Reviewing the CCSR: Discussion thread

by Judith Curry

This post is running parallel to the post Reviewing the Climate Science Special Report (a technical post), to accommodate general discussion on the topic

119 responses to “Reviewing the CCSR: Discussion thread

  1. Pingback: Reviewing the CCSR: Discussion thread – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. A couple of people in their review have already mentioned the MWP. They need to note that the latest and most comprehensive reconstruction doesn’t really show it.
    http://www.unibe.ch/news/media_news/media_relations_e/media_releases/2017_e/media_releases_2017/most_comprehensive_database_on_past_global_changes_published/index_eng.html/?

    • yes it was earlier.

    • Dear Jim D and others, as you probably know, Steve McIntyre has briefly reviewed the PAGES2017 publication at
      https://climateaudit.org/ on 11 July 2017 under the heading ‘PAGES 2017: New Cherry Pie’, with follow-up posts on specialised aspects on 22 and 29 July. McIntyre is scathing about the data selection methodology adopted by the 100-strong PAGES2017 team and (as I understand it) concludes that their work throws little or no light on the existence or not of the MWP. The PAGES 2017 reconstructions may be recent and wide-ranging, but do they have any scvientific value?

      • I don’t think he complained about the lack of the MWP there, just some things about using recent data.

      • Jim D doesn’t care about the quality of the research. He knows that humans are driving the warming of the planet, that CO2 is overwhelmingly the means by which we doing so and that the change is incontrovertibly universally bad. So any data set, even one as contrived as Pages2k, is acceptable if it supports his storyline. Mann, Marcott, Lovejoy, Gergis, and on and on. Somehow I suspect Jim would have been a major shareholder in the companies which produced various tonics which cured whatever you had. He has a real affinity for snake oil.

      • timg56 “He has a real affinity for snake oil.”

        Jim D is man of scruples, and would never sell you snake oil he didn’t believe in himself. And so of necessity he believes.

      • Well, heck, I think humans are driving the warming of the planet.

        But by how much? (Not much.)

        And to what effect? (Huge net benefit writ large, so far.)

  3. What are the chances that any of Judith’s citizen scientists will find anything in the CCSR that underestimates the negative effects of human impacts to the environment?

    • Humans are the environment.
      We do not inhabit nature. We are nature.
      There are only effects.
      Positive or negative is subjective.
      Science is the flower that blooms after the withering heat of examination.

    • Jack
      as one of Judith’s citizen scientists you are wrong in assuming we will underestimate anything. We have this novel idea of trying to assessing the facts and evidence.
      When I stopped studying science aged 16 – 40 years ago -we has already learnt that its necessary to look at the evidence, form a hypothesis and test it. We used to call it the empirical method.
      Whereas you ‘real’ scientists seek to find an attention grabbing hypothesis that will secure you notoriety, funding and attention and then manipulate the evidence to fit it using repeatedly failing expensive ornate computer models that even I can see always run hot.
      My old science teacher would turn in his grave to read some of the stuff you write.

    • Jack
      As one of Judith’s citizen scientists you are wrong in assuming we will underestimate anything. We have this novel idea of trying to assess the facts and evidence.
      When I stopped studying science aged 16 – 40 years ago, we had already learnt that its necessary to look at the evidence, form a hypothesis and test it. We used to call it the empirical method.
      Whereas you ‘real’ scientists seek to find an attention grabbing hypothesis that will secure you notoriety, funding and attention and then manipulate the evidence to fit it using repeatedly failing expensive, ornate computer models that even I can see always run hot.
      My old science teacher would turn in his grave to read some of the stuff you write.My English teacher would prefer this version.

    • rebelronin,
      Humans use technology to change reality. No, not the laws of physics but the climate and chemical reality that the biosphere must exist in. Second and third order effects like dead zones, coral bleaching, species extinctions, rising sea levels, toxic algae blooms, ocean, river and lake deoxygenation, aquifer depletion are all enhanced and accelerated by our technology. The smart approach is to create low impact technology that minimizes side effects that we may not be able to reverse.

      co2warmingbollocks,
      Do you trust machines more than you do humans? I do. If our sensors detect the chemical balance and thermodynamics of the climate are changing at a faster rate than we have observed in hundreds of thousands of years then it’s logical to expect we will see secondary effects. If these secondary effects result in negative economic conditions then even the most hardened skeptics will start looking to science to deal with the problems our technology creates. Not a question of if, but when.

      • jacksmith4tx: “science to deal with the problems our technology creates”

        Rather than repeating nonsense, try parsing it in your mind first.

      • aporiac1960,
        Just finished reading Pandora’s Lab (2017) by Paul A. Offit, MD. I recommend you have a look.

        My PV array just detected the solar eclipse at 11:42 AM, CST. Output is dropping and accelerating!

      • jacksmith4tx
        “Humans use technology to change reality.”
        Humans cannot change reality.
        Because …
        “chemical reality that the biosphere must exist in.”
        We are nothing more than an effect of that ‘reality’.
        “Second and third order effects”
        Does nature know how to count?
        “The smart approach”
        In my experience, Gaia favors the lucky.
        Just for me, all the things you mention are not science.
        Part of my interest is in the difference between social value judgments and reality, provided there is such a thing.

      • “I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there’s no real problem, but I’m not sure there’s no real problem.”
        The “observer effect” was first noticed by the early pioneers of quantum theory, they were deeply troubled. It seemed to undermine the basic assumption behind all science: that there is an objective world out there, irrespective of us. If the way the world behaves depends on how – or if – we look at it, what can “reality” really mean?
        If quantum entanglement exists it’s because we changed reality.

      • Quantum weirdness, the cat and all that, hardly means we are calling the shots.

