences of GHG emissions (of different rates and different time scales) the probabilities of the consequences occurring, the probable costs and probable benefits of mitigation polices. With that information, we can do formal decisions analysis. But please help me out here rather than just telling me I am wrong. You are the expert on this.

        If you want to include "catastrophic" as a possible consequence, then please explain how we can get the probabilities for that in a timely manner (e.g. 3 years)?

      • Peter Lang | July 8, 2016 at 7:23 am |
        mwgrant,

        This is a chart posted on CE recently…

        Again you misinterpreted.

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        I haven’t a clue what you are saying in that comment. How did I misinterpret?

      • Peter Lang,

        We’ve always had good discussions and hence, I do not want to ignore your most recent comments, though I do think we here have talked past one another.

        You wrote:
        How can you or should you agree on something if you do not agree on the language used to describe it?

        “Can you help me out? I don’t understand what you are suggesting….”

        mwg response:

        It seems like we are delving down into being pedantic about meaning of general terms before the big picture is agreed. [Your statement to which my comment us directed]

        How can you or should you agree on something if you do not agree on the language used to describe it? [My comment about that statement]

        So you see it has nothing to do with the rest of your comment and in particular the meaning of ‘catastrophic’. I merely question in the most general manner how parties can reach concurrence on a topic when there is ambiguity in the language. That is how I read your sentence. Maybe you meant otherwise. Fine. That is just how I read it.

        At Peter Lang | July 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm | you wrote

        I haven’t a clue what you are saying in that comment. How did I misinterpret?

        I just was not clear enough: I wanted to stay on the topic of the definition of “useful research” and not digress into possible decision structures—not there, not at that time. I really think that that definition needs to be tighter and wanted to be sure to communicate that (to Kip).

        Is the definition pedantic? Yes. I am sorry but I can do nothing more for you abiut that. Doing environmental work in contentious circumstances, i.e., most environmental work, requires no less. Really, more than enough said.

        As always Peter, best regards

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant,

        I agree we have always had very good discussions. And I agree here we are talking past each other. I still don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. Your latest comment has not clarified – in fact it has confused me more. I think it is continuing to talking past each other. You said I had misinterpreted. I still don’t understand what you are referring to. You asked for a definition of “catastrophic AGW”. I gave one. You didn’t accept it. Can you please provide an alternative wording.

        Please provide constructive suggestions not more telling me what is wrong with what I’ve said. That is unhelpful.

        You disagreed with me dismissing the catastrophic possibility from the decision analysis. I’ve explained why I think it should be dismissed, i.e. for pragmatic reasons (but I am open to change that if you can provide a PDF that demonstrates it is a significant risk based on valid relevant evidence). There seems to be no valid, persuasive evidence that catastrophic consequences have more than a negligible probability of occurrence (define it as you will, but I’d suggest the probability is negligible and we should not be wasting any more time and resources on chasing that, given we have virtually no quantification of the damage function or abrupt climate change or the others I mentioned – or the uncertainties on these). Attempts to support the argument that there is a significant probability that AGW will be catastrophic consumes most of the research effort and has made negligible progress in 30 years. It will continue to consume more than a fair share of resources and continue to distract the media, public and policy makers if it is left on the decision analysis tree.

        Since you have disagreed with what I’ve said, can you please give me your alternative wordings where you disagree with mine? I genuinely want help, not more telling me what is wrong with what I’ve said.

        These are the two points I made that I am discussing:

        Step 1 is to determine if catastrophic global warming is a realistic outcome of humans GHG emissions. I’ve been asking the alarmists to provide persuasive evidence and argument to support their belief that catastrophic global warming is a realistic possibility. They have not done so. I doubt a persuasive/valid case can be made.

        Step 2, If the ‘catastrophic consequences’ are ruled out then the decision should be based on rational economic cost benefit analysis – i.e. expected monetary value of mitigation versus expected monetary value of reduced climate damages as a result of the mitigation costs expended http://www.brighthubpm.com/risk-management/48245-calculating-expected-monetary-value-emv/

        IMO, the probability of catastrophe is negligible.

        I’ve explained in subsequent comments on this thread and on the ‘WIR – science’ thread https://judithcurry.com/2016/07/08/week-in-review-science-edition-48/#comment-795353 why I believe the probability of catastrophic AGW has negligible probability of occurrence and therefore should be dismissed so we can focus on making progress towards getting proper decision analysis accepted practice for properly informing climate and energy policy decisions.

        I’d still urge you to consider writing a post for CE to explain how it could be done, provide a realistic example and a realistic time line for implementation.

      • Good morning (here) Peter,

        I’ll send you an email to continue the discussion. I’ll just say –nothing ‘wrong’. I just wanted to stay focussed on the wording of the definition. (That conversation with Kip is done now.)

        It will take…had a storm last night and need to cleanup.

        Best regards,
        Mike

      • Peter Lang

        Great. Thank you. It’s be much easier to sort out by email.

        Have fun cleaning up after your catastrophic human-caused climate event :)

      • Peter Lang

        mwgrant

        PL said (reworded slightly to addressed some of the concerns raised in comments):

        Step 1 is to determine if there is more than a negligible probability that human caused GHG emissions will cause catastrophic global warming. I’ve been asking the alarmists to provide persuasive evidence to support their belief that catastrophic global warming has greater than a negligible probability. They have not done so. I doubt a persuasive/valid case can be made.

        Step 2, If ‘catastrophic consequences’ of human caused GHG emissions have negligible probability of occurring then the policy decisions should be based on rational economic cost-benefit analysis – i.e. expected monetary value of mitigation (cost) versus expected monetary value of reduced climate damages (benefits) achieved for the cost of mitigation. http://www.brighthubpm.com/risk-management/48245-calculating-expected-monetary-value-emv/

        mwgrant asked:

        Also in step 1 where would you go if the determination–to a finite degree–is affirmative? Are your research needs different? Also that determination requires time to carry out. How does that potential constrain the research and by extension policy implementation?

        PL’s response:

        I’ve considered these questions and suggest a pragmatic solution to address all of them, as follows:

        Step 1 should be renamed Catastrophic Consequence and Step 2 renamed Non-Catastrophic Consequences. These should be handled by two totally separate groups and should be separately funded. This is so we can make progress on both and allocate funds separately to the extent that can be justified taking into account the opportunity costs of allocating the funds to these research efforts versus other research efforts the money could otherwise be directed to (e.g. for global health, education, infrastructure, infrastructure strengthening for the developing world, etc.).

        Potentially catastrophic events or conditions, the consequences of them, mitigation options and policy responses are addressed by one group. This group would be charged with assessing the consequences and probabilities of all potentially catastrophic events threatening humanity and life on Earth and ranking them by risk magnitude (i.e. consequence x probability of occurrence). They may also be charged with proposing mitigation options and estimating the costs and benefits of such policies. It is important that all potentially catastrophic events and conditions are analysed in an evenhanded and unbiased way. Funds should be apportioned according to the risk magnitude of each. For example, if CAGW is found to have a lower risk magnitude than say bolide strike, nuclear holocaust or rampant virus then the proportion of funds directed to researching CAGW would be less than for the events/conditions that are rated higher risk magnitude. This way may get some rationality back into the allocation of research funding.

        I suggest a definition of “catastrophic” is the consequence of the event or condition is a >25% reduction in world population attributable to that event or condition. Catastrophic events and conditions might include:

        Non-Catastrophic Consequences

        Apply Decision Analysis approach. MW Grant – I hope you might write a post for CE to explain how to progress this.

        Recommendation

        It is important the two groups must be totally separate and separately funded. This allows the climate scientists, engineers, economists, diplomats, lawyers, etc. to get on with analyzing the cost-benefit of options to mitigate (or not) the consequences of human caused GHG emissions. If they are not totally separate, the bias in funding for ideological driven beliefs such as CAGW will continue indefinitely and much climate research will continue to be useless. Paralysis will continue indefinitely.

        All IMHO of course. :)

    • Reply to mwgrant ==> The definition of “useful climate research” is a simple rewording of Ioannids’ definition of ‘useful clinical research’. It is not some pie-in-the-sky philosophical construct. It means nothing more than research that supplies the information necessary to help/enable policy-makers to make decisions that are, in the end, better decisions regarding climate issues once they (the policy-makers) consider the resulting changes in benefits, harms, cost, and other impacts.

      This is easier to see for medicine — useful clinical research supplies information which helps doctors better decide how to treat patients, how to prevent and cure diseases and medical conditions, etc. Example; Mammograms, how often and for which women in order to produce more early detection while avoiding false positives and unnecessary treatment.

      In climate science, it might mean making better geo-political energy use decisions, better decisions about electrical production regulations, etc.

      There have been many comments and much discussion on differentiating between pure basic research, use-inspired basic research, and applied research — and isolating Judith Curry’s “fourth quadrant” — which I label the Ioannidis Quadrant — useless research, which neither seeks or produces any new information or better understanding of object of the research while simultaneously offering no usable, applicable information.

      Science does not — should not — dictate political and social solutions.

      • What is a ‘favorable’ change in decision-making? Don’t you just want to say the useful research informs the decision? And yes, informed decisions are in theory better. Of course you want to make the ‘best’ decision possible under the circumstances.

        Interesting you wrote ‘pie-in-the-sky construct’. When I first read ‘favorable’ I had the sense of ‘motherhood and apple pie construct.’ ;O) Language is subtle. I can live with something in between.

        Science does not — should not — dictate political and social solutions.

        I certainly agree with that emphasis.

      • > “fourth quadrant” — which I label the Ioannidis Quadrant — useless research,

        The “useless” epithet is all yours, Kip. Ioannidis used “not useful.” It keeps the possibility that blue sky research may one day be useful. Cf. Table 3.

        Establishing uselessness is easier said than done.

        Also note that you’re comparing climate science with clinical research. Doing “clinical” research for Mother Earth might be tough. We only have one clinical model, and we only have one trial.

      • “The “useless” epithet is all yours, Kip. Ioannidis used “not useful.””

        I think this distinction is useless.

      • Reply to mwgrant ==> Again, the original quote is Ioannidis, the word “favorable” his. It makes perfect sense to me when read both in the original sense in Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful [.pdf here] and when I use it in regards to climate science, I understand it to mean that the changes in decision making will perceived as better rather than worse — decisions easier, more clear, less uncertain. My father was a pediatrician and his experience from the 1950s thru the 1980s — a time of huge changes in the clinical (doctor’s office and hospital) treatment of childhood illnesses — has given me a lot of insight into research that leads to a favorable change in clinical practice. It might benefit to consider, if possible, research results that result in unfavorable changes in decision making — in my opinion, false and misleading, physically and medically incorrect findings would certainly fall into this category.

        Read it in the original, as applied to clinical medical research, and see if you can get how it would apply in CliSci.

        Using Ioannidis as a spring-board, a sort-of-analogy, to look at the same issue in a quite-different field, Climate Science, is a challenge.

        Thanks for helping to bring out some of the subtler issues today.

      • Willard wrote:

        Also note that you’re comparing climate science with clinical research.

        I agree. It is useful for climate science to look at medicine for its experience in decision-making but distinctions have to be characterized.

      • Kip,

        Again, the original quote is Ioannidis, the word “favorable” his.

