Measuring bias in the U.S. federally-funded climate research

by David Wojick

Semantic analysis of U.S. Federal budget documents indicates that the climate science research budget is heavily biased in favor of the paradigm of human-induced climate change.

For decades climate research has been dominated by a paradigm that posits dangerous, human-induced global warming. This concept is usually referred to as “anthropogenic global warming” or simply AGW. The competing paradigm, which posits the possible attribution of significant natural variability, is barely mentioned. We call this bias “paradigm protection.”

We developed a method to quantify this paradigm protection bias, a method with general applicability in bias research. See our Framework Working Paper for a detailed discussion of bias quantification issues.

We first define two sets of words that express core concepts for each paradigm :

  1. human induced climate change; and
  2. the climate change attribution problem.

Then we measure the rates of occurrence of these two sets of words in the budget documents. The occurrence ratio we find is about 80 to one in favor of the human-induced paradigm. Moreover, it is roughly constant across multiple budget reports, a clear indication of paradigm bias.

Thomas Kuhn, in his groundbreaking work on the structure of scientific revolutions, coined the word “paradigm” to describe the basic tenants that guide research in a given domain. He pointed out that a scientific community may actively ignore new ideas that challenge its paradigm. We have coined the term “paradigm protection” to describe this behavior.

Given the situation in climate science, with new ideas challenging the dominate AGW paradigm, it is reasonable to think that some paradigm protection may be occurring. We have already observed that the National Science Foundation is ignoring the attribution problem (see NSF in Climate Denial?).

Our semantic analysis is designed to test for paradigm protection in the $2.5 billion per year U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The basic approach is to look for language that expresses the dominant paradigm, versus language indicating that the challenging ideas are under discussion. In this case we simply chose fifteen words that reflect each side in the scientific paradigm debate. The occurrence of these words is a tentative measure of the extent to which the corresponding ideas are under consideration.

The underlying principle is that specific ideas require specific language for their expression. We then measure the occurrence of these words in three successive USGCRP budget reports, spanning five fiscal years.

The AGW paradigm

Our search terms are chosen to reflect key features of the AGW paradigm. There is an emphasis on modeling the supposed adverse impact of human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The physical focus is on radiation physics, plus the role of clouds and aerosols. The resulting risks include droughts, floods and disease. We refer to these words as AGW centric.

Our 15 AGW centric search terms are these: Model, Carbon, Impact, Risk, Cloud, Forecast, Predict, Aerosol, Flood, Carbon Dioxide, Greenhouse gas, Radiation, Sea level, Disease and Heat Wave.

The attribution problem challenger

In the last decade or so the AGW paradigm has increasingly been challenged by an alternative paradigm, which emphasizes what is called the attribution problem. The question is to what degree natural climate variability is a significant cause of global warming over the last century or so? How much of the warming should be attributed to natural causes versus human causes? It is argued that this problem is unsolved, so it should be central to the research.

Our search terms therefore focus on features like ocean oscillation and solar variability, which are two of the proposed primary natural drivers. There are also issues like emerging from the little ice age and the existence of prior natural warm periods, as well as the role of chaotic oscillation. We refer to these words as attribution problem centric.

Our attribution problem centric search terms are these: Solar, Natural variability, Natural flux, Ocean circulation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, Solar variability, Solar cycle, Sunspot, Little Ice Age, Warm period, Natural Warming, Chaotic, Chaos and Cosmic rays.

Analysis of USGCRP budget documents

The USGCRP includes almost all of the climate related basic scientific research being performed by US Federal agencies, including NSF. The budget is about $2.5 billion a year, which is a significant fraction of worldwide climate research.

The question is to what extent is the USGCRP exploring the attribution of global warming to recent long-term natural variability, as opposed to AGW? Our approach has been to take a series of their annual budget reports — “Our Changing Planet” — and search each using the two sets of stem words that reflect the two competing paradigms. Our Changing Planet provides extensive discussion of the research program, so it is reasonable to believe that it is representative of that program.

We searched the FY 2012, FY 2014 and FY 2016 editions, for each of our stem words. In each case we simply logged the total number of occurrences of all of the words that included the stem word. So for example search on the stem word “model” includes all occurrences of the words “modeled,” “modeling” and “modeler” as well as “model.”

What we have found

The statistical results of this analysis are dramatic. For the total of all 15 AGW centric stem words we found a range of about 7 to 9 occurrences per page on average. Specifically we found a total of 644 occurrences in 78 pages (8.3 per page) for FY 2016, then 340 occurrences in 49 pages (6.9 per page) for FY 2014 and 482 occurrences in 53 pages (9.1 per page) for FY 2012.

In contrast we found just 0.1 occurrences per page for the attribution problem centric stem words. For the total of all 15 attribution problem centric words we found just 7 occurrences in 78 pages (0.1 per page) for FY 2016, just 5 occurrences in 49 pages (0.1 per page) for FY 2014, and just 4 occurrences in 53 pages (0.1 per page) for FY 2012.

In short there appears to be virtually no discussion of the natural variability attribution idea. In contrast there appears to be extensive coverage of AGW issues. The ratio of occurrences is roughly 80 to one. This extreme lack of balance between considerations of the two competing paradigms certainly suggests that paradigm protection is occurring. Apparently it is not just NSF that is ignoring the attribution problem; rather it is the entire USGCRP.

AGW-centric modeling

The detailed AGW word counts also provide valuable information regarding the specific focus of the USGCRP. That there is almost no consideration of attribution to natural variability is quite clear. The highest count terms for FY 2016, 2014 and 2012, respectively, are these:

  • Model 112, 71, 185
  • Carbon 106, 19, 30
  • Impact 101, 69, 72
  • Predict 74, 36, 58

The strong, central focus of the USGCRP is to use models to try to predict the impact of changes in atmospheric carbon. All other considerations are secondary. It is no accident that variants of the word “model” dominate these documents. Understanding global warming and climate change are not the focus of Federal climate research. It is all about using models to make scary predictions.

Of course solving the attribution problem will involve modeling as well, so the term “model” is not AGW centric in principle. But it is clear from the extremely low attribution word counts that attribution modeling of natural variability is not under serious consideration. The modeling actually being done is heavily AGW centric. Moreover, this modeling dominates climate research. See our semantic analysis of this here: http://www.cato.org/blog/climate-modeling-dominates-climate-science.

Conclusion

This bias in favor of AGW has significant implications for US climate change policy. Present policy is based on the AGW paradigm, but if a significant fraction of global warming is natural then this policy may be wrong. Federal climate research should be trying to solve the attribution problem, not protecting the AGW paradigm

655 responses to “Measuring bias in the U.S. federally-funded climate research

  1. Not impressed by the methodology. As a first cut it is interesting, but it doesn’t do what it purports to do because a search for a few selected words is insufficient to determine the actual nature of a document.

    • David Wojick

      The ethod indicates what they are and are not talking about. That is the point here. The nature of the documents is that they are summaries of the US climate research program.

      • For my study of continental mobility I did a similar search of the journal Science five years before and after the publication of the paper by Tuzo Wilson (July 24, 1965). “A new Class of Faults and their Bearing on Continental Drift”. Nature. 207

        I used “continental drift”, but I could have used other search terms. As it turned out, the graph generated using Science was consistent with later retrospective studies of the rapidity of success of the new paradigm.

      • DW:

        Of the $2.5B USGCRP budget cited above, over half is contributed by NASA. That’s mostly spending on Earth-observation satellites.

        Therefore, it would seem that a large portion of USGCRP spending could be seen as equally supportive of research into natural variability.

        As presented here, your semantics-based methodology seems inadequate to the task of bias attribution and I’m not convinced it can properly identify bias at all. At least some of your 15 “dirty words” are ambiguous with regard to AGW vs. natural variability. And even if they were all solely linked to the AGW paradigm, can your methodology tell us whether the budget is influencing the paradigm or vice versa? Mr. Colbourne used before-and-after snapshots to look for a paradigm shift but what you have presented is easily dismissed as tainted by confirmation bias.

        Hopefully you will continue to refine your methodology in light of some of the feedback you are receiving here at CE. It seems like an interesting concept but it’s not quite “there” yet.

      • David Wojick

        Opluso, satellites per se are not research and NASA’s climate research budget is heavily focused on AGW. I suspect we would fond the same for what the satellites are looking at, because as Kuhn pointed out the paradigm defines the problems.

        Whether the paradigm drives the budget or vice versa is a good question but it is not the point of my analysis. Your question is one of dynamics while I am just looking at structure.

      • opluso said:

        Of the $2.5B USGCRP budget cited above, over half is contributed by NASA. That’s mostly spending on Earth-observation satellites.

        Therefore, it would seem that a large portion of USGCRP spending could be seen as equally supportive of research into natural variability.

        With people like Gavin Schmidt and Piers Sellers at the helm at NASA, your argument doesn’t work.

        The charge is observational bias, or what is known as the streetlight effect. Scientists only look for that evidence that is under the streetlight where the government shines light, or money. Evidence that the government doesn’t want will be suppressed, doctored, or ignored.

        The term “streetlight effect” is taken from an old joke about a drunkard who is searching for something he has lost, the parable is told several ways but typically includes the following details:

        A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is.”

      • David Wojick said:

        Whether the paradigm drives the budget or vice versa is a good question but it is not the point of my analysis. Your question is one of dynamics while I am just looking at structure.

        So theory has hardened into dogma.

        Your study is not interested in explaining what caused this phenomena, but merely demonstrating that the dogma (paradigm) exists?

      • Granted, the budget for the USGCRP is mostly an accounting category that does not tell the entire story of US climate research. But if you are going to use it (USGCRP) to make a point you have to start with their numbers. For NASA, the numbers suggest to me that, during the period of your analysis, they’ve been doing a lot of valuable earth science research. Within the specific accounting category of USGCRP, it appears to be dominated by satellite and airborne data-gathering.

        If, as you asserted below, “identifying alternative plausible hypotheses is sufficient to block AGW as the explanation” then alternative hypotheses to your semantic research results would seem problematic.

        Good luck with future iterations.

        “Selected Agency Highlights of the USGCRP in the 2012 Budget:”

        The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) budget includes a sustained investment in climate science. NASA’s Earth-science program conducts first-of-a-kind demonstration flights of sensors in air and space in an effort to foster scientific understanding of the Earth system and to improve the ability to forecast climate change and natural disasters. The 2012 Budget supports several research satellites in development, an initiative to monitor changes in polar ice sheets, enhancements to climate models, and NASA contributions to the National Climate Assessment. NASA will continue to develop a replacement of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO).

        https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/FY12-climate-fs.pdf

        NASA’s Earth Science Research program develops a scientific understanding of Earth and its response to natural or human-induced changes. Earth is a system, like the human body, comprised of diverse components interacting in complex ways. Understanding Earth’s atmosphere, crust, water, ice, and life as a single, connected system is necessary in order to improve our predictions of climate, weather, and natural hazards.

        The Earth Science Research program addresses complex, interdisciplinary Earth science problems in pursuit of a comprehensive understanding of the Earth system. This strategy involves six interdisciplinary and interrelated science focus areas, including:

         Climate Variability and Change: understanding the roles of ocean, atmosphere, land, and ice in the climate system and improving our ability to predict future changes; …

        NASA’s Earth Science Research program pioneers the use of both space-borne and aircraft measurements in all of these areas. NASA’s Earth Science Research program is critical to the advancement of the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).

        https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_estimates.pdf

      • > If, as you asserted below, “identifying alternative plausible hypotheses is sufficient to block AGW as the explanation” then […]

        That’s just not a valid “if” – it reduces scientific hypothesis testing as a deterministic toolkit working from one necessity to the next, and goes about everything we know about empirical matters.

        It’s just the usual saw “we don’t know everything, therefore we know nothing.”

        DavidW should cease and desist, but it would be silly to expect him to stop.

        Something to do with bias in think-tank funded pseudo-climate research.

      • “Within the specific accounting category of USGCRP, it appears to be dominated by satellite and airborne data-gathering. ”

        So interesting then, that GISS doesn’t use satellite data in creating their GMST data – you’d think they would base their entire work on it, and only be using surface data for cross-checking/validation etc, but that’s not what happens.
        Odd, innit? Goddard Institute for Space Studies publishes earth sciences data collected without the aid of any space based instrumentation! I can’t explain it, unless I resort to assuming they are chasing the research budget dollars.

    • A similar search effort by Prof. Francois Gervais gave this result:
      “The impact on climate of the CO2 emitted by burning of fossil fuels is a long-standing debate illustrated by 1637 papers found in the Web of Science by crossing the keywords

      “anthropogenic” AND “greenhouse OR CO2” AND “warming”

      This is to be compared to more than 1350 peer-reviewed papers which express reservations about dangerous anthropogenic CO2 warming and/or insist on the natural variability of climate.

      https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/wave-drowns-co2-warming/

      • Thanks, RonC.

        Would you like to be mentioned in the acknowledgement?

      • Oh dear, it’s worse than just AMO diddit:

        The key points of Harde (2014) deal with several mechanisms pointing towards the almost saturation of CO2 warming. In particular, since the CO2 infrared linewidth is broadened by pressure in the low troposphere, there is no earth radiation left for the wings of narrower lines at the TOA because it is absorbed below. In addition, the overlap of the CO2 band at 20 THz and of the water vapor spectrum minimizes the additional absorption. Harde (2014) reports a warming of 0.6 ± 0.1 °C in case of CO2 doubling. This is consistent with the absence of temperature change for the CO2 concentration range displayed in Fig. 5, whereas a TCR much larger would be hardly compatible with observations.

        As if the saturation and but overlaps arguments weren’t bad enough, Fig. 5 shows a CO2 vs. RSS TLS scatterplot over 1993-2015. That’s right, TLS.

        Fig. 4 shows RSS and UAH TLT which is slightly more appropriate, in a time series over, oddly enough, 2002-2015. Guess about which year their 60-year sinusoidal curve fit to AMO peaks? [facepalm]

        Next section is the relatively uncontroversial notion that plants like CO2.

      • You might also like this tidbit, BG:

        The impact on climate of the CO2 emitted by burning of fossil fuels is a long-standing debate illustrated by 1637 papers found in the Web of Science by crossing the keywords

        anthropogenic AND greenhouse OR CO2 AND warming

        This is to be compared to more than 1350 peer-reviewed papers which express reservations about dangerous anthropogenic CO2 warming and/or insist on the natural variability of climate (Andrew, 2014).

        You’ll never guess what this Andrew 2014 is.

      • You’ll never guess what this Andrew 2014 is.

        PopTech. You’re right, I’d never have guessed.

    • The analysis appears to show that nobody is talking about attribution. How about a coherent alternative explanation?

  2. “Semantic analysis of U.S. Federal budget documents indicates that the climate science research budget is heavily biased in favor of the paradigm of human-induced climate change.”

    More money needed for research into how unicorn farts cause global warming.

    • Indeed, not nearly enough research into that. I think we really do need to consider all possibilities. No expense spared!!!!

      • Unicorn farts plausibly contain methane, a so-called “greenhouse” gas. This is too close to the prevailing paradigm. I recommend we solve the gold-smelting Leprechaun attribution problem instead.

    • Steven Mosher

      As the world’s leading expert on Unicorns and climate change, I expect to be first in line to lap up some federal dollars.

      However, the real cause of GW is

      ABC

      anything but c02.

      • Mosher,

        Why would you change when you are already paid for pushing AGW?

        Andrew

      • Didn’t semantic analysis used to be your thing many, many moons ago? And whilst this in itself maybe fairly useless it shares a methodolgy with the skeptical science crews 97% paper analysis. So if one is flawed and perhaps subject to ridicule… then so’s Dana’s and the rest of their jolly little crew’s work… Cook et al… so-to-speak.

      • By the same rule, if Wojick and Michaels are right, so are Cook et al.

        We definitely need more ifs. No single semantic improves progress toward more uncertainty than phrases containing diminutive but beguiling word “if”. It’s the bringer of balance and slayer of biases and closed-minded paradigms. Not even God can fault the logic of, “If my opposing statement is true, then your evidence is wrong.”

      • Steven Mosher

        “Didn’t semantic analysis used to be your thing many, many moons ago? And whilst this in itself maybe fairly useless it shares a methodolgy with the skeptical science crews 97% paper analysis. ”

        I’d have to look at their approach.

        Given David’s involved I imagine it isnt very sophisticated.

        Nothing like Latent Dirichlet Allocation

      • Considering current revisions to aerosols, net cloud forcing more likely to be neutral to slightly negative and additional attention given black carbon, Unicorn farts appear to be making a significant contribution.

      • There you go:

        The Literature Snapshots are based on a method Wojick and his colleagues developed for the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy. It uses Google Scholar, which is free to all and includes some very useful functionality. The reader can easily replicate or expand upon our searches.

        http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/working-paper-29.pdf

        Search Google Scholar. Call it a method. Go to Go. Collect 200$.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard

        Thanks I just finished reading it.

        ugg.

        Seriously?

        I’m gunna go ask cato for money.

      • Compare this:

        It should be noted that we make no specific allegations of Federal funding induced bias. We do, however, point to allegations made by others, in order to provide examples. Our goal here is simply to provide a conceptual framework for future research into scientific biases that may be induced by Federal funding.

        To this:

        This bias in favor of AGW has significant implications for US climate change policy. Present policy is based on the AGW paradigm, but if a significant fraction of global warming is natural then this policy may be wrong. Federal climate research should be trying to solve the attribution problem, not protecting the AGW paradigm

    • Instead of pointing out how research into something useful, like regional climate forecasting, our resident clowns offer us their wittiness.

      And fail on that score as well. Unicorn farts, how original.

    • Call me picky but doesn’t research follow the funding? Without tenure you need to publish and some one somewhere needs to pay for that. Are you saying there’s absolutely no such thing as funding bias? Are you complaining about the analysis itself as explained? Or the conclusions that they came to as a result of their analysis?

      If you think it’s so easily ridiculed then please present/publish your own ideas. I’m sure our wonderful hostess will let you present something here…

      • Oops. That was supposed to be to Mr. Appell… User Error… Mea Culpa…

      • “Without tenure you need to publish and some one somewhere needs to pay for that. ”
        I’m all for eliminating tenure.
        Problem solved.
        Teachers must earn a salary by teaching our kids not by expanding their resume.
        Vouchers and school choice is another correct Gary Johnson position.imo

    • catweazle666

      Cor, that’s certainly brought ’em out of the woodwork!

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      Upton Sinclair

    • Purely as a matter of interest, NASA’s FY2016 budget is here: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_mission_directorate_fact_sheets.pdf

      Still lots of “right stuff” going on, thank goodness.

    • “More money needed for research into how unicorn farts cause global warming.”
      Why not? Certainly there has been plenty spent on why my electric lights and me driving to work cause droughts in Syria! And as has already been pointed out, it’s only because model predictions failed for the past 15+ years that the mainstream is interested in dec. natural variations, and still show no interest in cen. – mil. natural variations – and they do not appear to be interested in the how and why of such variations, only in making sure they can get “off the hook” for failed predictions. Seems odd to me, but what do I know?

  3. From the Executive Summary:

    Our working definition of “funding-induced bias” is any scientific activity where the prospect of funding influences the result in a way that benefits the funder.

    This definition implies that any grant that works as intended is biased:

    [A Federal grant is a] legal instrument reflecting the relationship between the United States Government and a State, a local government, or other entity when 1) the principal purpose of the relationship is to transfer a thing of value to the State or local government or other recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States instead of acquiring (by purchase, lease, or barter) property or services for the direct benefit or use of the United States Government; and 2) substantial involvement is not expected between the executive agency and the State, local government, or other recipient when carrying out the activity contemplated in the agreement.”

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

    Well played!

  4. Don’t forget that Kuhn specifically excluded scientific fields with dominant (financial) contribution from business and/or government from his original paradigm.

    Of course, that would have (technically) excluded that most exemplary paradigm shift of the 20th century: plate tectonics. (Much of that research was driven by oil companies needing better ways to predict the presence of oil.)

  5. The Paradigm Protectors are here.

    Andrew

  6. This article is decades late. I experienced the AGW bias in Federally funded research 25 years ago. As the Director of Engineering and Housing for a major Army installation, I had reason to visit the US Army’s Waterways Experiment Station, home of five of the Corps of Engineers major laboratories. I inquired about recent research on a variety of environmental issues. The researchers there told me that all of the grants had been diverted to Global Warming related research. They could not get anything through for funding unless it included a statement to the effect “and its impact on Global Warming” or “How this research helps to assess the impact of Global Warming”.

    The fix was already in. A geyser of funds had erupted to support research but only if it supported manmade global warming and then only if it was detrimental to the environment, preferably catastrophic. The assumption had already been made that global warming was manmade and that it was awful for the climate. Projects that showed findings to the contrary died upon publication. Projects that supported the supposition continued, as did their funding.

    Researchers cannot continue without funds, and it was painfully clear that to continue to have a job, a researcher had to fall in line. It was not hard for honest researchers to find a way to sooth their conscience. All they had to do was accept that the world was warming drastically, the seas were rising horribly, and the weather was about to destroy us all. After all, that type of research was not in their area of expertise. Once over that hurdle, they could easily write their doomsday reports and continue to be funded. The shame of it was that very few of them believed it to be true.

    Coming forward to today, it is still difficult to get anti AGW research funded. The AGW crowd can now cite all the research that has been done supporting their point of view and squash any research to the contrary. The fix was in from the very beginning, and it is amazing how few people it took to pull it off.

    • David Wojick

      Indeed, Bill, the bias dates from the 1980s but it got much worse under Gore and became severe under Obama. Our Changing Planet used to at least break out what the $2.5 billion was spent on. That stopped.

      But measuring it may help smoke it out.

    • I’m curious what the a$$clowns up above have to say about actual evidence.

  7. ‘Anthropogenic’ is a political construct similar to race.
    Hoover dam is as ‘natural’ as a beaver dam.
    Tool making is a result of the Big Bang.
    We do not inhabit the landscape.
    We are the landscape.

  8. How about allocating some funds to observation networks to verify what is actually happening on this planet? Federal observation networks have taken tremendous budget hits the last 20 years. With all the dust-up over “adjusting” observed data we really need to focus on gathering observations now and for the future.

    • Steven Mosher

      There documents spend a lot of ink discussing observations.

      but given the search terms used this doesnt show up

    • Yes, when you examine the raw surface data it’s just a mess.
      Some simple standards with modern electronics is not a panacea, but could go a long way toward:

      1. Complete data ( automated )
      2. TOBS at midnight
      3. standard height ( not from 1 to 2 meters but exactly at a given height ).
      4. near real time updates ( use satellite ).
      5. whatever siting standards

      These things would be useful and given current technology, probably not that expensive.

  9. The bias is self evident, although quantification is always good. It is more than just USGCRP. It is expressly in the IPCC charter. It is evident in Climategate emails (lets cool the 1940s blip). And it is the essence of the hockey stick handle (disappearing the MWP and LIA).
    And that attribution bias will imo shortly be a major contributor to the demise of Warmunism, because it led to multiple projections that are now being visibly proven wrong. The pause will likely return given the LaNina estimates. Efforts to fiddle the surface temp records get more evident (Karlization being investigated by Congress based on whistleblowers). SLR has not accelerated in either land motion corrected tide gauges or in sat alt despite Hansen’s fantasies. Arctic ice has not disappeared as Gore and Wadhams said. The recent attempts at asserted increasing weather extremes are risible (Texas from permanent future drought 2011 per Hayhoe and Dessler to soaked 2015), essay Credibility Conundrums.

  10. This article expresses its own form of selection bias. By looking into USGCRP and related programs, it is not surprising that there is little funding for studying natural variability. These programs do not target natural variability. Other programs within NSF, NOAA, and NASA provide funding for this type of research. Such research is not usually presented as if it were in competition with anthropogenic climate change because it is usually discussed as a distinct problem. These other programs fund study of El Niño, the Madden Julian Oscillation, atmospheric blocking and associated signals in the NAO/PNA, drought dynamics, the Pacific decadal oscillation, and thermohaline circulations, to name a few. One recent study, for example, showed that atmospheric blocking patterns associated with the NAO force the ocean circulation in ways that feedback on climate. By their arguments, recent states of the NAO would amplify warmth in the Arctic and cool the Antarctic. This mechanism may have enhanced the perception of climate change in the Arctic during the last couple of decades, but the study was presented not in the context of climate change, but funded separately under natural variability. Such studies are usually constructed not to disprove anthropogenic climate change, because their purpose is instead to show how nature can vary with or without such change. After all, a simple demonstration that nature can produce a warm Arctic on its own in no way refutes that human activities may also warm the Arctic. If you wish to fight the conclusions of anthropogenic climate change science, it is ineffective to simply show that other phenomena can yield similar outcomes. You must actually show that the specific hypotheses are wrong.

    • “After all, a simple demonstration that nature can produce a warm Arctic on its own…”

      This would be the beginning of a scientific inquiry… but instead we have a conclusion already jumped to that blames humans for doing something wrong. The AGW story is not the result of a scientific process.

      Andrew

      • And by the way, nature already does everything it does on its own. It can’t do anything else.

        Andrew

      • True or not, you cannot logically support your assertion simply by showing that other phenomena might yield similar outcome. In order to show that AGW ideas to be wrong, you must address them specifically. It would be impossible to refute the entire set of AGW arguments in one article, and at least a few AGW ideas are so well supported by the evidence that you are quite unlikely to succeed (for example, CO2 is increasing due to human activities, and CO2 returns some fraction of otherwise exiting longwave radiation back to the earth, thereby yielding small warming). More complicated details where you could gain some headway are in cloud and moisture feedbacks.

      • The issue of interest to me is the amount of $$ spent on AGW, versus the amount spent on understanding natural climate variability. Apart from the issue of climate dynamics research on decadal to century timescales (which is overall small amount of climate research funding), there is a huge amount of funding spent on impacts of AGW. In fact it seems to me that the vast government funded research on climate impacts assumes AGW.

      • Paul,

        It seems you have it backwards. You cannot assert AGW when you already know nature can already produce similar outcomes.

        Andrew

      • Curious George

        For a bureaucrat there is an excellent reason to spend taxpayer’s money on AGW: That is the loudest crowd. Try to limit funding for Dr. Hockey Stick, and he will sue you.

      • Sorry Paul but you seem to have adopted a certain KevinT’s attitude to the concept of a Null Hypothesis. Now whilst that’s an opinion and possibly a point of view it’s not really science . At least it’s not really how some of us practice science. Perhaps that’s the word of the day…. Practice…

      • Dr. Curry,

        In fact it seems to me that the vast government funded research on climate impacts assumes AGW.

        Would the impacts be materially different without the A in front of the GW?

      • well, without the A we would be looking to historical and paleo data, rather than climate models forced by increasing CO2

      • Dr. Curry,

        I assume you know of this dedicated paleo data archive, but I provide it here for the benefit of any who may not. It says in part: NCEI provides the paleoclimatology data and information scientists need to understand natural climate variability and future climate change.

        Plenty of papers in there not containing the names Mann, Briffa, Bradley, Hughes, Marcott or Shakun.

        I’ll reword my original question: do you know of any plausible reason why natural warming might tend to bring materially different impacts than the warming allegedly due to anthropogenic activities?

    • If you wish to fight the conclusions of anthropogenic climate change science, it is ineffective to simply show that other phenomena can yield similar outcomes. You must actually show that the specific hypotheses are wrong.

      Why?

      • Two unrelated phenomena can occur simultaneously and both contribute to an observed trend. My illustration of the NAO contribution to Arctic temperature is one example. If warming can come from that mechanism, it does not refute the possibility that it can also come from another mechanism. My view on this point is central to general logic. If someone argues that CO2 emissions yield warming, you cannot refute that simply by stating something else also causes warming.

      • “Two unrelated phenomena can occur simultaneously and both contribute to an observed trend.”

        Paul,

        if two phenomena can contribute to the same trend, then they would be considered related.

        Andrew

      • If someone argues that CO2 emissions yield warming, you cannot refute that simply by stating something else also causes warming.

        If it were a real science, rather than agenda-driven pseudo-science, the result would be an open question with high interest in further science to answer it.

        Of course, “warming” is a myth. It has little or nothing to do with climate. Much less climate change.

      • No bias here. Move along.

      • Andrew,

        “if two phenomena can contribute to the same trend, then they would be considered related.”

        That is not an automatic assumption. Two phenomenon do not have to be related to contribute to something.

        You place a pot of water out in the sun. You also place a heat element under the pot. While both are contributing heat to the water, the two are not related, unless you stretch the concept to include the fact they are both heating the same pot of water.

      • Related means there is an association. I didn’t chose to base the argument on a generalized term. Ill-posed, I would conclude, Paul.

        Andrew

      • Across the valley from me there in one place on a hillside with a nice south facing downward slope, the soil at a distance looks like there may be a deposit of river rock or gravel near the surface. In Spring and Fall, I watch this hillside slowly ‘calve’ clouds that after an hour or so sail down the river valley gaining altitude as they do and this happens regularly when the humidity his relatively high. Is it the soil, Sun, slope, venting, humidity, light breeze, elevation? What is the clouds relationship to this spot?

      • Why indeed – if natural variation is shown as a possible and reasonable reason for the change, Occam’s razor would seem to indicate we need no other explanation.

    • Bad-Andrew, I’m not asserting AGW here. This article was asserting that natural variability in climate is not given substantial research dollars in comparison with AGW, but they ignored whole swaths of funding opportunities in climate science for natural variability. Natural variability IS funded. I myself presently have three grants to look at different types of natural variability.

      Your last comment asserts that if two independent phenomena both contribute to a trend, that both mechanisms are not independent. By independent, I mean that their individual mechanisms can exist with or without the other. If they do not depend on each other for their existence, then we can research them separately. The presence of one, in that case, says nothing about the presence or lack of the other.

    • AK–Here is a simple example that illustrates my point. On a cold winters day, my house is chilly. I turn on the oven, run a hot bath, and run a propane space heater. All four warm the house independently. Showing that the oven warms the house says nothing about whether the propane space heater does as well.

      • “All four warm the house”

        Therefore they are related.

        Andrew

      • You are getting ridiculous here. Their coincidence is incidental, and it in no way implies that information about one item suggests something about the other.

      • You are getting ridiculous here.

        Welcome to climate etc

      • Some of us understand your point.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Paul, if all that was being said was here is my theory now prove it wrong then you would be correct. The problem is we aren’t arguing science we are arguing politics. What is actually being said is here is my theory now prove it wrong or you must change how you do things. Once you demand actions from others the burden of proof shifts. If you want me to stop using the oven despite the fact that I like baked foods, then you must show it is the oven that is causing the house to be too warm and that the house is too warm for that matter. It would also help if you stopped using the oven first to show you are serious.

      • stevereincarnated,

        To justify weaning mankind off of fossil fuels — a sentence that would bring about untold human pain and suffering — the burden of proof should be exceedingly high.

    • David Wojick

      Paul, the work you refer to is tiny compared to the $2.5 billion USGCRP. Plus most of it is focused on decadal change, largely to explain away the hiatus. There is virtually nothing on recent dec-cen natural variability. NSF goes so far as to say that it does not exist. See my http://www.cato.org/blog/nsf-climate-denial?utm_content=buffer2695b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

      As to the rest, identifying alternative plausible hypotheses is sufficient to block AGW as the explanation. It is not necessary to falsify AGW, although I think that has in fact been done.

      • … identifying alternative plausible hypotheses is sufficient to block AGW as the explanation.

        Good grief.

      • David Wojick

        Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation.

      • An Hypothesis: Little green men from Mars are doing it. Prove me wrong.

        This is an intellectually bankrupt game you’re playing, Wojick.

      • An Hypothesis: Little green men from Mars are doing it. Prove me wrong.
        Prove there are little green men. Sheesh your lack of logic is astounding. it is you that is ‘intellectually bankrupt’.

      • Prove there are little green men.

        You have me there … they could be purple with pink polka-dots. Or they could be big. But they *could* be there, and thus: Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation.

        If we do more semantic analysis, it might be possible to contrive a better explanation.

      • > Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation.

        The Kuhn Fu is strong in that one.

      • “An Hypothesis: Little green men from Mars are doing it.”

        Are you seriously suggesting this is “plausible”?

        After all, you are replying to:
        “… identifying alternative plausible hypotheses is sufficient to block AGW as the explanation.”

      • BG’s green men were responding to DavidW’s “Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation.”

        Unless someone can show that any alternative to AGW is more plausible, AGW is here to stay. For now, AGW’s for now the most plausible candidate to explain the evidence we have.

        Speaking of most plausible candidates…

        Kidding.

      • kneel63,

        Are you seriously suggesting this is “plausible”?

        Who are you to dictate to me what’s plausible or not? Do you have some sort of bias against little green men from Mars … or anywhere for that matter? Try to be a little more balanced and open-minded toward alternative hypotheses because — write this down and remember, it’s important: Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation.

        Not knowing is half the battle.

        Look. We have absolutely *lousy* coverage of the Martian surface … what, a handful of rovers and some satellites. Phoey. They could be living deep underground with advanced technology sufficient to vector cosmic rays away from our planet. We can’t just assume they’re not there because our instruments haven’t detected them yet or because some stupid model tells us that their technology is impossible.

        Good grief. The lack of proper science education on this orb will be the end of us for sure.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation.”

        Lets see.

        Err no.

        if there are multiple hypothesis, then there are by definition multiple explanations.

        This leads us to examine the explanations and choose the one that is less wrong than the others.

        And.. one can arguthat there will ALWAYS be multiple explanations..

        Anyway.. david should know better since he studied philosophy of science

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

      • “Who are you to dictate to me what’s plausible or not?”
        I’m not – I’m asking if YOU think it’s plausible.
        Plausible mind – as in: possible, even likely; consistent with existing data; not yet shown to be wrong etc.

        It is *plausible* that natural variations (aka stochastic forcing) caused the current warming period because:
        it’s possible, even likely because the math behind a “random walk with persistence” indicates that the amount of persistence we see is more than sufficient to allow the trend we see over the period in question to develop purely by chance;
        it is consistent with existing data because we see variations in temperature data and temperature proxies (including historical documents) that are of the same magnitude as the trend we are trying to explain;
        it has not yet been shown to be wrong.

        None of which says that GHGs don’t absorb and emit IR, none of which says that natural variation is the only driver – what it does tell us is that in order to attribute warming to GHGs, we would need considerably better evidence than we currently have, because right now we cannot even show that we are outside the bounds of natural variability, let alone by a significant and dangerous amount.

        AGW is plausible too – plenty of people have and continue to make that case, so I won’t bother.

        So in my estimation, there are two plausible theories, one of which says “it’s normal” and one which says “there’s a problem”, and we do not have sufficient evidence to decide which is correct, or even – as seems most likely to me – that both are in play and we cannot yet determine the contribution of each. So I find myself in agreement with our host that we should only be doing the “no regrets” actions while continuing to investigate both possibilities.

        You may come to a different conclusion and that is your affair. I object to being forced to go beyond the “no regrets” actions based on your assessment of the risks, when my assessment of the risks is very different – and since risk assessment is a political choice, the science is so dismal on things like the damage function, and the costs involved are so significant, no-one should be surprised that I and many others object to your plans to remake the world.

      • kneel63,

        I’m not – I’m asking if YOU think it’s plausible.

        Entirely plausible.

        Plausible mind – as in: possible, even likely; consistent with existing data; not yet shown to be wrong etc.

        Plausible as in not theoretically impossible AND not yet shown to be wrong. Possible doesn’t even require theoretical support, much less consistency with evidence. All possible requires is logical consistency.

        It is *plausible* that natural variations (aka stochastic forcing) caused the current warming period because:
        it’s possible, even likely because the math behind a “random walk with persistence” indicates that the amount of persistence we see is more than sufficient to allow the trend we see over the period in question to develop purely by chance;
        it is consistent with existing data because we see variations in temperature data and temperature proxies (including historical documents) that are of the same magnitude as the trend we are trying to explain;
        it has not yet been shown to be wrong.

        Right, thus I get to say that little green men from Mars could be doing it because that proposition has not yet been shown to be wrong. Simples.

        Take care to not substitute stochastic for chaotic, they’re not the same concept.

        None of which says that GHGs don’t absorb and emit IR, none of which says that natural variation is the only driver – what it does tell us is that in order to attribute warming to GHGs, we would need considerably better evidence than we currently have, because right now we cannot even show that we are outside the bounds of natural variability, let alone by a significant and dangerous amount.

        I don’t recognize your authority as the final arbiter on the quality of evidence required. Your argument also lacks any indication of what would constitute good enough evidence, with the glaring exception that apparently pre-instrumental proxies and historical records are sufficiently good enough to have bounded natural variability.

        There’s a logical absurdity lurking about which not even my little green Martians can touch.

