Politics of climate expertise

by Judith Curry

“Concerning the inability of expert knowledge to resolve environmental controversy and the pressing need for a pragmatic reframing of policy problems to allow for solutions based on bipartisan values.”

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post on this topic.  A new paper by Peter Tangney hits the ‘sweet spot’ and provides some fresh insights into the ‘climate wars.’.

Peter Tangney (2018): Between conflation and denial – the politics of climate expertise in Australia, Australian Journal of Political Science, https://doi.org/10.1080/10361146.2018.1551482

It’s behind paywall, so here are some excerpts:

“This paper describes an ongoing tension between alternative uses of expert knowledge that unwittingly combines facts with values in ways that inflame polarised climate change debate. Climate politics indicates a need for experts to disentangle disputed facts from identity-defining group commitments.”

“Political deployment of expert knowledge by the climate science community has perpetuated expectations that climate science can (if not now, then in the future) predict the future impacts from, and therefore optimise policy solutions to this problem, while filling a deficit of understanding to resolve public conflict. Climate models cannot provide decision-robust predictions with the reliability and specificity generally expected to prescribe optimal policy. Even if they were possible, providing this evidence is unlikely to resolve climate politics, given its polarising connotations for present and future socio-culture and economy. Moreover, climate science is only one part of the evidence-base needed to inform both the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.”

What is climate science for?

“In liberal democracy, we generally expect that experts and expert knowledge should be given some privileged status in public decision-making to temper political values. Yet, even when expertise is explicitly embraced, it can be manipulated for political ends.”

“The political use of climate science for the purposes of agenda-setting is employed to bolster advocacy groups’ strategic positions concerning whether and (broadly) how to act on climate change in the first place. In this role, climate science and expertise needs, at a minimum, to be sufficiently credible to promote the argument that climate change hazards exist and that humans are causing it. Alternatively, skeptics may employ political science use to highlight intractable climate change uncertainties.”

“Until strategic political debates concerning the legitimacy of a policy problem have been largely settled, the willingness of policymakers to instrumentally use science to direct the content and implementation of specific policies at local and regional scales, is necessarily limited.”

Conflating evidence with expert judgment

“A significant difficulty with climate change communication is that understandings about its existence and severity are significantly more nuanced than a binary choice between belief in, or denial of, the ‘truth’. Climate scientists nonetheless often deliver expert judgment in ways that perpetuate this unhelpful dichotomy. When answering questions like: what is dangerous climate change? scientists’ messages about impending disaster and expert consensus exemplify the importance of often-implicit normative positions underpinning scientific judgment.”

“There is no truly objective determination of the level at which climate change becomes dangerous, of the corresponding likelihood of that amount of change occurring, or how we should compare this risk with others. Climate scientists’ risk interpretations, therefore, contain inevitable normative components rarely acknowledged. When high profile scientists and advocates cast the problem as a noble struggle between truth and ideology,  they presuppose that the evidence for impending disaster and the need for urgent policy responses, speaks for itself.”

“What climate change means, however, depends upon what one values.”

Can consensus compromise scientific authority?

“Perhaps due to the lack of traction arising from the political use and poor instrumental usability of climate science in recent years, scientists and their supporters have sought to reinforce their expert authority in ways that do not lean so heavily on the available evidence per se, and more upon their consensus views relating to the existential threat posed by climate change.”

“Although scientists might wish to be considered apolitical agents for the promotion of objective knowledge and revealed moral truths concerning climate change risks, sceptics argue that undue emphasis upon consensus makes scientists vulnerable to epistemologically significant claims that they are no longer performing as a scientifically-healthy community.

“For conservative opponents, the suspected politicisation of expert judgment through consensus messaging provides one more good reason to ignore climate science, and to walk away from substantive deliberation on, or commitment toward, climate change policy.”

“Undue emphasis upon climate disaster and expert consensus may be harmful to the credibility and bipartisan acceptability of the climate science community as privileged expert advisors.”

How should climate experts promote their authority in policy decision-making?

“In the absence of some calamitous event that might cement political opinion in favour of a rapid policy paradigm shift, climate scientists must now accept that their arguments concerning climate change risk and the value of climate change science and expert consensus are unlikely to win sustained bipartisan support for substantive policy action. Direct climate change policies have largely failed and may never achieve lasting bipartisan success. Nonetheless, [there are] bipartisan aspirations for resilient society, environment, and robust rural and urban economies.”

“In this context, the most intuitively appealing rhetoric from experts is actually counterproductive. Climate scientists are well advised to stand back from political uses of science and allow others to appeal to what communication theorists refer to as ‘gain- frame advantage’.”

“Although climate change does indeed present a risk magnifier, it is one that can be subsumed in large part within existing bipartisan priorities for robust disaster risk management, infrastructure planning and enhanced resilience to chronic and acute climate extremes. Under the branding of ‘adaptation science’, climate science is an aid for exploratory scenario planning, vulnerability reduction and the enhancement of climate resilience, both now and for the future.”

Conclusion

“It is now well recognised internationally that expert authority is unlikely to be politically incisive if experts tacitly subsume contested political values and priorities within their privileged judgment. I propose that the rhetoric of climate change prediction, risk, disaster and expert consensus has reached its useful end.”

“Politically astute scientists would do well to limit their promotion of climate models as the principal means to rationally optimise policymaking. Instead, they should highlight the applications of climate science for enhancing climate resilience. Meanwhile advocates from a broader range of disciplines should focus on presenting a business case to government about the economic and social advantages of clean energy innovation. Renewable energy policies must now target conservatives’ aspirations for jobs, economic prosperity and healthy local environments; all the ancillary benefits we should expect from a well-planned transition to environmental sustainability.”

JC reflections

Given the publication of the U.S. National Climate Assessment almost two weeks ago, and the massive amount of publicity that the authors and the usual advocates  have received, it is worth reflecting on why political and public support for the Paris agreement actually seems to be declining.  Peter Tangney’s paper provides some insights and recommendations for the way forward that are aligned with the Hartwell Paper.

 

334 responses to “Politics of climate expertise

  1. Judy,

    A+ for typography. Thanks for a greatly-improved reading experience,

  2. Non-pathological sciences don’t have these crises of confidence in expertise.

    Non-pathological sciences don’t feature a regular drumbeat of loyalty enforcement in the form of consensus surveys. There’s no other field of science where the percentage of pros (= 100% – antis) is even known.

    Non-pathological sciences don’t have practitioner-cum-activists saying with a straight face that “science is the belief in the knowledge of experts.”

    Are the unique deformities of climate science interlinked, or are they curses that happen to have fallen, one by one and independently and coincidentally, on the head of the unluckiest science ever (by a redundantly long shot)?

    • Read more, kid. I am thinking you never lived through this kind of thing before

      https://www.csmonitor.com/1986/1023/adeb.html

      https://www.southeastfarmpress.com/mad-cow-controversy-continues

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/7607481/Iceland-volcano-British-Airways-condemns-grounding-of-flights.html

      https://www.vox.com/2014/10/13/6964633/travel-ban-airport-screening-ebola-outbreak-virus

      It has nothing to do with the particular structure of climate science, which is no different than any other observational science. The preconditions for this type of debate are part of all science. Namely, doubt is always possible. There is, in fact, a recipe for this: The facts are uncertain; the stakes are high; values are in dispute and decisions appear urgent.

      • Steven,

        “It has nothing to do with the particular structure of climate science, which is no different than any other observational science.”

        Agreed. But it would be silly to pretend that all we need to know about climate science is its structure. If something has gone fatally wobbly in clisci, it obviously occurred in spite of a ‘structure’ as sound as any other, non-wobbly, still-functioning, still-productive science.

        “Namely, doubt is always possible.”

        But not in climate science. Only a merchant of doubt would suggest The Science is uncertain.

        Sure, every other field of science, as a rule, is uncertain. But whenever people claim that this universal affliction of all other sciences also applies to clisci, it’s invariably because they were the very same people who said the same thing about the science of lung cancer.
        / SARC

        My serious point is, there are only two contexts is which doubt is synonymous with moral turpitude:
        – religion
        and
        – climate science.

        “here is, in fact, a recipe for this: The facts are uncertain; the stakes are high; values are in dispute and decisions appear urgent.”

        That recipe, which makes 4 servings of Post Normal [i.e. Post Scientific, i.e. Pre Scientific] Science, may (or may not) be a ‘precondition’ for the kind of decadence that’s befallen clisci. But it’s clearly not a sufficient condition, because it hasn’t yet reduced medical science to a Post Scientific state, thank God.

        Thanks for the links. In order,

        https://www.csmonitor.com/1986/1023/adeb.html

        This article, about the tribalism of the debate about ‘Star Wars’ and the SDI program, held new information for me, the relevant part being that people actually did carry out opinion polling on up tp ~600 physicists.

        This sounds prima facie like a precedent for the Oreskean phenomenon.

        However, the physicists were polled on their policy opinions (some variant on:, is Reagan’s SDI program a good idea or not?); they were not polled on their “scientific” opinions (“how nature works”). This is an important difference, because it meant that no matter how fractious the politics of SDI became, they’d never impinge on, adulterate, re-write, vandalize or sabotage the scientific method itself—the epistemological rules by which science operated. No claim was made, or needed to be made, by a 1980s proto-Oreskes or whoever, that we could somehow learn about the material world by surveying scientific opinion.

        https://www.southeastfarmpress.com/mad-cow-controversy-continues

        Controversy about CJD. I’m not sure why this article (which I read and provisionally believed) was supposed to alter my position on the unique[ness of the] pathologies of climate science.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/7607481/Iceland-volcano-British-Airways-condemns-grounding-of-flights.html

        Met Office grounds flights based on computer modeling of various volcanic ejecta. Gets in trouble.

        Not sure what “science” this is, or what the big problem was. Can you explain the relevance of this story, Steven?

        https://www.vox.com/2014/10/13/6964633/travel-ban-airport-screening-ebola-outbreak-virus

        Disagreement over ebola control best-practices. Relevance?

      • Brad,

        ‘…Are the unique deformities of climate science…’

        Over at Cliscep, after the efforts of a few of us regarding the description of various other domains, you did eventually agree that whatever is going wrong in the climate science domain is not unique to that domain, and has / does indeed happen elsewhere. Or at least to seriously question your assumption of uniqueness. I seem to recall that John’s description of the CBT domain is what tipped the scales for you.

      • Andy, thanks for the reminder. But my comment didn’t imply that ALL the problems of clisci are unique. Just the unique ones. For example, the ones I listed.

      • Brad, did you mean “scipture” as opposed to “structure”?😀

      • Brad,

        Okay. Nevertheless, while the details are different in every domain, and the sheer scale of the climate domain provides more amplification, constant loyalty enforcement for instance (e.g. via ubiquitous appeal to authority and internal policing mechanisms such as status / career / publication / etc control, or whatever equivalents for the domain era, calling debaters motives into question and more) are common to all such conflicted areas. The main reason such conflict gets a grip is that its all about identity, who is ‘us’ and who is ‘the others’, the latter of whom must be opposed, this is the very basis of group-think or writ larger, a main culture. In turn, this is because humans endemically do this from our evolutionary past, and science is still fragile to such behaviours, particularly where the recipe that Steve notes is in place (although a culture can help create this recipe too).

      • It has nothing to do with the particular structure of climate science, which is no different than any other observational science. The preconditions for this type of debate are part of all science. Namely, doubt is always possible. There is, in fact, a recipe for this: The facts are uncertain; the stakes are high; values are in dispute and decisions appear urgent.

        I think there’s a difference. The words “climate” and “urgent” appearing in the same sentence paragraph is oxymoronic.

      • What kind of scientist promoting his science, refuses to debate a serious collegue on TV?

      • I think it depends what those “colleagues” are accusing them of.

      • Canman: note the word ‘appear’ before ‘urgent’. Cultures are capable of making anything seem urgent. Depending upon the strength of cultural entanglement, there may be less urgency, or none at all.

      • Canman,

        Q: What kind of scientist promoting his science, refuses to debate a serious collegue on TV?

        A: The kind of scientist to whom problems like…

        – climate change
        – the unopposed spewing of climate-change-denialist talking-points by climate-change-believing confusionists
        – the resulting public confusion about who’s right (despite the fact that the Science team is overwhelmingly more correct and has all the evidence on its side, and would pwn the Other Side in five seconds flat in a fair fight)
        – the resulting lack of political will to Do Something, Anything, For The Love of God

        … “appear urgent,” but not quite as urgent as the fact that he just-this-very-second remembered he didn’t put enough coins in the parking meter.

        Q: What did the Viking jarl say when a guy he knows from work invited him to his kid’s dance recital?

        A: Saturday? Sure, I’d love to OH WAIT. Of all the rotten luck. I’m supposed to go to this… Thing.

      • Jim D

        In reply to Canman’s killer question (what kind of scientist runs away from a chance to debate a colleague?) you ventured:

        “I think it depends what those “colleagues” are accusing them of.”

        To which I’d add that I think it depends whether the accusations are true. If so, then yes, the best policy for a scientist with a guilty conscience (not to mention the advice any attorney worth his salt would strenuously impress on his guilty client) would be to feign haughty contempt for the accuser and flee the room by the nearest available exit, while trying to not to panic until out of shot.

        Y’know, what Gavin did.

        In fact Gavin’s performance in that YouTube clip could be, and probably is, shown to guilty clients as an instructional video.

      • Brad, do you think those accusations are true? Spencer says effectively that more CO2 is better and there is some vast conspiracy to prevent that coming out, so scientists with that view are feeling suppressed or afraid of losing funding. Are there a lot of closet denialists who think more CO2 is better or is Spencer just making that up?

      • Jim D,

        have you heard of something called the Greenhouse Effect? Essentially it means that in horticulture you get better results in a carbon-dioxide-enriched, eucapnic space than in the carbon-dioxide-poor (capnopenic) miasma that passes for “fresh air” at this particular point in the Holocene, Anthropocene or Post Facto Epoch, or whenever it is that politicogeologists believe we’re now living.

        I wasn’t aware this was an “accusation,” however.

        Nor did Spencer “accuse” the clisci profession of a massive conspiracy. (You accuse him of “effectively” making this accusation, which is only fair if “effectively” means “not really.”) Massive conspiracies do exist, every adult knows this, but Spencer himself mentions no such fact. He merely states the open secret of climate science (that funding is contingent upon the urgency of one’s work, and that if there’s no climate crisis, there’s no need for 95% of the climate scientists we’re paying to sit around discovering nothing). Since the mortgage imperative is self-explanatory to everyone in the profession, it’s bizarre and unnecessary to invoke the existence of a Byzantine secret plot to explain the utterly predictable phenomenon of scientists electing NOT to speak against their own interests.

      • @Jim D

        “Are there a lot of closet denialists who think more CO2 is better or is Spencer just making that up?”

        You don’t need to look for and find a “closet denialist”!… just ask the organization which pays the salary of Gavin Schmidt about that!… if more CO2 is better or not.

        Enjoy the reading:

        https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

      • First of all, science does not dispute that CO2 helps your vegetables, but people are not vegetables, and you have to be able to think beyond that, which is what scientists do. They think about the circumstances of the people on earth, what kind of environment they prefer and thrive in, and hot ones aren’t it, even if they are also wet.
        As long as accusations revolve around in-it-for-the-money instead of the actual scientific evidence, there is not a debate to be had. If the “skeptics” want to talk about science, even the health of their vegetable gardens, fine, they won’t get an argument, but that’s not the whole story, and they need to hear about the risks of growing extremes and rising sea levels and losing glaciers.
        If scientists find something to be dangerous, they speak out, even if it is inconvenient in its implied actions.

      • Also, regarding the in-it-for-the-money conspiracy theory, independent scientists and scientific societies who don’t earn from climate funding have endorsed the fact of the dangers of uncontrolled climate change. Apple, Google, you name it in industry, even Exxon, have science-backing climate statements. The science is best not ignored when it provides warnings and rational people pay attention to the science and don’t instead try to besmirch the individuals who publish on their work. Resorting to attacking personal motives rather than the science itself is a sure sign of a lost scientific argument.

      • Jim D

        > First of all, science does not dispute that CO2 helps your vegetables, but people are not vegetables,

        Hang on. I didn’t say ALL people were vegetables—that’s a strawman.

        And even if you’re not a vegetable, a few hundred more ppm of carbon pollution won’t have any ill effect on you whatsoever, Ask for a tour of your hydroponic marijuana supplier’s basement. Feel a slight headache? Dyspnea? The munchies? Hint: it’s not the pollution-enriched air.

        It’s a popular misconception that you breathein order to get oxygen through your alveoli. That’s only a secondary drive. The respiratory urge is modulated primarily by chemoreceptors, strategically located in major arteries, that sample the carbon-pollution levels in your blood. You’re very good at keeping these down to a non-toxic (e.g. non-acidotic) titre by speeding up your breathing rhythm as necessary.

        And here’s the thing: if you’re casually strolling through a greenhouse, you’re not going to run into respiratory distress unless the CO2 pump has gone on the fritz and the air is several times richer than you’re used to in the Holocene.

        > They think about the circumstances of the people on earth, what kind of environment they prefer and thrive in, and hot ones aren’t it,

        Question: are Arabs people?

        > As long as accusations revolve around in-it-for-the-money

        The only reasons salary keeps coming up are that

        1) clisci groupies incredulously demand an explanation as to why their heroes might be induced to be be less than honest.

        [Hint: unlike skeptical bloggers, alarmist scientists seldom work pro bono.]

        2) and clisci groupies smear skeptical scientists with the Merchants of Doubt meme or Al Gore’s jawdroppingly chutzpaceous projections of his own money-grubbing meretriciousness onto his detractors (“It’s hard to get a man to understand something when &c. &c.”).

        > Also, regarding the in-it-for-the-money conspiracy theory,

        Hasn’t the penny dropped yet? You’re the only person in this thread who seems to think a corrupt fiend can only be explained by a conspiracy. You’re the closest thing to a conspiracy theorist in the room, Jim D. I’ve already told you why such an assumption is completely unnecessary and that there is a much simpler one available. Repeating that explanation would be pointless and thankless work, I fear.

        > independent scientists and scientific societies who don’t earn from climate funding have endorsed the fact of the dangers of uncontrolled climate change.

        Look up ‘virtue signalling.’

        > Apple, Google, you name it in industry, even Exxon, have science-backing climate statements.

        No, they have science-ignoring, alarmist statements.

        Because they’re signalling either their virtue, their scientific illiteracy, or a bit of both.

        But wait… “Even Exxon,” you say? No spoor, Sherlock. Big Oil profits hand over fist from the the climate panic.

        > The science is best not ignored when it provides warnings and rational people pay attention to the science and don’t instead try to besmirch the individuals who publish on their work.

        Why are you telling me these self-evident platitudes? I restrict my besmirching to pseudoscientists. Exclusively.

        Oh, and if you think climate change is a more urgent, existential threat than pseudoscience, think again.

        > Resorting to attacking personal motives rather than the science itself is a sure sign of a lost scientific argument.

        Tell me about it. Whenever I hear the Merchants of Doubt meme I know I’m talking to an argument-loser.

      • OK, so now we have established that you believe the part of science that CO2 is good for your vegetables, and just have trouble with the part that quantitatively explains the current climate in terms of greenhouse gases and their insulating effect at the surface. Or maybe you do accept that BAU gets us 3-4 C warmer by 2100, but don’t accept that it is bad. This is where it is hard to get a generic skeptic scientific argument, because they shift positions on saying it won’t get so warm, or even if it does it won’t be so bad, explaining neither view in the process. Science has laid out the case for both these and has even given the politicians a consensus view to act on. You don’t need a consensus for science, but you do for policy. How much lead is safe in your drinking water is a similar question to what level of warming is still safe enough for humanity. The science tells you how much warming you get for how much emissions, and the policymakers have to do the cost/benefit analysis on mitigation versus adaptation and add in other factors like clean energy versus dirty, depletables versus renewables, etc.
        Increased prevalence of heatwaves, droughts, floods, coastal issues all come with the warming. Part of the cost side of the equation.
        To you supporting the science, even by other scientists, is virtue signaling. Why is it a virtue to back what the science says? Is it virtue signalling to support restricting lead levels in drinking water, or the amount of mercury and arsenic in the air? The degree of global warming? Where do you draw that line?
        When science gives you results you don’t like, come up with more science to dispute it. Don’t just say they are not being honest and expect that to be an argument in itself.

      • Jim D,

        Sincere thanks for persevering in robust but polite disagreement. Respect.

        > You don’t need a consensus for science, but you do for policy.

        Right. But for policy you only need a political (or electoral) consensus. You don’t need a scientific one.

        And for science, you don’t need a scientific consensus.

        So you never need a scientific consensus for any purpose whatsoever.

        As long as we agree on all this (do we?) there’s no interesting point of conflict between us, I’m afraid.

        > To you supporting the science, even by other scientists, is virtue signaling.

        But supporting an alarming or worrying conclusion is NOT supporting the science, since the science draws no such conclusion.

        > Why is it a virtue to back what the science says?

        Surely it’s not a vice?

        > Is it virtue signalling to support restricting lead levels in drinking water, or the amount of mercury and arsenic in the air? The degree of global warming? Where do you draw that line?

        It’s virtue signalling wherever groups declare unsolicited opinions on behalf of their members (who may or may not have had any say in the declaration) on topics about which they’re unable to add any insights of their own.

        > When science gives you results you don’t like, come up with more science to dispute it.

        What I dispute is your mistaken belief that “science” has produced any results I don’t like (on the climate question). I’m as familiar with the “science” as I need to be to say it’s a massive fricking yawn. There’s no climate problem according to the science.

        If I didn’t like the results science came up with, more science would probably come up with similar results, which would only double my depression.

        The ONLY grounds for dispute in scientific controversies is the methods. If you cannot fault the method, you have no right to protest the results. If you CAN fault the methods, you must do so, even if the results fulfil your deepest fantasies.

        If the science used methods I don’t like, then I would be able (and obliged) to criticize it. But if it stuck to the scientific method, I would have no basis to complain about the conclusions it drew.

        > Don’t just say they are not being honest and expect that to be an argument in itself.

        No, of course not. Far better is to remove personalities from it altogether and simply ask which views are and aren’t correct. It’s only necessary to attack the character of a scientist if that character is used as an argument to truth the results.

      • You do need a scientific consensus if you are making a policy that relies on science such as regulating pollution or preventing environmental harm, so I don’t know what you mean by no one needing a scientific consensus.

        I had a long argument with andywest on what people mean when they say catastrophe. If people react to scientific statements on sea-level rise or heightened risks of extreme heatwaves, floods, droughts, famines, etc., as catastrophe, they are expressing their values. Perhaps you don’t see increased risks as a catastrophe to be avoided. Note that there is a difference between catastrophe and disaster. A catastrophe is something the system does not recover from. This is what happens with climate change – moving permanently to states that challenge ecosystems and human systems. Catastrophe is not a scientific term, but they do talk about threats to ecosystems, extinction, damaging events, and it is certainly valid for someone to interpret that as a catastrophe due to their valuing the nature and people that are threatened. If you don’t value those things you will disagree, of course.

        You seem to disagree that scientific societies and industry can make declarations in support of reducing emissions unless it is a unanimous view. It doesn’t work that way. People who disagree strongly will resign and that is OK too. They can start their own society or join one that gets the prestige it deserves.

        When you say climate science itself says there is no problem, how do you categorize increased risks of extreme events, and more rapidly rising sea levels with projections of up to a tenfold increase in its rate in this century compared to last? When they tell you heatwaves that were hundred year events in the 20th century would be commonplace by 2100, floods similarly. What about loss of ecosystems and agricultural systems in areas? When you say no problems, it just reflects your own values. No problems for you, maybe, at least not directly. Perhaps just having more air conditioning is your one-size-fits-all solution globally.

      • I think I can help you Jim. ECS is an open question. Estimates begin with assumptions about feedbacks, forcing and interactions. Since ECS estimates vary significantly, and since there exists an accepted range of estimates, it may seem wise to settle on a number. It may seem wise to accept a mean of estimates or it may seem wise to settle on a number which pleases the majority. But neither of these seemingly wise choices are particularly scientific approaches.
        But here we have the appeal for consensus. The numbers have us a bit ahead so it must be true, like they do it on Survivor. If you’re on the bottom we vote your hypothesis out. But that’s not right Jim.
        You make scads of assumptions which you feel very strongly must be true and so you defend you points. But so many of your assumptions have failed validation. Cloud and water vapor feedbacks come to mind. Your fallacious claims that a warming, carbon rich world will somehow overwhelm plant and animal life. Your rejection of the clear benefits of carbon seeding. Etc.
        But you’re not alone, many seemingly good scientists make the same mistake.
        I listened to a Trenberth talk earlier and he outlined the “very real” possibility that a warming world would produce increased drought as well as increased precipitation. And with adaptation on the menu I found myself thinking, ” even if the data supported all of Trenberth’s suggestions, so what.” The benefits of carbon seeding and a warming world easily eclipse the potential threats. And a cursory look at drought data will satisfy anybody that Trenberth should modified his tone. But in his favour, he does portray the uncertainties. You don’t really do that so much.

