Framing the challenge for the climate red team

by Judith Curry

There is an opportunity to steer the proposed red team exercise in a useful direction.  The first step is to frame the problem to be addressed.

The climate red team continues to be discussed in the media and by scientists, a few examples:

However, I haven’t heard any additional statements from the administration and I have no idea what their plans are.

Hopefully, the planning isn’t very far along, so that there is time to steer it in a useful direction.

The following quotes from my post What is red teaming?  sets the stage for this post on ‘framing’:

“alternative analysis seeks to help analysts and policy-makers stretch their thinking through structured techniques that challenge underlying assumptions and broaden the range of possible outcomes considered.”

The goal of a red team usually isn’t to find a needle in the haystack, it’s to help you see the haystack.

IMO, the greatest rationale for a climate ‘red team’ is to overcome the framing bias on the whole issue of climate change (broadly defined) that was triggered by the UNFCCC treaty to avoid dangerous human caused climate change, which defined the mandate for the IPCC (and hence the rationale and funding for government spending on climate science).  

What is framing?

In my paper Reasoning About Climate Uncertainty, published in 2011, section 2 of the paper is entitled Indeterminacy and framing of the climate problem. It’s slightly dated, but the main points remain very relevant. Excerpts:

An underappreciated aspect of uncertainty is associated with the questions that do not even get asked. Wynne (1992) argues that scientific knowledge typically investigates “a restricted agenda of defined uncertainties—ones that are tractable—leaving invisible a range of other.” Indeterminacies can arise from not knowing whether the type of scientific knowledge and the questions posed are appropriate and sufficient for the circumstances in which the knowledge is applied.

Such indeterminacy is inherent in how climate change is framed. De Boer et al. (2010) state that: “Frames act as organizing principles that shape in a ‘hidden’ and taken-for-granted way how people conceptualize an issue.” De Boer et al. further state that such frames can direct how a problem is stated, who should make a statement about it, what questions are relevant, and what answers might be appropriate.

The UNFCCC Treaty provides the rationale for framing the IPCC assessment of climate change and its uncertainties, in terms of identifying human-caused dangerous climate change and providing input for decision making regarding CO2 stabilization targets. In the context of this framing, key scientific questions about climate change receive little attention.

Sharp conflicts over both the science and policy reflect this overly narrow framing of the climate change problem. Until the climate change problem is reframed or the IPCC considers multiple frames, both scientific and policy debates will continue to ignore crucial elements of climate, while formulating confidence levels about anthropogenic climate change that are too high and potentially misleading.

Re-framing the climate change problem and the solution space is needed to make progress on this. In context of a red-blue team exercise, the reframing would provide the scope for new analyses and assessments that would constructively engage the scientific community, broadly defined. This would also avoid the big yawn of an IPCC versus NIPCC style debate.

How to approach the re-framing?

The general purpose of the red-blue team exercise should be to debias thinking, enhance decision making, and help decision makers avoid costly surprises and mistakes.

The target audience is U.S. policy makers, with ancillary audiences including international policy makers and the scientific community, plus the public.

The key climate policy debate in the U.S. is whether or not we need to urgently restrict CO2 emissions to prevent ‘dangerous’ climate change. This concern is associated with the following underlying questions:

  • Are human caused emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases dominating climate change (globally and regionally), relative to natural climate variability and land use?
  • How will the climate change (globally and regionally) during the next 50 years? By the end of the 21st century? Note, this is actual climate change, not just human caused climate change.
  • Are warmer temperatures more ‘dangerous’ than colder temperatures? What are the positive and adverse impacts of warmer temperatures, regionally and globally?
  • How important is regional climate change in context of other regional factors including demographics, land use and regional vulnerabilities?

My proposed re-framing, relative to the UNFCCC/IPCC frame, includes the following key elements:

  • Focus on actual climate variability and change, not just human-caused climate change associated with greenhouse gas emissions and pollution aerosol. This requires consideration of natural climate variability over the past several thousand years, including solar processes, volcanoes and other solid earth processes, decadal to millennial scale ocean oscillations and internal variability, tidal and magnetic field effects. This also requires improved synthesis of regional and global historical and paleoclimate records.
  • Focus on regional climate variability: not just in terms of causal mechanisms and extreme events (which requires long historical and paleo records), but also regarding impacts in the context of regional factors such as demographics, land use and regional vulnerabilities. The UNFCCC framed the climate problem and its solution as irreducibly global; that framing neglects the most consequential regional issues and requires politically impossible global solutions.
  • Focus on sea level change: warming is but one component of global sea level change and is often a minor factor in local sea level change. Sea level change is a stand-alone problem of significant local and global consequence; assuming that we can’t do anything about this problem unless global emissions reductions somehow reduces the rate of sea level rise (it won’t reduce actual sea level) reflects policy blindness.
  • Focus on extreme weather events: Extreme weather and climate events are substantial problems in our current and past climates, independent of human caused climate change. Regional analyses of long time series of extreme events are needed, interpreted in context of modes of internal variability, solar variability and temperature trends.
  • Focus all of the above on the Arctic: a region with high amplitude natural climate variability and complex feedbacks; looming geopolitical importance.
  • Scenarios of climate change in the 21st century: Development of 21st century scenarios (global and regional) for volcanic eruptions, solar variability, multi-decadal ocean oscillations, and prospects for abrupt climate change and dragon-king events. Assessment of fitness for purpose of global climate models for predicting future climate change. Consideration of statistical and network based models for prediction. Assess likelihoods of crossing critical regional vulnerability thresholds. Assuming that all 21st century climate variability and change will be caused by human emissions of CO2 emissions leaves us vulnerable to surprises and to making bad policy decisions.

And if the red team exercise is to extend into policy options:

  • Social cost and benefits of carbon: costs as well as benefits of fossil fuels, for different scenarios of warming.
  • Strategies for water resource management: floods and drought, in the face of rising populations and industrial water needs
  • Land-based strategies for carbon management: forests, soils, agriculture
  • Strategies for agriculture: feeding a larger population with less land for agriculture in a changing climate
  • Coastal management strategies

And if the red team exercise is to extend to energy policy . . . well maybe it should, but outside the realm of the climate red team exercises since climate related issues should not be assumed a priori  to be the dominant driver of energy policy.

JC reflections

In this reframing, AGW is not a priori identified as the primary driver of climate change, with natural variability playing a prominent role. There is more of an emphasis on observations and analysis, rather than on modeling. GCM climate modeling is de-emphasized, with alternative strategies for generating future scenarios. The main climate impacts – extreme events and sea level rise – are dealt with holistically, rather than using an AGW frame. And finally, there is no a priori link between climate change and energy policy.

IMO these issues address the key policy concerns of the Trump administration, while providing new angles to motivate the synthesis and assessment process that are not derivative of the IPCC and NIPCC. There are other ways to frame this, in terms of actual content, and I look forward to a dialogue on a range of options.

Apart from framing the content of the scientific debate, there is an additional element of framing discussed in a previous CE post The ethics of framing science , based on an article by Matt Nisbet. He provides a list of frames, and how these define science related issues. I suspect that the Trump administration is most interested in the ‘economic development/competitiveness’ frame. Although I fear that there is interest by some in the ‘conflict/strategy’ frame that focuses on who is ahead or behind in winning a debate.   Personally, I think the most fruitful frames would be ‘middle way/alternative path’ and ‘scientific/technical uncertainty’.

My next red team post will be on the topic of implementation and mechanics, with some suggestions that attempt to avoid the pitfalls of a highly politicized exercise that doesn’t accomplish anything and wastes everyone’s time.

 

 

 

298 responses to “Framing the challenge for the climate red team

  1. Pingback: Framing the challenge for the climate red team – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. You might take an approach called “Conceptual Blockbusting” whereby one tries to solve problems where there is no precedent. The people at NASA had to do this back in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.

    Perhaps climate science needs to take a similar approach.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    • To save time and trouble the red team should concentrate on checking out my working hypothesis and forecasts – shouldn’t take long since I make a testable short term prediction.
      TRUMP and PRUITT get the SCIENCE RIGHT – NATURAL CYCLES DRIVE CLIMATE CHANGE.
      Climate is controlled by natural cycles. Earth is just past the 2003+/- peak of a millennial cycle and the current cooling trend will likely continue until the next Little Ice Age minimum at about 2650.See the Energy and Environment paper at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
      and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
      Here is the abstract for convenience :
      “ABSTRACT
      This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60+/- year and, more importantly, 1,000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver is discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak -inversion point – in the UAH6 temperature trend in about 2003. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.”

  3. All of climate science is based on hypotheses. Any hypothesis is based on assumptions. A good starting point would be to make it a requirement that ALL assumptions made have to be itemized. A red team/blue team debate could then be on the validity of the assumptions not the conclusions that may have been based on erroneous assumptions.

    • Good point about assumptions
      Some assumptions are invisible such that even the assumer does not know that it’s an assumotion
      https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2997420

      • The most significant generally unstated assumption is that global warming would deliver net negative impacts globally. Even Judith seems to believe this unstated assumption.

      • David L. Hagen

        Peter Lang. Address what Curry actually said:

        Are warmer temperatures more ‘dangerous’ than colder temperatures? What are the positive and adverse impacts of warmer temperatures, regionally and globally?

      • David L. Hagen,

        Yes. I saw that one snippet. But overall I go the impression that there seems to be an acceptance that global warming is bad. Did you read my more extensive comment I made before this short comment; it’s here: https://judithcurry.com/2017/07/09/framing-the-challenge-for-the-climate-red-team/#comment-853682

      • Example, of assumptions: A recent study indicates that gasoline w/o Ethanol drops Ozone levels (smog) 20% compared to w/Ethanol. This study (as you would expect) has some assumptions.

        https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2014/04/ozone-levels-drop-20-percent-with-switch-from-ethanol-to-gasoline

        The assumptions to add Ethanol to gasoline has impacted more than expected.

        Also, to control pollution catalytic converts mandated in mid ’70’s converted CO to CO2 which was assumed, at the time, to be a win, win. Findings are also that the converter is doing even more than intended other than emitting CO2.

        Assumptions about the Ozone layer prompted an OMG again and a new chemistry switch was made to correct the initial chemistry assumption. Attempting to adjust a complex system will always have those – stealthed gotchyas.

        What do scientists actually know for certain the effects are when fiddling with a system that is so very complex. Assumptions are also very addictive. Once on that toxin we are hooked.
        AL

    • I agree that the assumptions are key. The validity of a hypothesis rests on the validity of its assumptions, and testing the validity of the assumptions is ussually much easier than testing the validity of the conclusions. If the validity of the assumptions cannot be established, then the hypothesis becomes a lot more hypothetical.

      One glaring example is the Antarctica melting hypothesis, that rests on unrealistic assumptions that contradict Antarctica history during the warmer Holocene Climatic Optimum and warmer interglacials. If a red team exposes that the assumptions are unrealistic they don’t have to deal with the rest of the hypothesis, as it is falsified.

    • There are now at least a dozen papers and reports that question the assumption that fossil fuel CO2 is the sole cause of increased atmospheric CO2. How valid are they? The assumption that fossil fuel CO2 somehow has a different residence time than “natural CO2” must be explored. The assumption that some undefined product of temperature estimates over time that is subject to change throughout time is actually a global temperature that has policy making utility needs to be reviewed. The assumption that CO2 was constant for millennia before the industrial revolution should be reviewed. The assumption that we are “creating” and atmosphere humans have never seen so it must be bad should be addressed.These are a place to start
      If the hypothesis rests on faulty assumptions it will fail. If the underlying assumptions are valid the hypothesis may withstand rigorous testing.

    • I hope I am not simply adding a layer of abstraction, but surely a great challenge will be precisely defining the characteristics of an assumption vs. those of an axiom. It may be that to me, it is axiomatic that any change in Earth’s GAST is a negative to be avoided., while to you it is an assumption that must be surfaced and accepted as valid, or not.

  4. Following a red team – blue team exercise on the climate problem (depending on the outcome and conclusions) there should be a separate red team blue team exercise with a different grouping of experts on what the best most appropriate policy’s/solutions might be. Problems and solutions have been too tightly paired. See https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/03/taxonomy-of-climateenergy-policy-perspectives/

    • Absolutely. Those immersed in the so-called climate problem rarely have the knowledge, perspective and capacity to assess possible responses in the light of other ongoing and periodic problems and issues; hence my argument over the last 15 years or so that whether or not global warming continues and might be dangerous, the future is uncertain, it will always surprise us, and we need to increase our capacity to deal with whatever future befalls, including much more pressing and urgent problems than potential end-century temperatures and any attendant problems. In practice, we have been reducing our capacity, rendering ourselves more vulnerable to the unknown future.

      • ++++ many

      • Can you help me with an example of a way in which we are reducing our capacity to respond to future uncertainty? I have learned that if I do not immediately have an “AHA” (or an “NFW”) reaction, I probably don’t fully understand the point, and I didn’t have either reaction to this. So any help in understanding would be appreciated.

      • rayvandune,

        Future uncertainty may be expressed in the difference between a 1.3C degree global temperature increase by 2100 on the low end or, on the high end, a 4.5C degree global temperature increase by 2100. If we do nothing the results of global warming destruction by doing nothing would have to outweigh doing something and how much that may reduce risk of destruction. It would also have to outweigh the current and future cost of such mitigation. This is the argument of doing nothing vs doing something in the face of uncertainty. Future destruction is the fear.

        Now suppose the current solar minimum turns out to be true and temperatures by 2100 are actually lower. Then we would have wasted perhaps trillions of dollars for nothing. Also the net amount of available energy from fossil fuels is limited and we may end up moving on to different energy sourced before burning those fuels does any harm. Uncertainty is the key.

      • Further to Ordvic’s point,

        It seems there is no valid evidence to show that warming would be harmful. There is lots to show cooling would be harmful and lots to show warming is beneficial. Therefore, if true, any mitigation policies would be doubly harmful : the damage from reducing the benefit we could have gained from warming if we hadn’t prevented it plus the economic cost of the mitigation policies.

      • That is an excellent and insightful comment. There is no single issue or solution to the threats and challenges we face in our future. Politicians are best placed to figure it out but this fashionable scientism has diverted them to some extent.

    • There is a serious, critical, need to study, describe, forecast the interplay between fossil fuels and emerging replacements such as wind, solar, biofuels, and nuclear. This subject is always ignored by climatologists who unfortunately have taken over the driver’s seat and produce useless results based on RCP8.5 and its cousins.

      Maybe the fact that emissions are not tracking rcp8.5 will help me convince somebody?

  5. Another question is the hidden assumption of ‘deep ecology’ that nature is optimal–and fragile to the human influence in any direction. https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/philosophic-roots-paris-agreement-deep-ecology-vs-human-progress/
    This could be studied/debated too.

    • Easy – the nature of existence is change, and nature is and humans are very resilient. Changes are mostly neither good nor bad, they are just changes, which human adaptability has to deal with, just as other species have responded to changes.

      • just as other species have responded to changes.

        Or gone extinct. 99.99% of species have gone extinct. Extinction is almost as certain for species as death for individuals.

      • Javier,

        More species have emerged than the number that went extinct!

        And it not a relevant comparison: species went extinct and emerged for other than climate change reasons. And the time period over which the 99.99% went extinct is seven orders of magnitude greater than the time period we are interested in. And warming at current below average temperatures for the Phanerozoic Eon is shown by past rapid warmings to be largely beneficial. I suggest your comparison is misleading and disingenuous.

      • I suggest your comparison is misleading and disingenuous.

        I merely stated an undisputable fact. Prove me wrong or move on.

      • That’s no justification for for your disingenuous comment. You could equally state the irrefutable fact that Earth orbits the Sun.

      • Javier @ 8.22: yes, that is the changing nature of existence: adapt or die out. Part of our success is our adaptability and capacity to modify our environment. My argument is that one element of our changing world has been elevated to an unjustified level of policy importance, a monomania if you like or, as some suggest, filling the space left by a decline in adherence to etablished religions.

  6. Dr. Curry, I suggest the U.S. take an independent look at development of the CMIP6 process. The upcoming work and organization is described in http://www.geosci-model-dev.net/special_issue590.html

    It appears they will take a more organized approach as compared to CMIP5. I was interested to see that they plan on establishing a database of assumed gas emissions, including aerosols. If all modelers are forced to use the same assumptions about aerosols, I expect some real changes from past individual models’ ECS.

    It would be great if a group were organized around your blog to review and provide inputs to the CMIP6 development process.

    Please let us know if this is a realistic possibility.

    Thank you, Dave Fair

    • David, I reviewed the cmip6 workflow and it still has the RCP gap, the fossil fuel resource and renewable technology cost curves aren’t even considered, that group has managed to seal itself from reality, doesn’t have the right personnel, and the effort will be largely wasted.

  7. Ken Caldeira stated he wanted to know, “which hypotheses Scott Pruitt thinks climate scientists are being insufficiently rigorous about testing.”

    Well Ken, there are many.

    The most blatant is natural climate variability. Time and time again alarmist scientists state the evidence that human caused increases in CO2 are “unequivocally” causing climate change. There so-called proof is only that their models can not replcate the warming since the 70s unless CO2 is added.However their model of natural climate change pre-1950 fails to simulate the oscillating climate. Instead of improving their modeling of natural climate variability, they discussed getting rid of the warm blips in a 2009 email from Tom Wigley to Phil Jones and Ben Santer stating

    “Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip.”

    Much of the adjusted temperatures have done just that!

    In order to reliably determine the effects of CO2, we must determine the boundaries of natural climate change. And the fact is CO2 driven climate models have failed to simulate the warm peaks of the 1930s and 40s. Instead as Wigley’s climate-gate email reveals they discussed how to get rid of those “warm blips.”

    In the paper by Gillett et al (2008), Attribution Of Polar Warming To Human Influence, they presented the following graph which clearly shows the 40s warm blip.

    The black line shows the warming in the 1930s and 40s. The blue line shows that models of natural variability fail simulate the oscillating temperatures and the “warm blip” . When CO2 was added to thei model the 40s warming was cooled even more.

    Wake up Caldeira and admit current climate science has many inadequacies and are insufficiently rigorous !

    • “which hypotheses Scott Pruitt thinks climate scientists are being insufficiently rigorous about testing.”

      Hansen’s melting of Antarctica, for example, as I mention above. The examples are numerous. Essentially every alarmist projection is not sufficiently rigorous.

    • . “So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip.”

      Every time I read this it just blows me away.
      Few people outside our small world of the skeptic blogosphere even know that the data was ‘corrected’,
      Most, if told, flat out refuse to believe it.
      Will the ‘blip’ be allowed as evidence?
      How can one debate ‘scientists’ that would do this?
      Can’t.
      It was never about science anyway.