      • If our sensors detect the chemical balance and thermodynamics of the climate are changing at a faster rate than we have observed in hundreds of thousands of years

        Please familiarize yourself with Shannon’s sampling theorem. Then you will understand why a “faster rate” over that “hundreds of thousands of years” would be missing even if the “faster rate” had happened. The sampling rate of proxy data is simply to slow to capture a “faster rate”.

      • Greg F,
        So is this why we have problems with temporally diffuse proxy reconstructions and trying to project them into the future? We only have a few places on the planet that retain quantifiable climate data like ice cores.
        This report illustrates the problem.
        “Record-shattering 2.7-million-year-old ice core reveals start of the ice ages”
        http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/record-shattering-27-million-year-old-ice-core-reveals-start-ice-ages
        “The ice revealed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that did not exceed 300 parts per million, well below today’s levels. Some models of ancient climate predict that such relatively low levels would be needed to tip Earth into a series of ice ages. But some proxies gleaned from the fossils of animals that lived in shallow oceans had indicated higher CO2 levels. If the new result holds up, says Yige Zhang, a paleoclimatologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, the proxies will need to be recalibrated. “We have some work to do.”
        Michael Bender, a Princeton geochemist on the discovery team, solved the problem by finding a way to date chunks of ice directly from trace amounts of argon and potassium gases they contain. Although not as precise as other dating methods, Bender says, the technique can date ice to within 100,000 years or so.

      • Now here is a rational comment. Right.

        Humans use technology to change reality – that’s a good one. Are you referring to the reality of small bands of hunter gatherers, with huge infant mortality rates and short life spans?

        Yes, jack, lets revert to “low impact” technology. Like draught animals instead of internal combustion engines. Windmills to pump water out of the ground. Hell, lets simply stop pumping water. Once the food supply crashes, population crash should follow and jack gets his “reality” world of very few humans.

        Anyone want to take a bet jack doesn’t volunteer to make his own personal contribution to reducing the number of humans on the planet?

      • So is this why we have problems with temporally diffuse proxy reconstructions and trying to project them into the future?

        Not that simple. Diffusion of gasses over time make definitive statements of CO2 concentrations from ice cores less than credible.

        http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/CO2_diffusion_in_polar_ice_2008.pdf

        CO2 diffusion in polar ice: observations from naturally formed CO2 spikes in the Siple Dome (Antarctica) ice core
        Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 54, No. 187, 2008

        ABSTRACT. One common assumption in interpreting ice-core CO2 records is that diffusion in the ice does not affect the concentration profile. However, this assumption remains untested because the extremely small CO2 diffusion coefficient in ice has not been accurately determined in the laboratory. In this study we take advantage of high levels of CO2 associated with refrozen layers in an ice core from Siple Dome, Antarctica, to study CO2 diffusion rates. We use noble gases (Xe/Ar and Kr/Ar), electrical conductivity and Ca2+ ion concentrations to show that substantial CO2 diffusion may occur in ice on timescales of thousands of years. We estimate the permeation coefficient for CO2 in ice is ~4×10–21 mol m-1 s-1 Pa-1 at –23 degree C in the top 287m (corresponding to 2.74kyr). Smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion at this depth/age is one or two orders of magnitude smaller than the smoothing in the firn. However, simulations for depths of ~930–950m (~60–70kyr) indicate that smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion in deep ice is comparable to smoothing in the firn. Other types of diffusion (e.g. via liquid in ice grain boundaries or veins) may also be important but their influence has not been quantified.

        Rendering ““The ice revealed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that did not exceed 300 parts per million” rather meaningless. And one more thing. This NASA video shows CO2 concentrations over the globe. Please notice that the concentration at the poles is consistently lower.

      • Greg,
        1. These new ice cores quadruple the previous ice age limit of 800kyr. There is no way you are going to convince the scientific community to ignore this new data. The researchers claim they think they can find 5myr old ice so this will be quite significant for a wide spectrum of paleo climate reconstructions. This could turn out to be a Rosetta Stone that will be used to calibrate proxies of all types.
        2. While limited to Antarctica the survey showed there are thousands of miles of blue ice deposits surrounding the continent so we will see better granualarty in proxy resolution as more cores are drilled.
        3. There has been many papers written about gas diffusion in ice cores so I am skeptical the one paper you cite has setteled the science. First thing I noticed was the diffusion rates they estimate are constrained to a relatively short time period of no more than 70kyr. That said, ice cores remain the only source of pristine atmospheric samples that exist prior to human civilization. Even with a 100kyr resolution that should give us over 20 discrete samples to estimate trends.
        4. As to polar CO2 concentrations I will just point to the fact that NOAA has multiple CO2 observatories (Hawaii, Antarctica, Samoa, Greenland and Alaska) and that all show current CO2 levels above 400ppm so that is proof that it is now and has always been a well mixed gas globally. NASA’s animation is more of a visual representation of source emissions. You don’t want to assume northern hemispheric emissions, which represent most active region of the annual carbon cycle, are constrained north of the equator.

  4. Given the utter lack of integrity of government agencies during the last 8 years, there is little reason to trust the report’s aledged analysis. Assign the report to the nearest dumpster and try it again, this time using people who are even-handed and only seek truth, wherever it leads.

  5. Further, attempting to deal with legions of innuendo and quasi-science politically infested material is an utter waste of time. Too hard to differentiate nonsense from some material that may have merit.

  6. Say Judith –

    Are you still promoting the nonsense that Trump’s administration will try to de-politicize climate science and advance resiliency?

    The White House confirmed that the order issued Tuesday would revoke an earlier executive order by former President Barack Obama that required recipients of federal funds to strongly consider risk-management standards when building in flood zones, including measures such as elevating structures from the reach of rising water. Obama’s Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, established in 2015, sought to mitigate the risk of flood damage charged to taxpayers when property owners file costly claims.