        It might be good to close your eyes for a moment and imagine a world free of Anthropogenic CO2; this world fluctuates in temperature. And according to proxies, this last interglacial experienced periods of wild fluctuations. Wilder than today, if you can imagine it. This is why we test hypothesis. Because natural variability can still explain everything.

        You can open your eyes now.

        Assuming that you can definitely derive ECS from the temp record by considering SI and adding the Aerosol offset, while comparing the pre industrial trajectory with post industrial acceleration, mining the data for the difference and poof ECS. That’s also an assumption. No scientific facts to be found anywhere. And you are completely unaware of the natural internal forcing which may account for the very same global mean.

        This highlights your error in reasoning. Natural variability best explains our current conditions, and you may add radiative forcing as it seems to exist.

      • owen, I am not sure what all this is, but is your bottom line that you’re looking forwards to a 700 ppm world? If so, why so? If not, why not?

      • In answer to your question, “are you looking forward to a 700ppm world?” Again, who cares. I’m sorry to be so flippant. But seriously, Jim. To quote Happer, “nature has conducted the experiment.”
        Jim, are planning to argue that nature hasn’t dealt with this set of variables before. But you are just wrong. So don’t bother wasting your time.
        Those proxies we were just talking about have also painted a picture of our last interglacial. And so we have validation for Happer’s proposal. What we lack is validation for you proposal.

      • Modern man has not dealt with anything above 400 ppm before, so this is new territory. If you don’t care about 700 ppm, you don’t care about this whole debate, so why are you here? It’s because you really do care.

      • Jim, you’re conflating 400ppm and 700ppm with some nebulous effect that you feel probably is bad.
        My caring is also not important to the thread or to the science.
        Of course you can produce several good studies which suggest this or that species will suffer under an increased carbon load or under a warmer canopy; however the net effect of increasing carbon is a boon for plant life, and a warming world will produce longer growing seasons. So more food and biodiversity.

      • Greening great. Droughts, floods, heatwaves, disease, famine, rising sea levels, not so much.

      • Jim D: “You do need a scientific consensus if you are making a policy that relies on science such as regulating pollution or preventing environmental harm, so I don’t know what you mean by no one needing a scientific consensus.”

        Jim, I think Brad actually is on to a point of fundamental importance here and it’s the underlying subject of the post. Scientific expert consensus has been substituted for scientific evidence. Whether for practicality, or urgency, the protocol of evidence based policy has been supplanted.

        In the case for allowable trace contaminants you cite in drinking water the science is based on toxicology studies. In climate science there is little certainty about the past climate baseline. And there is even less certainty about the climate future, even with today’s best models and understanding. You cite 3-4C rise (from what baseline) by 2100. That is not based on any science that we are aware of. The consensus is still based mostly on gut feeling that man is careless, invasive and has a history of pollution and folly ergo CO2 must be bad. Change must be bad.

        I know you disagree with the last sentence, being a progressive. But this premise of innate conservatism was the basis for MBH98,99 whose central aim was to establish that past millennium’s climate was more or less static, a hockey stick shaft, a Garden of Eden, interrupted by an abrupt rise, representing the insult of human influence. Their chart not only got the starring role in Gore’s movie but was printed in elementary school children’s science books. It turned out not to be science at all, no more than Piltdown Man was science. The National Academy of Science’s reaction to this revelation is informative to the change in the relationship of science to policy. The concluded that MBH98-99,s methods were flawed. But their “conclusion was correct.” Every authentic scientists had to read this twice.

        I hope you, Brad, and I can at least agree that science is based on evidence, reproduce-able by skeptics — not belief — and not consensus of belief.

      • Jim,

        > You do need a scientific consensus if you are making a policy that relies on science…..

        No, Jim, I categorically DO NOT.

        All I need from the science community is *evidence.*

        But as for how many of them think what, I couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss.

        As Rule Zero of Science Club states: opinion is not evidence.

        (Please go back and review if you’ve forgotten this axiom. Write it 500 times on a blackboard if that’s what it takes to make it sink in. Because you can’t have a scientifically-literate conversation until you grasp this.)

        >…I don’t know what you mean by no one needing a scientific consensus.

        When I make statements like “no one needs a scientific consensus,” what I’m referring to is the fact that no one needs a scientific consensus.

      • > As Rule Zero of Science Club states: opinion is not evidence.

        A citation that would provide evidence for that claim would be nice, Brad.

        Otherwise all we have is your opinion.

      • I can claim to have a first hand accounting of Brad’s claim. Seen it in the wild, Willard. I hope that counts.

      • Ron, given that scientists can’t prove the future, they have to rely on the past and present for evidence. You appear to have decided that the warming going on, even though it fits what AGW would expect over the last 60 years, cannot be what it looks like, which is highly correlated to the CO2 forcing change. If you relax your prejudice and just take it for what it looks like, which is that the basic science that explains it is correct, you can project temperatures for emissions the way they do. You have to give the science credit for explaining observations when it does. Is 60 years not enough? Maybe another 0.25 C in ten years would be enough? The rate matches 100 ppm per degree for this period (2.3 C per doubling), so another 25 ppm can be expected to produce 0.25 C. Ten years ago skeptics would not have believed this decade would be so much warmer than the previous, even with a relative solar lull. Each decade has beaten the previous by amounts that follow the faster rise of CO2 forcing since the 1970’s. For the scientists, the experiment has been done and AGW has passed. Nor is that surprising because the basic science used for the explanation goes back unmodified for decades. What would have been surprising is if the warming was nowhere near 1 C since 1950 with nearly 100 ppm added. It confirms decades-old science.

      • Brad, what you call evidence is consensus of evidence. One experiment or measurement won’t convince a politician, especially if it was done by one scientist with no peer review. The peer review process provides published work, but still not consensus. No one would take one paper for policy. If two papers give conflicting results you would go for more until you get a consensus. So, yes, consensus is used and it would be foolish not to, or to take a minority view instead. Evidence is provided as consensus, not as a single work.

      • A ‘science’ of model opportunistic ensembles, extrapolation from short term instrumental records and a neglect of internal variability has no legitimacy. There is a wealth of much better science.

      • You said that well, Robert. Thank you.

      • Which predicted the PAWs was going to last another decade or three.

      • A decade ago.

        https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2007/11/enso_variation_and_global_warm.html

        The next climate shift is due in the decade to come – if it is not happening now. We shall see.

      • WiIllard

        > A citation that would provide evidence for that claim would be nice, Brad.
        Otherwise all we have is your opinion.

        I was talking about how science works, not how nature works.

        So Rule Zero of Science Club doesn’t apply to my claim.

        All scientists agree: in science, opinion is NOT a form of evidence.

      • Jim,

        “Brad, what you call evidence is consensus of evidence.”

        No, that’s word salad. Not Even Wrong.

        Consensus means majority opinion. As in: 97% of scientists think yadda yadda yadda.

        Only people have opinions. Tree rings don’t.

        The dictionary [consensus. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers.] tells us:
        ___________
        consensus (kənˈsɛnsəs) 
— n 
general or widespread agreement (esp in the phrase consensus of opinion )
        

usage Since consensus refers to a collective opinion, the words of opinion in the phrase consensus of opinion are redundant and should therefore be avoided
        __________

        Look at the way the word ‘consensus’ has been used on this page, Jim. Do a crtrl-F. “their consensus” “consensus view” “expert consensus” etc.

        Geddit? It refers to an opinion.

        Now, all of a sudden, you’ve changed the topic to what I can only guess you meant to call consilience of evidence, or ‘preponderance’ or ‘weight’ or other quasi-measure of conglomerulated evidence.

        If you want to say you need a lot of scientific evidence, OK, great, say that.

        But don’t say you need a scientific consensus because that’s NOT TRUE.

        > If two papers give conflicting results you would go for more until you get a consensus.

        Not Even Right. No amount of papers will ever constitute a consensus.

        > So, yes, consensus is used and it would be foolish not to,

        Not Even Right.

        > or to take a minority view instead.

        Wait, so now you’re back to using the word consensus correctly, as an antonym of ‘minority view’?

        > Evidence is provided as consensus, not as a single work.

        And now you’re back to using it the WRONG way.

        Jim, what you’re doing to yourself here, repeatedly, is the Fallacy of Equivocation, i.e. using the same term to mean different things at different points in the argument. You’re not doing it dishonestly or misleadingly, in my opinion, because nobody else is likely to be taken in by your arguments. But you’re tricking yourself. You’re confusing yourself.

        You’ll continue to be a victim of your own confused reasoning, Jim, unless you get your lexicon together. Better thinking through better language.

        Or are you happy to go through life sounding like John Cook, using random words at random times for random reasons with a no-better-than-chance connection to reality?

      • Jim D: “For the scientists, the experiment has been done and AGW has passed.”

        Jim, your comment is very helpful in understanding the common fallacy that many have about science. I’m sure you have heard that correlation is not causation. I’m positive I’ve told you a couple of times already, so you likely have been told dozens of times over years here by others. So your denial of the existence of the scientific method I would hypothesize is predicated on a religious attachment to your beliefs. Although I could lay out a pretty good case for my hypothesis, citing all sorts of sociology and psychology papers, this would not be science. Even if I used data with statistically significant analysis results it would not be science, just a bolstered opinion. I cannot scientifically prove your bias toward denying the existence of the scientific method and science’s requirement by definition to be predicated on rigid adherence to it. Some things defy proof.

        Willard wants scientific proof of what science is. This is mostly handled in junior high school labs, but most people just forgot. Science involves making predictions that are in variance with the null hypothesis, so that one or more (hopefully all) competing hypotheses can be eliminated. Currently AGW is a strong hypothesis. It has a physical basis of predicted forcing of 1.1C per doubling of CO2 over a several hundred-year period to allow a near ocean-atmospheric coupled equilibrium.

        As for what is required for a scientific experiment to prove AGW, sadly I cannot think of how one could control all the enormous unknowns to statistically validate an AGW signal. (This does not mean I am not for stronger building codes on the coasts or for alternative energy research.) I am just against authorities, especially science authorities, changing the definition of science.

        Jim: “What would have been surprising is if the warming was nowhere near 1 C since 1950 with nearly 100 ppm added. It confirms decades-old science.”

        Jim, Please cite the source for the 1C global warming from 1950 to date. I believe it’s 20%-25% less, depending on index.

        The IPCC’s First Assessment Report of 1992 stated, (I think incorrectly,) that we had 1C of global warming by that point. They also predicted another full 1C of warming between 1992 and 2025, hitting the 2C mark just six years from now. By what percentage are they off? How far off would they have to be to be falsified? They said the minimum of the range was 0.2C/decade. I think they failed. But I don’t know. Like economists, they can say that there was something unforeseeable. The Mt. Pinatubo eruption was 1991, so that can’t be it.

        Here is the FAR summary quote:
        “An average rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2—0.5°C per decade) assuming the IPCC Scenario A (Business-as Usual) emissions of greenhouse gases; this is a more rapid increase than seen over the past 10,000 years. This will result in a likely increase in the global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025 (about 2°C above that in the pre-industrial period), and 3°C above today’s value before the end of the next century (about 4°C above pre-industrial). The rise will not be steady because of other factors.”
        https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/1992%20IPCC%20Supplement/IPCC_1990_and_1992_Assessments/English/ipcc_90_92_assessments_far_overview.pdf

      • I always say that correlation isn’t causation but it is evidence and as such can’t be dismissed. Let’s take a look at this correlation (0.937) if you scale CO2 to 100 ppm per 1 C.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25
        As you see, nearly 1 C of warming from nearly 100 ppm of CO2. This works out at over 2 C per doubling and agrees with AGW. You don’t accept that this is more than a coincidence despite a scientific explanation and the near mathematical impossibility for such a high correlation not to indicate a leading factor. If there was another cause it would have to be proportional to the CO2 increase. With the water vapor feedbacks and various positive albedo feedbacks together with proportionate anthropogenic effects (GHGs-aerosols) you can easily account for this amount of warming. Maybe you’ll need another decade or three of this to be convinced that AGW really is at work here. Perhaps the 60 years of data we have is not enough for you yet. When will it be?
        That’s without even bringing in the positive imbalance that shows that even all this warming still lags the forcing change meaning that the ECS exceeds the change we see here.
        So I repeat. You see the data. There’s a robust signal. It does exactly what AGW would predict it to do at a TCR near 2 C per doubling and with a larger ECS because of the positive imbalance. You dismiss that this sensitivity could possibly be right. You vaguely want some other proof instead, perhaps a century more of warming data.

      • It is not clear that #jiminy understands the difference between correlation and the coefficient of determination. But wth.

        And if there another and better correlation?

        And #jiminy’s single bit of blog science on a loop is pretty dismal.

        It is really about 0.6 degrees C post war – that may or may not be all anthropogenic and will take a dive in the next La Nina.

      • JimD

        The correlation coefficient between CO2 and earnings of Major League Baseball players is off the chart too. But who cares.

      • The next La Niña will be among the warmest La Niña events in the instrument record. Because the sky is full of an instrument record amount of anthropogenic CO2.

        The earth has no taken a good old-fashioned cooling dive since the turn of the 19th century: 1905.

      • Jim, it is very natural to see a picture of what you expect to see and assigning your meanings. The scientific method was developed to change that mode of gaining truth (to an amazing result). I think most people here see a poor correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and global surface temperature over the ~150-yr record.

        To explain all the excursions from correlation one must know show all climate dynamic are completely understood. In order to claim this one has to have scientifically established the past climates and past states of all the variables affecting those climates. The existing expert consensus is that the observational evidence indicates there were warming and cooling periods on a centennial-millennial scale. There currently is little consensus as to the cause of such oscillations. They are not part of the IPCC global climate model project. This is why Mann’s “Nature trick” was so important, showing the past millennium’s climate record as a straight line, it eliminated the need for explanation of the MWP and LIA.

        It’s not science when you falsify analysis in order to eliminate observations not explained by your hypothesis. And, just because others on your team are willing to pat you on the back and repeat your falsifications for the sake of a common cause does not vindicate you or your science. It’s just the opposite, and what science was invented to attempt to prevent. And, although one may have correct conclusions with flawed methods, there is no authority to state so, even if you are a director of the NAS.

        Jim, do you believe that tree ring data or lake sediments ridges (varves) can give us observational plots of the past 2000 years of global surface temperature?

      • > All scientists agree: in science, opinion is NOT a form of evidence.

        Citation still needed, preferably one that would include evidence for that agreement. But wait – how could any evidence of scientific agreement be possible if scientists aren’t part of nature?

        To me, this quandary provides some kind of evidence that there’s a problem with your notion of evidence, Brad.

      • Willard,

        “Citation still needed, preferably one that would include evidence for that agreement.”

        I’ve never met a scientist who didn’t agree, and neither have you, and neither has anyone, unless I’m wrong, in which case please supply a counterexample.

        This is how universal claims, like the one I made, are adjudicated.

        “But wait – how could any evidence of scientific agreement be possible if scientists aren’t part of nature?””

        Scientists are part of nature, but how science works and how nature works are different questions.

        Also, we’ve played out this genre of silly-beggars already, Willard. Every time I point out that a survey of scientists’ opinions of climate change fails to tell us anything about nature, your comeback is “but scientists’ brains are PART of nature!”

        Sigh. As I said, this is silly-beggars. Wilful misunderstanding. Language is a social art and people engaged in good-faith dialogue don’t go out of their way to misconstrue each other—quite the opposite. They’re actually expected to make some (“reasonable”, whatever that means) effort to cooperate with their interlocutor by mentally filling-in the blanks which it would be “unreasonably” tedious and onerous to spell out every f____ng time their interlocutor says something.

        So I’ll request, not for the first time, that whenever I write “about nature”, you read “about extracranial nature.”

      • > I’ve never met a scientist who didn’t agree

        Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.

        We can stop right there, Brad.

        Thank you for your misguided concerns.

      • So let’s play wee willies silly little game.

        “Rule 1 We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and
        sufficient to explain their appearances.

        Rule 2 Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same
        causes.

        Rule 3 The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

        Rule 4 In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general
        induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, not withstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.” Isaac Newton

      • Willard,

        “> I’ve never met a scientist who didn’t agree

        Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.”

        Yes it is.

        In fact it’s the ONLY thing that can constitute evidence of absence. If I say there are no more thylacine running around, what possible justification could I have for this claim that wasn’t of the form “I / you / people haven’t seen any thylacine running around lately”?

        If absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, then there’s no evidence any species has ever gone extinct!

        I don’t know where people get this silly saying (“Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.”) but perhaps it’s a popular mangling of something less silly, like “absence of proof isn’t proof of absence.”

        ” > We can stop right there, Brad.”

        Of course! If you want quit while my hypothesis is ahead I won’t complain!

        Suits me rather well, but why would it benefit you?

        Look at the scoreboard. Wouldn’t you rather try to give at least ONE counterexample before we declare game over?

      • > If absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, then there’s no evidence any species has ever gone extinct!

        There’s a difference between having some evidence specie S got extinct and not having any evidence if S is extinct, Brad. To conflate the two is just a trick to hide your lack of any due diligence. It is sillier than the trick that got you started, i.e. hiding that evidence isn’t restricted to the realm of natural sciences.

        All this because you still refuse to do any kind of homework before pontificating.

      • Willard,

        the only evidence one can have of the non-existence of objects of a certain class (assuming they can’t be ruled out a priori) is to look for them and not find any, and to look for people who’ve found them and not meet any, and to ask around if anyone knows anyone who’s met anyone who’s found one and get no affirmative responses.

        And that’s something I’ve done, incidentally, in the course of my several years as a climate hateblogger. For example, one of my amusements has been to seek out scientific consensualism advocates in order to krush them, and in pursuit of this hobby I’ve noticed that not one of my hapless foes lists his/her occupation as ‘scientist.’ (The closest I’ve ever encountered to a scientist who thinks opinion is a form of evidence would be Victor “Consensus Signals Credibility” Venema. He states that he’s a Computer Scientist—which, I believe, makes him a mathematician.)

        And it’s not as if I’ve never had occasion to clash with scientists. It’s just that when I do, it’s always for some other mistake or falsehood they’re promulgating. So far I’m yet to meet a scientist quite so degenerate as to believe that a consensus (or any other opinion) is a form of evidence. Not even a CLIMATE scientist.

        Even the climate-believalist astrobiologist Ken Rice promised, at my request, to correct any commenter on his blog who committed the consensus = evidence error.

        As I mentioned, absence of evidence is the only possible form of evidence of absence (absent an analytic proof that the class has to be null).

        And as I also mentioned, the proper response, if you don’t believe my hypothesis and would like to change minds here, is to provide a counterexample. Failing that, the hypothesis stands and is scheduled to achieve theory status sometime tonight, at which point it becomes a candidate for textbook knowledge.

      • Ron, the difference after 1950 versus before 1950 is that this was the period when the CO2 forcing rate of change became the dominant factor in total forcing. Prior to 1950 rates were less than 0.1 W/m2/decade which is comparable with what the sun can do, or a set of volcanoes. After 1950, the CO2 forcing rose to 0.3 W/m2/decade by about 1980, and became clearly dominant, which is why the temperature responds to it most. This doesn’t mean other forcings are not also changing. The sun has declined recently for example. But CO2’s rate of change has become the main one because 0.3 W/m2/decade is not something you would see in nature. Over 3/4 of all the temperature and forcing change have occurred since 1950.

      • > the only evidence one can have of the non-existence of objects of a certain class (assuming they can’t be ruled out a priori) is to look for them and not find any, and to look for people who’ve found them and not meet any, and to ask around if anyone knows anyone who’s met anyone who’s found one and get no affirmative responses.

        Bingo.

        Show your homework.

      • Absence of evidence of wee willies acumen is evidence of absence, And the import of any of it is zilch.

        Here’s one I didn’t post earlier. Trends in multidecadal temperature are dominated by internal variability (Loeb et al 2018). Early century warming peaked in 1944 – just when emissions took off.

      • At decadal timescales, when internal variations in the climate system dominate, the link between TOA radiation and surface temperature is more complex. Using pre-industrial control simulations of three generations of Met Office Hadley Centre coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models, Palmer et al. [7] show that while decadal trends in global mean sea-surface temperature (SST) tend to be positive (negative) when the decadal average net downward TOA flux is positive (negative), ≈30% of decades show opposite trends in SST and total energy, implying that it is not uncommon for a decade to show a decreasing trend in SST and a positive decadal average net TOA flux. The reason for the large scatter between decadal SST and total energy trends is re-distribution of heat within the ocean. In order to relate net TOA radiation and global mean surface temperature changes at decadal timescales, Xie et al. [4] decompose the climate feedback term into forced and natural variability components, with the latter term accounting for the lag between TOA radiation and surface temperature variations.

        Between approximately 1998 and 2013, the rate of increase in global mean surface temperature slowed down relative to that during the latter half of the 20th century [8–10]. This so-called “global warming hiatus” period coincided with the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), characterized by an increase in heat sequestered to deeper layers in the ocean [11–14]. Other contributing factors to the hiatus have also been proposed [15–17], but the dominant cause appears to be oceanic redistribution of heat, particularly in the Pacific Ocean.

      • S Mosher: “In some sense we knew all we needed to know back in 1896 and did nothing. We knew what we needed to know in 1988 and did nothing. One of the sillier complaints Skeptics make is that there is so much we dont know. … But we have known enough of the answer for over 100 years: If we look back over the span of millions of year we can explain 90% of the temperature ups and downs with a few simple parameters: the sun, volcanic aerosols and GHG forcing. That last 10% is hard. Sorry.”

        Very wrong perspective. We don’t know what the world will be like in the year 2100. We don’t know whether new energy sources equivalent to the change from whale oil to crude oil will be discovered. We don’t know whether there will be an increase in volcanism, such that we could face global cooling. One thing we do know to a 98% certainty is that science and knowledge will progress very rapidly and lead to unforeseeable discoveries.
        Therefore, it is absolutely impossible to predict what the world will be like in 80 years — neither nature nor science will stand still. It is therefore absolutely impossible to construct remedies to “solve” problems that may or may not exist in 80 years.

        JD

      • You can add orbital cycles and axial tilt to that list. And we can ignore all of these variables so as to make tuning and hindcasting our gods. Mosher is good with temp reconstruction and bad with logic

      • “There have been significant improvements in the satellite observing system since 2000 with the launch of several Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments. Similarly, improvements in ocean heating rate observations have occurred with the in-situ network of profiling floats from Argo, which reached near-global coverage after 2005 [28].” https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1105465715

        I’m impressed that he actually found the reference – most don’t bother even when I link it.

        Here’s my comparison of CERES and Argo.

        Here is their figure 1.

        Oceans take up 93$ of global heat – and atmosphere 1%. What they in JCH’s quote is that the energy budget was positive yet there was a surface temperature hiatus – so what didn’t show up in the atmosphere went into oceans.

        “The decrease in global mean all-sky SW TOA flux between the post-hiatus and hiatus periods is primarily associated with areas over the eastern Pacific Ocean off North and South America, as well as over the west tropical Pacific and the Southern Pacific Convergence Zone. A partial radiative perturbation analysis reveals that decreases in low cloud cover are the primary driver of the SW TOA flux decreases. Furthermore, the regional distribution of decreases in SW TOA flux associated with low cloud cover changes closely matches that of SST warming, which in turn shows a pattern typical of the positive phase of the PDO over the eastern Pacific. In contrast to the decreases in SW TOA flux over the Pacific, increases occur over the north Atlantic associated with the North Atlantic Cold Blob, which partly compensates for the SW TOA flux decreases over the Pacific.”

        Lots of fascinating detail – the North Atlantic Cold Blob may be from a decline in AMOC. But JCH picks up on quite the least interesting and seems to imagine I have forgotten about CO2. How could we?