    • richardswarthout

      JD

      Science of Doom has an interesting series on the AR5 Attribution chapter. He did a deep dive, reading the references and references of references, and asking questions of the authors; trying to find answers on how it dealt with natural variation and the underlying technique of attribution fingerprinting. As I recall, his research left him thinking that the chapter, and all the references, was incomplete; there were many blanks in the chapter.

      Cheers,

      Richard

    • ” Instead of improving their modeling of natural climate variability, they discussed getting rid of the warm blips”

      Totally. They have had innumerable opportunities to “tune to the balloons”, but that would be apostasy, giving up the one true faith.

      Instead, they bear down on the surface boundary layer, where water and the CO2 fundamental bend actually do most of the work. “Aha”, they say, “this is what our models predict.”

      Not really. The models predicted a mid tropospheric hot spot, and it just plain ain’t.

  8. Judith,

    Your post focuses on the science of climate change, not the impacts of climate change and whether the impacts of global warming would be positive or negative. Three decades of advocacy has led to the widely accepted assumption that change must be bad. But is it? This is the question that needs to be asked and answered.

    I suggest the key, perhaps only, question to ask is:

    >b>Would global warming that might occur this century be damaging, dangerous or beneficial? More specifically, would the impacts of global warming be negative or positive for the global economy?

    Subsidiary questions:

    If the impacts would be negative, would mitigation policies be beneficial, or cost more than the benefits?

    What is the likely net-benefit of the proposed mitigation policy for the US for this century?

    If we want to make a significant contribution, the framing needs to recognize that the world’s policy analysts and Treasuries are not going to change from cost-benefit analyses to ‘Robust decision making’ to justify policies. Such a change is not going to happen.

    Of your four dot points (quoted below), only the third, and to a lesser extent the fourth, should be asked. Otherwise, the exercise will be a waste of effort, IMO.

     Are human caused emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases dominating climate change (globally and regionally), relative to natural climate variability and land use?
     How will the climate change (globally and regionally) during the next 50 years? By the end of the 21st century? Note, this is actual climate change, not just human caused climate change.
     Are warmer temperatures more ‘dangerous’ than colder temperatures? What are the positive and adverse impacts of warmer temperatures, regionally and globally?
     How important is regional climate change in context of other regional factors including demographics, land use and regional vulnerabilities?

    I disagree with all six points in your proposed re-framing. It would be just a continuation of the last 30 years. Wrong approach.

    Of the following five dot points the whole focus should be on the first. Delete the other four.

    And if the red team exercise is to extend into policy options:
     Social cost and benefits of carbon: costs as well as benefits of fossil fuels, for different scenarios of warming.
     Strategies for water resource management: floods and drought, in the face of rising populations and industrial water needs
     Land-based strategies for carbon management: forests, soils, agriculture
     Strategies for agriculture: feeding a larger population with less land for agriculture in a changing climate
     Coastal management strategies

    • A further subsidiary question to (b) is how the magnitude of any impacts relates to other ongoing or sudden changes. Alleged CAGW has IMHO been elevated to far too high a priority in the overall scheme of things.

    • David L. Hagen

      Peter Lang & CurryJA
      This suggests forming separate Red / Blue team efforts for
      1) The science – how is climate changing and why
      2) The impacts – benefits / harm
      3) Policy options – adaptation vs mitigation

      • David, I interpret this as advocacy to debate the IPCC three working groups separately. We’ve been doing that for 30 years. Most of the effort has been on WG1 to the detriment of what is relevant for policy analysis. Thus we are left with WG2 largely written by Greenpeace and the like, WG3 controlled by climate alarmists.

        I suggest we turn it around. Most of the research effort should be directed to studies to estimate the impacts and develop the damage functions.

        if we don’t attempt to show the errors in SCC it will continue to be used to justify hugely expensive policies for no real benefit.

    • Curious George

      Did the Blue Team show that CO2 was harmful? Not to my knowledge. They just shout it loudly. Can we force them to prove it?

      • Meanwhile the magazine articles keep coming and the skeptics remain silent because their own media don’t report it. Just today we get this one. The public get to read this, but the skeptics have to retreat to their blogs to find a counterview if one appears at all. Maybe someone at WUWT will respond and say 2100 will be just fine with no action. Maybe not. A Red Team will get confronted with this kind of thing about 2100 and they need to be prepared.
        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

      • Curious George

        I love peer-reviewed science in the New York Intelligencer. The harbinger of science to come.

      • You didn’t read about where he talked to scientists for their opinions as a basis, did you.

      • Curious George

        “Hansen began his career studying Venus, which was once a very Earth-like planet with plenty of life-supporting water before runaway climate change rapidly transformed it into an arid and uninhabitable sphere enveloped in an unbreathable gas”. I bow to a superior knowledge.

  9. From Judy and Peter Lang,
     Are warmer temperatures more ‘dangerous’ than colder temperatures? What are the positive and adverse impacts of warmer temperatures, regionally and globally?

    Given a choice, warming could be the better selection.
    http://www.history.com/news/little-ice-age-big-consequences

  10. “And finally, there is no a priori link between climate change and energy policy.”

    Climate change, therefore wind and solar.

    Imagine an enfeebled Europe due to failing Green energy choices. Imagine climate change and a plus 4.0 C GMST rise.
    Now imagine the United States with coal, nuclear and natural gas. We win. We will much better be able to adapt. Montana and North Dakota will thrive. International Falls will be booming. Lake Superior will be the Lake Tahoe of the North. If it’s going to be bad, hang onto what is proven. Batten down the hatches and keep the grid operating efficiently. We may need resources to adapt. We are so tied to the grid at this point. We don’t want people chipping away it. Treating it as it does evil corporations. They have successfully framed it this way. People have been going after fossil fuels since Standard Oil.

  11. Well…. I think It’s well past the time to go right back to the drawing board and determine once and for all if the “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” even exists in an open gaseous atmosphere with free conduction and convection.

    It’s all well and good that trapping gases in a bottle and heating them with an external energy source works fine in the lab, but there is no “bottle” present in the open and freely circulating atmosphere of the Earth (or other rocks orbiting around the Sun).

    I known this is heresy of the utmost form, decades of effort and entire careers have been based on this……

    BUT, there is still no observational evidence of the exsistance of this conjecture,,,,

    It would of be course a tragedy (for folks that accepted this canard lock stock and barrel) if this conjecture was in fact a total canard, but if that is the case it should be identified ASAP so we could all move on to do something more productive.

    For cripes sake you all in the climate science community have had over a century to prove this conjecture, put up, or move on….

    There is no “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” that determines the temperature of the Earth (or any other planet), please find another conjecture to scare all the children with…….

    Cheers, KevinK

    • Actually, there sort of is, albeit with instrumental uncertainty (inadequate coverage, UHI,…). The cooling from ~1880 to ~1920 was more than the slight cooling from ~1940-1975, itself more that the pause from ~2000 to present. It can be argued those differences, slight as they are, represent the net GHE.

    • Nothing “frames” the issue more clearly than hard empirical evidence, in whose light all theoretical expectations need to be incisively examined, But, when self-described skeptics mistakenly contend that “the cooling from ~1880 to ~1920 was more than the slight cooling from ~1940-1975,” it’s apparent that as long as the much-trumpeted “global indices’ are accepted at face value, the “red team” is far from any such requisite clarity

      BTW, isn’t there something chromatically perverse in rational skeptics accepting the “red” label pasted on them by AGW true believers.

  12. Dr. Judith, you talk of unexamined questions and of framing. In that regard, I still hold that there is precious little evidence for the claim that

    ∆T = ∂ ∆F

    where T is global average surface temperature, F is global TOA forcing, and ∂ is the “climate sensitivity”.

    I discuss the lack of any foundation for this fundamental misunderstanding in my post “The Cold Equations“.

    Let me suggest that any ab initio re-examination of climate science needs to take a hard look at the erroneous current climate paradigm,the unsupported claim that changes in temperature are a simple linear function of forcing and that everything else cancels out.

    The climate, Horatio, contains more things than are dreamt of in that philosophy …

    w.

    • “the unsupported claim that changes in temperature are a simple linear function of forcing and that everything else cancels out.”
      It’s an undocumented claim. Who made it and where? You obligingly use the symbol ∂, which is the symbol for derivative. A relation can have a derivative without being a “simple linear function”. In fact, my understanding of the conventional theory is just that temperature is expected to increase with forcing, and it may be possible to establish an estimate of the derivative. And there is a general recognition that it is actually very difficult to do even that, especially given the well-recognised delay factors.

      Your link cites S Schwartz saying:
      “The Ansatz of the energy balance model is that dH/dt may be related to the change in GMST [global mean surface temperature] as
      dH/dt = C dTs/dt (3)”

      Now the first thing to say is that it isn’t a statement meant to be definitive about the world. It is a statement about an energy balance model, which is well understood to be a possibly useful but rough approximation. In fact H is the heat content, so dH/dt isn’t forcing, but change in heat content. There are reasons for thinking they may work out the same, but SS isn’t saying that here. And it is an Ansatz. You quote there a definition – here is another:
      “an assumption about the form of an unknown function which is made in order to facilitate solution of an equation or other problem.”

      • Thanks, Nick. My bad, as you point out it should have been lambda not delta. Moving too fast.

        As to the ansatz, the question is not the exact definition. It is that the central paradigm should not be supported only by an ansatz.

        w.

      • The claim is implicit in every statement along the lines of “we need to reduce emissions by x% in the next y years to ensure that temperature rise does not exceed z degrees”, which we hear regurgitated by politicians and climate activists on a daily basis. Willis is quite right to question it.

    • Willis: Do you know any materials that don’t radiate more thermal energy as they warm? Aren’t our atmosphere and surface composed of materials that radiate more thermal radiation when they warm? So our understanding of climate should begin with this fundamental physics.

      Now, you should have answered the first question by saying that nitrogen, oxygen and argon don’t radiate more thermal radiation as they warm – at least at temperatures relevant to climate. This is because of their molecular simplicity. However, the GHGs in our atmosphere do. You know from the CERES data that that the thermal radiation our planet emits varies with temperature.

      No one will pay any attention to a red team that ignores this reality.

      The relationship does not have to be linear! There are papers I referenced below showing that cloud feedback in AOGCMs is not linear and that this non-linearity is partially responsible for the differences between AOGCMs and EBMs.

      In your Cold Eqns post, the Ansatz you complain about (eqn 3) is just the law of conservation of energy expressed in an unusual form. It is reasonable to assume Eqn 3) is correct. Your comments about the inappropriateness of an “effective planetary emissive” are justified.

      • franktoo | July 11, 2017 at 6:05 pm

        Willis: Do you know any materials that don’t radiate more thermal energy as they warm? Aren’t our atmosphere and surface composed of materials that radiate more thermal radiation when they warm? So our understanding of climate should begin with this fundamental physics.

        Frank, I fear that I do very poorly with this kind of Socratic inquisition. It seems you are trying to make a point, but it’s far from clear what it is.

        You continue:

        Now, you should have answered the first question by saying that nitrogen, oxygen and argon don’t radiate more thermal radiation as they warm – at least at temperatures relevant to climate. This is because of their molecular simplicity. However, the GHGs in our atmosphere do.

        While you are correct about argon (a noble gas with no free electrons), it is not true of O2 or N2. Again, I’m not sure why you bring this up.

        You know from the CERES data that the thermal radiation our planet emits varies with temperature.

        Yes … and?

        In your Cold Eqns post, the Ansatz you complain about (eqn 3) is just the law of conservation of energy expressed in an unusual form.

        No, it is not. If it were, it would be a law instead of just an ansatz. Even the author describes it as an ansatz.

        Regards,

        w.

      • Willis wrote: “Frank, I fear that I do very poorly with this kind of Socratic inquisition.”

        Agreed. The important question is whether the quality of your comments will improve if you subjected them to “internal Socratic inquisition”. There is a lot to be said for spontaneity and following ideas to see where they lead. You do that extremely well. However, sometimes it helps to step back, look at the big picture, and question your assumptions.

        Everything has a climate sensitivity (dT/dW)!. However, in basic physics, we use different terminology and usually think in terms of the reciprocal, dW/dT. W = eoT^4. dW/dT = 4eoT^3. At equilibrium, dW = dF. In climate science, we often use different units used to express dW and dF: one doubling = 3.7 W/m2. Now we have climate sensitivity in its traditional form, dT/doubling. However, the fundamental physics is simply graybody radiation. I asked you if our climate system is composed of materials that act as graybodies, emit more thermal radiation when they warm. If so, they have a “climate sensitivity”.

        So, appearing to suggest that we should question the concept of climate sensitivity is a pretty radical idea. For simple black and graybodies, “climate sensitivity” is effectively linear at the temperatures relevant to climate. Our climate system is far from simple or linear. However, for well-behaved functions, the change in y is always approximately linear, if the change in x is small enough. So dT/doubling will be linear over some temperature change. The important question is whether future climate change will move us outside the effectively linear range. FWIW, the latest results from AOGCMs say we will leave the linear range.

        In your Cold Equations post, you write: “There is a third and more subtle problem with comparing dH/dt and dTs/dt. This is that H (ocean heat content) is a different kind of animal from the other three variables Q (incoming radiation), E (outgoing radiation), and Ts (global mean surface air temperature). The difference is that H is a quantity and Q, E, and Ts are flows.”

        The problem here is that Ts is not a “flow”. (Neither are Q and E for that matter.) Temperature is proportional to the mean kinetic energy (a quantity) of a group of colliding molecules. When it changes with time, we are talking about dT/dt (the change in a quantity with time; a rate or if you prefer, energy flowing to or from somewhere). The factor used to convert temperature to energy is heat capacity (C). So dTs/dt is a rate of change of temperature with time and C*(dTs/dt) is the change in internal energy that this change in temperature represents. dH/dt is the change in ocean heat capacity (the total kinetic energy of the ocean) with time.

        So both sides of the equation represent a change in energy with time and their equality is merely a restatement of the law of conservation of energy.

        However, I overlooked an important aspect of how this equation is used, assuming it is used properly. The correct process is to sum the change in heat content (or energy) dH_i/dt and the change temperature dT_i in ocean layer i with heat capacity C_i. These layers must be thin enough to that dH_i/dt and dT_i/dt are the same everywhere in the layer.

        dH_i/dt = C_i*(dT_i/dt)

        Instead of messing around with an unwieldy sum, climate scientists use a short-cut. First, add up all of the dH_i/dt terms to get one overall rate of change in ocean heat content, dH/dt. They define an EFFECTIVE heat capacity C

        C = (dH/dt)/(dTs/dt) Eqn 1

        When we say that the mixed layer of the ocean is 30 m in a particular scenario, that means that C calculated from that scenario is the heat capacity of 30 m of water. For seasonal warming, we have a good idea of all of the dH_i/dt and dT_i/dt terms and calculate an effective heat capacity of about 50 m. If I apply a 10 W/m2 radiative imbalance to the planet and assume a 50 m mixed layer of ocean over 70% of the surface, the dTs/dt will be 2 K/yr. If I apply a 1 W/m2 radiative imbalance over 10 years, the effective heat capacity of the water being heated will be larger (longer time to mix) and dTs will be smaller than 2 K – even though the total change in heat content is the same. So effective heat capacity is merely a fudge factor used to ensure conservation of energy.

        Most of the planet’s heat capacity is in the ocean and Ts in the above discussion was SST. It doesn’t need to be limited to the ocean. Eqn 1 defines an effective heat capacity whether you use SST or a mixture of SST and 2 m temperature.

        If you think in terms of one-compartment and two-compartment models, C is the effective heat capacity of the compartments.

  13. =={ The key climate policy debate in the U.S. is whether or not we need to urgently restrict CO2 emissions to prevent ‘dangerous’ climate change. }==

    I thought the key debate is whether, in the face of uncertainty, it is better to mitigate the potential of high damage victims, or to just ignore that potential.

    • “I thought the key debate is whether, in the face of uncertainty, it is better to mitigate the potential of high damage victims”

      If you think that is the key issue you are sadly mistaken.

  14. David L. Hagen

    Frame the temperature question stronger:
    How dangerous are colder temperatures versus warmer temperatures?
    Warmer interglacial periods are short relative to ~ 8C colder glacial periods.
    See Ice Age Temperatures
    The warmer Mid Holocene (8.2 ka – 6 ka BP) had substantially higher biomass productivity than during the Little Ice Age (1300-1850 AD).
    Would not descending into the next glacial period likely bring massive reduction in crops and consequent mega famines?
    Can we generate enough warming to prevent the next glaciation?
    e.g., See Fig. 8 in González-Sampériz, Penélope, et al. “Environmental and climate change in the southern Central Pyrenees since the Last Glacial Maximum: A view from the lake records” Catena 149 (2017): 668-688.

    • It would better to ask a simpler question and address it:

      Is global warming dangerous or beneficial?

      • David L. Hagen

        Peter Lang – that ignores the dangers of global cooling.

      • David,

        I agree. However, the IPCC premise and the widely advocated scare is that 2C GMST increase would be dangerous. I believe this can be shown to be incorrect. This is what needs to be done. Most people already know that the impacts of cooling are seriously negative. The fact that cooling is a negative and warming was positive last century calls into question the belief that future warming would be damaging or dangerous. The planet is currently in about the severeist icehouse phase sine animal life began. Life thrived when the planet was much warmer than now; struggled when colder. It strains credulity to argue that all of a sudden, just when we happen to be on the planet, that warming would be damaging or dangerous. I strongly believe the red-blue team review should focus on the evidence to calibrate and validate the damage functions and the climatariate’s main weapon – the Social Cost of Carbon.

    • Warmer interglacial periods are short relative to ~ 8C colder glacial periods.
      See Ice Age Temperatures

      Those are not Ice Age temperatures, but Polar Ice Age temperatures. Currently it is considered that the temperature difference between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene was in the 4-5ºC range for a global average.

      But already the LIA, only 0.8-1ºC colder than now was characterized by famines and crop failures. In 1696 one third of the population of Finland died from a famine. Try to imagine something like that. The agricultural revolution that started in the Low Countries and continued in Great Britain was an adaptation to the appalling LIA conditions, relying more on cold resistant food sources like turnips. So we do know the answer to that question. Even a 0.5ºC cooling would be catastrophic to a world that only has 1-2 months of food reserves. The risks from climate change are heavily skewed towards cooling.

      • David L. Hagen

        Javier
        I agree on the dangers.
        For the temperature changes see the graph I linked to
        Ice Age Temperatures
        Do you have good reviews on the 4-5 C?

      • That graph only shows temperature changes for polar ice-cores. It is well known that temperature variability is much higher at the poles than at the tropics. So you cannot average Arctic and Antarctic changes to produce a global mean.

        Schneider von Deimling, Thomas, et al. “How cold was the last glacial maximum?.” Geophysical Research Letters 33.14 (2006).
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006GL026484/full
        “we constrain the range of dTLGM to 5.8 ± 1.4°C, which is corroborated by proxy data from other regions. This cooling is considerably larger than most estimates of previous LGM simulations.”