        I object to being forced to go beyond the “no regrets” actions based on your assessment of the risks, when my assessment of the risks is very different – and since risk assessment is a political choice, the science is so dismal on things like the damage function, and the costs involved are so significant, no-one should be surprised that I and many others object to your plans to remake the world.

        Whole bunch of vague, loaded assumptions baked into that one. My desire is to remake how we generate energy. I can pitch that as a *plausible* no regrets policy without breathing a word about AGW if you’d like. We might begin with particulate emissions.

        And no, I’m not at all surprised that folk don’t want to pay for expensive solutions to a problem they don’t think exists. I’d even go so far as to suggest that’s the very reason why there are so many speculations about what else could be doing it.

      • “Plausible as in not theoretically impossible AND not yet shown to be wrong.”
        I looked it up on dictionary.com to be sure, and got:
        “having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable: ” – which is significantly more than what your definition specifies and much closer to what I specified; IMO, of course.
        Still think “plausible” is accurate re: little green men?

        “thus I get to say that little green men from Mars could be doing it”
        Say whatever you wish – your LGM hypothesis is hardly plausible.

        “Take care to not substitute stochastic for chaotic, ”
        I didn’t – what I did do was neglect to consider “chaotic” in my argument.

        “I don’t recognize your authority as the final arbiter on the quality of evidence required.”
        Nor I yours.

        “Your argument also lacks any indication of what would constitute good enough evidence, with the glaring exception that apparently pre-instrumental proxies and historical records are sufficiently good enough to have bounded natural variability.”
        I find it hard to decide if your are being deliberately ridiculous, or whether you really do think that suggesting we don’t have a very good handle in natural variability actually increases our confidence in attribution of warming by AGW.

        “My desire is to remake how we generate energy. I can pitch that as a *plausible* no regrets policy without breathing a word about AGW if you’d like. We might begin with particulate emissions.”

        I would like that – fossil fuels won’t last forever and the current batch of renewables aren’t good enough to keep us going at our current usage. So a *plausible* (as per definition from dictionary.com) no regrets remake of energy generation would be a good thing.

        “And no, I’m not at all surprised that folk don’t want to pay for expensive solutions to a problem they don’t think exists. ”
        If you are of the opinion that it not only exists but is a serious problem, then clearly you find existing evidence compelling – I don’t. I find it stacked with assumptions, frayed by uncertainty, distorted by mendacity and advocacy, and drowning in ignorance.

    • Paul Roundy,
      You say:
      If you wish to fight the conclusions of anthropogenic climate change science, it is ineffective to simply show that other phenomena can yield similar outcomes. You must actually show that the specific hypotheses are wrong.

      We hypothesise that AGW warms the planet.

      Situation 1: Now, let us say we discover that there is a factor X (non anthropogenic) that warms the planet in July and not at all in January. And, when you look at the data there is no warming in January to be accounted for! Where does logic take us in this circumstance? How does our hypothesis fare?

      Situation 2: Let’s imagine that factor X warms just half the planet in July but not in January while the other half sees no change at any time of the year. Where does logic taken us then?

      Situation 3 The planet warms grievously only in high latitudes in winter while in summer, in those same latitudes there is no change or actual cooling? Where does logic take us then?

      Situation 4 We discover that all the warming occurs in winter and extends the growing season and it does so more as latitude increases? So, do we consider the heating beneficial and tell those who push the global statistic in our faces to shove off?

      • Unless you have all the factors that can contribute in any substantial way, then knowing any one factor is insufficient to back out the others. As in the situations you suggest, if there were only two factors, then yes it would be a simple task, but that’s just not so. Many factors can influence temperature. Thus to refute any one hypothesis, you must address that specific hypothesis. I realize that in the real world, things can interact actively even if they can exist independently, but even in that case, knowing any one factor cannot specify another factor.

      • Paul, are you seriously suggesting that the lack of warming in December as seen in the graph for which I provide the address below does not cast doubt on the validity of the AGW thesis?

        See: https://i2.wp.com/reality348.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/sh-sst.jpg?ssl=1&w=450

        In my mind, if there is an underlying tendency for the atmosphere to force warming via back radiation it should be present and measurable in that month where the increase in temperature is least.

        Surely, the onus should be on the proponents of the thesis to demonstrate that its still operating when after seven decades there is no change in sea surface temperature in the southern hemisphere in December. To convince me, they would have to show the origin of the countervailing force that reduces temperature so as to cancel the AGW effect. Then they would have to convince me that the former effect was temporary and the AGW impact was about to come roaring back again.

        In any case the southern hemisphere is too cool for comfort in the winter months. With an optimum temperature for photosynthesis at 25°C I will take that less than half a degree of warming in winter and rejoice in it.

      • Erl–Let’s turn this seasonality conversation around. Why should it warm the same amount every month? Basic radiation balance with land sea contrast and ice physics suggests that there should be seasonal differences. I’ll ask a few questions to get the ball rolling. Why should it warm in the Southern Hemisphere in December? What climate scientist claims that Southern Hemisphere summer should warm then? What part of the AGW hypothesis says that it should warm there in December? How would a lack of Southern Hemisphere warming in December imply that the fundamentals of AGW thinking are wrong? My purpose here is not to defend the AGW hypothesis. I think some aspects of it are wrong (science is the best way of gaining real understanding, but no one is claiming that its conclusions are always right). My purpose is to defend the process of science when it is defensible, and to help people better understand its nuances when its negative attributes arise. If you honestly want to know why warming signals are uneven across the globe and across the seasons, then do some honest research on the phenomenon, suggest some ideas why such outcomes should occur, test them, and if evidence does not refute them, submit them for publication so that it ends up in the open formal scientific forum.

      • Paul, thank you for your reply.
        You ask: “Why should it warm the same amount every month?”
        The AGW argument posits that warming at the surface is a consequence of a change in the composition of the atmosphere leading to enhanced back radiation. Apart from water vapour and ozone the other constituents are well mixed. And the composition of ‘greenhouse gases’ other than these two varies immaterially across the year. Let us consider that low latitudes have relatively moist air and high latitudes dry air. If the greenhouse effect were heavily dependent on the presence of H2O then we should see increased warming rates in low latitudes. The reverse is in fact the case. Hypothesis FAIL
        Because the composition of the air varies little across the year we should see warming across the year. That there is no warming in a particular month is not congruent with what the theory suggests should happen. Hypothesis FAIL. There is no reason to think that the greenhouse effect takes a pre-Christmas holiday in the southern hemisphere in December. To sustain the argument that the greenhouse effect is counteracted by some other factor one has to be able to explain why. No explanation is on offer so: FAIL.

        Re your statement “If you honestly want to know why warming signals are uneven across the globe and across the seasons, then do some honest research on the phenomenon, suggest some ideas why such outcomes should occur, test them, and if evidence does not refute them, submit them for publication so that it ends up in the open formal scientific forum.”

        I have indeed done the work and published it. I have examined the evolution of surface temperature in particular bands of latitude over the last 69.5 years covered by Kalnay’s data set. From the Arctic to 30° south peak variability is in January. From 30° south latitude to the Antarctic peak variability is in July.

        Modes of causation: In short, at any latitude surface temperature varies directly with surface pressure, with geopotential height at 500 hPa, and at 200 hPa.. Surface temperature varies directly with the temperature of the air at 200 hPa that, in its variation, sees three or four times the range that is seen at the surface. The reason why surface temperature varies with geopotential height and the temperature of the air column is the relationship between the temperature of the air and its moisture holding capacity. When the air warms cloud cover falls away.

        Surface atmospheric pressure rises in mid and low latitudes when it falls in high latitudes and in particular in the Antarctic circumpolar trough. Surface pressure has fallen in high southern latitudes by 10 hPa over the last 69.5 years. Here, surface pressure is a function of the ozone content of the air, a relationship observed by all those intrepid and inventive people who set out to measure the ozone content of the air prior to 1925 and confirmed again and again up to the 1960s but since forgotten. Apart from the change in cloud cover that I mention above, the extra factor at work increasing air temperature at the surface is the increase in the frequency and the velocity of the warm wind that transfers energy from low to high latitudes. The importance of this factor increases with latitude.

        All this is described in the chapters I have posted at https://reality348.wordpress.com/ There is not much more to come.

        This is too big a subject for any journal. But if you can suggest one journal that might be interested in taking a part of it I would be pleased to submit. My experience so far, admittedly limited, suggests that rejection will follow. I do invite the review of all interested parties via comment on the blog.

        My work is related to what is known as the ‘annular modes’ of inter-annual climate variation. I describe the mechanisms that lie behind the annular mode phenomenon that is supposed to be, and I agree, the chief mode of natural climate variation exhibited by the Earth.

        At the winter pole convection carries ozone to the top of the atmosphere. It has to come down somewhere and for choice it goes with the high pressure zones of descending air in low and mid latitudes. As a ‘greenhouse gas ozone absorbs infrared radiation from the Earth itself, warming the air in its vicinity. The efficiency of the warming process is pressure dependent, vastly more efficient in the troposphere than in the stratosphere.

        This is the source of natural climate variation. The stability of sea surface temperature in December, in the entire Southern hemisphere, suggests that this is the only mode of climate change that is operational. There are parts of the globe where there has been an increase in temperature in all months of the year but these parts exhibit some decades of cooling to lower temperatures than prevailed in the period 1948-56. Everywhere you go temperature variability is linked to the flux in surface pressure in high latitudes in the winter hemisphere. The origin of the change is therefore unmistakable. The further question that needs to be asked and answered is why the ozone content of the air increases in high altitudes in winter but so unevenly from year to year and over time.

    • Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

      If you wish to fight the conclusions of anthropogenic climate change science, it is ineffective to simply show that other phenomena can yield similar outcomes. You must actually show that the specific hypotheses are wrong.

      Talk about an unscientific assertion, that one takes the cake.

      I can, for instance, hypothesize that “there is a God.”

      You cannot “show that the specific hypothesis is wrong.”

      So does that make the hypostesis that “there is a God” true?

      Of course not.

      • We apply the same logic in our judicial procedure.

        (In Mexico they do not. In Mexico’s “anachronic inquisitorial criminal justice system,” the assumption is of guilt, and one is guilty until proven innocent. As a result, 92% of those charged with a crime in Mexico are charged with no physical or forensic evidence, and 80% of those charged are found guilty. There is now a campaign underway to change this, and laws reforming the penal system have been promulgated. But old habits are hard to change, and reform is slow in coming.

        http://presunciondeinocencia.org.mx/el-sistema-de-justicia-penal/presuncion-de-inocencia

        http://www.animalpolitico.com/2011/03/cinco-puntos-para-entender-la-reforma-al-sistema-de-justicia-penal-mexicano/ )

        In the US criminal justice system, there is an assumption of innocence. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the prosecutor to prove guilt. It is not incumbent upon the accused to prove innocence, thus the well-known phrase, “Innocent until proven guilty.”

        But of course most climate scientists have thrown all this out the window, and carbon dioxide is guilty of great crimes until proven innocent.

      • You are fundamentally misunderstanding the scientific method. I’m not raising the hypothesis of a god–many religious people define gods in ways that are not falsifiable, so no test I could pose could falsify their claims. I’m saying that if YOU suggest that AGW theory is wrong, you cannot prove it by simply showing that something else is right. You are asserting that AGW theory is wrong. I would be happy to see such a proof. I’ve got no bones to pick here.

        Proving the negative in science is actually essential to science, and it can be easy, given a well posed testable and falsifiable hypothesis. I’ll translate for you: Being falsifiable means that it can be proven wrong. If, for example, someone hypothesized that CO2 absorbs and re emits longwave radiation, you could test that in the lab. Shine broad spectrum longwave radiation through an empty tank or one filled with a gas that we know is not a longwave emitter. Measure its subsequent emission with a detector. Then, add CO2 to the mix and shine the longwave radiation in the same way you did before. If the results are not different, you have falsified that CO2 absorbs and re emits longwave radiation. Easy enough.

        The star test in a solar eclipse failed to refute Einstein’s theory of general relativity. If the star had not appeared where his theory predicted, the theory would have been falsified and rejected.

        Evaluating the negative is one of the only constants in good science. It is how hypotheses are rejected. When you complete the test and it comes back positive, you fail to reject the hypothesis, leaving the hypothesis open for further testing. Hypotheses get rejected through these types of experiments. Those hypotheses that do not get rejected simply survive to be tested again in different contexts.

      • To complete my thought, I will illustrate the difference between falsifiable scientific hypotheses and the god hypothesis you presented. Let’s say that someone postulates that Zeus is on top of Mt. Olympus controlling lighting. I say, OK, I’ll hike up there and check for myself. Then I tell the person I did not see him. The person responds, oh, he is just invisible. Then I take various energy detectors up there, but the person then tells me that there is nothing detectable about Zeus. The person has just made a non falsifiable claim. Science is not supposed to be like that. Good scientific claims are falsifiable.

      • Paul, You said it: Good scientific claims are falsifiable.
        There has been no departure from the whole of period mean between 1948-56 and 2007-16 in the southern hemisphere in December as seen here:
        https://i2.wp.com/reality348.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/sh-sst.jpg?ssl=1&w=450
        If the AGW hypothesis is correct we should see an underlying level of warming in every month.
        We should not say we have a high level of confidence in asserting anything unless we can plausibly explain the pattern of change that is observed.
        And in any case warming in winter is a benefit, not a problem.

      • Science is not the justice system, and it does not work the same way. The whole scientific enterprise is based on suggesting hypotheses, then trying to falsify them (i.e., working to prove them false). It does not often work exactly as it should in individual events, but it is probably better than you think. Let’s say that scientist A crafts hypothesis 1. That scientist attempts to disprove the hypothesis, but cannot do so, so he or she submits it for publication along with the evidence. The reviewers consider the evidence, and if they agree that the idea has not been falsified, then it is often published. Then, other scientists try to reproduce or to test variations on the original experiment, attempted further to falsify the hypothesis or to modify it so that it better agrees with nature. I agree that the process of science is imperfect, and that false ideas do get through. In fact, most initial hypotheses are either eventually discarded or modified in some important details. Climate science is no different. Yet, refutation or revision of specific hypotheses is happening all the time, especially in details of the carbon and water cycles, and air-sea interaction.

      • Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        Good scientific claims are falsifiable.

        But AGW (again assuming that AGW means that the predominant cause of GW is burning fossil fuels), is not falsifiable using our current technology and level of knowlege. The climate system is entirely too complex and chaotic, and our measurements too imprecise, for that.

      • °°°°°Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        Science is not the justice system, and it does not work the same way.

        Sure it works the same way. The principle at work is what is known as Occam’s Razor.

        The standard of proof is very different in a criminal case versus a civil case. Crimes must generally be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”, whereas civil cases are proved by lower standards of proof such as “the preponderance of the evidence” (which essentially means that it was more likely than not that something occurred in a certain way). The difference in standards exists because civil liability is considered less blameworthy and because the punishments are less severe.

        To condemn mankind to an existence without fossil fuels is an extremely severe verdict, so the burden of proof must be very high.

        °°°°°Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        The whole scientific enterprise is based on suggesting hypotheses, then trying to falsify them (i.e., working to prove them false).

        You left out an entire step there, which is gathering evidence. The important point here is that we must have all the evidence, for, obviously, omission of a few observations, or even one vital case, might make a considerable change in our final conclusions.

        °°°°°Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        Climate science is no different.

        Sure it’s different, and that’s the subject of this post. Those footing the bill for the “science” have an interest in insuring that the intelligence and facts (the “science”) are being fixed around a policy, and not the opposite — policy being fixed around the intelligence and the facts.

      • But apparently the climate system is simple enough and our measurements precise enough to tell us that it’s chaotic.

        With all the alleged inexplicable randomness allegedly going on here, it’s a wonder that winter is so reliably cooler than summer where I live.

      • brandonrgates said:

        With all the alleged inexplicable randomness allegedly going on here, it’s a wonder that winter is so reliably cooler than summer where I live.

        If you can’t discern the difference between this — a change in average temperature of 70º at a sole location over a period of 12 months

        from this — a change in average temperature of 0.7º over 45 years, and from an agency with a reputation for playing fast and loose with the truth,

        then there truly is no hope for you.

      • AGW thinking IS fundamentally falsifiable, beginning at its most basic foundation. As I already illustrated, if you could demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that CO2 is not a longwave absorber, then you would refute the whole concept. However, on this point, the evidence is as clear as any point in science. CO2 is a longwave absorber. Going down the chain of AGW thought, conclusions are at first nearly as firm: The ice/snow albedo positive feedback, for example, is indisputable. Things get more nuanced and more complicated as you head further down the chain (i.e., into moist physics and cloud feedbacks). Climate models are not very good with convection and clouds. Yet, still, every well-posed assertion of the science is in fact falsifiable. You cannot falsify it based simply on instinct or your politics, however. You must actually show that specific aspects of the paradigm fail.

      • Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        You must actually show that specific aspects of the paradigm fail.

        Well no, the burden of proof — and an extremely high one since the consequences of human existence without fossil fuels are quite bleak — is on you. You must prove not only that fossil fuels cause most GW, but also that GW causes catostrophic events.

      • “every well-posed assertion of the science is…”

        Nice weazel, Paul.

        Which assertions are well-posed?

        Andrew

      • Of course the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. However, if you think you can falsify a hypothesis, it is on you to provide the evidence of that falsification. In that case, it is you who are making the claim. If, for example, you claimed that CO2 is not a longwave absorber, you would need to provide evidence.

      • Bad Andrew–My statement is not a weasel at all. The scientific process, possibly including your own participation, determines which claims are well posed. A peer reviewer, for example, can not only work to falsify a given hypothesis–he or she can demonstrate that the hypothesis itself contains logical fallacies or is not inherently falsifiable because of points not considered by the original scientist. In that case, the logic behind it would need to be reworked or it would need to be discarded. This point applies not only to unpublished science approaching peer review, but to long-published results. Scientists can find exceptions to the original logic and force the question to be reposed.

      • Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1),

        The fact that a hypothesis is falsifiable (in theory), and no one has proven it to be false yet (in practice), does not make the hypothesis true.

        And sure, climate scientists may have marshalled some prima facie evidence in support of their hypothesis.

        But that’s a far cry from marshalling sufficient evidence to fulfill the standard of proof necessary to condemn fossil fuels to death.

        In real life situations, where a legal finding has severe consequences, the standard of proof is very high.

      • “However, if you think you can falsify a hypothesis, it is on you to provide the evidence of that falsification.”

        You are skipping a step. Falsification criteria for the specific hypothesis must be determined… so go ahead and provide it. What is the specific criteria you have determined for the falsification of AGW?

        Andrew

      • Glenn–I’m not making any claims here with respect to fossil fuel policy. The action governments and the people choose to take must depend on a balance of moral arguments in light of expected risks/benefits. Science can inform those arguments, but it is difficult for science to determine the values of wildly disparate components of such complicated policy decisions. The extent to which governments support movement away from fossil fuels depends on how the policy makers value different aspects of the natural and economic (and human) systems involved. For example, the possibility of damage due to sea level rise in Florida in 100 years has to be balanced with the need of farmers in central Africa to modernize (such as by purchasing fossil fuel-driven tractors) to provide food for their populations (I could have raised many wildly different examples here). Like it or not, the evidence suggests that there are real long-term risks of substantial negative outcomes of burning fossil fuels, even if substantial uncertainties exist and even if the alarmists are largely wrong. The presence of uncertainty does not imply lack of risk. Yet, even if dire outcomes were certain to occur, it would not necessarily imply that the best policy decision would be to eliminate fossil fuel use, say, within a decade.

      • Andrew–There are more possible pathways to falsify aspects of AGW than I can possibly count, and every pathway would have its own criteria for falsification that would arise from the scientific process. I could not personally suggest all possible pathways, as my expertise is limited to particular aspects of the problem. Someone attempting to falsify it would simply need to pose their arguments and present the evidence. The culture might resist, but history shows us that persistence in the presence of correct views and evidence eventually leads to correction. Refuting many aspects of AGW climate change would not necessarily imply that the whole argument fails, though. Any person who can provide evidence for a given view has the potential to falsify aspects of it. If you wish to falsify the whole concept, however, you would need to provide evidence that discredits something fundamental to the idea as a whole (i.e., demonstrate that in spite of human activities, CO2 is not in fact rising, or demonstrate that CO2 is not a longwave absorber, or demonstrate that large negative feedbacks overwhelm all of the positive ones and the CO2 direct impact). Remaining debate is not really about such fundamentals (other than the balance of feedbacks), because they have been demonstrated to high confidence. Remaining scientific debate instead lies in the details that determine how much warming will in fact occur (i.e., the balance of feedbacks).

      • “The presence of uncertainty does not imply lack of risk.”

        This is a useless generalization again, Paul. There’s always risk in everything. Life is risk. So when does science come into the equation, because the above ain’t science.

        Andrew

      • “There are more possible pathways to falsify aspects of AGW than I can possibly count, and every pathway would have its own criteria for falsification that would arise from the scientific process.”

        This is just evading the question posed.

        Andrew

      • Paul, as you know, if one accepts the surface statistical estimates (I do not) then there have been only about two 25 year global warming periods in the last 130 years or so. Under normal scientific standards this alone would be sufficient to falsify AGW, because CO2 frequently goes up but temperature does not. Instead we have a host of speculative secondary hypotheses all designed to save AGW. This is classic paradigm protection.

      • °°°°°Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        Science can inform those [moral and policy] arguments….

        The allegation is the very opposite of this — that moral and policy arguments inform the science.

        I for one don’t accept the pollyannaish notion that science exists on its own little island, completely separated and insulated from the human enterprise and from moral and political influences.

        °°°°°Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said

        Like it or not, the evidence suggests that there are real long-term risks of substantial negative outcomes of burning fossil fuels, even if substantial uncertainties exist and even if the alarmists are largely wrong. The presence of uncertainty does not imply lack of risk.

        But there also exists a risk that, if I walk out the door today, I could get struck by lightening. This risk is very real. But does that mean I should never leave my house again?

        Climate scientists are going to have to up the odds that something really bad is going to happen, based on unimpeachable evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ if they expect humanity to wean itself off fossil fuels.

        Theory, speculation and hypotheses that have not been falsified yet are not going to cut it.

      • Andrew, by risk, I don’t mean some vague quantity. I mean a quantity that is a function of a known hazard (something that could cause harm) and exposure, which can be posed as a probability of the hazard occurring and its likelihood of doing harm. Policy makers should ideally make decisions based on the balance of interacting risk factors. In the case of AGW, for example, it might be risk of some outcome, such as flooding, against risk of energy policy to the economy and our ability to feed the people of the world (I could have raised many other points here). Decisions could be logically based on some set of risk thresholds that would need to be attained before action is merited, or in some other way, but good decisions demand assessment of risk.

        In your last comment, you suggested that I am evading the question you posed. Please be aware that I am not here to defend AGW hypotheses or to provide specific information about them. I am here to defend the process of science itself. Furthermore, I stand by my assertion that the scientific process determines the criteria for falsification (such criteria are not pre determined). If they were pre determined, who would decide? When science functions well, any scientist can suggest criteria for falsification of ideas, and these criteria are then open for debate. Science in general, other than some federal budget decisions, is not managed from the top down. It is a bottom up process. Therefore it is not my place to define constraints on how other scientists can question or refute scientific ideas.

      • David–Your assertion would only apply if there were no other phenomena affecting temperature variability. CO2 and temperature don’t need to always agree to support the AGW hypothesis, because phenomena independent of CO2 also affect temperature. If the physics of AGW climate change are in fact misunderstood, we will confirm that point by demonstrating problems with our understanding of the physics, not by pointing to a signal that is actually caused by something else, such as natural variability.

      • Glenn-I agree that we cannot fully separate human nature from scientists. Scientists often choose to study topics in which they are politically or sociologically invested. Yet, in the long run (i.e., over decades), what actually matters is not their motivations, but whether their conclusions are true. Not all AGW scientists are motivated by politics. Many really are trying to be objective. Similar problems have happened in the past in other fields. Tobacco companies paid scientists to do research on the safety of tobacco, and some concluded that it was healthful. Apple grower cooperatives paid scientists to demonstrate the healthfulness of apples (it is no surprise that they found that apples are healthful, and independent analysis tends to agree). Motivations don’t determine the truthfulness of assertions. The facts ultimately do. This point is true even if many scientists motivated by politics collectively work together to keep a paradigm in place. It is the actual evidence that actually determines the veracity of an argument. So, if you disagree on a particular point, first, try to prove yourself wrong (don’t let your own motivations lead you astray). Then, if you think evidence continues to support your perspective, present your ideas to the broader community along with the evidence, and work patiently through the debate as it runs its course.

        The best scientists are those who allow themselves to conclude that they have been wrong “these many years” after seeing a preponderance of evidence disagree with their opinions.

      • Paul, the real issue is when the institutions that support science, including publishing journals, become advocates, e.g. AAAS, AGU etc. See my previous post (ir)responsible advocacy https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/

        As the most egregious example of this, see this op-ed by Chief Editor of Science Marcia McNutt https://judithcurry.com/2015/07/05/the-beyond-two-degree-inferno/

      • Judith–I agree, though important I don’t think such problems permeate the whole of science. . . It helps to understand how the whole scientific enterprise would function naturally, then to advocate within the system to raise the credibility of alternate views when they can be supported, and to point out bias where it lies. It does not help that people on opposite sides of this issue can be equally dogmatic in demonizing or trying to silence opposing views. Progress is not made by silencing people, including the choice of an editor to not publish a manuscript that supports an alternative view after it reviews well. Advocating for open discussion is probably probably the best path to success. By success, I mean eventually reaching the best approximation to the truth.

      • Paul, the badly infected areas of science include climate change, environmental science, psychology, health and nutrition. Fields like physics get infected with groupthink, but are relatively immune from the policy advocacy disease.

      • Paul, “Judith–I agree, though important I don’t think such problems permeate the whole of science. . ”

        How many apples need to be rotten before you start pitching them?

      • AGW thinking IS fundamentally falsifiable, beginning at its most basic foundation. As I already illustrated, if you could demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that CO2 is not a longwave absorber, then you would refute the whole concept. However, on this point, the evidence is as clear as any point in science. CO2 is a longwave absorber.

        Cooling is nonlinear, and Co2 is not the regulator.

        It’s the water that creates a nonlinear cooling profile.
        Deserts cool quickly at night, with Co2 being dominate.
        The tropics don’t cool quickly at all, and the dominate ghg is water vapor.

        When you examine night time cooling rates, and the temp of the sky the surface radiatively cools to, it does not explain why cooling late at night (usually, deserts being the counter example) slows down. But when you add dew points, it becomes obvious.

        The transition from one regime to the other is controlled by water vapor. This also explains why there’s no evidence of a change in night time cooling, the high cooling rate regime, the one regulated by co2 is present until any excess warming from the co2 has left the system, at which point water vapor slows cooling, whether the second slower regime takes an extra minute or ten before it is engaged.

        But it will always bleed off any excess, prior to the slow down.

        This point where dew point take over, then strips water vapor out of the air, where it shows up as dew, some of which ends up in the water table. This limits water vapor in most locations.

      • Since climate change is entirely a matter of geophysics, it’s far too optimistic to exempt physics from the perils of advocacy-based errors. All the more so, when one recognizes that the empirical evidence, which is the sine qua non of genuine–as opposed to theoretical–physics, is astonishingly paltry at root and highly tendentious.in presentation.

        Alas, one recognizes that sorry state of affairs only upon recourse to advanced methods of signal analysis, which are almost always beyond the ken of “climate scientists.” Being largely a mathematical discipline, signal analysis is indeed quite exempt from advocacy-based errors. Thus we have a pitiful situation where the putative “consensus” view of climate change is manifestly inconsistent with bona fide empirical evidence, yet persists through the force of analytic ignorance.

      • I agree in principle, Judith, though I may be a little more optimistic. Not everything that emerges from the fields you describe is wrong–I would guess more than half may ultimately stand the test of time, though I have no specific basis for this assertion. For example, a climate analysis focused on the nature of a particular temperature or moisture feedback or a numerical modeling innovation may turn out the same result regardless of systematic favoritism of alarmist views. Climate models of 15 years ago could barely simulate realistic ENSO or MJO signals, and now many models have realistic ENSO behavior and some models appear at first shallow glance to have reasonable MJO signals. Also, I think that dietary science, for example, has begun a healthy transformation. I never really believed the cholesterol dogmas, even though serum cholesterol seems to be a reasonable statistical predictor of heart disease. Many recent studies contradicting the previous prevailing views have been published, have gained notoriety, and are starting to affect change in the medical community. Yet even at the same time that scientists and science organizations were perpetuating such dogmas, biological, health, and medical fields have indexed the human genome and in many other ways produced progress beyond our dreams of twenty years ago. Dogmatism is part of human nature, but that does not necessarily imply that we are doomed to decline.

      • Glenn Stehle,

        If you don’t understand that seasonal predictability as a response to regularly varying insolation is an argument against God playing dice with climate, there truly is no hope for you.

        Changing your argument from “our measurements too imprecise” to “but NASA” was a nice touch. Not at all biased. And not like they’re the only game in town.

        I take it you concede the point that there’s really no way for you to know from measurements that the system is chaotic. I mean, with all these sloppy instruments, how are we to tell the difference between measurement noise and chaotic variability?

      • If you don’t understand that seasonal predictability as a response to regularly varying insolation is an argument against God playing dice with climate, there truly is no hope for you.

        Somewhat ironic:
        Seasonal fluctuation is not a good analogy for global mean temperature, because, of course, seasonal GMST is out of phase with TOA net radiance. GMST peaks around June when TOA net radiance is lowest and troughs around December when TOA net radiance is greatest.

        But apart from that, I do understand and agree with your point. Radiative Forcing induced by CO2 appears to be relatively stable and predictable.
        As a result, so too would GMST appear to be predictable.

        The difference is all the spectrum of unpredictable wave pattern tendencies which are responsible for the extreme weather boogie men that the IPCC wants to try and invoke beyond GMST ( even though the participants know better ). One may never predict the frequency or extent of winds, tropical cyclones, precipitation, floods, drought, heatwaves, cold spells, without predicting the motions of the atmosphere which produce them.

      • Dr. Curry ==> I would add to your list here: “Paul, the badly infected areas of science include climate change, environmental science, psychology, health and nutrition.” most of what are called the Social Sciences, in which [dubious] assumptions of truth are based on tenuous self-referential associations and concepts, derived through statistical methods applied to very small samples.

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        Seasonal fluctuation is not a good analogy for global mean temperature, because, of course, seasonal GMST is out of phase with TOA net radiance. GMST peaks around June when TOA net radiance is lowest and troughs around December when TOA net radiance is greatest.

        Sure. The NH has less ocean area than the SH, and therefore a higher albedo. Thus net SW flux at TOA is lower during boreal summer months.

        But apart from that, I do understand and agree with your point. Radiative Forcing induced by CO2 appears to be relatively stable and predictable. As a result, so too would GMST appear to be predictable.

        … save for inter-annual and -decadal fluctuations which are decidedly natural. What I find most ironic about this whole thread is that when internal variability is invoked as an explanation for Teh Paws, it’s branded as an “excuse”. When it’s invoked as a plausible mechanism for temperature rise over the entire 20th Century, everyone suddenly becomes a Lorenz fan again.

        The difference is all the spectrum of unpredictable wave pattern tendencies which are responsible for the extreme weather boogie men that the IPCC wants to try and invoke beyond GMST ( even though the participants know better ). One may never predict the frequency or extent of winds, tropical cyclones, precipitation, floods, drought, heatwaves, cold spells, without predicting the motions of the atmosphere which produce them.

        You’re getting far afield the topic at hand.

        My appeal to seasonality doesn’t rule out persistent, long term persistent step changes of the kind Lorenz wrote of. It does illustrate how even highly localized seasonal predictability is something we take for granted despite all the daily weather noise, i.e., the planet does follow demonstrably consistent physical laws.

        Here’s another irony. I’m not sure folks here realize the implications of thumping on chaos to make the case for unpredictability. See this exchange from elsewhere on this thread:

        Kip Hansen | August 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm |

        Wojick ==> The general principles of Chaos Theory [sic] are extremely important to the understanding of the Earth’s climate system. The feature you refer to, where a system makes what appear as step changes as initial conditions or important parameters are changed, even infinitesimally, are ubiquitous in dynamical systems, appearing in nearly all studied systems.

        That’s a setup for as good an argument as I can think of for not doubling CO2 concentration in the atmosphere on a whim … who knows what might happen?

        But, as everyone knows, “tipping points” are alarmist nonsense.

      • brandonrgates,

        Does your significant other tie your shoelaces for you?

        I can’t imagine you being able to perform such a simple chore by yourself.

      • Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        Yet, in the long run (i.e., over decades), what actually matters is not their motivations, but whether their conclusions are true….

        Motivations don’t determine the truthfulness of assertions. The facts ultimately do. This point is true even if many scientists motivated by politics collectively work together to keep a paradigm in place. It is the actual evidence that actually determines the veracity of an argument.

        Let me give a real-world example of just how dangerous and destructive your epistemology can be.

        Take the hypothesis: Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.

        Did those who proposed it have some prima facie evidence that led them to formulate the hypothesis? Yes.

        Was the hypothesis falsifiable? Yes.

        Was the hypothesis true? No.

        Was enormous, unnecessary destruction caused by the hypothesis, before it was falsified? Yes.

      • Glenn–Your response about the Iraq war doesn’t make any sense to me in the context of my comments to which you responded. That situation actually supports my arguments. I stated that in the end, what matters is whether a claim is actually true, not what politics might have motivated the claim. The the Bush administration happened to be wrong in their assertions that such weapons were present at the time they claimed. Regardless of their motivations, is not a counter argument to my claim. Science that yields correct inferences and science that yields incorrect inferences is independent of motivation. My comparison of research funded by big tobacco and research funded by apple growers is a nice illustration. Even research that comes out of corruption can yield correct results, so what really matters is the actual arguments and the evidence thereof. In terms of government funding of science, I resist corruption, but in terms of the results of science, it is the actual arguments, results, and evidence that matter.

      • Paul Roundy (@PaulRoundy1) said:

        Your response about the Iraq war doesn’t make any sense to me in the context of my comments to which you responded.

        Well let’s try another real-world example.

        Hypothesis: Global warming exists, it is caused predominately by the burning of fossil fuels, and its consequences will be catostrophic.

        Did those who proposed it have some prima facie evidence that led them to formulate the hypothesis? Yes.

        Is the hypothesis falsifiable? Yes (given enough time, and assuming we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate)

        Is the hypothesis true? We don’t know.

        Will enormous, unnecessary destruction be caused by the hypothesis? We don’t know. If the hypothesis is false, and yet we act on it as if it were true (as we did in Iraq), then it will cause enormous unncessary destruction and loss of human flourishing.

      • Hypothesis: Global warming exists,…

        Is the hypothesis falsifiable?

        Since 1940 75.6 million surface station records (all stations with 360 samples/year/station).
        Average daily warming 17.841F average daily cooling 17.845F
        Now, I can hear the protesting that I went back to 1940.

        1980 to 2015, 59 million surface station records (same criteria).
        Daily warming 17.868F daily cooling 17.875F

        Surface stations cool more than they warm. Now you might say, well how can that be!!! Because tropical oceans evaporate water, and that water vapor blows inland to cool.

        Night time cooling is nonlinear, at sunset the cooling rate is very high, this is the regime controlled by co2, but later in the night, as air Temps near dew point, cooling greatly slows, this is the regime controlled by water vapor. The thing is, even if there is a slight warming from co2, that heat is lost to space prior to the switch to the low cooling rate water vapor controlled regime(because the switch is temp controlled). Water vapor controls cooling, not co2. Consider deserts and tropics as the 2 extreme examples, deserts, mostly co2 limited cooling drop on average of 35F in a night, there tropics controlled by water drop on average 15F at night. Lastly the only way co2 can affect Temps is to reduce night time cooling, it doesn’t.

      • You’re getting far afield the topic at hand.

        No – it goes to the predictability of GMST ( mathematical expression of RF is relatively stable ) but the non-predicatability of extremes ( mathematical expression of fluid flow is inherently unstable ).

        That’s a setup for as good an argument as I can think of for not doubling CO2 concentration in the atmosphere on a whim … who knows what might happen?

        There’s no reason to believe that changes inCO2 or changes in GMST change the indeterminate nature of weather.

        But, as everyone knows, “tipping points” are alarmist nonsense.
        Pretty much. Tipping points was a great undefined buzzphrase to try and frighten the public with. Atmospheric fluid flow is tipping all the time, independent of GMST, though it is constrained by the mountains and ocean basins. The one significant long term phase change that occurs in terms of climate is water/ice. But we’re already in an interglacial and during past events when Greeland’s interior was warmer coincided with increased accumulation, so what exactly would tip?