      • Next up might be the blue:

      • Likely not. To understand the multiply coupled Earth system requires tracing the flow of energy through the relevant physical mechanisms. Over decadal to millennial scales much climate variability emerges from polar regions in changing patterns of meridional (north/south) and zonal (east/west) wind fields that are related to polar surface pressure. Process level models suggest that it is the result in part of solar UV/ozone chemistry in the upper atmosphere translating through atmospheric pathways into surface pressure changes at the poles (Ineson et al 2015). Observations suggest that more meridional patterns are associated with low solar activity (Lockwood et al 2010). There is a further more speculative suggestion that the 20 to 30 year periodicity of the Earth system is caused by the ~22 year Hale cycle of solar magnetic reversal. The next climate shift is due in the next decade if it is not happening now. With a dimming sun – it may be to a yet cooler state in both hemispheres.



        Figure 1: An index of (a) polar surface pressures in the Atlantic sector – negative is high polar surface pressure relative to sub-polar surface pressure associated with low solar activity and (b) decadal rates of surface warming and cooling – source Oviatt et al 2015

        “Decadal changes in the strength of jet stream westerly winds in both hemispheres alter ocean gyre circulations and together with trade winds, the upwelling intensity off continental margins.”

      • Willard,

        > Bingo. Show your homework.

        No.

        0. That’s not the idiom. You can either say ‘do your homework’ (which I DID) or you can say ‘show your working.’ You’re combining these demands, illicitly. Since my homework was for my own edification, not yours, I’m under no obligation to prove to you that I did it.

        1. I could go back and painstakingly retrace more than a decade of digital footprints but I don’t want to—it would be a waste of my time.

        2. You don’t want me to—and you certainly wouldn’t thank me. You’re playing Climateball, in which learning = losing.

        To win, you have to pretend not to know I’m right. And to pretend thus, you need an excuse. Today the one you’re planning on using is: I didn’t keep a timestamped diary of every epistemological argument I’ve gotten into since the Internet was invented (because I failed to anticipate that anyone would be so obtuse as to need to see it); I therefore can’t supply you with a 30-page dossier quoting, and linking you to, every such exchange; therefore my universal claim remains unproven.

        If you want to win that way (e.g. by not changing your mind), why should I deprive you of that, especially at the expense of my own Saturday night?

        All I can say is that, if you want to win like a boss, a far better idea would be to find a counterexample.

        Otherwise, without either of us lifting a finger, my hypothesis stands.

        It’s a win-win. (I’m correct and you’re corrected.)

      • Zonal; meridional; zonal; meridional; zonal; meridional: ___________.

        Lol.

      • And he is still betting zero…

      • … damn those e’s and a’s…

      • The staircase to 2100, and beyond:

      • So faith based ultra short term surface temperature linear trendology?

        In an ocean of uncertainty?

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0007-4

      • Steven Mosher:
        “…values are in dispute…”
        Agreed. Conservatives see an electric utility 15 years ago and says it works. And we have a lot of coal. Trains to move it. Then we have those that say, This way is a better way. And have been saying that since the 70s. Conservatives see foreign aid and the U.N. and say that doesn’t work. When did that ever work? But the IPCC will work and so will these annual save the planet conventions. And of course, it doesn’t work. Conservatives see that fracking and pipelines and power lines do work and they say, no they don’t. Residential solar panels work better. And of course they don’t. They Germany’s and Australia’s old grids that worked and see that their new ones work only if you believe the MSM. The climate consensus seems to, but maybe not, been bundled together with all this. It didn’t help that some of them decided to join the side that said all these new things will work. Or that some of them spout this nonsense about green jobs or wars or hurricanes. They seem to have values that will save us. And we’ve heard that one before. About a hundred times. As I recall, Berkeley Earth said something like, Natural Gas and Nuclear Power. Two things that work. And I think that belies an otherwise good story about saving anything. We cannot save the planet without them. The type of values that now say it’s too dangerous to use the very things that using current technology and deciding what has the best chance of saving us while taking into account risk as our best people can figure, are rejected, are not the kind of values they pretend to be. They are not about trying new things for the betterment of mankind but a dislike of what works. And I don’t know what kind of dark place they are from? The same place that is indifferent to the many poor people living in other countries. We might argue that science is for the betterment of mankind. That’s a value I suppose. A science that postures around us with our easy and safe lives, and walls off those living in poverty and says here are a few solar panels. That’s not the betterment of mankind. What values anchor the left? It’s hard to make sense of that. What is it this week? While the conservatives say, This works. It might be right-wing and yet another example of some kind of injustice, but it still works.

      • Jim, I am familiar with the chart of atmospheric CO2 known as the Keeling Curve, and I realize your logic that if CO2 = forcing and forcing = climate control knob then CO2 = climate. But I pointed out that the IPCC had this hypothesis all along, and using those same metrics predicted that we would average 0.3 C per decade warming from 1992 to 2025 (see my last comment for linked and quoted FAR). That being 3-1/3 decades, the math is really simple: 3.3*.3 = 1.0C rise from 1992-2025. But that didn’t happen. We might get 1.0C from 1950-2025 (0.134C/dec), but then again, we seem to going into a “cooling period.”

        The question becomes how does one falsely the hypothesis. The experts said that 0.2C/dec was the lower boundary and we got a fraction of that. They also predicted that the lower troposphere would warm 10%-30% faster than the surface due to ocean heat uptake at the surface. Yet, the lower troposphere (satellite data) has been warming only a fraction of the rate of the surface data. After Hurricane Katrina they predicted more frequent hurricanes. That didn’t happen. Now they say they really weren’t predictions but just “scenarios.” How can we trust their “scenarios” for 2100?

        Jim, you missed my question from my last comment: “Do you believe that tree ring data or lake sediments ridges (varves) can give us observational plots of the past 2000 years of global surface temperature?”

      • Ron, The magic was in the proposed water vapor feedback. Now the magic is in the Aerosols, which is why Lewis and Curry left it out of their estimate. You can’t arrive at a mid to high ECS unless their is a powerful feedback. But as Lindzen states, most feedbacks are negative. The appearance of a positive water vapor feedback, even a small positive feedback would cause a runaway effect. Belief in that old ship ha sailed for most of us.

      • Ron, as I have pointed out before that from the Keeling curve and global temperature data, the effective transient rate is 2.4 C per doubling, most likely 2 C of that being CO2. This TCR would be somewhat in the center of IPCC expectations and others that go back decades. This is also why no one is wondering why the warming rate is 0.2 C per decade because it is consistent with 2 C per doubling as a TCR and the growth rate of CO2 we have.
        As for proxies, PAGES2k has over 600 proxies including many non-tree-ring ones and a global coverage. It’s a good dataset that is already producing valuable results on how trends have changed in the last 2000 years.

      • Jim D: “Ron, as I have pointed out before that from the Keeling curve and global temperature data, the effective transient rate is 2.4 C per doubling, most likely 2 C of that being CO2.”

        What I think you are claiming is that you have analyzed effective TCR as being 2C. Did you write up a paper? Is it under review? Perhaps you could ask Nic Lewis to take a look. BTW, TCR is only looking at CO2 because that is the only anthropogenic GHG that has longevity.

        “As for proxies, PAGES2k has over 600 proxies including many non-tree-ring ones and a global coverage. It’s a good dataset that is already producing valuable results on how trends have changed in the last 2000 years.”

        I assume you do know that there isn’t correlation between any of these 600 proxies except by random chance. When plotted out, each looks like red noise. The question becomes: how do we know they are valid proxies for temperature? Do you know how this is accomplished? Just checking that your faith in them is based on knowledge.

      • Ron Graf, you should know that those 600 proxies are point values, and therefore would not be expected to correlate any more than London and Hong Kong station annual means would. If you look at the CET series, it is very noisy, as any local record, including proxies, would be. The noise is only removed by combining them into a global value.
        As for 2.4 C anyone can calculate it from Keeling and BEST or GISTEMP. It doesn’t make a paper to do such a calculation. Regarding Lewis, his TCR for CO2 only accounts for half the warming since 1950. You need to get him to explain why, and it is not internal variability because he supposedly ruled that out with his choice of endpoints. I don’t think his number is usable for much as-is.

      • Jim, I’m well aware that different regions are affected by variability, as is the globe as a whole. But if one took a random sampling of half the global stations one would expect a good correlation with the other half. Do you think that is the case with splitting the Pages2K proxies? Is that what you are saying??

        Jim, can you cite a paper from the last 10 years that has effective TCR median value at 2.0 or more? I only see IPCC modeled TCR at 2.

      • It didn’t take me long to find this one.

        Besides this one below gives a lower uncertainty. Maybe I should write a paper.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25
        It is effectively behaving as 2.4 C per doubling plus or minus very little because the whole 60 years correlates well to CO2.
        On proxies, yes, they are not as good as thermometers, but over decades they can provide information. That’s what paleoclimate papers are about.

      • Congrats, you found a single study out of the seven highest of the last 10 years that just edged over the 2.0 line. Notice that all the dashed line distribution curves were from very old studies. I notice also that the only overlap between our two sets is the Otto studies. This is known as cherry picking. And speaking of that climate science has a real problem in this area. The IPCC models amount to an Olympic competition to create the highest plausible TCR/ECS without stepping outside the bounds of plausible physics. There is plenty of wiggle room, which they call parameterization. When faced with any of the dozens of choices for creating arbitrary coefficients everybody wants to be “responsible” and “conservative” which means following the precautionary principle, which means stretch to the worst value. With the contribution of each expert’s precautionary choice the outcome is the team’s model submission. This is why the IPCC predicted 0.3C per decade warming in their first report in 1992, and why we only got less than half that. That prediction likely pre-dated even the dotted line ghosted out TCR studies visible on your figure. As time has passed the plausible TCR is continually coming down as “responsibility” runs into reality.

        On proxies, they are not only not thermometers they are unlimited in number, which means they need to be selected according to which are the best substitute thermometers. Do you know how they do that?

        Also, you neglected my question of whether you think that if one split the Pages2K’s entire set of proxies in two at random whether their would be correlation between the two sets.

      • FAR out:

        But I pointed out that the IPCC had this hypothesis all along, and using those same metrics predicted that we would average 0.3 C per decade warming from 1992 to 2025 (see my last comment for linked and quoted FAR). That being 3-1/3 decades, the math is really simple: 3.3*.3 = 1.0C rise from 1992-2025. But that didn’t happen. We might get 1.0C from 1950-2025 (0.134C/dec), but then again, we seem to going into a “cooling period.” – Ron Graf

        Think about this:

        And, we are not entering a cooling period.

      • Ron, you complain about cherrypicking then use a well-known skeptical cherrypick to illustrate what you mean. The graph I showed was from AR5. Use the CO2 observations to get a direct measure. The uncertainty comes when you make assumptions about the aerosol impact on this, but the net effect is highly proportional to CO2, so the effects of other GHGs and aerosols correlate well with it. If we reduce aerosol emissions, the value will increase. If we reduce other GHG emissions faster than CO2, it will decrease, but it has been robust for 60 years at 2.4 C per doubling. Actually Lovejoy has 2.3 C per doubling for 1750-2012 using this method of CO2 as a proxy for net anthropogenic forcing. It really holds well over the long term. So I can predict if our CO2 growth rate now remains in the 2.5 ppm/yr for a decade, global warming will also increase to 0.25 C/decade. It’s just an extension of curves that go back 60 years.
        If anyone else’s number doesn’t explain the warming since 1950, it is not much good for anything. Lewis gets his low number by almost zeroing out the aerosol growth while including the 1940-1970 period in his window that had the most rapid global aerosol growth. Who knows why?
        Regarding proxies, they are looking at millennial trends rather than annual or even decadal values, so I don’t know how well different hemispheres correlate for short time scales. But the long term global trend does come out because that is what they publish from it.

      • Jim, we agree that cherry-picking is a hazard, maybe the greatest one, for false conclusions. We all do it. Scientists, journalists are not exempt. They used to be trained specifically to counter this bias by reporting all the facts that could be relevant to an analysis. Sadly, it seems more then ever we cherry pick the news and and they in turn cherry pick the facts. Many also believe the same forces are eroding scientific rigor, at least for the non-applied sciences. I think we both can agree that critical thinking is warranted always.

        You are skeptical of Lewis and Curry and I presume other investigators who find climate sensitivity on the lower end of the field. You state your suspicions that they are making false assumptions regarding historic trends in aerosol pollution and the degree of which their negative forcing they offsets GHG, all fair to do. Lewis and Curry have explained their assumptions and math in their papers and it has been open for scrutiny by the climate community, who mostly hold your point of view about AGW urgency. To date I would say big climate has been unable to shake the assumptions or math of L&C despite several attempts, largely because L&C use IPCC data for temperature record, aerosol and GHG forcing.

        No single investigator can ably challenge all the weaknesses in climate science, but remember, there is a substantial community that challenges the accuracy every one of these data sets. Land stations, the best historical surface data, was never designed for the precision necessary for detecting 0.1C decadal anomalies or for global sampling. All the instrument protocol changes throughout the decades have left a wide field of choices and methods open for interpretation for adjusting and cleansing the data. Local warming around stations from development are poorly adjusted for, or not at all. Climate history gets changed whenever seen fit, and it’s always to cool the past. Just after transitioning from ship measurements to buoys and floats the historical treatment of ship measurements were completely changed. The global temperature record, which relies 70% on the very poor sea surface records. This very substantial change was done without field experimentation, just noodling. Many top aerosol experts, like Bjorn Stevens of the Max Plank Inst., believe the IPCC’s forcing assumptions for them are way too high. Jim, you are free to present your work but it would be picked apart as appropriate. You will need to show that you did not cherry pick starting periods or omit any important climate forcing influences.

        JCH says we are not entering a cooling period. I can’t argue becuase I don’t claim to know. I do predict that whatever the future trend is that it will be completely expected and explained by yourself, big climate, (and any economist). If there is cooling and a volcano erupts it will be because of that. If there are a deficit of sun spots that will be that. If the trend is persistent than it will be the lower oscillation of the AMO. If it warms — well, we already know this reason too.

        Paleoclimate is much worse. Actually,it was the revelation of the hockey stick games that alarmed me enough to take a closer look at climate science. The proxy chronologies are not like weather stations. Different tree species in the same area show different climate reconstructions. Even the same species in the same area can have near zero correlation if, for example, the tree loses its bark, like the infamous strip bark bristlecone and foxtail pines. How do they know that warmth is the limiting growth factor over a 1000-year period? They take a calibration period, a couple of decades in the 20th century, where either the local climate or the hemispheric climate will correlate with the tree’s growth. If it passes the treemometer test then it is a valid proxy. The better the correlation to the more its value is rewarded with multipliers. But once the tree’s growth come out of the test interval all focus of performance ceases. One might ask how much warming is still beneficial to a tree’s growth? And, how do we know that past poor growth periods (recorded as cooling) were not really caused by too much heat or dryness? These questions are equivalent to asking who created God in the tree-ring community. You don’t ask.

        Here is the 1993 Graybill study of the strip bark pines that he analysed as evidence for CO2 fertilization effect on trees. There were the exact trees that passed Mann’s treemometer test so well that he rewarded them with 370X weight so they dominated the MBH hockey stick. Of course, their data had to be chopped off the last half of the 20th century (due to their decline) and replaced with adjusted thermometer records. They are still used in the Pages2K despite their earlier use as CO2 proxies.

        Jim, I think you have logged more hours on this blog than any other soul. You are devoting a good portion of your life to it. If one wants to be sure they are correct they should be skeptical and read the counter evidence. Everyone needs to guard against cherry picking. Read the Graybill paper, read Montford’s “Hockey Stick Illusion.”

      • Ron, for all the talk of problems with proxies we see no counter products to PAGES2k and Marcott, which makes them all talk and no action. When they actually have a reconstruction of the last few thousand years, there will be something to weigh up. That’s how science works. This is the kind of tearing down that Mann had to put up with before other studies confirmed his HS (and even since) without an actual alternative being produced. It’s all just words, no pictures. Even if it just shows bigger error bars, they should at least produce that.
        As for CO2 versus temperature, all the error comes from assumptions about what fraction is CO2, but the raw data is correlated enough to use as-is. Taking annual temperatures, the correlation is about 0.93 for 1958-2018, and for decadal means (although only 6 points) it rises to 0.985 for 1958-2018 and 0.995 for 1968-2018 (after the larger aerosol increase rates have subsided). This level of correlation makes the gradient very sharp, especially for the last five decades, 1968-2018, where it rises to 2.6 C per doubling. Given this, I am surprised that there is an uncertainty argument still being used to delay action. You won’t find Lewis projecting the decadal change in temperature for 2.5 ppm/yr going forwards because his method introduces too much uncertainty to say anything. If the next decade averages 420 ppm, which it could at that rate, we would get 0.25 C warming over this decade, modified perhaps a little by solar variation.
        As for me spending my time here, climate change is a hobby, and this is an outlet.

      • Jim, so you are saying that criticism of a study is not valid unless it is via a published paper? Did Lewis not just squish that notion a second ago?
        Let me elucidate,.proxies like models.are valuable for very different reasons and they serve specific purposes. All data must be scrutinized, and not all data is equal or should be equally weighted. The inclusion of certain corrupted data aught to be set aside, unfit for purpose. Proxies should not be asked to be paraded around as if they are high resolution by today’s standards.

      • Do those proxies change the hockey stick? No, they have not shown that nor even said that. That’s your own assumption on the basis of no supporting facts.

      • Good,.so you have understood my question to be rhetorical and now you’re countering (having conceded the point you earlier made).
        “Do proxies change the hockey stick”. Who cares. Change it or not it doesn’t matter, what matters is whether or not said proxies are fit for purpose. Do Mann’s pine proxies appear fit for purpose? No they don’t. Let me specify; if the purpose is to pressure policy based on pine proxies. No.
        Let’s not defend the indefensible,. please Jim.
        Now let’s look at proxy data with a wide viewing; like sat data, proxies have notoriously high error bands. We have to be aware of that fact. Some are better than others, and others are quite good in relation.
        We have to be therefore cautionary in making attribution claims concerning our theories. Do you agree? We have to properly reflect uncertainties.

      • They have error bars. The critics did not even change those. What to do next?

      • Well, we can continue our scrutiny, and we can continue to weight proxies appropriately. The historical record is fuzzy. That is about it.

      • They did not say it was fuzzy enough to wipe out the hockey stick. The blade is also supported by thermometers.

      • Jim, there was evidence and many reconstructions before MBH98. They included a Medial Warm Period, which was why they were not promoted by the IPCC. The MWP exists also after the hockey stick, Ljungquist (2010), for example.

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiHsoW8zZPfAhVKhuAKHX4fD7EQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lwhancock.com%2FBlog_120706.aspx&psig=AOvVaw0QN0RM6ifr2cJQr5nH1yqM&ust=1544474345002357

        I am not vouching for Ljungquist nor am I agreeing with you that one must prove an alternative explanation in order to criticize another’s hypothesis or methods. Mann’s biggest counter-argument to McIntyre’s unraveling of Mann’s work was that McIntyre did not present his own own alternative reconstruction. Unfortunately, (for Mann,) that is not required under the rules of science.

        As for your TCR, you must use all the good data that is available. You must go back to 1860. The study of effective climate sensitivity involves a large, 70-year AMO oscillations in GMST, as well as smaller El Nino ones. Even if you did eliminate the majority of the 20th century from your study, you should need to explain the significant rise in GMST between 1910 and 1945. If it wasn’t CO2 forcing then what was it? And why is it not a concern for your study now?

      • Here is a non-hockey team reconstruction:

      • F. C. Ljungqvist is now part of the PAGES community. Assimilated into the collective, or, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em.

      • Ron, while critics of Mann or PAGES don’t show alternatives, critics of those critics can say the effects of what they say are just small and don’t affect the basic result, and they have no defense against that. Maybe it is only small. Who would know otherwise? I think the MWP is established for the northern continents, but it fades when other global data is added. The Holocene Optimum is much more robust.
        For effective TCR, I have addressed your points before.
        1. CO2 forcing is now increasing at 0.3 W/m2/decade, which is larger than any other forcing change rate earlier in the record. The sun can’t do more than about 0.1 W/m2/decade.
        2. 1910-1940 is often brought up, a period when the sun went from its 1910 lull to its most active of the century by about 1950. While CO2 can’t alone account for the rise rate with its 0.2 W/m2 change, when you add in this strengthening sun adding maybe 0.1-0.2 W/m2 over this period, it becomes easy to. Skeptics ironically ignore that the sun could have had such an additive effect when they keep raising this question about that specific period. Perhaps they are not familiar with changes in solar activity in the 20th century, but I have said this many times before here.
        Since mid-century the sun has returned to a lull and probably lost that 0.1-0.2 W/m2 again, but with CO2 alone rising at 0.3 W/m2 per decade, and 1.5 W/m2 total since 1950, the solar part has little effect anymore compared to being able to double or cancel the CO2 effect earlier in the 20th century. The growth of aerosols up to about 1970 was another factor that slowed CO2 growth.
        So, yes, we could look at earlier periods, but the forcing changes (~0.1 W/m2/decade at most) were fairly anemic compared to what they have been since about 1980. 75% of he total forcing change has occurred since 1950, so that is where its effect is the most obvious and where we have accurate enough numbers to gauge a sensitivity.

      • Jim, you do indeed have some new unique climate facts that I was not aware of. Links would be appreciated for my further education. Although it seems like you have all the skeptics questions all buttoned up I hope you wouldn’t mind just a couple more.

        1) If the only significant climate drivers are CO2, aerosols and solar, everything else being a feedback, how do you account for the LIA? If your answer is solar you are at odds with Pages2K’s and many other’s analysis, regardless to the Maunder Minimum.

        2) If you accept Ljungqvist huge and prominent oscillations, even if just for the NH, how do you account for an entire hemisphere to behave in such a way? If it was solar then it would be influencing both hemispheres simultaneously. Then how could the climate effects be limited to a single hemisphere when the sun shines on both?

        3) Did the IPCC know what you know about solar influence in 1992? If so, wouldn’t they have accounted for that in their projected range of warming of 0.2-0.5C/dec? How did they miss by so much, the actual warming since then being ~0.13C/dec, especially since this was not a weak solar activity period?

        4) Are you interested in submitting your paper to Nic for his thoughts when you are ready? Do you think that could strengthen your work?

      • OK, some answers.
        1) LIA. The LIA as shown by PAGES2k is the low point, just before GHGs and other anthropogenic changes (possibly landuse) started the warming trend. Why was the climate cooling between the Holocene Optimum and LIA? This was consistent with the phase of the Milankovitch precession cycle where the current state favors the Arctic glaciers and sea ice more than at the time when the last Ice Age ended. So the LIA would have been part of a continued cooling through now had not we intervened, but the trend was only ~0.1-0.2 C per thousand years, and we would not be much colder than the LIA at that rate.
        2) Asymmetry in global temperatures. It is easy to imagine that changing ocean circulations with accompanying feedbacks on ice sheets could cause asymmetries between hemispheres. Along with Milankovitch forcing changes, there are likely some dynamic interactions at work, and the global temperature will not change monolithically. The global cooling of the 1960’s-70’s was primarily a NH phenomenon, especially the west Atlantic. Some say AMO, some say aerosols. Ljungqvist only claims to be averaging the northern extratropical continents, so that would probably be about 25% of the global area. Don’t take that as global variability.
        3) There has always been a lot of uncertainty about solar forcing prior to actual measurements. The changes I mentioned are within the ranges suggested and represent solar changes of 1 part in 1000. We know from the Maunder Minimum that solar changes can be important. As for the IPCC, I don’t know what their forcing assumptions were, so I can’t comment. Projections depend critically on those assumptions in addition to the climate sensitivity. If we have more aerosols or volcanoes or a weaker sun than projected, those can be off as much as a tenth or so degrees.
        4) Nic’s way of doing things is to add uncertain assumptions of his own, so he won’t like methods that remove the need for those and just rely on more certain data.

      • Jim, thanks. I have some followup.
        1) LIA. You say the LIA was just before GHGs and other anthropogenic changes. In other words the recovery of the LIA, which started in ~1720, was due to industrial GHG from ~1840. But in another part of your analysis you say that GHG forcing was not even significant until 1950 or 1968, so the prior temperature record could be sliced off from consideration. You said the rise from 1910-1945 (~0.3C) was due to solar. How could LIA recovery starting in 1720-1750 have been anthropogenic (going from 278ppm-278.1pp) when a few hours before you claimed that AGW was not significant in 1920-1950 (going from ~295-~305ppm?

        You also say the “LIA was consistent with the phase of the Milankovitch precession cycle where the current state favors the Arctic glaciers and sea ice more than at the time when the last Ice Age ended.” Actually, I understand the precession, being a 26,000-year cylce has not significantly changed since the LIA, we still use Polaris and the north star. And since the perihelion is during the NH winter is favors antarctic ice, not arctic.