        Ah, but you used it. I can understand that for the sake of getting the post out (work) but think if you go through this again at a later time you might want to put more of your stamp in places.

        BTW I always appreciate references to decision-making in medicine in the climate change’ context because of the ‘traditional’ experience of that community with significant decisions under significant uncertainty. Here however I am thinking more of emphasis Bayesian decision-making (both formal and informal) than clinical trials.

        Thank you for the productive post. I hope that you will do some more.

      • > I think this distinction is useless.

        Says a Cap’n whose ship is sailing on technology developed at a time it was deemed useless.

        You can’t make this up.

      • Danny Thomas

        Hm.

        One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?

      • dogdaddyblog

        Gawd, people. Can’t you just shut the F up for few minutes? Days of pounding on each other over semantics and what you think the other guy said is tedious, at best. Your generally off-topic pronouncements are not helping you win your arguments, hidden as those are in obscurity. I’m trying to learn something useful here, not the obvious facts of your childishness or level of snark. Grow up!

      • > Can’t you just shut the F up for few minutes?

        Yes, Daddy.

        See you in a few hours.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Thank you.

      • David Springer

        Handbag fights amongst the usual imbecile-suspects is the main form of entertainment here. Just skip past it if you get bored.

      • dogdaddyblog

        On the upside, David, it is teaching me to defocus my eyes when the handbags fly.

  53. I have labeled the lower left quadrant, which I labelled the Ioannidis Quadrant, comprising research that is low in its ability or intention to bring us fundamental or new understanding and also low in usefulness.

    You could also call it the “Robert Gallo Quadrant”, after one of the most well-known recipients of the “Golden Fleece” awards that used to be given out by Sen. William Proxmire. Gallo “won” the award for his work on retroviruses, which had no applicability for years.

    If effects (results, relationships, etc) are reliable, somebody will make good use of them some day.

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to matthewrmarler ==> Gallo’s work on retroviruses properly belongs in the Bohr Quadrant — of pure basic medical research — even more probably in the Pasteur Quadrant — use-inspired basic research. Viruses are known to cause disease in other living things. Gallo, whose sister had died of leukemia, thought that retroviruses might be responsible for that disease. Thus his continued interest.

      Proxmire’s “Golden Fleece” awards do a terrible disservice to science. They have been replaced by a new list of “wasteful science” from Senator Flake (really, that’s his name). In response to being named on the latest list, David Hu (a researcher) wrote “Confessions of a Wasteful Scientist”, published on the Scientific American blog. Well worth a read. It goes along with the comment above that refers to Flexner and curiosity-inspired science.

  54. Peter Lang

    Climate Plan Endangers Germany, Party Leaders Warn

    “The “Climate Protection Plan 2050″ is supposed to make Germany’s economy more environmentally friendly. But it is stirring resistance among Christian Democratic leaders who fear the plan endangers Germany’s prosperity and social peace. The CDU politicians claim that the plan is “basically wrong”, that it would have “a massive impact on the future competitiveness of the business location Germany” and was likely to “jeopardise the economy, prosperity and social peace in our country.” According to the plan, Germany will essentially be forced completely to decarbonise by 2050.” –Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 July 2016

  55. Is much of current climate research useless?
    No. All of IPCC climate research is very useful in deliberately misrepresenting the science and misleading the general public. The whole scam has been perpetrated by two groups: the ignorant and the corrupt

  56. Author’s Postscript:
    Thank you to our host, Dr. Judith Curry, for the opportunity to post this essay and air this issue at Climate Etc. I consider it a privilege. Dr. Curry also suggested the example of “useless research” used and the resulting essay was better for it.

    Many readers have asked interesting and important questions, supplied helpful insights and provided additional links to related data and issues.

    My hope is that active climate researchers and their institutions will benefit from the work of Ioannidis, that the exposure and dicussion of failings will “be seen as an opportunity to improve. The challenges and the problems to solve involve not only researchers but also institutions, funding mechanisms, the industry, journals, and many other stakeholders, including patients policy-makers and the public.”

    If you have further questions specifically for me, replying to this postscript will bring them to my attention automatically.

    • dogdaddyblog

      Thank you for your work, it is helpful to me. Ignore the peanut gallery.

      Dave Fair

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to David ==> You are welcome. The Peanut Gallery helps me practice patience, practice I sorely need, and keeps my hide nice and thick. Do remember, when you find it appropriate, to thank Dr. Curry for providing this venue. — kh

      • Steven Mosher

        dog, you are the peanut gallery

        just sayin

      • dogdaddyblog

        Yes, many thanks to Dr. Curry for this venue and her other work, including putting herself on the professional and political line to add some sanity to the climate wars.

        As to you, Mr. Mosher, I try not to let the peanuts blind me to the larger truths, whereas your wandering in the weeds seems to slap your “eyeballs” silly.

        Dave Fair

      • Steven Mosher

        larger truths..

        thats funny

      • dogdaddyblog

        Funny only if you can’t see them for the weeds.

    • Kip Could you apply your essay to the ozone hole and the resulting Montreal Protocol? Not asking for a long “War & Peace” type of explanation — just a brief critique. Many of the same issues are involved between AGW and ozone depletion (e.g., emphasis on modelling). Thanks.

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to Stephen Segrest ==> I have an ongoing series at Anthony Watts’ blog, WUWT, “Modern Scientific Controversies: ….”, two essays deep so far, with the research for several more well under way. I have asked for suggestions of “Wars” to cover and I will be glad to add “The Ozone Hole Wars” to the list, with the expectation, but no promise, that I will eventually get to it. Thank you for the suggestion.

        My general understanding is that the controversy far exceeds the limits of simple modelling errors. There have been serious critiques of even the basic atmospheric chemistry involved and new discoveries in the origins of the ozone, particularly over the Antarctic.

      • I read the original paper, and (IIRC) found no mention of any ozone hole. AFAICT, it was talking about proportional reduction over the entire planet.

        I’ve been wondering whether people reacted to the wrong thing. No time to dig into it though.

  57. Thanks Kip, Good Post
    Progress marches on…

    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-monkeys-google.html#nRlv

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to KenW ==> Thank you for these. I often refer to these types of studies as “cute animal studies” which make good “Science Lite” pieces in the MSM.

        My wife was known as “The Goat Lady” for many years when our kids were young — we kept two or three dairy goats for many years so the kids could benefit from the more easily digestible goats milk and ‘Poppi’ could enjoy fresh spreadable goat cheese on his homemade-bread toast.

  58. “leads to”

    Is not scientific phraseology. Science looks for verifiable events or chains of events. “Leads to” is poetry.

    Andrew

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to Bad Andrew ==> (Is there a Good Andrew?)

      I think that this comment has somehow escaped the thread it was intended for. I do use the phrase “leads to…” in this context somewhere above:

      “[my youthful experience growing up in a doctor’s home] …has given me a lot of insight into research that leads to a favorable change in clinical practice.”

      There nothing wrong with poetry, I would be thrilled if more people called any of my writing poetry, truth-be-known. In this case though, there is an important point to be made — a valid point that derives from the some of the precise points arising from my main essay.

      Your “Is not scientific phraseology. Science looks for verifiable events or chains of events.” confuses, I think, what leads to what. What I have said is that [some unidentified] research led to a favorable change in clinical practice [of pediatrics]. The research did not look for or attempt to created a “favorable change” — it made information available — made new discovery, made new treatment options and verified their efficacy, invented vaccines and confirmed their life-saving properties — that led to changes in clinical practice that were safer, more effective, less invasive, and lifesaving. The research didn’t change clinical practice directly — how to practice and what techniques to use are the decisions of doctors and guided by panels of professional associations — doctors who set policy and give guidance to the local MD.

      This illustrates the line between research and policy. They are not in the same chain of causation.

    • Kip Hansen,

      Thank you for responding but my comment was a reaction to “a doubling of C02 leads to…” presented as a falsifiable hypothesis upthread by someone.

      Your “leads to” is a little better since its not realty attempting a scientific claim.

      Andrew

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to Bad Andrew ==> As I though, but it did prompt an interesting thought. Thank you.

  59. The global warming narrative depends on the allegation of consensus because — much like the Hillary Clinton narrative — if any of the public is really concerned enough about corruption to actually dig into the facts, they quickly become aware that global warming is nothing more than a hoax and a scare tactic and political propaganda.

  60. David Wojick

    I have strong reservations about Ioannidis’s “half are false” claims. He may be talking mostly about clinical trials, where conclusions are often drawn about how a drug or procedure will work on an entire population, based on a small sample. But much, perhaps most, research is not like that. In most cases a journal article merely reports what was done and what the results were. This can only be false if they did not do what they said they did or get what they say they got and I doubt this ever happens except in the rare case of fraud.

    Unfortunately climate science is plagued with global claims, along the lines of clinical trials. Instead of saying here is what we found researchers keep saying here is what exists, has existed or will happen. Such claims of certainty are simply unsupportable and very likely to be false.

    Perhaps the most extreme case of this is with global or regional temperatures. What is reported is really a crude estimate based on a rough statistical approach working on questionable thermometer data. But the reports always say this is the actual temperature, which is almost certainly false, not a rough estimate. This fallacy of false confidence is done so systematically that most people probably think these temperatures are actually being measured. This is how the reports read so why not?

    If the temperatures were reported as rough estimates, rather than “on record” the statements could be true. As it is they are probably always false, not just 50% of the time but always.

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to David Wojick ==> Re Ioannidis’ false results claim. You would not be the only one to have questions — I can only hope that you have read and re-read his essay on the topic with due care. I do not defend his position, only point it out.

      All temperature records before the widespread advent of electronic digital thermometers should be considered accurate only to +/- 0.5 degrees C — they were actually recorded as “within the range of [some whole number] plus up-to .5 degrees above or down to .5 degrees lower.” ALL of them — a human looked at a glass tube thermometer, fiddled with the angle (moving either their head/eyes or the thermometer itself) an noted the the meniscus was around (let’s say..) 72.1 or 72.2 (maybe-ish). The human then wrote in the log book, as was the rule, “72”. Had the thermometer shown 71.6ish, then he would have written in the log book “72” — for every possible level between 72.5 and 71.5, he would have enter in the log book “72”. The entry of “72” really means “within the range of 71.5 to 72.5” and must always be interpreted that way and treated in numeric processing as a range. It is scientifically unjustified to utter such nonsense as “Oh, it averages out, we can be confident that “72” represents the mean value of a normal distribution.”

      This applies to the vast majority of the temperature record.

      • > I do not defend his position, only point it out.

        Come on, Kip. You start by saying that Ioannidis “dropped another bomb,” with a paper that is not a paper, but an essay. You also declare that there “is something for us to learn from Ioannidis’ comments about useful research. Then you name the “useless” quadrant the Ioannidis quadrant? In a post where you rhetorically ask if most of climate research is useless?

        This kind of distanciation is more than useless.

      • David Wojick

        Kip, I am not concerned with the accuracy of the thermometers pe se. The first problem is that Watts et al have shown that many of the thermometers are probably subject to progressive heat contamination due to economic development. The thermometer may be perfectly accurate but the air temperature is locally contaminated.