  7. Clarification: the nomination links I list are for reviewers of the NCA4, not the CSSP. This is a chance for skeptics to try to get on the inside of the National Assessment process.

  8. A CSSP draft was published for public comment during the holiday to inauguration period and no one noticed. Red teaming this final version is a great idea. It is so extreme that a good red team report will make the real scientific debate both obvious and official.

  9. I started reading this report it is so not true and could not read it for very long.

  10. Mr. Pruitt, please organize the Red Team to review and edit the Climate Science Special Report

    Atmospheric Group
    Richard Lindzen
    John Christy
    Roy Spencer
    Sallie Baliunas

    Oceanographic Group
    Judith Curry
    Roger Pielke Sr.
    Don Easterbrook

    Ecological Group
    Freeman Dyson
    William Happer
    Craig Idso
    Patrick Moore

    Economic Group
    Ross McKitrick
    Bjorn Lomborg
    Roger Pielke Jr.

    Statistical Group
    Christopher Essex
    Steve McIntyre
    Anthony Watts

  11. Rather than a specific technical point about the report, instead a comment about how to deal with it.

    It strikes me the problem of a report like this is that it is loaded with detail, much of it more controversial than it allows, so any critique risks getting lost in that detail. One gets lost in the noise.

    The purpose of report is to help identify and manage the key risks, providing a balanced assessment of the relevant science. The simple point is that if one were writing this with the key risks in mind, one wouldn’t start from this report.

    So I think a much more constructive critique would be not to go point by point, but say this is how it should be done if it was real science.

    With this in mind a couple of comments.

    The report’s overall conclusion p12 is “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.” There is a further issue that is important for risk management, namely that the warming will have significant net adverse effects, but in the interests of simplicity we can put that aside until the scientific case for the causality of the warming has been dealt with.

    We can also put aside the issue of whether it is warmer (both globally and in the US) now than it was (say) at the turn of the last century. It is the causality and attribution hypotheses that should be central.

    So much better to properly formulate the causality and attribution hypotheses and systematically address the evidence available, rather than adopting a style that uses a random walk through factoids pausing to say “there, what did I tell you, I must be right” and “but wait, there’s more”, interspersed with stories about how bad it will be.

    Just structuring the content of such a report should be quite simple, and frankly get to the heart of where the problem lies, rather than buy into the game.

    • Has, You did a very good job of pointing out how deceptive the report can be on your first post on the other thread. Here you are pointing out how easy it is to get caught up in the minutia and drown in a million drops. I had drawn up a similar solution you propose here but posted it on the wrong thread so it got deleted. I didn’t save the txt so I dropped the matter thinking it might not be received well anyway. I also proposed a way to start our own report. I also proposed some chapters for a report like that:

      1.) Are Warming and Cooling Climates Unusal?
      2.) Attribution
      2.) Atmosphere
      4.) Oceans
      5.) Land and Sea Ice
      6.) Tectonics
      7.) Energy Technologies
      8.) Policy
      9.) Summary

      I had 11 chps before LOL.

      Anyway if a few others respond I’ll repost my my idea for organizing such an endeavor.

      Any ideas? Most appreciated.

      • My inclination would be to keep it simple – focus on falsifying the hypotheses. This would I suspect basically involve looking at the climate over the pre anthropogenic period, and testing the differences for significance.

      • Ordvic

        Who would you expect to read it and how woud you put it in front of them?

        Tonyb

      • I donno but I have an Idea. The mess that’s being made on the reviewing page is going to accomplish WHAT? Who will read that?

        The report could be sent to all the same agencies as CCSR report. It could be sent to individual congress persons and to the President. Often times people bombard the congress and administration. Pick one kind of communication and have everyone send a copy

      • Tony, Perhaps a more direct approach would be better. Send the report to Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency. Also send a copy to Ted Cruz chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. That committee oversees the EPA.

      • …and to add to the trifecta of non-scientists, send it to Lamar Smith. You may as well have your cat read it for all they’ll contribute.

      • > Any ideas? Most appreciated.

        Try this:

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

        If I miss anything, please advise.

      • TE – Your reference makes no mention of “extreme precipitation” in the British Isles or planet wide. However you did seem to be convinced that there has recently been increased precipitation across the northern hemisphere in the form of snow in fall and winter?

        Tony – Even a long list of historical anecdotes won’t impress me, or it seems TE. The Met Office paper said:

        There is an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of
        increase is consistent with what is expected from fundamental physics. Although formal attribution is still challenging, it is possible to identify a contribution from climate change for some major flooding events, as the recent paper by Peterson et al. (2013) on the attribution
        of extremes showed. It is worth emphasizing that there is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly heavy rain events.

        King Alfred doesn’t refute “fundamental physics”.
        .

      • “extreme precipitation”

        Precipitation is not measured directly over most of the planet.

        Even where precipitation has been measured, there appear to be numerous biases which are probably not removable given the lack of important instrument/siting information.

        Increasing the size of precipitation gauges increases the amount of recorded precipitation. ( less splash loss ).
        Wind changes the accuracy.
        Because of this, moving from roof top to ground level increases the amount of recorded precipitation.
        Also, increased surface roughness height of the surrounding area ( urbanization ) reduces wind speeds, which increases the amount of recorded precipitation.

        On top of the large amount of missing data, there is a lack of coherence to precipitation trends. In the US, stations with decreases of annual total and daily max precip occur adjacent to stations with increases. There is much uncertainty with precipitation trends, especially from the rain gauges.

      • Jim
        I don’t know why you think they are anecdotal. I know of no one that disputes the Somerset levels were very wet a thousand years ago. They were pumped out, allowed to flood again and have had the pumps returned. If you know differently then tell us.

        There are hundreds of records of prolonged wet periods and extreme weather throughout our history

        Are they all anecdotal and can be safely ignored so you can then point to a modern heavy Rainfall event as proof that nothing like it has ever happened Before?