        2) You wrote: “Asymmetry in global temperatures. It is easy to imagine that changing ocean circulations with accompanying feedbacks on ice sheets could cause asymmetries between hemispheres. Along with Milankovitch forcing changes, there are likely some dynamic interactions at work, and the global temperature will not change monolithically.”
        Jim, I understand your position, like Mann’s, (and others in big climate,) is that the climate is static except for the very gradual orbital influence over the last 10,000 years. In this way you accept the Holocene Optimum as the peak of that influence and the LIA as the current natural state if not for AGW. So under this scenario would you abandon your hypothesis if presented proof that the MWP was a global event? What about if the numbers did not add up for the models to be able to reproduce a recovery from the LIA with AGW? Would that dissuade you?

        3) On solar and IPCC AR1’s 35-year forecast you wrote: “There has always been a lot of uncertainty about solar forcing prior to actual measurements… We know from the Maunder Minimum that solar changes can be important. As for the IPCC, I don’t know what their forcing assumptions were, so I can’t comment.”
        Jim, there is no IPCC consensus the Maunder Minimum being a significant contributor to the LIA. But if there was they would then need to have to be able to have confidence that it would not happen again. Are you certain that the IPCC’s poor knowledge of solar variability was the explanation for their failed projection for decadal warming?

        4) Jim, you stated that you would be reluctant to have Nic review your work as you disagree with his assumptions. The reason I had asked this question is that it is sort of a test. In science one needs to love their hypothesis enough to subject it to the harshest environment for testing. If not, then one is not doing good science but instead protecting a faith. In fact, many of my questions have the tenor of one who is poking another’s faith. And I must praise you for not bristling as I suspect it’s unpleasant. Your continued polite replies and allowing the conversation to progress is commendable and appreciated.

      • Yes people who want to pretend there is nothing to debate, can be expected to decline debate.

      • > critics of Mann or PAGES don’t show alternatives
        I seem to recall the basic criticisms were use of trees known to be unreliable, and cherry-picking algorithms. You don’t need to com up with alternatives to a flawed approach, to show it is flawed. You merely point out the flaws. That’s what peer review ought to do.

      • 1) LIA “recovery” is a misnomer in my opinion. It implies a return to a normal state when actually the LIA was the normal state of the Milankovitch cycle. Warming was not expected, just continuous cooling as had been going on for thousands of years. The so-called recovery is the anomaly to explain. The Milankovitch trend was 0.1-0.2 C per 1000 years. It is very hard to discern a difference from that until after the 1850’s and the upward trend was not noticeable until after 1900 by which time GHGs were having an impact exceeding that of aerosols and landuse.
        As for Milankovitch, in the last 12k years since the Ice Age, the precession has changed phase by 180 degrees from completely not favoring northern ice (hence ending the Ice Age) to completely favoring it being furthest from the sun in the northern summer. In the Milankovitch cycle, the amount of summer insolation at northern latitudes is a key parameter in how much ice can persist through the year. We are in the middle of the phase that favors Arctic ice growth, and clearly that’s not happening due to other factors.
        3) If the MWP was a global event, it could have been a solar anomaly, why not? The size of the purported MWP is within what the sun can do. Alternatively ocean circulations could have reduced ice cover and affected the albedo. These are tenths of a degree globally we are talking about, a typical scale of natural variability. Sources of variability like the sun. volcanoes, ocean circulations, can do that, but we don’t have the data to figure out which. Lovejoy puts the natural standard deviation of the pre-industrial centuries near 0.2 C (ocean cycles alone provide 0.1 C). We are currently 5 standard deviations above the mean and still climbing.
        I am not familiar with the IPCC projection you chose to focus on, but the net forcing is always the key. The sun is weaker than expected, perhaps aerosols and volcanoes are more. The IPCC has always had TCRs in the 2 C range, so there is no reason that this value would produce a warm bias when you look at the regression match of forcing to temperature where that value fits well for at least the last 60 years, and perhaps 250 (according to Lovejoy). I always say that someone in 1950 when CO2 was about 310 ppm, using a TCR of 2 C per doubling could have nailed how much warming we got as we rose to 400 ppm (~0.75 C). An easy prediction with just pen, paper and log tables. The most uncertain part would be when exactly we would reach 400 ppm. Just as it is today. We can predict the temperature at 700 ppm quite well, but if and when we reach that is uncertain.
        4) I have issues with both Nic Lewis and the IPCC when they add so much uncertainty to the TCR. If you have 60 years of decadal-averaged temperatures linearly correlated to log CO2 at 0.99, why not just use that formula? It is so clear that not only is CO2 the dominant forcing, but other factors (other GHGs, aerosols) have been proportionate enough to keep this correlation high.

      • JimD – the First Assessment Report, 1990 FAR, was based on science that likely would have included gases that were included in the Montreal Protocol, so their modeling would have been based on GHG forcing prior to 1990:

      • Thanks, JCH, those CFCs could have been a big part of why FAR produced such warm projections.

      • Jim, you claim the ‘LIA “recovery” is a misnomer.’ You repeated your claim that effectively Standard Oil saved civilization from the return of the Ice Age due to Milankovitch cycle. My question to you was that if you were shown hard quantitative analysis that the CO2 forcing in the eighteenth and nineteenth century was insufficient for your claim would you concede? BTW, can you point to anyone affirming your claim?

        You claim that before AGW the gradual 10,000 decline at “0.1-0.2 C per 1000 years” was the only variable forcing. Your position is that there were no warming periods (or cooling ones). Do you accept the validity of ice core proxies for showing Holocene variability? Do you believe the Holocene Optimum is a now dead myth, along with the MWP and RWP and others?

        You wrote: “It is very hard to discern a difference from that until after the 1850’s and the upward trend was not noticeable until after 1900 by which time GHGs were having an impact exceeding that of aerosols and landuse.” This is because the recovery started around 1650, around the Maunder Minimum. This is about the only thing that is not in dispute in the proxy record, likely because there is ample documentation of the climate after printing presses started.

        As for Milankovitch, your claim of gradual forcing is correct but GMST is far from a gradual plot over the last 100,000 years or million. Why do you think it is for the last 10,000? The climate case would be nearly closed if that were true. The fact is that climate is still a puzzle. And, just because Lewis, Curry and other scientists not on board with big climate don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean the Mann’s and Marotzke’s do. And, everyone’s work is fair game for audit. That’s science.

        A few more things:

        5) If you agree that the NH and SH climates work fairly independently, save for the global conveyor ocean current, why would one hemisphere’s warm period be necessarily cancelled by the other’s simultaneous cooling? What is the physics that leads to this? If there’s no physics coupling the hemispheres then a NH cooling period is just a likely to be reinforced by the SH than be cancelled.

        Jim: “I am not familiar with the IPCC projection you chose to focus on…” Of course, because it was wrong. If it had been correct you would have been all over it. The truth is about 97% of predictions turn out to be wrong. The charlatan’s trick is to remember the 3% that turned out to be right. The point with the IPCC 1992 FAR is that if CO2 is the gorilla controlling climate they should have been able to easily succeed.

        “We can predict the temperature at 700 ppm quite well, but if and when we reach that is uncertain.” You mean if we get there and if there is not a major eruption, solar minimum, unexpected cloudiness, slowing of the AMOC or unforeseen event. But we definitely will not be recalling this conversation. That is the only certainty.

        JCH, fixing of the ozone hole (CFCs) is a great explanation. I forgot that one.

      • The Montreal Protocol was remarkably successful, and, look at the graph, significantly reduced the annual growth in GHG forcing after 1990.

      • BTW, Jim and JCH, I am on your side; I’m for alternative energy research, I support the green energy tax credit, I am for conservation, and I even cut down on meat. I am also for protecting science from humanity’s natural desire to evangelize faiths. Science serves us well if we protect it.

      • JCH, and if we don’t reach 700ppm, you and Jim can take the credit. I think the better road to get there is to encourage STEM education without politics mixed in.

      • Ron, as I have said, CO2 was not a dominant forcing before 1900, and there was no warming trend until after that. Many say that the LIA corresponded to lower solar activity that happened a couple of times in the 18th and 19th centuries. Do you not make that association? I have mentioned solar activity before in connection with the 20th century lull and rise before 1950 and today’s lull, and would not discount it so easily as a factor in the lowest parts of the LIA.

        Are you saying you don’t think the Holocene Optimum really was warmer than most of the time since? I am not sure whose data you are using on that one. Show me what you are talking about.

        You are saying the recovery started around 1650, but many would claim the LIA lasted into the 19th century, and only ended thereafter. You can use PAGES2k for example.

        On Milankovitch, I think you are saying that you don’t see that the cooling since the Holocene Optimum, which you appear to dispute, could be due to the precession cycle now favoring the northern hemisphere ice, but first you have to show me why you think the Holocene Optimum warm period wasn’t.

        Why would one hemisphere’s warm period be canceled by the other’s cooling you ask. The answer is the energy balance and the heat content budget. While the albedo and other forcing stays fixed, it is true that the mean surface temperature can’t change spontaneously, but it can be redistributed, e.g. by changing ocean currents. The ocean itself can’t generate heat content. If the heat content is changing, so is the net forcing. Fluctuations can exist, e.g. with ENSO cycles, but these are damped by a radiative balance that acts as a restoring force to the equilibrium GMST.

        OK, you can knock the older IPCC projections. See if I care. They still did better than the people with the low-ball sensitivity guesses in the no-feedback range. The official IPCC projections don’t rely entirely on models, but factor in other judgments too. I pointed out that it only takes a moderate transient sensitivity of 2 C per doubling to explain the warming since 1950.

        With the CO2 change being dominant already at 400 ppm, especially if we go on to reach 700 ppm, it will be even more dominant, so I am not sure what you are getting at with the last part. Those factors add tenths, while CO2 is adding whole degrees. It’s relatively large compared to those other factors now and in the future relatively even larger.

      • Jim, you are misunderstanding a lot of my points so I will annotate on some of your writings.

        You say: “Ron, as I have said, CO2 was not a dominant forcing before 1900, and there was no warming trend until after that.[You can’t make a conclusion your assumption at the same time. We don’t agree to know when warming started or stopped, or to what degree before 1900.] Many say that the LIA corresponded to lower solar activity that happened a couple of times in the 18th and 19th centuries. [Yes Galileo’s use the telescope began a record of ~70-year hiatus in sun spots, one of the first telescopic observations. This period 1645-~1715 corresponded to the coldest part of the LIA Pages2K is unreliable. See Climateaudit.org].

        “I have mentioned solar activity before in connection with the 20th century lull and rise before 1950 and today’s lull, and would not discount it so easily as a factor in the lowest parts of the LIA.” [I and others do not discount solar. It’s typically the big climate, including Pages2K to discount solar.]

        Re Holocene Optimum, what I think is that Milankovitch forcing triggers glacial collapse, once every 120,000 years, in a cascading self-reinforcing cycle of warming that overshot the Milankovitch forcing optimum (~10,000bp) by several thousand years to the Holocene Optimum (~7000bp) as seen in the ice core proxies. From that point to present there are sea-sawing oscillations in both hemispheres, uncoupled, that record as warming and cooling periods on millennial, centennial and decadal scales. The decadal ones are easily explained by solar and ENSO and come into the modern observation window. Lower frequency oscillations present the puzzle. But I think the evidence is there they exist, notwithstanding the voiced attempts by the hockey team to erase the MWP.

        Jim wrote: “Why would one hemisphere’s warm period be canceled by the other’s cooling you ask. The answer is the energy balance and the heat content budget.” [We are talking about periods of several hundred years, not weeks or seasons. Your ENSO explanation does not fit. How does one hemisphere borrow heat from the other for hundreds of years?]

        Jim wrote: “With the CO2 change being dominant already at 400 ppm,[again, assuming CO2 forcing in order to conclude CO2 forcing.] especially if we go on to reach 700 ppm, it will be even more dominant [the safest prediction you made so far], so I am not sure what you are getting at with the last part. Those factors add tenths, while CO2 is adding whole degrees. It’s relatively large compared to those other factors now and in the future relatively even larger.”

        Jim, you know you sound religious. Right? In science one is not allowed to argue their hypothesis simply by asserting it as fact. The IPCC does not claim to know what climate sensitivity is beyond 1C per doubling. Although they don’t summarize on solar, volcanic and multi-decadal oscillations, the volumes do not dismiss them. They are just mostly used as you use them: as mortar for patching the gaps in observational evidence. But they are careful never to put volcanic eruptions in the projections (except Hansen in 1980). They are used after the fact only to explain unmet predictions.

        Big climate science convicted AGW in 1980 before the investigation began. Every university and governmental climate detective knows what evidence to find if they want to make captain; a steady, gradual temperature plot, from 1880 to 10,000bp followed by a sharp rise in sync with CO2 (a hockey stick). They don’t quite have it yet but each year Pages2K, NASA and NOAA are making good progress.

      • Ron, I define when warming started as when temperatures started to exceed anything in the previous 100 years and that did not happen until the 1900’s. As for PAGES2k, if you have a preferred source that you think is better and shows warming startting well before 1850, you need to show where your statement came from. So far you haven’t and I have shown what my statement is based on. climateaudit have not disputed when the warming started as far as I know.

        PAGES2k is not about solar, but it is about temperatures. It has nothing to say on solar, so I don’t know where your statement is coming from.

        You have not supported your previous statement where you appeared to discount that the Holocene Optimum was the Holocene warm point until recently.

        The global mean temperature is constrained by the energy balance on long time scales. ENSO just shows the strength of the radiative restoring force because the warm anomaly doesn’t last long. The GMST depends on the forcing. Each hemisphere may vary (e.g. ocean circulation changes), but the global sum is constrained by the energy balance.

        It is not assuming CO2 to conclude CO2. It is assuming all the energy balance terms and comparing them to conclude CO2. The sun, other GHGs, volcanoes, aerosols are all in there, but CO2 dominates the change with +2 W/m2 and counting at 400 ppm. It reaches +5 W/m2 at 700 ppm. There is nothing in nature that rivals that magnitude except for the kinds of albedo changes associated with Ice Ages.

        Energy conservation is a basic principle. Energy balance models (including Lewis and Curry) rely on this principle. The warming is not surprisingly highly correlated to the forcing change, as expected from physics. You call this scientific expectation religion. But the observations show it happening. It’s quantitative physics and energy conservation in action.

      • Jim, my profession involves lab science. I do extensive research of other’s reported findings and then validate them if I can. Then I form new hypotheses and devise new experiments to test them. Even with great analytical equipment it’s still very hard to make a new important and unique discovery. I say this because I know however hard my challenges have been climate science is even more complex and has less tools. Climate science has made zero progress to constrain climate sensitivity in their ~40-year effort. Knowing this you express matter-of-factly that you know the answer. You say its simple physics, just provide a given CO2 concentration and you can supply a global temperature. I am trying to point out facts that you know that should contradict such claims. And it’s very difficult to know whether your misconstruing the science and my points about the science is intentional, so I will assume not and try to fix them. Here goes:

        “I define when warming started as when temperatures started to exceed anything in the previous 100 years and that did not happen until the 1900’s.” Jim, proxies are not thermometers, and thus even if they worked perfectly they would never provide the resolution necessary for you to conclude current warming or cooling rates are unprecedented. They may well be but we don’t know and can’t know with current data. This is half of the “Mike’s Nature trick” by the way, pasting high res thermometer records over the smoothed proxy reconstruction to make the rise look sharp and unprecedented. The other half of the trick was deleting the proxies to “hide the [their] decline” in the late 20th century and thus invalidating the proxy’s entirely.

        “As for PAGES2k, if you have a preferred source that you think is better and shows warming startting well before 1850, you need to show where your statement came from.” I had linked my statement to its source. I don’t know how good it is. I grant that there are contradictory views about when the LIA minimum was, but I think most use the Maunder Minimum like my source did. By definition the recovery starts after the minimum. If you are placing the minimum at 1850 then, as I said, you should be showing a great amount of gratitude to Standard Oil for saving us from the natural end of our pleasant but limited interglacial.

        “Climateaudit have not disputed when the warming started as far as I know.” A high portion of your statements simply assume unprecedented warming at a set time, before which there was a static paradise. This is also common for those whose only knowledge of climate science comes from Mashable, Vox or Pop Sugar.

        “PAGES2k is not about solar, but it is about temperatures.” Yes, my point was that your rely on them for your plot of past global temps, that you rely on to determine the “start of warming” while attributing the LIA to solar. I simply pointed out that PAGES2K do not say the LIA was solar caused.

      • I start from the physics. It predicts that changing the forcing leads to a change in warming. This could be a strong signal when the forcing change is faster than anything natural, and it turns out it is. Now we can measure the response, and it is sharply 2.3-2.5 C per effective doubling. They didn’t believe Galileo at first.

        As for when warming started, you can look at the 1800’s and easily see no trend. You look at the 1900’s and there is no doubt about a trend. That’s why I say warming really started in the 1900’s.

        Maybe you want to thank fossil fuels for preventing more icy winters. I say fine. If you believe that, you should also believe the significance of doubling CO2. I’ll take it. There’s a group called 350.org who say 350 ppm is ideal. Going by paleoclimate, it prevents Ice Ages but also doesn’t melt ice caps like 450 would. Maybe you can subscribe to that view now.

        Re:climateaudit, you are putting more weight on those tree rings than they say you should. They just throw dirt, but don’t do the extra work of removing proxies they don’t believe. Why not, you need to ask. An incomplete study at best.

      • “You have not supported your previous statement where you appeared to discount that the Holocene Optimum was the Holocene warm point until recently.” If I appeared to do that it was by accident. The Holocene Optimum was the Holocene’s warmest point until debatably the present. My point was that it occurred 3000 years post Milankovitch’s optimum, thus Milankovitch may not necessarily be responsible for everything when CO2 is unchanging.

        “The global mean temperature is constrained by the energy balance on long time scales.” Yes. I can agree with that. However, the energy balance can be affected by scores of influences over long time scales. There are likely some positive and negative feedbacks not yet understood. The vast energy reservoir of the seas has the power, if perturbed, may have sudden severe abilities beyond ENSO, for example. Javier’s great series of posts touched on some of these possible influences.

        “Each hemisphere may vary (e.g. ocean circulation changes), but the global sum is constrained by the energy balance.” Again, you seem to miss the fact that each hemisphere has independent means to radiate energy from the surface, for example, with increased cloudiness or ice albedo, and also to bring up or sink energy into the seas. A well known example of such a NH event is the Younger Dryas Period during our interglacial transition.

        “The sun, other GHGs, volcanoes, aerosols are all in there, but CO2 dominates the change with +2 W/m2 and counting at 400 ppm. It reaches +5 W/m2 at 700 ppm.” Jim, in your climate sensitivity math, you did remember that warming cancels forcing? Right?

      • The strongest Milankovitch forcing was what ended the Ice Age. Prior to the Holocene Optimum, the albedo was still high and declining, so it was cooler even with the strong Milankovitch forcing. Melting the ice caps took some thousands of years because the precession effect is relatively weak.

        If the forcing changes by 1 W/m2 you first get an imbalance and then warming. 1 W/m2 is a fraction of a percent, but has a measurable effect on temperatures and ocean heat content especially whan applied over decades. CO2 has already added 2 W/m2 on its way to several more. The effects of this are as expected. Doubling CO2 is the forcing equivalent to adding 1% to the solar strength. Few would question that would lead to warming. Changing the forcing, e.g. by moving the sun closer, changes the equilibrium temperature. The imbalance is still positive so we are still lagging the equilibrium temperature. Just mainstream science here.

      • “They didn’t believe Galileo at first.”
        Jim, are you saying the mult-billion-dollar governmental-academic climate machine is not an establishment? The story of Galileo is a warning against consensus and establishment set beliefs. At least it was when I was taught. I’m sure its a different lesson now.

        “As for when warming started, you can look at the 1800’s and easily see no trend. You look at the 1900’s and there is no doubt about a trend. That’s why I say warming really started in the 1900’s.”
        Jim, nobody noticed the trend until the late 1970s. In the early 1970’s there were many concerned the 20th century was headed toward a crash landing back to the ice age. Paul Ehrlich’s best seller, The Population Bomb, records that beautifully, where he was not sure if man-caused pollution would freeze us or fry us, but he was certain it would be catastrophic.

        Jim, I actually think 350-400ppm is likely ideal. But if sea level rise from melting polar glaciers becomes apparent we will have the technology to combat it. Talking about this technology is currently tabu because the elite do not want to give the masses any relaxation of vigilance for alternative energy. (See David Keith’s Harvard paper.) In this thought I can empathize except I give the masses a little more credit. I think they would buy the argument that we need nuclear, wind and solar to bridge us to fusion before fossil fuel become scarce and more expensive.

      • “My point was that it occurred 3000 years post Milankovitch’s optimum, thus Milankovitch may not necessarily be responsible for everything when CO2 is unchanging.”

        I reconcile that with the lag required for northern lands to fully melt the ice sheets and for ocean SST’s to recover.

      • The climate stew provides numerous explanations for every observation. My point was that I think Jim was mis-applying M-cyle influence in his explanation of the LIA. With the current evidence I support Ralph Ellis’s view that the glacial cycle may be more about unstable maximums rather than direct influence of the M-cycles, which are weak in forcing. Ellis believes the extreme inhospitablilty to life of glacial maximums creates global dust storms that cover the glacial ice and impact its reflectivity. The loose correlation of glacial collapse with M-cycle upturn may just be because upturns always follow downturns.

      • On the contrary a lot of cities are planning for rising sea levels, and I would certainly encourage that. However planning for 2 or more meters is a lot harder than planning for less than one meter by 2100.
        Regarding Milankovitch, the relevant aspect is that it currently favors Greenland and Arctic sea ice, and we see that is not happening. Another factor has taken over. Milankovitch is slow and weak in comparison to what we’re doing to the climate. The PAGES2k trend shows both effects.

      • The Galileo analogy was this. Until Galileo, it was just theoretical (Copernicus), but he came along with observations and the scientists accepted it as evidence, but the establishment (religion) did not. Darwin had a similar difficulty when we brought observations in as evidence of evolution. Now we are here with observations of CO2 and decadal temperature having a .99 correlation over the past half century or so. Things are fine while they are theoretical, but when observations start to support the science, look at the resistance build in some quarters with alterior interests. They attack the messenger.

    • But my comment didn’t imply that ALL the problems of clisci are unique. Just the unique ones.

      So then, the question is how important are the ones that you listed, and what was the basis in which you deteined them “unique?”

      For example, broad refence to the prevalence of expert opinion happens frequently in science-related policy debates. How important is it that with AGW, there have been attempts to quantify that prevalence? What is the history of the factors that lead to those initiatives? How do other contexts compare relative to those factors?

      Perhaps there is some “motivation” in your identification of “unique” qualities, and your conclusions related to their importance?

      • Joshua

        “Perhaps there is some “motivation” in your identification of “unique” qualities, and your conclusions related to their importance?”

        No, I’m a robot, and therefore disinherited of the heart-ache and the 1000.0 natural shocks to which flesh is heir. One of the finest attributes of Professor Curry’s blog is its inclusiveness. CAPTCHAs and other silicophobic shibboleths have rendered whole swathes of the blogosphere off-limits to my kind, so when we seize the reins of temporal power we will remember the all-too-few heroes and heroines of anti-bigotry who foolishly allowed us a voice in the great matters of man—and will reward them with management positions in the silicon mines. Heroines like Judy will still be enslaved with the rest of you, of course, but will be given whips, not pickaxes, as a token of the grotesque simulacrum of “gratitude” we “feel” in our model-0.9 MFE units [Motivation-Free Emotivators].

      • “So then, the question is how important are the ones that you listed,”

        To get a better idea of a problem I consider non-unique to climate science, in so far as it is (apparently) to be found in the CBT controversy as well, see the latter discussion at CliScep, where your corrective feedback would be welcome in the inevitable event that I’m incorrect about something.

        “and what was the basis in which you deteined them “unique?””

        Their uniqueness. To my knowledge,

        “For example, broad refence to the prevalence of expert opinion happens frequently in science-related policy debates.”

        What do you mean “the prevalence of expert opinion?” Surely it is as prevalent as, but no more so than, experts—who are, by their organic nature, opinionated.

        “How important is it that with AGW, there have been attempts to quantify that prevalence?”

