The yin and yang of climate science

by Judith Curry

How the duality of yin-yang can illuminate the climate debate and enlighten transformational research.

Ok, this is something different,  I hope you will find it interesting.

A little known JC fact is that my main hobby is Tai Chi.  I am very fortunate to be studying under Master Reza Nejad, an exceptionally accomplished martial artist currently living in Reno, NV.  He is also the “Bruce Lee of Iran” [link; scroll down the page for cinema clips]

Master Nejad recommended me to the organizers of the 2022 International Taiji Science Forum.  The organizers invited me to give a talk, which rather astonished me.  I was getting ready to politely decline the invitation, when the wheels started turning in my head and I came up with an interesting idea for a talk.

I decided to use the yin-yang framework as the basis for a philosophy of science talk.

You are probably generally familiar with the concept of yin and yang.  Yin and yang is a complex relational concept in Chinese philosophy and culture that has developed over thousands of years. The meaning of yin and yang is that the universe is governed by a cosmic duality – sets of two opposing and complementing principles or cosmic energies that can be observed in nature.

Yin and yang elements come in pairs—moon and the sun, female and male, dark and bright, cold and hot, passive and active, etc. While the world is composed of many different and sometimes opposing forces, these can coexist and even complement each other. The nature of yin-yang lies in the interchange and interplay of the two components.

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The yin-yang symbol consists of a circle divided into two halves by a curved line. One half of the circle is black, representing the yin side; the other is white, for the yang side. The two halves are intertwining across a spiral-like curve that splits the whole into semicircles, and the small dots represent the idea that both sides carry the seed of the other. The curvy line signifies that there are no absolute separations between the two opposites. The yin-yang symbol embodies both sides: duality, paradox, unity in diversity, change, and harmony.

My full presentation can be downloaded [taiji science curry], ppt with audio (19 minutes).

Below is the relevant text, along with illustrative diagrams.



With this context, I focus my talk on how the duality of yin-yang can illuminate the climate debate and enlighten transformational scientific research.

In the west, the concept of yin-yang has been interpreted, applied and appropriated in many different ways. My interpretation here focuses on applications of the essential duality implied by yin-yang. I propose that this duality can enrich our thinking on how to approach the process of science and creativity, towards fostering transformational research.

Two modes of thinking

At the most fundamental level of scientific research, the duality of binary modes of thinking reflects the essential yin-yang tension. These two modes of thinking have been described from the perspectives of economics, psychology and physics.  The idea of two modes of thinking has been most famously portrayed in Daniel Kahnemann’s book Thinking Fast and Slow.  System 1 is the fast, automatic multitasking mode that we usually operate in, such as when walking, chatting, looking around.  By contrast, System 2 is a more deliberate and focused mode of mindful intent.

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You might think that System 2 thinking is the most important mode for scientific research.  However, Guy Claxton’s most important insight in Hair Brain, Tortoise Mind is that the leisurely tortoise mind, for all its apparent aimlessness, is just as intelligent as the more logical hare brain.

But how can the aimless tortoise brain contribute to scientific research?  Tim Palmer’s book The Primacy of Doubt provides some insights. Specifically, on the importance of the stochasticity of System 1 thinking in generating new ideas.

Role of the monkey

Palmer provides an energy-based interpretation of thinking, whereby System 2 is the high-power, intensive mode. By contrast, System 1 is a lower power mode where power is spread between many active tasks, so that power per active task is especially low.

In low power mode, the brain is susceptible to noise.  Palmer argues that this noise can be a source of random new ideas.  This can explain why ‘eureka’ moments, or flashes of insight, often occur when we are relaxing and not concentrating hard on a problem. In this relaxation mode, the presence of noise can help us jump out of a cognitive roadblock and advance our understanding.

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The ‘monkey mind in Tai Chi represents brain chatter that jumps around and darts from one distraction to the other.  One objective of Tai Chi and Qigong movements are to bring the brain back to mindfulness (‘repulse the monkey’) .  Palmer’s framework suggests that there is a role for the monkey in helping generate the noise that can be the source of random new ideas.  So, we don’t want to entirely repulse the monkey, but manage the monkey while nourishing the tortoise.

So to achieve the most transformative oneness from our binary brain, the idea is to make constructive use of noise in the low-power mode. This can provide new ideas, which our more analytic, power-intensive mode is failing to provide.