        Tonyb

      • Tony – Each individual “extreme event” is “anecdotal”, whether ancient or modern.

        I didn’t say “nothing like it has ever happened before”. Please stop constructing men of straw.

        The Met Office said “There is an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from fundamental physics”. Try refuting that.

        Meanwhile Harvey is now a category 3 major hurricane.

      • Jim

        The BBC were just showing everyone getting prepared. No doubt we shall get the usual idiots surfing in mountainous seas.

        Tonyb

      • > The Met Office said “There is an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from fundamental physics”. Try refuting that.

        Easy:

      • Mornin’ Willard (UTC) – Sorry, I seem to have got slightly misthreaded somewhere along the line. Whilst we’re on the topic of anecdotal art I’m somewhat surprised that Tony hasn’t trotted this one out yet:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/bristol/content/articles/2007/01/30/flood_feature.shtml

        Four hundred years ago, in the reign of James I of England, a disaster hit the south west of the country, as a huge surge of water coursed up the Bristol Channel – covering 200 square miles of land with water and killing 2,000 people.

        Since it’s obviously possible to get images in comments on here perhaps you could give me masterclass at some point? Let’s try:

        Meanwhile in Texas:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-41059441/hurricane-harvey-hits-texas

      • Well that didn’t work! What about just:

      • Jim Hunt, Yeah I sometimes hit and miss with pics as well. Usually they’ll work if it has jpg or png on the end. If not it probably won’t. If you use right clic and copy that will work except when it won’t copy at all (protected) it just won’t show up when you paste.

      • I like the wood carving

      • Willard, that links to contrarian matrix is interesting.

      • jim

        What has a likely tsunami got to do with climate change??!!

        Good grief jim, and you accuse me of using strawmen in introducing to a third party a comment that you think I would make . Yours is a strawman squirrel.

        Obviously the past never happened so anything today is going to be unprecedented. My words, not yours.

        tonyb

      • Tony – It’s a piece of “anecdotal art” that strikes me as being quite topical just at the moment! In case you’ve forgotten I take a great professional interest in such matters. For your further enlightenment please see:

        http://www.V2G.co.uk/2017/08/hurricane-harvey-power-outages/

        Currently over 200,000 properties in Texas are without electric power as a result of Harvey. That number will increase!

      • ordvic

        here is another painting by Howard Hodgkin

        http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hodgkin-girl-on-a-sofa-p02300

        It is another contrarian painting this time called ‘sofa’. It no doubt depicts a girl climbing on a sofa to escape unprecedented flooding.

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        Here is a somewhat surreal piece of anecdotal art by Kasia B. Turajczyk:

        It’s entitled “In the Bloodshot Eye of the Beholder”. Refute that!

      • jim

        I think we are wildly off topic here, but glad to see that you have finally acknowledged that the climate beliefs you promote are not rooted in reality, by choosing this artist who says;

        “Most of the ideas for my paintings are crystallized in my imaginary world. Therefore so much space in my work is devoted to the elements of the fantastic. Fantasy, after all, is a part of our lives.’

        Imaginary? Fantasy? A bit harsh perhaps, but unsubstantiated is perhaps more polite.

        Its a nice day. I’m off out. See you later.(nice paintings by the way. Reminds me of Miro and kandinsky)

        tonyb

      • Tony – What “climate beliefs [that I] promote” would those be then?

        That Hurricane Harvey would produce flooding and power outages? Recent events have confirmed those two are firmly based in reality.

        I’m glad you liked the art. As luck would have it I just got back from Boscastle. Lots of emmets but no sign of any flooding.

      • Jim

        Fortunately we are just able to walk to our beach hut. Beach was Absolutely packed out! helped by nice weather.

        I am not in the industry so I like it when the tourists disappear ( roll on tuesday!)

        I am not convinced they are profitable when all the costs are offset against them and of course those working in the industry are mostly poorly paid

        Hope see an objective report of the actual data for the storm as there seems to be a variety of views on wuwt.

        Tonyb

      • Tony – We saw a few seals yesterday and are off to see if we can locate rather more today. In the meantime might I suggest that WUWT should not be your first port of call if you are seeking some accurate information about Hurricane Harvey! How about this for starters?

        http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2017/HARVEY_graphics.php?product=wind_probs_64_F120

      • Jim Hunt “The Met Office said ‘There is an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from fundamental physics’. Try refuting that.”

        Well the document that makes that claim was written in Feb 2014 and dealing with an extreme level of rainfall in southern England in Jan 2014. It was an extreme outlier, but the 1961 – 2017 data (all the Met Office provides) shows a more recent reversion to normal and no significant linear trend (although what that quite means with this kind of data I know not). So not quite what they said.

      • HAS – On another thread I previously linked to this open access July 2017 paper in Nature Comms from a number of Met Office scientists:

        High risk of unprecedented UK rainfall in the current climate

        There is a 34% probability of an unprecedented winter monthly rainfall total in at least one month in at least one region—it is therefore likely that we will see unprecedented winter rainfall within the UK in the next few years. These risk estimates are only valid in the current climate, future climate change is likely to alter the chances of extremes. This is a significant risk and could be used to inform decision makers on the likelihood and intensity of unprecedented rainfall events in the near future to protect the public, business and infrastructure from extreme rainfall and flooding.

        What do you make of that?

      • jim

        we have a family of 3 seals regularly swimming in front of the beach hut. I bet they won’t be there today though!

        Wuwt is good from the point of getting lots of peoples actual experiences but I wouldn’t expect to get an unbiased factual account.

        Will read your link

        have a good day. It all changes Tuesday. Thank goodness!

        tonyb

      • Jim Hunt “What do you make of that?”