      • Paul,
        I’m enjoying your posts. Thanks for them. A question.

        “As I already illustrated, if you could demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that CO2 is not a longwave absorber, then you would refute the whole concept. ”

        Why? The wind has a measurable effect on wheeled vehicles, the grade of a hill undeniably impacts the speed of a wheeled vehicle. You do not need to demonstrate that either of these are false in order to certify that I got a speeding ticket because I put too much pressure on the gas pedal.
        As for the broader impact of not studying natural variation… I live on the east coast. Accurate and meaningful prediction of hurricane season is something I need- it impacts my local government’s spending, my workplace and my home. In the early 2000s hurricanes became the iconic example of what AGW will wreak upon mankind. Dutifully, from 2007 to 2015 NOAA has forecast normal or above normal hurricane activity including landfalls. There hasn’t been a hurricane landfall on the east coast in 10 years- an “unprecedented” drought. in 2015 they finally, for the first time, predicted their first “below normal” season.
        When you have a decade long record of being dead-flat-freaking wrong with a prediction people really need, don’t spend all your climate money confirming how good the wrong models are. Look for for what needs to be changed.

      • Hi, Jeffnsails. . . Although other phenomena may contribute to warming, the AGW hypothesis is principally that CO2 (and methane, etc.) causes warming. This hypothesis is certainly not exclusive of other (say, natural) warming agents, but my assertion that a scientist could falsify AGW theory by simply demonstrating that CO2 is not a longwave absorber works because that theory has as its most fundamental concept that CO2 does absorb longwave (the evidence strongly supports the perspective). It is irrelevant to that hypothesis that, say, painting all the earth’s deserts black would also raise the earth’s temperature.

        I hear you on the media and dire predictions about hurricanes a decade ago, especially after the very active 2005 hurricane season. Many people argued at that time that conditions would mainly (or only) get worse (unless we took quick action on energy policy, they claimed). Yet the science on the relationship between tropical cyclones and climate change is clearly not settled, and it is a good illustration in spite of the present culture in climate change science that dissenting opinions can still be heard and respected when their arguments are sufficiently sound. Much of the discussion in the scientific community on this topic has gradually evolved toward a semi-consensus view that tropical cyclones in general are likely to become less frequent than they are today, but that a larger fraction of them are likely to reach the highest range of intensities. The last ten years in the Atlantic basin have not supported this point of view, but category 5 hurricanes are relatively rare events, so only counting events over periods of time longer than decades could really demonstrate useful information with respect to trends, and examining tropical cyclone observational data back over decades does not necessarily yield clear conclusions because storms were missed or mischaracterized in the record more often back then than now.

        The media and some scientists have made similar claims about violent tornado outbreaks–here is a blog I posted on that topic:
        http://roundyeducationblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/climate-change-and-violent-tornadoes.html

      • One further point: My understanding of the process followed to make NOAA’s seasonal tropical cyclone forecasts for the Atlantic basin suggests that climate change theory actually contributed little to their over predicted seasons in recent years. Each individual year was predicted based on signals of largely natural phenomena (such as the El Niño/southern oscillation, the Atlantic meridional mode, and others). We do have some skill in predicting ENSO, but tropical cyclone seasonal forecasts are often made at a time of year when ENSO prediction is most difficult. The phenomena that we do understand that provide predictability in seasonal tropical cyclone activity only explain so much of the year to year variance of tropical cyclone activity, so it is not surprising that these forecasts can have large errors.

      • Steven Mosher

        “When you have a decade long record of being dead-flat-freaking wrong with a prediction people really need, don’t spend all your climate money confirming how good the wrong models are. ”

        “Similar to observational analyses, confidence in numerical simulations
        of tropical cyclone activity (Supplementary Material Tables 14.SM.1
        to 14.SM.4) is reduced when model spatial domain is reduced from
        global to region-specific (IPCC SREX Box 3.2; see also Section 9.5.4.3).
        The assessment provided by Knutson et al. (2010) of projections based
        on the SRES A1B scenario concluded that it is likely that the global
        frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially
        unchanged while mean intensity (as measured by maximum wind
        speed) increases by +2 to +11% and tropical cyclone rainfall rates.
        increase by about 20% within 100 km of the cyclone centre. However,
        inter-model differences in regional projections lead to lower confidence
        in basin-specific projections, and confidence is particularly low for projections
        of frequency within individual basins. For example, a recent
        study by Ying et al. (2012) showed that numerical projections of 21st
        century changes in tropical cyclone frequency in the western North
        Pacific range broadly from –70% to +60%, while there is better model
        agreement in measures of mean intensity and precipitation, which are
        projected to change in the region by –3% to +18% and +5% to +30%,
        respectively. The available modelling studies that are capable of producing
        very strong cyclones typically project substantial increases in
        the frequency of the most intense cyclones and it is more likely than
        not that this increase will be larger than 10% in some basins (Emanuel
        et al., 2008; Bender et al., 2010; Knutson et al., 2010, 2013; Yamada
        et al., 2010; Murakami et al., 2012). It should be emphasized that this
        metric is generally more important to physical and societal impacts
        than overall frequency or mean intensity.

        As seen in Tables 14.SM.1 to 14.SM.4 of the Supplementary Material,
        as well as the previous assessments noted above, model projections
        often vary in the details of the models and the experiments performed,
        and it is difficult to objectively assess their combined results to form a
        consensus, particularly by region. It is useful to do this after normalizing
        the model output using a combination of objective and subjective
        expert judgements. The results of this are shown in Figure 14.17, and
        are based on a subjective normalization of the model output to four
        common metrics under a common future scenario projected through
        the 21st century. The global assessment is essentially the same as
        Knutson et al. (2010) and the assessment of projections in the western
        North Pacific is essentially unchanged from Ying et al. (2012). The
        annual frequency of tropical cyclones is generally projected to decrease
        or remain essentially unchanged in the next century in most regions
        although as noted above, the confidence in the projections is lower
        in specified regions than global projections. The decrease in storm
        frequency is apparently related to a projected decrease of upward
        deep convective mass flux and increase in the saturation deficit of
        the middle troposphere in the tropics associated with global warming
        (Bengtsson et al., 2007; Emanuel et al., 2008, 2012; Zhao et al., 2009;
        Held and Zhao, 2011; Murakami et al., 2012; Sugi et al., 2012; Sugi and
        Yoshimura, 2012).

        A number of experiments that are able to simulate intense tropical
        cyclones project increases in the frequency of these storms in some
        regions, although there are presently only limited studies to assess and
        there is insufficient data to draw from in most regions to make a confident
        assessment (Figure  14.17). Confidence is somewhat better in
        the North Atlantic and western North Pacific basins where an increase
        in the frequency of the strongest storms is more likely than not.

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

      • Steven Mosher | August 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm | in response to Jeffnsails850

        I can simplify it for you – we really don’t know wtf is going to happen. But, by all means, let’s use this type of “science” to inform policy to declare a planetary emergency requiring dramatic and urgent action to ban the use of fossil fuels.

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        There’s no reason to believe that changes inCO2 or changes in GMST change the indeterminate nature of weather.

        Bullcrap. What precludes a system that is perfectly capable of inducing itself to an entirely different and long-term stable climate regime from also being externally forced into one?

        Consistent logic. Try it sometime.

        Tipping points was a great undefined buzzphrase to try and frighten the public with.

        And now we’re at the point of the discussion wherein you become omniscient. Very well then. Which laws of known physics preclude the possibility of an irreversible collapse of polar ice sheets?

      • catweazle666

        brandonrgates: “Which laws of known physics preclude the possibility of an irreversible collapse of polar ice sheets?”

        If you’re referring to the ice caps on Greenland and Antarctica, the ones that dictate how many millennia it would take to get enough latent heat into the system to melt them, and the ones that tell us how inserting such huge volumes of water at zero degrees centigrade will automatically cool the system right back down again?

        If you’re referring to the ice sheets on the surface of the ocean, the loss is very unlikely to be catastrophic anyway, it never has been in the past.

        So I advise you to chuck away your rubber sheet and your antidepressants and enjoy life for a change.

      • There’s no reason to believe that changes inCO2 or changes in GMST change the indeterminate nature of weather.

        Bullcrap. What precludes a system that is perfectly capable of inducing itself to an entirely different and long-term stable climate regime from also being externally forced into one?

        And guess what? Reducing CO2->reducing GMST is an external forcing.
        How can you be sure that reducing CO2 won’t trigger a catastrophic climate shift?

        Of course, for that to be, you’d have to make some physical case on why.
        The equations of Lorenz’ chaos were equations of motion.
        You won’t find global average temperature anywhere in those equations. You will find temperature exactly once: in the equation of state, which describes pressure in terms of temperature, but it is pressure gradients, not pressure, which provide motion.

        Tipping points was a great undefined buzzphrase to try and frighten the public with.

        And now we’re at the point of the discussion wherein you become omniscient. Very well then. Which laws of known physics preclude the possibility of an irreversible collapse of polar ice sheets?

        Which laws of physics preclude an alien invasion?

        You can imagine all kinds of scary but unlikely things.

        Ice sheet collapse would appear highly unlikely to be the result of AGW ( not even the IPCC nor Hansen want to wander in there, so while it’s a popular meme, claiming it out loud makes you lonely ), because:

        1. Evidently, Greenland’s ice survived the thousands of years of the HCO.

        2. Evidently, Greenland’s ice survived the thousands of years of the Eemian .

        3. Greenland ice core records indicate positive correlation between temperature and ice accumulation ( warmer temperatures -> greater ice accumulation ).

        4. Even were ablation to occur, it took thousands of years for the ice sheets of the LGM to decline, AGW will be lucky to last another century ( and will decidedly peak with peak population ).

        5. Local temperature response to declining sea ice may well be a factor, but AA peaks in winter when temperatures remain well below freezing and trough during summer which is the time of whatever melt might occur.

        6. It’s still pretty effin’ cold on top of Greenland.

        BTW, Irreversible is another buzzword to frighten the public with.

        There have been countless ( well, okay, you can count them ) numbers of glacials/inter-glacials. Every last one of them reversed, and this inter-glacial will as well, though it does appear that the next 100,000 years will be marked by quite a bit of high latitude insolation. Lucky Earth.

      • catweazle666,

        Yes, ice caps is the more appropriate term, thank you for the correction.

        I didn’t ask for an estimate of how long it would take them to completely break up and slide into the ocean. It is kind of amusing how non-linearity has suddenly become predictable again, however.

        If you’re referring to the ice sheets on the surface of the ocean, the loss is very unlikely to be catastrophic anyway, it never has been in the past.

        Multiple billions of humans and high-value coastal land and infrastructure didn’t exist in the geological past. I.e., there was no global economy to tank due to plummeting property values.

      • catweazle666

        brandonrgates: “If you’re referring to the ice sheets on the surface of the ocean, the loss is very unlikely to be catastrophic anyway, it never has been in the past.

        Multiple billions of humans and high-value coastal land and infrastructure didn’t exist in the geological past.”

        So, brandongates, you believe that the melting of floating ice raises the sea level, right? Please inform us as to the amount of sea level rise likely to occur if the ice sheets on the surface of the ocean were to melt.

        Hint: Use a search engine to inform yourself on the subject of Archimedes’ Principle.

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        And guess what? Reducing CO2->reducing GMST is an external forcing.
        How can you be sure that reducing CO2 won’t trigger a catastrophic climate shift?

        That’s what’s so useful about the “but chaos” argument; nothing is predictable. Therefore, nothing we do matters, so there’s no reason to not continue doing it.

        Your false dichotomy is cute. Does it not occur that an answer to this conundrum is to stabilize CO2? Would not then delta-F go to zero? After that, it’s just a matter of crossing our fingers and hoping that tomorrow isn’t the day that Chaos decides to jump to an entirely different regime for the lulz.

        We might not be able to avoid Fate, but that doesn’t make it wise to run around tempting it.

        Of course, for that to be, you’d have to make some physical case on why.

        The case has already been made, TE. Not by me, by Doc. Brown and Kip Hansen … even though the latter doesn’t seem to realize it.

        The equations of Lorenz’ chaos were equations of motion.
        You won’t find global average temperature anywhere in those equations.

        Wow. Go argue with Lorenz about his own words, top of page 17. Then read his concluding remarks starting on p. 26. Much (but not all) of his work was just like this; abstract models that can’t actually tell us how climate will behave, but which in simplified form demonstrate some of the features we should consider when looking at the data.

        Which laws of physics preclude an alien invasion?

        Absolutely none. I keep telling everyone we should be looking for little green men on Mars as the cause. Oddly enough, nobody seems to be taking me seriously. Par for the course I ‘spose.

        You can imagine all kinds of scary but unlikely things.

        And you can dismiss perfectly plausible physical mechanisms like forced high-gain feedback loops with probabilities you plucked out of thin air.

        Ice sheet collapse would appear highly unlikely to be the result of AGW ( not even the IPCC nor Hansen want to wander in there, so while it’s a popular meme, claiming it out loud makes you lonely ), because:

        That’s nice, TE. I didn’t ask for observational reasons why you think it unlikely, I asked: Which laws of known physics preclude the possibility of an irreversible collapse of polar ice sheets?

        BTW, Irreversible is another buzzword to frighten the public with.

        Peddling imputed motive is just another self-comforting mechanism.

        I like argument by assertion. It’s so effortless.

      • > nothing is predictable

        Yesterday, I woke up as a chaos fan.

        Then I realized I needed coffee.

        I stopped being a chaos fan.

        THE END.

      • catweazle666,

        So, brandongates, you believe that the melting of floating ice raises the sea level, right?

        No, I don’t believe that ice *shelves* which are already floating on the ocean would raise SL by breaking up and melting. Current understanding is that the landed glaciers behind them would be freer to flow, thus increasing the rate of their calving into the oceans … which *would* increase the rate of SLR. Once started that *might* not be reversible for some long period of time — on the order of centuries. How long, nobody knows. The idea is to not find out empirically for our own sakes.

        The planet? Yes, the planet has had less ice in the geologic past and is still here to tell the tale. From that standpoint, a few more meters of SLR is decidedly non-catastrophic. From the standpoint that billions of humans with trillions invested in dirt (and the stuff built on it) are a geologically recent oddity, a few more meters of SLR has potential to wreak economic havoc.

        Point is that arguments along the lines of “X wasn’t catastrophic in the past” are utterly meaningless when the past being spoken of didn’t include the massive global economy presently threatened by “X”.

        Hint: Use a search engine to inform yourself on the subject of Archimedes’ Principle.

        Learned about displacement first time I took a bath. We both could use a refresher on ice terminology:

        An ice sheet is a mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi),[1] thus also known as continental glacier.[2] The only current ice sheets are in Antarctica and Greenland; during the last glacial period at Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) the Laurentide ice sheet covered much of North America, the Weichselian ice sheet covered northern Europe and the Patagonian Ice Sheet covered southern South America.

        Ice sheets are bigger than ice shelves or alpine glaciers. Masses of ice covering less than 50,000 km2 are termed an ice cap. An ice cap will typically feed a series of glaciers around its periphery.

        My original term “ice sheet” was correct for my intended use. I tend to think of “ice caps” being bigger than ice sheets, and forget that that is incorrect. I am remiss for not clearing up this confusion sooner.

      • Thanks Paul. You make some excellent points, but I would still note two things:
        It’s not the fact that something can impact warming/not warming. It’s the magnitude of the impact.
        As for NOAA- this is an important, really important forecast. They got it wrong for 8 years in a row which tells me that some spending on studying natural variation might have helped. As the original post notes, spending was less on natural variation than AGW. While I appreciate that AGW theorists have come around to stating the opposite of what they got everyone to say back in 2005, there are a couple things to remember – one, in 2005, if you doubted that hurricanes would be more and stronger they called you a fool and two, they weren’t just saying that to Republicans, they were saying it to anyone who wanted to work in the field of weather or climate. That has to have had an impact.
        We have a real problem here in Virginia Beach in that nobody believes or pays attention to the hurricane forecast anymore because it’s never right (“above normal” means no hurricanes to them) and, on top of that, we have hundreds of thousands of residents who’ve never experienced one in adult-hood. They have no idea what to do to prepare. Neither do their neighbors, or their building super and it’s been a decade since the public works guys, cops and fire dealt with one.

        Mosher- and then came “superstorm” Sandy and they thru that all out to sing the “AGW causes hurricanes” jingle again. And..
        The AGW science is funny, there always seems to be that section unmentioned in the newspapers that says the opposite of the section handed to the newspapers. The Arctic will be ice free in five years! Well, see, the footnotes say we didn’t really mean it when we claimed this so we weren’t wrong. Snow will the be thing of the past! Well, this string of snowy winters means nothing because you can clearly see that subsection 2 of caveat 389 on page 1,265 notes that “snow will be a thing of the past except when it’s not.’

    • Paul Roundy
      You have rather missed the point of this article – which is about bias in where funding is directed ( towards AGW, away from natural forces). It is not about disproving AGW.

  11. I think your conclusion is supported but being conservative, with 66% confidence:
    “However, climatology has been slow to respond, despite over fifty years having elapsed since the climate system was shown to be stochastic rather than deterministic over interannual to decadal timescales and perhaps longer (e.g., Ghil, 2012). A comprehensive theory of climate variability remains to be developed (Ghil, 2012).”
    – Roger Neville Jones
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305723870_Reconciling_anthropogenic_climate_change_and_variability_on_decadal_timescales

    “An almost-intransitive system displays one sort of average behavior for a very long time, fluctuating within certain bounds. Then, for no reason whatsoever, it shifts into a different sort of behavior, still fluctuating but producing a different average. The people who design computer models are aware of Lorenz’s discovery, but they try at all costs to avoid almost-intransitivity.” – James Gleick

    So if one were making a global climate model, I suppose an amount of stability would be one of its attributes. The models may have a desirable attribute of occasionally exhibiting chaotic behavior despite attempts as Gleick writes to prevent it.

    • David Wojick

      I have always regarded the Gleick quote as almost an indictment of the modelers for what amounts to scientific fraud. Deliberately ignoring a known feature, along the lines of hiding the decline.

      Global warming may well be nothing but a large scale chaotic oscillation. I call this the chaotic climate hypothesis and I see no federal funding to explore it. I did see an AGU paper back in the 1990s showing that the entire 100 year global temperature history until then could be explained simply by a chaotic oscillation in ocean upwelling.

      But then chaos is unpleasant when one is wedded to the concept of forcing, as AGW is.

      • Certainly no observations have told us that decadal-mean temperatures are nearly constant under constant external influences. … – Ed Lorenz

        Vanishing pauses; kick-butt periods of warming.

      • In other words, don’t be fooled by pauses… a little too late for the Climate Etc. in crowd:

        Beyond forecasting, Lorenz was “keenly interested in climate,” ­Emanuel says, and made it clear that even if tracing the effects of small things is too hard to let anyone predict the weather a month ahead, the effects of large things, like the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, are not hard to discern. “He did not think that climate change is wholly unpredictable and would have been amused at those who say that because we cannot predict the weather beyond a few days, there is no possibility of predicting climate,” he says.

      • I tried to distinguish this before.

        Radiative imbalance at the TOA, imposed by CO2 is relatively stable.
        Therefore, global average temperature increase is relatively predictable.

        Motion within the atmosphere is unstable in non-periodic ways.
        Therefore, aspects of the climate governed by motion, including precipitation ( or lack thereof ), storms, and intense temperature variation are not predictable, with or without increased CO2. This is an obvious error of the IPCC invoking extremes rather than global average temperature, but global average temperature is probably not very significant so they are drawn to extremes like moths to the flame.

        The error, propagated by many blog commenters, is defining climate change as global average temperature, which is a meaningless number.

        Climate change produced by dynamic fluctuation is much more significant than AGW and the somewhat measured case study is the Dust Bowl.

      • I tried to distinguish this before. …

        My mother grew up in a suburb on the south side of Kansas. She attended junior high and high school during the Great Depression. She never saw a dust storm. My father grew upon a Missouri farm not far from the Kansas border. He never saw a dust storm.

        I’m sure you want the GMST to be meaningless… for political and advocacy reasons.

      • DW and TE
        Till the global ocean ARGO and ARGO + are in place and beginning systematic measurements the global average temp is simply a wild estimate likely within +or – whole degrees C. Lots of Arctic areas unmeasured and krigged (estimated) and major ocean basins unmeasured and estimated from ship intakes and then krigged 1,000 of kms away. We should be in a measure and wait and see mode. Roger Pielke Sr made the points about ocean heat content metrics and nothing coming out recently addresses his position effectively.

        On the other hand; solar, wind and nuclear can reduce reliance on Russian and Saudi oil and gas which leads back to the all of the above plan. But don’t drive the industries out of business and to the Chinese subsidized economy. Lots of work to do and it will be good if local distributed solar and baseload nuclear can replace some coal base load generation.
        Scott

      • Thus, in contrast to the highly variable global average surface temperature, we continue to find that the ocean heat content is steadily rising, consistent with its dominant role in the Earth’s radiation imbalance. In addition, the planetary warming rates we find are about equal to the coupled model projections made for the 2006–2015 period of 0.81 ± 0.2 W m–2. … – the father of ARGO – not Pielke.

      • My mother grew up in a suburb on the south side of Kansas. She attended junior high and high school during the Great Depression. She never saw a dust storm. My father grew upon a Missouri farm not far from the Kansas border. He never saw a dust storm.

        I do not know your parents or their experiences.

        I do know the Dust Bowl was real and perhaps the most significant recorded climate ( if you consider the frequency of droughts, summer time droughts, dust storms and extreme summer heat ) event in the US.

        Dust storms and wind erosion were significant,

        but not the only aspects.

        Drought and temperature were important.

        Here’s a comparison of the peak TMAX temperatures from 1936 and 2015:

        Yes, climate change due to circulation has been much more significant than the influence of AGW. That doesn’t mean AGW is unreal. Just not as significant, particularly wrt extremes.

        I’m sure you want the GMST to be meaningless… for political and advocacy reasons.

        And another possibility is that you are motivated to believe GMST is meaningful because of your underlying political agenda.

        It would help your case if you could identify exactly why you believe GMST is significant.

      • Wojick ==> The general principles of Chaos Theory [sic] are extremely important to the understanding of the Earth’s climate system. The feature you refer to, where a system makes what appear as step changes as initial conditions or important parameters are changed, even infinitesimally, are ubiquitous in dynamical systems, appearing in nearly all studied systems.

        I have an unfinished series on Chaos and climate over at WUWT — with one remaining piece yet to be written that covers this precise point.

      • Kansas was deeply involved in the Dust Bowl, as were Oklahoma, Nebraska, and South and North Dakota. Those states were the epicenter of the Dust Bowl, and they were states that practiced bad agriculture on huge fields. Mostly black soil. Missouri was far less involved… probably because of less severe drought, much smaller field size, and a prevalence of tree stands… they experienced far less dust. Just a few miles to the west of them, kids of their generation would have vivid memories of multiple dust storms. The high temperatures of the Great Plains during the Great Depression have a man-made component.

      • For the exact same reason that the OHC anomaly of the global oceans is important.

        Staircase… stairway to heaven… step up… lol.

      • JCH:
        “Thus, in contrast to the highly variable global average surface temperature, we continue to find that the ocean heat content is steadily rising, consistent with its dominant role in the Earth’s radiation imbalance.”

        So searching your quote lead to a paper that included Susan Wijffels as a coauthor. The highly variable global average surface temperature is a measure of what the oceans are doing this month or year. The great majority of the watts are in the oceans and that is the thing to look at in my opinion.
        Working from one data point which always a good idea:
        “Below the sea surface, historical measurements of temperature are far sparser, and the warming is more gradual, about 0.01°C per decade at 1,000 meters.” – Scripps
        Using this and to represent 500 meters to 1500 meters that is about ¼ of the ocean which is on average 4000 meters deep.
        We then pull in the thermal mass comparison of 1 to 1000 for atmosphere versus oceans.

        500 to 1500 meters:
        ¼ X 1000meters X 0.01 C per decade rise = 2.5 relative factor.

        Atmosphere:
        1 X 0.2 C per decade rise = 0.2 relative factor.

        The relative factor is an accountant’s term for total watts counted.

        Not too far off from 93% going into the oceans. From this we get an idea of the magnitude of what the oceans are doing. Absorbing over 10 times of what sticks in the atmosphere.

        If we say the oceans are warming by only counting watts, they are warming 10 times faster than the atmosphere. But they have 1000 times the thermal mass. And so we have our attractor. A very large one that the atmosphere orbits. And with some more thought, there are two of them. The oceans warms the atmosphere attractor and the oceans cools the atmosphere attractor.

      • Correction:
        500 to 1500 meters:
        ¼ X 1000 thermal mass X 0.01 C per decade rise = 2.5 relative factor.

      • The system is stepping up.

        Big blue blob off southern Greenland… the big bad AMO… coming to cool us:

        has all but vanished:

      • David Wojick,

        I have always regarded the Gleick quote as almost an indictment of the modelers for what amounts to scientific fraud. Deliberately ignoring a known feature, along the lines of hiding the decline.

        No bias here. Certainly no danger of politicizing the science as is a major concern in these parts.

        Global warming may well be nothing but a large scale chaotic oscillation.

        Wait a tick. Just a second ago you were talking about “a known feature” and indicting an entire class of researchers for fraudulently ignoring it, now you’re only speculating it’s chaos that *may* be wot diddit.

        I call this the chaotic climate hypothesis and I see no federal funding to explore it.

        Punch “climate chaotic” into Google Scholar, 212,000 hits not including citations or patents. 7,610 in 2016 alone, 15,100 since 2015, 20,400 since 2012. Only a fraction of the hits are relevant, but there are a sufficient number of papers in there to demonstrate that chaos isn’t being “ignored”.

        Since you’re a fan of generalities, typically when one has a testable hypothesis, one does so. Galileo didn’t overturn the geocentrism paradigm with semantic analysis demonstrating bias against Copernicus’ and Kepler’s theories, he gathered observations and published.

        I did see an AGU paper back in the 1990s showing that the entire 100 year global temperature history until then could be explained simply by a chaotic oscillation in ocean upwelling.

        A citation would be nice. One immediately wonders how, or even if, this paper addressed rising ocean heat content over the latter half of the 20th Century. Or squared it with satellite observations that TOA energy imbalance shows net accumulation, not the net dissipation we’d expect if the surface were being warmed from below due to chaotic internal variability.

        But then chaos is unpleasant when one is wedded to the concept of forcing, as AGW is.

        You mean like the “it’s the Sun, stupid” contingent are? The fans of cosmic ray cloud nucleation? Is it just coincidence that orbital forcing a la Milankovitch theory explains rather well the timing of ice age cycles over the past million years?

        External forcing and chaotic variability are not mutually exclusive. Lorenz certainly didn’t argue so on the basis of his modelling. He didn’t even argue that it would be possible to separate the two, only that it might be difficult. JCH already quoted part of this …

        Certainly no observations have told us that decadal-mean temperatures are nearly constant under constant external influences. If we discard all theoretical considerations, we cannot distinguish between the two scenarios.

        Fully divorcing oneself from the concept of forcing and running to the self-pleasing arms of random mystery could be construed as a form of bias. A more careful reading of Saint Lorenz might discover his disapproval.

      • brandonrgates said:

        Since you’re a fan of generalities, typically when one has a testable hypothesis, one does so. Galileo didn’t overturn the geocentrism paradigm with semantic analysis demonstrating bias against Copernicus’ and Kepler’s theories, he gathered observations and published.

        What settled the debate over the cosmos was the invention of a revolutionary new instrument — the telescope.

        Quite the opposite to your claim, the debate wasn’t settled by the application of some superior scientific method. It was settled by superior evidence — evidence made possible by the invention of the telescope.

        Will we, or can we, invent such an instrument to provide the sort of unimpeachable evidence necessary to settle the AGW debate?

        So far we haven’t.

      • brandonrgates said:

        External forcing and chaotic variability are not mutually exclusive….

        Fully divorcing oneself from the concept of forcing and running to the self-pleasing arms of random mystery could be construed as a form of bias.

        But what about ‘fully divorcing oneself from the concept of chaotic variability and running to the self-pleasing arms of external forcing’?

        Could that also not be “construed as a form of bias”?

        Of course not. Intellectual geniuses like you know with absolute certainty that chaotic variability can be dismissed out of hand. To wit:

        brandonrgates | August 24, 2016 at 4:02 am |
        But apparently the climate system is simple enough and our measurements precise enough to tell us that it’s chaotic.

        With all the alleged inexplicable randomness allegedly going on here, it’s a wonder that winter is so reliably cooler than summer where I live.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/#comment-806333

      • Glenn Stehle,

        What settled the debate over the cosmos was the invention of a revolutionary new instrument — the telescope.

        Instruments don’t use themselves.

        It was settled by superior evidence — evidence made possible by the invention of the telescope.

        Oh, so you do understand the point.

        Will we, or can we, invent such an instrument to provide the sort of unimpeachable evidence necessary to settle the AGW debate?

        And you were doing so well. JAQing-off isn’t gathering superior evidence, Glenn.

        ***

        But what about ‘fully divorcing oneself from the concept of chaotic variability and running to the self-pleasing arms of external forcing’?

        I’m not even remotely divorced from the concept of chaotic variability. As for self-pleasing, why yes, I do find basking in the outdoor Sun quite pleasing on occasion.

        I’m not exactly sure how believing that continued unfettered CO2 emissions has potentially catastrophic consequences is supposed to make me happy.

        Could that also not be “construed as a form of bias”?

        You could be again on the verge of understanding something. Anything could be construed as a form of bias. All we need is someone to make an allegation of bias, and we’re good to go. Why, the mere assertion of controversy and some word-counting is enough to launch a bias inquiry.

        Of course not. Intellectual geniuses like you know with absolute certainty that chaotic variability can be dismissed out of hand. To wit:

        brandonrgates | August 24, 2016 at 4:02 am |
        But apparently the climate system is simple enough and our measurements precise enough to tell us that it’s chaotic.

        Oh dear, we’ve been reduced to quotemining. Bonus style points for “intellectual geniuses”.

        With all the alleged inexplicable randomness allegedly going on here, it’s a wonder that winter is so reliably cooler than summer where I live.

        Yup. Pretty good argument demonstrating the idea that the system reliably responds to changes in external radiative forcing.

        Ponder again the meaning of the words: External forcing and chaotic variability are not mutually exclusive…. before seeking to trap me in a manufactured inconsistency.

  12. Thank you, David, for this report. The bias in funding federal research grants was obvious. There are, however, encouraging indications that society may soon move out of this 71-year maze of government deception into reality.

    All is well.

  13. If they learn how much the natural warming component is they won’t be able to make up the anthropogenic portion. And that would be a disaster for them.

    • Really liked your guest analysis on attribution at WUWT. 30% AGW, 70 % natural from 1976-2009. ‘Feels’ about right, although you get slightly different numbers using 1920-1945 and 1975-2000. Closer to half half.

  14. This reminds of a soil study some friends were trying to get funded. Like others said, the climate hysteria soaked up all the funding so they had to change the project. They added the phrase “climate change” to the title of the proposed study and soon after they got their funding. Nothing else changed, just the title.

    And now that study is probably included in some list of studies supporting co2’s control of our climate in order to win the consensus debate.

    • I have suspected for a long time that kind of thing was happening. Over 40 years ago I administered Federal grant programs on behalf of our state. Applicants knew how to use the right phrases and words to increase their priority and enhance funding probability.

      Many climate studies have the obligatory genuflect to AGW deep in the paper, almost as an afterthought. It was clear what they were doing. Adding “It’s worse than we thought” seems to sell well.

  15. Steven Mosher

    watch him squeal when I ask for data and code to replicate his work and “save science”

    • Well we still agree on that. Replication is the first stage on the journey to being at least partially true for a finite amount of time. Science in action…. Doesn’t always protect against stupidity, but it certainly helps

    • David Wojick

      Are you addressing me, Mosh? Replication is easy. Take the PDF of each report. Search for each stem word, log and add up the numbers. Then normalize the results by dividing the number of occurrences by the number of pages. Let me know if you get a different result.

      Along the way you can read the occurrence contexts. The AGW bias is blatant. Natural variability is only of interest for explaining away the hiatus, which is an unstated AGW concern if memory serves.

  16. Well the dominant forcing is GHGs, and the sun and volcanoes are far behind, so those latter two can be ruled out unless someone is doing something Salbyesque to this diagram of the forcing terms quantified. It is going to be hard to find something that beats the nearly 2 W/m2 of CO2 alone. Maybe everyone knows this much already, hence that explains the lack of research into ways to change the diagram.

    • Changes to cloud cover are conspicuously missing from that chart.

      • You mean spontaneous change with no reason?

      • The chart seems to only cover emissions, which water vapor wouldn’t be included in – unless we want to look at the increase in water vapor due to the combustion of hydrocarbons.

      • I gotta wonder if JD thinks he won because I didn’t bother to respond to his tripe.

      • Steven Mosher

        cloud cover is missing because

        1. These are the inputs ( radiative forcings ) to the models
        2. You would need a historical figure for cloud cover at every Hpa
        going back to 1850
        3. The models calculate how many clouds form.. so it an output of
        the models, not an input.

      • 1. These are the inputs ( radiative forcings ) to the models

        While you are not incorrect, Jim D presented this as a list of things that affect climate. So it is his usage I’m rebutting.

        2. You would need a historical figure for cloud cover at every Hpa going back to 1850

        Or you could admit that the errors from unknowns dwarfs any effect you claim to model.

        3. The models calculate how many clouds form.. so it an output of the models, not an input.

        Current models can’t even determine the signs of the feed backs in their calculating how many clouds form so this remains and unknown.

        Ordinary minor shifts in ocean currents, and changes to biosphere can affect cloud formation at levels above and beyond CO2 forcings. This is not modeled in any reliable way at this time. Whether other various theories on cloud formation whether it be Svensmark’s or just plain changes to the incident spectrum are as important is still unknown. It’s great to use what you have, unless what you have is useless.

      • Steven Mosher

        Actually he used the diagram to illustrate the 2W for c02 and not
        as a concordance of all causes.

        As for “clouds might be unicorns” argument..

        See my response to geoff. below

        It’s essentially a demand that science discover causes that are both necessary and sufficient..

        more simply… it’s an appeal to ignorance.

      • > Or you could admit that the errors from unknowns dwarfs any effect you claim to model.

        How can you even know it’s an error that comes from an unknown?

        Gremlins are everywhere.

      • charles, I presented forcings. Clouds are not a forcing making your statement meaningless. The only way clouds become a forcing is if they act globally in concert for no apparent reason, that is, if they spontaneously change.

    • David Wojick

      There is a lot more to climate than radiative forcing, such as negative feedbacks, ocean dynamics and chaos. Also indirect solar forcing is absent. Then too last I knew these values were guesses. Originally by Hansen I think.

    • This is entirely a silly line of argumentation. Only the introduction of energy from an outside source can truly force any physical system to do something beyond redistributiion. GHGs, by contrast, produce no energy, but merely change the capacity of storing thermal energy within the system, i.e., change the response to the external forcing.

      • Yes, it is redistribution in the same way insulation redistributes energy to keep more inside without adding energy to the whole system. It works by changing the gradient.

      • It works by changing the gradient.

        Except, there is no evidence in the nightly cooling record of surface stations.

      • The biggest effect should be at the poles where the most net heat loss occurs.

      • The biggest effect should be at the poles where the most net heat loss occurs.

        1.7 million surface station samples North of 62.5 Lat since 1940, Average daily temp increase is 12.428F, average daily cooling 12.434F

      • The northern polar area is warming fastest since 1940.

      • 1.7 million surface station samples North of 62.5 Lat since 1940, Average daily temp increase is 12.428F, average daily cooling 12.434F

        It’s NOAA’S data. What it isn’t is made up to make up for places that were never measured.

      • It’s all warming including the land where the stations are and the polar oceans where the sea ice is reducing as a result. I am sure your data shows more warming further north too.

      • It’s all warming including the land where the stations are and the polar oceans where the sea ice is reducing as a result. I am sure your data shows more warming further north too.

        That is all the noaa data, all of it.

        Now, I will note, this particular method(others would detect the following ) will show no warming, even with say a 10 degree warmer summer temperature, if by the end of the year all of the warming has been lost to space. It would however show a larger rate of change, which my seasonal rate of change analysis would detect.

      • Check how much warmer winters have become in the northern latitudes. This would mostly be a longwave effect of course because the sun doesn’t do much there in the winter. In fact, the most warming is in the northern winters.

      • Check how much warmer winters have become in the northern latitudes. This would mostly be a longwave effect of course because the sun doesn’t do much there in the winter. In fact, the most warming is in the northern winters.

        Except the measurements do not agree, min temps have gone up, but for as much as they have gone up, it cools as much or more at night.