Duality in science

With regards to the actual scientific process, there are many fundamental dualities, which I have presumed to categorize in terms of yin and yang.  The major dualities include

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My own scientific education, many decades ago, was focused on the attributes that I have listed on the Yin side.  Over time, my research has migrated in the directions that are characterized by the Yang side.  These two opposing and complementary approaches, when appropriately integrated, can produce transformational research.


In addressing a specific scientific problem, frames shape how we conceptualize it.  Framing includes what is deemed to be relevant, what is excluded, and even what answers are considered appropriate.

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A framing bias occurs when a narrow frame pre-ordains the conclusion to a much more complex problem.   On the other hand, if we frame a simple problem too broadly, finding a solution can be much more difficult.

Some problems are tame, in the sense that the appropriate boundaries are clear.  This includes problems of engineering and laboratory science for which reductionism, order and control are the appropriate guiding principles.  However, tame problems are not necessarily simple ones.  Tame problems can be complicated, with many different parts that are causally linked.

Complex problems are different from those that are merely complicated.  In the presence of feedbacks and circularity, causal mechanisms are not easily elucidated.  Problems related to the environment, such as climate change, and most problems related to human health are complex problems.  Complex problems require a much larger frame to accommodate uncertainty, ambiguity, chaos, and contradictions.  Any framing of a complex problem is provisional, requiring acknowledgement of what is outside the frame and its potential importance.

Climate change

This slide shows two different framings of climate change.  On the left, the climate change problem is framed as being caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which can be solved by eliminating fossil fuel emissions.  Both the problem and solution are included in a single frame.  This framing dominates the UN negotiations on climate change, most recently at the Conference of the Parties in Egypt.

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The framing on the right shows two separate frames, one associated with the causes of climate change and the other associated with solutions that can help reduce vulnerability to climate change.  The larger frame on the right also includes natural causes for climate change such as the sun, volcanoes and slow circulations in the ocean. This framing is provisional, acknowledging that our understanding is incomplete and that there may be unknown processes influencing climate change.

The frame on the left is about controlling the climate, whereas the frame on the right is about understanding the climate.  Further, the framing on the right acknowledges the futility of control. Solutions on the right focus on the basic human necessities of energy, water and food. Economic development supports these necessities while reducing our vulnerability to weather and climate extremes.

My own understanding of climate change and human well being is squarely in the framing on the right.

The duality here lies in science versus policy, and these two framings reflect very different visions for how science and policy interact.

Covid 19

Using the framework of normal and postnormal science, the pandemic provides insights into how we understand and conduct science, particularly when it is relevant for urgent policy making.

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Normal science is conducted by elite scientists, and ruled by consensus over the problems, concepts and model solutions that together form a paradigm. There have been some great successes for normal science during the pandemic. These include rapid identification of viral structures and pathological mechanisms, and rapid development of vaccines and antiviral drugs.

The epidemiology of the pandemic provided far greater challenges.  Early in the pandemic, scientists, at least in the west, spoke with one voice and great authority. They claimed that 2 to 3 out of every 100 infected people will die, the virus spread by droplets and surfaces, there was no immunity after infection, and all ages were equally at risk.  These claims guided early covid policy in the U.S. However, these claims did not survive further scientific scrutiny and turned out to be wrong.  Many of these early policies backfired in tragic ways, particularly for the elderly and children.

So what went wrong?  The scientists failed to acknowledge uncertainty and ignorance. An elite group of scientists manufactured a consensus in an attempt to assert authority with the objective of controlling the virus. Attempts to squash disagreement and cancel scientists who disagreed delayed resolution of these mistaken claims and perpetuated these early bad policies.

The pandemic is clearly an issue for which facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high & decisions are urgent, which characterizes post-normal science.  Post-normal science doesn’t seek to control, but rather to manage, in a way that seeks robustness in policy strategies.  In postnormal science, management of uncertainty and evaluating knowledge quality are paramount.  Postnormal science seeks to diversify the knowledge base beyond elite scientists. This occurs in context of an extended peer community that enables broader scientific and public contributions, understanding and acceptance.

Wicked science

Wicked problems are challenges that share some commonality with postnormal science, but there are key differences.  Wicked problems are characterized by structural complexity, irreducible uncertainties and ignorance.  There are multiple problem definitions and contentious methods of understanding.  Clashing values are in play, and people don’t even agree on the attributes of desirable solutions.  There are unintended consequences associated with all proposed solutions.

Both climate change and pandemics are wicked problems.

The wickedness of wicked problems is related to the duality of science and politics.   There are two common but inappropriate ways of mixing science and politics.