        Well it confirms what I said. This wasn’t unusual, and contradicts their earlier statement you quoted. However I see they couldn’t resist and used a model to create more information than we have to ostensibly double check, but still they couldn’t make it unusual in model world.

        They do note that if the climate changed it would be different, but this is the category of ‘if we had eggs we could have ham and eggs, if we had ham’.

    • HAS, Okay:

      “Falsifying the Hypothesis”
      By Hypothesis you mean ‘Man made global warming’ ?

      “looking at the climate over the pre anthropogenic period”.
      Before 1850? Back to 11,000 BP? or perhaps a couple thousand years?

      “testing the differences for significance”.
      The difference between Industrial and Pre-Industrial?

      • ordvic, yes focus on the man made hypothesis. On the cut off date it should be the period before man made emissions are significant, probably 1950, and then using all the historic information of any length, respecting the different resolutions of the data sets, and investigating the nature of natural variation. The testing of the period where man made emissions come into play should be on an apples to apples comparison with the historic data. The hard point will be the limited ability to make those comparisons, but you can’t create more information than you have.

      • ordvic

        obviously I like the idea of comparing industrial and pre industrial conditions. Every time I hear the congress presentations I get frustrated that no one seems to relate current weather to past weather or climate. I think it is a real weak spot of our leaders understanding of proper context.

        however, having said that, it seems like an awful lot of work and I see little reason why anyone in authority would read an unrequested document.

        Also, without being too cynical, your President might have changed the personnel a dozen times at the relevant agencies by the time a report was ready.

        I do not see how anyone with any authority would take notice when they have many scientific advisers or, if they wanted to look at a sceptical voice, the non ippc reports from Heartland.

        If you do intend to do this, who is on board to write stuff? How big would the report be?

        tonyb

      • Tony, Yes you are right how would read an unsolicited report and who would write it. Scott Pruitt wants a red team approach so he might be interested. An unsolicited report would be a problem unless it was authored by people of substance. Ted Cruz will almost certainly be reelected. The current report will just languish in obscurity anyway. If Judy or other scientists of equal stature offered a red team report they may take notice but I’m sure she/they have better things to do. So that leaves us with why Judy put this up on the first place other than to start a blog discussion. Freud said the primarily human motivation is to be recognized and specifically by colleges. I guess we are just a Freudian slip!

      • Tony – The powers that be are deleting my responses to the points you raise elsewhere without explanation.

        Do you suppose we’ll be permitted to discuss Hurricanes Gert and Harvey in here?

      • Ordvic

        Yes, a fredan slip is a good description.

        I remain frustrated at the lack f historical context but it’s not as sexy as models and peole don’t seem to be taught it these days so do not relate modern conditions to the past and view it in context.

        Personally I think we ought to recognise the extremities of the past when planning for the extremes of the future. The last century or so has generally been benign and those make make our infrstructure have been
        Lulled into a false sense of security

        Tonyb

      • Jim

        Not sure what there is to discuss and we are drifting a long way from your original comment which was to try to demonstrate that the possible remnants of a hurricane Dropping rain signified anything or that it was unusual.

        The cool temperatures would certainly have an impact on mitigating precipitation but I do not dispute the significance of hurricanes and the warm weather and rain they drag in.

        However, our weather is influenced by wind drection and the position of the jet stream which I guess would divert or encourage hurricanes according to its position

        I have been in contact with phil jones recently in an attempt to try to update lambs work on historic winds and how they can be related to the jet stream. I hope to publish something here in due course as there appears tO be a connection to our historic weather and our historic wind directions. However there is an irritating 30 year gap at the end which prevents us seeing if modern weather appears to be as influenced as historic weather by wind direction

        Jet streams and wind direction rule! Hurricanes need to be slotted into the overall picture

        Tonyb

      • Tony – It did indeed seem as if my points were eluding you!

        Things began with Turbulent Eddie’s assertion that “A less icy Arctic necessarily corresponds to a decreased pole to equator temperature gradient and a less extreme climate.”

        I then linked to assorted Met Office learned articles to the effect that “extreme weather” was on the increase here in the once Great Britain, together with some snippets of “anecdotal” evidence.

        King Alfred (or was it Arthur?) may make an interesting anecdote, but he doesn’t really have much bearing on the matter. Does he?

        Ex Hurricane Gert dumped a lot of precipitation on Northern Ireland. Soon to be Major Hurricane Harvey is about to dump vastly more on Texas.

        Discuss!

      • Ex Hurricane Gert dumped a lot of precipitation on Northern Ireland. Soon to be Major Hurricane Harvey is about to dump vastly more on Texas.

        And yet, if Harvey reaches Cat3 and landfalls as such, it will break the longest consecutive absence of landfalling major hurricanes in the US.

        Probably neither that statistic, nor your citation of two storms are meaningful in any way, because tropical cyclones are episodic and multi-factoral.

        It’s probably more indicative of your confirmation bias to have something happen.

      • TE – So would you care to pick the Met Office papers I referenced to pieces? Here’s the link to the one Tony “refuted” by quoting UK August 2017 average temperature and King Alfred:

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/mohippo/pdf/1/2/recent_storms_briefing_final_slr_20140211.pdf

        My original point, once again, is that your assertion that “A less icy Arctic necessarily corresponds to a decreased pole to equator temperature gradient and a less extreme climate” is thus far sadly lacking in any evidence to support it.

      • TE – So would you care to

        No – I don’t think anecdotes are particularly applicable or significant.

        But I will somewhat painstakingly examine the reanalysis record ( which, unfortunately suffers from brevity of data record ) for global trends of kinetic energy.