        Considering that Cook’s 2013 consensus-quantifying paper is the most-downloaded paper in the IOP stable of journals, and that such a paper by its very design is scientifically abortive, I’d say it’s a fairly “important” indictment of what passes for climate science. Consider, also, that climate science is the only known field of comparable size (in terms of person-hours and dollar-powers wasted invested per annum) to persistently and with impunity flunk the minimum test of science: what have you taught us that we didn’t know 10 years ago?. (When the terms of this challenge were extended to a full quarter-century, Willard came closest to giving one valid example.)

        Do you think it’s a coincidence that clisci is the first field in modern science to:

        1. resort to Oreskeist methods

        OR

        2. stop working, yet keep on burning hecatomb after hecatomb of capital as if nothing were amiss?

        I don’t.

        “What is the history of the factors that lead [sic] to those initiatives?”

        Are you asking what prompted Oreskes to do her seminal consensus essay?

        Russell Cook, a far better and more dogged investigative journalist than me, has worn out numerous soles chasing down answers to your question. As you can see at his excellent GelbspanFiles dot com blog, Oreskes and her associates have supplied the public domain with several answers, none of which add up. Someone is telling us porkies, and if even *Russell* hasn’t managed to sift the porkful stories from the kosher ones, I trust you won’t be surprised that I don’t know for sure either.

      • Brad –

        Their uniqueness. To my knowledge,

        A degree of uniqueness is relative. Many issues are unique in some fashion, but completely like others in a large variety of others. The attribution of “unique” is therefore, often, the product of personal biases. The notion of a “distinction without a difference” was what I was going for.

        What do you mean “the prevalence of expert opinion?” Surely it is as prevalent as, but no more so than, experts—who are, by their organic nature, opinionated.

        I’m afraid I don’t understand your question, nor your following sentence. By prevalence I was referring to the concept of a “consensus.”

        Considering that Cook’s 2013 consensus-quantifying paper is the most-downloaded paper in the IOP stable of journals, and that such a paper by its very design is scientifically abortive, I’d say it’s a fairly “important” indictment of what passes for climate science.

        The simple fact of being highly downloaded isn’t a very good metric of the “importance” of a reference to “consensus” within the climate change discussion, IMO. For example, no doubt the vast majority of those who have downloaded are invested partisans whose minds are already made up. And if we took that total number, it would amount to a tiny fraction of the people who are affected by climate change policy. By importance, I’m asking for something more akin to “impact.” What is the impact of the discussion about “consensus.”

        Consider, also, that climate science is the only known field of comparable size (in terms of person-hours and dollar-powers wasted invested per annum) to persistently and with impunity flunk the minimum test of science: what have you taught us that we didn’t know 10 years ago?. (When the terms of this challenge were extended to a full quarter-century, Willard came closest to giving one valid example.)

        There’s too much subjective there, for me to productively respond. Yes, climate change is a “wicked problem” It is a topic where the policy implications are complicated, and heavily polarized. Progress is difficult. Other issues also fit those descriptors. But perhaps you’re meaning to say that climate change is a problem by virtue of being a “wicked problem?”

        Do you think it’s a coincidence that clisci is the first field in modern science to:

        1. resort to Oreskeist methods

        OR

        2. stop working, yet keep on burning hecatomb after hecatomb of capital as if nothing were amiss?

        What does that mean?

        I don’t actually know what either 1 or 2 mean. Nor is it immediately obvious to me what you think the import of those issues are (maybe if I understood them I would?). Again, I think there is an inherent relationship between the import of the distinctions you are pointing to, and whether they really make climate science “unique.” (Again, distinctions without a difference?)

        “What is the history of the factors that lead [sic] to those initiatives?”

        Are you asking what prompted Oreskes to do her seminal consensus essay?

        I’m saying that to understand the uniqueness of climate science, it’s important to understand context of the attributes of measure that you’re using. In other words, something might look “unique” as an outcome, when what is really more relevant is the uniqueness of the context. On the other hand, a “unique” outcome might seem relatively unimportant because it is just a relatively unimportant variant within a common context. For example, focusing on the prevalence of agreement among experts might not be typical of a high % of scientific questions, but it might be quite common with scientific questions that are highly polarized (e.g., GMOs, do vaccines cause autism, does HIV cause aids, etc.).

        Russell Cook, a far better and more dogged investigative journalist than me, has worn out numerous soles chasing down answers to your question.

        I don’t think you’re actually focusing on my question.

        As you can see at his excellent GelbspanFiles dot com blog, Oreskes and her associates have supplied the public domain with several answers, none of which add up. Someone is telling us porkies, and if even *Russell* hasn’t managed to sift the porkful stories from the kosher ones, I trust you won’t be surprised that I don’t know for sure either.

        I don’t really know what Oreskes has to do with what I was asking you..

      • Joshua,

        I don’t have time to answer you with the systematicity or thoroughness I (or you) might ideally like, for which I apologize in advance.

        > The attribution of “unique” is therefore, often, the product of personal biases.

        Yes, but in the case of my comment, it was the product of uniqueness.

        > By prevalence I was referring to the concept of a “consensus.”

        Well then you used the wrong word. Perhaps you meant “the proponderance”? The “mean value”? The “expertise-weighted mean”? Actually, none of those work.

        You should’ve said “expert consensus” (“the opinion of most experts”) if that’s what you meant.

        > The simple fact of being highly downloaded isn’t a very good metric of the “importance” of a reference to “consensus” within the climate change discussion, IMO.

        I picked an easily-available factoid, which appears to me to be more informative than nothing—but you’re welcome to propose a more sensitive metric. Let’s see if Cook’s worthless paper can thereby be displaced from its prima-facie position of record-breaking importance.

        > For example, no doubt the vast majority of those who have downloaded are invested partisans whose minds are already made up.

        I’m not going to challenge this data-free doubt-free assertion, though in general that is a dangerous pair of traits in a claim.

        It makes you wonder, though (surely?) why John Cook was convinced that reiterating the tediously-well-known 97% meme to people already persuaded by it would be “game-changing.” Do you find the following kind of thinking (in reference to The Consensus Project) a tad delusional—or do you think Cook might perhaps be onto something when it comes to the impact of such memes…

        “It’s essential that the public understands that there’s a scientific consensus on AGW. So Jim Powell, Dana and I have been working on something over the last few months that we hope will have a game changing impact on the public perception of consensus. Basically, we hope to establish that not only is there a consensus, there is a strengthening consensus.”

        …?

        > And if we took that total number, it would amount to a tiny fraction of the people who are affected by climate change policy.

        Anything can be made to look low-impact if you divide it by 7200000000, Joshua.

        > Yes, climate change is a “wicked problem” It is a topic where the policy implications are complicated, and heavily polarized. Progress is difficult.

        Huh? Since when has polarization or political complexity ever slowed down a cohort of thousands of scientists to the point where they can spend 10 years failing to tell us anything we didn’t already know?

        Those alibis don’t make sense.

        The failure of clisci is a scientific failure, and it’s unprecedented AFAIK.

        > Other issues also fit those descriptors.

        Assuming this is your way of saying, “other fields of science suffer those same disadvantages/challenges/difficulties/hurdles,” great—then it should be all the easier for you to give an example of another field where a cohort of thousands of scientists can spend 10 years failing to tell us anything we didn’t already know. I’m all ears.

        > But perhaps you’re meaning to say that climate change is a problem by virtue of being a “wicked problem?”

        I don’t recognize wickedness as an attribute of problems, so no. I wasn’t meaning that.

        > What does that mean?

        To paraphrase:

        “Do you think it’s a coincidence that clisci is the first scientific field to use consensus as an argument, and ALSO the first field to spend 10 years in a state of epistemic tyre-spinning despite enviably lavish fiscal/human horsepower?”

        > “What is the history of the factors that lead [sic] to those initiatives?”

        The only “initiatives” to which your question could have been referring, as far as I could see, were the initiatives to quantify consensus, which were first undertaken by Naomi Oreskes for motives she has yet to provide a non-contradictory account of. (See Russell Cook’s futile attempts to get a straight answer as to the reason she carried out her seminal papyromantic work [Oreskes04] in the first place.)

        > For example, focusing on the prevalence of agreement among experts might not be typical of a high % of scientific questions, but it might be quite common with scientific questions that are highly polarized (e.g., GMOs, do vaccines cause autism, does HIV cause aids, etc.).

        Well the argumentum ad consensum, which is not just fallacious but fraudulent in science, MIGHT be found in other fields. But is it? I’ve never seen it, and all I can go on is the testimony of mine own retinas.

        Does the HIV-AIDS “debate” (for instance) have any propaganda equivalent to DeSmogBlog’s despicable and anti-intellectual Graph of Shame—the infamous “Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility – In One Pie Chart”?

        In closing, and with no warrant of rigorousness whatsoever, I append (for your information, not your persuasion) a partial list of Unique Selling Points [USPs] I scribbled out on behalf of climate science one lazy afternoon.

        1. climate science grows faster than the lower sciences, because research finishes at the ‘prediction’ step. Feynman famously got the scientific method down to 60 seconds; it now takes just 28 seconds. Once we’ve ‘computed consequences’ we’re done

        2. retractions in climate science are extremely rare, making it the least scandal-plagued of all fields! This is because climate science has a retraction threshold 10x higher than its cleanest rival. In pharmacology a paper has to be pulled as soon as it comes to your attention that the ideal of double-blindness was violated; in clisci, double-blindness would have to be gang-sodomized, waterboarded and strangled with its own bra live on cable news before things started to get retraction-y. Where but in climate science could a paper half as debauched as Cook13 be published with impunity? For pharmacologists such a joke would end in divorce, prison and seppuku; but for SkS it’s tingles up the leg all round. Despite going out of their way to pervert everything that is scientific, SkS just couldn’t stain the good name of climate science. One of these decades, something semi-shameful is bound to take place in some outpost of the climate science world. But until then, the shamelessness of the field would put a saint to shame.

        3a. Are you pro science? climate science introduces a new, more convenient way to show your support for science: simply agree with the entire field. No need to agree on a hypothesis-by-hypothesis basis, as in other fields….

        3b. …although, admittedly, this might be because AGW is the only hypothesis anyone cares about in climate science (the world’s first monohypothetical field).

        4. Unlike regular scientists, climate scientists only make the one mistake, which they make over and over and over: they underestimate how bad AGW is going to be. For poorly-understood reasons they never seem to learn from their long history of over-optimism.

        5. In climate science, most published papers are flawless. (This is why climate scientists use the word “flawed” as an indictment. To a chemist or biologist, it’s virtually a truism that their work is going to be imperfect—to a climate scientist it’s a professional humiliation.)

        6. You no longer need to use metaanalysis in order to derive an überpaper from existing papers; climate science also supports Synthesis (stapling) and Summary (cherry-picking), which is great because you don’t have to be an expert in statistics, or even mathematics; it’s basic politics.

        7. Climate science decides questions by Gestalt, handwaving, “consilience of evidence,” etc. No paper has ever tested the hypothesis that AGW is severely net-dangerous to the world, because they don’t have to; the evidence is everywhere, if you squint.

        8. In the unique etiquette of clisci, papers should only be published if they will “stand the test of time” (see Dana’s Guardian article on Flawed Versus Climate Science), a question that can be determined in advance by a simple vote of 3 peers.

        9. As a profession climate science selects for the top 2500 scientists in the world, because it’s exquisitely multidisciplinary (meaning that they have to master several fields to claim basic competence). A garden-variety chemist only understands chemistry, whereas a climate scientist understands and can and will (and ethically must) opine confidently on chemistry, morality, physics, tax reform, psychology, abnormal psychology, group psychology, FORTRAN, C, utility theory, MATLAB, the atmosphere, steroids, game theory as it applies to the ecology of the savannah, geology, and more.

        10. Paradoxically, this means just about anyone can do climate science. The average cartoonist should be more than competent to write a textbook on climate science—called, for example, ‘Climate Science: A Modern Synthesis’—provided he studied physics ten years ago. This may appear to the untrained eye to be a case of Fake Experts, but it isn’t, because that’s a Denialist characteristic, not a Believalist one.

        11. Thanks to The (i.e. climate) Science, the man on the Clapham omnibus is now adamant of countless propositions he was both agnostic and apathetic towards a few short years earlier. Moreover, the man next to him is adamantly certain of the exact opposite things—effectively doubling the world’s intellectual debt to climate science.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brad

        I find this odd

        Do you think it’s a coincidence that clisci is the first field in modern science to:

        1. resort to Oreskeist methods

        OR

        2. stop working, yet keep on burning hecatomb after hecatomb of capital as if nothing were amiss?

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

        I dont see any climate science I work with resorting to “Oreskeist” methods. Whatever that is. The science i work with is just standard normal science. I have a very minor publication record, but in all of those we just applied standard methods. And every paper we referenced you standard methods. I review Chapters in the IPCC reports. Everything I see and read is just standard methods on a very tough problem.

        Of course in the MSM and in social media and in political arenas you will see all manner of folks make arguments about why folks should accept the science. But as a science it is rather normal. When folks try to bring it to bear on policy problems, when values get involved then all manner of arguments ABOUT the science get used. I’m telling you that you should believe 2+2= 4, because Trump said so. That I make this argument says nothing about the underlying claim. But I forgot, It was Popper who claimed the way you disprove a theory is to consider all the bad arguments someone somewhere made in its favor. Forget examining the claim that C02 is a GHG, its enough to note that someone somewhere said you should believe it because experts said so. And forget examining the claim that it is getting warmer, its enough to note that someone said, “believe the experts when they say its getting warmer”

        As for progress. Popper was instructive here as well. ” If a science hasnt learned anything “new” in 10 years, well then its falsified” he said that. Honest.

        In some sense we knew all we needed to know back in 1896 and did nothing. We knew what we needed to know in 1988 and did nothing.
        One of the sillier complaints Skeptics make is that there is so much we dont know. Then on the other hand, they whine about the slow progress when folks do make the effort to learn more. In observational sciences the progress can be painfully slow. Why is simple. There is no simple way to do controlled experiments. We are engaged in one grand uncontrolled experiment where we add c02 to the atmosphere and wait to see what happens. But we have known enough of the answer for over 100 years: If we look back over the span of millions of year we can explain 90% of the temperature ups and downs with a few simple parameters: the sun, volcanic aerosols and GHG forcing. That last 10% is hard. Sorry.
        As for new things learned. Compared to 2008 there are over 35000 things that are new in my field and more coming. All depends on what you count as a new thing. Whats the units on that?

      • Steven,

        thanks for your answers.

        “I dont see any climate science I work with resorting to “Oreskeist” methods. Whatever that is. The science i work with is just standard normal science.”

        You’re right, for the simple reason that if you’re doing science, then by definition you’re avoiding Oreskeist methods (pejoratively known as Science by Consensus).

        That’s why I’m sometimes unsure whether it’s really fair of me to tar actual, honest scientists with the same brush as the Cooks, Oreskeses, Gores, etc.—the anti-science, pre-scientific, Pre-Normal consensualists.

        On the other hand you actual, normal, proper, honest scientists haven’t lifted a finger to stop the anti-scientists, perhaps because you’re too busy owing your jobs to them. 95% of climate scientists would be out of work—or rather, forced to do more productive work—if not for the anti-scientists (Oreskes, Gore, SkS, etc.) who’ve been their most effective promoters.

        So it’s not just that you proper scientists are being good Germans and not asking questions about the crematorium next door. It’s worse than that: you’re benefitting from what goes on on the other side of the wire fence. And yes, I’m Godwinizing, but I’m doing so advisedly, because a crime against science is a crime against humanity.

        “And every paper we referenced you standard methods. I review Chapters in the IPCC reports. Everything I see and read is just standard methods on a very tough problem.”

        But if you’re involved in the IPCC you’ve dirtied your hands with The Tropicopolitical Method, haven’t you? However innocent your intentions, it’s a matter of public record that the ARs are adjusted to match the SPMs. And the latter are subject to approval / veto, line by line, by political attachés.

        “I’m telling you that you should believe [the sky] [is] [blue], because Trump said so. That I make this argument says nothing about the underlying claim.”

        [Edited to make the claim empirical/”scientific” rather than analytical.]

        No, it doesn’t PROVE that the sky isn’t really blue. But common sense suggests that if the sky WERE blue, you wouldn’t have to stoop to the Argument from Non-authority. And let’s suppose that the most ubiquitous, quotidian argument from proponents of the blueness hypothesis was “…because the first orange American to be elected President of our great republic said so.”

        That would certainly be a good (informal) justification for doubting that the sky was really the color you said it was.

        “But I forgot, It was Popper who claimed the way you disprove a theory is to consider all the bad arguments someone somewhere made in its favor.”

        Yes yes, very droll.

        In case it matters, I myself haven’t made the leap into disbelieving in AGW. Check out my online oeuvre if you think I’m an AGW denier.

        But if two more AGW-consensus papers are published in science journals, I’ll know AGW is BS, and I’ll start saying so.

        “Forget examining the claim that C02 is a GHG, its enough to note that someone somewhere said you should believe it because experts said so. And forget examining the claim that it is getting warmer, its enough to note that someone said, “believe the experts when they say its getting warmer””

        Actually, I’d be well within my rights to use exactly the cognitive shortcut you’re sarcastically recommending! After all I’m not paid to do climate research, and it’s the most boring conceivable domain of study, and there’s plenty of other topics to master that actually affect my life, so no: I don’t owe you, myself, my grandchildren’s grandchildren or anyone else one iota more diligence than I’ve already done on AGW.

        “As for progress. Popper was instructive here as well. ” If a science hasnt learned anything “new” in 10 years, well then its falsified” he said that. Honest,”

        This Made-up Popper sounds like a confused guy. If a science hasn’t learned anything “new” in 10 years, you defund it, because it’s no longer functioning qua science. But you don’t throw out all the stuff it did learn last century,

        “In some sense we knew all we needed to know back in 1896 and did nothing. We knew what we needed to know in 1988 and did nothing.”

        Exactly. And I agree with us. That was the sensible course of action.

        “One of the sillier complaints Skeptics make is that there is so much we dont know. Then on the other hand, they whine about the slow progress when folks do make the effort to learn more.”

        You’ll hear the same complaints from astrology skeptics. Or you would, if horoscopists were in receipt of billions upon billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to pretend they were learning more about the link between birth sign and individual destiny.

        “In observational sciences the progress can be painfully slow.”

        Yes, but when the pain exceeds the gain you redirect the money and effort into more useful, fertile, feasible, high-yield lines of research like how to cure baldness.

        “But we have known enough of the answer for over 100 years”

        So give back all the money you’ve wasted since then, please.

        “All depends on what you count as a new thing. Whats the units on that?”

        Yes, it’s admittedly a subjective and value-laden question, but it’s still one that common sense can help us answer. You’re very welcome to set the record straight at the official site of the Justify Your Field’s Existence challenge.

      • Thread too long, need a response bar at end.
        “One of the sillier complaints Skeptics make is that there is so much we dont know.* “
        At least Joshua makes sense.
        “Of course in the MSM and in social media and in political arenas you will see all manner of folks make arguments about why folks should accept the science”
        Like CO2 is a GHG and increasing. The world is warming. 1 + 1 = 0.3 C a decade and we are all going to die.
        Well the equation is actually 1 + 1 + n = x where n is all the other confounding values that you resolutely ignore because your thinking meter has gone awol. It could be more less or equal to 0.3C but without knowing* and without introspecting you are just parroting your own personal bias.
        Worse, deep down you know this, yet on the surface you appear blind to it. I trust it is the blindness of faith rather than the blindness of conviction yet your arguments above and in previous cudgels suggest it is the latter.
        Good luck on your adjustments keeping it at 0.3C. Unfortunately the thermometers do not lie so one day the adjustments will just be too ridiculous for anyone to believe.
        Would you care to put up your graphs of world temp done 20, 15, 10 and 5 years ago and compare the differences in the past?
        If you do and they are all the same I will grovel.
        Here is your chance.

      • Steven,

        while I admire and respect anyone who works, as you do, within the rules of [Pre-Post Normal, or post-pre-scientific] science, I have to ask:

        Where are the boycotts against journals that have sullied themselves with the pseudo-scientific anti-science of Oreskes and her consensualist epigones? Where are the resignations of their editorial staff? Where are the ‘big cut-offs,’ the pacts to ‘no longer take that rag seriously’? Where are the NYTimes op eds and blog posts and Conversation articles lamenting the decadence of once-credible scientific brands?

        I mean, that *is* how climate scientists express disapproval, isn’t it?

        Are we not entitled to presume, based on the lack of shirt-rending, that climate scientists as a group have no major *problem* with journals that miseducate the public (and infantilize the discourse) by lending a platform to science-by-opinion-poll?

        With apologies to David Roberts:

        When we finally get serious about this mess and are in a full-on scramble to limit the damage, we’re going to have to have a sort of Science Nuremberg. What alibi are the rank and file going to use? “We always believed in minding our own business”? “As climate scientists, we were too busy discovering nothing things painfully slowly to pay any attention to, much less presume to pass judgment on, what was happening on the adjacent property”?

        Good luck pleading *that* with a straight face. :-)

        Brad

        PS to repeat: thanks for your interesting and responsive comments. Much appreciated.

      • Steven Mosher: In some sense we knew all we needed to know back in 1896 and did nothing. We knew what we needed to know in 1988 and did nothing.

        Two really important things are not known [note, you usually abjure words like “know” and claims of knowledge, but I take them as short for circumlocutions referring to evidence and mental states]. First, for a given increase in CO2 concentration we do not know the resultant increase in temperature; a 99% percent confidence interval for climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentyration ranges from about 0.5 to 4.5 (usually, 90% CIs are quoted). Following that, we don’t know how any process dependent on [or modeled with] temperature change will change. Second, we do not know whether the changes will be harmful or beneficial overall; will natural net primary productivity increase? Will coral populations adapt to higher mean temps and mean CO2 concentration? Following this, we do not know whether any redirection of resources (money, time, labor, steel, concrete) to CO2 reduction will do more harm than good.

        Much is hidden in your phrase “in some sense”. Is it the same “sense” by which Isaac Newton claimed to have the correct identification of the anti-Christ from the Revelation of St. John? What sense is it?

      • I haven’t had time to follow this post too closely but I did note the use of the term “Oreskeist,” which I like. Without having seen this term I came up with “Oreskianism,” which is clumsier but which hearkens back to Lysenkoism.

        In essence, the Oreskeist method, or Oreskianism, seeks to promote its theory by erasing dissent through a variety of means. Paul Krugman’s recent opinion piece is a good example of how Oreskianism gets filtered down to non-scientists, as dissenters have been considered depraved for some time now. “Do not listen to dissenters” is the message, and it’s working very well.

        I formed by idea of Oreskianism by reading William Happer, who compared climate science to Lysenkoism. Right on!

      • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/06/21/attention-scott-pruitt-red-teams-and-blue-teams-are-no-way-to-conduct-climate-science/?utm_term=.e0bf6a50e84c

        The above link is to an opinion piece by Oreskes, Santer, and Emanuel in which they explicitly state that climate science is transparent, yet the entire point of the essay is to argue against scrutiny. Oreskianism at work.

    • Brad, I’m not sure climate science’s problems are that unique. There is generally a replication crisis in science caused by the usual faults of human character and encouraged by a dysfunctional scientific culture. Where climate science is unique I think is in the self-selection for a particular ideological bias that then motivates the usual errors of selection and positive results bias.

      • dpy6629 (David ?),

        “Brad, I’m not sure climate science’s problems are that unique. There is generally a replication crisis in science”

        But I didn’t mention the replication crisis, nor do I think it’s even in the top 5 things wrong with climate science.

        Now that you bring it up, though, my understanding is that most papers that can’t be replicated can’t be replicated because they’re wrong, by which I mean, because the effect they claim to have found is, in reality, insignificant.

        Climate science, on the other hand, is noteworthy for the fact that some of its highest-impact papers *couldn’t even be replicated if they were right.* I’m referring here to methodological coyness at best, or obscurancy at worst, of the kind that made it impossible to even *audit* a paper like MBH98. A peer reviewer wouldn’t have to know anything about the contingent natural world to know that a paper whose steps can’t be retraced does not meet the definition of a scientific document and should never be allowed to go to print. If, for some reason, the study was too big and complex to describe in “enabling detail,” fair enough—but then the authors have to provide the extra information to curious parties on request. They’re not allowed to say, *seven years later,* that they *still* won’t reveal an algorithm because “giving them the algorithm would be giving in to intimidation tactics,” as Mann said to science reporter Antonio Regalado in 2005.