        Annan, J. D., and J. C. Hargreaves. “A new global reconstruction of temperature changes at the Last Glacial Maximum.” Climate of the Past 9.1 (2013): 367-376.
        http://www.clim-past.net/9/367/2013/cp-9-367-2013.pdf
        “Our reconstruction is significantly different to and more accurate than previous approaches and we obtain an estimated global mean cooling of 4.0±0.8◦C (95% CI).”

  15. “Focus on actual climate variability and change, not just human-caused climate change associated with greenhouse gas emissions and pollution aerosol.”
    This is certainly framing. But the UNFCCC wasn’t set up because “it seems to be warming – we wonder why?”. The motive was “It looks like we’re going to put a whole lot of CO2 in the air; what effect will that have?” That is a focussed and very necessary question, as expressed in the second para of the UNFCCC statement:
    “Concerned that human activities have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, that these increases enhance the natural greenhouse effect, and that this will result on average in an additional warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere and may adversely affect natural ecosystems and humankind, “

    “We can’t be sure, so let’s do it” isn’t really a satisfactory answer to that question.

    • David L. Hagen

      Nick Stokes
      The UNFCCC’s framing redefined climate change to be human caused!

      2. “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

      UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
      See Article 1 Definitions 2 p 7

      • “The UNFCCC’s framing redefined climate change to be human caused!”
        Absolute nonsense! people who make this claim leave out some key words on p7:

        For the purposes of this Convention:
        ….
        “Climate change” means a change of climate …

        They aren’t making a general definition of climate change. They are defining an aspect relevant to the Convention, and stating the caveats up front so people don’t have to keep endlessly repeating them. The convention is talking about the effect of pumping CO2 into the air. And so the climate change they are talking about is the consequential change.

      • Curious George

        Nick, are you saying that we should disregard Point 2. above completely?

      • CG,
        ” are you saying that we should disregard Point 2. above completely”
        I am saying that their language is perfectly clear, provided you don’t cut out the relevant parts. “For the purposes of this Convention:” “climate change” mean a change of climate…
        The convention is to talk about the implications of human release of CO2. They want to talk about the climate change consequence of that, so they say that upfront, so they don’t have to keep specifying it. As Franktoo says below, bringing in natural climate change etc is just an attempt to change the subject.

      • Curious George

        “Their language is perfectly clear, provided you don’t cut out the relevant parts. “For the purposes of this Convention:” “climate change” mean a change of climate…” Nick, you can do better.

      • David L. Hagen

        Nick Stokes
        The UNFCCC Should have defined and used “Anthropogenic Climate Change” not redefined “Climate change”.

    • Nick Stokes:

      If we can do little about emissions we can look at what we’ll get from the GMST. Attempts have been made to reduce emissions. If combined wind and solar is at 2% of global energy production, we seem a long ways from riding them to a solution. We could assume something actionable like a 3.0 C TCR and move forward with adaptation approaches.

    • “Rojelj et al. (2014):
      An important point is that there are currently multiple lines of evidence for supporting different ECS estimates, which point in various directions. A critical look at the various lines of evidence shows that those pointing to the lower end are sensitive to the particular realization of natural climate variability (Huber et al 2014). As a consequence, their results are strongly influenced by the low increase in observed warming during the past decade (about 0.05 °C/decade in the 1998–2012 period compared to about 0.12 °C/decade from 1951 to 2012, see IPCC 2013), and therewith possibly also by the incomplete coverage of global temperature observations (Cowtan and Way 2013).”

      Any comment Nick on why natural variability is only important for lower end estimates?

  16. David L. Hagen

    Roger Pielke Sr.’s questions:

    • What is the definition of climate and climate change?
    • What are the societally and environmentally important climate metrics (e.g., a global average surface temperature trend, changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns over multiyear time periods, sea level rise, trends in extreme weather, etc.)?
    • What are the main human and natural climate forcings?
    • What is the observational evidence for climate change?
    • What is the skill of the global and regional climate model projections (predictions) of changes in these metrics on multidecadal time scales?

    Climate Change Position Statement, Dissenting View, Eos, Vol. 94, No. 34, 20 August 2013 p 301

  17. To be relevant in any way, the red team have to answer as question 1, the direct question: what is the consequence of adding, for example, 5000 GtCO2 or having CO2 levels of 700 ppm and rising at 2100? This will get the red team’s head in the game regarding the future, and might make the skeptics among them feel a bit defensive, but it is a valuable scientific question to sort out first before thinking about alternative policies.

    • The red team only have to falsify the alarmists hypothesis that 2C GMST increase would be harmful.

      • It may well be 4 C under this scenario. So they have to show either it definitely won’t be 4 C, or that 4 C is not harmful. When dealing with the future, the red team would be playing defense, and have to be prepared for questions about their level of certainty that nothing bad can happen. It turns the tables in an interesting way.

      • Tol 2013 Figure 3 shows that 4C warming would be beneficial (excluding energy which is likely wrong – needs to be checked).

      • See if the red team can believe that first, let alone defend it.

      • It doesn’t look very promising in this Tol 2013 Figure 1 or 8.
        https://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/IMG/pdf/tol_paper.pdf

      • Intellectual dishonesty sign 6.

      • Peter Lang, “The red team only have to falsify the alarmists hypothesis that 2C GMST increase would be harmful”.

        This is a trivial exercise. The party line is that we have had about 1C of warming since ‘pre-industrial times’ and that another 1C making a total of 2C would be ‘dangerous’.

        Yet the IPCC tells us that there is no evidence of any long-term trends in floods, droughts or storms. So we are being asked to believe that 1C so far has led to no noticeable effect, but another 1C would somehow lead to dangerous effects. It doesn’t add up.

      • Paul,

        I agree with all except your first sentence. I do not agree it is a trivial exercise. If it was trivial, all the IAMs would have been corrected by now and all would be showing Social Cost of Carbon is negative and the net benefits of global warming are positive. But that has not been done. The reason it has not been done is because the necessary, objective, unhiased, studies of impacts has not been done.

        IPCC AR5 WG3 Chapter 3 mentions ‘Damage Function’ eighteen times http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter3.pdf . Some examples:

        • “Damage functions in existing Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) are of low reliability (high confidence).” [3.9, 3.12]”

        • “Our general conclusion is that the reliability of damage functions in current IAMs is low.” [p247]

        • “To develop better estimates of the social cost of carbon and to better evaluate mitigation options, it would be helpful to have more realistic estimates of the components of the damage function, more closely connected to WGII assessments of physical impacts.”

        • “As discussed in Section 3.9, the aggregate damage functions used in many IAMs are generated from a remarkable paucity of data and are thus of low reliability.”

    • what is the consequence of adding, for example, 5000 GtCO2 or having CO2 levels of 700 ppm and rising at 2100?

      Except that there is no way we can get to 700 ppm CO2. Read about fossil fuel reserves for example in the BP statistical review. About 50 years for oil and gas at current production. About 150 years for coal. We should run out of fossil fuels long before we reach 700 ppm, if we haven’t stopped using them before, or if what is left doesn’t become too expensive, as the costs of extraction keep increasing.

      This automatically disqualifies RCP 8.5. 600-660 ppm is the maximum we could get by burning all fossil fuels, but as substitution is the natural response to a resource that is getting scarcer and more difficult and costly to produce, it is highly doubtful that we could get to 600 ppm even if we needed to.

      • The Red Team can try to make that case. There is easily enough coal, and various ways of increasing oil and gas supplies through techniques and exploration. If you want them to advocate stopping trying, great. Also if existing supplies of oil and gas are running out, we need a fossil-fuel replacement program anyway. All good subjects for a Red Team that starts by looking at the where the world could be and should be in 2100.

    • Before you ask what’s the impact of 700 ppm and rising in 2100 you should have a serious study documenting why 700 ppm is feasible. Climatologists have a tendency to take gigatons of co2 out of their top hats.

      The serious analyses I have seen on this subject project peaks below 700 ppm. They assume fossil fuel technical resources will not all be producible because the cost to find, produce and market will exceed the capacity of the lower strata of humanity to pay the cost. This relentless effect is also impacted by gradual drops in renewable and nuclear energy.

      The question should not if, but when, fossil fuels will not be there to supply an ever growing demand. The end is near.

      • See my reply to Javier above. If we need to replace fossil fuels anyway, how quickly can we and should we do it? Would you be comfortable with 600 ppm, or should it be stabilized below 500 ppm. Should we stop fossil fuel companies doing exploration and developing coal and other extraction techniques to achieve your goal? These are the policy-relevant questions the Red Team needs to be thinking about. The UN thought about these things 25 years ago, but anyway.

    • So some skeptics are saying we don’t even have 5000 GtCO2, at least not affordably, left to get us to 700 ppm. WUWT today has someone saying oil is basically limitless. Can the Red Team sort that one out? The skeptics don’t agree among themselves. If we do run out of cheap fossil fuels before 5000 GtCO2 that is a major issue to plan for. As it is, developing countries can’t afford it, and now it is going further out of reach. Alternatives are needed, and fast, from that perspective alone. Common ground. Win-win.

  18. In reading various parts of the organization for CMIP6, it is clear they are conceptually in line with CMIP5’s extreme predictions of RCP 8.5: http://www.egu.eu/news/highlight-articles/586/wcrps-coupled-model-intercomparison-project-a-remarkable-contribution-to-climate-science/

    Unless some sharp reviewers get onto CMIP6 development, they will come up with the same garbage as CMIP5.

    • That is correct. The knowledge gap within the team developing the cmip6 workflow is huge, and it shows. This is why I support the so called red team exercise becoming a well funded long term effort run by economists and personnel with high risk project management expertise, also staffed with other specialties, to redo the IPCC effort from the ground up, paid for by the USA government. Climatologists can have seats at the table, but this subject is too controversial and important to be just a short term patch. This has to work no matter who is president, and the political biases have to be left at the door.

  19. Social cost and benefits of carbon: costs as well as benefits of fossil fuels, for different scenarios of warming.

    The more fundamental question is what are the risks? What are the limits of natural variability? What are the consequences – environmental, social, economic – and estimated probabilities of outcomes in different scenarios?

    Strategies for water resource management: floods and drought, in the face of rising populations and industrial water needs

    Strategies can be simple or complex.

    Are usually catchment specific.

    Integrating water supply, sewerage and stormwater in the human environment to conserve ecology is a design choice that comes with very real and substantial costs. The benefits – if we can afford them – are clean water and vibrant environments.

    Only rich people can afford environments I decided long ago as a young environmental scientist. One of the Copenhagen Consensus smart 19 development goals is a 40% increase in agricultural productivity by 2030. This requires restoring carbon to soils at some 1.5GT(C)/year. Reclaiming desert, restoring forest and rangeland – at perhaps another 2GT(C)/year.

    Land-based strategies for carbon management: forests, soils, agriculture

    Strategies for agriculture: feeding a larger population with less land for agriculture in a changing climate

    Productivity and conservation bring economic development.

    Coastal management strategies

    I was the Queensland Environmental Protection Agencies engineer in charges of beaches for a few years. It was a hard job – but someone… Coastal engineering is not all that difficult. Retreat where you can harden where you must.

    Te rate of sea level rise is a few millimeters a year – not immediately alarming. Just design for a bigger storm – because one is coming is almost certain.

  20. The people rely on a balanced representation by United Nations climate panel IPCC.

    By recent observations, it seems that IPCC may have exaggerated the quantitative estimates of:
    – The cause – the development of CO2 content in atmosphere expressed in the so-called Representative Concentration Pathways.
    – The effect – the response of atmospheric temperature in response to CO2 expressed by the climate sensitivity.
    – The consequences -the expected damages in response to increased temperatures
    Further, it seems that IPCC has downplayed the positive effects of increased levels of CO2 as seen by the measured greening of the planet.

    IPCC has also demonstrated a one-sided perspective on the precautionary principle, where the possible negative effects of CO2 seem to have been given more weight than possible negative effects of their policy.

    I think the people deserves an independent scrutiny and verification of the perspectives presented by IPCC.
    And I think that should be provided by one or several bodies that are governed by scientific principles that are superior to the potentially biasing consensus principles that governs the IPCC.

  21. The first paragraph under “JC reflections” is so important. Re-framing is crucial. Judith’s suggestions are spot on: No AGW frame. Natural variability. Observations and analysis. Other kinds of model. No link between climate change and energy policy.

    I would add that the climate scene is not as conducive to a red team – blue team exercise as it should be. The red team must operate knowing that the blue team will not engage at all, but will grandstand, deflect and obfuscate. IOW, the red team must know that it is talking primarily to the audience, not to the blue team. Equally importantly, the red team must know from the start that it will produce its own final report, because there will be no agreement on which a combined red-blue report can be based. And, we have seen time and time again that there is no possibility of an independent arbiter either.

    • Add to the framing: Possibility of cooling. Costs and benefits of both warming and cooling.
      And I omitted to mention that the blue team will use personal attack too, so the red team must also prepare an attack on scientific misconduct.

  22. alanlonghurst

    Seems to me that before any red/blue exercise can make any sense at all, one question has to be answered to the satisfaction of both colours: have the basic temperature data obtained by national met agencies and submitted through WMO and incorporated in the GHCN been subsequently twisted during the final process of homogenization and adjustment by some US and other climate agencies?

    I am personally satisfied that the answer is yes, there has been significant tampering to produce a desired result – so the required agreement is probably impossible to achieve until we all get bored with climate and move on to the next looming disaster. Nobody is going to own up….

    Alan Longhurst

  23. Climate change, no matter how large, cannot in itself be a justification for climate policies, nor for massive subsidies for renewable energy nor for massive expenditure for climate research. Only negative impacts of climate change can justify expenditures on climate policies and exorbitant funding for climate research.

    • And even then, only if the return on those expenditures is likely to exceed those of any alternative use of funds. I.e., the opportunity cost must be considered, which to date has rarely if ever been the case – cf Australia.

    • aporiac1960

      Peter: “Climate change, no matter how large, cannot in itself be a justification for climate policies, nor for massive subsidies for renewable energy nor for massive expenditure for climate research.”

      I’ve got to agree with you about the most productive lines of attack. The climate science in abstract is interesting and important, regardless of fitness for purpose when it comes to forecasting decades and centuries hence. There are uncertainties and complexities that all sides are prepared to admit to varying degrees.

      From climate science legitimate issues arise logically and naturally, including what is implied in the policy realm. However lousy the climate science, here is where we depart into the realm of pure voodoo. This is why I have little faith in scientists – they are not marching in protest at the voodoo.

  24. Appears we’re heading for yet another rematch of the Big-Endian/Little-Endian controversy. Both sides this time appear in agreement on theoretical fundamentals and disagreement on their theological interpretation. Perhaps the system is just too complex with too many adjustable unknowns to predict nature’s course. Or, just perhaps, as science has often shown, complexity is a a natural consequence of choosing the wrong vantage.

    It would prove interesting were a few hard-core types from outside the climate science coterie given immunity to critique fundamentals such as the Radiative-Convection Equilibrium model assumptions that thermal gradients are not sensitive to changes in atmospheric adsorption and that local thermal equilibrium (kT) still describes populations in a thermodynamic system far from equilibrium. Or, perhaps, it will take a generation or two before this becomes inevitable.

    Of possible interest are Maxwell’s views on convective equilibrium (page 300), http://www3.nd.edu/~powers/ame.20231/maxwell1872.pdf

    and the L&L discussion of convection and the adiabatic lapse rate (page 8),
    http://archive.org/details/FluidMechanics

  25. This analysis strikes me as a great proposal for a long term climate research program, perhaps reframing the entire USGCRP. But I think it is far too much for a simple red team exercise.

    I do not agree that a NIPCC-like rebuttal of the consensus paradigm would be a waste of time. It would make skepticism an officially recognized view, which would be a tremendous advance in balancing the debate. To date all of the official assessments are alarmist, including IPCC, NCA, NAS, Stern, etc. A single skeptical report will be a big step forward.

  26. Is the first Red Team report supposed to take 3 months or 3 years? I would take 3 months, then publish it for comment for 90 days, then respond to the comments in another 3 months. Adding startup time makes it a one year project. No new research would be done.

    • Yes, if it is intended to help frame policy, it needs to be relatively short-term rather than a compendious address-every-possible-detail exercise.

      • There is a simple question. Is it prudent to emit copious amounts of fossil greenhouse gases? A risk assessment is called for – and that is necessarily wide-ranging. If not prudent – what are the pragmatic responses. Dr. Curry mentioned a few.

        Technology remains the key. Safe, cheap, abundant energy for an energy hungry world.

  27. Ulric Lyons

    Very thorough and healthy framing Judith, apart from assumptions about ‘internal variability’. I would argue the AMO is strongly solar driven, and that AMO and Arctic Ocean warming since the mid 1990’s is the result of declining solar wind strength.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/association-between-sunspot-cycles-amo-ulric-lyons

  28. I see the Red Team effort as very simple. Pruitt and Perry made skeptical statements which were hammered by the Consensus press and scientists. They need an official study that validates their statements. This might be scientifically boring but it could have profound policy impacts, from refocusing the USGCRP to repealing the endangerment finding.

    • Interestingly, the danger is higher if fossil fuel prices run up so much the next up cycle so it hits poor nations very hard. Take Jamaica, an island nation that burns fuel oil to generate electricity. Jamaica isn’t fit for solar or wind as a full replacement for fuel oil, we should not encourage them to build a nuclear plant (country demand is about 700 megawatt), and the island is isolated by an unstable very deep submarine trench from Cuba, so a cable would be very expensive. I selected Jamaica and a few other nations to keep in mind when I think about these issues because they will be the first to go down the drain.

  29. Social cost and benefits of carbon: costs as well as benefits of fossil fuels, for different scenarios of warming: ….

    I would suggest including a discussion of the cost/benefits of CO2 on the biosphere (independent of warming), including drought tolerance and agricultural productivity and the overall greening of the planet.

  30. Which wild cards will be the most surprising in the re-framing approach to climate change? New technology? Others?

  31. Re-framing the climate science field is in close agreement with my earlier suggestion that we might Hit the Restart button on climate science, clearing the registers of years a accumulated bias and dubious results being used as starting points for later research.
    Any and all interested or involved in climate response policy should immediately read The Rightful Place of Science: CLIMATE PRAGMATISM to refresh expand their vision of possibilities.

  32. Curious George

    Most climate hysteria is based on models. An analysis of accuracy of climate models would be great step forward.

    • If I were a lawyer – I wouldn’t ask a question I didn’t know the answer to. Without the answer – it’s energy balance – not a mean consideration. But I agree – it’s technically irreducible imprecision – caused by the nonlinear equation in three dimensions at the core of fluid transfer in climate models.