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The first is scientizing policy, which deals with intractable political conflict by transforming the political issues into scientific ones.  The problem is that science is not designed to answer questions about how the world ought to be, which is the domain of politics. The second is politicization of science, whereby scientific research is influenced or manipulated in support of a political agenda. We have seen both of these inappropriate ways of mixing science and politics in dealing with the pandemic and also climate change.

There’s a third way, which is known as wicked science. Wicked science is tailored to the dual scientific and political natures of wicked societal problems.   Wicked science uses approaches from complexity science and systems thinking in a context that engages with decision makers and other stakeholders.

Wicked science requires a transdisciplinary approach that treats uncertainty as of paramount importance.  Effective use of wicked science requires that policy makers acknowledge that control is limited and the future is unknown.   Effective politics provides room for dissent and disagreement about policy options, and includes a broad range of stakeholders.

Wicked science – JC’s book

As an example of wicked science, I put forward my forthcoming book Climate Uncertainty and Risk. This book encompasses my own philosophy for navigating wicked problems, and provides a slice through the wicked terrain of climate change.  The book is massively transdisciplinary, including perspectives from science, technology, politics, policy, philosophy, social psychology, uncertainty and risk.   Accomplishing the book’s objectives in 250 pages required careful framing.

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The main point of this slide is to describe the duality of my binary brain in grappling with the research, framing and writing about this wicked problem.  For each topic I started in yin mode with a provisional outline.  I then switched to yang mode where for each topic I read many articles and books and took copious notes.  Of central importance was noise generation that was driven by imaginative internet searching, which helped generate ideas that took me in new directions.

For a given subsection, I might spend several weeks in this noise generation mode, with sporadic excursions into yin mode where I would slowly winnow down my notes and move things around to create linkages between ideas.  At some point the connections in my head would produce a mental model and a substantially revised outline. I would then return to Yin mode, where the writing proceeded quickly.  I often felt frustrated that I was spending so much time googling around and generating noise, but upon reflection I realized that this was an essential feature of my thinking process in context of this wicked problem.

30 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to write this book, without near-instantaneous access to diverse resources online that are enabled by the internet.  The internet is a great enabler for the practice of wicked science.

Duality and health science

These approaches to thinking about science are relevant for Taiji and health sciences, which is the focus of this Forum.

There are several dualities here.  The most important one is the duality between the eastern and western approaches to medicine, with the western approach being reductionist and the eastern approach being more of a whole body approach.

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Another duality is basic versus clinical research.  There is also the duality of curative versus preventative approaches.  The red arrows indicate feedbacks between health science and the practice of Taiji.

JC comments

Participating in this Forum was an interesting cultural experience, it had quite a CCP flavor.  The Conference was very formal and very deferential to governmental and institutional authorities.  Most of the presentations were in Chinese, with English subtitles.  I find the objective of the Forum, to integrate eastern and western ways of thinking (particularly in context of Taiji-health) to be interesting and worthwhile.

In any event, this Forum provided me with an opportunity to think in some new frameworks.  The slide above labelled “Climate” illustrates better than anything else I’ve written regarding the difference between the IPCC/UNFCCC (yin) approach and my own interpretation which has a much larger frame (yang approach).

104 responses to “The yin and yang of climate science

  1. Nonlinear dynamic Chaos also has a yin-yang aspect. The necessary condition for chaos is something that wants to change plus a nonlinear negative feedback that constrains that change. These opposing forces constantly struggle, leading to endless erratic and unpredictable change. Sounds pretty yin-yang to me.

    • Forgot to add important point. That erratic oscillating change is within certain boundaries, making chaos a powerful form of stability. Same with yin-yang.

    • Hence this joke. Stranger asks the farmer “Think it will rain?”
      Farmer thinks the replies “It always has.”

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        Not intended as a joke:
        My one and only climate prediction, from 1997:

        “The climate will get warmer, unless it gets colder.”

        PS: Your articles at are, by far, the best on the website.

    • Internal dynamic responses depend on internal masses, spring rates, capacitance’s and inductance’s, of the many parts. Sometimes internal cycles are in phase with some external forcing and sometimes internal cycles are out of phase with some external forcing. I say some because different people study correlations of internal response relative to one external factor and other people use different factors.
      Not since Ewing and Donn has there been publications that seriously considered internal responses. Sequestered Land Ice on earth is significant but it is not included in the consensus energy balance theory, energy balance charts, static consensus energy balance models.
      Consensus Climate Science can never be correct without considering internal response.

      Like with Rockets, POGO, internal response, destroyed Rockets until correctly considered.