        It’s not from long wave, it was open water.
        On average temps the difference between min and max is 12.428F, and the following night it’s dropped 12.434F

        This is the same across the planets land masses, it cools more at night than it warmed during the day.

      • Winter high-latitude temperatures have gone up fastest, yes?

      • Winter high-latitude temperatures have gone up fastest, yes?

        No, no real trend in the data, there some steps in min temp, but they go up and then down, then max Temps just follow.
        It looks much like just a change in wind pattern, where some times it’s humid air, other times dry, steps.
        But I have reduced the number of partial year stations, and added daily change in water vapor enthaply, and it’s building a new set of reports. But go look

        https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/evidence-against-warming-from-carbon-dioxide/

        https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/measuring-surface-climate-sensitivity/

      • You are still not looking at seasons. Here’ s winter. Compare with annual that I showed before.

      • You are still not looking at seasons

        No, I look at rate of daily change and compare daily warming to the following nights cooling. I calculate daily solar, climate sensitivity to solar, enthalpy change by day. I look at the yearly average of warming minus cooling, I do Lots of things.
        Comparing seasons seem like a waste of time, i’d rather take the slope of the day to day change both warming and cooling for the last 65 years.
        And in no case can I find a loss of nightly cooling that would lead to warming.
        There is some warming regionally but they are set changes up and down at different time in different places.

      • Seasonal changes are just so much more significant than the noise you want to look at, especially if you map them. Winter cooling in the northern latitudes is decreasing. Look at annual cycles.

      • Did you look at what I do? 75 million samples.

      • Factors other than CO2, like clouds and water vapor and weather changes affect night time temperatures too much. So 2 W/m2 from CO2 would be in the noise there.

      • Factors other than CO2, like clouds and water vapor and weather changes affect night time temperatures too much. So 2 W/m2 from CO2 would be in the noise there.

        I’m measuring to see if daily warming exceeds the following nights cooling, because if it doesn’t over a year there wasn’t any warming from a loss of cooling, the only way co2 can cause warming.

      • The effects of CO2 aggregate over decades, which is why longer term trends show the warming, but day-to-day temperatures at a site are too noisy. The daily warming rate for 0.2 C per decade is 0.0005 C per day. It may be hard to pick that up.

      • The effects of CO2 aggregate over decades, which is why longer term trends show the warming, but day-to-day temperatures at a site are too noisy. The daily warming rate for 0.2 C per decade is 0.0005 C per day. It may be hard to pick that up.

        Because unless that 0.0005C is more than it cools every night it’s lost to space, and co2 isn’t warming anything.

        It might be 0.0005C warmer in the middle of the day or night, but it doesn’t accumulate.
        Asphalt can be 40F warmer than air temp in the day, which of those 2 do you think you would notice or have impact?

      • The 2 W/m2 from extra CO2 applies day and night. Why do you expect the effect to only matter at night? Perhaps that is why you don’t see anything. The effect accumulates in the daily temperature over the decades.

      • The effect accumulates in the daily temperature over the decades.

        Jim, how can it do that if it cools more at night than it went up the day before?

        There isn’t anything left to accumulate. That’s the point.

      • The accumulation is both during the day and night. That is why it is warming.

      • Do you hear yourself? If it’s colder tomorrow morning where did it accumulate?

      • Yes, the average warming is 0.0005 C per day for 0.2 C per decade. Hard to see unless you compare decades with each other, where it becomes obvious. It is a signal-noise issue.

      • Oh, and go get the report zips from the source forge url for all the data.

      • catweazle666

        Jim D: “Check how much warmer winters have become in the northern latitudes.”

        What, according to the made-up data?

        I live in the Northern latitudes and I can assure you they are no warmer on average than they have been in my seven decades of experiencing them.

        And I don’t care what NOAA say, I wouldn’t believe them if they told me water was wet, or not without checking at any rate.

      • And I don’t care what NOAA say

        Their measurement, the station data, agrees with you.

      • Take that up with micro, because he seems to like NOAA.

      • Take that up with micro, because he seems to like NOAA.

        No no no, noaa provides the actual station data. It’s the data we have.
        The published gmst’s are worthless trash that does not represents the measurements.
        It’s just that no one bothers to put the time and effort into the qa’d raw data. To check what it says.

      • catweazle666,

        What, according to the made-up data?

        Hence the futility of answering calls for evidence.

    • Jim D summary, toeing the official political line :
      CAGW is the only explanation we have. Therefore it is correct. It is not possible the correct explanation is something else presently beyond our grasp.

      • Other people have explanations. It is just that those are all worthless, don’t fit the data or the physics the way AGW does.

  17. Geoff Sherrington

    It is patently obvious that funding of alleged man made global warming research is far greater than funding of natural causes research.
    So why argue about it, as is tediously done above?
    Further, as Bad Andrew said above at 3.14, you cannot assert AGW when it is known that natural effects capable of similar outcomes exist. This is the nub of the matter.
    Finally, hard scientists still await that unfinished business of no single publication giving an accepted mathematical and physical link between atmospheric CO2 levels and air temperature. Why even the direction of the alleged link is still unresolved, as are critical factors like ECS and related.
    AGW is NOT a hypothesis on which major policy changes can be made. Not yet, not in the foreseeable future.
    You should not govern on hypotheses that have not been confirmed.
    That is, confirmed by science, not assumed to be confirmed, by groupthink.

    • Saying it and proving it are two different things. Science is indeed tedious that way. What you know but I can show are importantly different.

    • So much based on models,? Do we live
      in a virtual world?

      Pat Frank, ‘A Climate of Belief.’ on the unreliability
      of climate models. 04/06/2015.

      ‘In terms of the actual behavior of Earth climate, this
      uncertainty does not mean the GCMs are predicting
      that the climate may possibly be 100 degrees warmer
      or cooler by 2100. It means that the limits of resolution
      of the GCMs — their pixel size — is huge compared to
      what they are trying to project. In each new projection
      year of a century-scale calculation, the growing
      uncertainty in the climate impact of clouds alone makes
      the view of a GCM become progressively fuzzier.’

      • David Wojick

        Models should be used to explore alternative hypotheses, but in climate science they are being used almost exclusively to make dire predictions based on a single hypothesis. My semantic analysis demonstrates tis. The alternative hypotheses are simply not discussed. This is systematic bias.

  18. When large amounts of money are made available to study a problem the one thing which will never be found is that there was wasn’t one.

    • It is the availability that I am questioning. Congress can change this pattern of paradigm protection.

  19. Paul Roundy’s contribution to this thread is very much appreciated. The hypothesis question is IMO the most important part of formulating research design. The fact that more than one factor may or may not contribute to observed phenomena doesn’t necessarily make them related in any way.

    • No one is suggesting that they are related. The question is what is the explanation for the observed phenomena? This is the as yet unsolved attribution problem.

  20. I don’t understand the premise. You could just as easily say that if it was settled there wouldn’t be so many people researching it, right? Which is the opposite conclusion to a protected paradigm. Those proposals on solar variations, ocean variations, etc. that you put in the opposite category, could just as easily be sealing the deal for AGW by showing those effects to be comparatively small in long-term trends. The logic of the categorization leaves something to be desired.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Jim D,
      and others who like GHG hypotheses.
      What is your favourite explanation for both the warming/cooling pattern earlier in the 20th century before GHG concentrations were so high, and the (satellite measured) plateau in global temperatures since 2000 or so?
      Clearly something is causing this interruption to normal service expected from CO2 in the Arrhenius style. Clearly that something is reasonably forceful. Are we dealing with an unknown unknown? Or is the whole basis of GHG warming wrong?
      I do not have to come up with a physical explanation of why GHG theory might be wrong. (I cannot compete with people with huge computers and lavish funding). It is sufficient to show that it does not match observation even for some of the most important effects. It does not match.

      • > It is sufficient to show that it does not match observation even for some of the most important effects.

        Appealing to ignorance is that powerful.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Willard
        No. This is not an appeal to ignorance.
        How can a researcher note the non-conforming temperature pattern and then avoid discussing it, or trying after the event to adjust observations to try to make the mismatch disappear? The ignorance of S refusingbto accept that the favourite hypotheses might not be valid for those T excursions.
        I know that this is rudimentary stuff, but it is important. If people wonder why scepticism is so dogged, here is part of the reason. Plainly, the observations do not match the GHG hypothesis.
        Geoff

      • > This is not an appeal to ignorance.

        Of course it is GeoffS. This is why you can rhetorically ask:

        Are we dealing with an unknown unknown? Or is the whole basis of GHG warming wrong?

        The reason why AGW wins is that there’s no alternative – GW alone can’t explain the observations we have. We need something else than GW, and while there is indeed an infinity of things we could posit instead of A, all the other candidates we do know for now have been excluded. It could be something we don’t know, for the simple reason that it could always be something an infinity of things we don’t know. Farting unicorns, for instance.

        Rudimentary stuff indeed.

      • Willard said:

        The reason why AGW wins is that there’s no alternative – GW alone can’t explain the observations we have.

        So we have a dead body (Well not really. What we have is a prediction that sometime in the future there will be a dead body.) and we have Joe in there locked up in a holding cell.

        Since we have no other suspects, this fact is prima facie evidence that Joe is guilty, no questions asked, and no forensic evidence needed to convict Joe, evidence that shows he caused the death.

        What a great way to run a railroad.

      • > Since we have no other suspects, this fact is prima facie evidence that Joe is guilty, no questions asked, and no forensic evidence needed to convict Joe, evidence that shows he caused the death.

        Our Man in Mexico conflates explanation with a judicial trial, and pulls the same trick the tobacco companies did against the scientific establishment’s explanation that smoking causes cancer.

      • Willard,

        So let me get this straight.

        Just because the standard of proof that smoking causes cancer (and a multitude of other diseases) was eventually met, that means that the standard of proof that burning fossil fuels causes CAGW has also been met?

        Like I said, what a great way to run a railroad, or at least a great way to railroad someone.

      • > So let me get this straight.

        I don’t have any evidence you ever will, Glenn.

        Start here to see why in the end, you can’t beat something with nothing (as Reiner once said) and the best explanation wins.

        You’re welcome.

      • Early onset of industrial-era warming across the oceans and continents

        Here we use post-ad 1500 palaeoclimate records to show that sustained industrial-era warming of the tropical oceans first developed during the mid-nineteenth century and was nearly synchronous with Northern Hemisphere continental warming. The early onset of sustained, significant warming in palaeoclimate records and model simulations suggests that greenhouse forcing of industrial-era warming commenced as early as the mid-nineteenth century and included an enhanced equatorial ocean response mechanism. …

      • Hard-core AGW adherents never seem to understand that solid science is largely an if-and-only-if proposition. Kinda if and only sometimes just doesn’t cut it.

      • There are variations of up to 0.2 C throughout the temperature record. Those continue, but now are dwarfed by a 1 C added perturbation. The most likely causes are solar and volcanic variations, mainly solar between 1910 and 1940. Nowadays the decade on decade rise is 0.2 C, so it means the best natural variation can do is the pause the rise rather than reverse it.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        And cloud coverage could not do this?

      • Not by itself, maybe it can help as a positive feedback to a change.

      • Lying Willard,

        You’re showing your true colors again.

        Playing this game of ad hominems with you is so easy, because in your case the shoe so obviously fits.

      • > [B]ecause in your case the shoe so obviously fits.

        See how our Man in Mexico returns to a less stringent inference than the one he requests for AGW.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Willard,
        What does a man in Mexico have to do with this?
        At least make your two Bob’s worth mean something, eh?
        Geoff

      • Steven Mosher

        “And cloud coverage could not do this?”

        of course cloud cover COULD do it.
        Unicorns COULD do it.

        Basically.

        1. We have a set of forcings, solar, ghg, aerosols, etc.
        2. We test whether they ALONE can explain the rise in termperature.
        3. They can.
        4. They are SUFFICIENT to explain the change.

        Comes now.. “could X do the same?” Which is a way of asking
        are the causes NECESSARY and Sufficient.. or could something
        else cause it.

        It is always POSSIBLE in a logical sense that X could also explain the effect. That is why science is not about necessary and sufficient , but rather only about finding a sufficient explanation.

        It COULD be clouds.. is just a hand wave.. to demonstrate that you would have to pose it as a testable hypothesis and actually try to prove it. Otherwise you objection is akin to ‘It could be unicorns.

        an appeal, at the bottom, to ignorance.

        to wit. We dont know how clouds changed from 1850 until today
        So, nothing prevents us ( Logically) from proposing the untestable
        “it could have been clouds”

        heck it could have been scientists fidding with temperatures and the world is still really cold

      • Geoff Sherrington

        You can feel some effects of clouds, but I do not know what those other things are. Peer reviewed references?
        Geoff

      • Steven Mosher said:

        Geoff Sherrington: “And cloud coverage could not do this?”

        of course cloud cover COULD do it.
        Unicorns COULD do it.

        [….]

        It COULD be clouds.. is just a hand wave.. to demonstrate that you would have to pose it as a testable hypothesis and actually try to prove it. Otherwise you objection is akin to ‘It could be unicorns.

        an appeal, at the bottom, to ignorance.

        to wit. We dont know how clouds changed from 1850 until today
        So, nothing prevents us ( Logically) from proposing the untestable
        “it could have been clouds”

        The obvious, and the only logically sound, conclusion to draw from this is: ‘I don’t know. I don’t know whether cloud coverage did this or not.’

        But of course that would be an admission of ignorance, which for our resident prima donnas is completely out of the question.

      • > The obvious, and the only logically sound, conclusion to draw from this is: ‘I don’t know. I don’t know whether cloud coverage did this or not.’

        Yet, our Man in Mexico’s “the shoe so obviously fits” was somehow logically sound one single comment earlier.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Steven Mosher,
        Science does not progress by jumping on the first wagon train that comes by.
        Sure, GHG hypotheses have some aspects that might admit them to the group of possible climate change causes. But, GHG are far easier to investigate than some other putative causes like cloud cover. That does not disqualify the latter. To me, it points to a need for less funding of GHG, which has been problematic from the start, to more funding for alternatives. Nature being perverse, one day we might accept the influence of several factors that are not on the gravy train eeer wagon train.
        Geoff

      • Steven Mosher

        “Science does not progress by jumping on the first wagon train that comes by.

        yes, that is why we are beyond solar theories and ocean cycle theories. That is why we are beyond the saturation argument..

        “Sure, GHG hypotheses have some aspects that might admit them to the group of possible climate change causes. But, GHG are far easier to investigate than some other putative causes like cloud cover. That does not disqualify the latter. ”

        It does not disqualify unicorns and they are very hard to measure.
        Nobody has DISQUALIFIED secular variations in cloud cover…
        because nobody has presented ANY. Further, if all the forcing
        data explains the variation in temperature then Mr. Occam has
        a suggestion for you. Your theory amounts to this. “This thing
        we have limited data on, could explain everything”

        To me, it points to a need for less funding of GHG, which has been problematic from the start, to more funding for alternatives. Nature being perverse, one day we might accept the influence of several factors that are not on the gravy train eeer wagon train.
        Geoff

        Like I said Above… FUND MY UNICORN HUNT!!!

        here is a clue. you dont run funding. your ideas about what should be funded are un important.

      • Willard:

        “…you can’t beat something with nothing (as Reiner once said) and the best explanation wins.”

        I can’t argue with that.

        “Though humans have always understood the concept of nothing or having nothing, the concept of zero is relatively new — it only fully developed in the fifth century A.D. Before then, mathematicians struggled to perform the simplest arithmetic calculations. Today, zero — both as a symbol (or numeral) and a concept meaning the absence of any quantity — allows us to perform calculus, do complicated equations, and to have invented computers.” – http://www.livescience.com/27853-who-invented-zero.html

      • °°°°Steven Mosher said:

        Further, if all the forcing data explains the variation in temperature then Mr. Occam has a suggestion for you.

        Do “the forcing data explains the variations in temperature”?

        If not, then you’re trying to enlist Occam on your side, while lacking an understanding of what he said.

        °°°°Steven Mosher said:

        Your theory amounts to this. “This thing we have limited data on, could explain everything”

        Could explain “everything”? Strawman much?

        °°°°Steven Mosher said:

        Like I said Above… FUND MY UNICORN HUNT!!!

        Another attempt to score style points.

        °°°°Steven Mosher said:

        here is a clue. you dont run funding. your ideas about what should be funded are un important.

        But of course the ideas of our resident prima donnas are important.

      • Do “the forcing data explains the variations in temperature”?

        It does after the fixes, the homogenization, the infilling, and the undetected feedbacks, sure it does.

      • > What does a man in Mexico have to do with this?

        Our Man in Mexico is GlennS, GeoffS. The guy to whom I was responding, you know.

        My two bob’s worth follows from just about any empiricist conception of science, including Sir Karl’s – empirical science just ain’t about proving things. Our scientific knowledge is fallible, which means everything’s up for grabs all the time.

        When you’ll have an alternative to AGW, bring it. Fame and success awaits you. Meanwhile, AGW stays on the table.

      • Steven Mosher:
        “It COULD be clouds.. is just a hand wave.. to demonstrate that you would have to pose it as a testable hypothesis and actually try to prove it.”

        “Thus, (ocean) currents regulate global climate, helping to counteract the uneven distribution of solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface.” – http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/facts/climate.html

        “The ocean plays a leading role in the Earth’s climate.” – http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean_weather.html

        “The ocean communicates with the atmosphere via its surface. In this regard, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are of particular interest because (1) the ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface; therefore, SSTs constitute a large component of global average temperature, which is a fundamental measure of global climate change; (2) SSTs determine the fluxes of heat and water to/from the atmosphere, which, in turn, control sequestration of heat in the ocean, impact amounts and patterns of precipitation…” – NOAA

        So would a testable hypothesis be that, Ocean SSTs control the atmospheric temperatures? That’s not quite what the question would be as it’s accept that CO2 is trapping warmth in the atmosphere. Let’s try the hypothesis is, SSTs control 67% of the atmospheric temperature.

        One might say, SSTs are a significant part of the atmospheric temperature so that’s a problem. RSS data I think gets around that but only for the last 36 years.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1978

        It also might be said that CO2 controls the SSTs and I buy some of that. However what’s backing the SSTs (1000 meters of water) is complex and large.

        So the hypothesis may be, SSTs control 67% of the atmospheric temperature. Is it the question to be asking?

      • Ragnaar, your question becomes, why is the SST warming? Where is the energy coming from? Don’t look for it in the deep ocean because that is warming too. The whole ocean is gaining energy. There is an energy imbalance. Under AGW this is no surprise, but the skeptics are highly puzzled.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Steven Mosher,

        In the early years of Climate Audit you used to sit beside bloggers like Roman, Bender, JeffID, Ross McKitrick and of course Steve Mc himself. Since then your course seems to have drifted further than mine from the essential of making science succeed.
        Recall that some of my past science was in mineral exploration, which is difficult science. Among other techniques, we used modelling and it was in a state of continuous improvement because its deficiencies showed that it could often be improved. In those days, we even found new mines by overlaying geophysical graphs on transparent papers and then adjusting input parameters to get better fits. But, we did not rely on modelling. Rather, we used more sampling (drilling), replication and extension of data when needed, which admittedly is harder to do with the present form of climate science, AGW hypotheses and all that.
        Our approach did not even need an overarching hypothesis. It was known that ore deposits existed and we used science to find them.
        I am leading up to saying that we never found any proof that research needed to “wish” ore deposits into existence. Matters like belief, the presence/absence of unicorns, linguistic semantics, Occam’s razor and other devices you have invoked to harden your belief in the GHG hypothesis were simply not part of the daily grind. Likewise, cherry picking of data, alteration of data, homogenising of data strings and other positive actions were not needed. Either the ore deposit existed or it did not. Then there are the negative actions like trying to ignore or bluster away (in the case of AGW) the lack of coincidence between modelling and observation, alternative physical mechanisms (like the reference to clouds above), the balance between gas radiation physics and dissipation by conduction and convection and so on and so on and so on. And throwing up of straw men, another trendy part of the AGW hypothesis forming.
        I am not saying that you personally are guilty of these little sins, more that you now let some through and you pull up on others in discussion as suits your mood on the day.
        One cannot “believe” that AGW exists and therefore it does. One cannot harden that belief by little tricks of the trade. There was no point in fiddling exploration results because the target at the end was not affected by fiddles, it was there or not there. Not like present conceptions of AGW which can exist in various manifestations from being nil in relation to natural processes to being dominant over natural processes.
        Steven, I ‘m not going to play semantic games with you any more, until you realise that you are now commenting too much from personal belief and not enough from hard evidence. Cut the crap about unicorns and concentrate more on why the model results are so out of whack with observations for the AGW hypothesis. Try to move it from hypothesis to theory. Read again your good contributions to Climate Audit and come back reformed.
        It is not easy, but Mother Nature can be a bitch to analyse. Ask Willard, he often gets it wrong.

      • Jim D:
        I think we are working with 2 interfaces. The TOA and the sea surfaces. The energy is coming from the Sun to warm the oceans, and CO2 is helping too with that in my opinion. I agree the oceans are warming. I suppose I am heading for sea surfaces dominating atmospheric temperatures. I’d use the RSS data as SSTs shouldn’t dominate themselves as SST go into the atmospheric temperature readings I think. In my above plot, I think SSTs show a tighter linkage than CO2 does. The SST command results in a quicker response as opposed to what CO2 does. It seem to me that CO2 and what it does to the TOA gets a lot of attention. This quote put me all in the oceans:
        “Below the sea surface, historical measurements of temperature are far sparser, and the warming is more gradual, about 0.01°C per decade at 1,000 meters.” – Scripps
        That’s a lot of water. And I like to count things. I can count the pile of money with they say has a thousand dollars in it or the one that has a dollar in it. If I lock up one pile of money, we know which one that will be. And when the creditors are banging on the door…you get it. If we take the 1000 meters temperature above, yes the oceans are warming. My thousand dollars of the ocean grows by 0.1 C per century. That’s not much of an interest rate.

      • You can aggregate the ocean heating to something like 5e21 J per year globally. So if you prefer big numbers, there’s one. The question stands about where these Joules come from. It is ultimately the radiative imbalance of 0.5 W/m2, unless you are a skeptic that has dismissed this as an impossibility.

      • Geoff,

        You nailed it.

      • > Cut the crap about unicorns and concentrate more on why the model results are so out of whack with observations for the AGW hypothesis.

        The Earth is a bit bigger than the mining grunds from your younger days, GeoffS. If you would not believe modelling to mine, why would you believe in modelling a whole atmosphere?

        Here’s what happens when one tries to model GW using internal variability alone:

        Suppose that most of the global mean surface warming in the past half century was due to internal variability rather than external forcing, contrary to one of the central conclusions in the IPCC/AR4/WG1 Summary for Policymakers. Let’s think about the implications for ocean heat uptake. Considering the past half century in this context is convenient because we have direct, albeit imprecise, estimates of ocean heat uptake over this period.

        […]

        Like many others, I am watching with great interest and, I hope, an open mind, as the heat storage estimates from ARGO and the constraints imposed on steric sea level rise by the combination of altimeter and gravity measurements slowly emerge. And I would like to understand the effects of internal variability on heat uptake a lot better. But I see no plausible way of arguing for a small-xi picture. With a dominant internal component having the structure of the observed warming, and with radiative restoring strong enough to keep the forced component small, how can one keep the very strong radiative restoring from producing heat loss from the oceans totally inconsistent with any measures of changes in oceanic heat content?

        https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog_held/16-heat-uptake-and-internal-variability/

        If you believe clouds alone can counter this, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

      • So, you bought a bridge too, I would have thought buying 50 years of GMT, would have broken you of your old habit.

      • With a dominant internal component having the structure of the observed warming, and with radiative restoring strong enough to keep the forced component small, how can one keep the very strong radiative restoring from producing heat loss from the oceans totally inconsistent with any measures of changes in oceanic heat content?

        How about because the heat transport into the deep (sub-thermoclinal) ocean is pseudo-random (“chaotic”), driven by factors only distantly related to global temperatures?

        IMO the linked blog post is full of unwarranted assumptions, especially that the main driver of Δ(heat transfer) is related to “global average temperature”.

      • Willard:
        “With a dominant internal component having the structure of the observed warming, and with radiative restoring strong enough to keep the forced component small, how can one keep the very strong radiative restoring from producing heat loss from the oceans totally inconsistent with any measures of changes in oceanic heat content?”

        Here’s what I think the quote said. The oceans warmed themselves and did not warm the atmosphere to determine our recent atmospheric temperatures.

        Maybe it’s possible that CO2 is warming the atmosphere and the oceans. And the oceans are carrying warmth away from their surfaces.

      • > How about because the heat transport into the deep (sub-thermoclinal) ocean is pseudo-random (“chaotic”), driven by factors only distantly related to global temperatures?

        Indeed, what about them?

        You go first.

        Try to make sure that the chaotic processes posited can take the quantities into account.

      • You go first.

        Nope. If Isaac Held offers me such a challenge, I’ll put the effort into it. Till then…

        AFAIK there’s actually no good explanation for variations in heat transport, just an arm-waving assumption that it’s driven by “forced” temperatures.

      • > If Isaac Held offers me such a challenge […]

        I could contact him if you please, but the last time I did for JimC (bless his soul), he told me that he found strange that JimC would need an intercessor when it’s easy to contact him via email.

        The oddness may relate with the burden of proof reversal upon which your counterfactual may rest: why would Isaac Held need to offer you a challenge when the onus is on you to substantiate your claim?

      • The oddness may relate with the burden of proof reversal upon which your counterfactual may rest: why would Isaac Held need to offer you a challenge when the onus is on you to substantiate your claim?

        Because it isn’t. I’ve identified unwarranted assumptions. I’d say he has to justify those assumptions.

        Here was the question I was answering:

        [… H]ow can one keep the very strong radiative restoring from producing heat loss from the oceans totally inconsistent with any measures of changes in oceanic heat content?

        Frankly, all the mechanisms I can think of to affect the level of heat flow to the deep ocean seem to me to be driven pretty much independently of global average surface temperature.

        And as for models, just because the models do something doesn’t mean the real world does. AFAIK most models get the ITCZ wrong, as well as the monsoon effect. I’d say that means the wind patterns don’t match the real world. As well, I’d like to know how many, if any, actually have a parameter for sea-bottom relief.

      • Jim D:
        So what do you think the explanation is for about 90% of the warming going into the oceans? Yes, I know it’s a big number. You will do an explanation of the change in atmospheric temperature and CO2 and derive a sensitivity. I think that disregards this big number of the oceans. Probably the most popular explanation is that CO2 causes the oceans to warm and counting joules, 10 times a much I think. And I think that gives us two types of sensitivity. The old TOA one, thank you James Hansen. And the SST interface one.

        “The rate translates to a warming of roughly 0.005° C (0.009° F) per year in the top 500 meters of ocean and 0.002° C (0.0036° F) per year at depths between 500 and 2,000 meters.” 
        https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/distinct-rise-global-ocean-temperatures-detected

        Say 0.003 C per year for the top 2000 meters
        Say 0.030 C per decade
        Say 0.300 C per century

        It may be that the sensitivity for the atmosphere is 10. At the same time, at the SST interface, call it a relative 8. Resulting in an observed atmospheric sensitivity of 2.0 per doubling. A relative 8 means it’s effect on the atmosphere. As the oceans have 1000 times the thermal mass and average 4000 meters deep, the 8 is probably divided by 500 thermal masses resulting in 0.016 per doubling. Now this 0.016 is too low comparing it the Scripps quote. We could quadruple the above sensitivities. 40 for the atmosphere and a relative 38 for the oceans. Giving us 0.076 C per doubling. Closer. Those are some high sensitivities. Some water moves in the Pacific and plots shoot straight up and will probably collapse. That’s agility.

        We need something to explain the 90% going into the oceans.

      • Ragnaar – the plots have not collapsed since the 19th century… collapse ending 1905… 111 years ago. Since then we’ve experienced a puny cooling periods like 1943 to 1950… and a slow down in warming for a very brief period in the 21st century. The oceans aren’t eating the homework.

      • > I’ve identified unwarranted assumptions.

        So you say. I don’t recall where you did, where you showed that they were unwarranted, nor where you explained how this mattered to the price of tea. Otherwise, that’s just your opinion, man.

        That said, I was rather referring to your own answer when you rhetorically ask:

        How about because the heat transport into the deep (sub-thermoclinal) ocean is pseudo-random (“chaotic”), driven by factors only distantly related to global temperatures?

        I fail to see why Isaac would need to challenge you for you to try to substantiate that response.

        Otherwise, you’re just waving your hands with “because, chaos.”

      • […] I don’t recall […]

        […] I fail to see […]

        I’ll warrant that Isaac Held knows a great deal more about these subjects than you do. And, given your conversation here, it would seem so do I.

        My best guess is that Isaac Held’s response would be along the lines of either “I didn’t think of that”, or “I thought of that but…”.

        If I’m wrong, and I need to back up my statements, for him, I’ll do so. I’m not going to waste my time with your challenges.

      • > If I’m wrong, and I need to back up my statements, for him, I’ll do so.

        It’s the other way around: you need to back up your statements to be wrong.

        You also need to back up your statements to be right.

        For now, you’re not even wrong.

        ***

        > I’m not going to waste my time with your challenges.

        I don’t need to challenge you to note how your “challenge” bluff mismanages your commitments, dear AK.

      • Ragnaar, the TOA budget has to account for a term known as the imbalance which is dominated by the rate of change of ocean heat content. Without so much heat going into the ocean, the forcing change in the TOA budget cannot be satisfied for by realized surface warming alone.

      • JCH:

        I don’t want wandering temperatures. I want lockstep temperatures and high sensitivities.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1978

        When the oceans talk, I want atmospheric temperatures to listen. In the plot we see less noise than in many other plots. No trendlines.

        Yes long term there has been a rise and at least some of it is caused by CO2. I not predicting a collapse long term but who knows? In the plot you can see the two large El Ninos. Those collapses. In order to get large peaks and collapses, you need high sensitivities. Sure it’s possible that sensitivity is variable. But so much warmth is going into the oceans.

        I think it’s fair to say, you expect a negative PDO to just get beat by CO2. The CO2 is keeping warmth in the oceans, unless that guy over at RealClimate was wrong. We can imagine warmth never sleeps and will escape to the atmosphere. But that’s not what I read at RealClimate.

      • Jim D:

        I am suggesting two separate sensitivities. TOA/Atmospheric and sea surface interface/OHC. Have you read anything about the sensitivity of the OHC? This 90% going into the oceans, seems a bit high. I am not objecting to the research. What kicked this huge amount of Joules into the oceans? CO2. I can’t think of reason why that would end? Maybe a change to ocean circulation. We’ve looked at the atmosphere in so many ways. Meanwhile, so many more Joules decided to stay in the oceans.

      • The amount going into the ocean is why the transient sensitivity differs from the equilibrium one. The ocean can delay, but can’t stop the eventual rise to equilibrium.

      • Willard joins Jim D in toeing the official party line :
        CAGW is the only explanation we have. Therefore it is correct. It is not possible the correct explanation is something else presently beyond our grasp.

      • Any port in a storm: punksta1 joins the usual Denizens in clutching at strawmen.

      • Ragnaar,

        What kicked this huge amount of Joules into the oceans? CO2.

        No, the Sun.

        I can’t think of reason why that would end?

        There are basically two options:

        1) Decrease energy in.
        2) Increase energy out.

        It need not be one or the other; both at the same time also works.

        Maybe a change to ocean circulation.

        Ok. How does that also get us to a warmer surface and atmosphere?

      • There are basically two options:

        1) Decrease energy in.
        2) Increase energy out.

        At the surface it already cools more at night than it warms the prior day.

        Maybe a change to ocean circulation.

        Ok. How does that also get us to a warmer surface and atmosphere?

        This changes where water vapor is distributed, and water vapor via dew points sets the daily minimum temp.

      • Ragnaar – (1) I think Minnett’s theory is correct, but… The recent drop in OHC, 0 to 2000 meters, was larger than I expected. I suspect at least some of the loss was to the ocean below 2000 meters due to the westward shift, but it is also possible all of it went to the atmosphere.

        (2) There are now two distinct failures of the negative phase of the PDO. The PDO has not cooled the earth since the 19th century… 111 years ago. The situation can only get worse… vanishing pauses; exciting surges.

        JC comments: Lorenz’s paper was published in 1991. Recall, 1990 was the year that the IPCC FAR was published, which found “The size of this warming is broadly consistent with predictions of climate models, but it is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability.” The year 1991 was 62% into the warming period from 1976-2000.

        If Lorenz were looking at the climate data in 2013, how would he interpret it?

        The prospect of the current hiatus lasting until the mid 2030’s (as per the stadium wave and related theories of natural variability) is a decisive test for IPCC’s AGW detection arguments. Detection of AGW is a prerequisite for the IPCC’s attribution arguments. The IPCC’s statements of 95% confidence that most of the warming is anthropogenic, and expectations of substantial warming between now and 2036, has the IPCC skating on very thin ice, in my opinion.

        Three back-to-back warmest years since 2013, and still this nonsense persists. Lol.

      • brandonrgates:

        Yes the joules were not kicked, they were held in the oceans.

        “There are basically two options:
        1) Decrease energy in.
        2) Increase energy out.”
        Decreased energy into the oceans I don’t think is likely but I suppose it’s a coin flip considering regime shifts.
        Increased energy out of the oceans I don’t think is likely. It’s the same CO2 in the atmosphere warms argument. Draw a line an inch above the sea surfaces and say what is below the line will warm. Of course El Ninos will still happen and sea ice retreat may cool the Arctic Ocean.

        “Ok. How does that (change to ocean circulation) also get us to a warmer surface and atmosphere?”

        I meant what would stop the oceans from warming, moderating an atmospheric temperature rise? Since you ask an interesting question, what would cool the oceans and warm the atmosphere? Sea ice loss. My favorite unsupported theory, both main Pacific Gyres speed up and increase volume flow of warm equatorial water toward the poles while cooler water head towards the equator.

      • Jim D:
        “…the TOA budget has to account for a term known as the imbalance which is dominated by the rate of change of ocean heat content.”

        I am circling around the answer or the drain. 1 joule goes into the atmosphere because of CO2. Each time that happens 10 joules go into the oceans because of CO2. Prior to our CO2, no joules went into either as both were for our purposes, static, netting to zero change.

        We don’t have 11 new joules, we have 11 we captured. Joule input is assumed stable for centuries. We captured 10 of them in the ocean, where they aren’t affecting atmospheric temperatures when netting everything as the oceans are warming because of CO2. Of the 11 joules, we caught 1 of them in the atmosphere raising the atmospheric temperature, but we lost 10 of them to oceans, that would lower the atmospheric temperature. I think this means atmospheric sensitivity is quite high, raising its temperatures with less joules input.

        CO2 can stop the oceans from cooling all things being equal. If you see a problem with my accounting, other than rounding, I’d appreciate your comments.

      • I don’t know where you got your 10 joules, but once that energy is diffused it’s gone.

        I think this means atmospheric sensitivity is quite high, raising its temperatures with less joules input.

        Land air has a measured cs to solar of less than 0.02F/Whr.

      • Ragnaar, when you do the actual numbers only about 1% of the 0.5 W/m2 imbalance is required to warm the atmosphere by 0.2 C per decade. So 99% of the heating is not going into the atmosphere, but it is still warming fast enough.

      • micro6500:

        Over 90% of the warmth is going into the oceans. SkS plotted that. Perhaps I should’ve used 10 joules divided into 1 into the atmosphere and 9 into the oceans. Even better I could have reviewed the information first. For each 1 joule the atmosphere captures because of GHGs, the oceans hang onto 29 joules that they used to transmit to the atmosphere. Using this ratio, assume we’ve had 1 C of temperature rise because of CO2. How much warmth never entered the atmosphere because it stayed in the oceans? 29 C if in the atmosphere. The 29 C can be divided by ½ the thermal mass of the oceans as I am throwing out anything deeper than 2000 meters. 29 C / 500 = .058 C for 0-2000 meters of the oceans.

        Above using a generalization from Scripps there was this OHC rise:
        Say 0.003 C per year for the top 2000 meters
        Say 0.030 C per decade
        Say 0.300 C per century

        So .058 C doesn’t look too far out of the question.

        More than 90% of global warming goes into heating the oceans, while less than 3% goes into heating the atmosphere. – Nuccitelli

        So because of CO2, the atmosphere gained enough joules to raise its temperature by about 1.0 C. And it lost to oceans, 29 times that amount of joules. So it seems to me to balance things out, sensitivty should be quite high.

      • Sounds like sks nonsense. 30% is over land, and ocean heat contents is poorly measured. Most of the co2 over the ocean goes to warm the air and water vapor, since that’s what is actually illuminated by the ir.
        And then that also doesn’t account for what radiates to space. So because they can’t find the energy, they assume the missing energy isn’t missing and make up whatever they want.
        Yep smells like sks bs.