      • TE – You keep drifting off into the realms of “kinetic energy” whilst continuing to ignore the work of the likes of James Screen and Jennifer Francis on the “slowing jetstream”. Here’s one of my previous links again:

        http://tos.org/oceanography/article/winter-2015-16-a-turning-point-in-enso-based-seasonal-forecasts

        Comparison of model forecasts with observations of precipitation during winter 2015/16 points to models generally under-representing the importance of profound Arctic changes relative to tropical influences on mid-latitude weather. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that natural variability as simulated by numerical models can markedly differ from that of the real atmosphere at times. For example, model forecasts for winter 2015/16 demonstrated that the divide between simulations and the real world is surprisingly large.

        Refute that!

      • Of course, it appears that Pan, et. al. have a recent investigation.

        There’s uncertainty, weak significance, spatial variance, and significant difference between the two different re-analyses, but Supplementary Figure 6 does indicate a decrease in the NH eddy kinetic energy and an increase in SH eddy kinetic energy. This is consistent with both the Arctic sea ice decrease and maxima of warming in the Arctic, as well as the Antarctic sea ice increase and cooling of Antarctic winters due to CO2.

        Want a less extreme climate? Get rid of some sea ice.

      • Jim

        No, that won’t do will it. I quoted chapter and verse on the former wet climate of Somerset, the nature of the storm that hit Dawlish, the reasons for the flooding and destruction.

        I even relayed the conversation I had with the EA and Met Office.

        Hardly anecdotal. Nothing we have seen exceeds the extremes we have witnesses and documented over the lsst thousand years.

        Mind yu man is iften responsible, not with co2 but their failure to maintain the infrastructure, ignorance of past events and often people insisting on living in unsuitable places such as flood plains.

        Not helped by the huge increase in population which will make ordinary events have extreme impacts as people inhabit places they never did in the past or insist on a level of flood protection that is not feasible or farm in areas that have an unsuitable climate.

        tonyb

      • TonyB,

        You might like:

        Enjoy.

    • HAS, you make an excellent point that only editing the detail of the report will miss many flawed premises of its structure, and it omissions.

      The report is to inform policy of risks pertaining to climate. First, the report must inform of past risks. Then future changes can be projected, whether detrimental or beneficial, each tagged with some probability. Then the probabilities of impacting the risk/benefit factors by policy options needs to be stated along with the certainty of those statements. As one can see there are uncertainties multiplied by uncertainties in climate information and projections of changes and associated hazards. I believe this is the basis of Dr. Curry’s longstanding view of focus on increased detection and observation while having a policy of general infrastructure hardening and and building of resiliency.

      History shows a natural tendency of scientists to be overconfident in their understandings and projections, particularly in sciences that cannot be subjected to tests of predictive skill. The heart of scientific skepticism has good cause. Longstanding consensuses have been wrong many times for periods of decades or centuries. Most stomach ulcers turned out not to be caused by hyperactive digestive excreta but by bacterial imbalance. If the CDC whistle-blower William Thompson is being honest and correct the epidemic of autism is being contributed to by the CDC childhood vaccine schedule and the most coveted medical consensus of vaccine safety has been wrong for decades or centuries.

      Thompson says that the definitive CDC study he co-authored that was used to clear the MMR vaccine actually implicated before a two-year internal pre-publication data-torture process. Vaxxedthemovie.com

      Besides resiliency, conservation makes sense in all circumstances. Like Dr. Christy, I would support a bias against fossil fuel even if CO2 is beneficial. 1) We have enough CO2 already
      2) Sustainable energy sources must continue to promoted for future security and posterity.

      • Yes I agree about looking at the risks from the historic climates, and suspect that the 20th C increase in temp might be enough to consider a response independent of any contribution by man.

        One does however have to take care with the precautionary principle. The risk is one ignores the downside of precautionary action. There are Real Options here, particularly the idea that doing nothing and waiting might have more value than acting.

      • HAS and Ron Graf,

        Falsifying the hypothesis is probably next to impossible. Unless the Hypothesis is ‘The Science is settled’. As far as AGW there are many papers showing that late 20th century warming is not unprecedented. Here is one: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00376-017-6238-8

        I have seen many dissertations about nullifying AGW. The was a physicist who commented here not long ago that the laws of thermodynamics disallows capturing radiation nonetheless directing back to earth. I also saw where one commenter said that directing radiation downward through GHG or clouds was impossible. We would have to validate or discredit these claims.

        I think we each need to find as many papers as possible about the idea of unprecedented global warming to start.

    • Ron Graf:
      HAS, you make an excellent point that only editing the detail of the report will miss many flawed premises of its structure, and it omissions.

      flawed premises of its structure, and it omissions….
      That’s why I suggested chapters of a new report.

      The report is to inform policy of risks pertaining to climate. First, the report must inform of past risks.
      Chapter 1

      Then future changes can be projected, whether detrimental or beneficial, each tagged with some probability.
      New Chapter

      Then the probabilities of impacting the risk/benefit factors by policy options needs to be stated along with the certainty of those statements. As one can see there are uncertainties multiplied by uncertainties in climate information and projections of changes and associated hazards. I believe this is the basis of Dr. Curry’s longstanding view of focus on increased detection and observation while having a policy of general infrastructure hardening and and building of resiliency.
      Chapter 8 Policy

      • Ordvic, yes agreed with you as well about new chapters. We concur the first chapter should be analysis of past well recorded climate events and their impacts. The logical structure to me is to go from high certainty statements to low certainty in each chapter (saving most unlikely worst and best cases for last). And the chapters themselves can follow this same order. The past is more certain than the future. What climate events can happen are more certain than their impacts, which again impacts are more certain than the effects of options and timing to mitigate them.

        As I commented, fossil fuel being an un-renewable resource, needs to be replaced regardless of environmental impacts. Policy towards its replacement is a no-brainer. The climate has been extreme in the past so hardening and resiliency engineering are also no-brainers. How much can be invested is mostly an economic decision.