      Like with land vehicles, the spring rates and dampers are tuned to the vehicle weights and inertia’s and terrain conditions and speeds.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        Could you summarize this in simple language for those of us who were edumacated at pubic schools.

      • David Wojick

        Given that the climate system dies not have much in the way of “spring rates, capacitance’s and inductance’s” I doubt the summary would make much sense.

    • In 1999 I proved many times the IPCC climate change theory is based on fraudulent IPCC research. Ask and I will email an outline of my proofs so you can reconfirm my findings. You may be satisfied with a lesser proof in Feb 2017 in the British Columbia court that satisfied the Trump admin to quickly announce the intentin to withdraw from IPCC Paris Accord and do so. It destroyed the basis of the theory, Mann’s hockey stick graph. See Mann vs Ball, started in 2011, dismissed in 2019. I met Dr. Timothy Ball, retired, of Victoria, B. C. in the late 1990’s. He passed away about 5=6 weeks ago. Yours for truth, James Shutiak CA, Exec.MBA. CMC, CFE. CPA, (Retired). Calgary, Alberta Formerly the top forensic, litigation support, valuation, merger/acquisition consultant and expert witness for 50+ years.

      • David Wojick

        I see no connection to my comment about chaos. Also you seem to misunderstand some things. The IPCC does not do research, they just summarize the literature in a biased way. The Paris Accord is UNFCCC not IPCC. Most importantly, AGW is based on the forward looking computer models, not the backward looking hockey stick, which only appeared in the third, 2001 IPCC report. The IPCC was founded in 1988.

  2. > They claimed that 2 to 3 out of every 100 infected people will die, the virus spread by droplets and surfaces, there was no immunity after infection, and all ages were equally at risk.

    Please note the lack of citations.

    It’s truly remakable that in a post that appeals uncertainty, you leave out any of the explicitly stated uncertainties, to characterize scientific statements in defense of a rigidly categorical framing

    • Joshua, get over yourself. These were consensus statements made early in the pandemic. I thought these statements were outrageous at the time, but certain ‘important’ experts circled the wagons. This is a ppt presentation, not a journal publication. I have references for this but i am not going to bother to dig them up for you. I will delete any further comments from you on this particular topic unless it includes a link to a refereed journal publication that refutes what I have stated.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      Virtually everything claimed about Covid19 in Spring 2020 was wrong. Every lesson learned from prior respiratory virus epidemics was forgotten or reversed.

      The main lesson from history is that EVERY prior viral epidemic ended after the virus mutated into a less deadly variant. And of course that happened again in 2022.

      No vaccine can stop a mutating virus.

      Even worse, developing a vaccine for Covid in 9 months was a HUGE mistake.

      The Covid mRNA vaccines turned out to be the least safe, and least effective vaccine, in history.

      There is no evidence any lives were saved or that it had any net benefit.

      The ose vaccines did have SERIOUS adverse side effects at least 50x higher than any prior vaccine.

      The Covid vaccine was one of the biggest medical disasters in world history.

      I have read over 200 articles and studies on the subject and can defend my conclusions with facts and data if you are a non-believer.

      Excess deaths peaked in April 2020 and NEVER disappeared with Covid vaccines in 2022 (and 2022). ALL-cause mortality never went down with Covid vaccines. The vaccines were, and are, a medical distaster.

    • Actually it was much worse than what Judith says. The media was constantly showing case and fatality numbers that seemed to imply a CFR of 10%-20%. It is also true that Ioannidis’ excellent early work on the Diamond Princess was relentlessly attacked on various grounds. Joshy was one of those doing so. On the whole, spring 2020 will go down as the biggest failures of Western elites since WWI. It is childish of him to demand references when they are very easy to find.

      And just as with AIDS, the public dogma was “everyone is at risk.” This created a panic reaction that caused people to do irrational things. It caused public health officials to do irrational things, like Fauci lying to the public about masks.

  3. A beautiful exposition – and a tremendously thoughtful endorsement of systems thinking. Wicked science – super!

  4. What a delightful post. Much to ponder for the New Year.

    “ To doubt everything, or, to believe everything, are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.”

    “ It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details.”

    “ It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.”

    Attribution for the above to Henri Poincare

    My intuition is that climate complexities might have their foundation in as yet to be discovered paradoxes.

    • CKid wrote:
      My intuition is that climate complexities might have their foundation in as yet to be discovered paradoxes.
      I write:
      Some most important climate complexities were understood and documented by Maurice Ewing and William Donn in the 1950’s and 60’s, and maybe some before them, but dismissed and ignored. When the IPCC first met, some scientists said the climate was self-correcting and not caused by CO2, but their input was not included in any IPCC reports.