    • Curious George

      Robert, it’s energy balance. Some models have a 3% error in an energy transfer by evaporation from tropical seas.
      Please understand that I don’t want the models banned. I want them corrected. I want to know how trustworthy they are.

    • irreducible imprecision is what’s left after the models get processes and parameterisations wrong …

  33. If the main purpose is to hammer the endangerment finding, then just a few points need to be made in a few months. Not a 1000 page critique of a 1000 page AR5 WG1 or whatever.
    The attribution problem (natural variation versus AGW).
    Models run hot because of it.
    Observational sensitivity much lower than modeled.
    No acceleration of SLR (the Miami meme).
    Misstatements of many supposed ‘Cs’ in CAGW: weather extremes, polar bears, Tuvalu refugees, extinctions…
    The issues are political. Provide simple sound bite refutations that even dumb as bricks folks like Whitehouse and Grijalva can not fail to understand.

    • David Wojick

      Agreed, and well said, although the policy implications extend far beyond the endangerment findings. The federal system is riddled with Consensus alarmism.

      • Good point. But the core of the alarmism is the endangerment finding that relied on the consensus, so it is my suggested focal point for the exercise.

      • ALL levels of government are “… riddled with Consensus alarmism.” They focus on that such that they will not be held accountable for policies that have no impact in the foreseeable future. Otherwise, they are forced to deal with real problems with a chance of making highly visible mistakes; a big no-no for smarmy politicians.

  34. We already have effective red teams: the staffs of Sen James Inhoff (OK, R) and Representative Lamar Smith (TN, R). There is also GWPF and other red teams, in addition to lots of loosely coordinated or independent individuals.

    Is there any possibility of an effective new red team that would be respected by, for example, Rush Holt of AAAS? Or by the group that manages realclimate.org?

    • “We already have effective red teams: the staffs of Sen James Inhoff (OK, R) and Representative Lamar Smith (TN, R). There is also GWPF “

      So what have they produced?

      The major red team effort of GWPF was on adjustments. That collapsed.

      • Nick Stokes: “We already have effective red teams: the staffs of Sen James Inhoff (OK, R) and Representative Lamar Smith (TN, R). There is also GWPF “

        So what have they produced?

        Inhof and Smith have effectively halted legislation in the US that would enact the restrictions demanded by Hansen and others sounding the alarm, and they have compiled bibliographies of dissent (somewhat haphazard, alas). That will do until the “scientific process” (touted in a recent Science Magazine editorial) has run its course sufficiently to have accurate answers to the questions repeatedly discussed here..

        GWPF has written critiques of particular claims. That is why (I infer) Gavin Schmidt wrote that they were not acting “in good faith”. Unless the designated “red team” confirms the consensus, Schmidt will (I predict) claim that it was not acting in good faith all along — recall his assault on Bengtsson.

      • “Inhof and Smith have effectively halted legislation”
        This is just politicians doing politics. How is it a “red team”?

      • Nick Stokes: This is just politicians doing politics. How is it a “red team”?

        Nick Stokes: So what have they produced?

        MRM: We already have effective red teams: the staffs of Sen James Inhoff (OK, R) and Representative Lamar Smith (TN, R). There is also GWPF and other red teams, in addition to lots of loosely coordinated or independent individuals.

        I explicitly referred to the staffs. Smith and staff also invited “red team” potential members such as Prof Curry to testify before Congress. I think we can expect more “red team” potential members to address Congress as long as Republicans hold the majority in either House. In the last days of the Clinton administration the Senate voted a “sense of the Senate” resolution against the Kyoto Treaty (or any other treaty with its major provisions) by 96-0, so neither Pres Clinton nor Pres Bush nor Pres Obama submitted it for ratification. Pres Obama did not submit the Paris Accord or any CO2-restrictive legislation to Congress. So the informal “red teams” of volunteers have been effective, “deplorable” though they may be perceived.

      • Nick Stokes: How is it a “red team”?

        Whom would you nominate to a “red team”?

    • Mm, I don’t think it is the red team members so much as the team’s logic and evidence that will lend credibility. The evidence has to be simple and compelling, so that the general public understands–and understands how they have been misled. I think that is doable so long as its justbthe main pillars and not all the science weeds. . For example, my recent WUWT post on why models run hot. For example, a simplified ‘MSM versus paper reality’ on Totten glacier and SLR, guest posted here previously. And so on. Heller has clear global fudged data stuff. Nic Lewis has sensitivity. Crockford has polar bears. The needed ‘red’ counters are mostly all already out there. They need to be set against specifc blue team context (easy using IPCC or EPA endangement as the blue context), appropriately referenced and word smithed (just work plus some public comprehension testing), and widely publicized (hard even given government resources). That last part will be the hardest, because it is more than Trump tweets. WaPo’s Chris Mooney is an example of the publicizing problem to be faced. BBC is another.

      • Curious George

        I am not sure that we have a silver bullet. Take The Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth. Disproved. Result: shrug. Take Paul Ehrlich’s catastrophic predictions. None came true. Shrugged off. I showed a bad physics in a climate model. Shrugged off. The model with bad physics is even included in CMIP5. Surviving polar bears and emperor penguins are not enough. We need something with a traction. What could it be?

      • ristvan, I think that the general public may not be much swayed by evidence, even many intelligent and reasonably well-informed (in some areas) people I know accept the CAGW hypothesis and the elevation of warming to be the highest policy priority. It’s entrenched, as Kahneman shows, people are very reluctant to let go of their first response whatever the evidence against it. In Australia, where our economy is suffering long-term damage from emissions-reduction energy policies, 68% recently wanted strong anti-emissions policies while 50+% wanted lower energy prices – prices have doubled in a short time, with further 20-30% price increases imminent, increasing risk of widespread blackouts and corresponding falls in investment and increases in plant closures. There’s a serious lack of understanding, strongly supporting measures but strongly opposing their effects on prices. And the politicians, whether by mistaken belief or self-preservation, pander to the pro-CAGW sentiment and produce mad and expensive schemes to address the reliability (but not the price) issues (except for blocking gas exports as shortages have arisen and prices risen largely because of State government anti-extraction measures).

        The key is getting those in power to understand the damage being caused to no purpose. I think the US has a better chance of this than anywhere else in the Western world (I don’t think that China, India and Russia are shooting themselves in the foot because of climate concerns), and hopefully US action will lead to change elsewhere – although there was no sign of this at the G20 summit.

      • Curious George, yes, I answered Rud’s message before reading yours. there is no silver bullet against entrenched false beliefs.

      • I don’t know about silver bullets but here is a idea from Paul Hawken in his just released research.
        http://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank

        Look at just two items – Educating girls and family planning = 120 GT CO2 emission reduction by 2040.

      • Curious George

        Jack, thank you. They are beautiful solutions looking for a problem.

      • Hey George,
        What’s with the snark?
        Do you know what the Commonwealth is? Collectively they maybe the second largest organization of nation states in the world. Only the UN represents more countries.
        The 52 countries that represent the former Empire of Great Britain just adopted Paul’s Project Drawdown solutions.
        http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/new-commonwealth-agreement-revolutionise-climate-action

        What was your solution again?

      • ristvan: Mm, I don’t think it is the red team members so much as the team’s logic and evidence that will lend credibility.

        I don’t think you could assemble a red team that would have credibility among institutional leaders such as Rush Holt of AAAS, or Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate. They have been resistant to date to logic and evidence that the claims of Hansen and others of the 1980s, the claims that produced the IPCC and the clamor for rapid change, were exaggerated. I received another letter from Rush Holt asking for money just the other day; Schmidt referred to Prof Curry as a “serial disinformer” and so on.

  35. Three quick thoughts on this proposal

    (1) There are 6 (or 11) items on which to “focus.”

    That will require a massive project. The Red Team project methodology is not well unsuited for considering such broad areas of inquiry. Successful uses almost always result from narrow commissions: penetrate this system, introduce (or defeat) this product, win this battle, etc. Even then, the failure rate is (anecdotally) large.

    The obvious example — carefully ignored in this discussion — is the 1976 “Team B” evaluation of the Soviet Union’s capabilities, a form of Red Team that produced poorly researched, largely wrong, but politically useful conclusions. Cynics might suspect that is what will be attempted here. It’s not 1976. I doubt it can be successfully repeated.

    (2) The Berkeley Earth project spent $2.5 million and 3 years evaluating the surface temperature dataset. How much and how long with the proposed Red – Blue team project take to evaluate a domain space at least an order of magnitude larger?

    (3) What are the odds of such a large project being adequately funded? Or will the actual project have that charge — but the funding of a commission — like the others that have chatted about climate change, to no visible effect?

    • If time and/or money are limited, one should focus on the IPCC climate models and their development processes, both the winding down CMIP5 and the upcoming CMIP6 efforts.

      The various modeling groups put forward “projections” (the worst case taken as “business as usual”) that feed into unvalidated econometric models, weather estimates (bad) and a politically skewed Summary For Policymakers. It appears CMIP6 will have more different projection scenarios than did CMIP5.

      To win, one must cut off the head of the monster: IPCC climate models. They are bunk.

      • David,

        I agree: models are the key to the climate policy debate, and should be the focus of the investigation — whatever form it takes. Also, unlike many of the dreams proposed in these comments, there is an existing model of knowledge about model validation to provide a framework. I discuss this here:

        http://fabiusmaximus.com/2017/07/07/a-red-team-to-solve-climate-change/

        This thread shows that there is near-zero agreement on the form of the project, its goals, its methodology, or its subject. That will make it difficult to build a project that makes a major contribution. I’ll bet that this crowd is typical — anything proposed will receive brutal attacks from day one.

        Where in America is there leadership able to craft a feasible (many proposals here are delusionally large) project, and having sufficient political capital to make it credible? By credible, I mean with results broadly accepted — even by many of those who disagree with them, and with the general public.

        “If time and/or money are limited”

        I assume you meant to say since time and money are limited.”

      • EFMW,

        I have to assume Federal funding (infeasible w/o) for the analysis of CMIP6 processes and validation of selected (U.S.?) models. Rud Istvan had suggested I contact staff of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to pass along suggestions to Myron Ebell, which I did so.

        I suggested that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency in the Department of Commerce, issue Requests for Proposals (RFP) to private contractors to, among other things, analyze CMIP6 practices and procedures and perform validation exercises on IPCC climate models. NIST would hire or contract for people and companies with relevant expertise to prepare the RFPs, analyze responses, make recommendations to, I assume, the EPA for contract awards, manage the contractors’ efforts, review work products, coordinate comments on draft documents, manage Federal agencies’ review of final draft documents, and recommend final documents for EPA approval. This description is very broad and would have to be greatly expanded.

        The above work must be completed before the IPCC cuts off the comment period for AR6. This would be the U.S. government’s official inputs to the modeling portion of WG1. If the U.S. inputs were not incorporated into AR6, Federal agencies would be instructed to ignore AR6 when making recommendations to the President and Congress and promulgating regulations.

        Anybody that wants to take the ball and run on this idea is heartily welcome to it. I have quite a bit of relevant experience and would be willing to perform work if requested. Somebody with more chops than me will have to lead. Any recommendations, anyone?

      • David,

        Your sketch shows the feasibility of a review of the models. Well within current methods, focused and well-defined, immediately relevant to the public policy debate, and understandable to the public.

        Guessing, such a project would be 2x or 3x the size of Berkeley Earth. Large, but nothing like the Encyclopedia Galactica-size projects described by some in this thread and elsewhere.

    • Another note about government investigations on big things

      Everybody involved puts their careers at risk. So these are slow and expensive. I’m reading now about the UK panel investigating an outbreak of E.coli in Scotland. It took three years and cost three million dollars.

      The bigger the questions asked, the bigger the cost and the more time required.

      The fast cheap useless alternative is to get some people together to chat. Big names. Big chat. The resulting report will be pretty, generate headlines, and be quickly forgotten. Info-tainment, burning away scarce time and money.

  36. Working with the ‘blue’ team is about as fruitful as negotiating a deal with North Korea or Iran or the Palestinians…

  37. If someone could frame climate in a scientific way, there would be something to discuss. I don’t think it’s been done yet.

    Andrew

  38. An approach for the Trump Administration.
    Take the issue away from the Democrats.
    Increase the gasoline tax by 5 cents a gallon. Divide the money up into roads and local resilience. Some of us care about one grid. Let’s care about the transportation grid too.
    Cut by a quarter the subsidies for wind and solar. This would give the electrical grid more time to adapt. This money saved would go into soil carbon restoration programs banking farmland by growing prairie grass, range of 10 to 20 years. It’s an environmentalist’s Utopia. One can see the spin-off benefits.
    Federal regulatory help for pumped hydro storage. This plays nicely with Coal and Nuclear.
    Federal help with Small Modular Nuclear. NuScale nuclear power generation near domestic military bases and vital hubs.
    Someone said words to the effect of, We need to get into the game.

  39. Will someone please respond to the doomsday article in New York Magazine titled: “When will the planet be too hot for humans?” ?

    • “When will the planet be too hot for humans?”

      First the planet has to get out of the Quaternary Ice Age, one of its coldest periods in the past 600 million years. We will notice because first the entire Greenland ice sheet has to melt, then most of the ice sheet in Antarctica has to melt. Afterwards if warming continues we could enter the “Eocene Optimum” conditions, described as follows:

      “At the beginning of the Eocene, the high temperatures and warm oceans created a moist, balmy environment, with forests spreading throughout the Earth from pole to pole. Apart from the driest deserts, Earth must have been entirely covered in forests.
      Polar forests were quite extensive. Fossils and even preserved remains of trees such as swamp cypress and dawn redwood from the Eocene have been found on Ellesmere Island in the Arctic. Even at that time, Ellesmere Island was only a few degrees in latitude further south than it is today. Fossils of subtropical and even tropical trees and plants from the Eocene have also been found in Greenland and Alaska. Tropical rainforests grew as far north as northern North America and Europe.”
      (Wikipedia)

      These conditions were quite good for fauna and flora, that flourished. Our world biological productivity pales in comparison. Obviously then the planet would still not be too hot for humans. Quite the contrary, as polar temperatures increase a lot, but tropical temperatures do not increase much, that world would see an increase in the areas that we can inhabit despite sea level rise.

      It is doubtful that the planet can get too hot for humans without significant changes in the sun. The water does a wonderful job at keeping temperatures withing a narrow range.

  40. The world is an entropy maximisation device. It spins in space and is warmed by the sun. Energy imbalances spin up the global weather and climate system. The weather tomorrow is climate in 20-30 years time.

    So there is something like 2 W/m2 greenhouse gas forcing. A 1% change in cloud albedo is a change of 3.4 W/m2. Large fluctuations have been observed in the satellite record. Over 100,000 years there have been changes in ice albedo of 25 W/m2. The latter implies a low sensitivity to changes in radiative forcing at top of atmosphere.

    Energy is stored in the land (4%), atmosphere (4%), as enthalpy – but mostly in the oceans (90%). The climate engine – immense wind and current systems – maximises entropy.

    In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) the ‘global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’

    Climate is completely unpredictable either with models or as an energy imbalance problem. It calls for plausible scenarios – warm or cool – and comprehensive risk assessment.

    • aporiac1960

      Robert: “The world is an entropy maximisation device.”

      Against this immutable law we have life, which is an organising principle, albeit locally. And at the top of that pyramid we have human beings – capable of understanding and accepting the laws of thermodynamics and working within them while finding and mastering loopholes where we can.

    • “The world is an entropy maximisation device”
      Not really. The entropy creation is fixed. We receive Q Watts of sunlight at an effective temperature T0 (some 1000s K), and it is emitted at the average Stefan-Boltzmann temperature T1 (about 255 K). The entropy difference (rate) is (Q/T1-Q/T0). That corresponds to a loss of free energy, which could have been used to drive heat engines. Some is – that is the weather stuff (and life etc). But they aren’t creating entropy where none would have existed. They are making use of doomed free energy.

      • Nick Stokes
        “Not really. The entropy creation is fixed.”
        To a fixed or closed mind, yes.
        To a world able to change its albedo and hence alter Q Watts of energy to X/Y/ Z Watts of energy through ice and snow extent, vegetation algal blooms, floods or simply clouds to name but a few means you are wrong, again, Nick.
        Defending the indefensible does not mean making such an obviously wrong statement.
        Worse you are intelligent to know this already, yet prepared to use it on a gullible audience to glibly get a wrong point across.
        Shame.
        Not that it will concern you.

        “Climate is completely unpredictable either with models or as an energy imbalance problem. It calls for plausible scenarios – warm or cool – and comprehensive risk assessment.”
        Well said.

    • But that’s the point – the sun changes a little and the planet responds with larger changes from internal dynamics. Energy will dissipate and along the most efficient paths available – importantly the Planck response as the ultimate climate stabilizer.

    • Curious George

      I believe in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The “law” of Maximum Entropy Production is a much stronger proposition. Proven only under special circumstances.

    • As Nick noted, the earth is not a closed system. Energy enters primarily in the form of radiation, and leaves exclusively in the form of radiation. The cyclic integral evaluates to (Qout – Qin)/T. There’s a little kink, however. The sign convention for heat transfer across a control volume is: heat entering a system has is positive, heat leaving a system is negative. So the entropy of the control volume known as earth is, in fact, constantly decreasing.

      • Well that’s an interpretation of entropy in an isolated, equilibrium system.

        ‘An isolated system therefore approaches a state in which the entropy has the highest possible value. This is a state of equilibrium. In equilibrium, the entropy of the system cannot increase (because it is already at a maximum) and it cannot decrease (because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics). The only changes allowed are those in which the entropy remains constant.’ http://physicalworld.org/restless_universe/html/ru_3_21.html

  41. Judith: I would like to respectfully, but strenuously, disagree with the thrust of this post. Either a red-team should address the threat of AGW – something that the Blue team projects could threaten human civilization – or it shouldn’t exist. Trying to change the subject is a transparently political tactic inconsistent with clear thinking usually found at this blog.

    Man has been dealing with and adapting to natural variability in climate and extreme events with greater success as time goes on. Chances are that we will continue to do so. (If we don’t, it will be because our inability to govern ourselves and societal breakdown, not our lack of scientific information.)

    The US doesn’t need red team to tell us how to deal with natural and unforced variability, global or regional. Continuing to provide policymakers with an improving record of past extreme events is valuable. Publicizing information about how land use changes affect local climate would be useful. The red team should insist that information from AOGCMs is currently not useful on a regional scale: Models make radically different projections about regional climate change. They have shown no skill on the decadal time scale. Insist on using the past as a guide to the future until there is evidence AOGCMs do this better.

    If we don’t change the way our government approaches AGW under the Trump administration, we may never get another chance. We need to use a more realistic PDF for GHG-mediated global warming and the SCC and enshrine this methodology in governmental operations. Obama stacked his SCC team with members who would deliver a politically-correct answer. The NAS has already issued a report criticizing their work.