        The final chapter should be on geo-engineering. Believing that eliminating anthropogenic contributed CO2 will make the Earth safer for people and advanced life has no basis in logic. It’s purely an emotional an argument that smacks of a hint of Eden. The dangers of permanent winter are much greater than those of longer or hotter summers. The most fruitful investment likely is in technology for modulating climate.

  12. There is a bit of madness going on at Judith Curry’s Climate etc blospot.  The arguments are being bandied about again – at a sort of higher intensity. Judith called for ‘denizen’ involvement in critiquing the draft National Climate Assessment.   It is all daft theories about it not being greenhouse gases, radiation or water vapor – and endless quibbling from both sides of the blogosphere climate trenches about the talking points – Arctic ice, seal level rise, surface temperature trends, the LIA and MWP – in the very latest reconstruction.  Well it is greenhouse gases. radiation and water vapor – but climate science is about far more than this.  Ultimately there is not enough evidence to resolve the important question – what will happen in future? Alternatively – there are theories of turbulent flow that provide a theoretical context for climate’s complexities  – from which simple rules may be derived.

    • minor changes

      There is a bit of madness going on at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. blogspot. The arguments are being bandied about again – at a high intensity. Curry called for ‘denizen’ involvement in critiquing the draft US National Climate Assessment. At climate etc – it is all daft theories about it not being greenhouse gases, radiation or water vapor – and endless quibbling from both sides of the blogosphere climate trenches about the talking points – Arctic ice, seal level rise, surface temperature trends, the LIA and MWP – in the very latest reconstruction. Judith keeps an eclectic ‘eSalon’. Well it is greenhouse gases. radiation and water vapor – but climate science is about far more than this. Ultimately there is not enough evidence to resolve the important question – what will happen in future? Alternatively – there are theories of turbulent flows that provide a theoretical context for climate’s complexities – from which simple rules may be derived.

      It you hit a climate problem with a Fourier analysis hammer you will get sine waves. If data such as long term Nile River flows are analysed from a Hurst perspective there is a different result – one resembling step functions. There is a very new paper – by John Abbott and Jennifer Marohasy – that I like a lot for the new method of 20th century surface temperature attribution – mostly natural. But thinking of climate as cyclic is far too limiting…

      On the different scale of society and energy – there are obvious solutions to this and broader problems that bring short term benefits to global communities and environments.  This does entail fostering democracy and classic liberal economics.  Uncertainties in climate from many sources suggest the need to refocus on effective and pragmatic, resilience and no-regrets policy options – e.g climate pragmatism and technical innovation publication – rather than endlessly quibbling about climate talking points.

      But to return to intellectually interesting questions of science – ENSO has fascinating dynamics that are globally coupled to rainfall regimes over many spatial and temporal scales.

      https://watertechbyrie.com/2017/08/22/thoughts-on-u-s-global-change-research-program-climate-science-special-report-cssr-my-first-draft/

    • The past few years have seen warmer sea surface temps in the eastern Pacific.  Ocean and atmosphere couplings produce cloud.  It is low and dense at cold temp – loose and fluffy at higher temps and rising to the stratosphere in immense thunderheads in high energy climates.  Height and density of cloud modulates it’s radiative properties.  Cloud net radiant flux changes with cloud cover.  Clouds reduce losses from upward heat flux and reflects more sunlight back into space – with SW reflection losses the more significant.   So less, higher level cloud in a warmer planet and more warming from more solar insolation offset by higher LW emissions.

      Dragon-king theory suggests that outliers in data series as “dragon-kings” and “being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point.   The Pacific Ocean may be primed to more eastern ocean upwelling of cold and nutrient rich water burping carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere – and what energy there was in the western Pacific has dissipated off the eastern margin.  Could there be a swing back to La Niña big enough for the variation to be big enough to be a dragon-king – and signalling the next transition of the Pacific state.         

  13. Judith,
    Have you considered focusing your efforts more on demonstrating that the report, as a whole, should be rejected because it lacks sufficient observational validation of its most important predictive models? That would render it unsuitable for the purpose of driving GDP-altering policy decisions, while preserving the legitimacy of whatever good and useful science it contains.
    I seriously doubt that the strategy of criticizing specific figures or texts in a 673-page technical report will have any impact whatsoever on policymakers who have neither the time to read the report, nor the scientific training to comprehend it. Until they do, or until they care as deeply about the scientific method as you do, all the technical debate “in the weeds” will be, to them, a side show.

  14. Globale warming science, like this blog, is dying.

  15. Anyone who attributes global warming as an explanation for the large quantity of rain from Harvey will have to explain how the man-made 200 ppm of CO2 caused the hurricane to move so slowly. Increased viscosity? Unicorn farts? Nope, it just moved slowly. Not even a cat 5 so not extraordinary.

    • Fun fact. First major (cat 3 or above) US landfalling hurricane since the last Republican president. Obama had none.

    • jim2,
      I kind of doubt this will change your mind but there is research to support this kind of extreme weather. Better question is will this change where we build stuff?
      “Application of Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Detecting
      Extreme Weather in Climate Datasets”
      http://worldcomp-proceedings.com/proc/p2016/ABD6152.pdf
      “This study presents an application of Deep Learning techniques as alternative methodology for climate extreme events detection. Deep neural networks are able to learn high-level representations of a broad class of patterns from labeled data. In this work, we developed deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) classification system and demonstrated the usefulness of Deep Learning technique for tackling climate pattern detection problems. Coupled with Bayesian based hyper-parameter optimization scheme, our deep CNN system achieves 89%-99% of accuracy in detecting extreme events (Tropical Cyclones, Atmospheric Rivers and Weather Fronts).”

      • Color me skeptical, Jack.

        As far as changing anything, I doubt it. New Orleans have had over 15 years to make improvements yet they were whining about their problems as soon as the hurricane showed up. I don’t recall seeing much serious from coastal cites in the way of girding for the great sea level rise.