      • > CAGW is the only explanation we have.

        Wrong on two counts, Punk.

        First, it’s AGW. That’s a contrarian meme.

        Second, AGW’s not the only one – it’s the best one.

        Thank you for your concerns.

      • Second, AGW’s not the only one – it’s the best one.

        Nonsense.

      • Nothing like political activism with an agenda.

        The best explanation is the ocean decadal oscillations alter the distribution of water vapor.
        But that doesn’t generate 100’s of millions in government payola, or billions of intergovernment handouts, or maybe trillions of new tax transfers.

        History will look back at the last handful of decades in disgust at both the politics and science.

      • > The best explanation is the ocean decadal oscillations alter the distribution of water vapor.

        Citation needed.

      • Besides our hostesses stadium wave paper there isn’t any.
        But I have my own work, which shows it very well. I’ve posted the link here likely a few times, I include data and the code to replicate it.
        But climate science seems to shun competence if it’s doesn’t buy the company line. So I expect you will do the same.
        While not a scientist, I am a professional in many of the needed skills, but activists can have any of that.
        Well, I do see sks getting a lot of traction, but they are more cheerleaders for the cause, so that might explain that.

        And no, not the poor, everyone except the billionaires.
        But it did bring something to mind, American billionaires aren’t building castles, the Europeans are way ahead on that count, they build for the long term.

      • > Besides our hostesses stadium wave paper there isn’t any.

        Our hostess’s co-author’s life research does not even contradicts AGW – search for “Dickey.”

        You might have a better chance to life’s work of Kravtsov, but you might have been advised to short sell that one last year now that Da Paws is gone.

        Anything else?

      • Our hostess’s co-author’s life research does not even contradicts AGW – search for “Dickey.”

        She has to walk a fine line to get past the gatekeepers to get published.
        Scientific evidence, lots of it. Anything that made it past the gatekeepers, no.

      • > Scientific evidence, lots of it.

        Sure, micro – that paper, which does not even dispute AGW, is a better explanation than AGW.

        You forgot “but Galileo.”

      • My link?
        I figured any intelligent person familiar with the claims would recognize observations would show the published works as the biased junk they are.

        Sorry you fall into the group who doesn’t recognize that.
        As some who iirc is only interested in the word games, it’s not surprising though(and if you’re not that person whose pseudonym is Willard, my apologies ).

      • > I figured any intelligent person familiar with the claims would recognize observations would show the published works as the biased junk they are.

        The same effect can be observed regarding the Farting Unicorn Hypothesis, micro. Any intelligent person should see that it’s way better than AGW, yet nobody takes it srsly.

        Youth ain’t what it’s supposed to be anymore.

      • > My link?

        Which link, micro?

        If it’s something like a paper, I could cite it in my Contrarian Matrix.

      • The WordPress ones from micro6500

      • The post where we can read “Yes this doesn’t show the impact of Co2,” I presume?

      • The post where we can read “Yes this doesn’t show the impact of Co2,” I presume?

        Well, I guess that’s close enough, that and the other page there, you get a twofer.

      • A twofer of nothingburger: pretty figures don’t an argument make.

      • They do if you have a clue.

      • > They do if you have a clue.

        That’s just self-sealing crap, micro.

      • Obviously it’s a case of if I have to explain it to you, you don’t understand. Don’t try to pass your failings on to me.
        Did you go to source forge to get the rest of the data and the code?
        Maybe that’ll help.
        Or you can read the two or three times in this thread where I explained it.
        Or ask a question like you at least tried.

      • > Or you can read the two or three times in this thread where I explained it.

        If I need to read this thread to understand point you fail to make in your blogs, micro, I can’t cite them.

        It’s as simple as that.

      • If I need to read this thread to understand point you fail to make in your blogs, micro, I can’t cite them.

        Except, as you point out I don’t make any points on my blog, I leave them for the observer to see in the graphs.

        All these made up rules.

      • That is if they haven’t driven society into the ditch, completely breaking it, and there’s anyone not struggling to survive to have the time to even worry about it.

      • micro’s concerns for the poor just happens to coincide with his libertarian bias, no doubt.

      • Ragnaar,

        Decreased energy into the oceans I don’t think is likely but I suppose it’s a coin flip considering regime shifts.
        Increased energy out of the oceans I don’t think is likely.

        It’s got to be one or the other — or a combination — so they can’t both be unlikely. If a cooling regime shift, it has to do one or both of those things.

        I meant what would stop the oceans from warming, moderating an atmospheric temperature rise? Since you ask an interesting question, what would cool the oceans and warm the atmosphere? Sea ice loss.

        *IF* that ice loss persistent year round, I could go maybe go along with that because during the dark winter months the open water would lose more heat than with ice cover. But ice is seasonal, and that doesn’t happen. Sea ice is considered a net positive radiative feedback due to its very high albedo relative to the much darker open ocean water.

        My favorite unsupported theory, both main Pacific Gyres speed up and increase volume flow of warm equatorial water toward the poles while cooler water head towards the equator.

        That would certainly warm the atmosphere at high latitudes, but it would conceivably cool the atmosphere near the equator. I think case for net loss of ocean heat content is pretty clear.

        The point I’m getting at, which is not novel, is this: a change in atmospheric and surface temperature due only to ocean/atmospheric exchanges looks very different from one which has been externally forced. To have both the oceans and atmosphere warming at the same time screams external forcing, not internal variability. But *IF* chaotic wobbling only, to have that wobble both increase OHC and atmospheric temperature, you’re pretty much left with needing an albedo change. So fewer clouds and/or less ice and snow cover.

        All these things are observable and testable. Chaos isn’t magic, it’s just physics.

        I see you’ve done some math in subsequent posts. I have my own back of envelope calcs, but I’m too tired to get into them now. Perhaps next time.

      • Sea ice is considered a net positive radiative feedback due to its very high albedo relative to the much darker open ocean water.

        This needs reviewed, I think at worse it’s positive one month a year, and negative the rest of the time.
        There only 3 or 4 hours east/west of solar noon that it gains energy, the other 15 or 16 hours open water loses energy, just being light out doesn’t make it gain energy, it has to be under the sun, but the curvature of the earth increases the angle of incident greater than 80 degrees, and clear sky is going to be fridge the rest of the day.

      • The pause was caused… by Matt England’s anomalous wind:

        Which caused the mighty Eastern Pacific to often look like this:

        w.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2011/anomnight.1.3.2011.gif

        From around 2006 until 2012, the GMST dropped… even in the highly rigged and adjusted GISTEMP L&O! Prior to that event, the GMST – right through the first 7-8 years of the pause – was warming.

        During England’s Kimikaze Wind, the GMST cooled.

        And then the Kimikaze stopped blowing. Skeptics need to pray for the return of the Kimikaze. If it comes back, it can save Western Civilization from us horrible KlimateKublaiKhanumists.

      • I see I said some things that were definitely wrong by quite a lot about the system balance sheet and the system profit and loss statement. Sorry for that. I am still working on the problem. I realized I was wrong with further thought about the questions.

      • brandonrgates:
        “It’s got to be one or the other — or a combination — so they can’t both be unlikely. If a cooling regime shift, it has to do one or both of those things.”

        Please replace what I wrote with:
        Decreased energy into the oceans I don’t think is likely but I suppose it’s a coin flip considering regime shifts.
        Increased energy out of the oceans is likely. Let’s say 67% yes, 33% no. The magnitude will be important.

        About the sign of sea ice loss in the NH. For maybe 3 months each year, SW gain in the Arctic Ocean will be good for open water. During late Summer and Fall I’ll assume there is still open water in the same place. The seawater will not store so well and will emit to the atmosphere pretty well. I found a paper saying what I repeated above, and cannot re-find that paper. I think it is not a coincidence that Karl found warming in the Arctic regions at the same time there has been ice loss. I think the primary function of sea ice is insulation of the oceans. In hostile environments like an 8 foot deep lake in Minnesota in Winter, ice allows the fish to survive the Winter. It dominates the temperature regulation of the lake during Winter. Scale this up, who knows?

      • JCH:

        That England plot is like what Jennifer Francis did? The PETG become less because of global warming. The NH polar jet then switches from rigid (wave-2) wavy (wave-3). It moves from one stable state to another one. The fall of the cliff at the end of the plot brought cool air to Canada and warm air to the Arctic where we couldn’t see it until Karl found it. The wavy jet while longer and slower allows greater equator to pole mixing which may show up as temperature extremes. During this shift:

        “One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern.”

        A rigid jet kept warmth where we are and where we measured it. The Arctic should have been cooler but before Karl did we know that? Say someone suggested a switch to another attractor as the quote above brings up and a switch to another around 1998 partly caused by PETG changes. We could say in 1998 we switched to a warmer attractor that tried to cool the system. Prior to that we may have a had a cooler attractor that tried to warm the system.

        Good plot from England. I was looking for one that went further back than the Francis one.

    • Jim D. The bias is that those proposals are not being requested, much less accepted. That is how funding bias works. Don’t ask.

      • If they are requesting proposals to study AGW, it means that the science is not settled. There is still room for improvement and refinement in various aspects. It is not a closed issue. You should be glad that they request more work on AGW. The alternative is barring such research.

      • David Wojick

        The alternative is exploring the alternative hypotheses, which is presently little funded, if at all. The AGW research is driving toward the false goals of regional forecasting and ever more impact forecasting. That plus explaining away the hiatus, a more recent addition.

        Using semantic analysis we can actually map these biases. That is the beauty of the method. To say certain things you have to use certain words and science is structured by what is said.

      • Even if you are exploring an alternative you would still have to mention AGW, either to deny it or compare with it, because that is the prevailing theory. Einstein would have mentioned Newton as a point of reference.

      • David Wojick

        To the best of my recollection (I did grad work on this) Einstein did not mention Newton in either of his first two relativity (special and general) papers. That is not how science works.

      • Let us take a system of co-ordinates in which the equations of Newtonian mechanics hold good.

        https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/

      • Einstein’s gravity approximates to Newtonian gravity in certain limits. If it didn’t, he would have been wrong. Likewise, if you are going to challenge AGW, you need to mention it in your proposal. Science does not progress by ignoring the most established view. It has to address it to say what is wrong with it.

      • Jim D | August 24, 2016 at 8:34 pm |
        If they are requesting proposals to study AGW, it means that the science is not settled.

        It means the outcome is settled, they just need to find something that appears to support it.

  21. Such a bias obviously also leads to a bias in what kind of papers get funded and thus published. “97%” of scientists are probably directly of highly influenced by such bias in FedGov funding.

  22. Skeptics need not worry about AGW research much longer. Once Grad students fully unionize, no further work will get done…

    “Graduate Students Clear Hurdle in Effort to Form Union”
    http://nyti.ms/2bfDGB1

  23. “and others who like GHG hypotheses.
    What is your favourite explanation for both the warming/cooling pattern earlier in the 20th century before GHG concentrations were so high, and the (satellite measured) plateau in global temperatures since 2000 or so?”

    1930’s: removal of -ve forcing of strat aerosol + strengthening TSI + +ve PDO/ENSO and AMO.

    *Pause* prolonged -ve PDO/ENSO.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_multidecadal_oscillation#/media/File:Atlantic_Multidecadal_Oscillation.svg


    • The observational evidence indicates ACO2 has had to overcome significant negative trends in natural variability, a high hurdle, for much of the period from 1970 to 2012.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        JCH,
        If you accept that, you have low boundaries for acceptance.
        Do you really feel that all the GHG Is are fitted and Ts are crossed?
        If you do, I have a bridge to sell.
        Geoff

  24. Without getting into attribution, I would like to see charts developed that include Gisstemp, SST, Satellite and C&W. I know the objection to kriging across natural boundaries but it would at least make for global coverage. More is better!

  25. David, is it bias or just politics? If you don’t bang the drum, you don’t get the bucks.
    AGW is a very clever political ploy Get people to complain about the weather then blame it on somebody you don’t like. I recall a news release during the Paris accord signing in New York where the rep from Palestine blamed AGW on Israel, and he had graphs.
    My worry is that it will probably take a “black swan” to shift public attention.
    The huge earthquake on the west coast that everybody knows is only a matter of time for example.
    We will probably have AGW advocates claiming their models predicted it, but the public interest will have shifted to a true disaster.

  26. David Wojick

    Folks asked about the data so here it is. Of particular interest are those non-AGW terms with zero or near zero occurrences in 180 pages, despite their prominent role in the scientific debate. Below are the detailed hit counts. In each case the three numbers following the stem word are the counts for FY 2016, 2014, and 2012 editions of Our Changing Planet:

    AGW centric stem words (Our Changing Planet FYs 2016, 2014, and 2012)
    15 keywords with 644 occurrences in 78 pages (8.3 per page) for FY2016, then 340 occurrences in 49 pages (6.9 per page) for FY 2014 and 482 occurrences in 53 pages (9.1 per page) for FY2012.
    Model 112, 71, 185
    Carbon 106, 19, 30
    Impact 101, 69, 72
    Risk 57, 30, 31
    Cloud 33, 5, 6
    Forecast 31, 17, 19
    Predict 74, 36, 58
    Aerosol 26, 9, 10
    Flood 25, 18, 7
    Carbon Dioxide 17, 4, 7
    Greenhouse gas 16, 10, 18
    Radiation 14, 4, 8
    Sea level 12, 35, 18
    Disease 12, 11, 11
    Heat wave 8, 2, 2

    Natural variability centric stem words (Our Changing Planet FYs 2016, 2014, and 2012)
    15 keywords with just 7 occurrences in 78 pages (0.1 per page) for FY2016, with 5 occurrences in 49 pages (0.1 per page) for FY2014, and with 4 occurrences in 53 pages (0.1 per page) for FY2012.
    Solar 3, 5, 3
    Natural variability 2, 0, 0
    Natural flux 1, 0, 0
    Ocean circulation 1, 0, 1
    Pacific Decadal Oscillation 0, 0, 0
    North Atlantic Oscillation 0, 0, 0
    Solar variability 0, 0, 0
    Solar cycle 0, 0, 0
    Sunspot 0, 0, 0
    Little Ice Age 0, 0, 0
    Warm period 0, 0, 0
    Natural Warming 0, 0, 0
    Chaotic 0, 0, 0
    Chaos 0, 0, 0
    Cosmic rays 0, 0, 0

  27. “Of particular interest are those non-AGW terms with zero or near zero occurrences in 180 pages, despite their prominent role in the scientific debate. ”

    I would count the following as “Natural variability centric stem words”
    (carbon cycle taking care of the GHG and CO2 terms and the Sun for radiation)

    Cloud 33, 5, 6
    Aerosol 26, 9, 10
    Carbon Dioxide 17, 4, 7
    Greenhouse gas 16, 10, 18
    Radiation 14, 4, 8

    • David Wojick

      Those terms are central to the AGW paradigm, so I have no idea why you think they reflect the natural variability paradigm.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Cloud 33, 5, 6
      Aerosol 26, 9, 10”

      yes. if you actually READ the document rather than COUNT the words
      the document discusses these in the context of NATURAL forcings..

      as in biogenic aerosols and their impact on clouds.

      The “stem” words these clowns used is a joke.

      • David Wojick

        Aerosols are central to AGW because they supposedly explain the mid-20th century lack of warming. Clouds provide part of the positive feedback that drives up the sensitivity.

      • Oh that’s just too funny,

        Clouds are aerosols, AGW affects clouds so research into natural aerosols is actually research into AGW.

        In fact, *any* research into climate or weather is now, by definiton, research into AGW.

        Brilliant.

      • Which photograph clearly shows biogenic aerosols?

      • Steven Mosher

        too funny david

        Aerosols , BIOGENIC Aerosols.

        So, they discuss studies of BIOGENIC Aerosols.. which is NATURAL
        Aerosols.

        Suppose:

        “We propose to fund research into Biogenic aerosols and how the variation of these influences clouds and the radiation budget of the planet and over time explains climate change rather than carbon dioxide”

        Your search terms would count this as AGW.. big time AGW paragraph.

        Again, your approach to semantic analysis is a joke.

      • David Wojick

        If only that fictitious quoted paragraph occurred. It does not. Hence my study.

  28. Question for Wojick ==> I went to the /workingpapers section of the CATO website, but can not find any function for commenting on or communicating about your working paper “Is the Government Buying Science or Support? “.

    Can you give me the correct link to comment or email it to me at my first name at the domain i4 decimal net Thanks.

    • David Wojick

      Cato does not take comments, Kip. Feel free to post your comments here, especially since the Framework paper is the father of this USGCRP semantic analysis, as it were. Others are welcome to do likewise.
      See http://www.cato.org/publications/working-paper/government-buying-science-or-support-framework-analysis-federal-funding

      • Wojick ==> Thought it might [would] due to this bit on the cover page “Cato Working Papers are intended to circulate research in progress for comment and discussion. Available at http://www.cato.org/workingpapers. ”

        The comment I wanted to make was in this section of the exec summary: “Moreover, there is the possibility of cascading amplification on a very large scale and over multiple biased stages. Here is an example of how it might work. …..”, which leads to a list of sequential consequences, misses the whole dynamic of biased findings (which are nominally and in varying degrees false or incorrect) lead to further studies based on the assumption that the original finding is true and correct….this is then repeated over many iterations….thus a producing cascading series of results that are further and further from the actuality [physical reality].

        This error cascade can result from a single false finding, particularly when it is from a well-respected source published in a high-impact journal.

        Several scientific fields are suffering from this aspect of bias today. For instance, Functional MRI mapping of the brain has been found to have a >70% false positive rate due to an-only-recently discovered error in the computer analysis program used by most researchers. Those false positives have been assumed to be true, spawning further research based on them — using the false finding as a assumed given in the design of follow-on research. The whole field may need to be redone nearly from the beginning.

      • Meta-analysis of psychophysiological interactions: Revisiting cluster-level thresholding and sample sizes

        After publication of our findings, we learned that the analysis software we used to conduct our CBMAs (GingerALE v2.3.3) contained an implementation error that led to results that were more liberal than intended. Here, we comment on the impact of this implementation error on the results of our paper, new recommendations for sample sizes in CBMAs, and the importance of communication between software users and developers. We show that our key claims are supported in a reanalysis and that our results are robust to new guidelines on sample sizes.

      • David Wojick

        It is true Kip, that my framework does not address false findings per se, such as fraud. That is not the bias I interested in. My focus is policy and paradigm protection, which need not involve falsification and is far more widespread.

      • Wojick ==> I did not intend “false” to imply fraud of any sort — only imply a lack of verisimilitude — a lack of actually representing some objective reality.

        Biased findings — which to some degree or other are lacking in verisimilitude, or lacking the quality of being a true representation of reality, in that sense “false” — when, at a later time, used as true assumed givens in subsequent study design and planning, produce results that are even further in error, more biased, than the original. This is an Error Cascade (when involving a simply erroneous result) or a Bias Cascade (when involving a biased result).

        It is in this way that entire fields of study can be led down some long, costly side-tracked pursuit, only to eventually find that the trip was caused by erroneous or biased findings unfortunately accepted as true.

      • “Cato does not take comments”

        I was drawn to Cato a couple of years ago after watching some videos of Lindzen and decided to support at a non-trivial $ level (for me). I even flew in to attend one of there climate conferences. I have to say that I have been thoroughly disappointed by what I have seen from Pat Michaels and his crowd since.

      • Wojick ==> The point I make is reflected in this from the biomedical world:

        “The major cost of irreproducibility does not lie with a faulty initial study, but with the wasted follow-on work that it inspires, says Lee Ellis, a cancer biologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Scientists may lose time pursuing false leads, which can delay discoveries that lead to new therapies.” (source)

        Biased work, biased findings, have a similar effect. Sarewitz refers to this feature as “Lemmings Studying Mice” — the incorrect idea that studying mice brains will lead to results with Alzheimer’s, for which RFPs (calls for proposals requesting grant money) are regularly issued by the NIH, has resulted in 50,000 mouse brain studies (80,000 if one includes rat studies) done over ten years with no cure or even real additional insight into the problem. They all study mice so they can cite one another….despite the generally accepted notion that mice brains are not a good proxy for human brains — based in large part on funding bias.

      • Kip Hansen:

        The point I make is reflected in this from the biomedical world

        The distinction with USGCRP research is that much of their budget is used in gathering actual climate-related data around the planet. DW’s coarse filters are inadequate to the task he sets for them.

      • Reply to opluso ==> My comment is in regards to Wojick’s working paper (which covers the general area of federal-funding bias in climate research and is different from the paper discussed in this essay).

        In that paper, there is a list of of steps in the “possibility of cascading amplification on a very large scale and over multiple biased stages. ” Not in the list is the item I mention.

        I am not commenting on the word-count bias paper.

      • David Wojick

        Opluso, I think you will find that most of the climate related data being collected is based on the AGW paradigm. If not then that fact is not reflected in the USGCRP documents that I analyzed. It would be a good study in its own right.

  29. I took a look at the 2016 Report and examined a small section of it solely for the word “model”.

    I fail to see how that word represents any bias.

    In many cases, the word was used in lists that included observations and fundamental research. For example

    “The highlights in this Our Changing Planet report represent the broad spectrum of USGCRP activities that extend from Earth system observations, modeling, and fundamental research”

    And similarly here.

    “USGCRP’s ability to produce the results described herein is made possible by long-term investments in observations, research, modeling, and data stewardship..

    And here.

    “…investments in multidisciplinary observations (Box 3), process studies, and modeling”

    Other cases related to models that were not just climate model but models of things relating to other systems and weather phenomenon

    For Example
    .
    Highlight 30 Modeling Thunderstorms

    and

    “few examples include analyses of Earth’s carbon budget (Highlight 3), models of ecosystem–atmosphere interactions”

    If you look at the campaigns on pages 7-8 of the 2016 report, almost all of the campaigns and missions are related to measurement and data gathering.

    • Steven Mosher

      Yes,

      the same goes for the word “flood”

      their methodology OVERCOUNTS AGW references and double counts

      • David Wojick

        There is no “their” there. This is my work alone. The USGCRP is studying floods because AGW predicts an increase.

        Mind you I am just skimming the semantic surface. Analyzing the actual biases would be a major project.

      • Steven Mosher

        The USGCRP is studying floods because AGW predicts an increase.

        too funny..

        on one hand you are just counting words
        on the other hand you are reading souls

        They are studying WEATHER FORECASTING and short term flood prediction.

  30. Ok, as much as I appreciate what Wojick is trying to do, surely I’m not the only one who sees that this study is profoundly flawed, methodologically. The method pretends to employ the mathematical methodology of science, but the operation processes simply do not permit a mathematical treatment. For example, what evidence is there that the top 15 terms selected for the competing paradigms represent the same portion of the lexicon of those competing paradigms? Without that assumption, there is nothing of quantitative value to the whole project.

    Again, that’s not to say that there is nothing of value in the line of analysis. In fact, I personally agree with the conclusions being advanced. But I don’t pretend that my opinions are supported by quantitative evidence, and the entire line of argument would be easier to take seriously if the authors didn’t try to suggest otherwise.

    • David Wojick

      On the contrary, I think the results are telling. We are measuring the allocation of attention to specific concepts.

      • Steven Mosher

        No you are counting words

        if you want to do Topic analysis you need a better method

      • > We are measuring the allocation of attention to specific concepts.

        Even if we grant you this, how is this supposed to be an indicator of bias?

        The whole exercise should be filed under Question, Begging the.

      • Steven Mosher

        Here david.

        this is how it’s done.

        counting words was bad approach 30 years ago.

  31. Following is a detailed quote of small section of the 2016 document that contains ten references deemed AGW centric including cloud, model, radiation (even as it refers to solar radiation), and predict(ions). Yet I cannot see a single thing AGW centric in it. It is about modelling thunderstorms without attribution.

    Thunderstorm clouds play an important role in regional atmospheric dynamics, modulating such factors as air pollution, acid deposition, and—critically for climate models—precipitation and the balance of heat throughout the atmosphere. To date, in part because of the computing power constraints associated with running models at high resolutions, it has proved challenging to model in detail the effects of thunderstorm clouds on the solar radiation that drives the climate system.

    Recognizing this opportunity for improvement, scientists with EPA, NOAA, and NCAR have developed a methodology to better represent thunderstorm clouds in regional climate models. Outcomes include more realistic simulations of these clouds, improved estimates of precipitation, and more credible short- and long-term predictions of regional climate and extreme weather events.

    • David Wojick

      The $2.5 billion USGCRP is not about modeling thunderstorms; it is about modeling climate and adverse impacts. That thunderstorms are mentioned in passing is why I use 15 different diagnostic terms. Every instance of every term is not pro-AGW, just most of them. This is shown by the dramatic lack of natural variability terms. This is a rough statistical analysis, not a sentence by sentence analysis. The 80 to 1 ratio makes the results significant.

      • Steven Mosher

        err no.

        your search terms are biased.

        For example.. you missed the discussions of natural processes.
        you missed discussions of La Nina
        Your search characterized forecasts of flood 8 days in advance
        as ‘AGW’

        You missed Solar Wind, ENSO, Biogenic Aerosols and cloud formation..

        all discussed.

        so 80:1 is a not very accurate

        there is a better way to pick search terms and it doesnt involve a human

  32. Steven Mosher

    “Our Changing Planet provides extensive discussion of the research program, so it is reasonable to believe that it is representative of that program.”

    Actually the discussion isnt very extensive at all

    the biggest issue with your search terms is that the AGW search terms are generic while the “Natural variability” terms are very specific… In one case
    ‘natural flux’ ( a very high entropy digram) it looks like you read the document and pulled out the that phrase as a search term.

    :Solar, Natural variability, Natural flux, Ocean circulation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, Solar variability, Solar cycle, Sunspot, Little Ice Age, Warm period, Natural Warming, Chaotic, Chaos and Cosmic rays.”

    Lets take some sentences your overly specific search missed

    “This approach fully
    addresses the GCRA mandate to “understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes
    of global change.”

    Natural and Human Emissions in the Tropical Canopy

    Measuring Natural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Alaska

    La Niña and the Greening of the Southern Hemisphere

    USGCRP is a confederation of the global change research arms of 13 Federal agencies. It was established by Presidential Initiative
    in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to
    understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

    Advance Science – Advance scientific knowledge of the integrated natural and human components of the Earth system
    to understand climate and global change.

    OCO-2, launched by NASA in July 2014, measures carbon dioxide from space with the precision,
    resolution, and coverage needed to provide a global picture of human and natural sources and
    sinks. These measurements are being combined with data from ground stations, aircraft, and
    other satellites to help answer key questions about the global carbon cycle and how it interacts
    with climate change.

    “DOE and Finnish scientists collaborated on the 2014 BAECC field campaign, measuring biogenic
    aerosols emitted from a pine forest in Finland to determine their effects on clouds, precipitation,
    and climate

    “The DSCOVR satellite mission, launched in February 2015, will monitor solar winds and other
    space weather phenomena ”

    The CalWater2/ACAPEX field campaign, which occurred January—March 2015, is a collaboration
    between NOAA, DOE, and NASA. It collected measurements to improve understanding and modeling
    of processes associated with atmospheric rivers and aerosol-cloud interactions that influence
    precipitation variability and extremes in the western United States.

    “PECAN is a multi-agency (NSF, DOE, NOAA, NASA) ground-based and aircraft campaign, taking
    place over the U.S. Southern Great Plains in summer 2015. It aims to advance understanding of the
    nocturnal, warm-season precipitation that constitutes much of this region’s rainfall. ”

    “Understanding the relative influence of human and natural factors in extreme events can help governments and communities
    make informed decisions about minimizing and responding to the effects of climate change. In particular, being able to anticipate
    increases in specific types of extreme weather within a given region can motivate actions to reduce risk. s

    Natural and Human Emissions in the Tropical Canopy

    “Longer-term expected results
    include better models of fast-reacting atmospheric
    chemistry within the tropical forest
    canopy; deeper knowledge and improved
    modeling of interactions between biogenic
    emissions, human-generated pollutants, and
    meteorological factors; ”

    “The observational campaign in the Amazon Basin measures key environmental variables,
    including light and temperature, that drive biogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds
    from the canopy. ”

    “An important thread that has surfaced within the research community
    involved in SOM6 is the understanding that carbon storage
    is mediated by microorganisms (microbes) living in the soil, ”

    #################3

    basically what you did was make the search terms too narrow

    On the other hand your search terms for AGW were too broad

    For example, the sections discussing NEAR TERM weather forecasting
    and floods and drought.. get caught up by your search method as AGW

    when the actual text is discussing WEATHER and not climate.

    So your search term ‘forecast’ gets a lot of hits that are not CLIMATE forecast

    I wont even get into the Silliness of counting words on the Appendix pages and the GLOSSARY

    ‘Climate variability
    Natural changes in climate that fall within the
    observed range of extremes for a particular region,
    as measured by temperature, precipitation, and frequency
    of events. Measurable drivers of climate variability
    include the El Niño Southern Oscillation and
    other phenomena. Related term: natural variability”

    Finally: they have the focus they do for a reason.
    its their Remit

    Actionable science..

    If you look at their focus by actually READING the document as opposed to counting words you get a vastly different picture.

    Still, on balance the attention paid to natural variability is Small.

    That’s partly because folks working in that area cant actually point to anything and name it.

    Oh ya La Nina… you missed that as a search term
    And ENSO
    and La Nino

    All in the document

  33. Steven Mosher

    I would encourage folks to look at the two sets of search terms.

    Note how the AGW terms are rather generic ( carbon, floods for example)
    Note how the natural variability terms are selective and unique ( cosmic rays, for example)

    Then download and read the document

    2016 is really only 50 pages long ( lots of pictures ) its easy to see how the method over counts AGW stuff, undercounts discussions of natural causes… and totally misclassifies material about near term and season forecasting as AGW talk.

    As far as content analysis goes????

    Cook and lewandowsky get a C-
    This stuff gets a D

    A piece of advice.

    I would try to use a Topic Model approach.

    A) pick a few other documents that talk EXCLUSIVELY about AGW
    B) pick a few documents that talk EXCLUSIVELY about natural variability

    From those Corpi you can probably train a topic model ( see LDA)

    Then feed these document to the model and it will tell you all you need to know

    if you let humans pick the search terms.. you are asking for trouble

    • If this gets a D, C13 gets an A+++.

      • Steven Mosher

        You and me.. In the Deans office.. we clearly need to calibrate..

        but I see your point.

        beware where you set the C grade

      • Willard,

        If this gets a D, C13 gets an A+++.

        Thus far, Mosher only seems to be grading methodology. Will be interesting to see how he grades interpretation.

      • dangit, we crossed …

      • > beware where you set the C grade

        I wouldn’t mind giving C13 a B- or a C+, but W16 shall not pass.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon,

        given the remit of USGCRS it would be hard for them to justify looking
        at attribution..

        Actionable science ( I will post their defitinition of pure versus applied research which they address )

        If you read their plan for 2012-2020 they do have a commitment to Paleo and natural variability does get some attention but primarly on the short time scale in the context of short term and seasonal forecasts.

        How do I put this charitably..

        Some people want funding for a unicorn hunt

        that is Long Memory Processes that could explain some of the warming we see..

        But unicorns hunts could be very expensive and never ending..

        here is a hunt of sorts for unicorns… they found GHGs…

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7617/full/nature19082.html

        of course they posit their own version of a unicorn..

        i suppose if skeptics to DETAIL a study plan for how they will identify the unicorn ( it has to be in past data ) then they should be able to get funding..

        BUT… since they reject all data ( no proxies are good and global temperature doesnt exist, but changes in it do??? haha) its hard to see how they would hunt for natural variability..

        in newspaper clippings?

      • “i suppose if skeptics to DETAIL a study plan for how they will identify the unicorn ( it has to be in past data ) then they should be able to get funding..”

        Long term persistent recovery from ~1700 AD is not something particularly new so there is no funding. The problem is getting rid of the questionable assumption of a +/- 0.1 C stable climate that precludes LTP and the general freak out mitigate before it is too late follow up. It is simply over sales, over reaction and over fantasizing about not ready for prime time renewable energy “solutions.”

        So unless the inner sanctum can police their own mess it is humiliate until they get a clue time.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Some people want funding for a unicorn hunt

        You skipped over interpretation and right to motive. Not that I disagree with your assessment.

        But unicorns hunts could be very expensive and never ending..

        Gravity waves, Higgs boson … still looking for dark energy/matter … Nemesis …

        I see your Abram et al. (2006) and (because Dallas might also like this) raise you Schurer and Hegerl et al. (2013), Separating Forced from Chaotic Climate Variability over the Past Millennium

        Which is the wrong direction; we’re supposed to be muddying the distinction so as to maximize uncertainty. Strike one.

        Mann is third author. Strike two.

        If that doesn’t cause immediate rejection:

        Variations in solar output and explosive volcanism are found to be the main drivers of climate change from 1400 to 1900, but for the first time a significant contribution from greenhouse gas variations to the cold conditions during 1600–1800 is also detected. The proxy reconstructions tend to show a smaller forced response than is simulated by the models. This discrepancy is shown, at least partly, to be likely associated with the difference in the response to large volcanic eruptions between reconstructions and model simulations.

        Just ignore that bit about the natural drivers being the main ones because everyone knows that nobody studies that kind of stuff. Strike three. Oh and models. Strike four (unless they’re abstract Lorenzian ones showing that it’s possible for the planet to just do stuff).

        BUT… since they reject all data ( no proxies are good and global temperature doesnt exist, but changes in it do??? haha) its hard to see how they would hunt for natural variability..

        Right, proxies. Strike five. Ice cores and Medieval Vikings aren’t proxies.

        Look, consistency is the hobgoblin of a good polemic. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously biased.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon !!!!!!

        ” Nemesis …”

        That is hitting below the belt.. ouch

        I’m just finishing up a history of that..

      • ‘Twas too good a setup, couldn’t be helped. :D

      • “Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation”

        Interesting that you come into a scientific thread to peddle your political crap, Arch. Did you prefer when I was posting there?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Mosher, that paper supports a change in ocean heat transport as the early onset cause a lot better than it does GHGs. That should be so obvious you couldn’t help but trip over it.

      • BUT… since they reject all data ( no proxies are good and global temperature doesnt exist, but changes in it do??? haha) its hard to see how they would hunt for natural variability..

        in newspaper clippings?

        No, primitive art that hint at natural climate change:

        Early climate model:

        Lots of hand waving… indicating what’s up with that:

        The sun is doing it:

        Rapid rise in global mean sea level:

    • If you go back further than 2012, you learn that the focus of USGCRP has shifted over time.

      As one example of the shift in focus (at least at the semantic level), the FY 2002 version of Our Changing Planet emphasises climate “variability” as a research concern. The FY2002 glossary also points out that a related term for “climate variability” is “natural variability”.

      In total, the word “variability” shows up 68 times in FY2002. In contrast, in the 2016 version “variability” appears only 14 times.

      This shift might be due to the nefarious influence of a politically imposed AGW paradigm. Or it might be the result of world-class scientists paying attention to annual results. Unfortunately, I do not believe that DW’s methodology can distinguish between these two hypotheses.

      https://data.globalchange.gov/assets/c5/3b/bdc7510ffaf53ac6081bc51cae39/ocp2002.pdf

      By the way, the 2002 version mentions the then upcoming Aqua satellite mission, which is the source of Roy Spencer’s microwave (temperature) data. Who knew he was a USGCRP minion?

      • Spencer’s temperature data dates from 1978. As for the USGS, it is just a coordinating office that prepares the annual report and periodic national assessments. The $2.5 billion in annual climate research is funded by 13 separate agencies, each doing their own thing. Here they are:
        Agency for International Development
        Department of Agriculture
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce
        Department of Defense
        Department of Energy
        National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services
        Department of State
        Department of Transportation
        United States Geological Survey, Department of the Interior
        Environmental Protection Agency
        National Aeronautics and Space Administration
        National Science Foundation
        Smithsonian Institution

        Next step is to analyze their funding.

      • DW:

        A. Spencer utilizes data from NASA’s AMSR-E device aboard the Aqua satellite. That is not the only source of data for his reasearch but it is USGCRP-related funding since you can’t gather the data without the satellite, the ground crews, the computers, etc.

        B. A quick glance at the USGCRP budget suggest to me that well over half is justified by basic science, human need and weather-related investigations. Perhaps you should drill down into the NSF budget or some other vein of the USGCRP circulatory system to strengthen your point.

        C. Your opening sentence for this blog post was:

        Semantic analysis of U.S. Federal budget documents indicates that the climate science research budget is heavily biased in favor of the paradigm of human-induced climate change.