    The discount rate is critical and involves an inter-generational ethics problem: Should we ask non-affluent people around the world through most of the 21st century to make sacrifices so their far wealthier descendants don’t need to adapt to as much global warming? Or should we assume that our descendents won’t be better off and unable to afford the cost of adapting; and therefore will be seriously crippled by our negligence? Economists deal with this problem mathematically. If we enshrine an optimistic view of the future, there never may be a rational for drastic measures.

    (If my calculations are correct, one gallon of gasoline (87% C, 3.78 L/gal, 0.72 kg/L) is 0.0024tC/gal. Even a carbon tax of $100/tC is only $0.24/gallon, about 10% today. For coal, the price is about 4X higher for roughly the same amount of energy, plus significant additional costs in terms traditional air pollution. As best I can tell, a carbon tax based on a SCC near $10/tC that replace all other spending and regulation would be a winner scientifically and economically (but not politically). A value double or triple that might change the economics of coal, but would be far better than the EPA ban on new coal plants. We need to avoid a future EPA will the freedom to make rules based on an SCC over $100/tC, not pretend the whole idea is bogus.)

    Your analysis of SLR is excellent. 5 K of warming and 120 m of SLR between glacial and interglacial states suggests that even 20th-century warming could produce large amount SLR on a multi-centennial time scale. Adaptation has no economic cost on this time scale. The key question for the red team: Is there any reliable evidence that a catastrophic collapse of the GIS or WAIS will occur this century. The IPCC has already said no. The red team could direct attention to the lower end of the IPCC’s range for SLR given the current absence of the acceleration needed to reach the high end and the evidence that the climate models that project the high end are running hot.

    You suggested focusing above all on the Arctic? The Arctic is a fertile ground for research on natural climate variability and complex feedbacks, but a not reason for the US and the world will spend or not spend trillions of dollars. Above all, focus on the PDF for climate sensitive and the SCC. When the Trump administration is gone, the battle will be fought on this ground.

    • Franktoo:
      “Either a red-team should address the threat of AGW – something that the Blue team projects could threaten human civilization – or it shouldn’t exist.”

      In summary your post is insisting that the science is settled.

      • Albert Hopfer says: “In summary your post is insisting that the science is settled.”

        Absolutely not. The idea that AGW is a threat to humanity is precise the idea that needs to be tested by a red team!

        Natural variability during the Holocene will not save us from the blue teams scenario; therefore it can’t be a key issue.

        Climate sensitivity attempts to quantify the warming expected from rising GHGs. The SCC attempts to characterize the cost of that warming – how much we should pay to avoid it. One red team for each!

      • franktoo, you wrote:

        Climate sensitivity attempts to quantify the warming expected from rising GHGs.

        How do you propose to quantify climate sensitivity to CO2 without first answering the attribution question?

        The SCC attempts to characterize the cost of that warming – how much we should pay to avoid it.

        How do you propose to address this issue without first answering the climate sensitivity question?

      • “Consensus” estimates of climate sensitivity are results of IPCC climate models. The results of IPCC climate models rest solely on the modelers’ assumptions. Need I go further? IPCC climate models are bunk.

      • Willb01: How do you propose to quantify climate sensitivity to CO2 without first answering the attribution question?

        Our inability to distinguish between forced variability (natural or anthropogenic) and unforced variability makes attribution difficult. Unforced variability can only be quantified by subtracting observed warming from forced warming from AOGCM. Unforced variability interferes with validation of models.

        Nevertheless, when a wide variety of periods are studied using EBM’s, they produce about the same value for ECS. This is good evidence that unforced variability isn’t big enough or fast enough to account for most of 20th-century warming. I’m surprised that Judith doesn’t recognize this. Therefore, we can rely on EBMs for climate sensitivity, instead of AOGCMs (whose ECS varies with parameter tuning).

        However, ECS from models is about twice that from EBMs, so observed warming does appear to be 50% of forced warming when forced warming is defined by AOGCMs. This problem is confusing the skeptical community.
        Anthropogenic and observed warming are indistinguishable when anthropogenic warming is defined using EBMs!

        GMST (not the temperature anomaly) rises and falls 3.5 K every year due to the asymmetric distribution of land on the planet (and therefore heat capacity per unit area) and seasonal changes in incoming SWR. 3.5 K is about the change predict for AGW by the blue team. It is a much bigger change than any long-term change experienced during the Holocene that might be attributed to unforced or natural variability. It provides a massive signal too big to be influenced by unforced or natural variability – and we get to monitor it every year.

        This warming causes large seasonal changes in the radiative flux from space every year. The change in outgoing LWR with Ts from both clear and cloudy skies is about 2.2 W/m2/K, which is consistent with an ECS of 1.7 K. The change in SWR is not particularly linear with temperature, so we can’t use it to determine surface albedo and SWR cloud feedbacks. AOGCMs reproduce the observed LWR feedback from clear skies, but cloudy skies or feedback in the SWR channel. In fact, the models disagree with each other substantially about these feedbacks. At best only one model can be “right”, and observations show that none are right. The multi-model mean simply an average of models we know are incapable for reproducing seasonal changes.

        A red team can move the focus on climate sensitive from AOGCM’s to EBM and other observationally derived evidence.

      • franktoo,
        I consider both AOGCMs and EBMs to be products of the blue team. Having ambiguous evidence that suggests or is consistent with a given ECS is not a convincing argument for casting that ECS in stone. We already know there is a correlation between CO2 concentraion and surface temperature. We also have good (but unvalidated) theories as to 1) how temperature might be affecting CO2 concentration; and 2) how CO2 concentration might be affecting temperature. Up to now there’s been a lot of emphasis on 2) from the blue team.

        Massive temperature signals, much greater than what we are experiencing today, have been attributed quite convincingly to natural variability in the past. Two examples: ocean circulation changes (formation of the Isthmus of Panama) causing the Pleistocene Ice Age; and orbital changes (Milankovitch cycles) causing periods of glaciation.

        IMHO the red team should not start off by make any assumptions about the validity of current unvalidated models, nor should they be guessing at possible values for ECS.

      • Willb01 wrote: “I consider both AOGCMs and EBMs to be products of the blue team.”

        A silly excuse. Name-calling. An AOGCM simply attempts to model the flux of heat and mass through a large number of grid cells using the laws of physics. Unfortunately, certain climate phenomena (condensation, precipitation, convection) can’t be accurately described with grid cells of a computationally practical size. So those phenomena for an entire grid cell are described by empirical parameters, such as the relative humidity when clouds begin to form. The answer is less than 100%, there will be some locations inside the cell with higher humidity and lower temperature. We need to chose a humidity parameter for cloud formation that will give the model Earth the correct humidity. Unfortunately, there are several dozen interacting parameters to tune, dozens of metrics like albedo to match and no systematic way to arrive at an optimal set of parameters. Optimizing the humidity parameter for cloud formation can make precipitation unrealistic. So we have an infinite number of possible models, limited computing power, and no way of knowing which parameter set is best – or even adequate for making projections. Changing parameters can easily change ECS by 1K without degrading the model’s ability to represent current climate. After three decades of research, AOGCMs haven’t produced a narrower range for ECS.

        AOGCM’s are related to the models used for weather forecasting. The parameters used in those models have been refined by decades of trial and error. When properly initialized with current conditions, experience shows that their predictions are better than using historic temperature to predict the next week or two.

        Energy balance models (EBM’s) are much simpler models. There is nothing UNVALIDATED about an energy balance model, it uses trivial concepts about heat transfer routinely taught in basic college physics and engineering course. Consider a rapidly spinning spacecraft orbiting the sun with no internal heat source. If you know the craft’s absorptivity of SWR, its emissivity of LWR, and the intensity of sunlight, you can calculate temperature at which incoming and outgoing radiation will be in equilibrium. That is called a one-compartment model. If you place a well-insulted reservoir of very cold water inside my space craft, you have a two-component model: radiation entering and leaving the skin of the spacecraft and then conduction of heat into a very large amount of cold water. Two-compartment model and they are used by engineers all of the time. Then we adde GHGs to the model the slowing down the rate of radiative cooling to space – somewhat equivalent to changing the surface emissivity of LWR. How much will the temperature rise? Assuming solar radiation is constant, the EQUILIBRIUM temperature of this two-compartment model (like ECS for our planet) will depend only on how the radiation of thermal infrared to space increases with temperature. The rate at which we approach that equilibrium temperature depends on how fast heat is conducted into the water.

        (In the case of Earth, the reflectivity of SWR by the spacecraft also changes with temperature. In that case, we talk about how the net radiative balance changes with temperature.)

        Over the past few decades (unlike AOGCMs), we have gotten a much better idea about our planet’s ECS from better information about temperature change, radiative forcing, radiative cooling to space and – most important of all – a more accurate thermometer in the reservoir of water inside our spacecraft – ARGO floats in the ocean. Today we have a much clearer idea of our planet’s ECS. This value isn’t cast in stone, it will change as longer and better observations become available and better estimated or radiative forcing are made. For example, someday a spacecraft should be able to give us a much better idea of how the reflectivity of clouds varies with aerosols (the aerosol indirect effect, the biggest sources of uncertainty in ECS). The Glory satellite designed to do this recently failed to reach orbit.

        Willb01 wrote: “Massive temperature signals, much greater than what we are experiencing today, have been attributed quite convincingly to natural variability in the past. Two examples: ocean circulation changes (formation of the Isthmus of Panama) causing the Pleistocene Ice Age; and orbital changes (Milankovitch cycles) causing periods of glaciation.”

        Yes, but Milankovic cycles and plate tectonics are not going to change our climate in the near future. The natural and unforced variability experience over the last 5-10 millennia are what we expect for the future: possibly a Little Ice Age, not a real ice age.

      • franktoo,

        A silly excuse. Name-calling.

        Ok, I retract the reference to the blue team. I will say instead that AOGCMs and EBMs, when applied to explain Earth’s climate, make assumptions that have yet to be definitively confirmed.

        There is nothing UNVALIDATED about an energy balance model …

        I’ll agree that your thought experiment validates EBMs for the spinning spacecraft you described but that doesn’t translate to a validation of EBMs as applied to the Earth system. For that analysis, your thought experiment has left out more than a few critical items.

        … we have gotten a much better idea about our planet’s ECS from better information about temperature change, radiative forcing, radiative cooling to space …

        ECS is not an observable. In order to arrive at a value for ECS, you need a model. The measurements you’ve listed are only a subset of the inputs such a model would require.

        Yes, but Milankovic cycles and plate tectonics are not going to change our climate in the near future.

        I was using Milankovitch cycles as an example of orbital changes that radically affect Earth’s climate. Are we confident that we know exactly how the position and orientation of the Earth with respect to the sun and planets alter our climate? Because pretty clearly they do.

        I was using the formation of the Isthmus of Panama as an example of a change in ocean circulation patterns affecting climate. There are other causes for ocean circulation changes besides plate tectonics.

      • Willb01 wrote: “I’ll agree that your thought experiment validates EBMs for the spinning spacecraft you described but that doesn’t translate to a validation of EBMs as applied to the Earth system.”

        “ECS is not an observable. In order to arrive at a value for ECS, you need a model. The measurements you’ve listed are only a subset of the inputs such a model would require.”

        There is absolutely no critical difference between my spacecraft and an EBM for the earth. The difference is that you view the Earth as an intractable “climate problem” and the spacecraft as a physics problem. Both are two-compartment models.

        Everything has an ECS! However, we use different terms to discuss this phenomena in physics. W = eoT^4. dW/dT = 4eoT^3 . dT/dW = 1/ 4eoT^3. In climate science, we convert dW measured in units of W/m2 into the equivalent of doublings of CO2: 3.7 W/m2 = 1 doubling. dT/dW becomes dT/doubling. Forcing (dF) is equivalent to a reduction in emissivity. At equilibrium (ECS), dW = dF. When not at equilibrium (TCR), dW + dQ = dF.
        The same concepts apply to both. The only tricky part is that the Earth doesn’t have a uniform temperature, making the concept of emissivity challenging. According to sophisticated models, the Earth without feedbacks would emit 3.2 W/m2/K as warms. According to a simple gray-body model (288 K, e 0.61), 3.3 W/m2/K. Not bad.

        We have satellites in space monitoring the thermal IR emitted by the Earth as the Earth changes temperature. They find an increase of 2.2 W/m2 per K of surface warming. The error is perhaps 0.2 W/m2/K. 3.7 (W/m2)/doubling divided by 2.2 W/m2/K is 1.7 K/doubling – climate sensitivity. A great place to start. Admittedly, this doesn’t include albedo feedback because reflection doesn’t vary linearly with surface temperature during seasonal warming. EBMs produce the same estimate for ECS. Even AOGCMs as a whole agree for changes in the 20th-century, but they currently predict that cloud feedback will become more positive after 3K of warming. Currently models appear to run a little hot, probably because they don’t transport enough heat into the ocean. However, that only affects TCR.

        We have fairly good ideas about the lower limit for ECS, because ECS changes slowly with W/m2/K at low climate sensitivity. The difference between ECS of 4.5 and 5.5 K is only about 0.2 W/m2/K.

      • franktoo,

        There is absolutely no critical difference between my spacecraft and an EBM for the earth.

        Hmmm… I don’t disagree with this, but I think the statement shows we don’t see eye to eye on what constitutes ‘validation’ for EBMs. To avoid that can of worms I’m just going to avoid using the term ‘validation’.

        I don’t see the Earth as an intractable “climate problem”. Rather, I see it as a complex, ‘wicked’ problem requiring more data before drawing conclusions about ECS. Some things that seem to be lacking:

        – A model for accurately predicting the 3D temperature profile of the troposphere, the tropopause and stratosphere. How does it change as the surface warms and as more CO2 is added? The lapse rate is critical to deriving a value for ECS. It changes according to altitude, to lat-long, to time of day, to season, to composition of the atmosphere. Do we really know why and can we predict the changes accurately? Lapse rate doesn’t even have a constant sign. Small changes in temperature profile and lapse rate will have a big impact on ECS.

        – A model for accurately predicting the temperature profile of the oceans, where the bulk of the surface heat capacity resides. The water in the oceans is constantly circulating, mixing, upwelling and downwelling over extended periods of time. In the past, ocean circulation changes have had a big impact on climate. Also, I would like to have a reasonable explanation as to why, if the average surface temperature is approximately 16C, the average ocean temperature is less than 4C. This seems like a recipe to guarantee a constant radiative imbalance.

        – Measurements to support or disprove Trenberth’s energy flows at the Earth’s surface. I think he is underestimating conduction, convection, transpiration and evaporation/condensation as heat transfer mechanisms across the surface/atmosphere boundary. His emphasis on IR radiation across this boundary seems to be at odds with analysis supporting heat sink design.

        I also think we should have a radiative-convective equilibrium model that explains the lapse rate continuing below the Earth’s surface.

        I disagree with this statement:

        We have fairly good ideas about the lower limit for ECS

        I think we have estimates about the lower limit for ECS as long as all our assumptions about feedbacks hold up. These assumptions in some cases are nothing but swags. So far, supporting evidence for the most part has been circumstantial and ambiguous and they are still under investigation.

      • Willb01 wrote: “Hmmm… I don’t disagree with this, but I think the statement shows we don’t see eye to eye on what constitutes ‘validation’ for EBMs. To avoid that can of worms I’m just going to avoid using the term ‘validation’.”

        Let’s not avoid any “cans of worms”. Open them and let the stench out.
        The model is valid, but it is a model that relies on observations to identify key parameters. On our spacecraft, we need to know: 1) How much the emissivity of the surface is going to decrease (eq to GHG forcing increase). 2) How well insulated the reservoir of water is (ie how slowly heat is transported into it). 3) How its reflectivity changes with surface temperature (albedo feedback). We could measure these properties on Earth before launch and have a “valid model” before take-off. It the spacecraft didn’t behave as predicted, we would not assume that their was something wrong with our understand of the physics of heat transfer; we would wonder what had “broken” or “changed” on the spacecraft.

        Suppose we hadn’t made these measurements before launch or we were dealing with a broken spacecraft. Given the given the change in parameter 1) above, we could monitor the spacecraft for a while and deduce parameters 2) and 3). We are still using observations to determine the parameters used in our model. In this case, there are much greater uncertainties, since we can’t do reproducible experiments that focus on one parameter. This is what we do with EBMs. Because of the uncertainty in measurements of forcing and temperature change, there is still plenty of uncertainty about what will happen in the future.

        Willb01 wrote: “I don’t see the Earth as an intractable “climate problem”. Rather, I see it as a complex, ‘wicked’ problem requiring more data before drawing conclusions about ECS. Some things that seem to be lacking:

        – A model for accurately predicting the 3D temperature profile of the troposphere, the tropopause and stratosphere. How does it change as the surface warms and as more CO2 is added? The lapse rate is critical to deriving a value for ECS. It changes according to altitude, to lat-long, to time of day, to season, to composition of the atmosphere. Do we really know why and can we predict the changes accurately? Lapse rate doesn’t even have a constant sign. Small changes in temperature profile and lapse rate will have a big impact on ECS.

        – A model for accurately predicting the temperature profile of the oceans, where the bulk of the surface heat capacity resides. The water in the oceans is constantly circulating, mixing, upwelling and downwelling over extended periods of time. In the past, ocean circulation changes have had a big impact on climate. Also, I would like to have a reasonable explanation as to why, if the average surface temperature is approximately 16C, the average ocean temperature is less than 4C. This seems like a recipe to guarantee a constant radiative imbalance.

        – Measurements to support or disprove Trenberth’s energy flows at the Earth’s surface. I think he is underestimating conduction, convection, transpiration and evaporation/condensation as heat transfer mechanisms across the surface/atmosphere boundary. His emphasis on IR radiation across this boundary seems to be at odds with analysis supporting heat sink design.

        I also think we should have a radiative-convective equilibrium model that explains the lapse rate continuing below the Earth’s surface.

        I disagree with this statement:

        We have fairly good ideas about the lower limit for ECS

        I think we have estimates about the lower limit for ECS as long as all our assumptions about feedbacks hold up. These assumptions in some cases are nothing but swags. So far, supporting evidence for the most part has been circumstantial and ambiguous and they are still under investigation.

        You are confusing EBMs with AOGCMs, which do try to calculate all of the properties. The owner of an EBM doesn’t care about how the planet manages to emit (LWR) or reflect (SWR) an additional 2.2 W/m2 to space for every 1 K GMST increase. ECS will be 1.7 K/doubling no matter what causes there changes in LWR and SWR. Any combination of Planck, WV, LR, cloud and surface albedo feedbacks totaling -2.2 W/m2/K will do. For transient warming before equilibrium, the TCR/ECS ratio requires on additional parameter, dQ (heat uptake by the ocean): 1 – dQ/dF.