        But the deeper issue is that the so-called global average surface temperature (or regional average temperature) is the output of a complex area or field averaging algorithm. It is no sense a measurement. The statistical errors are likely large and in any case unknown. Yet these roughly estimated average temperatures are consistently presented as the actual, factual temperatures. They are nothing of the sort, in fact they are almost certainly wrong, hence the factual claims are false.

        These are the kinds of false claims that Ioannidis is correctly criticizing. Climate science reeks with them.

      • Kip Hansen

        Reply to willard (@nevaudit) ==> Ioannidis is a true force in the medical research field. His first essay, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, has achieved incredible penetration and has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has been officially cited in peer-reviewed papers thousands of times. Much of his fame is due to this essay. Ioannidis is one of the most-cited scientists across the scientific literature, especially in the fields of clinical medicine and social sciences, according to Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers 2015.

        If you read the paper [ here ] you’ll see that a defense of it is unnecessary and in any case far beyond my ability. — But it is certain that it hit the medical research community like a cluster bomb in 2005. One can accept or reject his findings, as one chooses.

        THIS essay, written by me, is not about Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, thus involves no defense of it.

        This essay is about his second “cluster bomb” recently published, Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful [.pdf here] and is a long discussion of how Ioannidis’ findings and thoughts about clinical research might be applied to climate research.

        I combine Ioannidis’ thoughts with those of Curry and Stokes’ “Pasteur’s Quadrant” focusing on the lower left quadrant that I have dubbed “Ioannidis Quadrant” after his recent essay as a tool of discussion.

        I ask “Is much of current climate research useless?” here at Climate Etc. — a blog written by and intended for serious climate scientists, researchers, and others interested in the topic. The key points are that I am asking, not telling, and to whom the question is addressed: climate scientists and researchers.

      • Steven Mosher

        “I ask “Is much of current climate research useless?” here at Climate Etc. — a blog written by and intended for serious climate scientists, researchers, and others interested in the topic. The key points are that I am asking, not telling, and to whom the question is addressed: climate scientists and researchers.”

        Too funny.

        you are just asking?

        actually you do more than that. read harder what you wrote.

        You actually dont discuss very much of what constitutes climate science.
        And even in the climate model taxonomy you accept rather uncritically Judith’s characterization of that field.

        So.. you ask the question to Those of us doing research?

        You got your answer.

        No the research is not useless.

        Next.

        Look nobody is fooled by your act.

        A) you dont have enough knowledge to answer the question for yourself and actually provide information to people
        B) you coatrack your questions onto a better writers answers to a different question.
        C) you solicit answers from a crowd who are pre disposed to say YES

        its just too funny. Like a zoo keeper who comes to the monkey cage
        and throws a bunch of bannana in the compound and asks

        “Do Monkey’s like banannas?”

      • > Ioannidis is a true force in the medical research field.

        Yet you claim not defending his position, Kip. You only point it out, as if that alone would intimate a connection with the Denizens’ concerns. Why would you insist in appealing to Ioannidis’ authority if you’d only “point out” what he says? Answer: you’re not only pointing out Ioannidis’ ideas – you’re using him as a club to hammer on climate science.

        At the very least, you should own this.

        What you call the “second cluster bomb” is an essay – it’s not a scientific paper, it’s a personal exploration of an idea, in this case to correct how clinical research is done. It’s just a 10-pager, barely a 20 mins talk. There are no results there, mostly the presentation of an evaluation framework for clinical research. Mostly a mumbo-jumbo of truisms followed by guesstimates.

        I have no idea why you think that reforming lichurchur would meet Denizens’ demands, but go team!

      • Curious George

        Steven, how does BEST handle the parallel temperature measurements at Lechfeld, Germany? (A modern electronic thermometer on average 0.9C warmer than an old glass therometer.)
        http://notrickszone.com/2015/01/12/university-of-augsburg-44-year-veteran-meteorologist-calls-climate-protection-ridiculous-a-deception/

      • Reply to Mosher and willard ==> Neither of you exhibits the slightest indication of actually having read my essay (certainly not with any comprehension) or either of Ioannidis’ two essays — instead you take childish offense at things I have not said and sling unfounded paranoiac accusations of attempting to “hammer on climate science” or putting on some “act” to “fool” unnamed persons. You both have now have slipped over the edge — these actions constitute the very definitions of “trolling”.

        You’ll receive no more attention from me.

      • SM:

        its just too funny. Like a zoo keeper who comes to the monkey cage and throws a bunch of banana in the compound and asks

        “Do Monkey’s like bananas?”

        You could be talking about the majority of climate blogs, especially the “it’s just physics” one. Ioannidis is stating to the medical science community what Crichton, Pielke Jr. and Curry had pointed out in climate science for years now: standards need to rise.

        Scientists are people. People like bananas too.

      • Steven Mosher

        ” Ioannidis is stating to the medical science community what Crichton, Pielke Jr. and Curry had pointed out in climate science for years now: standards need to rise.”

        I have no issue with what Ioannidis wrote.
        Further if He is doing what What Curry is doing,
        then what is Kip doing? that curry hasnt already done?

        Kip is playing a stupid game. Just asking questions..

        except he is not just asking questions. he doesnt want answers.

        its the same tired trick. he does it all the time because he cannot make a case.

        Judith at least tries to make a case.

        Kip is just lazy.

        here let me do a shorter version of kip

        I gots questions

        Read Ioannidis.
        Read Curry.
        What do you think?

        utterly brilliant.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Those that can’t do become critics.

      • standards need to rise.

        So does the stadium wave.

      • Let’s say I added up 100 numbers with this format: x.xx
        And I am using an adding machine. And I want to do this quickly. I could truncate all the .xxs and just add the x.s and then add 50 to my total.
        For instance I see 4.42. I just hit the 4 key and then the + key and then go to the next number to add.
        Let’s say my answer is 500.00 and then I divide by 100 to get the average of 5.00. If the numbers to the right of the decimal are randomly distributed I should be pretty close. If I repeated this with different sets of random numbers, I expect my answers to be a bell curve distribution around the true answer. I would not assign the tails of the distribution the same weight as the middle of it. The tails in this case are the limits of the errors. With random numbers even the excursions to the tails should average out.

        Let’s try another example. Let’s say my client true total Federal tax for 2015 is $8000. I round every number I input into to my software to the nearest dollar. I think I can say, except for in some rare near threshold situations. I’ll be within $80 of the true answer. One threshold situation is that above a certain amount of adjusted gross income, you get no tuition and fees deduction. $5 less income and you get a $2000 deduction. $5 more income and you get no deduction.

        I suppose we can wonder about how many significant digits am I using with a tax return? 5 might be fair up to $99,999. But a number of 4s, 3s and 2s. My answer ($8000) is 4 significant digits but would be 5 at $10,000 of tax liability.

      • > Those that can’t do become critics.

        Thus spake Daddy, in a comment thread of a blog post by a non-scientist rhetorically asking if much of current climate research is useless.

    • Steven Mosher

      “But the reports always say this is the actual temperature, which is almost certainly false, not a rough estimate. ”

      too funny.

      • David Wojick

        Funny how, blankman? Saying the temperature is the nth highest “on record” implies that it is a measurement, one of many that have been recorded. There is in fact no record of global surface temperatures, merely crude statistical estimates. BEST is the worst by the way.

      • Steven Mosher

        read harder …has been

  61. I find the topic of this current thread and parallels drawn to climate science interesting and valid.
    I usually do not read the discussion following the initial presentation because it seems to be a reflection of the current U.S. and often worldwide social and political divisiveness characterized by a steady stream of ad hominen attacks. I am sure Dr. Curry must tire of this.
    In addition the discussion then becomes tiresome and useless. Has Joshua come back using a different name?
    The point made of futile attempts made to predict changes in regional weather by using global climate models is very important for several reasons. !) it is money wasted, 2) Political dogs may be encouraged to bark up the wrong tree and as a result of that 3) correct actions will not be taken but wrong and harmful actions may ensue.

    Ike’s warnings are becoming ever more evident. Government control of science. It is important to note that his advisors had him stop short of an additional warning- the control of information by the media. In which case bad news is good news and good news is no news.
    As one scientist, not from the U. S. relayed to me. Just say Climate Science, go past go, and collection 200K.
    I am tired of reading of studies, with the obligatory and nonsensical , ‘climate change’ given as a reason, like more prostitution, Seriously!

  62. Mike Jonas

    There were a number of statements in the article along the line : “the climate models are known to be too immature to return reliable results”.

    That may be true, but it’s irrelevant. The models’ essential problem is not that they are immature but that their structure is such that they can never work. They use bottom-up logic, working on the interactions between smallish cells of atmosphere/ocean over very short time periods. They are inevitably hopelessly inaccurate before they have gone a few days, let alone a year, a decade, or a century. The article said “clients are already asking about next winter’s temperatures, and whether we can expect a typical La Nina pattern”. Until the climate models actually work with climate, instead of trying to extrapolate from low-grade weather logic, they will never ever be able to give a reliable answer to questions like that.

  63. Is much of the climate research useless?

    The answer is YES YES YES! And I might add so are the climate models.

  64. Peter Lang

    “Is much of current climate research useless?”

    YES! because it is focused on trying to prove that AGW is catastrophic or dangerous. The more they research the more IPCC has had to back-pedal from it’s earlier reports which were advocating we’re doomed. James Hansen in “Storms of my grandchildren” said the oceans would boil off if we keep burning fossil fuels (see 2:10 here:

    Now it seems that Social Cost of Carbon should be set at zero! http://reason.org/files/social_costs_of_regulating_carbon.pdf

  65. Peter Lang

    AGW almost certainly is not catastrophic or dangerous

    The geologic record shows the planet is in a rare ice age – only three in the past 500 million years, occurring on approximately 150 million year cycle -, perhaps the coldest for the past 600 million years (since the last Snowball Earth) . Almost no probability of temperatures reaching even the planet’s ‘optimal’ temperatures again for millions or tens of millions of years; (perhaps until after North and South America separate).

    Consequently, justification for abatement policies needs to be made on a purely cost-benefit basis, not on the basis of fear.

    Cure is worse than the disease

    Estimated abatement cost exceeds the hypothesised benefits, in terms of reduced climate damages, for this century and beyond

    http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/

    Fossil fuels provide enormous net benefits and will continue to do so until there is a cheaper alternative http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity

    Damage function – damage per degree of warming and of cooling – is virtually unknown, not quantified

    Life loves warming and warmer periods. Struggles during cooling and cooler periods

    Climate changes abruptly – always has, always will; i.e., not as smooth curves like the projections from climate models.

    Policy analysts need, but we do not have, PDFs for:
    • Time to the next abrupt change
    • Sign of next change (i.e. warming or cooling)
    • Duration and magnitude of the change
    • Damage function

    Risk analysis should take into account the offsetting benefit of increasing GHG emissions reducing the probability, extending the time to and reducing the magnitude of the next abrupt cooling, which is what is due if not for our GHG emissions.

    Instrumental record and heat balance suggests ECS is about half what the models and the ‘consensus’ believes. ECS ~1.65K and TCR~1.3K

    Social Cost of Carbon should be set at zerohttp://reason.org/files/social_costs_of_regulating_carbon.pdf

    • Almost no probability of temperatures reaching even the planet’s ‘optimal’ temperatures again for millions or tens of millions of years; (perhaps until after North and South America separate).