        Lots of folks, including me, agree with that sentiment. The criticism (most of it, anyway) focuses on your methodology. A major part of that criticism is your subjective selection of individual words/phrases followed by a simple frequency test. IMO, a lot more needs to go into the effort to demonstrate unwarranted bias in the budgeting process. It is insufficent to scan a document produced by a committee that has multiple influences (up to and including both the Democratic-controlled White House and Republican-controlled Congressional Committees) and conclude that your methodology has detected inappropriate bias.

        C. Spencer’s latest blog post mentions something possibly relevant to your anti-AGW position though I must admit to some confusion over exactly what motivates your reasoning.

        …the results clearly show that increasing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere (in this case, water vapor) increases downwelling IR radiation from the sky, and increases surface temperature.

        His complete post is well worth reading: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/observational-evidence-of-the-greenhouse-effect-at-desert-rock-nevada/

      • “the results clearly show”

        Actually, if you read the comments, things ain’t as clear as you might imagine.

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew:

        I read the comments. Unless you “imagine” exclusively in fever dreams, Dr. Spencer conclusively laid the counter-arguments to rest.

      • “Dr. Spencer conclusively laid the counter-arguments to rest”

        I don’t think he did. It’s esoterica. Nothing demonstrable.

        Andrew

      • BTW,

        Dr. Spencer says this: “the above analysis is preliminary”

        Andrew

    • Steven,

      I’m not going to grade this piece because I skimmed through it, but the only way anything by Cook And Lewandowski gets a C- is if they bribe the person grading the paper.

      Why risk credibility over those two jackoffs.

  34. From the article:

    Bill Nye Explains That the Flooding In Louisiana Is the Result of Climate Change

    https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/08/24/2026242/bill-nye-explains-that-the-flooding-in-louisiana-is-the-result-of-climate-change

    • Is there a copy outside of paywall?

      I agree with you about the search terms, they could have done a much better job with that.

      • jim2 ==> This link will return a [some say ‘pirated’] .pdf

      • jim2 ==> If you read it, tell me what you think it shows.

      • Please, Kip. No links. Instructions.

      • Steven Mosher

        using LDA is a pretty good approach.

      • Steven Mosher

        for dummies

        Stats and words…

        English major.. go figure

      • Steven Mosher

        “Please, Kip. No links. Instructions’

        and please donate.

      • Kip, back when I took scientific writing, after the abstract, methods were presented first. In this paper methods are almost a footnote. And the method depends on a couple of other papers where the meat actually is.

        So, this paper tells me very little and I doubt I will read the papers upon which this one depends.

      • Reply to brandongates ==> I’d be glad to discuss this with you. You are the one that insisted that the oft threatened “tipping points” have to do with Chaos Theory — and, if so, I have correctly indicated where tipping points might occur.

        You have misunderstood Dr. Brown nearly completely — he is agreeing with my essay entirely and pointing out that climate “shifts” can occur “spontaneously” just because of the nature of nonlinear dynamical systems, like Earth’s climate. He is referring, in the main, to the Earth’s shifting between Ice Ages and Interglacials, and pointing out that these shifts have nothing in particular to do with any known forcing factors — or maybe, nothing to do with forcings at all.

        In the long view, the Earth’s climate has two major states that can be said to be, that appear to be, chaotic attractors — Ice Ages and Interglacial periods (like the present). It is entirely unknown as yet what factors cause the shift between the two states. There is another smaller attractor set that some see in Interglacials — Cool Periods (the recent Little Ice Age is an example) and Warm Periods (Roman, Medieval, and Modern). It is equally not known what causes these smaller shifts from one attractor (if that is what they are) to the next — and, if one accepts the chaotic nature of the climate [in the Chaos Theory sense] it may very well be that it requires nothing at all to ’cause’ the shift between the two states — it may be large or small causes, it may just be the system itself.

        In the second part of my Chaos series, the third graphic in the main essay shows (albeit, not very clearly) this step change phenomena, at year 150, where the value of “r” is altered slightly, and the value of the system stabilizes at a slightly lower level. One can play with this mathematically, and see how small changes in the parameters of a system can step the stable system up and down. These effects have been verified to occur in real dynamical systems.

        As an illustration I include in that second essay a graph of dynamical system that has had some randomity thrown in and altering the “forcing” by 1/1,000th part up and down. Showing how little it takes to make a stable dynamical system (a dynamical system operating in its stable regime) behave like the Earth’s surface temperature.

        In the real Earth climate system, nearly nothing is clearly enough understood to enable us to identify all the various factors that feed into the climate system — thus we have a nonlinear dynamical system with a large number of inputs, some stable and some varying, that appears to have a long-term two-state attractor set and a shorter term stable regime (in both of its attractor states — stable Ice Ages and stable Interglacials) that could be said to have its own sub-set of two attractors — cooler and warmer.

      • Steven and Willard ==> re: “Please, Kip. No links. Instructions.”

        I must be dense ’cause I don’t get this bit. Is there some legal liability?

        In April this year, SCIENCE magazine published two articles on this “service”:

        My love-hate of Sci-Hub” by (none-other-than) Marcia McNutt (at that time editor-in-chief of the journal Science, now the President of the National Academy of Sciences)

        and

        Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone” by John Bohannon

        Both articles give valid links to the Sci-Hub site and discuss its use.

        Has the pendulum of “link liability” swung back to the odd idea that linking to a page that might potentially contain a copyright infringement then involve the link posting site in the same liability? I thought that had been resolved years ago — but maybe not — not my area of expertise.

        My personal opinion is that the whole idea should be discussed publicly right out in the open. But I certainly do not wish to cause even potential harm to valued public forums like Climate Etc. through my ignorance of the current state of the web/copyright infringement issue.

        Please let me know if the liability thing is real enough to prompt me to email Dr. Curry to have the link deleted.

      • The root meaning of Post, was a literal reference to an obvious fact.
        The people who read it often comment. Just like ‘Free Speech’.

        Who needs a lawyer? Don’t post, don’t read, silly man…

      • > I must be dense ’cause I don’t get this bit. Is there some legal liability?

        Your link may not work soon enough, Kip. (Think.) What will jim do when it won’t work anymore if he doesn’t know how to find Sci Hub?

        One link should be OK. How about a hundred? The number of scientific papers Denizens consume is non negligible.

    • I have to say that is one heroic leap to greenhouse gases done it. Black carbon probably played an important role in the reversal, but without continued growth in ice and snow area, temperature would just rebound to pre-pre-industrial levels.

      Which is worse, Gotta Be Carbon GBC or ABC?

  35. Some have expressed odd opinions about my mention of Chaos Theory. For reference, see my essay at Anthony’s, “Chaos & Climate – Part 2: Chaos = Stability” .

    Persistent step changes take place in the stable regimes of dynamical systems. The “tipping point” bogeyman is something quite different — usually referring to the point at which rapidly evolving bifurcations take place leading into the “chaotic regimes”.

    • Kip Hansen,

      Persistent step changes take place in the stable regimes of dynamical systems.

      Doc. Brown in your first installment knows where I was going with this:

      A tiny variation in just one of these major patterns can have profound global climate effects. It can completely shift the “efficiency” of the system at moving heat from one place to another and hence the distribution of temperatures worldwide. ENSO rather obviously has just such an effect, often a persistent one. Within such a system responses can be completely counterintuitive. Increasing CO_2 could — as it warms the system initially — trigger the system to shift spontaneously to a new, more efficient dissipative pattern that rapidly cools it, quite possibly in a persistent way for timescales of centuries or more (until something shifts it back again). Not only can the system switch between two or more attractors, it can suddenly change the entire landscape of attractors, even without an external forcing change.

      The rabbit hole you’re going down eventually leads to a place where there is no such thing as a “stable regime”.

      The “tipping point” bogeyman is something quite different — usually referring to the point at which rapidly evolving bifurcations take place leading into the “chaotic regimes”.

      A bogeyman! Feedback loops, even runaway feedback loops, are well documented and understood phenomena in physical systems. We don’t need chaos to explain them, though they most certainly do exist in chaotic systems. That you pooh-pooh a concept so thoroughly grounded in physics and which engineers use every day is really quite astounding.

      • Has someone demonstrated that climate is chaotic on centennial or millennial scales? Has anyone demonstrated it is chaotic at all?

      • I’ve heard that there is a group researchers in a small lab called earth who are currently running a little experiment on that.

      • Kip Hansen,
        Persistent step changes take place in the stable regimes of dynamical systems.
        Doc. Brown in your first installment knows where I was going with this:
        A tiny variation in just one of these major patterns can have profound global climate effects. It can completely shift the “efficiency” of the system at moving heat from one place to another and hence the distribution of temperatures worldwide. ENSO rather obviously has just such an effect, often a persistent one. Within such a system responses can be completely counterintuitive. Increasing CO_2 could — as it warms the system initially — trigger the system to shift spontaneously to a new, more efficient dissipative pattern that rapidly cools it, quite possibly in a persistent way for timescales of centuries or more (until something shifts it back again). Not only can the system switch between two or more attractors, it can suddenly change the entire landscape of attractors, even without an external forcing change.
        The rabbit hole you’re going down eventually leads to a place where there is no such thing as a “stable regime”.
        The “tipping point” bogeyman is something quite different — usually referring to the point at which rapidly evolving bifurcations take place leading into the “chaotic regimes”.
        A bogeyman! Feedback loops, even runaway feedback loops, are well documented and understood phenomena in physical systems. We don’t need chaos to explain them, though they most certainly do exist in chaotic systems. That you pooh-pooh a concept so thoroughly grounded in physics and which engineers use every day is really quite astounding.

        Here’s the source of the 1997 step in temp.

        A step in this particular latitude band is the response in temp to solar forcing.
        You can see the rest of the extra-tropics here
        https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/measuring-surface-climate-sensitivity/

      • Somehow my reply to brandongates on the Chaos question appeared above in the wrong comment thread see here.

      • Reply to jim2 ==> re yours :”Has someone demonstrated that climate is chaotic on centennial or millennial scales? Has anyone demonstrated it is chaotic at all?”

        Lorenz first stumbled on the fact that the mathematics to simulate weather are themselves non-linear and result in a series of discoveries that together make up what has been coined Chaos Theory.

        It is the IPCC that states: “…we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” – IPCC TAR Chap 14, Exec Summary

        The IPCC’s use of the “chaotic” (because it is included in the phrase “coupled non-linear chaotic system”) refers to the concepts of Chaos Theory [ ‘the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions’] and not to the standard dictionary definition like “complete confusion and disorder : a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything” but rather to the broader explanations contained on the wiki page or, for those who prefer other sources, this WhatsIt page.

        There is broad agreement, across the climate divide, on the issue — it is one of the points of general agreement on both sides.

        Disagreements occur as to what aspects of non-linear dynamic systems behavior appear at what points and on what subjects in the larger study of climate science. For instance, many (including myself) see Ice Ages/Interglacials as duality as two “chaotic attractors” of the climate system — not everyone agrees.

      • Kip. Yes, I already knew before you came along what chaos is and was certainly aware of Lorentz’s very simple equation. But that doesn’t answer my question if someone has definitively established that climate is chaotic.

        I’m aware that plate tectonics is posited to affect climate and the same for orbital elements.

        It seems we don’t really understand the climate system well enough to say it’s chaotic.

      • jim2,

        Has someone demonstrated that climate is chaotic on centennial or millennial scales? Has anyone demonstrated it is chaotic at all?

        As Kip points out with the IPCC statement, it’s widely accepted that the climate system is non-linear and chaotic. A question is whether it’s intransitive — meaning that two or more different climates could persist indefinitely under the same set of conditions. When folks say that Lorenz “showed” that climate can step change to an entirely different climate regime for “no reason”, they’re talking about intransitivity. While it’s true that he argued for the *possibility*, he did so with models — not observations — and did not argue that his math anywhere near conclusively demonstrated it. In his later works, to wit a 1989 paper, he argued that he didn’t think it was likely. But again, he did so on the basis of a very simplified atmospheric/ocean model. Thus, if pressed, I believe he would have answered that it’s still *possible* for climate to be intransitive.

        Lorenz was obviously influential on the topic, and there are many papers about it. Lots of hypotheses. No clear (to me) winner. Under the Wojick Rule: Generally speaking, where there are multiple hypotheses there is as yet no explanation. Thus, my unsolicited advice is to beware when he says confident things like: Deliberately ignoring a known feature, along the lines of hiding the decline.

        Especially when the very next sentence caveats away the faux certainty: Global warming may well be nothing but a large scale chaotic oscillation.

        He’s not demonstrated much else here than that he thinks the Feds aren’t spending as much money on settling the question as he’d like them to.

      • Kip Hansen,

        Somehow my reply to brandongates on the Chaos question appeared above in the wrong comment thread see here.

        Found it, thanks.

        You are the one that insisted that the oft threatened “tipping points” have to do with Chaos Theory — and, if so, I have correctly indicated where tipping points might occur.

        No, I’m arguing that tipping points aren’t inconsistent with chaos theory. They’re typically argued in terms of “runaway” or “irreversible” positive feedback loops, i.e., intransitivity isn’t assumed. Quite the opposite; so far as I can tell the consensus *assumption* is that climate is transitive, at least for purposes of forward-looking models. There are literature challenges to this, a good example is Snowball Earth. The fellow who posts here under the handle stevenreincarnated pointed me toward some interesting model research whereby they could induce a stable ice-covered planet using external forcings equivalent to present.

        I keep meaning to cite Lorenz (1968) and forgetting, so I’ll just randomly drop it here because it’s as good an explanation of transitive, intransitive and “almost-intranstitive” from the source as I know of.

        You have misunderstood Dr. Brown nearly completely […]

        No. He clearly advances the proposition that a small change in forcing from CO2 could lead to a persistent cool state. That squares with the concept of an intransitive chaotic climate system. It also squares with the concept of an AMOC slowdown/shutdown due to say, a large freshwater melt pulse into the North Atlantic from Greenland.

        […] he is agreeing with my essay entirely and pointing out that climate “shifts” can occur “spontaneously” just because of the nature of nonlinear dynamical systems, like Earth’s climate.

        Yes, that’s one thing he says. He also said that that the system could jump to a different attractor due to even a small forcing: Within such a system responses can be completely counterintuitive. Increasing CO_2 could — as it warms the system initially — trigger the system to shift spontaneously to a new, more efficient dissipative pattern that rapidly cools it, quite possibly in a persistent way for timescales of centuries or more (until something shifts it back again).

        I think he contradicts himself a bit talking about a trigger resulting in a spontaneous shift, nevertheless, the cause and effect argument is there with an associated external forcing.

        These aren’t mutually exclusive concepts according to my (limited) understanding of deterministic chaotic systems. The way I’d sum it up, the more intransitive a dynamical system is, the more likely it is to jump to a different attractor either by deterministically wobbling there on its own or due to an external perturbation.

        My original point stands: if the argument is that small forced changes can result in unpredictable jumps to a significantly different climate regime, it might be wise to consider not making significant changes to atmospheric forcing.

        He is referring, in the main, to the Earth’s shifting between Ice Ages and Interglacials, and pointing out that these shifts have nothing in particular to do with any known forcing factors — or maybe, nothing to do with forcings at all.

        I know that’s what you think (you said so in your first essay), but I don’t find where he directly supported that notion. Regardless, theory and evidence suggest to me that the Milankovitch theory of orbital forcing is the main timing mechanism for ice age cycles over the past million or so years. Over the entire Phanerozoic, that signal is far from clear:

        Certainly looks like a “random walk”, but to the extent that we don’t have a lot of information going back half a billion years doesn’t mean we can conclude that climate is intransitive, or even stochastic to some extent, only that we might have a great deal of difficulty ruling out those possibilities.

        In the real Earth climate system, nearly nothing is clearly enough understood to enable us to identify all the various factors that feed into the climate system […]

        The only way to obtain “identify all the various factors” is to be omniscient. Gods don’t need to do science by definition. You’re setting up an impossible standard of proof, which leads to one and only one logically consistent option: strict agnosticism.

        […] thus we have a nonlinear dynamical system with a large number of inputs, some stable and some varying, that appears to have a long-term two-state attractor set and a shorter term stable regime (in both of its attractor states — stable Ice Ages and stable Interglacials) that could be said to have its own sub-set of two attractors — cooler and warmer.

        You just got done saying “nearly nothing is clearly enough understood to enable us to identify all the various factors that feed into the climate system”, now here you are drawing conclusions about how the “real Earth climate system” appears to behave. You’ve even assigned it properties in the form of a two-state attractor called cool and warm.

        It’s a neat trick for you to declare by fiat that humanity doesn’t know enough to demonstrate the predictability of external forcings, but enough to for you to declare that your conclusions about alternating attractors correct.

      • Reply to brandongates ==> We’ll just have to disagree … your replies don’t seem to follow from my comments, despite your actually quoting them.

        I am quite sure about Dr. Brown’s statements, I have edited an essay for him in the past, and we have corresponded.

        No sense going any further with you here — you conflate nearly every idea presented with some imaginary doppleganger of itself.

        My purpose in responding to you in the first place, at all [which is not my usual practice], was simply to clarify the points to other readers here.

  36. Oh my. While we were yodeling in the echo chamber and Steven was conducting class, Bastasch grabbed David’s piece for a headline at The Caller. Science types as pawns of politicos? Didn’t I say AGW was a clever issue in the hands of people with agendas?

  37. Wojick certainly managed to bring out the ususal suspects in force with this post.

    The consensus of the CAGW true believers, looking back over this thread, is:

    1) Anyone who looks for evidence that there are causes other than the burning of fossil fuels for global warming is on a “unicorn hunt,” and

    2) Anyone who looks for evidence that federal funding is biased toward the CAGW paradigm is on a “unicorn hunt.”

    And, as is almost always the case, the CAGW true believers are way more interested in scoring style points than anything else.

    • It’s almost like they’ve completely abandoned trying to present evidence for their, ahem, hypothesis.

      I don’t blame them. There isn’t any.

      Andrew

      • It’s almost like they’ve completely abandoned trying to present evidence for their, ahem, hypothesis.
        I don’t blame them. There isn’t any.

        With all the arm waving, maybe we can stand them up in front of some of those wind turbines when the wind stops blowing.

      • Bad Andrew,

        It’s almost like they’ve completely abandoned trying to present evidence for their, ahem, hypothesis.

        Been there, done that, when it was appropriate to do so. You’ve got the burden of poof backward this time, see. Wojick is advancing the idea that alternative hypotheses better explain the warming (well, even that’s disputed by some here, but go with it) than CO2 and other anthropogenic factors. Up to him to present evidence for those hypotheses. Instead, what we’ve gotten is “evidence” of “bias” in the form of semantic analysis, begging the question that AGW is wrong and something else is more correct.

        Text searches don’t advance knowledge about the planet, only (maybe) what we think about the planet. And it could care less about what we think.

        I don’t blame them. There isn’t any.

        Go ahead, prove a negative. Also note that hiding under the covers doesn’t mean the monsters under the bed can’t get you. It can prevent one from seeing the light of day, however.

        I believe that would be my first style point of the day.

      • … of course any style that was there immediately failed when I muffed that closing bold tag. [sigh]

      • … of course any style that was there immediately failed when I muffed that closing bold tag. [sigh]

        http://htmledit.squarefree.com/

        Few things you have to watch out for: HTML translates your returns to spaces, so you won’t see para formatting the way WP does. I normally use two returns followed by a para tag <p>. That looks the same in both squarefree and WP (because WP strips out that tag but then translates your double return to a new para tag). But it you mess it up, you may not notice.

        But for most tags, if you just ctrl-a (to highlight all), ctrl-c (to copy it) in the reply textbox then go to squarefree (in another window) and ctrl-a; ctrl-v you’ll be able to catch most unclosed or mal-closed tags.

      • °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        Wojick is advancing the idea that alternative hypotheses better explain the warming (well, even that’s disputed by some here, but go with it) than CO2 and other anthropogenic factors.

        Is Wojick advancing the idea that it was not ‘fossil fuels wot diddit’? Or is he advancing the idea that he doesn’t know ‘wot diddit’, and neither do you, nor the government’s climate scientists?

        °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        You’ve got the burden of poof backward this time, see…. Up to him to present evidence for those hypotheses.

        This assertion is wrong for at least two reasons:

        1) It’s up to the government, with the vast amounts of money it spends on climate research, to do its job. To suggest that Wojick could wield the kind of resources necessary to produce the evidence necessary to support alternative hypotheses is silly.

        2) It is the state’s CAGW prosecutors who want to convict fossil fuels and sentence them to death. It is thus up to them to make their case. Wojick is not trying to convict fossil fuels, therefore the burden of proof is not upon him.

        °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        Text searches don’t advance knowledge about the planet, only (maybe) what we think about the planet.

        Wojick is not trying to convict the planet, or anything to do with the physical sciences. The evidence he presents has nothing to do with the planet.

        Wojick is trying to convict the government. The charge is observational bias, and the evidence he presents is to demonstrate that the government is guilty of that offense.

      • Glenn Stehle,

        Is Wojick advancing the idea that it was not ‘fossil fuels wot diddit’? Or is he advancing the idea that he doesn’t know ‘wot diddit’, and neither do you, nor the government’s climate scientists?

        Does it matter? In the first case of not fossil fuels, the way to show that is to provide evidence of something else which better explains observations. Which the working paper doesn’t do.

        The second case of we don’t know what did it is asserting a negative. That would be tantamount to asserting opinion as fact, which is a no no by his own list of examples of bias.

        1) It’s up to the government, with the vast amounts of money it spends on climate research, to do its job.

        Much evidence has been gathered, and papers published. It’s not the gummint’s fault that some people don’t accept the evidence and/or the theoretical underpinnings used to interpret it.

        2) It is the state’s CAGW prosecutors who want to convict fossil fuels and sentence them to death.

        The State also prosecutes suspected murderers and in some cases sentences them to death. This bias against murderers shall not stand.

        Wojick is not trying to convict the planet, or anything to do with the physical sciences.

        First sentence of the paper: The purpose of this report is to provide a framework for doing research on the problem of bias in science, especially bias induced by Federal funding of research.

        And I might add, especially Federally-funded climate research: Therefore, in order to illustrate each of our fifteen listed practices of bias, we are including as an example one or more cases where such allegations have been made in the US climate debate.

        Of all the Federally-funded research going on, climate science is the poster-child example for each type of “bias”.

        The evidence he presents has nothing to do with the planet.

        Yeah … that’s kind of my point.

        Wojick is trying to convict the government.

        On that much we agree.

        The charge is observational bias, and the evidence he presents is to demonstrate that the government is guilty of that offense.

        And just how exactly does counting the frequency of select phrases in scientific literature demonstrate bias?

      • AK, thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a try.

      • brandonrgates,

        What a virtuoso performance of argument by gibberish, combined with a number of other fallacious arguments.

    • It’s a quarter for using my style points line.

    • Glenn Stehle,

      And, as is almost always the case, the CAGW true believers are way more interested in scoring style points than anything else.

      Oh bawwwwww. Perhaps your tenderness can be explained by the fact that Wojick and Michaels’ whitepaper isn’t looking for evidence that anything but fossil fuels is wot diddit. Surely you’d agree that smoke and mirrors deserves ridicule.

      • brandonrgates,

        Your use of the English language is so atrocious that it’s near impossible to glean what it is you’re trying to say.

        Nevertheless, let me just repeat what I said above, and that is the Wojick’s whitepaper doesn’t have to do with whether or not “fossil fuels is wot diddit,” It has to do with observational bias on the part of the government.

      • It’s about the government displaying good sense.

      • JCH
        It’s about the government displaying good sense.

        Exactly. Feathering its nest.

  38. To study natural causes of climatic changes one needs direct observational data, or solid paleo-reconstructions with proxies. An alternative is to equip our only lab (the Earth) with a lot of measuring devices and to collect more and precise data for as long as our unique experience (that of the solar system) will deliver statistically relevant insights. Historical data are scarce and of bad quality, and current measurements will take decades or centuries to deliver the sought after evidences, if any. To do so, not too much funding is required, but a lot of patience.
    But we are impatient folks, since our own life does not last long enough to follow this experiment.
    To accelerate the process, we speculate with partial data and partial modelling which opens an infinite number of questionable data massaging, more or less valid algorithms, and more or less probable scenarios, all of them having to include anthropogenic forcing, in particular from emitted GHGs. Forgetting natural causes in these models is normal: you can’t model what is not understood.
    The climate geeks have much more opportunities to spend their time on what they now call experiments (aka computer runs, or science in silicio) than to dwell on historic data or on tedious observations.
    It is therefore not surprising that funds are granted in larger amount for this flurry of impatient activities, all including the AGW hypothesis, than for the almost impossible task to extract the truth from a lack of data or from a very long and boring observation period.
    In the mean time we wait on the end of the current interglacial period, aka Holocene, with or without some more warming until then. We just don’t know.

    • But we are impatient folks

      While I agree with most of your post, We have enough data to tell it isn’t co2.

      • I agree that it isn’t co2 alone.

        However, I think we know enough to know that there is global warming (say .8C – to .9C from 1880) and that it is due partly to natural variability and partly to human activities (CO2, land use changes, cutting down trees, blacktop, methane, etc.).

        We don’t (in my opinion) have enough information to say how much of the warming is natural versus caused by humans.

        Until we have enough data, over a long enough period of time, we are all just guessing about the proportions of nature versus human.

        As a rough rule of thumb, I would say lets assume 50% nature 50% human.

        My solution would be to generate as much power as possible with nuclear.

      • land use changes, cutting down trees, blacktop

        These I agree are a big impact. But co2 has a specific fingerprint, it reduces cooling at night. And there isn’t any.

        My solution would be to generate as much power as possible with nuclear.

        It is the only power source if we want a 21st century society. The other can be point solutions as appropriate.

  39. If co2 is the dominate driver of climate, then what did this? All the other insignificant things?

    [IMG]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RbZn9m_K894/Uo7RlXkquSI/AAAAAAAABsM/m_7LWhL1EDw/s1600/Lachniet-13-Graph.jpg[/IMG]

  40. … although we may lack sufficient direct evidence that an increased greenhouse effect is influencing our climate, we just as surely lack direct evidence that is it not. If the effect is important, we may have to wait a few years to verify that it is, but, by the same token, if it is not important, we may have to wait a few years to verify it is not.

    E. Lorenz
    1990

  41. Another commonality I’ve noticed from this thread about the CAGW true believers is that they, almost to a man, use an argument known as argument from ignorance or appeal to ignorance. Here’s how Wikipedia explains the argument:

    Argument from ignorance (from Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents “a lack of contrary evidence”), is a fallacy in informal logic.

    It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proved false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that: there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,

    true
    false
    unknown between true or false
    being unknowable (among the first three).

    In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used in an attempt to shift the burden of proof.

    Our resident CAGW true believers are also quite adept at accusing others of using an appeal to ignorance, when it is they themselves who are employing the argument.

    • Of existing hypotheses there is always a preferred one. AGW may even be yours in the absence of having heard something better.

    • @ Glen Stehle
      Spot on – thanks for that excellent quote.

      @ Jim D
      Thanks for a good illustration of the fallacy

    • That AGW is the best explanation we have doesn’t mean it’s true. A scientific hypothesis is just not a proposition. Our Man from Mexico should try this and report.

      An appeal to ignorance is recognizable by the way the burden of proof is shifted. For instance:

      (1) We have not proved AGW.
      (2) We have not disproved all the alternative hypotheses to AGW.
      (3) AGW does not explain everything.
      (4) Unless we know everything, we know nothing.
      (5) There could be something we don’t know that could explain everything.
      (6) Since the establishment disagrees with (4), there’s a funding bias.
      (7) If the gloves does not fit, you must acquit.
      (8) Look at the silly monkey!

      Notice how 3-4-5 shifts the burden of proof.

      More on this tomorrow.

      • Lying Willard,

        The argument you are using here is called straw manning. Skeptics do not make your arguments (4) though (8).

        Skeptics, nonetheless, are invariably charged with making your arguments (4) through (8). And you, because you so frequently level this type of false charge, have earned the moniker ‘Lying Willard.’

        But you’re far from being the Lone Ranger. One can look back over this thread and see many more examples of this from other CAGW true believers.

        Granted, skeptics do make your arguments 1 to 3, but then their argument proceeds as follows, which is very different than what you allege:

        (1) We have not proved AGW.

        (2) We have not disproved all the alternative hypotheses to AGW.

        (3) AGW does not explain everything.

        (4) There are some things we don’t know, such as how much of GW is attributable to human activity, and how much isn’t. We know even less about what the costs of GW will be, regardless of its cause.

        (5) More investigation is needed.

        (6) We should seek to make this investigation as unbiased as is humanly possible, the best way to do this being to require an exceedingly high standard of empircal verification.

        (7) Upon further investigation, we might determine that AGW has met a sufficient burden of proof so that it can be used to inform political decisions. The greater the costs of those political decions, the greater the standard of proof required.

        If someone makes your arguments 4 through 8, then they are no longer skeptics. They are using various types of faulty logic, which are no better than the types of faulty logic that you use.

      • BS Glenn…

        (2) We have not proven this is not just a rebound from the little ice age… said to me by a former scientist, now a skeptic, from NASA.

        You know, like a basketball, the climate bounces.

      • JCH,

        I have no earthly idea what you’re talking about.

        You are another virtuoso at the use of argument by gibberish.

      • From the linked discussion:

        The Latin expression literally means ‘argument to ignorance’, but the fallacy is usually called ‘argument from ignorance’ in the textbooks, or even more often, ‘appeal to ignorance’. What seems to be involved in this kind of case is a shift in the burden of proof.

        Now, I’m going to engage in an argument ex silentio here: the Latin phrase “argumentum ad ignorantiam” does, indeed, mean “argument to ignorance”. More importantly, there’s a perfectly good Latin phrase that would mean “argument from ignorance”.

        That phrase is “argumentum ad ignorantia”. In the ablative rather the accusative. (Declensions of ignorantia here.)

        A Google search turned up only a few instances of this latter phrase, probably (IMO) back-translated from the English “argument from ignorance”. Walton, in the link, finds the earliest appearance of the common “argumentum ad ignorantiam” in Locke, much earlier (1690).

        The first known appearance of the argumentum ad ignorantiam as a distinctive type of argument dates from Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) cited in Hamblin (1970, pp. 159-160). According to Hamblin (p. 161), Locke claims to have given the name argumentum ad ignorantiam to this type of argument, but he does not condemn it as a fallacy.

        He goes on to bring in Aristotle:

        In Topics (158a3-5), when Aristotle explains many methods to persuade a respondent in dialectic, he includes the following advice: ‘One should put forward propositions that hold true of several cases, and to which either no objection whatever appears or at least not any on the surface; for when people cannot see any case in which it is not so, they admit it for true.’ (Barnes, 1984, p. 266). In this passage, I would say that Aristotle does recognize what amounts to the form of argumentation Locke called the argumentum ad ignorantiam. It is worth emphasizing, however, that Aristotle is not saying that this form of argument is fallacious. He sees it as an argumentation tactic that can be used reasonably to persuade an audience, or an opponent in a dialectical exchange. Of course, there is the possibility that it could be used to deceive, as well. [emphasis mine]

        Thus, neither Locke nor Aristotle can be said to have taken this method as either logical or a fallacy.

        Assuming Locke knew his Latin, we can reasonably assume he was referring to just what it says: proving ignorance. The “argumentum ad ignorantiam” can be taken, then, to be the part of the argument where it is proven that a is not known to be true.

        The remainder of the process which attempts to persuade the audience to believe that a is therefore false is not logical but dialectical.

        It’s worth remembering that Aristotelian logic, based on the truth or falsity of a proposition, has little use in Science. Science is much more about the likelihood of truth, and the value/utility of remaining open to the possibility that a popularly believed theory (dogma) may actually be false.

        Which is a matter of persuasion, i.e. rhetoric and/or dialectic, rather than logic.

      • Thank you, AK.

        Locke or Aristotle’s point could apply to mathematical intuitionism:

        This view on mathematics has far reaching implications for the daily practice of mathematics, one of its consequences being that the principle of the excluded middle, (A∨¬A)(A∨¬A), is no longer valid. Indeed, there are propositions, like the Riemann hypothesis, for which there exists currently neither a proof of the statement nor of its negation. Since knowing the negation of a statement in intuitionism means that one can prove that the statement is not true, this implies that both AA and ¬A¬A do not hold intuitionistically, at least not at this moment. The dependence of intuitionism on time is essential: statements can become provable in the course of time and therefore might become intuitionistically valid while not having been so before.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intuitionism/

        For all its merits, intuitionnism has never really gain much traction – it would imply a rewriting of most mathematics. In logic, it has some valuable application.

      • AK,

        So what’s the agenda? To persuade? Or a quest for the truth?

        Does there even exist such a thing as truth?

        Does there exist, as Paul Boghossian argues, “a way things are that is independent of human opinion, and that we are capable of arriving at belief about how things are that is objectively reasonable, binding on anyone capable of appreciating the relevant evidence regardless of their social or cultural perspective”?

        Or do the the constructivists and relativists — Richard Rorty I suppose being the leading proponent of this school of philosophy at the time– have it right? This school argues that we are never “really moved to belief by evidence, as opposed to the other non-epestimic motives — self-interest or ideology — that could be acting on us.”

        Boghossian points out that the constructivist and relativist “views of knowledge are closely linked to such progressive movements as post-colonialism and multiculturalism” because

        they are hugely empowering. If we can be said to know up front that any item of knowledge only has that status because it gets a nod from our contingent social values, then any claim to knowledge can be dispatched if we happen not to share the values on which it allegedly depends.

        But, as Boghossian goes on to explain:

        Even on purely political grounds, however, it is difficult to understand how this could have come to seem a good application of constructivist thought: for if the powerful can’t criticize the oppressed, because the central epistemological categories are inexorably tied to particular perspectives, it also follows that the oppressed can’t criticize the powerful. The only remedy, so far as I can see, for what threatens to be a strongly conservative upshot, is to accept an overt double standard: allow a questionable idea to be criticized if it is held by those in a position of power — Christian creatonism, for example — but not if it is held by those whom the powerful oppress — Zuni creationism, for example.

        And in our “culture of complaint,” as Robert Hughes calls it, where “our new-found sensitivity decrees that only the victim shall be the hero,” how do we determine who the powerful are?

        Boghossian concludes that “it is a mistake to think that recent philosophy has uncovered powerful reasons for rejecting” beliefs which are “objectively reasonable.”

      • For all its merits, intuitionnism has never really gain much traction – it would imply a rewriting of most mathematics. In logic, it has some valuable application.

        And science?

        IMO it brings us back round to Kuhn.

      • > And science?

        Computer science is a science, and computation can be modelled with logic, AK. All kinds of logics can be useful in science.

        I would agree that the inferences we encounter in the empirical sciences are not closed under deduction, which is the point of your historical gloss.

      • > So what’s the agenda? To persuade? Or a quest for the truth?

        False dilemma.

        The agenda is to understand the world.

        To understand the world, you need to explain what happens in it.

        Explanations are in principle tentative and can always be revised.

        Revisability is not something classical truth can afford.

        The best explanation wins until it is replaced by a better one.

        We don’t need to refute all the alternative hypotheses to see which explanation is the best one we got.

      • > [Denizens] do not make your arguments (4) though (8).

        (4) or something along the same lines is required for “but what about clouds” or “but what about before 1950” to work as a counterargument against AGW.

        (5) is the strong version of what GeoffS and our Man in Mexico said.

        (6) comes straight from DavidW’s comments.

        (7) and (8) refers to the Chewbacca Defense.

        It was a synthetic example meant to represent how an appeal to ignorance works, BTW.

        ***

        Appeals to ignorance have two main ingredients. First, they shift the burden of proof. Second, they destroy information.

        By arguing “but you have not disproved Force X” deflects from the task of substantiating why Force X would be viable alternative.

        By reducing an argument to “we just don’t know,” all the information we have gets redirected into NULL.

      • catweazle666

        Willard: “It was a synthetic example meant to represent how an appeal to ignorance works, BTW.”

        I doubt many on here will dispute your expertise when it comes to appeals to ignorance, Willikins. Especially when it concerns appeals TO ignorance FROM ignorance, at which you excel.

      • So what’s the agenda? To persuade? Or a quest for the truth?

        Does there even exist such a thing as truth?

        “Truth” is a word. As such, it’s a symbol for some imagined referent, where any person, at any time, might imagine a “referent” for “truth” in a slightly different way.

        So one person’s “truth” might be another’s “non-truth” and yet another’s “gobbledygook”. We can probably suppose that, in general, the various referents of “truth” all have similarly to do with a relationship between language (symbols) and reality.

        But we (all mammals, at least) impose our own assumptions on “reality” as we perceive it: the retina, to start with, assumes all its visual field can be described in terms of little dots, the V1 area of the brain assumes the visual field from the retina can be resampled (reanalyzed?) as bars and edges, and so on up to visual images that serve as analogies for actual objects (e.g. tigers, dogs, apples, trees, etc.).