        AOGCMs require that one get all of your above “wicked problems” right by adjusting parameters. And no simple observation that can tell you the correct answer for any one parameter. Parameters interact when one is trying to “tune” a model to match observations. Tuning doesn’t produce a single optimal parameter set.

        Now, I will confess to have buried some of the “wicked problems” with EBM, in particular unforced variability. However, empirically, unforced variability doesn’t appear to be as big a problem it could be. Different periods (with differing amounts of unforced variability) seem to give similar values for ECS.

      • franktoo,

        I’m not confusing EBMs with AOGCMs. For an EBM to be considered validated as a tool for deriving ECS, you would first have to somehow know what the ECS actually was, then compare it to the result from the EBM. You can make a reasonably convincing argument that we know the “ECS” for your spacecraft. At the present time it’s not possible to make an equivalent argument for the Earth.

      • Willb01: To quote Reagan debating Carter: “There you go again.” In this case, changing the subject.

        If you are concerned about unforced and natural variability in CO2 and temperature, you are capable of answering your question by looking at ice core and sediment core records from the Holocene.

    • Willb01 wrote: “I’m not confusing EBMs with AOGCMs. For an EBM to be considered validated as a tool for deriving ECS, you would first have to somehow know what the ECS actually was, then compare it to the result from the EBM. You can make a reasonably convincing argument that we know the “ECS” for your spacecraft. At the present time it’s not possible to make an equivalent argument for the Earth.”

      When discussing EBMs, you have brought up lapse rate and other phenomena relevant to AOGCM. For an object falling through the atmosphere, I can use OBSERVATIONS to deduce little g in F = mg (or in more complicated system, both g and the coefficient of friction). I don’t need to know the mass of the earth and or G, so I can use F = Gm1m2/r2. In an EBM, the amount of warming the forcing, ECS and the rate of ocean heat uptake.

      ECS = F_2x * dT/(dF-dQ)

      Or I can express this more clearly by writing this relationship as a function of time (t):

      ECS = F_2x * dT(t)/[dF(t)-dQ(t)]
      dT(t) = ECS/F_2x * [dF(t)-dQ(t)]

      You freak out whenever the word “model” is used. You wouldn’t object to a linear model where we use observations to deduce slope and intercept or an exponential decay model where we use observations to determine a half-life. This is a two-compartment model. It gives us ECS (with a fair amount of uncertainty due to the uncertainty in dF and dQ).

      • franktoo,

        Honestly, I’m not freaking out when I hear the word “model”. I’ve had to use plenty of models in my lifetime and I’ve spent a great deal of time designing them as well, including verifying and validating them. I’ve already told you we don’t see eye to eye on what validation means. You wanted to address it anyway so I’m trying to give you a sense of what validation means from my perspective.

        You are correct, you can use observations to deduce little g in F = mg. But you can’t then take that knowledge of little g and claim you now have a simple model for predicting the instantaneous velocity of a downhill skier at a particular point on his ski run or the instantaneous velocity of a hang glider 30 seconds after he jumps off a cliff. (Actually you can make that claim, but it’s not a validated model.)

        This is what you are doing when you compute ECS for the spacecraft and then say it’s applicable to the Earth.

    • Willb01 wrote: “You are correct, you can use observations to deduce little g in F = mg. But you can’t then take that knowledge of little g and claim you now have a simple model for predicting the instantaneous velocity of a downhill skier at a particular point on his ski run or the instantaneous velocity of a hang glider 30 seconds after he jumps off a cliff. (Actually you can make that claim, but it’s not a validated model.)”

      I’m getting a little disgusted with the constant misdirection. An EBM is a two-compartment model for our planet or a spacecraft with a well-insulated large reservoir of water inside. We have learned two key parameters need for this model, ECS and Q, by observing the behavior of the planet under forcing and measuring the radiative forcing for aGHGs in the laboratory. We are using the same model with the parameters we have calculated to make projections about the future, not doing something dramatically different, like jumping off or a cliff or downhill skiing.

      There are reasonable questions to ask about how well the protections will work: 1) The current large uncertain for ECS. 2) Is the increase in radiative cooling to space plus reflection to space (W/m2/K) linear over the temperature we will encounter? 3) Unforced variability. However, I’ve lost patience with this conversation.

      • franktoo,

        I’m getting a little disgusted with the constant misdirection.

        Aren’t you glad we opened the can and got to discuss validation?

        We are using the same model with the parameters we have calculated to make projections about the future, not doing something dramatically different, like jumping off or a cliff or downhill skiing.

        Oh, you mean like falling under the force of gravity but in an uncontrolled environment with confounding factors present?

        There are reasonable questions to ask about how well the protections will work

        I agree, but you’re right, this conversation is going no where. There’s too much disagreement between us on what ‘model validation’ means. By the way, if you’re interested, most of my weird ideas on validation come from this source.

      • franktoo,

        Before I sign off on this conversation I would just like to make one further point if you don’t mind. (Not a validation point!) In an earlier comment you had written:

        Nevertheless, when a wide variety of periods are studied using EBM’s, they produce about the same value for ECS.

        The concern I have with this is that we know there is a correlation between surface temperature and CO2 concentration. We know that there are huge carbon reservoirs in the oceans. We know CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will increase as the oceans warm. It seems to me there is a danger in assuming all warming is caused by this CO2 increase. In the extremely unlikely event that the value of ECS is actually ‘0’, the warming assumption would turn out to be completely incorrect. None of the warming will be a result of the added CO2. It will all be a result of natural and unforced variation. Yet, because of the correlation, a fairly consistent, non-zero estimate for ECS would still be calculated.

  42. Here is my 2 cents worth:

    I especially like the first re-framing bullet point from your “How to approach the re-framing?”:

    Focus on actual climate variability and change …

    I think the red team should study the attribution question. Orbital changes are considered the trigger for Pleistocene glacial periods. Changes to ocean circulation patterns due to the formation of the isthmus of Panama are considered the trigger for the start of the Quaternary period. These are major climate changes. Why are orbital changes and ocean circulation changes no longer being seriously considered as the cause of the relatively minor climate anomalies we are now experiencing?

    I also like climate541’s suggestion to examine the assumptions used to support the numerous CO2-AGW hypotheses. As an example: The Trenberth energy flow diagram emphasizes IR surface radiation and back radiation as dominant players in the heat transfer process across the surface/atmosphere boundary, this at the expense of heat transfer due to conduction, convection and evaporation/condensation. This emphasis seems to me to be somewhat at odds with the analysis used to support heat sink design.

    Sometimes I have difficulty making sense of some of the statistical analyses being applied to climate proxies. I think it would be very beneficial to have a panel of expert statisticians review the practices used by climate scientists in drawing conclusions from climate proxies.

    As perhaps a fourth red team activity, I think it would be useful to conduct laboratory experiments to determine the exact nature of radiative-convective equilibrium in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  43. richardswarthout

    Dr Curry

    The following caught my attention:

    “Focus on actual climate variability and change, not just human-caused climate change associated with greenhouse gas emissions and pollution aerosol. This requires consideration of natural climate variability over the past several thousand years, including solar processes, volcanoes and other solid earth processes, decadal to millennial scale ocean oscillations and internal variability, tidal and magnetic field effects. This also requires improved synthesis of regional and global historical and paleoclimate records.”

    Why are the global historical agricultural and navigational records not given more prominence in the study of climate science? Certainly they should be treated as fairly accurate, given that growing seasons respond uniformally to temperatures and that waterways freeze and thaw uniformally in response to temperatures.

    Thank you,

    Richard

  44. Any conclusion should be accompanied by an asterisk stating they are based on limited understanding of natural variability, inability to explain past climate change, limited understanding of clouds, water vapor, sensitivity, etc.

  45. Beta Blocker

    Sooner or later, the Democrats will again be in control of the White House and will move quickly to reverse the Republican’s current policy of undoing the Democrat’s previous climate policy.

    If and when that happens, would any government scientist who worked in any role supporting the Blue team’s position become subject to severe acts of retribution from a new Democratic administration just for the sin of participating in a process the incoming regime believed to be a crime against science?

  46. I would staff the Red Team with people completely outside of the “climate science” industry. First and foremost, I would include scientists who make measurements of physical properties where great accuracy is required. I would emphasize those who measure thermal properties, where accurate measurement of temperature (and agglomeration of data from many sources) is required. For example, a vast number of scientists and engineers produced the steam tables, which reflect the world’s most carefully vetted model of the thermodynamic properties of the most-studied substance ever. One of the most important parts of that model is the accuracy of the temperature measurements. (Climate “scientists” would get an F)

    Secondly, I would bring on engineers who had been responsible for drag predictions on major aircraft development programs. They would be experts not only in computational fluid dynamics, but also in empirical fluid dynamics. They would, in my opinion, almost immediately identify the reasons why GCMs don’t (and never will) match reality. That’s my opinion, though. And I’m more than willing to be convinced otherwise.

    Third, I would bring in botanists to examine the use of tree rings as temperature proxies. Climate scientists seem to make assumptions in this area based on untested assertions, and even then have to select the data they use.

    The examination of the work of climate scientists can and should be done by people in non-climate fields where their expertise greatly exceeds that of the climate community.

  47. Dr. Curry: A bit off topic, but I have to know – What are your thoughts on this article: New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse
    Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/New-Insights-on-the-Physical-Nature-of-the-Atmospheric-Greenhouse-Effect-Deduced-from-an-Empirical-Planetary-Temperature-Model.pdf

    • I found it interesting. What was more interesting, however, was the first reference. It pretty convincingly argues that the “greenhouse effect” is greatly underestimated, and that the earth’s “average temperature” is not explained by the “downwelling long-wave radiation.”

    • https://judithcurry.com/2011/01/31/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon/
      The link above may overlap more than being on point.
      The authors of your paper could be Google searched.
      In the paper they say words to the effect of the GHG effect is 2.7 times what is thought. This is in degrees C. Something like it is 90 C. The field has not shifted and followed their results.

      “…which presents an energy budget for the earth and its atmosphere that does not include infrared radiation. ”

      Roy Spencer, a reliable lukewarmer makes this same point. There is, you need infrared radiation.

  48. Geoff Sherrington

    I hesitate to suggest topics for a red team, until such a team has expressed its dominant intentions. These can range from political, like addressing Trump and Pruitt past statements, to scientific, like addressing the tighter estimation of climate sensitivity, to philosophical, like does global warming matter, to economic like testing past works by Lord Stern.
    The sweeping objective simply has to be a quest for the best possible science. Without that, economics and politics and philosophy are houses built on sand.
    Geoff

  49. Geoff Sherrington

    Also, good science relies on proper estimation and calculation of precision and accuracy of measurement, a major failing in climate research so far. It is still possible that the whole global warming position consists of a series of assertions that never got outside their noise envelopes and confidence limits.
    Geoff

  50. “This is the 2,810th and final post in the nine-year inquiry I began here while still a Times news reporter on October 24, 2007.”
    https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/

  51. The scientists also urged EPA to use the Scientific Advisory Board process, permitting an on-the-record hearing, in which it could draw on analysis from qualified scientists in different fields of knowledge… But EPA ignored these comments, glossed over these fundamental scientific questions, and relied on adjusted, unreliable data. (See–e.g., Brief of Amici Curiae Scientists, Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc., et al., Petitioners, v. EPA, et al.,  )

  52. Framing the debate is establishing a reference frame. A reference frame is a field, a grid that encompasses and connects ALL the available data. All the players must buy into the field, or the exercise becomes meaningless.

  53. This time round deep ocean heating due to subaqueous volcanism (which includes hydrothermal venting) should be considered. There are two effects that are relevant:
    1. The effect that the variation in heating of the deep ocean must certainly have on the variation in sea level both globally and locally and
    2. The effect of major sub-sea eruptions on ocean circulation? Assuming 80 percent of volcanoes occur under the ocean and that the distribution of energy released is similar to that on land implies that four eruptions of the size of Krakatoa are likely to have occurred beneath the ocean during the 20th Century. How much of the variation in ocean circulation is due to such eruptions. Isn’t it time this was modelled?
    Although direct observation is difficult, geothermal heat can be tracked using 3He as a tracer. This is one forcing of natural climate variation which is neither studied nor discussed. Surely the release of terawatts of energy through the ocean floor (e.g. the TAG HTV field at 26 deg north on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is likely to have more effect on climate than the putative “radiative forcing” of one watt per square metre at the top of the atmosphere.

    • “Surely the release of terawatts of energy through the ocean floor (e.g. the TAG HTV field at 26 deg north on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is likely to have more effect on climate than the putative “radiative forcing” of one watt per square metre at the top of the atmosphere.”
      1 w/m2 is 500 terawatts.

      • Indeed, but it’s not only that it’s relatively small, it’s also not changed (or, at least, not very much in the last ~100 years or so) so the equilibrium state of the system already takes it into account.

      • But of course the oceans lose less heat when the atmosphere warms. With thermal inertia ‘pipeline’ implications.

      • But the 6 terawatts is concentrated in an area of a couple of thousand square metres at the bottom of a cold ocean. Intuitively what will have the greatest effect on the dynamics of a saucepan of cold water – suspending a radiator above it or putting it on a hotplate?

      • “suspending a radiator above it or putting it on a hotplate?”

        Well, the first thing is the point AATP made. The 6 MW has always been there. Whatever effect it has is built into the state we are familiar with. The 500 MW forcing (actually more) is new since industrialization.

        But the radiator idea is wrong. Radiative forcing is not like a radiator. It is simply an imbalance:
        “Radiative forcing is the change in the net, downward minus upward, radiative flux (expressed in W m–2) at the tropopause or top of atmosphere due to a change in an external driver of climate change, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. “
        AR5 glossary. It is calculated at TOA, but that doesn’t mean it originates there. In the saucepan analogy, it’s just net heat added to the water, boundary set at the surface.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        There are some global observations that fit well with sub-ocean and deep land movement of thermal sources of considerable size. Geologically, uniformitarianism has long held that geothermal heat is invariant over the global surface, but John Reid is correct to question this assumption. On land, where they are better seen, volcanos do cause a redistribution of heat that should affect surface temperature patterns, in a decadal time scale. How much is again the question. It is not just volcanos, redistribution of magma, also shifting of plates must contribute to variation, however much it is. Time to find out?
        Note that such heat can have an influence on sea surface rise and fall. It is bad science to essentially leave out the deep ocean physics from lack of measurement, while assuming that deep ocean events to do not contribute to such rises and falls.
        Geoff

  54. To me, the framing should be simple. First we need to decide: what do we need to know?

    IMOwhat we need to know is whether the hypothesis that global warming >2C is dangerous is true or false. Or, a more quantifiable/falsifiable question is:

    Would humans’ contribution to global warming be net beneficial or net damaging for the world economy this century?

    I argue this is the key and really the only relevant question, because if the answer is:

    1. Global warming would be beneficial – then there is no justification for mitigation policies or for the huge funding for them, OR

    2. Global warming would be damaging – then it requires cost benefit analyses to determine if mitigation policies would deliver net benefits or do more harm than good

    3. Global warming would be dangerous – then we need to know, and understand the consequences and probabilities and the evidence.

    We especially need to know if #1 is the case so we can stop wasting money and enormous research effort on an issue that is of no consequence. We need to state the correct value of the Social Cost of Carbon. For #1 SCC is negative.

    I’d argue that the red team review should begin by attempting to validate the damage functions in FUND (why FUND? Because it is the widely used and cited IAM that can disaggregate by regions and impact sector). If the energy damage function is wrong (as I believe it may be) but the damage functions for all other sectors are valid, then FUND demonstrates that global warming would be beneficial.

    Therefore, I suggest a Red Team review of FUND by the top world economists who have never been involved or demonstrated any partiality in the climate change debate.

    • Curious George

      Peter, we want to know how to fight the hysteria efficiently. They paint a horror scenario of bad consequences of doing business as usual. We can refute most of their points – but that makes for a lengthy and boring reading. It would be better to show bad consequences of their approach. South Australia volunteered as a pioneer.

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  59. IMHO using the labels “red” and “blue” have all the markings of political debate. After all, in the US “red”= Republican and “blue” = Democrat. I suggest other titles which have no ulterior meanings. Not surprisingly, Democrats support the current CAGW theory, while Republicans don’t.
    I am not a scientist, so I don’t know their lingo – there must be labels that have not been taken over by the politicians, right?

    This is not some arbitrary muse. Keep politics out of the science!

  60. Nuclear for 8 billion people?
    I don’t think so.
    The armadas of trucks transporting goods over Europe [recent trip], USA Australia. China etc powered on solar and wind.
    I don’t think so.
    Electric power from solar and wind will no doubt play a part in reducing fossil fuel use but the problem is looking at the symptom, not the cause.
    Too many people.
    Sensible population reduction is the way to go. Offering people rewards for reducing fertility. Time span 30 years from inception to seeing results. Permanent reduction in emissions.
    Mind you it might happen anyway with a new war, plague, climate change, famines from underproduction or just people doing what happens when they get improved fossil fuel rich economies, having less children because they become more self centered.
    Hey maybe climate changes isn’t so bad after all.

    I repeat the problem is looking at the symptom, not the cause. When we reframe the debate does this get taken into account?

    • angtech
      Population growth in EU is below replacement. In Russia below replacement. In US just barely below. Population in western civilization is going down. Now third world is going up. Problem solviing itself.
      Scott

    • angech is right.
      Do not bet the future on magical technological fixes if we can’t solve the global population problems. We will never run out of debt(money) but everything we will need to support 8 billion people is finite.

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  63. Here’s an estimate of the annual energy release due to formation.of a mid-ocean ridge. Power-wise, it amounts to 1.3 terawatts. It would be interesting to sum up the contributions from hydrothermal vents, ridge formation,
    and lava flows into the ocean.

  64. “…such frames can direct how a problem is stated, who should make a statement about it, what questions are relevant, and what answers might be appropriate.”

    Interestingly the most important frame has been overlooked, the retail frame.

    The framing of AGW/CAGW has only gotten more complex over time. While science and politics framed the original premise the baton was handed off to the media long ago because policy must be driven by support from the people.

    Fringe zealots within the science community, in synergy with the media, have expanded AGW scientific arguments by utilizing the medias power to appeal to the masses. Today the media advances some of the most preposterous propaganda, much of it isn’t refuted. Why would it be refuted? Is integrity of science the mission to arrive at policy? Rhetorical, because politics is its own science. The blue team politically is supported by a massive retail complex; the blue teams genesis was political to begin with.

    The red team must have a retail presence. #1 priority. I would suggest the first thing to develop is an official web site structured much like “Skeptical Science”, basically an issue tree; this has been described on CE before. The UI must be refined and easy to peruse. Provide a resource that’s written in language that anyone with an interest in the sciences can understand. It must be easily accessible, that members of the red team can point to in hearings before congress so that people following the debate have access to the relevant questions they seek information about at their fingertips.