        Nope, it’s as if people who run the coastal cites don’t believe the more hysterical members of the climate science community.

      • Also, taking a quick once-over of the paper, I don’t see attribution. Also, it’s an analysis of model output and reanalysis – basically more model output. Not sure how it will help, but I’m not against the effort.

      • jim2,
        Yeah I kind of doubt this will stop people from living in flood prone areas. The side effects that will affect me will be higher insurance premiums. I saw a quote from a finance web site that said insurance companies are actually paying out fewer claim dollars even as they jack up rates so when you see billion dollar damage estimates for Harvey check to see how much is actually covered. Looking back at Sandy it turned out to be a profitable event for the insurance companies. Considering how low long term interest rates are they are putting the squeeze on the casualty insurance segment to fund the pension and annuity funds.

    • Jim2, from now on ALL hurricanes are due to man-made global warming.

    • Arguably the reduced pole-equator temperature gradient leads to more slow moving or stationary weather systems. That favors heatwaves, droughts, winter cold spells and, yes, more stationary rainfall systems.
      Trump says this is a 500-year event. This just adds to a long list of recent 500-year events in the US. This is a now out-of-date item from last year.
      https://www.planetizen.com/node/88047/climate-change-eight-500-year-storms-may-2014

      • Jim D – Tell that to Turbulent Eddie. It’s hard to be sure, but I don’t think he cares much for that argument.

      • TE agrees that weather systems will be more sluggish, but he thinks that is a good thing for some reason, which may be OK if he just ignores that it extends the periods of heatwaves, droughts, floods and cold spells.

      • TE agrees that weather systems will be more sluggish, but he thinks that is a good thing for some reason, which may be OK if he just ignores that it extends the periods of heatwaves, droughts, floods and cold spells.

        Heatwaves are caused by intense subsidence, which is, paradoxically, a matter of intense circulation, not weak, so, no, weaker general circulation is not likely to cause more heatwaves, and given the record, hasn’t.

        As for Harvey and circulation, do reflect that Harvey stalled out at the August stationary front in South Texas. Such things are not unheard of, but the front marks the leading edge of a polar air mass, however modified. Trying to tie Harvey to AGW, when it’s largest problem is stalling due to a relatively intense polar air mass blocking it’s path, is nicely contradictory.

      • It’s blocking patterns that result in heatwaves, droughts, etc. These are when the circulation is not replacing the air mass for extended periods. They tend to have subsidence, cloud-free conditions, perhaps droughts, worse pollution trapping, if you are stuck under a high pressure system, or prolonged we spells if you are stuck under a non-progressing moisture stream, as Houston currently is. If things aren’t progressing west to east, that is what to expect.

  16. Hurricanes aren’t killing more people in the US. From the article:

    Great Hurricane of 1780–This storm was one of several that year, which was one of the worst hurricane seasons in the era prior to record taking. Winds were estimated to be Category Four strength at 135 mph. This storm, which affected the Southern Windward Islands including Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada, Martinique, St. Eustatius, and near Puerto Rico and Grand Turk Island, is believed to have killed approximately 22,000 people. Of that total, between 4,000 and 5,000 people were killed on St. Eustatius. Martinique had an estimated 9,000 people killed including 1,000 in St. Pierre, which had all of its homes destroyed.

    http://www.hurricaneville.com/historic.html

  17. My latest on red teaming the CSSP:
    http://www.cfact.org/2017/08/31/how-to-make-climate-skepticism-official-federal-policy/.

    Here are the first two paragraphs:
    “The New York Times publication of the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) has engendered a lot of discussion. The NYT raises the issue of whether the wildly alarmist CSSR might be blocked by the skeptical Trump Administration, perhaps by Trump himself.”

    “While blocking the report is certainly a possibility, the far better solution is for the Feds to use the CSSR for an official red team exercise. The alarmist CSSR cannot be put back into its political bottle. But it is the perfect vehicle for criticism, precisely because of its radical alarmist nature. Most importantly, this criticism would be official, which makes climate skepticism official.”

    There is more of course. A good red team exercise is the key to making skepticism official.

    • A Red team approach would not be limited to discussing the data behind the original report conclusions.
      Nor would it be limited to the heads of discussion in as far as they constrained reasonable enquiry.
      This enquirer would like to see an analysis of the key planks of CO2 Anthropogenic warming theory explored.
      Two areas of interest

      Tropospheric ‘Hot Spot’

      Analysis of night time minima in relation to ‘well mixed’ CO2 and
      humidity, with other greenhouse gasses excluded.
      The BOM night time truncation of minima has been treated by committee and the data is to be again revised.
      http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/australian-bureau-of-met-uses-1-second-noise-not-like-wmo-uk-and-us-standards/

      It may be necessary to find more reliable data to do the analysis.

  18. Norris morgan
    ‘Please require the Confidence Levels to be amended to read as follows:

    “Very High Confidence” replaced with “Strong Evidence”
    “High Confidence” replaced with “Moderate Evidence”
    “Medium Confidence” replaced with “Suggestive Evidence”
    “Low Confidence” replaced with “Inconclusive Evidence”’This is an excellent approach because it fits the scientific descriptive method.’

    For too long we have been given graphs without error bars and predictions, which when they fail to eventuate, do a disservice to
    the cause of accuracy and climate analysis.

    Particularly 1minute 59 seconds et al
    2 minutes 55 seconds
    Norris’ point about including, ‘Evidence’ which is inconclusive in a scientific report being of no value and should not be included, is apt.
    Any such ‘evidence’ is a disservice to the proponents and should be clearly slated as useless if published, in the original document, in the main body of same, not in some obscure footnote.
    In medicine, to rely upon an inconclusive test result is a cause of negligence.
    Higher standards of behaviour are needed here in climate science and its report.

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