        I would describe the brain as an enormously complex analog computer, that manipulates real-world analogies in the form of neural and neuro-chemical phenomena. AFAIK language and symbolic actions are the only tools available to “synchronize” one person’s “reality” with another’s. I don’t know how much we can say with agreement about how good this “synchronization” is, but there seems to be enough mis-communication in the world (on this blog, for that matter) to show it’s far from perfect.

        I would see “science” as a phenomenon that evolved from older systems (with the same name) through a process of natural selection, given the need for cannon (and, later hand-arms) that could reliably hit a chosen target, steel that could be used to build them, and so on.

        Political institutions, ultimately nation-states, tended to be more successful the greater their interaction with good science, and the less their interaction with pseudo-science. From there on, the distinction is heuristic.

        Kuhn tried to define a “paradigm”; a system of mutually interacting definitions, theories, process, etc. that sits at the center of a “normal” scientific field. Among the things such “paradigms” accomplish, IMO, is to create a framework for “intuition”, expectations, judgements of “truth”, and so on.

        When you’re building a car, jet aircraft, moon rocket, etc., you need good science. A science that produces an invalid description of the world is worse than useless. If you don’t know, you need to find out.

        Thus, the paradigm is continually undergoing testing, and if its predictions can’t be used to build the required construction, there will be effort focused on the discrepancies.

        But when the paradigm is primarily being used to inform policy, then intuitions from outside the field are much more important.

        Take CO2 vs. “natural variation”, which latter in this case I’ll limit to pseudo-random (“chaotic”) movements of an over-simplistic metric due to the complex evolution of the state of a highly complex non-linear system.

        We can see how political and ideological agendas inform people’s intuitive judgements of the importance of questioning the relative roles. Various “argumenta ad ignorantiam” are advanced in support of various policy options, with large numbers of collateral assumptions and arguments left unstated.

        Ultimately, all of these are dialectical efforts to persuade (parts of) the audience to assign greater or less weight to the things we all know we don’t know:

        The relative roles of unforced internal variation, natural “forcings”, and AGW in influencing “global average temperature”.

      • Lying Willard said:

        So what’s the agenda? To persuade? Or a quest for the truth?

        False dilemma.

        The agenda is to understand the world.

        Oh really?

        In true form for a CAGW true believer, you proclaim your version of truth as if it were self-evident and beyond dispute. If only the world were so simple.

        Others, however, didn’t buy into your highly simplistic notion of the world. Take Plato, for instance:

        The chief difference between Plato and Aristotle in their political philosophies is that Plato, writing consciously in opposition to the political life of the decaying Greek city-state, no longer believed in the validity of the kind of speech that accompanied — in the sense of being the other side of — political action.

        To him, such speech was mere opinion, and as such opposed to the perception of truth, unfit either to adhere to or express truth. Persuasion, peithein, the form in which the citizens managed their public affairs among themselves, was to Plato an unfortunate substitute for the kind of unshakable conviction that could spring only from the direct perception of truth….

        Persuasion had become to him a form, not a freedom, but of arbitrary compulsion through words, and in his political philosophy he proposed to substitute for this arbitrary compulsion the coercion of truth…. Platonic man was already not a “speaking” but a rational animal, that is, a being whose chief concern and enlightenment lay in himself, in his own reason, and not in the faculty of speech, which by definition presupposed his living and managing his life together with equals.

        When Aristotle connected speech and freedom, he was on the firm ground of a then still existing tradition rooted in experience. Yet in the end Plato remained victorious because of the fact that the Greek city-state was decaying beyond remedy — something that Plato who, as a full-fledged Athenian citizen, unlike Aristotle, knew and whose influence he suffered severely….

        In the entire tradition of philosophical, and particularly of political thought, there has perhaps been no single factor of such overwhelming importance and influence on everything that was to follow than the fact that Plato and Aristotle wrote in the fourth century, under the full impact of a politically decaying society.

        — HANNAH ARENDT, Karl Marx and the Tradition of Western Thought

      • > If only the world were so simple.

        As opposed to

        So what’s the agenda? To persuade? Or a quest for the truth?

        You can’t make this up.

      • > So what’s the agenda? To persuade? Or a quest for the truth?
        Willard > False dilemma. The agenda is to understand the world.

        Difficult if not impossible when the only funder has a vested interest in a particular finding.

      • Yet DavidW and PatM found funding to write this “analysis.”

    • Oh goody, we’re at the sweeping ad hom point of the “discussion”. Hmm, let me seeeeee … oh, I’ve got one. Something I’ve noticed about people who are drowning in evidence they don’t like is that, almost to a man, they:

      1) Claim the evidence doesn’t exist.
      2) Claim it’s been falsified.
      3) Claim it’s been interpreted in a biased fashion.

      Yes, even if the evidence comes from multiple, global sources. Even if the theories underpinning its interpretation were developed well before Al Gore was born, much less became rich and fat. EVEN IF the theory was first developed on the order of a century before observation registered the predicted effect!

      Mind boggling, I know.

      There’s a term for this behavior as well, it’s called Willful ignorance:

      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. —Aldous Huxley

      Willful ignorance is the state and practice of ignoring any sensory input that appears to contradict one’s inner model of reality. At heart, it is almost certainly driven by confirmation bias.

      It differs from the standard definition of “ignorance“ — which just means that one is unaware of something — in that willfully ignorant people are fully aware of facts, resources and sources, but refuse to acknowledge them. Indeed, calling someone “ignorant” shouldn’t really be a pejorative, but intentional and willful ignorance is an entirely different matter. In practice though, the word “ignorance” has often come to mean “willful ignorance”, and indeed, in many non-English languages, the word based on the same stem actually carries that meaning.

      It is sometimes referred to as tactical stupidity.

      Depending on the nature and strength of an individual’s pre-existing beliefs, willful ignorance can manifest itself in different ways. The practice can entail completely disregarding established facts, evidence and/or reasonable opinions if they fail to meet one’s expectations. Often excuses will be made, stating that the source is unreliable, that the experiment was flawed or the opinion is too biased. More often than not this is simple circular reasoning: “I cannot agree with that source because it is untrustworthy because it disagrees with me”.

      In other slightly more extreme cases, willful ignorance can involve outright refusal to read, hear or study, in any way, anything that does not conform to the person’s worldview. With regard to oneself, this can even extend to fake locked-in syndrome with complete unresponsiveness. Or with regard to others, to outright censorship of the material from others.

      If none of this sounds familiar, one might wish to read this document. Comments upthread defending its all too familiar paradigms should fill out the rest of the pattern.

      It might actually deserve its own classification: weaponized ignorance.

      • Brandon, I’m sure David will be glad to see you linked to his paper in your comment, but what I really liked was the “weaponized” idea. With the War on Warming all over the media, your getting ahead of the coming new catch phrase. The press has already used the “Nuclear option” thing (power plants, not bombs but it’s the wit that counts). I would only suggest to use it sparingly because it is a scary word. Can I swipe it?

      • Brandon, if words are being weaponized and ‘tactical stupidity’ may be a skeptic, that must mean that a ‘strategic imbecile’ would be a good candidate to run the state department. Did I get your point?

      • brandonrgates,

        The principle, but far from being the only, fallacious argument you use here is what is known as ‘Argument By Gibberish (Bafflement).’ It’s the same fallacious argument you used in your response to Kip Hansen above:

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/#comment-806682

        Here’s a generic description of the fallacious argument you are using:

        Argument By Gibberish (Bafflement):

        this is the extreme version of Argument By Prestigious Jargon.

        An invented vocabulary helps the effect, and some net.kooks use lots of CAPitaLIZation. However, perfectly ordinary words can be used to baffle.

        For example, “Omniscience is greater than omnipotence, and the difference is two. Omnipotence plus two equals omniscience. META = 2.” [From R. Buckminster Fuller’s No More Secondhand God.]

        Gibberish may come from people who can’t find meaning in technical jargon, so they think they should copy style instead of meaning.

        It can also be a “snow job”, AKA “baffle them with BS”, by someone actually familiar with the jargon. Or it could be Argument By Poetic Language.

        An example of poetic gibberish: “Each autonomous individual emerges holographically within egoless ontological consciousness as a non-dimensional geometric point within the transcendental thought-wave matrix.”

        http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html#gibberish

        Kip Hansen’s rejooinder to your argument by gibberish was pitch perfect:

        We’ll just have to disagree … your replies don’t seem to follow from my comments, despite your actually quoting them.

        I am quite sure about Dr. Brown’s statements, I have edited an essay for him in the past, and we have corresponded.

        No sense going any further with you here — you conflate nearly every idea presented with some imaginary doppleganger of itself.

        My purpose in responding to you in the first place, at all [which is not my usual practice], was simply to clarify the points to other readers here.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/#comment-806694

        And I think Hansen is right. Replying to your gibberish and other fallacious arguments is a waste of time, unless your comments can be used as a hook on which to hang more valid and substantive arguments.

      • Which part of “I’m arguing that tipping points aren’t inconsistent with chaos theory” our Man from Mexico (or Kip) can claim is gibberish?

      • Chaos…

        “dy·nam·ics1.
        [dīˈnamiks]
        NOUN

        1.the branch of mechanics concerned with the motion of bodies under the action of forces. Compare with statics.

        Most of the Earth’s weather is fluid. Why use chaos? Spin…

      • John Maurice Herron,

        I would only suggest to use it sparingly because it is a scary word. Can I swipe it?

        As it’s probably not originally mine, sure. (Even if I thought it was originally mine, you could have it.) Credit where due, I nicked the idea from Anthony Watts who is fond of calling alarmist nonsense “weaponized stupidity”. I can’t say I agreed with his assessment or application, but I did get a chuckle out of his turn of phrase.

        One good turn deserves another, hey?

      • Arch Stanton,

        Brandon, if words are being weaponized and ‘tactical stupidity’ may be a skeptic, that must mean that a ‘strategic imbecile’ would be a good candidate to run the state department. Did I get your point?

        No, you changed the subject and besmirched the word “skeptic” in the process. Not believing a given proposition without supporting evidence is one thing, persistent disbelief in the face of mountains of evidence is something entirely different. Finally, believing the exact opposite of what mountains of evidence suggest is just … perverse, but I usually call it contrarianism.

      • Brandon,
        According to the known acts of Hillairy, you sir, have proven yourself to be a contrarian and for once I don’t have to be skeptical about your situation.

  42. Pingback: Feds Fund Scientists Who Protect The ‘Global Warming Paradigm,’ Says Report | NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

  43. Somebody please count the “unicorn” hits on this topic and let us know who is using this scientific term the most.

    Andrew

    • BA ==> My count (and experience) reveals “unicorn” and “unicorn hunt” to be Mosher-isms followed closely by those quoting and commenting on his use.

      What it seems to mean, in its general use, is a derogatory, denigrating reference to “research by others into ideas and hypotheses not officially supported and approved of by me and mine”.

      If one needed an example of Paradigm Protection, the use of this term in reference to research by others would be spot on.

      • It’s actually a false equivalence, or invalid analogy.

        “Unicorns” is intended to represent fantasies that nobody has any evidence exists.

        The forms of natural variation they’re being analogized to are well known and well studied. There is enormous evidence for their existence (LIA, MWP). So much so that, IIRC, Climategate exposed efforts to erase them.

        It’s nothing but a tool of dishonest rhetoric.

      • > The forms of natural variation they’re being analogized to are well known and well studied.

        Farting unicorns refer to unknown unknowns, not known unknowns.

        And Kip’s “paradigm protection” could very well be used in a derogatory manner.

      • Farting unicorns refer to unknown unknowns, not known unknowns.

        Well, natural unforced variation in hyper-complex non-linear systems is a known phenomenon, so its parameters would be “known unknowns”, not “unknown unknowns”.

        So the analogy remains invalid.

        And Kip’s “paradigm protection” could very well be used in a derogatory manner.

        Paradigm protection is well known in science. It adds considerable value. But sometimes, it also delays valuable paradigm shifts by decades.

        Judgements of which it is in the case of “climate” are matters of dialectic. If a paradigm shift is required, what is the policy cost of delaying it?

      • > [N]atural unforced variation in hyper-complex non-linear systems is a known phenomenon, so its parameters would be “known unknowns”, not “unknown unknowns”.

        I have no idea why the latter follows from the former. It may be because I don’t know what it means, or because I don’t know that I know it, or else.

        Lots of theories.

        Natural variability is already being studied. There’s just no reason to believe that it will explain GW all by itself. Hence, unicorn hunt.

        ***

        > Paradigm protection is well known in science.

        Denial too is well known, but it relates to unknown knowns.

      • Natural variability is already being studied. There’s just no reason to believe that it will explain GW all by itself. Hence, unicorn hunt.

        There may be no reason to “believe that it will explain GW all by itself” but there’s certainly no reason to believe that it can’t.

        1.       Internal unforced variability could very easily explain everything that happened during the 19th-20th centuries.

        2.       AGW, with some decadal and below variability, could very easily explain everything that happened during the 19th-20th centuries.

        3.       Some linear combination of the two could very easily explain everything that happened during the 19th-20th centuries.

        4.       Some non-linear combination of the two could very easily explain everything that happened during the 19th-20th centuries.

        Which of those four explanations seems more likely is a matter of intuition, partly based on familiarity with important fields. The more familiar somebody is with how complex non-linear systems work, the more likely they are (IMO) to give credence to 1, 3, and especially 4.

        The more ign0rant they are, the more likely to dismiss those as “unicorns”.

      • Steven Mosher

        ““Unicorns” is intended to represent fantasies that nobody has any evidence exists.”

        No Unicorns, May exist. Where is your empiricaal evidence that they do not exist and cause climate change?

        But serously, Let me give you a fuller exposition.

        What is the thing we want explained: We want to explain the changes
        in climate. That is we want to explain the changes in temperature,
        precipitation, and wind.. Or if we are talking about the fluid state of the climate we want to explain the changes in ocean temperature, evaporation and currents.. or in the solid state we want to explain the
        presence/absence of ice.

        The thing to be explained ( the left hand side ) are these things.
        And we want to explain the changes in these things. Changes in temperature, winds(currents) and state changes ( vapor to water, water to vapor, liquid to ice and ice to vapor and liquid ) and we want to explain the patterns in these metrics, we want to explain El Nino, AMO etc

        These are on the left hand side of our Theory or equation of the climate

        The first mistake sceptic make is to think that they can explain the variations in nature, by appealing to natural variation. In short
        they try to say that the changes are explained by the fact that nature changes. But, natural variation, the changes, are the THING TO BE EXPLAINED…we want to explain the changes in terms of more fundamental elements ( the right hand side). So too the appeals
        to natural cycles ( like el nino) fail a basic structural test.
        The pattern in warming, the pattern in circulation, that we call
        “El nino” is the THING TO BE EXPLAINED.. it is the left hand side
        of our explanation. So for example when people try to argue that el nino explains the warming.. they get it exactly backwards.. It is the pattern in warming that we seek to explain.. By analogy its like putting the independent variable ( T) on the left hand side of a regression and then
        putting a correlated version of that variable on the right hand side to explain it. It is a category error

        One attempt would be a scafetta like approach. To explain the temperature change IN TERMS OF something more fundamental
        The sun. This AT LEAST gets the structure of explanation correct.
        the temperature ( in C ) is explained in terms of the sun ( Watts of TSI)

        But it fails to be a “climate model” because we want to know about wind and currents and precipitation, and ice melting and forming. In short it doesnt explain the climate. it explains a piece.

        So to compete with the AGW explanation the skeptical explanation must
        cover the same territory. It must explain all of the climate or at least attempt to.

        The last mistake that skeptics make is the appeals to ignorance as Willard has outlined.

        That works like this. I will create an example.

        A Fire burns in the forest.

        We investigate. We want to know the cause of the fire.

        1. We find what we think is the origin of the fire.
        2. We find traces of accelerant.

        We have sufficient evidence to establish a cause. we can say
        “we have evidence that it was started by humans”

        Comes now the skeptic.

        1. Was it necessarily started by a human?
        2. Can we rule out all other known causes
        3. Perhaps there is something we dont understand yet about
        the genesis of fires

        Note that we have supplied a sufficient explanation.. and what the skeptic is asking is “Is that necessarily so” In other words can this ONLY be explained by arson. For example.. we know in the past that lightning starts fires.. Maybe someone was planning on starting a fire, spreading accelerant.. and the before they could strike the match lighting struck..
        so you have both natural and human causes. Can I rule this out..
        Can I rule out david evans force X from the sun? can I rule out
        GCRs? Now, to be sure there is always a process of trying to rule other things out.. The question is… when do we stop.. That is the unicorn
        point.

        In the course of developing an explanation, once you have a sufficient explanation, we do have some expectation that ‘other causes’ have to be ruled out. To Rule them out, folks who think there may be other causes, need to SPECIFY what to look for. For example,

        If someone thought the fire could be both human and natural caused
        they offer up a option.. maybe lightening struck at the perfect time when the guy was pouring gas… or maybe someone left a can gas out by their campsite and lightning struck it…rule that out..

        Then of course we can look? was it cloudy? yes.. was lightning reported
        that day? yes.. Oh wait we have a satellite that records lightning.. We look
        and no lightning at the origin point.
        Then comes the skeptic… can we trust the satellite? how do we validate the satellite?
        or.. comes the skeptic… maybe it was spontaneous combustion as well.

        Or comes the skeptic.. do we really understand All the ways fires start?

        http://www.openminds.tv/mysterious-fires-officials-blamed-ufos-aliens-return-sicily/30707

        So the sufficient explanation is attacked because it is not necessarily so..
        other possible causes exist
        those cause have not been ncessarily ruled out..
        we need to go validate the lightening detection from satellites..
        and how can we ever rule out spontaneous combustion..
        yes yes the human was there with the gas pouring gas so humans contributed something.. but the lightning was the primary cause..

        This appeal, the appeal to it could have been something else.. has a proper role, but at some point it becomes a unicorn hunt. And that is the point of my unicorn analogy.. either skeptics arm wave and point to things
        we already recognize as causes ( the sun) or they arm wave and confuse the right hand side or the left hand side, or they appeal to things unknown.. like factor X from the sun..

        Now, in science, there is a place for unicorns.. positing the existence of something un observed, to explain a phenomena that has yet to be explained

        Let me give you an example.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemesis_(hypothetical_star)

        However, note that people actually then go out and search for this thing.

        So if skeptics want to make “It could be X Instead!!” types of arguments, they have to explain what they mean by X and explain how to find X, and
        accept the fact that if we look for X ( unicorns ) and cant find any, that their hypothetical is on shakey ground… Especially if we already have a sufficient explanation without X.

        This leads to the last point.

        What should a skeptic do instead?

        The best approach is to focus on the sufficiency of the explanation.
        How much do we understand? 50%, 70%…and then propose additions
        to the explanation to make it more sufficient.. you know… do science.

      • The first mistake sceptic make is to think that they can explain the variations in nature, by appealing to natural variation. In short they try to say that the changes are explained by the fact that nature changes.

        Wrong.

        “Unforced natural variation” isn’t the same thing as “natural variation”. To the extent that it requires “explaining”, it’s an emergent property of complex non-linear systems.

        You can put it on the right side, and justify that because it’s expected to be there because of the nature of the system.

        Or you can put it on the left side, and “explain” it on the right by pointing to the fact that the ocean/atmosphere system is a complex non-linear system.

        1. We find what we think is the origin of the fire.
        2. We find traces of accelerant.

        We have sufficient evidence to establish a cause. we can say
        “we have evidence that it was started by humans”

        Invalid analogy.

        A better analogy would be:

        1. We can’t tell exactly where the fire started.
        2. We find traces of accelerant.
        3. We know there were thunderstorms that day.

        We have evidence consistent with arson. Our evidence is also consistent with lightning, perhaps hitting the accelerant, perhaps starting a fire somewhere else that burned over the accelerant later.

        This appeal, the appeal to it could have been something else.. has a proper role, but at some point it becomes a unicorn hunt.

        Problem is: we’re not talking about a “unicorn hunt.” We’re talking about a phenomenon that is well known to exist, serves as the best explanation for other occurrences (where no accelerant appears to have been present), and would serve perfectly well in this case except for the existence of the accelerant.

        IOW, given what we know about climate, if the 20th century had happened while no fossil emissions had taken place, there would have been no “unicorn hunt.”, “unforced natural variation” would simply have been accepted as the explanation.

      • Steven Mosher,

        So we have a dead body (global warming), but the police can’t investigate whether the victim died of natural causes because, according to Mosher-isms, that is the THING TO BE EXPLAINED.

        The police, therefore, are limited to investigating only human-caused death (global warming).

        No more self-serving argument has been made since Nero insisted that the Christians enjoyed being thrown to the lions because it permitted them to become martyrs.

      • > There may be no reason to “believe that it [natural variability] will explain GW all by itself” but there’s certainly no reason to believe that it can’t.

        I agree, and I even cited a guy who produced a model that reflects such a possibility. Therefore, DavidW’s point regarding alternative hypotheses is historically false.

        My point was, is, and will continue to be that nobody needs to prove that natural variability will never be able to explain GW to accept that AGW is just a better explanation. Therefore, DavidW’s point regarding alternative hypotheses is epistemologically incorrect.

      • My point was, is, and will continue to be that nobody needs to prove that natural variability will never be able to explain GW to accept that AGW is just a better explanation.

        A mater of opinion. Based, IMO, on intuition, taste, and/or external agenda.

        Thus my long excursion on dialectic as opposed to logic.

      • > A mater of opinion. Based, IMO, on intuition, taste, and/or external agenda.

        So unless it’s deductive, it’s just a matter of opinion.

        That’s a bit too dudeist to my own tastes.

      • So unless it’s deductive, it’s just a matter of opinion.

        Straw man.

      • [AK] There may be no reason to “believe that it [natural variability] will explain GW all by itself” but there’s certainly no reason to believe that it can’t.

        [W] I agree … My point was, is, and will continue to be that nobody needs to prove that natural variability will never be able to explain GW to accept that AGW is just a better explanation.

        [AK] A matter of opinion.

        [W] So unless it’s deductive, it’s just a matter of opinion. That’s a bit too dudeist to my own tastes.

        [AK] Straw man.

      • Whether “AGW is just a better explanation” is just a matter of opinion. What criteria for “better”?

      • > Whether “AGW is just a better explanation” is just a matter of opinion.

        An “opinion” as opposed to what, Parmenidean truth?

        Scientific consensus does not reduce to personal or unjustifiable opinion.

        ***

        > What criteria for “better”?

        Good question. Here are some: conservatism (go Denizens!), modesty, simplicity, generality, refutability.

        One could argue that it’s a judgment call, but since it’s something that emerges from a collective process, it might be harder to argue that it’s just an opinion.

      • Scientific consensus does not reduce to personal or unjustifiable opinion.

        Too often it “reduces” to fad.

        One could argue that it’s a judgment call, but since it’s something that emerges from a collective process, it might be harder to argue that it’s just an opinion.

        Just a bunch of opinions. That happen to coincide for social reasons.

      • Steven Mosher

        Glenn

        “So we have a dead body (global warming), but the police can’t investigate whether the victim died of natural causes because, according to Mosher-isms, that is the THING TO BE EXPLAINED.”

        No. many skeptics think that you explain the dead body by pointing out that it is dead and then saying.. people die all the time.

        The thing to be explained is not global warming.

        the thing to be explained by climate science is why and how the climate varies.

        1. Pointing out that “climate always changes” is like saying “well people always die.. nothing strange move aloong”

        2. But pointing out that the sun plays a role, and that GHGs play a role,
        and land use plays a role, and volcanos play a role, that is explaining
        the why we see the climate change.

        arguing that the climate changes because it naturally changes is not an explanation.

      • > Too often it “reduces” to fad.

        What criteria for “often”?

      • Steven Mosher ==> ahem…Steven, if you wish to recant the long comment above re: unicorn hunting, in the case that you were temporarily suffering under the influence of way too much second-hand happy smoke or that someone slipped an extract of certain mushrooms or cactus buttons in your tea, I will accept that and we can ask Judith to disappear it — it need not be part of the permanent record.

      • Unicorns and Unicorn Hunting ==> It never occurred to me that gently poking fun at this Mosher-ism, which I had previously assumed was a harmless (if childishly snarky) eccentricity, would result in its being outed as this remarkably hideous piece of anti-science illogic.

        Would someone please take this issue up and write a cogent, polite but thorough, guest essay for Judith Curry to post here illustrating:

        1. That “a sufficient explanation” is not the same as a valid scientific hypothesis and certainly does not constitute an accepted scientific theory.
        [definition = “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.”]
        2. That the end point of scientific investigation/research is not simply to find “a sufficient explanation” after which scientists should move on to something else.
        3. That Mosher’s “left-hand/right-hand of the equation” thing is scientifically invalid (to the point of absurdity) — some weird doppelganger of the scientific method.
        4. Carefully analyze Mosher’s “analogies” of the forest fire (we can thank our lucky stars that Mosher is not a forensic fire investigator).
        5. Lay out clearly that this “In short it [looking at other, natural, causes of climate change] doesn’t explain the climate. It explains a piece. So to compete with the AGW explanation the skeptical explanation must cover the same territory. It must explain all of the climate.” is seriously flawed. There is no “AGW explanation” that explains “all the climate” with which to compete.
        6. Make a careful statement of “What is the real purpose of Climate Science?” Hint: It is not “We want to explain the changes in climate.”

        [I would do it myself, really, but am already in the middle of two multi-essay series and have many other pressing responsibilities this week.]

      • Steven Mosher,

        Now, in science, there is a place for unicorns.. positing the existence of something un observed, to explain a phenomena that has yet to be explained

        That’s all fine and dandy when data don’t take on properties akin to Schrödinger’s cat:

        1) Evidence which falsifies biased paradigms is sufficient to explain phenomena, and therefore exists.
        2) Evidence which supports biased paradigms is insufficient to explain phenomena, and therefore does not exist.

        Unlike Erwin’s feline — whose status even AGW true believers could figure out for themselves just by looking — superpositioned climate data only collapse into one state or another when climate realists objectively determine it to be so. This leads to endless possibilities, infinite degrees of freedom and maximum uncertainty.

        Don’t ask for explanations of any of the above loaded qualifiers; the question itself proves you were not meant to understand them.

      • > outed as this remarkably hideous piece of anti-science illogic.

        Too bad you have nothing much to show for these fighting words, Kip.

      • There’s always the chance it’s among his other pressing responsibilities this week.

      • Steven Mosher

        In which KIP whines to mommy to do something ..

        too funny…

      • Mosher ==> I take it your “snark in lieu of response” means you have no intention of recanting the nonsense you offered up as an explanation of what you mean by “unicorns” and “unicorn hunting”.

        I was really hoping that it was all a joke or a mistake. That not being the case, it gives me fair-game topics for few essays. I admit to being intrigued by the idea that it is enough in science to find a “sufficient explanation” — which will be the the topic of the first essay in the unicorn series.

      • Steven Mosher

        Kip,

        You would be advised to understand the difference between sufficient
        and necessary.

        Let me explain

        Sufficient comes in degrees. Necessary is an absolute.

        When we explain that the temperature rise can be explained by
        the historical forcings ( solar, volcanic, GHG, land use) when we show that it is sufficient to explain things, then the skeptical response is
        this: Prove it cant be something else.

        That move is asking that the explanation be both necessary and sufficient

        Hence my advice to skeptics that they should FOCUS on the areas where the sufficiency is suspect.. like 1910-1940… Like sensitivity.

        As I said these are areas that to us look like left overs.. residuals,
        details to be understood later.. small puzzles that dont distract from the big picture.

        Skeptics may think differently so they would be wise to focus on the areas where the sufficiency seems lacking RATHER THAN demanding
        that an explanation be necessary… which is basically an impossible
        standard.. because it could always be something else… it could be unicorns..

        The logic of explanation is not that hard.. explaining it is

        But feel free to mis represent my views.. it would not be the first time.

        and rest assured I wont ask mommy to protect me

      • I recommend people to read all of Steven M’s 3:27pm comment above. It gets at the essence of his/our frustrations with skepticism, and why a lot of it appears like unicorn hunting. The forest fire and sufficient explanation example put it in perspective. If you have alternative explanations, tell us what to look for to back it up. You can’t just say, “but it might be something else that I don’t even know myself, let alone how to prove it.” That way lies unicorns.

      • Reply to Steven ==> Perhaps you’d like to take the first “at bat” and do a guest essay for Judith expanding on this topic of the difference you see between “sufficient explanation” (in your case, the AGW explanation of climate change) and the proverbial Skeptic’s demand for the “necessary”. The comment section is seldom an appropriate or adequate venue for thorough exploration of a big idea. (Well, maybe if you are R G Brown — who sometimes writes nearly book-length comments.) Heaven’s, you never know, once properly explained, I may even agree with you.

        At present, though, I freely admit that I can’t make out what you are talking about there. I can’t identify any major player on the skeptical side of the Climate Divide, either by name or general viewpoint, that even resembles The Skeptic (who you say keeps coming along) and saying the things you attribute to this person/class of being.

        I have a very clear idea of what a scientifically sufficient explanation is — and am quite sure that it is not the same as a proven hypothesis or a theory supported by overwhelming evidence — science history is filled with mere sufficient explanations that fallen prey to, been devoured by, persistent dedicated scientific investigation.

        There is value in what others have called “working explanations” — explanations for scientific concepts that, even known not to be a true representation of reality (or even, not even true to the best of our knowledge), have been very useful in moving science and engineering forward. The trick with working explanation is that they have to be close enough to true that using them doesn’t result in disaster or harm. (The steel used in the of the Titanic, for example). I’m not sure that your “sufficient” and my “working” are the same though.

        I’d just as soon read your views, properly laid out, as write my own.

      • Kip H, I know exactly what Steven M is referring to. What you are asking for science to do is not only explain AGW in terms of its own hypothesis, but to also rule out every other hypothesis anyone could ever come up with before you will agree to it. That is not the way science works. Its truths are only ever provisional. Most just end up being more refined with further work. Einstein could be considered to have refined Newton rather than overturning it for example because Newtonian mechanics is still used in most applications.

      • catweazle666

        Jim D: “That is not the way science works.”

        You know nothing of the way science works, less than nothing in fact.

        .

      • At issue is because everyone can’t be a Newton or Any of the names we know from science, no can be one.

      • Steven Mosher,

        The logic of explanation is not that hard.. explaining it is

        Some things simply cannot be taught.

      • Reply to Jim D ==> You seem to have me [ Kip Hansen ] conflated with someone[s] else. I have never expressed such opinions or demands of science. You can read ALL my essays at Anthony’s by using his search bar for “Kip Hansen” (most of the results will be my guest essays — but some simply refer to my essays). Using the same search here will bring up one essay and a discussion piece (and a few items by Judith that refer to me).

      • Kip Hansen, OK, then you have to say why a theory that is sufficient to explain the observations is not adequate for you. My interpretation of that was that you thought maybe there was another explanation out there, and Steven M said that if that is the case you need to provide a way to test for ways to distinguish those other explanations from AGW, otherwise it is just talk or opinion, which is not science.

      • and Steven M said that if that is the case you need to provide a way to test for ways to distinguish those other explanations from AGW

        Lol, is Steve who blesses climate science’s truth now?

        That’s the problem, you can’t tell science from manure.

      • Steven Mosher

        ” The forest fire and sufficient explanation example put it in perspective. If you have alternative explanations, tell us what to look for to back it up.”

        this I think gets to the heart of the issue.

        “The Nemesis theory postulates that there is a companion
        star to the Sun, orbiting at a distance of 3 light years, with a
        period of 26 m.y. If this orbit has an eccentricity 0.5, then
        it passes close enough to the Oort comet cloud to trigger a
        comet shower once per orbit. Such periodic showers could lead
        to periodic extinctions of life on Earth, and to periodic increases
        in the cratering rate on the Moon.”

      • > I can’t identify any major player on the skeptical side of the Climate Divide, either by name or general viewpoint, that even resembles The [contrarian] (who you say keeps coming along) and saying the things you attribute to this person/class of being.

        This very page should be enough to substantiate all the epistemological blunders Moshpit underlined.

        Give me names of a “major player,” and I’ll see if I can’t find anything.

      • Reply to Jim D ==> Jim, you ask to explain “…why a theory that is sufficient to explain the observations is not adequate for you.”

        The simple answer is this: Climate Science is about finding out how the climate of the Earth works — what makes it tick — what are the causes and the effects and how do they interrelate. There are huge questions that are entirely unanswered. There are huge questions we don’t even know to ask yet.

        So, that leaves “AGW theory” (Mosher’s word) — if we short formed it to “increasing man-made GHGs from burning fossil fuels cause the modern warming period” (I believe Mosher adds in, to be safe, some minor influence of land use change, the Sun, etc etc) — may be a “sufficient explanation” for the warming since the mid-20th century, but it does not fulfill the purpose of Climate Science — it barely scratches the surface.

        Mosher seems to be implying in this bit “But it fails to be a “climate model” because we want to know about wind and currents and precipitation, and ice melting and forming. In short it doesn’t explain the climate. It explains a piece. So to compete with the AGW explanation the skeptical explanation must cover the same territory.” that “the AGW explanation” “explain[s] the climate.”

        The IPCC consensus (which I believe is the AGW explanation) explains “more than half of the warming” since the mid-20th century — it makes no pretense of explaining “the Climate”.

        If we want to understand the earth’s climate — we [mankind] need to do purposeful, directed, climate science towards that end — we can not stand pat with a partial “sufficient explanation” — further, basing society-changing policy on such a partial understanding must be limited, in my opinion, to “no regrets” pathways.

        Jim, maybe you can collaborate with Steven to write up what you guys see as the error your Skeptic is making — I’m sure Judith would post it — that would certainly be a more effective way of communicating than making a thousand snarky comments about unicorns and unicorn hunting which, if this thread is exemplary, are not understood by those you target anyway.

      • > [AGW] does not fulfill the purpose of Climate Science — it barely scratches the surface.

        If we assume this point echoes Kip’s previous claim that There is no “AGW explanation” that explains “all the climate” with which to compete, it is the same straw man. AGW explains the GW we have. It’s the best explanation we have so far. That’s all there is to it, and AGW does its job just fine.

        I have no idea how any explanation can “fulfill the purpose of Climate Science,” but if Kip is willing to write a guest post to express with even more smarm his strawman, that’d be great. Way more constructive and all that jazz.

      • AGW explains the GW we have.

        GW” is a myth.

      • Steven Mosher

        As I said explaining explanation is hard

        Lets start with Kip’s misunderstandings

        ” There are huge questions that are entirely unanswered. There are huge questions we don’t even know to ask yet.”

        First note the appeal to ignorance.

        1. There will ALWAYS be huge questions, and questions we dont even know to ask,
        2. What kip is effectively arguing is that an explanation has to explain
        everything or it explains nothing.

        Lets take an example. We have a theory of flight. That theory of flight
        can explain why an aircraft stalls. We can predict this.But there is a huge question left
        unanswered… After the aircraft stalls, will it spin? will it have a dominant
        spin mode.. If it nose slices at High AOA will it slice left or right? Can
        the theory of flight tell us everything we need to know? Will the engine stall? can it be restarted? how easily, can the theory explain all these things? Hardly. But that
        says nothing about its ability to explain what it in fact explains. And if someone wants to object to the theory of flight, they have to do more
        than point out that it is missing certain features.

        Climate science will always be incomplete. Why was it 75F at my house
        yesterday? why did the wind blow at 5.6ms? Huge questions..
        But that incompleteness is a feature of all Theory.
        For example, what do the unsolved problems in Number Theory tell us about Number theory? Nothing. They tell us NOTHING about the
        working status of number theory.

        So lets take a simple example, a slice of climate science.

        The theory tells us that the temperature of the earth averaged globally
        is a function of ALL FORCING. Pretty straight forward.

        T = F(forcings) and so we can list those forcings. The sun, GHGs, land use, aerosols.. They are all listed in the IPCC reports. Is that list complete? Maybe. But pointing out that there may be More.. in NO WAY
        undermines the list of forcings that we have identified.And further if a skeptic thinks the list is incomplete, A) it is always possible to
        find more… B) the actual job of science is to propose ideas and test them. So the skeptical Move of “There may be more” So much is
        not understood… Is really a stupid pet trick.. because we can ALWAYS
        say this..

        The next move a typical skeptic will make is to misrepresent the theory.
        The theory says ALL FORCINGS matter.. The skeptic of course will ignore this and say, “C02 cant explain X” or the pause means “C02 doesnt influence temperature”

        Lastly a less bone headed skeptic may actually try to match climate science and offer up there own “explanation” of temperature.
        Scafetta would be a prime example. Monkton as well.