    Non scientists who are wary of much of the arguments, often blatant propaganda, have few places to turn for information. Most people have never heard of Dr. Curry, or CE, and even if they have the content (and interest) goes over the heads of many citizens for anything more than a casual perusal. Even if there’s interest the relevant information they seek is often buried. An issue tree, if properly positioned, promoted and maintained, would serve as a clean interface for the public and officials alike to peruse so they can advance and articulate the many questions that exist, but importantly, have a credible science source as reference.

    A red team is going to have a hard time advancing their concerns if they can’t reach the public.

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  66. New study purports to crush AGW theory– i.e., it’s not the gas… it’s the pressure of the gas, which is something over which humanity has zero control:

    “New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model,” by Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller

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  68. Dr. Curry,

    Hello, let me introduce myself. I’m an EE with power supply, heat sink, electrical + hydraulic circuit design experience, and financial plan designer.

    Every topic I entered into was from a basis of little to no knowledge, and in each case I mastered each area by accurately understanding and capturing the physical nature of the various components via computer modeling. I applied this ability to the climate area with great results in just a few years.

    I monitor the daily solar influence using several daily data product images compared to daily TSI and solar wind changes, and developed an entire forecasting/hindcasting system based on daily solar flux (& SSN) and TSI. Anyone who says this can’t be done is headed for a data-driven wake-up call.

    The sun is responsible for 100% of all warming or cooling within it’s full TSI range. There is no need to conjure up other forcings and feedbacks so prevalent in the IPCC reductionist method.

    The sun warms and cools HadSST3 at an F10.7cm solar flux of 120 sfu at decadal scales, equivalent to SORCE TSI of 1361.25 W/m^2. The earth is super-sensitive to TSI, something David Stockwell determined statistically several years ago. I empirically determined a TSI-SST solar sensitivity factor in °C/W/yr based on annual change in TSI, and used it in conjunction with my empirically determined F10.7cm-TSI relationship to predict in Dec 2015 the 2016 fall in HadSST3 to within less than 3% error.

    The solar cycle influence on temperatures is defined by the rapid rise of TSI upon a cycle onset, that fuels a cycle’s first ENSO, then TSI climbs upwards to the maximum, which fuels the next ENSO when F10.7cm remains above 120 sfu long enough, above SORCE TSI of 1361.25. Any subsequent cycle ENSOS follow subsequent SSN-F10.7-TSI or NH summer insolation spikes.

    Solar forecasting of weather and climate is real and simple, and is effective for predicting the short-term driving conditions necessary for future extreme weather events of all kinds.

    Willis said

    “Let me suggest that any ab initio re-examination of climate science needs to take a hard look at the erroneous current climate paradigm,the unsupported claim that changes in temperature are a simple linear function of forcing and that everything else cancels out.”

    I support with data the claim that changes in temperature are a simple linear lagged function of TSI forcing and that everything else cancels out, that the modern maximum in solar activity exclusively caused the 20th century temperature increase, and that since 2004, since the end of the modern maximum, lower solar activity has caused the ‘pause’, the SC24 TSI rise and peak caused the 2015-16 ENSO, and that falling TSI thereafter is directly responsible for the present cooling.

    I also claim and provide evidence for short-term TSI spikes directly driving short-term tropical ocean temperatures and evaporation that directly sources precipitation and extreme weather events; ocean evaporation that I think Willis has captured well with his work.

    From my POV, billions if not trillions of dollars were wasted because a few self-selected “know-it-alls” didn’t capture the science right, and are now resisting all the countervailing evidence to their POV. Resistance is futile!

    The Sun causes warming, cooling, and extreme events, not CO2!

    The focus on solar activity is reframing the debate. If someone isn’t with it, they’re blue team.

    Bob Weber

    • John Carpenter

      Sounds like you should write this up and submit to PNAS or Nature for publication.

    • Cool: As a scientist, I’m sure your realize that correlation is not proof of causation, especially for short periods of time. And you should be aware that chaotic changes in ocean currents mixing the very cold deep ocean with the much warmer surface can cause a change in surface temperature without any external forcing. So cause and effect on our planet are very hard to sort out.

      As an EE, I’m sure you know that changes in temperature are produced by an imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy or in energy per unit time (Watts). TSI is a measure of incoming energy (or radiation). So if solar changes have changed our climate recently, they must have changed outgoing energy, probably by changing clouds. However, even Willis has found no correlation between the solar cycle and any temperature record. It is possible that there is a complicated lagged effect from the sun, but clouds last hours to days, not years. So a solar effect on clouds shouldn’t have a unusual lag.

      If you appreciate dimensional analysis, use it to think about your TSI-SST solar sensitivity factor with units of °C/W/yr. (°C/yr)/W makes a little more sense. To convert energy to temperature, you need to know the heat capacity of the object. That means you need a heat capacity per unit mass and the mass of the material being warmed (the mixed layer of the ocean in the case of the earth). When you measure energy in terms of power (W=J/s), you obtain a warming RATE (°C/yr). When you use a power flux (W/m2), then you need to know the depth of the material being warmed to know the volume per unit area being warmed by that flux. Does you empirical solar sensitivity factor make any sense in light of this fundamental physics?

      • “Willis has found no correlation between the solar cycle and any temperature record” and “cause and effect on our planet are very hard to sort out”

        This is not an issue, because as I said, I’ve located several daily temperature indices that respond to daily TSI. Think consilience, ie, multiple lines of evidence.

        “Does you empirical solar sensitivity factor make any sense in light of this fundamental physics?”

        The rest of your comment gets to OHC, which is part of my systemic analysis. SST, OHC, and SLR are controlled by solar warming/cooling from TSI via insolation to ocean depths. SST, OHC, and SLR Levitus-based data are linearly related. So yes, my factor makes sense.

        Clouds are generated by insolation-warmed mostly tropical waters, predominantly within a week or less of TSI rising or high in local time, another line of evidence I support with US storm and other data. The water vapor cycle tracks SSTs including the ENSO cycle – they are all related to variable TSI forcing during any sunspot cycle.

        Drought will follow as TSI drops and evaporation slows. Cloud cover in the US this summer has visibly diminished, clearing the skies more, leading to higher insolation, fostering a higher UVI that just cooks the US. Tomorrow the US 58 location average UVI will be 9.5, 0.1 less than the US daily max for the summer. Its why its so hot even under falling TSI. Think system.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        CCI,
        Does your graph really mean that sunlight can penetrate oceans up to 100,000 m depth?
        Geoff.

      • No its a decimal point, 100m.

      • Cool: We already have no trouble predicting daily temperatures when we know the amount of cloud cover (what I think you are calling TSI). The problem is that the air that is warmed over any location will be found perhaps 1000 kilometers away and have turbulently mixed with other air masses. Evaporation locally depends on wind speed and under-saturation of the air. Clouds depend on evaporation and vertical convection and change daily. If you can’t predict changes in clouds, then you can’t predict the future – in a simple model or an AOGCM.

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  71. The recent warming rate during the modern warm period shown here is so similar to previous warm period rates of warming, and the rates of cooling so similar through the series as the same but negative slope, as to suggest a common source. If higher solar activity was responsible for the modern warm period, it becomes plausible to suggest the sun’s variable nature was responsible for the warming and cooling throughout the Holocene, based on the self-similarity in rates.

    The self-similarity in rising and falling SST rates shown below are a clue to the shorter-term solar influence. The sunspot record is the starting point to understand the TSI effect, as it lags SSN, and there is a lag between a cycle TSI peak and the peak temperature. In the case of SC24, it was about a one year lag from 2014 SSN peak to the 2015 TSI peak, followed a year later by the 2016 peak in SST.

    My work ties together how sunspot activity via TSI caused SST change during the modern warm period. The rest of the Holocene is self-similarity.

    Bob

  72. I really hope that this is NOT how the red-blue team thing plays out
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-pruitt-idUSKBN19W2D0

    • Don’t you dare try to stop this. I hope Trump personally appoints you to lead the Red team. You will be legend.

    • Steven Mosher

      Then stand up and oppose it in an editorial.
      You
      Koonin
      Pielke
      Roger Sr
      Pat Micheals.

      You didnt advocate for theatre

  73. Dr Curry,
    Why not replicate the APS review with Dr Koonin taking an active part?

    Did writing presentations and viewgraphs with transcript discussion and questions illuminated much of the controversy?
    Scott

  74. I present a set powerpoint slides that I suggest would be useful in developing a more robust assessment of the climate issue.

    Pielke Sr., R.A. 2017:A New Paradigm for Assessing the Role of Humanity in the Climate System and in Climate Change. Presented to Weiqing Han’s class on February 20, 2017. University of Colorado, ATOC, Boulder, CO.
    https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/ppt-136.pdf

    Of course, I have been saying what is in these slides for years, but am just mostly ignored (but no refuted).

    Roger Sr.

    • Thanks very much for that. The Australian government and opposition would benefit greatly from that presentation – as would the people if it led to sensible policy changes. Perhaps our Institute of Public Affairs and/or the Centre for Independent Studies could arrange and fund a presentation by you to Parliament.

    • Dr Pielke your slide 87 shows you rejected the right hypothesis, #1.

      Humans play no role in SSTs. It’s 100% natural solar warming or cooling.

      Slide 14: The necessary conditions for skillful multi-decadal predictions of extreme events are not based on just averages, but varying solar energy peaks in TSI and particle effects, which can only be very generally inferred from the predicted size of future solar cycles, by using former similar sized cycles as analogs, if such future solar cycle amplitude forecasts can be taken seriously.

      ACE is related to solar activity, for example. Hail & tornadoes too.

      Hindcasting is easy since the vast solar data allows for rapid evaluation of former sunspot and coronal field activity wrt the timing and generation of extreme event conditions prior to the event(s) under study.

      Extreme events are not random – they need energy – from the sun. It’s all so very deterministic too. So much order in the chaos. The sun does all the work – it delivers all the power and energy for extreme events and warming.

      There have also been hundreds of solar climate papers published in the past three years to reflect on in case my words didn’t catch.

      • It is no coincidence that extreme events, natural disasters, and the resulting monetary damages from those events increased notably after high solar activity drove the ‘great climate shift’ of the late 70s. The increase was driven by high powered solar cycles 21-23.

      • The evidence of a significant human role in the climate system is incontrovertible. Please refer to the evidence in the PowerPoint presentation and associated papers. An obvious example is the urban heat island effect.

      • Urban heat island effect does not warm the ocean.

      • Who cares if it heats the oceans or not. It is still a human caused change in climate. Climate is much more than global warming or cooling.

      • “Who cares if it heats the oceans or not. It is still a human caused change in climate.”

        Well, there’s climate change, and then there is Climate Change™

        Neither is a scientific concept.

        Andrew

    • Roger I would appreciate it if you could read and comment on the paper and blogpost linked here and in my 12/10:18 comment below.
      “Climate is controlled by natural cycles. Earth is just past the 2003+/- peak of a millennial cycle and the current cooling trend will likely continue until the next Little Ice Age minimum at about 2650.See the Energy and Environment paper at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
      and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
      Here is the abstract for convenience :”

      • Thank you for your comment. Climate certainly has natural variations on a variety of time scales that are incompletely understood, as Judy Curry and Marcia Wyatt have so effectively reported. However, skillful prediction by anyone has still to be determined. This includes the IPCC.

        However, we also have definitive evidence of a human role in the climate system. As we have repeatedly written in, and is discussed in my PowerPoint presentation, this role includes added CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, but also a diversity of aerosol forcings and feedbacks, and land use change and land management. These human effects further complicate our ability to skillfully predict the climate in coming decades.

        What the IPCC group does not like to hear (and thus they ignore or often vilify) is that their claim of skillful multidecadal regional and global climate predictions is not robust, when tested with hindcast prediction runs.

        When, as I expect, this failure by the IPCC, which is repeated in professional statements such as by the AMS and AGU, is recognized by policymakers, there will be a major loss of credibility in this area of science.

        Roger Sr

    • Dr Pielke,
      Thanks for the presentation.

      A great read and important contribution to the discussion.

      Scott

      • Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read it, and hope this moves the discussion forward to more robust debate.

  75. In the meantime, the Dimowit scare machine has gone into overdrive. From the article:

    Admittedly, such hyping doesn’t guarantee that the article will play in Peoria, but it’s a safe bet that many leading Democrats, and their Green allies, will be devouring “The Uninhabitable Earth.” Indeed, lest anyone think that some headline-writer oversold the story, here are the actual first words:

    It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible.

    The author understands that his core readership is likely to have kept up with the daily—or is it hourly?—updates from The New York Times on the presumed horrors of climate change. Still, he continues, there’s more to fearful of: “No matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/11/pinkerton-climate-doomsday-coming-election-near/

  76. The red team should concentrate on checking out my working hypothesis and forecasts – shouldn’t take long since I make a testable short term prediction.
    TRUMP and PRUITT get the SCIENCE RIGHT – NATURAL CYCLES DRIVE CLIMATE CHANGE.
    Climate is controlled by natural cycles. Earth is just past the 2003+/- peak of a millennial cycle and the current cooling trend will likely continue until the next Little Ice Age minimum at about 2650.See the Energy and Environment paper at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
    and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
    Here is the abstract for convenience :
    “ABSTRACT
    This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60+/- year and, more importantly, 1,000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver is discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak -inversion point – in the UAH6 temperature trend in about 2003. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.”

    • Dr. Page, I’m of the belief many aren’t interested in changing their mind about the true solar impact, it’s 100% control, in spite of how much data and conceptualization we put forward. It would be such an unfortunate thing if the ‘red team’ was once again dominated by those representing the ‘established’ IPCC solar-climate viewpoint.

      The fact is many don’t want to listen to us who see through the entire IPCC reductionist charade, which is based on the absolute belief in a tiny equation that says the sun only contributes about 15% or so of the energy for warming, so according to that IPCC solar paradigm the other 85% or so must come from climate system forcings and feedbacks, ie the root of the reductionist method.

      My #1 question to anyone on the blue team still clinging to the IPCC solar false flag is, if it were so that 85% or so of the energy needed for warming the ocean did not come from the sun, from where did the other 85% or so of the necessary energy for warming came from besides the sun, and why is it so widely believed that there is such another greater source of tangible heat than the sun that no one can identify, measure, or feel? We humans have a pretty good sense of the solar daily heating effect, so why can’t we feel the heat 5X stronger than sunlight, day and night?

      NO evidence exists for an energy source 5X more powerful than sunlight!

      In my view the IPCC solar POV blue team is defending the indefensible, and has everyone chasing their tail looking for other forcings and feedbacks.

    • Dr, Page, I was simply framing it in known parameters, however inaccurate? The point I was making was about uncertainty.

  77. A good start to red teaming would be having Eric Steig, Mike Mann and Gavin Schmidt on the red team side taking on the blue team churnalists :)

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/11/15954106/doomsday-climate-science-apocalypse-new-york-magazine-response

  78. rayvandune,

    Future uncertainty may be expressed in the difference between a 1.3C degree global temperature increase by 2100 on the low end or, on the high end, a 4.5C degree global temperature increase by 2100. If we do nothing the results of global warming destruction by doing nothing would have to outweigh doing something and how much that may reduce risk of destruction. It would also have to outweigh the current and future cost of such mitigation. This is the argument of doing nothing vs doing something in the face of uncertainty. Future destruction is the fear.

    Now suppose the current solar minimum turns out to be true and temperatures by 2100 are actually lower. Then we would have wasted perhaps trillions of dollars for nothing. Also the net amount of available energy from fossil fuels is limited and we may end up moving on to different energy sourced before burning those fuels does any harm. Uncertainty is the key.

  79. Norman Page

    Ordvic You say “Future uncertainty may be expressed in the difference between a 1.3C degree global temperature increase by 2100 on the low end or, on the high end, a 4.5C degree global temperature increase by 2100”
    Not so . For a forecast of the cooling by 2100
    See the Energy and Environment paper at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
    and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
    “This is illustrated by the green curve in Fig. 12, {in the paper{ which shows cooling until 2038, slight warming to 2073 and then cooling to the end of the century, by which time almost all of the 20th century warming will have been reversed. “

    • Dr Page, I was responding to a post by rayvandune about 5/6ths of a way up the the thread. I was referring to uncertainty.

    • Norman Page,

      I continually aski and the alarmists continually dodge the question:

      why are we concerned about global warming? What valid evidence shows that global warming would be harmful for the planet. IPCC AR5 WG3 Chapter 3 points out there is virtually no evidence to support the contention that warming would do more harm than good.

      IPCC AR5 WG3 Chapter 3 mentions ‘Damage Function’ eighteen times http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter3.pdf . Some examples:

      • “Damage functions in existing Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) are of low reliability (high confidence).” [3.9, 3.12]”

      • “Our general conclusion is that the reliability of damage functions in current IAMs is low.” [p247]

      • “To develop better estimates of the social cost of carbon and to better evaluate mitigation options, it would be helpful to have more realistic estimates of the components of the damage function, more closely connected to WGII assessments of physical impacts.”

      • “As discussed in Section 3.9, the aggregate damage functions used in many IAMs are generated from a remarkable paucity of data and are thus of low reliability.”

    • Norman Page,
      I wasn’t meaning to disagree with you. I am just pointing out I think we are fighting the wrong battle continually arguing about the the science and climate change. It’s not climate change we should be arguing about the impacts of climate change, not climate change itself. I believe there are a number of ‘big-picture’ lines of evidence to show any warming our GHG emissions could cause will deliver economic benefits, not damages, to the world. Warming will be net beneficial. GHG emissions also reduce the risks (consequence and probability) of abrupt global cooling, which would be harmful.

      • Will warming cause damage? Although correlation is not causation,

        “79% of the world’s population lives in countries closer to the equator than Japan, but only 31% of the world’s GDP is located there. In other words, the world’s most antipodal 21% of the population produces 69% of the world’s GDP.”

        Of course, prosperity reduces birth rate.

      • Franktoo

        I am not clear on your point. I agree that most of the world’s GDP is produced outside the topics. In fact 78% of world GDP is produced in US, Canada, Europe (excl. former Soviet Union countries), China, Japan, and S. Korea.

        But most of the global warming would occur outside the tropics. For a GMST increase of 3C, the tropics would increase about 1.4C. Outside the tropics (where most of the world’s GDP is produced) would benefit from warming. The temperature change in the tropics would be barely perceptible. The average annual temperature at equator changes by half this amount from year to year and no one even notices.

        I am still asking for the alarmists to defend their premise that 2 C GMST increase would be damaging, let alone dangerous. They seem to hate this question.

      • Peter: Sorry I wasn’t clearer. There is a correlation between higher temperature (lower latitude) and lower per capita GDP. Where it is too hot to work in the middle of the day, societies may be less productive. So warming could cause damage by lowering GDP.