      How do you define the planet’s optimal temperature and are you suggesting that optimal for the planet is also optimal for us?

      • Peter Lang

        Warm periods have been defined by others as “optimal”. They are the periods when life flourishes.

        If life flourishes, we’ll adapt and do well.

        Your turn to answer two questions:

        1. What is the probability that human caused GHG emissions will cause runaway greenhouse effect so that all life on earth is wiped out?

        2. What is the probability that human caused GHG emissions will cause >25% reduction in human population of the planet?

        Please provide your answers as a median or mean probability and 95% confidence limits (or as pdfs) and provide references to unbiased authoritative sources.

      • Peter Lang

        An example of ‘Optimal’ for warm periods (when life flourished). You can fiond many others in the literature, such as the Holocene Optimum” etc.

      • Peter,
        That doesn’t really answer my question. You’re simply asserting it to be true. That there have been previous periods that have been described as optimal does not mean that they would be optimal for us today.

        As to your questions, I think that it is very/extremely unlikely that we will produce a runaway. As to 2, I have no idea.

      • “Optimum” in this context just is a mathematical term. It is the generic term that designates a local maximum or a local minimum on a curve. It is a point where the derivative of a continuous (and derivable) function is zero, and hence it is either a local maximum or a local minimum… an optimum. It doesn’t have the connotation that something is for the best in some respect.

      • Pierre-Normand,

        I think you may have inadvertently given a Warmist redefinition of “optimum”.

        From Merriam-Webster –

        “Simple Definition of optimum
        : the amount or degree of something that is best or most effective”

        Warmists try to redefine things in order to create maximum confusion, and complain bitterly if somebody tries to use an accepted definition.

        If you are not a Warmist, and merely mistaken, you might like to clarify your position. You might look a llike a foolish Warmist, otherwise.

        Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn, read on. Merriam-Webster offers definitions for two usual senses of the word “optimum”, not just one. The specialized sense commonly used by mathematicians is closer to the second definition, which you ignored.

      • Pierre-Normand,

        Which is why I gave the simple definition.

        You didn’t bother to ask Peter Lang, nor anybody else, what they meant by “optimal”. It looks like you decided to confuse the issue by ignoring the normal simple definition, and substituting a specialised mathematical definition, without mentioning the fact.

        Foolish Warmists often adopt this tack. You can’t point to anything that could distort Peter Lang’s use of optimal to the maximum or minimum value on a function curve.

        Your use of the term is about as stupid as calling the extremes of temperature in an arid tropical desert “optimal”. Trivially true, totally misleading, and obfuscatory to boot! Not to mention fatal to SAS troopers in Iraq.

        Warmists apparently want to stop people burning coal. They are just blindly following good ol’ James “Death Trains” Hansen. Gullible cultists!

        You can’t actually specify an optimal level for CO2 in the atmosphere, you can’t actually demonstrate that CO2 heats anything at all, you can’t point to the net negative consequence of increased plant life, or warmer conditions in places that inhabitants consider colder than optimal.

        In spite of these things, Warmists continue to demand that humanity commit suicide by removing essential and life giving CO2 from the atmosphere, and removing the amount of food available for a naturally increasing poulation.

        You appear to be a clueless and foolish Woebegone Waffling Warmist, but of course my opinion means as much to you, as yours means to me.

        Good luck with the obfuscation! If you need a few tips, let me know. Always glad to offer help to the disabled.

        Cheers.

      • I wasn’t objecting to Lang using the term “optimum” with its ordinary sense. I was just pointing out that the sense in which it is customarily used in such phrases as “Holocene Climatic Optimum” is different. The Holocene Climatic Optimum also is called the Holocene Thermal Maximum. It’s just a name; no ground for you to get your panties in a bunch or dream up conspiracy theories.

      • Everybody already knows that the optimal water level in a cold radiator is always at the overflow petcock at the top and below the cap on the backside. Optimal T we don’t know, it must have been an older model.

      • Pierre-Normand,

        Gee. And here’s me thinking you wrote –

        “Optimum” in this context just is a mathematical term. It is the generic term that designates a local maximum or a local minimum on a curve. It is a point where the derivative of a continuous (and derivable) function is zero, and hence it is either a local maximum or a local minimum… an optimum. It doesn’t have the connotation that something is for the best in some respect.”

        I obviously missed the part where you wrote that you were really talking about the Holocene Climatic Optimum as a value related to a mathematical function. Maybe it’s in secret Warmist code. I realise it’s just a name – unlike Wriggling Warmists, I tend to use a name to mean the thing that it normally means. If not, I’ll provide an explanation.

        What the hell, use optimum any way you like. It doesn’t change anything. I’ll leave conspiracy theories to Warmists who whine about “skeptics” and “Big Oil” being allowed to express an opinion. What are the Whining Warmists worried about?

        Cheers.

      • According to the newspaper: Old, White, Denying, Ex-Smokers and the weather.

      • Snap Quiz

        How many commenters here are near thirty?

        Why?

      • ATTP

        As to your questions, I think that it is very/extremely unlikely that we will produce a runaway. As to 2, I have no idea.

        I answered your question. You did not answer mine. Mine is important for policy analysis, your is not.

        My question required a numerical answer:

        Please provide your answers as a median or mean probability and 95% confidence limits (or as pdfs) and provide references to unbiased authoritative sources.

        Avoidance is Sign #4 of the “10 signs of intellectual dishonesty”.

      • Peter,
        I did answer your question. “I don’t know” is a valid answer to a question.

      • OK. Thank you. Therefore you cannot offer valid, relevant, persuasive evidence that human caused GHG emissions pose a catastrophic or dangerous threat to humanity. As far as I know, nor can anyone else.

      • Peter,
        I’m not the one making any claims. You’re the one who has made a claim about optimal temperatures that you haven’t really justified.

      • ATTP,

        My comment you replied to is titled:
        AGW almost certainly is not catastrophic or dangerous

        You have confirmed that you have no of any evidence demonstrating this statement is false. Thank you. Nor has anyone else.

        I am not going to follow you down you rabbit holes. You attempt to divert to irrelevancies are a clear sign you are intellectually dishonest. It is impossible to have a rational debate with such people.

        This is the statement that needs to be shown is false: AGW almost certainly is not catastrophic or dangerous. You’ve already stated you can’t. Thank you.

      • Peter,
        I don’t think that me not being able to prove your statement is false, somehow indicates that it is true. You appear to have made a number of assertions that you seem unwilling to defend. You seem to be claiming that the optimal temperature is warmer than we are currently, that we would adapt, and that we would flourish. I’m interested in what evidence you have to support this assertion, hence my first question.

      • The studies that have look at optimal climate have said 1 C above preindustrial is where it is, and it is downhill from there. This is not just the economists, but also Hansen and 350.org. At 350 ppm the equilibrium is about 1 C over preindustrial, so we are already past that, and what we do now amounts to damage control. Besides which a stable climate is always better than a rapidly changing one.
        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2009/2009_Rockstrom_ro02010z.pdf

      • ATTP,

        I’ve provided the evidence. The Alarmists like you have been saying for 30 years that human caused GHG emissions are catastrophic or dangerous. However, the claims are unsupported. the wheels are falling off. You cannot support the claims and nor, it seems, can anyone else. It seems the claims are false.

        However, what you display, is intellectual dishonesty. No time for that. Sorry. You gave me the answer you cannot support the claims that AGW is catastrophic or dangerous. Thank you.

      • jimd said

        ‘Besides which a stable climate is always better than a rapidly changing one.’

        I have examined tens of thousands of records over the last 15 years and over the last millennium can find no evidence at all of this ‘stable’ climate’ other than in perhaps parts of the 10th and 11th and 12th century, for various odd decades since then and for some of the 20th century,

        Where des this ‘stable climate’ actually exist and what evidence do you have for it?

        As far as the US goes you can see the evidence of the many extremes in the ‘US weather review’ which started around the 1820’s.

        tonyb

      • tonyb, if you want to quantify the meaning of a stable climate, I would call it one like in the last millennium where the standard deviation in a 30-year temperature was a couple of tenths of a degree. An unstable climate would be one that changes globally by several degrees in a century. We have never faced anything like this in the era of civilization. It entails upheavals in coastal areas and agriculture, and rather costly adaptations all of which impact less developed countries more.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Jim D (whomever you are), I think, based on the totality of your statements, that you are assuming the models are correct in most, if not all, respects. I’m of the opinion that faith in demonstratively inaccurate models reflect human tendency to “cast the bones, examine the entrails, track the zodiac; we WILL know the future!”

        “Past failures are no predictor of future returns.” [Yes, poor joke.] An envelope of 95% of climate models has no statistical validity. Statistics apply to data; climate model outputs are not data, they reflect the modelers’ guesses.

        Yes, if you sit down and play games with data and math, you can tweak out CO2 sensitivity numbers. Recent bulk atmospheric temperature readings belie such numbers games (CO2 up, temperatures not so much, unless you live and die by El Nino.). Where the heck one can derive CO2 sensitivity numbers from significant CO2 increases with little-to-no temperature increases over the last 20 years or so is beyond me.

        While we are at it, please let me rant on concerning temperature measurements versus CO2 levels. Please explain to me (anyone!) how an arbitrary amalgamation of ocean water temperatures and land air temperatures can be used to calculate CO2 sensitivity. As I understand the underlying theory, oceans will respond to “forcings” in manners totally (in time, at the minimum) differently than the bulk atmosphere. Internet denizens, educate me!

        Dave Fair

      • Indeed, land and wate temperatures behave differently, especially under strong forcing. This shows how the 30-year temperature has been behaving.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1900/mean:120/mean:240/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1900/mean:120/mean:240/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1985/trend/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1985/trend
        Note that since about 1980 the land is warming twice as fast as the ocean and tends to lead it (0.3 C per decade versus 0.15 C per decade). This is as expected under external forcing because of their thermal inertias. Physics dictates this type of response. Skeptics find this observed trend separation hard to explain and usually just ignore it hoping people don’t notice. Post this graph to a skeptic site and ask them about it. You may also note that there is no sign of the “pause” in the 30-year temperature trend, and there is a reason for that. The “pause” was part of internal self-canceling variations. In the 15 years prior to the pause was a doubled trend that canceled it, often also ignored by skeptics, again hoping you don’t notice the big picture in preference to their myopic view. I use 30 years, a traditional climate time scale, to avoid these roller-coaster confusions.

      • JimD, ” This is as expected under external forcing because of their thermal inertias. Physics dictates this type of response. Skeptics find this observed trend separation hard to explain and usually just ignore it hoping people don’t notice.”

        Thanks for the first good chuckle of the day. The difference in thermal inertia is the reason that T(ave)land plus SST has been questioned as a useful “metric” or index by skeptics for some time and only recently addressed by almost mainstream warmists. Had the climate science guru’s actually considered the difference in thermal inertia there would have been no missing heat travesty and several hundred papers after the fact attempting to explain the “slowdown.” This “slowdown” also inspired several revisions of the “surface” temperature products which would have been unnecessary had the guru’s applied a bit more simple physics to the problem prior to announcing how big the problem was

        Figuring things out after the fact isn’t as impressive as “projecting” them before hand.