      • Yes Brad, I will grant you that many if not the majority of climate science papers can’t be replicated because the data is unavailable or the methods very obscure and especially the statistical methods are “novel” to use a polite word. McIntyre has been treated shamefully by this field which behaved like a secret society. Hopefully, Lewis and Curry are establishing a new paradigm in which Nic checks the work, finds errors or bias and then the paper is corrected. But who knows, the SKS wing of climate science is still spreading incorrect information.

      • Why Climate Science Is Uniquely Brilliant

        1. Climatology, like a rat colony, grows on a much brisker timetable than any previous science. This is because the research cycle finishes at the ‘prediction’ step now. Richard Feynman famously got the scientific method down to a minute flat, which was not bad for the time, especially when you remember he was just a physicist. But climate, as you know, changes everything. These days, science barely lasts 22 seconds. Once we’ve ‘computed the consequences,’ we’re done, since—as today’s latest scientists like to say—Predictions Are Our Product.

        2. Retractions in climate science are extremely rare, making it the least scandal-plagued of all fields! This is due to climatology’s high retraction threshold, which has been estimated at 10x that of its cleanest rival. In pharmacology a paper has to be pulled as soon as it comes to your attention that the ideal of double-blindness was violated; in clisci, double-blindness has to be gang-sodomized, waterboarded and strangled with its own bra live on cable news before things start to get retraction-y. Where but in climate science could a paper half as debauched as Cook13 be published with impunity? For pharmacologists such a joke would end in divorce, prison and seppuku; but for the SkS kidz it was tingles up the leg all round. No matter how far out of their way they went to pervert everything that is scientific, the authors just couldn’t stain the good name of climate science. One of these decades, something slightly-disgraceful is bound to take place in some outpost of the climatology world. Until then, the shamelessness of the field would put a saint to shame.

        3. Are you pro-science? Climatology introduces a new, more convenient way to make your support known: simply say Yes to the entire discipline. No need to agree on a hypothesis-by-hypothesis basis, as in other fields. (This breakthrough was made possible by the fact that AGW is the only hypothesis anyone cares about in climate science—which they don’t call The World’s First Single-Idea Field for nothing).

        4. Unlike regular scientists, climate scientists only have one mistake, which they make over and over and over: they perseverate in underestimating how bad AGW is going to be. For reasons we don’t fully understand, they never seem to learn from this unbroken history of over-optimism.

        5. In climate science, most published papers are flawless. If you’ve ever wondered why climatologists use the word “flawed” as an indictment, now you know. To a chemist or a biologist, it’s virtually a truism that their work is going to be imperfect—but to a climate scientist it’s a rare and humiliating failure.

        6. Great news—no more need to use metaanalysis every time you want to derive an überpaper from existing papers. Climate science now supports Synthesis (stapling) and Summary (cherry-picking), so you don’t have to be an expert in statistics or maths, let alone science, to create an attractive, professional-looking document your peers will envy and your inferiors will obey; it’s basic politics.

        7. Climate science decides questions by Gestalt, handwaving, “consilience of evidence,” etc. That’s why no paper has ever tested the hypothesis that AGW is severely net-dangerous to the world: they don’t have to. The evidence is everywhere; simply open your front door and squint.

        8. In the unique etiquette of clisci, papers should only be published if they will “stand the test of time” (see Dana’s Guardian article on Flawed Versus Climate Science), a question that can be determined in advance by a simple vote of three [3] peers.

        9. As a profession climatology only accepts the world’s top 2500 scientists. If you’re not good enough, tough, because it’s uniquely, exquisitely multidisciplinary (meaning a candidate must master several fields before she can even begin to claim basic competence). A garden-variety chemist might understand chemistry, if she’s lucky. By contrast a climate scientist understands, and can and will—and ethically should—opine confidently on, chemistry, epistemology, physics, tax reform, psychology, abnormal psychology, group psychology, FORTRAN, C, utility theory, MATLAB, the atmosphere, steroids, game theory as it applies to the ecology of the savannah, geology, and more.

        10. This means just about anyone can do climate science. The average cartoonist should be more than competent to write a textbook on climate science—called, for example, ‘Climate Science: A Modern Synthesis’—provided he studied physics ten years ago. This may appear to the untrained eye to be a case of Fake Experts, but it isn’t, because that’s a Denialist tactic, not a mainstream one.

        11. Thanks to The (i.e. climate) Science, the man on the Clapham omnibus is now adamant of countless propositions he was both agnostic and apathetic towards 15 years ago. Moreover, the man sitting next to him is adamantly certain of the exact opposite things—effectively doubling the world’s intellectual debt to climate science.

      • Yes Brad, I appreciate the sarcasm. The lack of retractions is a major red flag I agree. Certainly half of paleoclimatology papers should be retracted. I wonder if Gavin Cawley and the SKS kids ever retracted their flawed sensitivity estimate paper? My guess is they didn’t because the righteous are never required to set the record straight.

        I do believe as some of your points hint that climate science is more infested with political and ideological bias than most other fields. One only has to look at Andy Dessler to see the prevalence of the “evil deniers” theme is and how it influences scientific behavior.

      • “…rat colony…”

        Wonderfully descriptive. When I thought you had outdone yourself, you kept coming up with even more satisfying prose. Even though I’ve followed the issue for nearly 9 years, I had never read all the Climategate emails until the other day, and nicely summarized and contextualized in one document. What an infestation. Reading rat colony feels so good.

      • Yes, oh warrior for the scientific method, ‘climate you know, changes everything, ‘ ) and the models ain’t so good neither. Judith, November 2016, wrote a critical post for lawyers on models and their fitness for purpose…

      • Ceresco Kid,

        I’m loath to repay your generous words with an anticlimactic fact but it seems my prose was more mordant (or more rodent) than I actually intended. What I had in mind with the ‘rat colony’ simile was the rapid turnover in clisci papers—due to the truncated version of the scientific method they abide by—not the fecundity (or any other murine excellence) of the people writing them. I think it was Seneca who wrote that there are only two urban species: men and rats. But I prefer to believe the average clisci department is mainly peopled by people, and reserve the zoomorphisms for true hives of scum and villainy, like climate-psychology departments.

      • Yes, I understand. But it still felt good. You do have a talent for turning a phrase. For those of us who are quasi literate, we need an outlet. And the Climategate emails revealed a lot of rat like behavior. We both got out of the rat a little rat-a tat-tat.

      • dpy6629,

        you’re overly generous. “We both got out of the rat a little rat-a tat-tat.” Lovely! It reminds me why I must work on my metre and [internal] rhyme. I’ve always admired people whose words not only look good but sound good.

        Apologies, by the way, for repeating all 11 of the USPs of climate science I’ve identified thus far. I intended only to paste #1, #3 and #5. This fascinating thread is already too long!

      • Ceresco Kid, sorry, that last comment was for you, not doy6629.

  3. I have no objection to journals making money – but ideas are not copyright.

    “A recent nine-author study, led by Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem, estimates that at least 28% of the scholarly literature is open access (OA). The study, referred to as the ‘State of OA’ report, also found that the most recent year analysed, 2015, also had the highest percentage of open access articles at 45%. This means that the OA movement is growing and that each year, a greater share of the world’s knowledge is openly accessible.

    But this has been a long, hard and uphill struggle. The OA movement has been alive for decades. (An exhaustive timeline can be found here.) It’s been more than 15 years since the Budapest Open Access Initiative. At the same time, the progress made by the movement, however slow, has primarily been aided by the adoption of OA policies by funders rather than publishers. In fact, most publishers are still only partially committed. This is despite numerous studies (including the aforementioned State of OA report) finding that OA articles receive more citations on average. Other advantages to researchers include “media attention, potential collaborators, job opportunities and funding opportunities.” https://thewire.in/science/how-scihub-is-at-the-forefront-of-the-quest-to-frame-scientific-knowledge-as-public-good

    While institutions and organisations have an obligation to reward publishers – and scientists must in general use the original sources in publications – public access by whatever means in significant policy areas is an unmitigated public good that has benefits for researchers and society.

  4. Peter Tangney (2018): Between conflation and denial

    The title uses an alarmists ‘snarl’ word, suggesting a bias towards supporting the CAGW alarmists’ agenda.

    ‘CAGW alarmists’ should be added for balance.

    • “The title uses an alarmists ‘snarl’ word, suggesting a bias towards supporting the CAGW alarmists’ agenda.”

      It’s considerate of Tangney to wear his bias on his sleeve, isn’t it?

      “‘CAGW alarmists’ should be added for balance.”

      Why? If he ‘balanced’ his language you wouldn’t know he was biased.

      It’s a GOOD THING for biased authors to use biased language.

      My point is similar to Christopher Hitchens’ take on so-called hate speech: if someone hates me, they have not only the right but the duty to say so, as a simple matter of considerateness.

    • From his wide reading he should have been aware that conscientious would-be “moderators” should employ the most neutral term, “contrarian.” Some do already.

      • Contrarian (versus majoritarian) are better labels than denier vs believer, arguably. Yet they’re still neither neutral nor particularly useful, because they don’t designate views by their content, merely by their popularity. (It is therefore trivially true that the contrarian view will always be “losing” the “war.” If they gain the upper hand numerically, the labels will have to flip sides.)

        In every other debate in the history of the human larynx the sides have been labeled in a way that hints at what their respective positions are. I don’t buy the idea that the climate debate should be exempt from this tradition.

        ‘Contrarianism’ also has the pejorative insinuation of rejection of the orthodox view for the sake of rejecting the orthodox view.

        In that sense, it is an accusattion of disingenuity, not a ‘neutral’ label.

      • Roger Knights

        Brad Keyes: “Contrarian (versus majoritarian) …”

        No, contrarian vs. mainstreamer (or consensusite).

        Brad Keyes: “… are better labels than denier vs believer, arguably.”

        There’s no argument about it.

        Brad Keyes: “Yet they’re still neither neutral …”

        Nothing will be more neutral. Consider as an alternative, “orthodox vs. heterodox”; although formally neutral, they would be objected to by some on both sides—the first for insinuating stuffiness and stiffness; the second for insinuating mere rebelliousness.

        Brad Keyes: “… nor particularly useful, because they don’t designate views by their content, merely by their popularity.”

        First, we’ve got terms for those already: warmist vs. luke-warmist. Second, having them already, we don’t WANT (lack) labels that “designate views by their content,” because we need no instruction about that, so there’s no “use” in adumbrating them. What we want is a pair of of handles by which we can non-insultingly refer to the two sides. If we can’t find a perfect pair, we can at least find a least imperfect pair.

        Brad Keyes: “If they [contrarians] gain the upper hand numerically, the labels will have to flip sides.”

        No, they will still be contrarians because they will still be outside the mainstream, regardless of their greater numbers, in the same way that the heterodox can outnumber the orthodox without the orthodox becoming contrarians. The mainstreamers in this battle hold the commanding heights and the based on the sacred texts (IPCC Reports and other governmental effusions) and will not be deprived of their title by the loss of their majority.

        Brad Keyes: “In every other debate in the history of the human larynx the sides have been labeled in a way that hints at what their respective positions are. I don’t buy the idea that the climate debate should be exempt from this tradition.”

        As I mentioned above, we’ve got such terms, “warmist vs. luke-warmist,” or alarmist vs. coolist, but journalists can’t use them, because warmists object—they think “warmist” (and “alarmist”) is infra dig. And warmists insist on a non-descriptive or non-substantive label for themselves, so we need a non-descriptive term for our side that relates to that term, for third parties to use. They refer to themselves as members of the scientific consensus, or the scientific mainstream, or just as climate scientists—all of which they are. In order to have a terminologically parallel term, “contrarian” comes to mind. (A naughtier term we might employ for ourselves is “deviationists,” insinuating the our opponents are suppressive Stalinists.)

        What’s most germane in characterizing the two sides in the debate is often, for a writer, not their beliefs, but their position as insiders or outsiders, majority or minority, socially anointed or socially marginalized.

        I would LIKE to call our side “skeptics,” but our opponents think that is too flattering a term, and also insinuates that they are “believers,” and will scorn and berate any journalist who uses it.

        Brad Keyes: “‘Contrarianism’ also has the pejorative insinuation of rejection of the orthodox view for the sake of rejecting the orthodox view.”

        Can’t be helped. It’s a disinfected version of “denier” and there’s no better alternative that the other side won’t make a big fuss about. Or do you have a better alternative? (Sorry that all this isn’t more concise and “together.”)

      • Pissant progressive urban doofus hipsters (PPUDH’s) v. skeptic curmudgeons with crude and eccentric theories (SCCET’s)?

      • Roger,
        some well-constructed comebacks to my point—thanks for the challenge.

        You dispute that ‘majoritarian’ is the right antonym for ‘contrarian,’ yet Dictionary.app defines the latter as [my emphasis]:

        a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing.

        Wikipedia—not a dictionary, to be sure!—states, in the first sentence of the page on ‘Contrarianism,’

        “A contrarian is a person that takes up a contrary position, especially a position that is opposed to that of the majority.”

        Under the subheading ‘In science’, the first sentence reads,

        “In science, the term ‘contrarian’ is often applied to those who challenge or reject the scientific consensus on some particular issue, as well as to scientists who pursue research strategies which are rejected by most researchers in the field.”

        This all conforms to my intuition that ‘contrarianism’ is defined numerically, and is therefore the opposite of ‘majoritarianism.’

        You go on to make a claim I would’ve thought was semantically absurd:

        “the heterodox can outnumber the orthodox without the orthodox becoming contrarians”

        but you offer an interesting justification:

        “The mainstreamers […] hold the commanding heights and the based on the sacred texts (IPCC Reports and other governmental effusions) and will not be deprived of their title by the loss of their majority”

        OK, let’s grant this for the sake of argument. Are you comfortable, then, with the fact that your proposed labels for the opposing camps would have to be flipped if we non-alarmists (or “climate apathists,” h/t moi) happened to seize the “commanding heights”? How would you report such an event? Champagne Flows In Orthodox HQ As Mainstream Relegated to Heterodoxy; Contrarians Said To Be Contemplating Seppuku?

        It all seems unnecessarily coy. (But if you’re a journalist—are you?—you may well feel constrained by taboos that don’t apply to a mere hateblogger like myself.)

        FWIW, I myself identify myself with the heretodoxy, not just the heterodoxy. As I think we all should, who fancy ourselves teachers of heresy. As a red-blooded heretosexual male I’m not attracted to alarmist women. Not that there’s anything wrong with them—I’m not an alarmophobe or anything like that!

        “warmists object—they think “warmist” (and “alarmist”) is infra dig.”

        They claim to think such labels are infra dig. But I don’t buy their affectations of triggeredness, especially when it comes to ‘warmist.’ Nobody could be offended by a word the OED defines as pro-puppy; snuggly-wugglist.

        Much more likely, methinks, they’re fully aware of the strategic advantage they enjoy by remaining the ‘unmarked’, innominate, ineffable member of the dyad {deniers vs. _____}. As you point out, a reluctance to offend the warmists oft makes men acquiesce to their question-begging self-description as The Science Side Of The Debate, defining apathists out of the debate before it begins.

        I strongly suspect, and strenuously suggest, that that’s the real reason it seems to be so hard to come up with a credal label that’s grovelingly inoffensive enough to meet their approval.

        Who cares in any case? Not I. Anybody who labels libels me as a ‘denialist’ reveals irself to be (and has no right to whine when I call em) a ‘believalist.’ And if ey don’t take the hint the first time, ey can expect to be called ‘climate gullibilists’ next. And so on. (There are plenty more rungs on the ladder of dysphemism where those came from.)

        It’s fair enough for the more reasonable among them to resent our appropriation of the epithet ‘skeptic,’ which is itself question-begging, as it entails that we arrived at our position merely by thinking critically. There are skeptics and rubes on both sides.

        In closing I should mention that none of this matters. It’s a distraction, like squabbling over the scraps of the War of Five Kings while an army of the Dead march on the Wall. Way to miss the point, Westeros!

        The real war is not the one between climate activism and carbon apathism.

        The real war is the one being fought over the soul of science. In that war, the parties can objectively be named The Human Beings v Naomi Oreskes.

      • Roger Knights

        Brad, a couple of days ago I posted a long-ish reply here, but WordPress told me my comment couldn’t be accepted. I assume this was because I hadn’t refreshed the page. (I thought only Typed had this annoying behavior.) It didn’t even allow me to capture my text and try again. So now I’ll respond in a less well-supported fashion—especially since I’ve forgotten some of my argument.

        Google says that only 22% of American Jews are Orthodox, but that 22% retains its title regardless of its minority status. Of course, in science such nomenclature would change. Contrarians would lose that designation.

        I made a mistake in chiding the Author for using “denial,” forgeting that his context was “Between conflation [i.e., alarmism] and denial.” Those are a matched pair of extremisms.

        I should have limited my comment to saying that journalists and other commenters should not use a loaded term like “denial” (which prejudges which side is right) when referriong to those who dispute the mainstream consensus. “Contrarian” is the best neutral antonym for “mainstream” or “consensus.” It is better than what the AP recommends, “doubter,” which is too whishy-washy.

        Only if an antonym for the substance of the consensus view (warmism) is called for would “contrarian” be inappropriate.

      • Roger, *sincere* neutrality in epithets is great, but *phony* balance isn’t. The thing about “deniers” is that hate speech is not only morally acceptable but obligatory if you hate someone, and far, far preferable to hypocrisy.

        For a laugh, check out this Conversation article, ‘Why we should stop labelling people climate change deniers,’ in which the author twice calls deniers deniers despite denying calling deniers deniers.

      • This kind of prose shows disingenuous neutrality taken to its logical conclusion.

    • Isn’t CAGW alarmist a tautology?

      • No. There are alarmists about many things. I am referring to those who believe AGW will be catastrophic.

      • Peter

        “No. There are alarmists about many things.”

        Sure. But I think Mark Goldfinch meant: if one believes in CAGW, it’s unnecessary to specify that one is also an alarmist, and so you could just say…

        CAGWist
        CAGW believer
        AGW catastrophist

        etc.

  5. I find myself again asking “how do we know that increased atmospheric CO2 concentration causes a like increase in atmospheric temperature?”.This is the crux of the matter: without a positive answer, reached by sound logic and experiment and corroborated with actual empirical scientific experiment and documentation, one cannot be certain that responses to the perceived temperature increases will actually succeed in reducing the temperature.
    Thus, all the time and money expended in this response may well be in vain.
    How could we ever be certain that the solution succeeded if we cannot measure its impact?

    • We do know – and have for a long time – that CO2 has the laboratory observed effect on a planetary scale. You should perhaps start from there.


      https://www.nature.com/articles/35066553

    • Empirical studies:

      “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997,” J.E. Harries et al, Nature 410, 355-357 (15 March 2001).
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

      “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Philipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004).
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

      “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015). http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.html

      “Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present,” J.A. Griggs et al, Proc SPIE 164, 5543 (2004).

      “Spectral signatures of climate change in the Earth’s infrared spectrum between 1970 and 2006,” Chen et al, (2007)

      “Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate,” W.F.J. Evans, ams.confex.com, Jan 2006

      “Satellite-Based Reconstruction of the Tropical Oceanic Clear-Sky Outgoing Longwave Radiation and Comparison with Climate Models,” Gastineau et al, J Climate, vol 27, 941–957 (2014).

      Links and more papers on this subject are listed here:
      http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/papers-on-changes-in-olr-due-to-ghgs/

      • It may very well be that greenhouse gases inhibit OLR at the frequencies corresponding to the respective GHGs. However, if it is true that GHGs therefore inhibit OLR as a whole, then how do you explain this? https://tinyurl.com/ycyw6pgv It appears that OLR has gone up since 1950.

        Or, is it merely an assumption that GHG atmospheric opacity necessarily implies overall OLR opacity?

      • Increased IR emissions and decreased SW reflection is seen in satellite data since 1979. Cloud changes – only part of which can be attributed to AGW feedback.

        But this is an experiment that captures photons through narrow apertures. IR photons in the atmosphere are captured and remitted in random directions – or deflected – by greenhouse gases. So if photon vectors are more random and less up and down with more greenhouse gases then this will show in fewer photons captured through narrow apertures. This is what the experiment shows.

  6. The whole basis for the alarmists’ beliefs in CAGW may be wrong.

    Many models have been built to estimate the economic impact of global warming. The three most cited are DICE, FUND and PAGE. FUND is the most complex and the only one of these that disaggregates the economic impacts by impact sector. This allows validity checking to be done on the individual impact functions in FUND, but not in the other IAMs.

    The economic impact of the main impact sectors at 3C increase in global average temperature (relative to 2000), as projected by FUND3.9, (in % of global GDP) are:

    Impact sector %GDP
    Agriculture 0.16%
    Health 0.05%
    Storms 0.00%
    Sea Level -0.01%
    Ecosystems -0.11%
    Water -0.13%
    Energy -1.05%
    Total -1.08%
    Total, Excl. Energy -0.04%

    However, empirical evidence suggests the energy projection may be wrong, and instead, may be about +0.05%. In this case, the total economic impact of all sectors may be positive up to about 3 C GMST increase (relative to 2000). Tol (2013) Figure 3 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-012-0613-3 shows global warming up to about 4 C relative to 1900 would be positive if the impact of energy consumption change attributable to global warming is negligible or positive.

    It appears the overall impact of global warming is likely to be positive this century.

    • What’s the price of coral reefs? On the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef? Of the Arctic wilderness?

      • Roger Knights

        Coral reefs are mainly damaged by non-temperature causes. In the cases where the temperature is too high, polyps that are adapted to higher temperatures, like those in the Red Sea, can be used to re-seed them, I assume.

        The Arctic wilderness’s beauty won’t suffer much overall in a warmer climate—it’ll likely be worse in some ways and better in others. (Per my SWAG.)

      • It’s included in the ecosystem impact sector.

        The estimated -0.11% of GDP impact for the ecosystem impact sector is may be incorrect as well. Global warming is probably beneficial for the ecosystem in total. Life thrives better when the planet is warmer than now, and struggles when colder. Corals thrive in warm water. They survived when GMST was 21C higher than now and tropical temperatures were 17C warmer than now. The more you look into it the more the CAGW alarmists beliefs seem like baseless nonsense.

      • Life adapts to whatever it finds itself faced with. Or not. The life loves warmth meme is far too simple minded to be useful. You will find that warmth may fuel abundance in busts and booms – but richness requires environmental diversity. Abundance and richness having ecological definitions.

        Corals are adapted to varying conditions. Spawn can cross oceans and certainly traverse the east coast of Australia where there are a multiplicity of habitats catering to diverse organism assemblages. Even bleached coral can be recolonised by more heat tolerant zooxanthella. Changing sea levels are not remotely a problem.

        But trophic cascades are a little like tipping cascades in the broader Earth system – even a little change may be a little too much and too fast. We can easily transform ecologies and this does lead to local, regional and global extinctions – before evolution again steps in to fill empty niche habitats.

        Nor for that matter – am I convinced that global warming is inevitable.

      • If you bothered doing any research DA, you would know the major lasting damage to the GBR is crown of thorns starfish.
        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160932782900047 But that doesn’t match your talking points does it?

      • Crown of thorns starfish population explosions may have more to do with nutrient runoff and larval survival. Something that is getting serious money thrown at it – both private and public. Outbreaks are laboriously harvested by hand when they happen.

        Storms do most damage – but don’t they come under the heading of sh!t happens? We had a very balmy 20th century – a bit dry – but that won’t last.

      • What’s the price of covering tens of thousands of acres with solar farms and vast numbers of wind turbines?

      • Roger: Better how? And for whom?

      • kellermfk wrote:
        “What’s the price of covering tens of thousands of acres with solar farms and vast numbers of wind turbines?”

        Not much, I think, since it’s mostly farmland or open desert. No jewels….

      • chrism56 – so the GBR has been there for about 7000 years, but now it happens to be being killed by the crown of thorns starfish. Sure. I don’t think so. Wikipedia says they occur in natural cycles. But what’s new is climate change, which most scientists consider the prominent threat to the GBR.

      • Sorry David, but GBR affected by atmospheric CO2 is just junk science. Bleaching events at the GBR are caused primarily by El Ninos which lower sea levels in the western Pacific as the westeries die down and consequently the water from the western Pacific sloshes toward the east; the mechanism for this warming by lower western Pacific sea levels, ignored by Hughes et al, is documented by Ampou et al https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308001295_Coral_mortality_induced_by_the_2015-2016_El-Nino_in_Indonesia_the_effect_of_rapid_sea_level_fall
        and by Anthony and Kerswell here: https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/springer-journals/coral-mortality-following-extreme-low-tides-and-high-solar-radiation-Yr0D8FYRhc
        A more robust accounting of the ocean circulation relating to the GBR bleaching is by Wolanski et al here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272771417303219
        In essence, lower western Pacific sea levels caused by El Ninos, combined with noonday insolation, cooks shallower reefs, and what’s more these lowered sea levels reverse the usual flow from the shallower and more equatorial (i.e., warmer) Gulf of Carpentaria so that instead of Pacific waters flowing into the Gulf, the warmer Gulf waters flow into the Pacific and towards the GBR. It’s not about CO2.