        However, correlation doesn’t mean causation. Other relationships could be important, especially the fall in birth rate as GDP/capita increases.

      • Franktoo,

        Yes. I agree with you. This is well understood and taken into account in the relevant impact functions. FUND takes this into account. It’s included in the impacts plotted in Tol (2013) Figure 3 – Free access to working paper version here: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf
        Figure 3 (bottom panel) shows that the total of all impacts excluding energy would be beneficial to the global economy up to 4C GMST increase.

  80. Wow, this has the possibility of becoming the mother of all rabbit holes, but, nonetheless, I have a few suggestions:

    1. Keep it focused to maybe the top ten or twenty issues. It sounds like Dr Curry and Dr Pielke Sr have a reasonable start on that.

    2. A red team should not attack all of the IPCC results. In the areas where the IPCC has reached strong conclusions or even reasonable conclusions, those areas should be noted.

    3. Let’s not forget that much of the CAGW orthodoxy is really politics masquerading as science. The blue team will stick to their political playbook and will try to dismiss the red team as a tiny bunch of kooks and industry shills. Therefore, the red team must be comprised of a substantial number of professionals with solid credentials. The widely-accepted hoax of the 97% consensus is probably the biggest obstacle. Also, I can almost guarantee that efforts will be made to infiltrate the red team in various ways in order to delay or invalidate the results. Team selection may be the most difficult and important part of this project.

    4. If the blue team gets computer time, then the red team should also get computer time. This may have already been attempted, but I’ve always wondered if the climate models could hindcast (with skill) the natural cooling/warming in the LIA or MWP. However, I’m sure that there are some modelers out there who have much better ideas than that. :-)

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  84. Dr. Curry, I applaud your efforts, but what I’m finding out is people who wish to dominate the discussion at skeptical blogs are inadequate to the evaluation of the solar input on climate, and are working to block out any of us with a realistic solar POV. I try to get along with them, but today I found out what is really going on. I was blocked 3 times today at WUWT for the first time ever for this comment:

    “”Willis always makes it interesting, but has he really identified science’s real misunderstanding?

    My research shows the temperature limits are limited by the range of TSI.

    [quoting Willis from his post]

    “As evidence of the centrality of this misunderstanding, I offer the fact that the climate model output global surface temperature can be emulated to great accuracy as a lagged linear transformation of the forcings. This means that in the models, everything but the forcing cancels out and the temperature is a function of the forcings and very little else. In addition, the paper laying out those claimed mathematical underpinnings is one of the more highly-cited papers in the field.

    To me, this idea that the hugely complex climate system has a secret control knob with a linear and predictable response is hugely improbable on the face of it. Complex natural systems have a whole host of internal feedbacks and mechanisms that make them act in unpredictable ways. I know of no complex natural system which has anything equivalent to that.”

    My research shows changes in SST are a simple linear lagged function of TSI forcings.

    The effort to use TOA can be misleading. The main action of solar energy is upon the ocean, which then acts on the atmosphere. On any given day the air temperature within the troposphere is a response to the ocean surface temperature (which is a lagged response to TSI) and present day TOA. You will completely miss the lagged influence of former TSI when you don’t include it, an influence that is more powerful. It’s no wonder you claim there isn’t a lagged or linear response to TSI.

    if it were so that 85% or so of the energy needed for warming the ocean did not come from the sun, from where did the other 85% or so of the necessary energy for warming came from besides the sun, and why is it so widely believed that there is such another greater source of tangible heat than the sun that no one can identify, measure, or feel? We humans have a pretty good sense of the solar daily heating effect, so why can’t we feel the heat 5X stronger than sunlight, day and night?

    NO evidence exists for an energy source 5X more powerful than sunlight!

    In my view the IPCC solar POV blue team is defending the indefensible, and has everyone chasing their tail looking for other forcings and feedbacks.”

    ***

    Willis has never argued for a real heat source 5X more energetic than sunlight – he couldn’t find one if he ever tried, because there isn’t one. Isn’t that interesting?””

    ************************
    The point of telling you this is for you to be completely aware of the shenanigans that go on elsewhere, and how their overblown influence on the climate debate is distorting the true view of the solar driven climate.

    There cannot be an effective red team with this going on.

    There are too many people entrenched in the wrong POV who have too much pride and ego on the line, and allowing these same people to run the red team is asking for decades for misunderstandings.

    The focus should be on whether humans warmed the ocean more than the sun does, not on everything unrelated to that, for example land use issues.

  85. The media, public, and scientists skeptical of us skeptics, those who ‘deny’ us, want to know why temps rise and fall and they want a valid understandable reason why humans aren’t responsible for it or extreme events, not just a well-said roundup of ‘skeptical central committee’ approved rote refutations of warmist dogma and canards.

    The warmist propagandists have very skillfully presented the public with at least the patina of an overall CO2 theory of climate, and making us into “deniers” in minority opposition to their theory. Everything they do wrt temperature series and extreme events is based on their faulty attribution of ocean & land warming to CO2 concentrations and man-made emissions..

    On the skeptical side, the real differences between factions are keeping us apart, effectively preventing us from rallying around a central organizing principle besides “denying” warmists, such as what actually is driving the climate.

    The red team must successfully convey not just a “denial” of warmist talking points, but a credible theory that explains warming, cooling, and specific conditions for extreme events. So far there are no outstanding skeptic-side theories for the rise in SSTs since the LIA other than the solar one.

    The key to weather events and climate change is understanding the relationship between the variable amount of energy the ocean absorbs from the sun, via insolation, via variable TSI, and the amount of time it takes for the solar heat deposited at all depths to resurface, and under what solar conditions does solar heat accumulate at depth:

    Since Rick Perry’s statement that ocean temperatures drive air temps is right and easily supportable, all the red team has to do to beat the blue team is properly understand and convey how the ocean warms and cools.

    • David Wojick

      The Red Team does not have to provide “a credible theory that explains warming, cooling, and specific conditions for extreme events.” It merely has to make clear that no such explanation presently exists. It could catalog the various known hypotheses, including yours, by way of refocusing the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). That might be very useful.

    • coolclimateinfo: The red team must successfully convey not just a “denial” of warmist talking points, but a credible theory that explains warming, cooling, and specific conditions for extreme events. So far there are no outstanding skeptic-side theories for the rise in SSTs since the LIA other than the solar one.

      There is no complete, accurate, detailed theory for the full set of changes observed over the past few thousand years. For now, it is worthwhile to point out the inaccuracies, omissions, known unknowns and such in the “consensus” theory.

  86. Dr Curry,
    I am a lawyer in Vancouver BC who has only recently got into following this debate largely because I had two sisters get into an argument over this issue and are now hardly on speaking terms. My comments will not be of a technical nature. But I would like to address the constitution of the Red Team Blue Team concept. I am assuming from reading exerpts from the Koonin op.ed that he is contemplating two teams rather than just a Red Team critiquing the IPCC 5th Assessment.

    The most recent suggestion of Pruitt that there be a televised debate on Climate Change would turn this into a gong show. Hopefully that does not mean that they have rejected the idea of the Red Team Blue Team approach.

    Assuming that you are in some way consulted, I would like to add a suggestion to vary the “Red Team Blue Team” approach which, as presently constituted, is to arrive at some dialectical “consensus”. I highly doubt that would work very well given the entrenched views on both sides of this issue. It was based upon your testimony to the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology that I read all the materials posted on the APS website in respect of the 2014 APS panel chaired by Steve Koonin to examine any changes the APS might make regarding their statement on Climate Change. What I found frustrating about that process was the lack of any reasons for the ultimate decision by the Board of Directors of the APS when they revised their statement in 2015.

    My proposal is that we amend the Red Team Blue Team approach by subjecting the question of “human caused climate change” to the adversarial system of justice we have with our common law systems in both the US and Canada (inherited from England). What I found fascinating about the APS panel was that in many ways it was like lawyers (climatologists in this case) appearing before an appellate court. The IPCC 5th Assessment GP1 was the “factum” for one side, the Workshop Framing Document represented the questions posed from the bench, and the transcript of the hearing represented the “give and take” between the “lawyers” during the oral argument. I guess we did get a “ruling” by the APS by their new policy statement in 2015 but what was missing, which is absolutely critical for justice, were the reasons for the decision. I fully understand why the B of D of the APS could not step down from the bold statement they had made in 2007 (other than backing off the word “incontrovertible”). But this creates suspicion in the minds of the public because it is “behind closed doors”. Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.

    So my suggestion is that Secretary of Energy Perry should announce that there will be a procedure similar to an appellate hearing. He should appoint Koonin as the “chief justice” and have Koonin alone appoint the other members of the appellate body, most of whom should not have any axe to grind. But the appellate panel should have at least one well-known climatologist on each side of the debate. How many “judges” there should be on the panel I do not know, perhaps nine (9) like the US Supreme Court. There is no question that there will be dissent on this panel. That is easily accommodated just like in any legal appeal. There could be any number of dissenting opinions rendered along with the majority opinion.

    This way the public can get some sense of where they should stand because they at least have independent persons (most of whom I would expect should be physicists, engineers etc) coming to a rational decision. Who knows? Maybe they cannot even come to a majority decision. That in itself would be information.

    What has troubled me from the beginning of my inquiries into Climate Change is why intelligent people like Hawking and Tyson have signed on to this cause. Have they undertaken their own investigation or have they just relied on others? It was fascinating to hear of Koonin’s surprise at how much discrepancy there was between the model predictions and observations (I assume he was not faking it). To this day, I have not had any of the contributors to SkepticalScience explain why Santer and Held (two IPCC participants), when presented with the chart introduced by Christy at the APS hearing, could only say that Christy’s chart was not “new information”. There only was a weak reply to the effect that they could not trust the actual observations. Since that hearing, there obviously have been numerous “peer-reviewed studies” to show that there are in fact no discrepancies. Why am I not surprised?

    I have to agree with one other blogger that I think your proposal of broadening the issue up to all climate variability will dilute the causation issue and bog it down. I think separately you and the EPA (or whoever) should be pushing the Trump administration for much more research into these other areas before this becomes part of the debate. You simply do not have the same body of evidence because of the paucity of research. As a result, you end up without an alternative theory which, as logical as this is, does not sell well with the public. I think you have already made this suggestion in the recent House hearing in March 2017 that more funds should be dedicated to improving our ability to measure land, atmosphere and ocean temperatures from this point on.

    Given Pruitt’s proposal, my worry is that Trump is not prepared to undertake the Red Team Blue Team approach and we will be left with the gong show of a televised debate with a lot of name calling. I worry that Pruitt’s suggestion means that Trump has told Perry to back off since he returned from Europe.

    • norrismorgan,

      Thank you. A very substantive comment.

      However, I am concerned about the approach you suggest. I expect it would certainly be taken over by activists with a cause – the CAGW cause.

      And I suggest there is not need to argue about climate science or alternative explanations of climate change. The argument should be focused on the impacts of climate change. The whole argument about climate change is underpinned by the presumption and innuendo that climate change would be damaging, dangerous. However, the evidence to support this belief is lacking. Even IPCC says so:

      IPCC AR5 WG3 Chapter 3 mentions ‘Damage Function’ eighteen times http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter3.pdf . Some examples:

      • “Damage functions in existing Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) are of low reliability (high confidence).” [3.9, 3.12]”

      • “Our general conclusion is that the reliability of damage functions in current IAMs is low.” [p247]

      • “To develop better estimates of the social cost of carbon and to better evaluate mitigation options, it would be helpful to have more realistic estimates of the components of the damage function, more closely connected to WGII assessments of physical impacts.”

      • “As discussed in Section 3.9, the aggregate damage functions used in many IAMs are generated from a remarkable paucity of data and are thus of low reliability.”

      Julian Morris (2015) http://reason.org/files/social_costs_of_regulating_carbon.pdf says

      “—the social cost of carbon should be set at zero”

      Richard Tol (2013) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-012-0613-3#page-1 indicates that global warming would be economically beneficial up to 4C GMST increase, for all impact sectors other than energy. The energy projection is likely wrong.

      Scotese (2016) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275277369_Some_Thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_for_Icehouse_to_Hothouse_Conditions says the average temperature for the past 650 Ma (i.e. since animal life began) was about 7C warmer than now. Life thrived for most of that time. And increase of 3C would not get the climate even half way to the average temperature over that time.

      Scotese (2016) also says that Earth is currently in about the severest icehouse phasesince animal life began.

      The eight of evidence does not support the alarmists contention that 2C of warming (o3 3 C or 4C) would be dangerous or harmful. In fact, it suggest global warming would be beneficial for life on Earth and human well being.

      There is much more evidence. All the alarmists can seem to come up with to defend their beliefs is innuendo based on cheery picked studies of negative impacts.

  87. The alternate theory is the theory. Great, stochastically forced internal mechanisms dominate climate variability – and we have what is likely to be a carbon dioxide blip. The appellate court idea is interesting. I’d still go for young, attractive, name to make for themselves, media savvy scientists.

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  89. David Wojick

    I like Pruitt’s idea of a TV debate on the climate science. The challenge would be to make it accurate but non-technical. This is similar to the teaching challenge. See my
    http://www.cfact.org/2017/07/11/how-to-teach-kids-about-climate/.
    Also:
    https://www.gofundme.com/climate-change-debate-education.

  90. Peter Lang

    Peter Lang,

    I have to admit that I was moved by your comments and those of others on this website that we should focus on whether AGW is harmful but my worry is that it would in effect be conceding the first issue as to whether GCM’s do a good job of predicting the level of temperature change in the future. There is no question that we are experiencing AGW but it is a question of degree (excuse the pun). I do not think the public have any sense of how inaccurate the GCM’s are in predicting the future. If Koonin did not understand how much variance there was between predictions and observations at the time of the APS hearing then what about even knowledgeable people let alone “Joe public”? As well, it has to be shown that the “hind casting” used by these models only matches the past with fudging using, from what I understand, assumptions as to aerosol forcing (and I assume other factors).

    Perhaps we have to have Perry announce two separate hearings (NOT political hearings!). The first hearing would deal with: (1) the causes of warming (in the past and in the future), (2) an analysis of how much we can learn from the paleontological record (including the validity of the “hockey stick” analysis), and (3) the ability of the models to predict future temperature increases. I would dearly love to have the feet of IPCC climatologists put to the fire on the explanation of the MWP once Mann’s hockey stick is put in its proper place (the dump heap). This hearing would consist of an independent panel of physicists etc with the two sides of the debate represented by climatologists (leave out the lawyers). In proposing this, I have to admit that I am now more in Judith Curry’s camp because this does bring into the mix the other factors influencing climate change other than CO2. But this hearing would be very educational for the public.

    The second hearing, perhaps six (6) months later, would consist of a completely different panel both in the composition of the members of the panel itself and the disputants because a multitude of economic issues come to the forefront. I will not even begin to address what issues should be considered here but clearly the most important one would be your point that moderate warming would, in all likelihood, be good for the planet.

    I must admit that in my search for answers I pick up books on both sides of the argument. I am presently reading “The Atlas of Climate Change” authored by Kirstin Dow and Thomas Downing. Dow is described as a “Lead Author of the IPCC 5th Assessment contributing to adaptation”. The portions of this book describing the drastic consequences of AGW are laughable. I cannot imagine how anyone with any intelligence could actually swallow this stuff. It reads like something addressed to elementary students. As well, it simply assumes that all extreme weather events are caused by AGW notwithstanding the IPCC admission that there presently is no empirical evidence to that effect (thanks in large part to the contributions of Roger Pielke Sr).

    But on the other hand, I have a very intelligent tax lawyer in my tax study group who is seriously concerned that the melting of the glaciers could cause the destruction of the Gulf Current leading to massive changes in the climate of Northern Europe. It does not seem to help to tell him that even the IPCC ranks this as highly improbable.

    A problem we have as humans is that we can perseverate on a very serious consequence even if we know that it only has a 1% chance (or less) of occurring. I have seen this many times when giving clients legal advice on what might or might not happen based upon the facts as we know them at the time a decision has to be made. They take hold of the 1% downside.

    Intelligent people, like my tax lawyer friend, have to know how weak the GCM’s are in their ability to predict future temperature changes. Until that happens, it is difficult to even raise this issue with an intelligent group of people without them privately thinking you are a “denier” of something that has long since been accepted as fact. I must admit, when you have the press, the leaders of the industrial world, scientists like Stephen Hawking and even presidents of oil and gas companies all saying the same thing, I think we absolutely need the first hearing.

    • norrismorgan,

      I’m willing to bet that GCM models will get better and when they do you will have to re-litigate their validity. This process will repeat over and over because that’s what science does. If we are headed for a new ice age or a new climate optimum we will see it coming. Warmer or cooler it’s the lower parts of the food web we should avoid disrupting. The battle over CO2 is just symbolic for whether humans can cause long term damage the biosphere by changing the chemical composition of the air, water and soil.

      “Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.”

    • Norismorgan,

      Thank you. You said:

      I have to admit that I was moved by your comments and those of others on this website that we should focus on whether AGW is harmful but my worry is that it would in effect be conceding the first issue as to whether GCM’s do a good job of predicting the level of temperature change in the future.

      I disagree. There are two hypotheses in the IPCC assertions that global warming is mostly caused by man and that more than 2C GW is dangerous and therefore must be avoided. Less dramatic and more refutable is that GW will cause negative impacts to the global economy. If either hypothesis is shown to be flalse, the CAGW meme is falsified.

      However, whereas climate scientists, IPCC etc. have spent 30+ years focusing on the climate science trying to support their hypothesis that climate change is mostly due to humans and, therefore, must be stopped, little study has been done of the impacts of climate change. That is the information that is missing and is badly needed.

      The argument about how much climate change is caused by humans is bogged down in ideological beliefs. It’s going nowhere. It’s believed by the mainstream media and celebrities and they win the public battle. This will continue for ages.

      However, the economic analysis can be done. Not only can it be done, it can be done objectively by many competent, unbiased economists. To date, very little objective, unbiased study has been done by competent economists. It’s desperately needed. IMO.

    • Norismorgan,

      Further to my previous comment:

      The justification for climate policies, carbon pricing, mandating and subsidizing renewable energy, penalising fossil fuels, etc. are all justified on the basis of the premise that global warming is dangerous or that it will have net negative impacts on the global economy. If this premise is false then the massive waste on climate policies is not justifiable.

      If the premise that global warming is dangerous is refuted, then the GCM projections are irrelevant.

  91. Off on our sailboat for 3 weeks. Will be looking forward to the wind but very much appreciate our diesel engine and generator!

  92. Yer git out of trouble card.

  93. Beth

    Just saw your reply re max.

    I have been in contact with his wife last week and have an invite to lunch with her In Switzerland should my wife and I go over to the opera in Bregenz this year.

    After we visited them before we enthused about it and they decided to visit the next night!
    tonyb

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