      • So when I find the purchase order for the ARGO floats it will have been signed by Pielke Sr. and Lindzen?

      • Had the climate science guru’s actually considered the difference in thermal inertia there would have been no missing heat travesty

        Huh? No, the “missing heat” was an accounting problem. As in, we didn’t have the measurements that we wanted to say what was going on.

        Go back and read what Trenberth was actually saying and the context thereof. He was saying ‘it’s a shame that at present we don’t have the measurements we need to lock down and back up what’s happening with the energy budget’ — this being before the ARGO buoys.

        Scientists have known for quite a long time that a lot of the energy was going into the oceans, and that ENSO significantly changes the heat flow. But that’s different from having all the measurements that you’d like to have, to show the short-term fluctuations with good accuracy.

        …which is part of why “climate” has normally been defined over 30 years. Because we do have good surface measurements, but it takes ~20-30 years for the high variability of the surface measurements to produce good trendlines with low error bars. But if you had good ocean data, you wouldn’t need so much time; the heat content of the oceans+atmosphere fluctuate less together than the heat content of the atmosphere does, just by itself.

        So, yeah, it was “a travesty” that we didn’t have better ocean measurements, a problem that has been mostly remedied since that comment was uttered.

      • captd, missing heat had nothing to do with thermal inertia. You really should read Trenberth’s paper before making comments like that. Perhaps you confused thermal inertia with ocean heat content which does have relevance. Anyway, I won’t try to dissect your comment and guess what you were really thinking.

      • Ben, “Huh? No, the “missing heat” was an accounting problem. As in, we didn’t have the measurements that we wanted to say what was going on. ”

        Yes, it was an accounting problem. The problem was an over-estimation of the imbalance and distribution of the imbalance. Trenberth et al.had estimated the imbalance at 0.9 Wm-2 +/- 0.15 Wm-2 using a Hansen model. That was in 2009 when there was a solar lull reducing his estimate by 0.1 to 0.15 Wm-2 for the iconic 1 Wm-2.

        So now we have the hide the pea game. Current best estimate of the imbalance is 0.6 Wm-2 and almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere. Increasing OHC calculations for 0-700 to 0-2000 meters still misses nearly half of the ocean so a magical “Ah ha!” doesn’t really cut it as far as ‘splainin’ the OHC discrepancy since shifts in westerly winds and Antarctic sea ice expansion are the main drivers of the deeper water heat uptake.

        So folks like you and JimD will revert back to simplistic explanations to defend the faith while 0.9 +/-0.15 is a bleeding joke. The travesty was his over confidence in a model that even Hansen questioned.

      • JimD, “captd, missing heat had nothing to do with thermal inertia. You really should read Trenberth’s paper before making comments like that. Perhaps you confused thermal inertia with ocean heat content which does have relevance. Anyway, I won’t try to dissect your comment and guess what you were really thinking.”

        Now that is a belly laugh, thanks. Now explain to the class how the rate of heat uptake related to specific heat capacity and mixing efficiency of a body isn’t related to the thermal inertia of that body.

      • captd, are you saying that your interpetation of the uncertainty was in the heat capacity of the ocean? Which paper was that from? That wasn’t the uncertainty. It was in the inputs and outputs of the earth climate system, of which the ocean is a part. Significant parts were aerosols, the solar lull, volcanoes, melting ice, SST measurements, none of which relate to thermal inertia. I mention thermal inertia because of the graph I showed. Here is another variant with the NH and SH, again the difference is mostly due to the land/water ratios, however you cut it.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4nh/from:1900/mean:120/mean:240/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1900/mean:120/mean:240/plot/hadcrut4nh/from:1985/trend/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1985/trend
        The context is the differing heating rate of various parts of the earth system especially for the last 30 years, and nothing to do with the “pause” which doesn’t even show up here, or missing heat that you wanted to divert to for some reason known only to yourself.

      • JimD, “captd, are you saying that your interpetation of the uncertainty was in the heat capacity of the ocean? Which paper was that from? That wasn’t the uncertainty.”

        Trenberth et al. “closed” the budget by assuming OHC uptake equaled TAO imbalance. So when they attempted to reconcile OHC they had a target in mind. Very difficult to avoid bias in such a situation.

        “As noted in the “Datasets” section, the TOA energy imbalance can probably be most accurately determined from climate models and Fasullo and Trenberth (2008a) reduced the imbalance to be 0.9 Wm−2 ,where the error bars are ±0.15 W m−2.”
        http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf

        btw, very little difference in that and previous estimates.

      • JimD, ” nothing to do with the “pause”.” So now you are clairvoyant? If surface temperature had been following the model projections there would have been no reason to assume that OHC was an issue. Hansen and others had already solved that problem with effective diffusivity. See this is the problem with simplistic slab models of a complex dynamic system. OHC uptake varies with winds, currents and a number of other things the models suck at. I think I cited Toggwieler’s shifting westerlies for the first time in 2010 not long after I noted several errors in the TFK budgets. Nothing has change since then, ocean heat transport over century and longer time frames is still a major issue.

      • captd, all of which has nothing to do with thermal inertia and the diverging land/ocean heating rates. I didn’t even mention the imbalance, but if you want to talk about what a positive imbalance means for attribution, we can have that discussion instead.

      • JimD, “captd, all of which has nothing to do with thermal inertia and the diverging land/ocean heating rates. I didn’t even mention the imbalance, but if you want to talk about what a positive imbalance means for attribution, we can have that discussion instead.”

        They are inseparable. You have this simplistic slab concept in your head leading you to believe they are, but the thermal inertia of the oceans includes all of the oceans. Climate “sensitivity” includes that dastardly dQ part and dQ is influenced by much more than just CO2. So instead of specific heat capacity of air versus land versus water you have to consider air mass total versus land mass total versus ocean mass total. 2:1 is just a crude guestimate.

      • JimD, btw on your land versus ocean warming rate. 40N-60N land warms much faster than modeled and about twice as fast as 0-20N land. 0-20N land warms nearly twice as fast as 20S-40S land. If they were warming as modeled, then your point would carry more weight, but as it is, there are indications of other factors not considered in the models and I am pretty sure the models have considered every anthropogenic possibility to death.

      • captd, the land-water divergence is faster than expected because the ocean is lagging, but the upshot is that the land is warming faster than modeled, so it is worse than we thought, and there is no sign yet of the land warming throttling back from its 0.3 C per decade. Skeptics need to pay special attention to what the land does because it responds almost immediately to the forcing changes. It’s the canary in this sense.

      • JimD, The upshot is that it is worse than we thought? You have a remarkable way with science :).

        Actually, the greater than anticipated warming appears to be due to greater than anticipated heat loss in the northern higher latitudes in winter which has flattened out that warming trend.

      • The northern continents are likely warming fastest because the snow cover season is reduced, but also possibly due to the proximity of the Arctic Ocean warming with its reduced sea ice cover. None of this would be unexpected, except perhaps its speed.

      • Jim D, In the unlikely chance that you read what you write, perhaps you might possibly see that you tend to use a bunch of weasel words.

      • As a student of the Steven Mosher school of science teaches,… maybe you know already…

        Maybe warming….
        Maybe reduced snow…
        Maybe Arctic Ocean…
        Maybe the amount of sea ice…
        Maybe unexpected…
        Perhaps its speed.

      • Peter Lang,

        The Alarmists like you have been saying for 30 years that human caused GHG emissions are catastrophic or dangerous. However, the claims are unsupported. the wheels are falling off. You cannot support the claims and nor, it seems, can anyone else. It seems the claims are false.

        Ok fine, let’s just wait and see if the “claims” come true and then try to fix it after the fact. Smashing idea. I’ll be keeping tabs from my spare planet.

        In the meantime you could review our prior discussions about the Big 5 extinction events, which occurred in *both* relatively warm and cool periods — but which were all associated with *rapid* environmental change.

        Or you could continue with your proof by dictionary games with the word “optimum” and pretend that rejection of substantiation previously given you constitutes failure to be given substantiation.

  66. Only an observation…

    “Is much of the current climate research useless?”

    Leaving aside the subjective interpretation of “useless,” the idea as presented in this post and the resulting comment section seems to indicate that current climate research isn’t that persuasive (within this group, anyhow, one way or the other).

    That in and of itself seems to indicate the “usefulness” of said research. Plenty of argument in both “directions,” but no direct answers that are definitive to the same degree that Einstein’s relativity is definitive.

    • Kip Hansen

      Reply to Joseph Ratliff ==> One shouldn’t take the comments section too much to heart. 90% of it is chaff, dross, noise and tumult. Here we see a phenomena ubiquitous in the blog-sphere — polarized individuals flock to whatever thread is open and simply continue, or join into, continuous squabbling and bickering over issues on which they know full well they will not agree. Much of this interaction is personal insult, name calling, and general sniping at one another — the most active players know the other players only by their “web handle” — their invented names they use for commenting. Some of these people have more than one such name, and more than one ‘web persona’ — an invented personality, personal history, etc. Many engage in attacks on whatever the post-author has said or on the author himself (whom none of them know personally) as a way to “defend their side”. Many of these people are teenagers (by physical or emotional age) venting frustrations and “trying on” various personalities.

      See the two Denizens sections of Climate Etc. [ here and here ] as a reliable guide to who is who. You can find my entry here.

      At all of the important more-or-less un-moderated climate blogs (this is one — WUWT, Dot Earth@NY Times are others) there is an odd phenomena of know “names” in climate science — people know to be adults, who post under their own names, and whose names are recognizable as actors in the field — who exhibit the same types of anti-social behavior as the ‘tween-agers (paragraph above). This particular phenomena of the web is one of my long-term areas of study. Someday I will write a essay on it.

      [Important note: occasionally some troll will co-opt the name of a real person — they are usually caught quickly and their comments deleted, IPs banned, etc. It does happen though.]

      • > Reply to Joseph Ratliff […]

        Are you sure about that, Kip?

        I swear I have the impression you’re talking to me.

        In return, please rest assured that by Just Asking Questions you’re following on a great tradition of Internet smarm.

        (Notice the usage of “smarm,” Daddy.)

      • Lord Russell’s squirrel, AKA Willard, Perhaps Kip is referring to you when he writes above:

        “Many engage in attacks on whatever the post-author has said or on the author himself (whom none of them know personally) as a way to “defend their side”. Many of these people are teenagers (by physical or emotional age) venting frustrations and “trying on” various personalities.””

        It is hard to take you seriously Willard, except on the rare occasion when you actually quote something and interpret it correctly.

      • Thanks Kip, a very reasoned explanation, thank you. Also, thank you for a though-provoking post. I wish the explanation you provided in reply to my observation “didn’t make sense” but alas … it does.

        To me, all of the back-and-forth name-calling and virtual “finger poking” in comments sections like this doesn’t really accomplish much.

        (Professor Curry’s happens to be one of my favorite, where generally intelligent people can carry a discussion on polarizing or important topics related to climate science).

      • The appreciation is mutual, dear David P. Young from the Boeing Company, except for the fact that you never quote or even cite anything, even for your But turbulence and But replication mantras.

        That Kip can’t own his JAQing off is enough for me not to bother much about his crap. Worse, he now uses a paralipsis to both keep his promise not to address me but still talk about me. Besides lacking honor, this is not the kind of thing you should do when you’re trying to sell INTEGRITY ™, as Kip is right now.