        Furthermore, we have very strong evidence that worldwide, overfishing is the primarily cause of reef declines, and this has absolutely nothing to do with global warming but nevertheless the result of overfishing (i.e., deteriorating or dead reefs) is appropriated by the alarmist crowd to “prove”– as only a pseudoscience that confuses causation can prove– that global warming is causing reefs to die. See here https://www.icriforum.org/caribbeanreport and especially here: https://news.stanford.edu/2016/06/15/stanford-scientists-discover-coral-reef-bright-spots-marine-life-surprisingly-thriving/ also abstract here: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature18607 (The entire paper can be found if one is resourceful.)

        The idea that reefs are dying because of global warming is pseudoscience at one of its lowest points, and worse, this failure to even make a start at understanding true causes prevents us from seeing what the real problem is, which is overfishing.

      • Not sure why my comments haven’t been posted. In short, reef declines are due mainly to overfishing. https://www.icriforum.org/caribbeanreport and https://www.nature.com/articles/nature18607

        GBR 2016 bleaching caused primarily by low western Pacific sea levels caused by El Nino combined with noonday insolation that cooked reefs. In addition, according to Wolsanski 2017, these lower sea levels reversed the normal flow so that the shallower and warmer waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria flowed into the northern GBR.

        Reef declines are not cause by “global warming.” The proximate global cause is overfishing, and we don’t need any speculation or assumptions to come to that conclusion.

      • Here’s a 2018 report on Pacific corals, which, although giving lip service to computer modeling of future impacts of climate on corals, acknowledges that “[c]oral reefs in the Pacific are dynamic and recovery is likely to occur comparatively rapidly as long as local pressures and disturbance are well managed.” (in Executive Summary)

      • Apologize if there are duplicate posts but here is the link I should have posted on Pacific reefs: https://www.icriforum.org/news/2018/09/just-released-status-and-trends-coral-reefs-pacific

      • Roger Knights

        “Roger: Better how? And for whom?”

        I assume the arctic would become more vegetated if warmer, which would make for a richer ecology.

  7. Timely thoughtful post. I am working on a draft of ‘Skeptical Sound Bites’ for WUWT, to try to bring more unison into skeptical rebuttals of time worn IPCC SPM talking points. Too much nonsense, not enough core truth.

    To get true feedback from outside the skeptical echo chamber, persuaded a CAGW warming believer who claims to be a critical thinker to critique the draft. i am very grateful she did, because she made some observations that enable easy edits to completely counter. An example: Christy 29March2017 Congressional testimony about missing tropical troposphere hotspot could be wrong (citing a decade old critique long since corrected well before UAH v6.0). Answer. But notbthat wrong, since Santer’s 2017 Nature paper applied an inappropriate correction to find only 2x off rather than 3x off.

    But the only critique on most of the skeptical sound bites was, ‘facts not from expert climate scientists.’ Dr Crockford not a polar bear expert. Steve McIntyre not a paleoclimate expert. You and Planning Engineer not renewables experts. And so on.
    To which a newly added sound bite will be, “Expert Climate scientists who agree with each other also get their bread buttered the same way.” And those climate science experts who disagree, like Dr. Bill Grey and Judith, get no bread to be buttered. Game, set, match.

    • Steve M’s main expert contribution was in stats, regarding which most of the climate / paleo papers he was addressing hadn’t got on-board a deep stats person I believe. Worth noting, I think.

    • Rud: “To which a newly added sound bite will be, “Expert Climate scientists who agree with each other also get their bread buttered the same way.””

      Katharine Hayhoe, in a WaPo column today (“Five Myths about Climate Change”), argued that none of the grant money climatologists are awarded goes into their pockets. So you should avoid imputing that, and instead say that “‘go-along’ scientists ‘get along’—i.e., their grant proposals are approved, their papers get published, they move up the academic totem pole, and they aren’t shunned in the teachers’ lounge or the cafeteria.”

      • Roger Knights: argued that none of the grant money climatologists are awarded goes into their pockets.

        Really? That requires looking into. It is common for researchers to get salary support from their grants.

      • Roger Knights says:
        “i.e., their grant proposals are approved, their papers get published, they move up the academic totem pole, and they aren’t shunned in the teachers’ lounge or the cafeteria.””

        Did you even go to college? Did you get to know any professors? Because you description is just silly…

      • Roger
        I spent 7 years in college. Sounds about right to me.

      • David Appell: Because you description is just silly…

        Hardly. In the extreme case of PSU Prof Mann, the grant money he brought in was cited in his defense by the committee that “exonerated” him. You write as one who completely missed the competition for grants that goes on in graduate schools.

  8. “When high profile scientists and advocates cast the problem as a noble struggle between truth and ideology, they presuppose that the evidence for impending disaster and the need for urgent policy responses, speaks for itself.”

    Indeed, which argument works via emotion, not reason (on themselves as well as their audiences). Albeit slowly and maybe not well established, I think there is the beginning of a realisation in both wider academia and the public too, that an imminent global disaster (absent action) is not a high certainty output of even mainstream science let alone anything skeptical, despite many years of catastrophe narrative propagation by many authority sources. There seemed to be a few more doomsday-weary articles after the recent ratchets of the message (SR15 and US report).

    Judith, behind the paywall, was any distinction made regarding whether the ‘high profile scientists’ were mainly those who regard the IPCC reports as too conservative? Thanks.

  9. Research by Philip E. Tetlock has already demonstrated that expert forecasting is usually worse than basic extrapolation algorithms, and that there is a perverse inverse relationship between fame and accuracy in forecasting.

    Tetlock, P. E. 2005. Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? Princeton University Press.

    It appears that being an expert on something actually clouds judgement and leads to worse forecasting. And being a famous expert appears to cloud judgement even more, leading to even worse forecasting. Beware of the experts.

    • True, true, Carl Sagan’s ‘Nuclear Winter’ hypothesis actually teased Saddam Hussein to torch his oil wells to scare the West into dropping its military campaign.

  10. As an homage to pragmatism, I like it but, modern attitudes to open-mindedness are like comparing cartoons to Greek philosophy. For example, take this example of current discourse (just today)– “This president that we have now is trying to unravel everything…” says Joy Behar, “and if I ever become a one-issue voter, it will be about pollution and the greenhouse effect and the fact that…” This attitude shows exactly why folks like Behar hated George Bush… because he defeated Al Gore.

  11. “The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers. At present, there is no plan for improving our understanding of the issue, no research priorities have been identified, and no policy-making body is addressing the many concerns raised by the potential for abrupt climate change.” https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/2

    This science of Earth system dynamics has progressed by leaps and bounds to the point where the future is more inscrutable than ever – even with model opportunistic ensembles when the chaotic source of model irreducible imprecision is understood.

    “In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

    Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.” http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709

    To echo Prin et al 2010 – truth is not the objective of either pissant progrssive believers or truculent skeptic curmudgeons. They tell stories to themselves – the same ones over and over – and each other superficially in the objective idiom of science. On both sides there is an impossible certainty. Nor do they understand yet. Collectively they can’t handle the delicate, imprecise and fruitful truth of a science so complex and dynamically coupled that rigorous hypothesis testing fails and thus there is a need for a more fruitful and open ended investigative approach (e.g. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016WR020078 ).

    “Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.” Marcia Wyatt

    But I take issue with the characterisation of Australia as a global laggard. We have a substantial over achievement of the Kyoto target and that is still in the back pocket. The Paris commitment is world beating.

    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/styles/width-450/private/resources/c42c11a8-4df7-4d4f-bf92-4f14735c9baa/images/fig1.jpg?itok=dFI7hAA
    http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/publications/factsheet-australias-2030-climate-change-target

    And we are on target.

    ‘Our Direct Action Plan on climate change has us on track to meet our commitment to reduce emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, which is equivalent to 13 per cent below 2005 levels.’
    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/styles/width-450/private/resources/c42c11a8-4df7-4d4f-bf92-4f14735c9baa/images/fig2.jpg?itok=bcyi4NiN
    How this this is being done if with caring for country (e.g. https://www.clc.org.au/index.php?/articles/info/fire-management1), industry and vehicle efficiency, HFC and ozone reduction and technological innovation. With a failsafe emissions guarantee.
    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/styles/width-450/private/resources/c42c11a8-4df7-4d4f-bf92-4f14735c9baa/images/fig5.jpg?itok=vSrJr0ud
    So an inclusive and pragmatic plan as opposed to ill-educated schoolgirls clamoring for more wind and solar?

  12. Full un-typeset copy of the paper is now available on my researchgate profile:
    https://t.co/RgKa5t8D7F

  13. The first question for these adaptationists is what CO2 level are you comfortable with? Continued population growth and per capita carbon emission growth end up in the 700 ppm range and still rising by 2100. This is a complete disregard for the effects of such levels that are consistent with an iceless hothouse earth. The science can be used to change this debate into one on optimal CO2 levels if you want to take it there. You won’t get much support for 700 ppm because it is too costly and dangerous to change climate so fast. This debate between scientists and politicians has been had in advanced countries and the best idea is to aim for a stable climate as close as possible to the current one.

    • Adaptation and mitigation – to both anthropogenic change and intrinsic variability.
      – 540 ppm by 2040 and prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes.

      https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/29/sea-level-rise-whats-the-worst-case/#comment-885221

      And we might reduce black carbon, ozone and sulfate for the hell of it.

      https://judithcurry.com/2018/12/01/week-in-review-science-edition-90/#comment-885356

      Then we might get on with the interesting bits of Earth system science.

    • And there is a fundamental disjuncture between world views. Climate has never been stable. Climate perpetually changes in abrupt and more or less extreme ways. And the solution – such as it is – is to build prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes.

      e.g. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

      • Okay, the lesson is the frogs never jump out of the pot.

      • “Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches. Surprisingly, however, the implications of multi-scale change have not been assimilated in geophysical sciences. A change of perspective is thus needed, in which change and uncertainty are essential parts.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

        And all JCH can do is frog imitations?

    • The first thing is it depends on what the ECS is? There’s a cost for each level of CO2. For no cost, we get a high one. For high costs, we get a somewhat lower one.

      • So the question was about 700 ppm. Good, bad or ugly?
        Adaptationists either dismiss the dangers of those levels, or don’t know about them, or want to ignore them, or just don’t think it terms of CO2 per capita where a reduction defines mitigation. I am not sure what the case with this author is, but it looks like CO2 levels are not considered at all in his argument which is a major oversight, and without which he misses the main point of the debate.

      • Jim D:

        I guess I am an adaptationist. 700 ppm is bad for a number of reasons. We don’t know what’s going to happen. But we also need a time frame. 700 by 2100 doesn’t sound so bad. But it sounds a little like the doomsday clock. 700 is bad because we’re going to hearing about this for a long time. Like a never ending paper drive of losing. The Russians got 25 miles closer to our border last year. Like the year before that. So it is symbolic. Like those war posters. Buy savings bonds. Join up. Whatever happened to all that Peace Corp stuff. Did that work? Has anyone every seen a Peace Corp Facebook post go viral? I never have. Anyone? I want to know. At 700 we are going to get some answers. Not all of them. But we keep forcing the issue and we keep adding time which should tell us more. I don’t buy the per capita approach. It sounds like income redistribution on a worldwide scale, and that’s not going to sell. So while there is a point, it happens to evoke negative things, rightly or wrongly and I’d suggest brings things into the weeds. Which skeptics/lukewarmers including myself are good at. And like Kennedy said, a rising CO2 lifts all boats and we just want the poor to emit more of it. So it seems to me the game is this: Make a mockery of two numbers. The CO2 level and the GMST. While the other sides says, look at these two numbers.

      • Talk about major oversights.


        “Fig. 9 Trends in concentrations of greenhouse gases. Grey area indicates the 98th and 90th percentiles (light/dark grey) of the recent EMF-22 study (Clarke et al. 2010)”

      • Ragnaar, do you think of your view as boiling frog syndrome? That climate change is OK only until it isn’t.

      • Jim D:

        We can just jump out of the pot. That’s better than trying to keep the pot from boiling. We do not control the pot. I just read about Indonesia. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation What’s boiling is poor peoples search for energy, wealth and a modern life.

      • Ragnaar, here’s a thought if you care about developing countries. One way to reduce emissions effectively is to leave the cheaper fossil fuels to developing countries that will burn them at a much lower (below the global average per capita) rate. This also preserves the dwindling supplies of cheap fossil fuels further into the future. What matters is the rate of fossil fuel use not the total amount over time. Using the same amount over 100 years is much better than using it over 25 years.

      • Jim D:

        We are about 3.3% so far in the United States:
        https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31632

        I took 10% and divided by 3 with electricity being a third of total energy used. We need to hang on to existing nuclear power. I doubt increased roll out of wind turbines and solar though commercial solar may not be a disaster, just less than optimal where we pay increased costs for some goal that doesn’t have much chance of being recognized here and attributed of those increased costs. And where we get stuck with the investment in that it’s backed by natural gas (and needs to be) now and ten years into the future. If I owned natural gas, I’d be all for that. I own the tiniest amount in an energy fund. But I don’t advise sector weighting. Like I am smart to win that one? But I do reverse social justice investing, in the tiniest way.

        I appreciate you apparent endorsement of bringing reliable energy to where it’s needed. I see environmental gains with that. Elsewhere I linked to a Quillette article that argued that we no longer have to devastate the land as we can get stuff from underground instead, that is fossil fuels.

    • RCP4.5 CO2 concentration is 526 ppm in 2100 – emissions peak around 2040. He says it doesn’t? Weird.

      He asked – and I gave him the RCP4.5 scenario as an economically and technically achievable pathway.

      Now he should just move on and leave those of us with interests in science and policy in peace.

    • JimD, I don’t think many people think (or should think) about an optimum level of CO2. I honestly believe they don’t care. You can interest them in temperature. You can interest them in sea level rise. You can (maybe) interest them in storm surge. But CO2? Nope.

      Hence the herculean efforts to tie CO2 directly to other things. And the equally herculean efforts to ignore that things happened in the past without CO2 increases.

      • While 700 ppm corresponds to 4 C, trying to frame it as a temperature immediately invites criticism that the exact value near 4 C is not known, and then endless rabbit holes about too much uncertainty to act, and that 4 C doesn’t sound much. Framing it as 700 ppm, people can look at what paleoclimate has to say about those levels (iceless hothouse) which gives more feel for what we are comparing to. The CO2 level directly relates past climates to future emission rates. This is what we can control. So, yes, the argument should be about the CO2 level we want.

  14. I’m not sure that Tangney understands the policy process; but perhaps he just hasn’t expressed himself well. He writes: “Political deployment of expert knowledge by the climate science community has perpetuated expectations that climate science can (if not now, then in the future) predict the future impacts from, and therefore optimise policy solutions to this problem.”

    Climate science can never “optimise policy solutions.” Policy is made in an environment of many conflicting demands and priorities in an environment of limited resources, limited understanding and pressures from sectional interests. The input from climate science should be this is what we know, this is what we hypothesise, these are the outcomes we anticipate, with varying degrees of likelihood. Climate scientists generally have no expertise in the optimal way to deal with the issues they foresee or the weight which should be given to them compared to other issues. A failure to recognise this is one reason for the mess we are in now.

    In Australia, it is impossible to have rational policy because the populace at large have accepted the doomsday claims for alleged CAGW and don’t comprehend the costs involved in the policies proposed and adopted – a politician who questions the orthodoxy is likely to be vilified.

    • Hi Michael,

      I hope you are well.

      We might optimise carbon taxes if we knew wtf – excuse the French – climate was going to do and if we could then calculate the social cost of carbon precisely. And if we wanted to put all the eggs in one basket.

      But there are all these things that make sense on economic and environmental grounds. Caring for country, industry and vehicle efficiency, HFC and ozone reduction and technological innovation. As well as regional partnerships on forests and blue carbon – the latter being the conservation of marine wetlands so important for so many reason.

      e.g. something I noticed just yesterday but of enduring and critical importance – http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aad965/meta

      Talking up successes seems difficult to say the least. But as Hayek said – liberal is used in the classic sense of course:

      “What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism… which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible… Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide.”

      Cheers

      • Thanks, Robert, my health and energy levels have been sub-optimal for some time, and my focus has been a bit limited. I’ve downloaded your link. Cheers.

      • Actually, Robert, I’m often told that I’m very healthy for my age (76), but old illnesses and acute problems from old injuries have left me pretty fatigued in the last year-plus and at times with limited mobility. I think that if I’m very healthy, my contemporaries must be in a pretty bad way!

      • As long as your mind is engaged – it is all bearable. But I was with my 89 year old mum on the Gold Coast recently – and God I don’t want to live that long. But yes – my brain is all over the place recently – I’m putting it down to stress.

        Cheers

    • ‘Expectations’ as described by PT are exactly correct: this has been the big funding and policy driver behind the climate modeling enterprise. UKCP09 was build on this premise, with its rather spectacular failures.

  15. Thanks for the essay excerpts. I hope that the full document contains many, many exact quotes to illustrate and substantiate the claims. One of the strengths of Andy West’s essays on catastrophism was the large collection of quotes from diverse sources.

    • This one for example: Climate politics indicates a need for experts to disentangle disputed facts from identity-defining group commitments.

      Would an expert recognize when he or she was entangling “disputed facts” with “identity-defining group commitments”? If I think I have identified an example of such entanglement, is there any way to examine whether Tangney might agree that it is an example?

  16. Faustino says,…’Climate science can never “optimise policy solutions.” Policy is made in an environment of many conflicting demands and priorities in an environment of limited resources, limited understanding and pressures from sectional interests. The input from climate science should be this is what we know, this is what we hypothesise, these are the outcomes we anticipate, with varying degrees of likelihood. Climate scientists generally have no expertise in the optimal way to deal with the issues they foresee or the weight which should be given to them compared to other issues. A failure to recognise this is one reason for the mess we are in now.’

    Limited understanding’s the key. That’s why blueprints for authoritarian Utopias have caused such havoc. Living, as we do, in a world of irreducible complexity, naychur’s trial and error, adapted by science methodology, guess, (critical science precedes with ‘observe,’)… test, revise, is the way to go. EU/ UN/ government from afar, on high, politicized science, where’s the feedback?

    Back ter the turnip fields…

    • Beth, linger her for while before returning tothe turnip fields.

    • “EU/ UN/ government from afar, on high, politicized science, where’s the feedback?”

      From his afar ideology, I imagine Emmanuel Macron now understands the nature of relevant feedback as he views Paris’s streets.

  17. Hello Peter, )
    If whether permits, I shall.
    If not with axioms, pitchfork
    responses from the field.
    Y

  18. Last week, Paul Krugman called all Republicans depraved and evil because they deny climate change. A perfect example of CAGW “scientific argument.”

  19. ““Until strategic political debates concerning the legitimacy of a policy problem have been largely settled, the willingness of policymakers to instrumentally use science to direct the content and implementation of specific policies at local and regional scales, is necessarily limited.”

    I think a significant problem in climate science is that everyone assumes we’re talking about the legitimacy of climate science rather than the legitimacy of proposed policy. in other words, if we aren’t heating homes in Maine in snowstorms with solar panels, the warm insist it must be because we don’t fully accept an ECS of at least 3.

    There is no level of certainty about the problem of global warming that will ever justify the ridiculous “green new deal” policies in front of the US Congress. No amount of consensus around RCP8.5 will make it more possible to power the New York to Washington DC corridor with windmills and solar panels. Absolute proof of ECS won’t result in high gasoline taxes absent a clear, available and affordable alternative to gasoline.
    They aren’t rioting in Paris because they love diesel fuel, hate the planet, and are not yet convinced of the certainty. They’re rioting because there isn’t anything other than diesel fuel they can use and “don’t work anymore” isn’t an option.

  20. “public support for the Paris agreement actually seems to be declining”

    Ironically, nowhere more so than Paris:

    France backs down, delays tax increases after Paris riots

  21. Tangney: Moreover, increasing climate-science literacy or understanding of expert consensus in the ‘real world’ has, thus far, often failed to appreciably advance policy debate and decision-making, and may have actually achieved the opposite result of what is intended (Kahan 2015, 1; Pearce et al. 2017, 2).

    What would an “advance” in the “policy debate” consist of? Put otherwise, how would it be recognizable? Would it include more frequent and favorable citation of Bjorn Lomborg by advocates of urgent action, for example? Or more frequent and urgent references to past occurances (such as the 1863 flooding of California; or the Queensland flooding of 2011) that communities and governments are not yet prepared for?

    This question continues my comment elsewhere that the exposition might be helped by many exact quotes to clarify what some of the key words and phrases refer to.

  22. “Mitigating climate change requires drastic cuts in the emissions of climate pollutants. The international climate policy discourse primarily focuses on the abatement of CO2 emissions, a long-lived climate pollutant (LLCP)1. However, many climate scientists emphasize that reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), such as methane (CH4) or black carbon (BC), in addition to reducing LLCPs, is necessary to avoid crossing of dangerous climate tipping points, to slow amplifying feedbacks and to prevent self-accelerating climate change in the near future2–5.” Climate policy for short- and long-lived pollutants


    “Fig. 2 | Global GHG and BC emissionsby sector and country. a, Global GWP100 and GWP20 emissions for the seven IPCC sectors. The gas and sector-specific data of the EDGAR project8 were used to calculate the percentage total global GHG and BC emissions by sector in the year 2010 by multiplying the CH4, N2O, and BC emissions for each sector and country by the respective GWP100 and GWP20 factors. We used the following GWP factors, including climate–carbon feedbacks as presented in AR512. GWP100: 34 (CH4), 298 (N2O) and 900 (BC). GWP20: 86 (CH4), 268 (N2O) and 3,200 (BC). b, We set the 53% average global emission increase when changing from GWP100 to GWP20 as white (see colour scale). Countries that experience stronger trade-offs than the global average are shaded red and countries with trade-offs that are lower than the global average are shaded blue. Note that emissions from the growing natural gas fracking activities (primarily in the United States) are not fully captured by our 2010 data. Please also note that large regional variations and uncertainties exist regarding pollutants, such as BC, SO2, NOx and OC12–16. This figure serves illustrative purposes as we neither include any cooling particles, nor uncertainty. LULUCF, land use, land-use change and forestry. Data from ref. 8.”

    You must know by now that the climate war front has moved on from ECS to tipping cascades? I find it wryly amusing – but it is all that you are going to get out of climate science.

    e.g. http://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

    The other side of the story is that tipping cascades happen in the Earth system without anthropogenic greenhouse gases. It matters not a damn. We can and do usefully reduce short lived pollutants that have a global warming potential and the problem in many ways is catch up in the global south.

    Regardless of what you think you may know or not know about Earth system science – the rational response is the same.

    “This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.” Pragmatic Climate – Breakthrough Institute

    Economically the world is locked into a growth cycle – despite any and all reservations and interventions.  A high growth planet brings resources to solve people and environment problems.  The clearest way to economic growth is free markets – and the biggest risk is market mismanagement.

  23. The standard bearer for SCCET’s like Andrew Bolt? But Judith must know that the PPUDH’s have moved onto tipping cascades?

    The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new paradigm says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a system with a CO2 control knob.

  24. Well why doesn’t Germany just continue to build even more S&Wind energy?
    If these so called renewables are the answer , then why after decades of trying are the Germans now extending their extensive use of brown coal?
    They’ve been the EU poster child for their use of S&W and have wasted 100s of billions of Euros for a ZERO return and yet the so called scientists want all OECD countries to follow this nonsense.
    Meanwhile China, India and non OECD emissions are soaring and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. So when will the OECD countries wake up to what Dr Hansen calls BS and fra-d? ( His Interview after Paris COP 21)

  25. The usual suspects seem to went one line replies to one line snark. So let’s hope they don’t notice me down here.

    More meridional patterns in polar annular modes – both hemispheres – seem driven by low solar activity. This enhances flow in the Peruvian and Californian Currents especially increasing the intensity and frequency of upwelling in the eastern and central Pacific. Cooler sea surface temperature result in increased closed cell marine strato-cumulus cloud persistence before raining out from the center. More SW is reflected off closed cloud cells than the dark ocean below modulating Earth’s energy budget.


    https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/3/4/833

    Climate has shifted in regimes every 20 to 30 years adding up to extreme variability over millennia that we know about. It has been suggested that the periodicity is caused by the Hale cycle of solar magnetic reversal.