        So how do we compare the adequacy of these competing “systems”

        So first lets look at the climate science explanation: And we ask it
        Explain global temperature in terms of forcings.. And the result is a GCM
        that simulates as much as it can with the hopes of matching that global
        number. but then we ask more questions.. what about the temperature of Just the Ocean? what about just the atmosphere? what about the stratosphere? or just the NH.. and we check… the model does OK here,
        not ok there, really good in this part.. Does it explain everything?
        Nope. will it ever? Nope. But that says nothing about what it does explain.

        Now lets compare the skeptic climate model.. take your pick.Say scafetta what do he explain? Global temperature.. Ok.. does it do a good job. ya looks ok. Ok, now we ask the same questions.. Whats the model say about ocean temp? the troposphere? err Nothing… by design it says nothing..

        So now we are left with this.

        We have one theory that explains 10 things with degrees of accuracy
        and another theory that explains one thing. What is interesting here is the skeptical reaction. Suddenly the huge unanswered questions are an issue. And it gets better
        If a skeptic proposes a theory that Leaves OUT c02 as a forcing
        or leaves out, land use, or aerosols… Note the reaction. Thats ok.

        If I explained the temperature as a function of JUST THE SUN, how many skeptics would say “well it could be something else” How many would ask “did you look at all forcings?” The test for a good skeptical theory is ABC… anything But c02. But when climate science says
        “these 12 forcings” the question is “what about factor X from the sun?”
        There is so much unknown… Its too funny because all theory is incomplete in practice… but only skeptical theories are incomplete BY DESIGN..

        Now that is just Once sentence of Kips. I’ll address the others in due course

      • “SM” is a myth

        The comparison to the theory of flight is poorly thought out. If we knew as much about the theory of flight as we do about climate, there would be thousands of plane crashes every day.

        Did somebody give you too much pain killer today?

      • catweazle666

        cerescokid: “If we knew as much about the theory of flight as we do about climate, there would be thousands of plane crashes every day”

        There would be if we depended on climate “scientists” and second hand temperature database peddlers to design aeroplanes, that’s for sure.

        In fact, I doubt we’d ever have got one off the ground.

        Hell, we probably wouldn’t even have invented the wheel!

      • Reply to Steven ==> Your latest is exactly why I suggested you write a real essay laying out your understanding of how the current AGW hypothesis is all the climate science we need — that it is a sufficient explanation — so sufficient in fact that you feel it is necessary to mock other climate scientists and climate science teams who are working to do the real job of studying the Earth’s climate.

        Going on and on with yet another false-equivalent analogy does not really communicate whatever point it is you are trying to make about this.

        You seem to be saying in your latest that I must be wrong (in my statement that we actually know very little about how the climate system works) because we have all the climate science we need (well, except for a few little details left to be cleaned up) and seem to be saying as well the the GCMs are the proof of this. Reducing climate science to a tautology of “climate is controlled by the things that control it” [“The theory says ALL FORCINGS matter’] is hardly useful science, that was the problem to be solved in the first place — what are the forcings, the causes, that make the climate what it is, that make it do that it does? We already knew that climate was the result of the system itself and the forces acting upon it.

        Is your position that we understand the climate just because we can point to a short list of posited forcings? I readily admit that I don’t understand your viewpoint, and each time you respond, I get a different idea of what you might be saying.

        This is why a well written, edited-for-understanding, reviewed-by-a-colleague essay would do a far better job than yet another quickly dashed off comment in communicating what you are trying to say. I’d like to understand your position so that I can take my turn at bat and respond to it.

        Listen, if you even make an attempt at a real expository essay, I’ll edit it for you (sending it back for you to read over and approve before publishing) which is the same I did for R G Brown over at WUWT. You can email it to me at my first name at the domain i4 decimal net.

        If you think your views are valid and important, lay them out there — I’ll help.

      • > Going on and on with yet another false-equivalent analogy does not really communicate whatever point it is you are trying to make about this.

        Begging question over question may not help warrant raising concerns about communication.

    • Kip Hansen,

      Thank you for confirming my suspicions. I wish Mosher would discontinue his obfuscation so we can discuss the topic.

      Andrew

      • Bad Andrew: I wish Mosher would discontinue his obfuscation so we can discuss the topic.

        That is not going to happen.

      • Sorry Andrew, Mathew was right. Steven came in at 1527 on the Unicorn topic. Kind of like those congress critters you see on CSPAN, at three in the morning, to read their comments into the congressional record after the house adjourns, so they can say they “went on record”. He set up a straw man “skeptic” and set up a wall of words about a forest fire (I guess in reference to those bad wild fires out west that were due to global warming, until the police announced they had arrested a serial arsonist, then the media headlines disappeared) where the “skeptic” arbitrarily dismisses the roll of climatic conditions in the severity of the disaster. Is this from the “Alinsky play book”? Am I getting this stuff right? I started reading this blog because I had questions about the science of climate and changes.
        My old geography text book said there were, well 13 to 57 climate regimes around the world depending on the system one used. Then I see a headline with a protester holding a sign declaring “One World, One Climate” and I wondered if my text was out of date. I find a debate society. Is AGW the TOE (I take that to mean “Theory of Everything”). Some guy in England was in the headlines claiming the Italian earthquake was due to Global Warming (he wrote an expert text book). AGW drives plate tectonics, who would have guessed, I’m showing my age. I’m sure you’ll tear me apart, fine. I’m can’t figure out how to put those quotes in from previous comments, or links to other web pages. I’m a luddite (not really, I use technology and appreciate what it is capable of allowing me to do) but my wife, who is tech savvy, gave me an etch-a-sketch for xmas, told me it was a lap top and I spent three days trying to sign on to Farm
        Ville 2. Keep it up guys, I’m learning.

      • > Is this from the “Alinsky play book”?

        No, it’s called snark.

        If you prefer, here are Tree Lobsters:

        http://www.treelobsters.com/

        Assignment – prove they don’t exist.

        Welcome to the Internet.

      • Andrew, this is actually for Willard.
        Willard, I clicked your name and got:

        Neverending Audit
        If you can’t annoy someone, there’s little point in writing
        Kingsley Amis, encouraging disagreement, which in turn demands debate, the lifeblood of an online forum.

        Please feel free to click my name. You see an old fat guy with a lot of unanswered questions who likes Farm Ville2.

        And I clicked snark.

        Thank you for the cordial welcome to the internet (does that require a sarc?). Like I said, Keep it up, I’m learning.

      • Steven Mosher

        “My old geography text book said there were, well 13 to 57 climate regimes around the world depending on the system one used. ”

        those are probably Koppen climate ZONES.

        there are couple uses of the word climate.. its good to keep them straight

        First Climate Zones basically the zones are defined by things like
        are they hot and wet? hot and dry? continental? arctic.

        In this meaning of the term you are describing the typical or normal
        weather for an area. Think of the phrase “tropical climate” or desert
        climate..

        The other meaning meaning of climate is more generic.. and can be taken to mean the long term averages of weather.. when you understand this climate, you can understand how climate ZONES will change in the future.. like dry places getting drier and wet places getting wetter.. and arctic places getting warmer.

        So we want to understand how and why these things change.

        Skeptics want to fight understanding.

      • Or you could just call Burpee.

        https://www.burpee.com/findgrowzone

        They have seed for every zone.

  44. Since there is no established cause and effect relationship between rising temperature and rising CO2, natural variation as a hypothetical cause of the warming has just as much standing as CO2 as the hypothetical cause.

    • I disagree. Natural variation has more standing. There is far more conclusive research using empirical data describing past climate change, and it gets better all the time.

      CO2 control, not so much.

      Until someone shows an actual departure in the NRV, which seems to be growing wider as techniques improve, there is nothing abnormal, and nothing to address through policy and lifestyle changes. As if policy or lifestyle changes could have any effect on climate.

      This is assuming of course that the arbitrary global value is not climate change, because it is not. This is also assuming the arbitrary global value is not an a good indicator of climate change, because it is not.

  45. Getting back to the topic.

    There may be bias in awarding federal research funds but this poorly executed attempt at measuring it by word count in some high level budgetary documents does nothing to prove it or even suggest that it might exist.

    What’s more there is a more fundamental problem of how to design a study on “natural variation” which seems to be one of the favorite alternative explanations to AGW. “Natural variation” is just the residual you drag out after you’ve added up all of the likely drivers of climate change and find something left over. You can’t really study it directly. So it wouldn’t be surprising to find little federal funds are allocated to it.

    • “There may be bias in awarding federal research funds”

      James Cross, forgive me, but there is no “may” about it. It’s inherent in what the political body that distributes it wants to accomplish.

      If “tackling/fighting/addressing/battling climate change” is what the powers that be want, and it’s clearly stated by them that they want that, and it’s loudly pronounced by an array of gubmint agencies, then guess where the money goes?

      Andrew

    • On the contrary, James, the natural variability hypotheses are well known and widely discussed. See my word/phrase list. Their study is just not funded.

    • ““Natural variation” is just the residual you drag out after you’ve added up all of the likely drivers of climate change and find something left over. You can’t really study it directly. ”

      You are kidding me right? I am pretty sure that didn’t come from any accepted principles.

      http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160608/ncomms11719/full/ncomms11719.html

      • Look, if you are talking about volcanoes, long term solar cycles, ocean cycles, etc being natural variations. Yes, I guess that is correct.

        But these are all known climate drivers.

        What I am talking about is the amorphous “natural variation” (notice the quotes) that is used to explain 20th century warming as the alternative to AGW. This “natural variation” is more like the “God of gaps” that is used as the alternative explanation for AGW.

      • What I am talking about is the amorphous “natural variation” (notice the quotes) that is used to explain 20th century warming as the alternative to AGW

        It’s not “amorphous”. It’s well defined, as a characteristic of most complex non-linear systems of a certain type. A type that includes would seem to include climate.

        There may be a question whether such variation exists in the real climate system, but since it exists in most such systems, the default assumption should be that it does.

      • “after reading Leif on WUWT for a while I am pretty convinced”

        James Cross,

        I would submit that if you rely on what one person says about solar, you are not following a scientific process.

        Andrew

      • AK.

        It’s not “amorphous”. It’s well defined, as a characteristic of most complex non-linear systems of a certain type.

        Show me the “model” that has predicted or predicts something non-trivial.

      • Show me the “model” that has predicted or predicts something non-trivial.

        Randomness: a property of the mathematical and physical systems by Anastasios A. Tsonis Hydrological Sciences Journal

      • Thanks for the citation, and added “random” to this page:

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

        I also added your name in the Colophon.

        I don’t always point at a predictor, but when I do, I point at randomness.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard

        (dragons perhaps)

        Unicorns!!!

        lots of theories

      • AK,

        There may be a question whether such variation exists in the real climate system, but since it exists in most such systems, the default assumption should be that it does.

        There may be a question whether the real climate system responds to external forcings, but since that happens in most such systems, the default assumption should be that it does.

        QED.

        Next time someone asserts it’s the Sun wot diddit, whack ’em with an appeal to Lorenz.

      • There may be a question whether the real climate system responds to external forcings, but since that happens in most such systems, the default assumption should be that it does.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/#comment-806871

        Next time someone asserts it’s the Sun wot diddit, whack ’em with an appeal to Lorenz.

        I usually ignore the “sun dunnit” arguments, but the same logic applies as to AGW.

      • AK,

        I usually ignore the “sun dunnit” arguments, but the same logic applies as to AGW.

        You mean this:

        1) Too often it “reduces” to fad.
        2) Just a bunch of opinions. That happen to coincide for social reasons.

        I don’t follow why your statement … There may be a question whether such variation exists in the real climate system, but since it exists in most such systems, the default assumption should be that it does.

        … should be immune to attack by the same allegations. Or indeed why (1) and (2) shouldn’t annihilate themselves.

      • I think the skeptical argument goes, even though the temperature and forcing are both growing with the same highly significant anomaly pattern over the last couple of centuries, they can’t possibly be related. It’s the same argument used by others for emissions and CO2 levels.

      • > they can’t possibly be related

        That’s too strong, Jim D. Contrarians would rather say that they could be related, but that causation hasn’t been proven yet, since it doesn’t meet their elusive but always a bit more stringent standard of proof.

        It could be AGW. It could be something else we don’t know. Lots of theories.

        Therefore, we just don’t know.

    • “What I am (REALLY) talking about is the amorphous “natural variation”

      Goalposts just moved.

      Andrew

      • My original post had the quotes.

        If you are aware of any natural variations (no quotes), such as solar, volcanic, or oceanic, that can explain 20th century warming, I would love to hear about it.

      • If you are aware of any natural variations (no quotes), such as solar, volcanic, or oceanic, that can explain 20th century warming, I would love to hear about it.

        Sure.
        Decadal Ocean cycles (these are well known), alters where the warm pools of water collect, the associated high pressure zones, both tend to reduce cloud cover, creating localized heating on the same area, self reinforcing the warm pool, and the high pressure zones alter the path of the jetstream, all of this alters how the water vapor that evaporated in the tropics move to higher latitudes to cool along the direction the winds blow.
        The excess heat of the water vapor then controls minimum temperatures but only where the blows the water vapor.

        Once over land, at night the rate of cooling is high until air temps near dew point, at which point cooling slows. This regulates the drop in night time temperatures.
        You can also see that during the day, as it warms up, more clouds develop, limited incoming solar, until later when it starts cooling and the clouds disappear.

        Natural variability.

        Oh, the step in temperatures after the 97 el nino was from a change in the sensitivity of solar(change in clouds cover?), or a more permanent change in wind patterns in the 20 to 30 North latitude band. It was this change , this new state that was the source of the temp step.

      • David Wojick

        James , you say “If you are aware of any natural variations (no quotes), such as solar, volcanic, or oceanic, that can explain 20th century warming, I would love to hear about it.”

        How about emerging from the Little Ice Age, the reason for which we do not understand. Have you not heard of this? Climate science should be trying to explain this, not ignoring it.

        There are others, should I go on? You seem not to have heard much.

      • “If you are aware of any natural variations (no quotes), such as solar, volcanic, or oceanic, that can explain 20th century warming, I would love to hear about it.”

        Solar variation could easily explain it, right? It is the primary heat source, after all.

        Andrew

      • > How about emerging from the Little Ice Age, the reason for which we do not understand.

        Indeed, what about them, DavidW?

        You go first.

      • He also just made the assumption that climate change drivers are all identified and understood. Very impressive.

        He needs to read more:
        http://web.mit.edu/davidmcg/www/papers/Steponaitis_2015_Quaternary%20Science%20Reviews.pdf

      • micro-

        Yes, decadal ocean cycles affect temperature and weather but I haven’t seen anything that would suggest they were primary drivers of 20th century warming. They might have magnified or diminished it at various periods.

        I don’t know what your one line “natural variability” meant unless it is amorphous sort that I am talking about.

        The step from 97 El Nino? That has something to do with explaining 20th century warming? Maybe a year or two of weather.

        David-

        Emerging from the Little Ice Age?

        Actually that might be AGW.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7617/full/nature19082.html

        Andrew –

        Solar? I used to think that might be something to it. But after reading Leif on WUWT for a while I am pretty convinced it is not a major driver, apart from radiation changes over centuries associated with orbital variations. What really killed it for me was when I realized that the Beryllium isotope evidence didn’t mean what proponents were saying it meant.

      • How about emerging from the Little Ice Age, the reason for which we do not understand. Have you not heard of this? Climate science should be trying to explain this, not ignoring it. …

        It’s been done to death:

        2016, a few examples:

        Late Holocene coastal dune activity along the Dover Strait, Northern France – Insights into Middle Ages and Little Ice Age coastal dynamics constrained by optically stimulated luminescence dating

        Volcanic Impacts on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Initiation of the Little Ice Age

        Low atmospheric CO2 levels during the Little Ice Age due to cooling-induced terrestrial uptake

        Multidecadal variations in Southern Hemisphere atmospheric 14C: Evidence against a Southern Ocean sink at the end of the Little Ice Age CO2 anomaly

        Climate change evidences from the end of the Little Ice Age to the Current Warm Period registered by Melincué Lake (Northern Pampas, Argentina)

        An abrupt weakening of the subpolar gyre as trigger of Little Ice Age-type episodes

        End of the “Little Ice Age” in the Alps not forced by industrial black carbon

        Influence of climate change and human activities on the organic and inorganic composition of peat during the ‘Little Ice Age’ (El Payo mire, W Spain)

        Marginal Fluctuations of a Svalbard Surge-Type Tidewater Glacier, Blomstrandbreen, Since the Little Ice Age: A Record of Three Surges

      • David Wojick

        JCH, there has in fact been a lot of research on the LIA, but only of two sorts. First is looking at the local effects, mostly in England, where the occurrence is unquestioned. Second is AGW-based, questioning its global nature. There is also a small amount attempting to use AGW to explain it away.

      • No, they’re trying to find out whether or not it was a global event. What is wrong with that?

        Your side just assumes/claims that it was global… let’s throw tons of papers against the wall and see what sticks. Skip the science altogether.

        Now you appear to want an end around and a rubber stamp.

      • JCH, “No, they’re trying to find out whether or not it was a global event. What is wrong with that? ”

        Most recent research indicates it was a global event, the questions are more how deep was it and what caused it. Once you get to that point you have a problem. Solar proxies “with noise” plus volcanic reconstructions indicate it was fairly deep, ~1.5C with the trough circa 1700 but you have the defenders quibbling over solar, shifting to OHC, trying to goose up CO2 and citing the same old tired tree ring nonsense with novel methods. The CYA force is strong.

      • Steven Mosher

        too funny

        Wojick and other skeptics who dont believe in the global temperature record.. Suddenly believe the results of paleo studies BASED ON
        that record

        I’m dying here..

        Next up they will say temperatures are convience samples but proxies are not..

        no wait wait

        They will say we dont have enough thermomters to estimate the globe
        but a couple hundred proxies for the LIA is just fine…

        no wait wait..

        There is no global temperature and that temperature was lower in the LIA

        too funny.

        I have to catch my breath this is hilarious

      • Steven Mosher

        it gets better!!!

        “Solar proxies “with noise” plus volcanic reconstructions indicate it was fairly deep, ~1.5C with the trough circa 1700 but ”

        1.5C?

        relative to WHAT?
        and how did we get an accuracy of 1/10th from tree rings and elephant dung?

        how many proxies… 5000 locations? 10,000?

        calibrated against what? something you trust?

        The LIA is hoax… there is no evidence of an LIA it is just a theory

      • The LIA is hoax… there is no evidence of an LIA it is just a theory

        Well it is when you ignore all of the writings from the period.

        When was the last time the Thames froze over or the Delaware?
        Oh, and before you go on about it not being global, is seems most of the ice in the last ice age wasn’t global either, but we still call it an ice age.

      • The IMPCC report – International Medieval Panel on Climate Change – was written in Central England… with begrudging nods to the continent.

      • “I am dying here.”

        Yep, you have lost your edge and are recycling old straw.

        “1.5C?

        relative to WHAT?
        and how did we get an accuracy of 1/10th from tree rings and elephant dung?”

        You missed the little squiggly line in front ~1.5 C as in likely more than 1 and likely less than 2. Using 0.5 implies a half degree precision not 1/10 degree. I tend to mainly use G. Ruber Mg/Ca proxies, they seem to have less current drift issues than UK’37. I avoid “global” land plus ocean and generally stick with oceans less than 60N-60S to avoid Ice issues. The relative to is 1950 which is considered present, but times are a changing. In any case, it is pretty simple get a correlation with which ever temperature product is bucking for headlines.

    • Steven Mosher

      Natural variation is the residual

      The thing that cant be explained..

      the leftovers.

      Every explanation has leftovers.. things that cant presently be explained.

      Lets take a concrete example

      The warming from 1910-1940

      Anthropogenic cause explain a part of it.. but there is leftover.

      two reactions:

      1. Science: lets see what we can add to the theory to explain this.
      2. Anti science: you didnt explain everything, therefore you know nothing.

      or the pause

      1. Science: lets see what we can add to the theory to explain this.
      2. Anti science: you didnt explain everything, therefore you know nothing.
      3. Science: here are some possible explanations…
      4. Anti science… those are excuses.. you have too many explanations
      there you know nothing..

      • Mosh

        Are you sure that natural variations are the left overs rather than the main meal?

        Tonyb

      • “The warming from 1910-1940

        Anthropogenic cause explain a part of it.. but there is leftover.”

        What are the current left overs? It seems like just 4 years ago “skeptics” were saying that the magically solar and aerosols done it theory was crapola and getting called lots of creative names because of their lack of faith. That was in the pre- version 3 and 4 temperature indexes and back when the aerosol knob was getting lots of exercise.

      • A scientific attitude would prompt the question, before anything else, what about the 3 anomalous warm periods. The literature is replete with citations to them. They are not the result of a crackpot scientist. Whether the amplitude of the three is similar to today’s warm period or if they were synchronous is immaterial. The fact that numerous studies have shown there were warm periods, however amorphous, is important. If there never was any research identifying those warm periods, it would be understandable to dismiss skepticism of the current warming. But they do exist and that fact alone ought to generate a greater inquisitive response than we see. Just blowing them off in a cavalier manner is not warranted. “Nothing here. Move on.” doesn’t cut it. Given the massive error bars that they deserve, why would they be dismissed just for a lack of being able to prove the specifics of each.

        A scientific attitude would exhaust all exploration of the possibilities that we are simply experiencing a fourth warm period. And if this one is warmer than the others what does that prove? Not much since each one could have been warmer than the previous one.

        But in this environment why would anyone expect a scientific attitude.

      • > what about the 3 anomalous warm periods.

        Indeed, what about them?

        You go first.

      • Fred

        Really? All that tuition and nothing to show for it?

        I’m watching LPGA and can’t be bothered with your inanity.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Are you sure that natural variations are the left overs rather than the main meal?”

        Every time you explain something there a;ways leftovers.
        residuals
        outliers.

        97 % of the scientists are feasting on the fit.. improving the fit..
        reducing the leftovers…

        rarely, ever so rarely one or two guys may be able to make a meal
        from left overs..

        Lets examine some of the leftover bits

        The warming from 1910-1940.. yup there is a climate surd as it were
        something extra ( Derrida would call this a supplement ) in that period..
        so what?

        is it noise? a real signal? a minor annoyance that doesnt upset the theory? oulier? residual.?. thing un explained..? or the key to a whole new paradigm?

        When I do a model an examine outliers there is always the same question.. what is this thing? mistake? chance? or something the model misses. does this odd thing contain a key that will unlock everything?

        On the surface, on its face, there is no way to tell. Meal? or table scrap?
        data error or chance? chance or very important exception?

        The only way to tell is to work on it. But until you work on it.. its merely a red headed stepchild

        it shouldnt surprise you that only 3% care about that table scrap or think it needs attention..

        Take the pause..Slightly different here.. also un explained bits.. but the stakes were high enough that many people ate on the leftovers.

        .

      • “On the surface, on its face, there is no way to tell. Meal? or table scrap?”

        There is a pretty fair meal in the modeled volcanic forcing response and the temperature response at the beginning of the period. Call it an early bird special or petit entre in HADSSTi, but ERSSTv4 really boosts it to a full meal. It is almost like y’all are going backwards.

      • “climate always changes” is definitional. If it doesn’t change, then it isn’t climate.

        Andrew.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Steven,
        The imperfect indications from proxies are that climate has changed in the past. Some named this ‘natural variation’. Its causes are generally not known, or some a known with a low extent of certainty.
        The rate of change of natural variation, described mainly from proxies, is not well understood because of common suppression of high frequency past events. We do not know if the late 20th century has abnormal rates of change. It can be simply a natural event, with sharper focus than before.
        Came the late 20th century, aha, we saw global warming and climate change. Put it in a new box and promote that it is due to man made CO2.
        Why? Global warming has been as common in the past as global cooling. One follows the other.
        Natural variation is not the residual. It is the centre piece. Hypotheses about man made CO2 are not needed if natural variation is an adequate attribution.
        We do not know if it is. Nobody has a valid claim to be able to differentiate quantitatively between man made CO2 effects and natural variation. We have some guesses arising from modelling of physics & chemistry, but these are guesses. Various estimates show poor agreement with each other. Some factors seem to be missing, or the agreement would be better.
        Guesses are not an adequate basis to inform important policies like future energy generation choices.
        Full story, end of story for now until a major breakthrough happens in understanding.

        ps. Please do not lump all ‘sceptics’ into the same box and attribute similar motivation and knowledge to all in the box. You know that there is a wide variety of reasons why some scientists find important parts of the AGW meme quite horrible. Not all are correct. Some might be. We do not know.
        We do know that science needs scepticism to help it advance. In many social endeavours we ridicule ‘yes men’.

      • We do not know if it is. Nobody has a valid claim to be able to differentiate quantitatively between man made CO2 effects and natural variation.

        I do.
        It cools more at night than it warmed the prior day, average of 75 million records.
        As well as evidence of why (more like where)the temp took a step up in 97/98.

        Just that I’m not one of the chosen few allowed to dispense such wisdom.

      • Geoff Sherrington, you can distinguish between a forcing-induced warming and warming from natural internal variations, and the way to do that is to look at the imbalance. The imbalance over the past decades has been persistently positive meaning that all the warming we have had has not caught up with the change in forcing. GHGs are the dominant forcing. QED. Forcing changes explains to not only all the warming, but more due in the pipeline.

      • The imbalance over the past decades has been persistently positive

        And negative at the surface, the issue with toa is it isn’t going to be in balance except for at least after a year, and it’ll have to monitored every minute, every bit of the entire planet, and the uncertainty is 3 or 4 times what they are trying to measure, so they calibrated the measurements with the expected co2 forcing!

        They can’t use my trick to get the required certainly.

      • No, the ocean heat content has been rising for decades. This is due to a positive imbalance.

      • No, the ocean heat content has been rising for decades. This is due to a positive imbalance.

        Poorly guessed at from mostly inadequate thermometers, on moving platform, of the top 25% of a moving medium that you’re trying to measure.
        Excuse me for thinking that’s funny, well I would think it funny if there weren’t so many who seem dead set about trashing the joint.

        Like I said, the difference between science and manure.

      • Thousands of floats globally with deep temperature profiles. People denied global warming for a long time too, because it was inconvenient, so this kind of opinion is expected at first.

      • Seriously? There isn’t any global warming from co2, there can not be.

      • Yes, it is the surface energy balance that is affected. The surface is warmer because of the extra insulation provided by added GHGs.

      • stevenreincarnated

        “Geoff Sherrington, you can distinguish between a forcing-induced warming and warming from natural internal variations, and the way to do that is to look at the imbalance. ”

        Jim, are you arguing the climate models are complete crap again?

      • steven, you don’t need models to understand the observations, just physics.

      • Yes, it is the surface energy balance that is affected. The surface is warmer because of the extra insulation provided by added GHGs.

        steven, you don’t need models to understand the observations, just physics.

        Bwhahahahahaha

        Jim, Jim, Jim it cools more than it warms.
        It’s the exact same imbalance, except it is negative over all the the land surface stations.

      • The land is warming twice as fast as the ocean. Its lower thermal inertia makes its response to external forcing that much faster than the ocean.

      • catweazle666

        Jim D: “The land is warming twice as fast as the ocean. Its lower thermal inertia makes its response to external forcing that much faster than the ocean”

        Oh good grief…

      • The land is warming twice as fast as the ocean. Its lower thermal inertia makes its response to external forcing that much faster than the ocean.

        It still cools on average more over night than it warmed during the day, by about 3 to 1.

        You disagreeing or making other claims with out looking at what was measured is is foolish.

      • Let’s see.im working only with measurements. All of the other surface series are more than half made up, since more than half doesn’t have a thermometer within 100 to 200 miles, and 35 miles from me the thermometer at the airport is 3F warmer than one about 5 miles the other direction from me.
        Call me crazy, I don’t believe you can tell me the temp someplace you are not measuring, nor do I think you can conjure up Temps for half the planet there isn’t a thermometer anywhere close.
        Plus, those temp series are mean, which isn’t even measured, good mean is the average of min and max. And how many ways can 2 numbers average say 54 degrees?

        Basically they are as they say pigs vomit.

      • OK, so you are saying it is only warming at the thermometers, but not between them. I get it.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I don’t have a problem with people believing the models are crap. I will make a note that you won’t be using the models as any form of argument from this point forward for they clearly disagree with you. Now, since basic physics tells you that moving energy around isn’t likely to end with the same albedo and changing the albedo changes the energy balance, I will also make a note that you won’t be using basic physics either.

      • Thanks, steven, for putting in the time to write that completely information-free comment.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I’m always happy to give free information to those pedaling wrong information. You’re welcome.

  46. What explained the warming from 900 to 1200?

    I would love to hear about that!

    Not counting 1945 to 1978.

    or the long slow thaw from the depths of the little ice age?

    Scott

    • My guess would orbital control and oscillations in concert with some other things we have yet to identify, like maybe retreating ice?

      You know, we could just blame it on co2 and get that instant satisfaction of being morally superior?

    • Just my opinion but I think most of Holocene climate until modern industrial period will be explained by:

      1- Orbital variation for long term changes and regional wet-dry phases
      2- Volcanic eruptions
      3- Agriculture and/or land use changes
      4- Human population changes

      With volcanic eruptions or lack thereof affecting agriculture and human populations in feedback. Human populations affected by wars and disease.

      Early 20th century warming, mid century cooling, and late century warming affected by PDO with overall trend toward warming caused by greenhouse gases.

      • Why did you include orbital control for the long term, and ignored oscillations for the short in your list?

        PDO, sure, but how about warming and drying CONTINUING due to orbital control? Lachniet 2014.

      • crypto

        Orbits don’t change that quickly; however, I wouldn’t discount small effects on centuries timescale that might be magnified via ocean cycles.

        As you can see I am not at all denying natural variation. I am just not buying the idea that solar, orbital, or some intrinsic ocean circulation cycle can account for more than a small amount of 20th century warming.

      • Orbits don’t change that quickly; however, I wouldn’t discount small effects on centuries timescale that might be magnified via ocean cycles.

        Earthquakes have moved the rotational axis of the planet iirc more than a foot, and the big quake in Japan moved the whole island of Honshu almost 7′

        or some intrinsic ocean circulation cycle can account for more than a small amount of 20th century warming.

        Wind patterns distribute the water vapor load out of the tropics, and water vapor controls min temp, and change in wind pattern from where the oceans warm pools are would alter wind patterns.

  47. Judith Curry,

    Here in your thread one can find how complex climate changes are and how uncertain the prevalent belief on global warming assumed to be caused by athropogenic CO2 emissions is.

    Wojick is right: ”Federal climate research should be trying to solve the attribution problem, not protecting the AGW paradigm”

    As far as I am aware, UN politicians have set up IPCC in order to clarify scientific background of the recent global warming believed to be caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. As no evidence in reality was available on the anthropogenic warming, IPCC had to adopt climate model results that can be regarded only as hypothetical. I have understood that the parameters of the present climate models have been chosen as hypotheses by using circular argumentation in the current circumstances. Therefore for instance any forecast or hindcast of global temperature seems to be impossible by using climate models adopted by IPCC.

    Judith Curry, you et al have already proved that by using observations in reality on global climate temperature instead of climate model results climate sensitivity is only about half of the value assessed by IPCC. Wojick et al, as openminded, have claimed that climate sensitivity can not be distinguished from zero. Recent decades prove that increase of CO2 content in atmosphere takes place as global sea surface is warming, especially on areas where sea surfac CO2 sinks are: increase of CO2 content in atmosphere follows warming of climate and not vice versa. According to geologic observations during last 100 million years changes of CO2 content in atmosphere, in periods of 10 million years, have followed changes of global warming; and even during glacials and interglacials changes in trends of CO2 content in atmosphere have followed trend changes on global warming. Already everything of this makes understandable the claim of Wojick et al, that
    climate sensitivity can not be distintinguished from zero. In addition, the share of anthropogenic CO2 content concerning the recent total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere is minimal: in recent increase of about 2 ppm CO2 a year the share of CO2 emissions caused by burning fossile fuels is only about 4 % i.e. 0.08 ppm.

    The main problem is how to make politicians as decision makers understand that cutting anthropogenic CO2 emissions as a precautionary principle is unnecessary, even disastrous as actions based on The Kyoto Protocol prove.

    Politicians as laymen understand well how flooding of any lake is caused together by all waters coming to lake and by all waters leaving lake: if the waters coming are more than the waters leaving the the lake surface is rising. An increase of CO2 content in atmosphere in analogous to flooding of lake: if all the CO2 emissions to atmosphere are more than all the CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to the other environments, CO2 content in atmosphere is rising, in which the anthropogenic share is minimal as proved above.

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/01/the-art-and-science-of-climate-model-tuning/#comment-800135

  48. Geoff Sherrington

    David Wojick,
    Please accept an apology for my diversion of the discussion earlier.
    I had been puzzled why so many bloggers were arguing the principle that pro-AGW funding exceeded that for research into natural causes. I thought this was a given. You set out to put evidence behind this but you seemed to run into thought police. So I did a little probing to find as expected, using gross generalisations, that you had met at least 2 classes of blogger, including those who were interested in science and those in communication (of science).
    The communicator group seems to want to have a say in everything. (I have just read a debate on proteins in cow milk, again dominated by the scientifically challenged, like talking heads from academia). If the topic touches AGW, there are many armchair experts on the science, but in the manner of the coercive utopians, they are not discussing science, but how to (mis)use science to cause social change. They seem to assume that discussion that threatens AGW has to be denigrated. The science group was more concerned about how representative your search word choice was – I agree that it is hard to think up terms, but heck, yours was an initial attempt that should benefit from following studies, if your strong finding is not enough.
    Here in Australia we have a term like “kicking a green ant nest” to describe a large reaction by many small creatures that bite harmlessly when one disturbs their harmony. You sure kicked a nest.
    Geoff

    • I think your comment was well said, and on the mark. David’s paper. and the Doc’s hosting it, were meant to kick the ant hill. Election time here, so too in Australia as I see in our media. AGW is a global issue. We had an election slogan some years back: Think globally, act locally. As you pointed out, America has 320 MILLION arm chair experts, all wanting to “rule the world”.
      Be thankful you don’t live in Mexico, or Canada. Keep your thoughts coming, some of us are still learning.

    • An AAAS link? Here? Kick the ant hill? Dry humor? Anyway, thank you for the clarification of terms earlier (there is an old military joke about that called “Secure that building”). Anyway, get a handle on one answer and get dozens of more questions. As you said, we seek understanding.

  49. You can envoke ‘Natural Variation’ as an explanation in climate science the same way you can envoke ‘Natural Selection’ as an explanation in biology.

    Andrew

  50. Mosher says,

    “The only way to tell is to work on it.”

    That means we should ignore all the AGW hype coming from people like you. It’s second-hand, unreliable information at best.

    We know.

    Andrew

  51. Steven Mosher

    ““The age of the universe, in the sense used here, must certainly exceed that of the firm crust of the earth as found from the radioactive minerals. Since determination of age by these minerals is reliable in every respect, the cosmologic theory here presented would be disproved if it were found to contradict any such results. In this case I see no reasonable solution.”

  52. Glenn
    Will we, or can we, invent such an instrument to provide the sort of unimpeachable evidence necessary to settle the AGW debate?

    All we need is a way to directly measure the energy budget, incoming minus outgoing radiation C’mon guys, what’s the holdup !? We then just see if it tracks CO2.

  53. Judith Curry,

    I appreciate this topic of yours on climate adoptation. I prefer adaptation to any natural threat, including even natural climate changes. As I have in my comment claimed, there is no evidence according which anthropogenic CO2 emissions could dominate increase of CO2 content in atmosphere; and even any total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has not been proved to cause global climate warming.

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/#comment-806824

  54. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #238 | Watts Up With That?

  55. It seems none of you have ever looked into what Russian scientists have known for a long while =
    Followed up here –
    Klyashtorin and Lyubushin -“Climate Changes and Fish Productivity” – 2007 .pdf book online in English or Russian

    They overplayed the Cycle Data onto the long-term Global Temperature data – forming a clearer perspective…
    and
    In 2007 an intensive Review was published, in which Joel Kauffman concludes: “The AGW Hypothesis is not supported by surface temperature records of the last 250 years or by climate proxies of the greatest number and credibility from the past 1000 years, or by recent surface measurements in rural areas, or by atmospheric temperatures.” =

    Two of a Zillion links to Broad Spectrum Science Efforts – at http://www.sharpgary.org

  56. Pingback: Refocusing the USGCRP | Climate Etc.

  57. Harry Twinotter

    “Semantic analysis of U.S. Federal budget documents indicates that the climate science research budget is heavily biased in favor of the paradigm of human-induced climate change.”

    Well yes, human-induced climate change is the scientific consensus.

    What would you have them do, include science for which there is no scientific consensus for? That would be an odd thing to spend climate science research budget on.