        See how easy it is to return his own rhetorical trick by speaking to him through you. Perhaps I’ll start a dialogue with Mosphit to show how it works.

      • David Springer

        Good description of Willard, Kip. Me too for that matter. After 15 years of chasing wild climate science geese there’s little left to do but snipe. Nothing ever progresses in this stupid science. It’s still exactly the sane inane argument it was 15 years ago! There’s no science it’s all politics and culture war. Now that the culture wars have morphed into border wars the climate wars will come to a close; racist is the new denier and rallying cry of the libtards. I am sometimes saddened by the imbecility of it all.

      • David Springer,

        It’s still exactly the sane inane argument it was 15 years ago!

        Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. ~Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later, 1978

      • Danny Thomas

        Now. We’ve only the task of defining ‘reality’.

        The issue I think David references is the level of likely catastrophe vs. alternate choices for use of resources.

        It’s this bounded middle wherin lies any potential. Yet neither sees sufficient evidence in all the science to view what the other guy does.

  67. Beta Blocker

    Upthread, Jim D offers the argument that a very close correlation exists between increases in CO2 forcings and increases in observed temperatures, illustrating his argument with GISTEMP data plotted by the Wood-For-Trees data graphics tool:

    Jim D July 6, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    It is a mistake to frame the case against climate science in terms of models because we also have observations, and observations came first. For example we can take the last 60 years during which we have produced 75% of our emissions and 75% of the temperature change has occurred too. We can plot CO2 and temperature in this well measured period.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25

    Jim D’s plot is very simple and visually very effective. However, some would argue that it is not just simple, but simplistic relative to the complexity of the climate science behind global warming theory.

    Just because Jim D’s plot is simplistic doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have scientific value for purposes of illustrating his argument. On the other hand, the time period Jim D has chosen frames his argument within a more narrow context than might be warranted if we believed it was scientifically useful to see a larger picture of observed GISTEMP data trends.

    Let’s observe also that public debate over the validity of today’s climate science hasn’t come anywhere close to reaching a critical mass, simply for the fact that relatively few people are now being asked to make serious economic and personal sacrifices in the name of fighting climate change.

    If America’s climate activists ever managed to force serious economic and personal sacrifices on the public with the objective of greatly reducing America’s GHG emissions, that situation would change dramatically. A strong incentive would then exist for climate skeptics to create their own simplistic data plots to illustrate their own arguments.

    If the climate skeptics were to put their minds to it, what might these simplistic data plots look like? (Full disclosure: I am a ‘lukewarmer’ as such labels are now being used in AGW debating circles, not a climate skeptic per se.)

    The most visually effective of such data plots might include Jim D’s original Wood-For-Trees plot of GISTEMP data versus Mauna Loa CO2 data, but would expand its time reference context to include GISTEMP data beginning in about the year 1900. Here is an example of one such possible illustration:

    The first graph is a simple extraction of GISTEMP and Mauna Loa data using the Wood-for-Trees plotting tool. It uses Jim D’s search criteria but expands the referenced time frame by 50 years. The second graph offers an interpretation of the extracted GISTEMP data which is framed in ways that climate skeptics might choose to frame it.

    Looking at the second graph, two major points are evident: (1) If the 1945-1980 temperature pause had not occurred and if the 1900-1945 GISTEMP trend of +0.09 C/decade had continued upward at about the same rate, the extrapolated trend line intersects the observed trend line in about the year 2000. (2) Looking at a visually-fitted trend using the three GISTEMP peak years of 1900, 1945, and 2015, they all fall roughly along a +0.1 C/decade trend line.

    As the climate skeptics might frame it, an obvious question arises: “Are the rising temperatures between 1950 and 2015 merely an extension of the rise already in progress between 1900 and 1945, but with a bit of added warming present as a consequence of increasing GHG forcings?”

    • Beta Blocker,

      Looking at the second graph, two major points are evident: (1) If the 1945-1980 temperature pause had not occurred and if the 1900-1945 GISTEMP trend of +0.09 C/decade had continued upward at about the same rate, the extrapolated trend line intersects the observed trend line in about the year 2000. (2) Looking at a visually-fitted trend using the three GISTEMP peak years of 1900, 1945, and 2015, they all fall roughly along a +0.1 C/decade trend line.

      For my own amateur investigations, I prefer multiple linear regression to trend analysis:

      Light blue curve is what the regression attributes to CO2, yellow curve is variability contributed to other factors. You’ll note that the yellow curve has a particularly steep positive slope over 1910-1930. The contributors to that non-CO2 curve are:

      … where AOD = aerosol optical depth (volcanic), LOD = length of day anomaly, TSI = total solar irradiance, NINO3.4 = SST proxy for ENSO, and AMO = Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. As you can see, the most apparent positive contribution over 1910-1930 comes from LOD. AMO is in second place. ENSO and TSI are also positive, and volcanoes were also relatively quiescent as compared to the previous three decades.

      I cannot articulate a good theoretical basis for why length of day should have such an effect, though its fairly good correlation with AMO is difficult for me to dismiss as entirely coincidental. It’s also interesting to note that TSI was on a decidedly positive trend from 1880-1960, after which it has more or less been flat in terms of multi-cycle trends.

      As the climate skeptics might frame it, an obvious question arises: “Are the rising temperatures between 1950 and 2015 merely an extension of the rise already in progress between 1900 and 1945, but with a bit of added warming present as a consequence of increasing GHG forcings?”

      I’ve noted that a lot of so-called skeptics are fond of asking questions as if just asking them is answer enough. That said, “duh, we’re recovering from the Little Ice Age” is a popular “answer”.

      I’d really like to have more reliable data for this metric prior to 1950 …

      … because it might really throw into sharp relief the difference between a secular change in externally-forced energy content change vs. interannual and -decadal fluctuations involving coupled atmospheric/oceanic exchanges which don’t involve the deep oceans to nearly the same extent.

      • You might as well say.
        The yellow curve has a particularly steep positive curve 1910-1930 when there was no CO2 effect of consequence to blame.
        We had to find other factors to blame natural variation on.
        When CO2 rise became evident Natural selection was obviously wiped out and did not need explanations.
        Great explanation.

      • Natural variability is explained. It’s weak. It’s great at going up; not so great at going down. That’s why they call it the ACO2 control knob.

        Like when you told me last year that things were about to chill. Your fighter’s got no punch, and he’s leading with his head.

      • brgates,”I’d really like to have more reliable data for this metric prior to 1950 …”

        There is data prior to 1950, but it would require reliable modeling based on physics :) That’s to the founding slave owners former masters, the British East India Company frequented the Indian Ocean by ship and have a fairly long records of surface temperatures. There is a correlation between SST and OHC plus there is a correlation between tropical SST and “global” mean surface air temperature, which happens to be 70% SST. Since sea level has a strong correlation with OHC and GMST you have another gut check that can be useful. There is also a limited amount of land surface temperature data that might be useful.

        Doesn’t have a great deal of precision but it does hint at some long term persistence. Rosenthal et al. 2013 used the strong correlation between Indian Ocean bulk temperature and the majority of ocean heat content to create a 10,000 year reconstruction which of course has a few warts but indicate a less than smooth as a baby’s butt past climate contrary to some of the more well received renditions based on tree rings and such from predominately northern extent areas using “novel” statistical methods.

      • Everybody now can see that AGW Apollo, has a glass jaw.

      • Arch – don’t bet your life savings on boxing. Boxing’s got nothing to do with the bible. Ditto for physics.

      • angech,

        You might as well say.

        Except I didn’t. You have a remarkable way of staying on point regardless of what’s shown on the page. Look again and you may note that my toy model rather neatly explains Teh Paws due to the combined effects of natural and internal variability which I did not suddenly ignore in favour of “blaming” CO2 over chaotic fate.

        Wake me up when you’ve got observable and quantifiable sources of natural/internal variability as I have used which better explain the overall post-1950 rise than CO2 does. Chop chop — inquiring minds are waiting for more than mere assertion, unresponsive boilerplate sloganeering and clutching at strawmen.

      • captdallas,

        There is data prior to 1950, but it would require reliable modeling based on physics :)

        Inexpert and simple as my model may be, it’s based on my relatively meager understanding of physics. The results are broadly consistent with what I read in literature written by domain experts. I could easily use it to hindcast OHC based on historical GMST, or even SST estimates. Lags and autocorrelation would likely be an issue, but for an approximation of first-order effects I like my method’s odds.

        Rosenthal et al. 2013 used the strong correlation between Indian Ocean bulk temperature and the majority of ocean heat content to create a 10,000 year reconstruction which of course has a few warts but indicate a less than smooth as a baby’s butt past climate contrary to some of the more well received renditions based on tree rings and such from predominately northern extent areas using “novel” statistical methods.

        I would naively expect a geographically limited proxy reconstruction to be noisier than one which was more globally distributed no matter how non-novel the statistical model. See the CET curve on your plot for perhaps a better example. If you really want Holocene variability, download you some Alley (2000) and throw Arctic amplification to the wind.

        It might be fun to ask The Auditor to run Tiljanders (right side up of course) and Yamals through Rosenthal’s codez and see what pops out the other side of the sausage grinder.

      • brgates, “I would naively expect a geographically limited proxy reconstruction to be noisier than one which was more globally distributed no matter how non-novel the statistical model.”

        Yep, that would be pretty naive. Ocean temperature at a depth of a few hundred meters in a location with repetitively week current flow has little short term variability. Unfortunately, you are limited to multidecadal sampling times, climate timescales, which does not require so much novel methodology to get rid of noise. :)

      • I have to hand it to autocorrect, repetitively might be better than relatively weak

      • captdallas,

        Ocean temperature at a depth of a few hundred meters in a location with [relatively weak] current flow has little short term variability.

        Relative to what?

        A very interesting feature of the Makassar Strait throughflow is its vertical structure: a strong jet-like current occurs most of the time in the upper water regions from surface or subsurface down to depths of 300 to 500 m. Within the narrow passage of the Labani Channel and south of it, the core of this current is located at 110 to 150 m depth, carrying water with speeds exceeding 1 m s-1

        Now from Rosenthal:

        The Makassar Strait between Borneo and Sulawesi, the Lifamatola Passage east of Sulawesi on the northern side of the Indonesian archipelago, and the Ombai and Timor Passages to the south serve as major conduits for exchange of water between the Pacific and Indian Oceans; water flow through these passages is collectively referred to as the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) (8). The upper thermocline component of the ITF (~0 to 200 m) is dominated by contributions from North Pacific and, to a lesser extent, South Pacific subtropical waters, marked by a subsurface salinity maximum (figs. S3 and S4). Within the lower thermocline (~200 to 500 m) the inflow of low-salinity North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) dominates the ITF flow (fig. S4). The higher- and relatively uniform–salinity water below the main thermocline (~450 to 1000 m) is referred to as Indonesian Intermediate Water, which is formed in the Banda Sea by strong vertical mixing between shallow, warm, relatively fresh waters and deep, cold, relatively salty waters (8, 9). At intermediate depths, the Banda Sea gets contributions from the South Pacific through the northwestward-flowing New Guinea Coastal Undercurrent (NGCUC). Studies suggest that the NGCUC carries a substantial contribution from the Antarctic Intermediate Water, spreading into the Banda Sea through the Lifamatola and Makassar passages (10). The main subthermocline outflows through the Timor and Ombai passages reverse intermittently, thereby allowing inflow of Indian Ocean water into the Indonesian seas (8, 11, 12). Thus, the hydrography of intermediate water in this region is linked to and influenced by surface conditions in the high latitudes of the Pacific Ocean, as is also suggested from the distribution of anthropogenically produced chlorofluorocarbon along these isopycnal layers (7).