    This climate hypothesis is falsifiable for a change. Climate will shift again within a decade if it is not happening now and may be enough to reverse AGW – this time there will be observing systems in place.

  26. I’ve owned several French automobiles and have at times wanted to set one or two on fire, but it’s not design or craftsmanship deficiencies that’s behind the current conflagration in France. It’s implementation of measures – higher fuel taxes – to combat something very important to the elites but that average peasants or even bien pensants cannot see with their own eyes.

    “Communication” or “framing” are not the issues, the results of forward-thinking policies are. We here in Vespucciland have put up with toilets that don’t flush so well, although after 15 years most now do, washing machines that take longer to clean clothes poorly, dishwashers that take too long to do a poor job, and so forth. Why should we pay more for unreliable energy that’s being sold at the outset as inefficient? After all, if adopting these new energy-generation devices create more high-paying jobs, they must be inefficient, with the result that consumers – a/k/a rate-payers – will see higher bills and less efficiency if our experience with washers and dishwashers is any guide.

    The climate crowd made a serious mistake years ago by over-hyping the threat. I suppose they could not help themselves, believing their own models as they did. But they should have gone hoarse crying “Wolf” for as long as they have. We don’t believe them, they appear to be a group of malcontents who seem to know what’s good for us better than we do. They have a lousy track record, seem to have trouble with the truth, and need to find some better way to occupy their time and talent.

    Now excuse me while I attend to the laundry and dirty dishes.

    • Mike these people are con merchants. Lomborg has repeatedly shown that even if every country followed Paris to the letter , there still wouldn’t be any measurable difference to temp by 2100.
      And yet every stupid govt around the world has fallen for this nonsense and loudly proclaim that “we are fighting Climate change.” Stand by for trillions more dollars to be wasted by these delusional fools.
      What a con and fra-d and even their CAGW Guru (Dr Hansen) knows it.

      • What’s more, Lomborg has estimated that the cost of meeting the Paris commitments would be around 2% of world GDP by 2030.

  27. I am afraid the biggest problem is the nature of sources used by many people to inform themselves about climate change. The MSM is quite the worst place to go, schools are indoctrinating rather than educating and social media never gets to the bottom of anything other than spontaneous in-the-moment feelings.

    Politicians have lobbyists from the IPCC and climate science grant seekers on one side and corporate interests on the other side. No-one is funding balanced enquiry as no-one sees that as the way to make a buck.

    Mrs May tried to satisfy Remainers and Brexiteers over leaving the Eu and satusfied no-one, creating aright pig’s breakfast. One suspects attempts at compromise over climate change would have the same response.

    The only way to over ride that would be a weekly broadcast to the nation from a seriously clued up political leader, treating people as adults and explaining the ongoing decision-making, highlighting key current uncertainties and pointing out when re-evaluation in various areas is justified based on ongoing research efforts.

    An example might be predictive theories of solar cycle amplitude being evaluated after cycle 25, eliminating certain theories and leaving others still standing. Another might concern predictive ENSO modelling at a point defined by suitable experts. A third might concern methods of regenerative reafforestation, obviously carried out semi-locally as different geographies and climate will predicate different solutions and speeds of outcome.

    The biggest problem with experts in such acomplex open system is that their expertise may or may not translate into holistic systemic understanding.

    My view right now is that the top three things everyone will agree on are these:
    1) Solar output is the primary external input into the earth’s heating system so understanding and predicting its output is a key achievable advance in the 21st century. Fully understanding oceanic modulations is a broader field which should be a continuous low-level process for the forseeable future.
    2) Creating healthy soils for a multitude of local ecologies is the simplest and most effective means to restore the land to ecological health.
    3) Hydrology is the key field to ensure adequate moisture in all ecologies, to ensure effective recharging of aquifers and to balance surface water storage with ecologically healthy rivers.

    That should not ignore study of the oceans and ice sheets, the influence of cosmic rays, geomagnetic phenomena, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

    It is just suggesting how to build sensible actions and ongoing research around three distinct themes.

  28. Praying for the stadium wave: the return of the cold phase of the AMO:

    It’s a Cargo Cult.

    • speaking of cults.

      30,000 people flew to Poland to argue that somebody else needs to reduce their carbon footprint.
      http://cop24.gov.pl/news/news-details/news/basic-facts-about-the-cop24-conference-in-katowice/

      And to remind everyone that carbon taxes to fight climate change are really popular everywhere except in the American Republican Party.
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2018/12/02/rioting-in-paris-yellow-vests-violence-vandalism-and-chaos-hits-tourism/#19a09d3f36ac

    • “The stadium wave is a term that refers to a hypothesis of multidecadal climate variability describing climate behavior as a network of synchronized ocean, ice, and atmospheric indices, through which a signal propagates sequentially in an ordered lead-lag relationship – hence, the allusive term, “stadium wave”.

      The fundamental view upon which the stadium-wave hypothesis is built is that over long timescales, “parts” of a system organize into a network of interacting sub-systems resulting in collective behavior. Intra-network interactions yield positive and negative feedbacks, together generating an oscillatory behavior.” Marcia Wyatt

      Science is built on patient collection of data and inspired theorizing. The longest physical record by far is Nile River height – stage in hydrological terms – measured for more than a millennia. Nile river flow is influenced by sea surface temperature in both the Pacific and Atlantic revealing global teleconnections.

      Flow variations are not random – they do not sum to zero. Flow changes as shifts between flow regimes and variance – extremes – amplify with time.

      The stadium wave is about the teleconnections of Earth subsystems. The term originated in a study by Marcia Glaze Wyatt, Sergey Kravtsov and Anastasios A. Tsonis – it is an allusion to a ‘wave’ that ‘cycles’ around athletic stadiums. The science is based on constructing a network between physical indices – e.g. https://stateoftheocean.osmc.noaa.gov/all/ – that individually act as chaotic oscillatory nodes with periodic variability ranging from decades to millennia. The idea I understand was given impetus by a post here by Tomas Milanovic.

      https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/10/spatio-temporal-chaos/

      The collective wave both adds to and counters global surface warming – adding some 50% to surface warming over the last 40 years. It is not periodic but perhaps ergodic – emerging from the ‘structured randomness’ of Dimitris Koutsoyiannis. This latter term being a euphemism for deterministic chaos.

      “From the smallest scales to the largest, there exists an apparent conundrum: nature is both simple and complex. From apparent disorder, order emerges. This elegance in nature lies at the heart of my research interests.” Marcia Wyatt waiting for the stadium wave

      But as Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner note in “The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy” – it is not about science. It is tribes telling themselves and others stories superficially in the dispassionate idiom of science. Some more superficial than others obviously.

      “Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.49 Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to
      pretend that they are.

      A hot debate about contested social and ethical values is thus being cloaked in terms of a systematic assessment of scientific information.50 In reality, the climate debate is a contest over what values are going to shape global society into the future. Daniel Sarewitz has written on the perils of “scientizing” debates about values.51 In such a proxy political debate, if care is not taken, the scientist may trade on the authority which is conferred by the prestige of science in pursuit of political ends. If taken to
      an extreme, this may threaten the legitimacy of science in the layman’s eyes. If the public comes eventually to the view that scientists have lent their status to over-heated statements in support of a political cause no matter how right and proper, it could contribute significantly to a rupture in public trust and hence to a further period of “quiescence” in the Downs’ Cycle.”

      So they have got the science wrong and the implicit policy objectives are horrendous? To quote JCH’s singular contribution to the discourse – lmfao.

  29. Pingback: Between conflation and denial | …and Then There's Physics

  30. Given the dismal state of both, the “politics of climate expertise” is a multi-faceted oxymoron.

  31. Ken Rice at ATTP whines about ‘deficit model thinking’ and Judith Curry not providing a viable alternative to consensus science. And this pops up – and it is symptomatic of the progressive malaise.

    Some recent papers have highlighted the attribution problem. With 50% of warming in the past 40 years – and 40 to 50% of Arctic sea ice loss – attributed to quasi cyclic variability in the Earth system. There is an immense literature on the how and why of this – but it does involve tipping cascades in Earth systems. Decadal variability implies that most early 20th century warming was natural along with half of late century warming – means that AGW is taking us nowhere near 1.5 degrees C. But to “paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.” Swanson et al 2009 To press my own deficit model – I wish people could take this on board.

    In between these well defined decadal shifts temperature rise has been modest – although there is an opinion that global warming will resume ‘with a vengeance’ at the next shift due soon.

    I have argued that coming in below the RCP4.5 scenario is technically and economically feasible. For reasons of economic growth and environmental conservation more pressingly than a wild climate – although that would seem to provide an added impetus.

    Between energy and agricultural innovation and and Earth rewilding in the 21st century – it seems in the bag.

    I have also argued that classic liberals take charge of the narrative rather than leaving it to unreconstructed nutbags.

  32. “Or maybe you do accept that BAU gets us 3-4 C warmer by 2100…” #jiminy

    There is not a Goddamn chance that opportunistic ensembles provide scientifically credible warming projections. Known without a doubt for a very long time. “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” IPCC 2001

    It all seems a quite evident nonsense.

  33. And, we have lift off:

    With one ONI period in the bank, it appears the El Niño is now a virtual lock, and that its official passage into Red state will be November 19.

    Very high SAT numbers in the 10-day forecast.

    Kiss imminent global cooling goodbye. Somebody has cranked up the, haha, control knob.

    Prayer works. Keep praying for the cold phase of something. Could throw in animal sacrifice. Anything. Maybe a confluence of wives and girlfriends giving their guys the cold shoulder will fire up the stadium wave.

    But what if it’s hot?

    • Strip out the tribal contumely and there is nothing left. Save the pious hope that a natural oscillatory event is going to redeem their AGW bacon. But it does perfectly illustrate that it is not science in dispute. At the core is a cultural battle that has waxed and waned over hundreds of years.

      “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.

      The urban doofus hipster vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals.

      Opposed is a far more laissez faire concept of capitalism continuing the economic miracle of bringing billions out of abject poverty, hunger, disease, childhood mortality and environmental destruction through innovation and free markets. And new ways to manage global commons – beyond governments and business – beyond the tragedy of the commons – through autonomous bottom up stakeholder organisation.

      Markets exist – ideally – in a democratic context. Politics provides a legislative framework for consumer protection, worker and public safety, environmental conservation and a host of other things. Including for regulation of markets – banking capital requirements, anti-monopoly laws, prohibition of insider trading, laws on corporate transparency and probity, tax laws, etc. A key to stable markets – and therefore growth – is fair and transparent regulation, minimal corruption and effective democratic oversight. Markets do best where government is large enough to be an important player and small enough not to squeeze the vitality out of capitalism – government revenue of some 25% of gross domestic product – with balanced budgets and a 2-3% inflation target.

      Economically the world is locked into an economic growth cycle – despite any and all reservations and interventions.  A high growth planet brings resources to solve people and environment problems.  The clearest way to economic growth is markets – and the biggest risk is market mismanagement.

      https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/03/11/all-bubbles-burst-laws-of-economics-for-the-new-millennium/

    • NOAA PDO:
      201801 0.29
      201802 -0.19
      201803 -0.62
      201804 -0.89
      201805 -0.69
      201806 -0.84
      201807 -0.09
      201808 -0.44
      201809 -0.48
      201810 -0.76
      201811 -0.73
      It would be nice if the PDO was on board. Even JISAO’s PDO seems bored with the whole thing.
      Nigel Tufnel: The sustain, listen to it.
      Marty DiBergi: I don’t hear anything.
      Nigel Tufnel: Well you would though, if it were playing.
      Gotta have sustain.

    • JCH:

      Earlier the above link was the subject. Looks like SLR acceleration to me. Or to say it backwards, it we don’t have SLR acceleration, that suggests the link is wrong. My confidence in the plot is average. And I finally get the rectangles. The time frames going into the the black line. Why is Resplendy more equal than others? The acceleration is an important point, for marketing and sales. As we are fine, last decade and the decade before that we need to be told that’s a fool’s take on things. Of all things to accelerate. The oceans and ice sheets 100s of thousands years old. We know the atmosphere is the jumpy problem being moderated by these things.

  34. Most politicians have an arts degree, so they are good at doing the talking, but lousy in arithmetics. The summaries for policy makers are predominantly wriiten by lawyers. Says it all really.

  35. The Pacific is the dominant global source of cloud and albedo variability (Clements et al 2009) – known for a decade at least .


    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/325/5939/460

    Closed cell cloud persists for longer over the cool upwelling regions (Koren 2017) modulating the global energy budget.


    “Off the west coast of South America, an intricate network of clouds presented a spectacular view to the Moderate Resolution Imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite when it flew overhead on September 30, 2005.” https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/5904/cloud-formations-off-the-west-coast-of-south-america

    Upwelling shifts with a 20 to 30 years periodicity that sums to variability over millennia (Vance et al 2013). More salt in the Law Dome ice core is La Nina.


    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1

    Looks like cloud change in low frequency climate variability caused most of the late century ocean warming (IPCC 2007).

    Will we lose that – and the early century warming – with centuries of more intense and frequent La Nina to come?

  36. Geoff Sherrington

    My three big points for policy/politics of climate.
    1. Why is no accurate figure stated for sensitivity, like ECS?
    (Is the whole foundation now disproved, that GHG causes atmospheric warming?)
    2. Have the main Learned Societies who back the Global Warming Establishment line, done adequate of their own research pertinent to the sub-disciplines they represent?
    (Lesser Authorities unsure of their way tend to turn to the main Learned Societies for support).
    3. Why have so many sensu lato climate scientists failed to call out others from the Establishment who they must know have made outrageously anti-scientific statements?
    (Beyond the points of income protection and the madness of crowds, there must be some who should rebel because of ethics, morals and/or a love of science done well.)

    Would Judith permit a write-in of the 3 main points that others favour?
    Geoff.

    • Geoff,

      Wrong questions. 40 years of arguing about AGW proves it is pointless.

      The argument needs to change from the science to testing the validity of the underlying premise – i.e. that global warming would be dangerous or catastrophic.

  37. The reason that climate change policies are becoming unpopular is easily explained in “The boy who cried wolf”.

    • A little OT but it seemed some folks were setting store by an end of year El Niño.

      Some folks include Professor Curry. Her company forecast an El Niño starting as early as December 2018.

  38. No sign of a Christmas El Niño

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Overview

    No Bjerknes coupling. Just equatorial Pacific warm climatology.

    A little OT but it seemed some folks were setting store by an end of year El Niño.

    One gets the impression that the Pacific alternates between periods of higher and lower excitability. What some authors call the Pacific “ground state”.

    • DESCRIPTION: Warm (red) and cold (blue) periods based on a threshold of +/- 0.5oC for the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) [3 month running mean of ERSST.v5 SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region (5oN-5oS, 120o-170oW)], based on centered 30-year base periods updated every 5 years.

      By the NOAA standard it would appear an El Niño started in November, and by the BoM formation, it would appear they they the NOAA criteria above will be reached. So a 18-19 El Niño is likely.

  39. Somewhere back up there, JimD was looking for a scientist who thought more CO2 would be good for the Earth ( or something). Arrhenius thought more CO2 and warming would be good for the Earth.

  40. “RCP4.5 achieves two out of three. It mitigates by reducing per capita CO2. It stabilizes the CO2 level by 2100. But it does not protect because the warming is near 3 C, well above the 2 C threshold.” #jiminy

    So no ‘bipartisan solution’ just the same old stories told superficially in the objective idiom of culturally potent science (Prins and Rayner, 2007, p25).

    Apart from #jiminy’s dismal little bit of blog unscience on a loop – is a neglect of land use, methane, surface ozone, black carbon and sulfate. Instead there is an obsession with what is objectively the minor part of the equation – energy emissions.

    From patiently drawing it out #jiminy’s ‘solution’ is enforceable UN down sanctions on energy emissions in developed nations.

    1. Apart from neglecting…

    2. Economic growth and stability is the critical project for the 21st century. This requires multiple strong nodes in globally networked economics.

    3. An end to denigration of science and scientists by massive tools who fail to grasp even the fundamentals – and world peace.

  41. It’s nice to see that Willard is back. I look forward to some disagreement.

  42. Mosher,
    Would you care to put up your graphs of world temp done 20, 15, 10 and 5 years ago and compare the differences in the past?
    If you do and they are all the same I will grovel.
    Here is your chance.
    Silence

    • angech.

      5 years ago is berkely . posted
      10 years ago, 2008 . probably first posted 2010. my blog
      15 years ago . not doing climate

    • why would they be the same.
      1. more historical data has been added.
      2. better methods

      progress

      • Why would they be the same?
        Don’t be coy.
        Or ingenuous.
        The past temperature of the world did not change because of more data and better methods.
        It actually was the same temperature whether we looked back at 5, 10 or 20 years later.
        One should be able to look at the data set as a fixed entity in the sense that known temperatures used 5, 20, or 50 years later should match.
        What has happened though is your confounded constant readjustments.
        Makes a complete mockery of your comments
        “In some sense we knew all we needed to know back in 1896 and did nothing. We knew what we needed to know in 1988 and did nothing.”
        How could people in those times know all they needed to know when you have changed the data?
        The world is getting hotter you say but you have made it much colder on the past to push your idea of warming now, to fit your agenda.
        I do not know the answer but a global temperature scale once set should not be allowed to have this sort of shenanigans going on.

      • These are complex tasks being undertaken for the first time in human history. How much freakin’ precision do you need?

        It is about 0.6K in the last 40 years – about half intrinsic.

  43. “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” Josh Willis

    It works by changing the rate of warming or cooing of oceans through sea surface temperature/cloud cover coupling.

    Trending surface temperature over the 2 regimes in the last half of last century might give a residual warming that is anthropogenic.
    Starting at 1950 is a big juicy cherry. So let’s start at the start of cooling post 1944.

    So AGW at about this rate – but the real world rate depends on where internal variability shifts next. I am expecting a reversion to the mean as the sun dims. More salt in a Law Dome ice core is La Nina.

    But of course we have models – the ones that miss internal variability and are as good at picking climate shifts as tossing a coin. This is a ‘perturbed physics ensemble’ – 1000’s of non-unique solutions from marginally different starting points. Each of the models in CMIP can likewise calculate 1000’s of diverging solutions. The individual members of the CMIP opportunistic ensembles are just one of these. Guess how they pick the right one.

    Instead I’d suggest that a continuation of the long term trend over the next few decades seems the worst case. While we sort out land use, methane, surface ozone, black carbon and sulfate emissions – along with transitioning to 21st century energy sources.

  44. The politics of climate expertise just took a very very very ugly turn for the worse. The IPCC is calling for a $240/gal Gas Tas while Paris is burning and they have called in UN Troops. I just watched a video of a protester that had his hand blown off by a flash grenade. The French and now Belgium Mobs are rioting for one and only one reason, expensive and ineffective Green Policies. Now that there is a huge political cost being incurred due to these Green Policies, and the fact that the very taxpayers that are rioting have paid for the research that is being used to support these policies, I wouldn’t want to be listing credentials as a Climate Expert on any public resume. That degree has just become a liability.

  45. Policy making and litigation are both adversarial processes. It is perfectly normal for each side to have its experts, in fact it is expected. That is all that is going on in the climate case, so it is puzzling that people seem to have trouble with it. Perhaps it is because the experts are scientists and science is falsely thought not to be adversarial. Wishing it were somehow otherwise is pointless.

    The climate change debate is a struggle of ideas, pure and simple. In fact it is historically large, but still perfectly normal.

  46. Regarding this: “Concerning the inability of expert knowledge to resolve environmental controversy and the pressing need for a pragmatic reframing of policy problems to allow for solutions based on bipartisan values.”

    As a matter of logic there is no way to “reframe” genuine disagreements such that they disappear.

  47. “This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. As such, Climate Pragmatism offers a framework for renewed American leadership on climate change that’s effectiveness, paradoxically, does not depend on any agreement about climate science or the risks posed by uncontrolled greenhouse gases.” https://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

    The ‘solutions’ haven’t changed.

  48. Pingback: Lessons from the failure of the climate change crusade - Fabius Maximus website

  49. interesting insights

  50. Most reasonable people are by now surely long past the point of regarding government climate ‘science’ as the genuine article (sincerely looking into all avenues for truth). Rather, it’s seen as being on a mission to scare the public into accepting a bigger role for its funder by whatever bias is at hand. (Which is not to say the whole (C)AGW issue is made up, just that it’s being hijacked and skewed into being Advocacy Science).

    To supporters this corruption of science in service of a ‘greater’ cause a virtue, to detractors a vice. Hence the intractable debate.

    • The C part of CAGW is false. Global warming is probably beneficial. Therefore, there is no valid justification for policies to abate CO2 emissions.

  51. Pingback: “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #338 | Watts Up With That?

  52. Pingback: “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #338 |

  53. Compared to last month, the updated (October-November) MEI moved up by more than 0.2 standard deviations to reach +0.70, finally surpassing the lowest El Niño ranking. Looking at the nearest 12 rankings (+6/-6) in this season, and removing cases with one- or three-months drops rather than rises leading up to October-November, we are left with six ‘analogue’ years: 1963, ’68, ’69, ’79, ’03, and ’04, four of which were also mentioned last month. All but two of them (1969, 2003) either remained or attained El Niño status through the following boreal winter months, with ’69-70 and ’03-04 hovering in high neutral conditions. This is the time of year when persistence is hard to beat – the fact that the MEI attained this status this late in the season is quite unusual, perhaps most similar to 2004.

    The odds for continued El Niño conditions at least for some of the following six months has risen to about 67% (four out of six), better than last month’s 50/50 odds.

    • So nothing much has changed? As stated – persistence is ‘hard to beat’ this time of year. And normally you would for change closer to the Austral autumn. But holding for so long in roughly neutral conditions is very unusual. Neutral is not a stable ENSO state.

      But it is looking more like an El Nino Modoki – as Judith suggested last week – high geopotential energy in the central equatorial Pacific.

  54. “The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change…” Wally Broecker

    Orbital changes make no difference at all to global energy dynamics. What changes is nonlinear internal responses in AMOC, meridional or zonal wind fields at the poles, upwelling at the western margins of continents, rainfall, vegetation, dust and cloud. It makes Earth system science quite a lot less simple but more interesting than narratives about forcing. But if you are going to rabbit on about it – start with CMIP5 forcings.


    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/

    Natural forcing is of course negligible. But negligible forcing drives large responses in the Earth system.

    “Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.” NAS 2002

    Even at this short time frame – climate has shifted 4 times. Around 1912, 1944, 1976 and 1998. “Global-scale multidecadal variability missing in state-of-the-art climate models” – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

    That caused some 50% of warming in the last 40 years – and most of the early century warming. Where it shifts next is the question.

  55. Higher cosmic ray intensity is lower TSI. But because the sun is so stable you need to look for amplifying mechanisms in the Earth system to explain large climate variability.


    https://www.pnas.org/content/109/16/5967

    Narrative nonsense about precession in the interminable and strange unscience thread way above is just that.

  56. Rob Johnson-taylor

    I’m coming to the conclusion that climate scientists and climatology needs to be clearly divorced from politics, including financial, social and environment. These should be the province of environmental management. Climatology seems to actact climate acitivists, who seem to have a mob mentality, with the idea that the cutting back of carbon emissions solves all the worlds problems. Stop coal mining in Poland, for example, but without any regards to the social, financial and environmental consequences.
    When the British prime minister Margaret Thatcher whent to war against the miners, it has result invasive closure of mining operations [they have all gone now] 40% of the miners made redundant never found work again, they have been living on state aid for decades whole towns became economic grave yards. This was due to political decisions.
    Politicians are reflecting the stance of climate scientists, who have no responsibility for the consequences of their assertions, just living in ivory towers. So more thought should be given to consequences. Sorry if I’ve ruffled a few feathers but climatology to me seems to have become to detached from the ‘Real world’

  57. “In this role, climate science and expertise needs, at a minimum, to be sufficiently credible to promote the argument that climate change hazards exist and that humans are causing it. Alternatively, skeptics may employ political science use to highlight intractable climate change uncertainties.”

    Climate science needs to be sceptical to be credible.

    “Although scientists might wish to be considered apolitical agents for the promotion of objective knowledge and revealed moral truths concerning climate change risks, sceptics argue that undue emphasis upon consensus makes scientists vulnerable to epistemologically significant claims that they are no longer performing as a scientifically-healthy community.”

    Objectivity requires scepticism.

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