        Apparently they picked the region because it’s like the Grand Central of the equatorial Pacific.

        Unfortunately, you are limited to multidecadal sampling times, climate timescales, which does not require so much novel methodology to get rid of noise. :)

        Nah, I can make the point about globally distributed samples vs. more geographically limited sampling with modern instrumentation giving me three-month resolution:

        Seems I’m not so naive after all.

      • brgates, “Nah, I can make the point about globally distributed samples vs. more geographically limited sampling with modern instrumentation giving me three-month resolution:”

        When you used the term proxy, I assumed you were talking about paleo reconstruction which for ocean sediments has a 50 year time frame for longer term reconstructions. If you are considering climate, 50 years is pretty good and you have a reasonable natural filter for average temperature over that time frame. That reduces the need for novel methods.

        You chart though does show how well the region correlates with global on decadal time scales.

        “Apparently they picked the region because it’s like the Grand Central of the equatorial Pacific.”

        More like Grand Nino since El Nino does appear to have some impact on global climate.

        Now if you take the same region for SST, you will see about the same correlation with global SST which is why Oppo et al. 2009 was compared with Mann and Moberg with the polite little note that there is a difference.

      • captdallas,

        When you used the term proxy, I assumed you were talking about paleo reconstruction which for ocean sediments has a 50 year time frame for longer term reconstructions.

        Well yes, but that was ancillary to my point that a single region is going to have more variability than a more globally distributed reconstruction; e.g., comparing Marcott with Rosenthal over the MWP/LIA.

        If you are considering climate, 50 years is pretty good and you have a reasonable natural filter for average temperature over that time frame. That reduces the need for novel methods.

        All methods were once novel. I’m not just talking about the statistical wizardry, but things like the methods to tease out a temperature signal from ocean mud.

        You chart though does show how well the region correlates with global on decadal time scales.

        It’s not horrible, but the main message in that plot is that the … I’m just going to call it Java Sea for short … decadal instrumental curve still has more variability in it than the 3-month global mean.

        More like Grand Nino since El Nino does appear to have some impact on global climate.

        I’m reading it more that it’s representative of things going on beneath the surface elsewhere in the Pacific, both north and south of the equator:

        The inferred similarity in temperature anomalies at both hemispheres is consistent with recent evidence from Antarctica (30), thereby supporting the idea that the HTM, MWP, and LIA were global events. Furthermore, the similar expressions in both hemispheres indicate a strong link to global radiative perturbations rather than a regional response to changes in ocean circulation.

        Now if you take the same region for SST, you will see about the same correlation with global SST which is why Oppo et al. 2009 was compared with Mann and Moberg with the polite little note that there is a difference.

        Mann et al. (2003) is the least variable of the bunch. He’d probably say that if you prefer Moberg et al. (2005) or Oppo et al. (2009), you’re arguing for a higher sensitivity to external forcing.

        Rosenthal and Oppo as well. [looks up innocently at the previous quote]

      • brgates, “Mann et al. (2003) is the least variable of the bunch. He’d probably say that if you prefer Moberg et al. (2005) or Oppo et al. (2009), you’re arguing for a higher sensitivity to external forcing. ”

        Yep, then all he needs to do is figure out what external forcing applies :)

        One of the things that is interesting about global average being less variable is that it is a product of a smoothing method – averaging involving some degree of interpolation. Since the northern hemisphere is much more variable than the southern hemisphere, you could use southern hemisphere oceans as a stable reference, except for one problem, the southern hemisphere ocean data inhales deeply – it is terrible.

        Compared to land temperature data for the same latitudes this is rock solid stable.

        for the narrow tropics 10N-10S, much less variability and this represents more energy than the 10N-90N band. A fan of energy balance models appreciates that. Thanks to the East Indian Companies, there is also fairly continuous data back to the near the beginning of the temperature record.

        If you use a global SST average, prior to 1950 the southern hemisphere data gets more and more sparse along with much of the “globe” so your average becomes more related to interpolation than reality.

        So while you might not like the IPWP for whatever reason, it has a high correlation with global and a better continuous data record than most of the globe and there are quite a few scientists that do appreciate its value :)

      • captdallas,

        Yep, then all he needs to do is figure out what external forcing applies :)

        Here are some candidates:

        So while you might not like the IPWP for whatever reason, it has a high correlation with global and a better continuous data record than most of the globe and there are quite a few scientists that do appreciate its value :)

        I don’t love it, but it could grow on me.

        One of the things that is interesting about global average being less variable is that it is a product of a smoothing method – averaging involving some degree of interpolation.

        That would apply at the grid level as well. High regional/local variability relative to hemispheric/global is almost certainly real. IOW, taken as a whole, the planet smooths itself.

        Thanks to the East Indian Companies, there is also fairly continuous data back to the near the beginning of the temperature record.

        I can see that being a plus.

      • Brandon

        That a good graphic with the various forcings superimposed over reconstructions of varying merit. I like oppo’s the most as that seems to capture more of the variability that can be observed in records. I carred out my own CET reconstruction back to 1540 which shows some of the same characteristics but whereas I look at the annual data other reconstructions of necessity have 50 or 100 year centres and are homogenised and smoothed so the full effect of annual and decadal variability is lost

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/19/the-intermittent-little-ice-age/

        The temperature record you append to the end of the chart exhibits the greater variability that can be observed in mostly instrument based records.

        The climate goes up and down like a yo yo despite the constancy of co2 in its pre modern record. As I have said before we can observe a 300 year plus temperature rise. of which the greatest is the period from 1700 to the 1730’s which caused Phil jones to revise his opinion of climatic variability which he agreed was greater than he had previously realised.

        tonyb

      • climatereason,

        That a good graphic with the various forcings superimposed over reconstructions of varying merit.

        Thanks. I was afraid that it was too busy, but I really wanted to put Oppo into context with other reconstructions with which I’m more familiar. My takeaway is that taking any single reconstruction as Gospel Truth is inadvisable, and that includes forcing reconstructions. For the record, the solar timeseries I used here is Steinhilber, et al. (2009).

        I like oppo’s the most as that seems to capture more of the variability that can be observed in records.

        At risk of pounding dead horseflesh, I remain dubious of extrapolating it to the global/hemispheric perspective.

        I carred out my own CET reconstruction back to 1540 which shows some of the same characteristics but whereas I look at the annual data other reconstructions of necessity have 50 or 100 year centres and are homogenised and smoothed so the full effect of annual and decadal variability is lost

        The Mann/Moberg NH recons are published at annual resolution, and that’s how I plotted them. I have marked your LIA article for more careful review later … having just skimmed, it looks to deserve one.

        The temperature record you append to the end of the chart exhibits the greater variability that can be observed in mostly instrument based records.

        For that reason, I often use CRU’s decadally smoothed series — or a 50-year filter for stuff like Marcott. I used annual here to give a comparison to Mann and Moberg, which show similar interannual out to centennial variability.

        The climate goes up and down like a yo yo despite the constancy of co2 in its pre modern record.

        For my money Mann and Moberg make the most believable case for that of the bunch I’ve displayed here. Oppo certainly makes a similar case, but again, I think it’s overstated. Mann’s two 2009 works are particularly nifty because they include a global SST and AMO and PDO reconstructions in addition to the NH recon I show here.

        I like Mann best here for its (half-)millennial trend prior to 1000 CE, with which Oppo also agrees. Both are more consistent with declining orbital forcing than the Moberg recon over the same interval.

        I really like Marcott for looking at the entire Holocene. Combined with his partner Shakun’s work back to the LGM, I think we get a very good — and important — perspective on a substantial portion of a major glacial termination.

        As I have said before we can observe a 300 year plus temperature rise. of which the greatest is the period from 1700 to the 1730’s which caused Phil jones to revise his opinion of climatic variability which he agreed was greater than he had previously realised.

        The nearly 1 C climb from 965-1055 CE seen in Oppo is quite impressive. It’s also interesting how it lags the Mann/Moberg runup into the MWP by about 40 years, both of which show similar slopes, but with Mann showing about 50% of the increase seen in Moberg and Oppo.

        I’d like to read Jones’ comment in context if you have the citation handy. So far as I’m aware, he’s not recanted his opinions on CO2 as a climate forcing … I’d like to see if and how he reconciles what you’re surely suggesting weakens the case for CO2 as the primary post-1950 driver.

      • brgates, Crowley and Untermann 2013 has estimated volcanic forcing instead of just events. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo/f?p=519:1:0::::P1_STUDY_ID:14168

        J.M Gregory has a paper on the long term effect of volcanic forcing on ocean heat content that I haven’t finished reading yet, but negative volcanic forcing events appear to have very long recovery periods requiring models to be properly “spun up” if they intend to capture reality. This longer term response to volcanic and solar forcing due to rapid changes in ocean heat capacity initially followed by a much longer recovery time span is interesting since some volcanic responses appear to lead volcanic forcing in the temperature record.

      • Brandon

        Phil jones’ quote is under 3.5 of the link I previously gave you

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/19/the-intermittent-little-ice-age/

        This variability is also apparent in the glacial advances and retreats we can observe over thousands of years. I provided a graphic of these over the last 1000 years in my article ‘The rise and fall of Central England temperatures’

        It would be interesting if you could incorporate it into your graphic, although what with thermal inertia/lag etc it may not tie up too precisely-although it fits CET quite well

        tonyb

      • captdallas,

        The NOAA paleo archive contains a number of AOD estimates, including Crowley 2013. On my list of things to do is compare them against my events list and each other.

        Thanks for the tip about Gregory.

        This longer term response to volcanic and solar forcing due to rapid changes in ocean heat capacity initially followed by a much longer recovery time span is interesting since some volcanic responses appear to lead volcanic forcing in the temperature record.

        Zoiks. That implies warming causes volcanoes to go quiescent. Tack that onto the list of AGW benefits! :)

      • brgates, “Zoiks. That implies warming causes volcanoes to go quiescent. Tack that onto the list of AGW benefits! :)”

        Not so simple. Since there is no good way to determine what should be “normal” volcanic aerosol forcing, Gregory suggested that a period of low volcanic might need to be considered as a positive forcing. Since no feedback sensitivity is roughly 1 C per doubling and cloud’s/water vapor respond to temperature more than a particular forcing, this really could favor a lower “sensitivity” with a much larger impact from ocean thermal inertia. Another reason the IPWP and tropical oceans in general are so important for paleo. The start of the down turn into the LIA is likely super heavy volcanic activity around 1200 ad.which had several events larger than Krakatoa.

        When you get a chance have some fun with Cowley and Untermann compared to Oppo et al.

      • climatereason,

        Phil jones’ quote is under 3.5 of the link I previously gave you

        My bad, thanks. It did occur to me it was in your article; I was too preoccupied with the day’s data grinding to look harder.

        It would be interesting if you could incorporate it into your graphic, although what with thermal inertia/lag etc it may not tie up too precisely-although it fits CET quite well

        My regression template spreadsheet allows me to move any data series back and forth in time at will, which is sometimes handy accounting for lead/lag. It also interpolates for me when various proxy data have different (or inconsistent) time resolutions. It’s the perfect tool for generating over-fitted regression models. :)

        I discovered this morning that if I push Moberg, Mann and Oppo forward 1,000 years (give or take a few decades) that they line up with the entire HADCRUT4 record reasonably well. The match is downright spooky for Oppo.

        I will see what I can see about glacial retreats/advances. I’m already aware that on geologic timescales there can be multi-millennial lags between orbital forcing onset and ice sheet response, and that it may not be symmetric (ice sheets apparently break up more easily than they re-form).

      • captdallas,

        Not so simple.

        I do occasionally attempt to add some levity to these discussions. ;)

        Since there is no good way to determine what should be “normal” volcanic aerosol forcing, Gregory suggested that a period of low volcanic might need to be considered as a positive forcing.

        That makes a certain amount of sense. Just going by my graphic above we can see that the MWP coincides with a relative dearth of major eruptions. I actually quite like that explanation.

        Since no feedback sensitivity is roughly 1 C per doubling and cloud’s/water vapor respond to temperature more than a particular forcing, this really could favor a lower “sensitivity” with a much larger impact from ocean thermal inertia.

        Right now my humble regression model is giving me 1.2 C per doubling for Oppo, compared to 3.2 for Moberg. Mann gives me 2.3. Results to be taken with the finest grains of salt, but for the curious the parameters I’m using are:

        ln(CO2)
        July insolation at 65 N (orbital forcing from Berger moved forward 3,000 years to account for lag)
        TSI (Steinhilber 2009)
        AMO, PDO and NINO3 (Mann 2009, detrended)

        Best fit is Mann (R^2 = 0.93) obviously because the AMO, PDO and NINO3 are part of the same package. Fit to Mann’s data, the model predicts 1.02 degrees above the 1850-1879 mean, which is 0.03 degrees cooler than HADCRUT4 using the same baseline … a seductively non-shabby result and almost certainly a product of me twiddling input parameters until it “looked right”.

        The start of the down turn into the LIA is likely super heavy volcanic activity around 1200 ad.which had several events larger than Krakatoa.

        My graphic above shows five VEI 6 events and one VEI 5. Krakatau was 6. Tambora in 1815 was a 7. The next most recent VEI 7 event was 946 CE, Baekdu Mountain/Tianchi on the Chinese/Korean border. Just prior to that were two VEI 6 events, Ceboruco (Mexico) in 930 and Katla/Eldgjá (Iceland) in 937. Oppo shows temps plummeting before “bouncing” radically into the MWP. Interestingly, Wikipedia sez that the VEI 7 Baekdu eruption had only limited local climate effects. Perhaps that really means limited *recorded* climate effects.

        What I know about volcanic aerosols is that it matters much *where* the eruption is located and how high into the atmosphere materials were ejected. Thus comparisons to VEI estimates can be somewhat misleading.

        Anyway, I’m glad I did that plot … having all that info in one place has certainly given me food for thought.

        When you get a chance have some fun with Cowley and Untermann compared to Oppo et al.

        But of course.

      • brgates, “That makes a certain amount of sense. Just going by my graphic above we can see that the MWP coincides with a relative dearth of major eruptions. I actually quite like that explanation.”

        For disclosure, it took me a year to find Gregory so someone would take that seriously :) It does though explain a few things.

      • Brandon

        It will be interesting to see if you can make a fit with my glacier data. As you may have noticed it was complied from many thousands of references.

        I also write sea level articles and this demonstrated high water stands around the 5th, 13th and 16th century. The current glacier melt and sea level rise derives from the aftermath of the often extreme-but intermittent-periods of the LIA which locked up more water as ice than any event in the last 5000 years or so and dropped the sea levels.

        As regards the effects of volcanos, as I mentioned to you when you first started posting here I had many conversations on the subject with my good friend RGates ( Sceptics and warmists can get along without the rancour and hysteria you see in some places)

        Whilst undoubtedly the location and strength of the eruption have a material effect, the evidence that they are long lasting in their impact is very thin. I examined a number of claimed game changing volcanoes,including those from Mann and Miller. Whilst volcanos can undoubtedly have a short term effect-a season or two-the actual observational record frequently demonstrates that the poor weather attributed to a major volcano had already been in place for some years and it was merely a continuation.

        You seem to be enjoying yourself here-we’re not so bad are we? :)

        tonyb

      • Dallas & TonyB,

        This has indeed been an interesting discussion and has been appreciated. I’ve been grinding through data the past few days and will hopefully have some interesting results to share.

    • Our side has the ‘Big Mo’ for the moment we all can feel it. Hear that sound…
      1,2,3,…

  68. Berényi Péter

    There is no need for “useful climate research”, because it is not even possible until pure basic research is done properly. And an eye on utility prevents it.

    What we can see so far, is the unreasonable ineffectiveness of mathematics in climate science, in stark contrast with The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences. That’s the first &. foremost enigma.

    However, it may well be the case, that not the subject matter is at fault, but the researchers themselves. There are tantalizing clues like the following observation.

    Journal of Climate, Volume 26, Issue 2 (January 2013)
    doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00132.1
    The Observed Hemispheric Symmetry in Reflected Shortwave Irradiance
    Aiko Voigt, Bjorn Stevens, Jürgen Bader and Thorsten Mauritsen

    Abstract
    While the concentration of landmasses and atmospheric aerosols on the Northern Hemisphere suggests that the Northern Hemisphere is brighter than the Southern Hemisphere, satellite measurements of top-of-atmosphere irradiances found that both hemispheres reflect nearly the same amount of shortwave irradiance. Here, the authors document that the most precise and accurate observation, the energy balanced and filled dataset of the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System covering the period 2000–10, measures an absolute hemispheric difference in reflected shortwave irradiance of 0.1 W m-2. In contrast, the longwave irradiance of the two hemispheres differs by more than 1 W m-2, indicating that the observed climate system exhibits hemispheric symmetry in reflected shortwave irradiance but not in longwave irradiance. The authors devise a variety of methods to estimate the spatial degrees of freedom of the time-mean reflected shortwave irradiance. These are used to show that the hemispheric symmetry in reflected shortwave irradiance is a nontrivial property of the Earth system in the sense that most partitionings of Earth into two random halves do not exhibit hemispheric symmetry in reflected shortwave irradiance. Climate models generally do not reproduce the observed hemispheric symmetry, which the authors interpret as further evidence that the symmetry is nontrivial. While the authors cannot rule out that the observed hemispheric symmetry in reflected shortwave irradiance is accidental, their results motivate a search for mechanisms that minimize hemispheric differences in reflected shortwave irradiance and planetary albedo.

  69. Kip, Thanks for a thoughtful essay. I agree with you and Judith that far too much climate science “research” consists of running models and finding ever more intricate ways to tweak inputs and analyze outputs.

    I wonder if there is some flaw in the tropopause theory in the tropics given the lack of confirmation by data. That might be an area where fundamental understanding needs to improve. And then there are clouds.

    However, I question in general whether GCM’s will ever be much more skillful than at present. The processes are so complex and the interactions so large, it seems a daunting task. The way to address this in my opinion is to focus on better theoretical understanding and simple models.

    Generally, there is a problem in current science having to do with the funding of fundamental research. Such research is risky and anyone pursuing it could invest a lot of time and not find much that is new. That can harm one’s career. In the old days, tenured faculty pursued such research because their jobs were secure and many found nothing important, but a few found something big. The current university system with its emphasis on soft money is a step backwards I think.

    • Reply to David Young ==> Thank you. You are right, and in agreement with Ioannidis, Curry, Braken, and others trying to tackle this issue across many fields.

      Funding agencies, journals, institutions and professional organizations all have a part to play in helping to correct the current situation that leads to far too many false findings and far to many of the remaining findings are are true that are not useful.

      Curry too is specifically worried that the funds spent on not useful/useless climate research are robbing the coffers of those wishing to do important, imperative basic, fundamental “blue-sky” research and applied research.

  70. David Springer

    Useless as tits on a tomcat.

  71. catweazle666,

    The threading has become far too onerous. You wrote –

    “By its reaction with the unicorn droppings of course!”

    You have overlooked the feedback from the pixie dust, and the multiplying effect of the dragon breath (skydragon, presumably).

    But the well documented effect of unicorn droppings reacting with CO2 in an esoteric exothermic reaction is good place to start. It’s far more logical than the usual Cargo Cult Science explanations provided by foolish Warmists.

    I wish you well in your endeavours to further explore the magical properties of CO2.

    Cheers.

  72. JCH , cue the theme from Rocky.
    If ….. CO2 increase results in negative feedbacks that are not being reckoned in correctly then global temps will not rise at your predicted rate.
    If natural variability has caused the recent El Niño global temp rise then they will fall in the next month, year, decade and century.
    On the other hand if natural variability has been holding back the predicted CO2 temp rises one should see a steep rise in global temps when the natural variability goes into heat rather than freeze mode.
    While we wait for these events to play out I am going to note every pertinent temp decrease with glee.
    La Niña, Artic and Antarctic sea ice increase, record low temps cherrypicked of course.
    Better get your trainer ready to patch up the problems

  73. The origins of the attp-David Young exchange above seems to involve the claim that (macro)economic models do not have conservation laws, unlike physics. Market economics has very stringent ‘conservation’ laws – market-clearing (accounting identities) and budget constraints (eg Walras Law). It seems doubtful that there has ever been a model not broadly consistent with these principles, except possibly Marxist models (Venezuela perhaps). As the Godley multi-equation model of decades ago demonstrated, detailed incorporation of such ‘conservation laws’ does not (directly) help with economic forecasting.

  74. The problem is both economic models and physical models incorporate chaotic elements that result in outcomes that do not seem to obey the laws of physics and the laws of economics, hence give non physical and non economics results .
    ATTP recognises this flaw in the economics models but refuses to recognise it in the physics models.
    This leads to him making contradictory statements about throwing out uneconomic and unphysical models when they are useful if the limitations of the models are given due recognition.

    • angech,

      It used to be –

      “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

      – David Copperfield – Charles Dickens,

      These days, it’s more along the lines of “just borrow your way out of debt.”, at least as far as countries go. Doesn’t make much sense to me. I don’t think it even makes much sense to economists either. Their predictions seem to be uniformly awful, apart from the odd fluke. Maybe, like climatologists, they don’t really know much at all. Their models don’t seem to be any better than the dreadfully useless climatological models.

      Cheers.

  75. Mike, in economics once a theory is mooted everyone acts because of it to try and change it. The very prediction is the cause of the change in the prediction.
    The only way for it to work is to tell no one.
    In climate science turbulent flow shows the same predictable unpredictability, a surge in temp here a fall elsewhere and who knows what as a result.
    And if you watch the little heisenbergs closely enough they whistle and pretend not to do anything

  76. David Springer

  77. David Springer

  78. David Springer

  79. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #232 | Watts Up With That?