    • CKid wrote:
      My intuition is that climate complexities might have their foundation in as yet to be discovered paradoxes.

      How convenient. Climate science isn’t about well known physics, it’s about unnamed, undiscovered “paradoxes.”

      You are wishing. Instead of thinking.

      • Not a fan of Henri’s, eh, 02? You have to let your mind go. You are too constricted. Too bound up. Cluttered with those 8th grade equations. Maybe some LSD would help. Did wonders for Timothy Leary and Cary Grant.

        LSD, Milk of Magnesia for the brain.

        Here is some more of my intuition. By 2100 a burgeoning industry will be emerging. It will be an explosion of case studies in social psychology. It will be federal grant Heaven.

        They will be investigating how climate scientists got it so wrong.

        They will be asking the question how did so many get so fooled by so few.

      • CKid wrote:
        Here is some more of my intuition. By 2100 a burgeoning industry will be emerging. It will be an explosion of case studies in social psychology. It will be federal grant Heaven.
        They will be investigating how climate scientists got it so wrong.

        You do this constantly, and it’s utterly laughable.

        You make a prediction about the future and assume it pertains to today. And then use that to attack people.

        Yet you never provide any basis for your future prediction.

        You do it only to feel better emotionally — there’s no science about it. You’re just trying to satisfy your emotional needs, which for some warped reason are unscientific.

        Two can play this game. I think you’d have done the same thing 30 years ago, and yet you’d be proven wrong today. You don’t discuss science, your comment emotionally.

      • What is laughable is that the truly fooled still believe in runaway SLR even when a massive Federal agency gets it so wrong like the EPA did 40 years ago. The same brains and the same mindset are perpetuating the same myths.

        Like Mark Twain said “It’s easier to fool people than convince them that they have been fooled.”

        How many more generations must see the lack of significant acceleration before the truly committed throw in the towel?

  5. Stephen Browne

    “However, Guy Claxton’s most important insight in Hair Brain, Tortoise Mind is that the leisurely tortoise mind, for all its apparent aimlessness, is just as intelligent as the more logical hare brain.”

    I haven’t read Claxton’s book, but I don’t get his analogy. Why would deliberate system 2 (tortoise mind) be aimless and system 1 (hare brain) be more logical. I would think of hare brain is being more intuitive than logical.

    • You can see it in (western) assessment of children as “bright” and “nerd”. Bright (and various other words all regarded as positive) is the hare brain. Nerd is regarded as negative. There is a reluctant admission that nerds do solve some problems (eg,that they can be good with computers), but the general assessment is still pretty clear: bright is good, nerd is not.

  6. Pingback: The yin and yang of climate science - Climate-

  7. Last I checked, Yang is masculine and thus represents order, creativity, etc. Yin would be chaos, uncertainty, etc. At least the Son of Lobster got that right.

    There is a whole line of feminist esoterica that seeks to contest the masculine primacy and reclaim the proper place for feminity:

    I am sure philo-Twitter could fill you up on this, Judy.

    • I read about 4 books and dozens of journal articles on Taoist philosophy, and how yin-yang is used in a range of cultures

      I also presented this to several thousand chinese scholars at the Forum

      • Pass the grasshoppers- this is getting interesting.

        You should hit Morano for a CFACT grant for a conference in Tibet on climate modeling with I Ching generated Bayesian priors

  8. Eamonn Wallace

    I’ve studied TaiJi for 30 odd years, the Yang ChengFu forms mostly, some Chen style and Sun style, so I enjoyed your post and presentation. It’s an interesting synthesis of ideas.

    WuJi is also something my Chinese teachers emphasised a lot.

    My first introduction to TaiJi was when I was about 15 when I read an introduction to the I Ching by John Blofeld (yes his father was “that guy”, he and Ian Fleming were great friends and both were terrified of John’s father). My essential takeaway from this book was “all life is one” and some wonderful verbal images that attempt to describe the Tao (the way?) and the Yin/Yang duality “flags flying in the midday sun” and the caveat that any description of the Tao only scratches at surface of the reality of the Tao.

    My teacher also stressed that the balance of the two parts of the duality and must be actively kept in balance. If either gets out of balance chaos can ensue.

    Anyway this is a book I’ve been contemplating recently
    I don’t subscribe to the idea but it is intriguing.

    I’ve done a terrible job trying to convey the ideas I learnt so I’ll just leave that there:)

    Good luck on your exploration

  9. Stephen Browne

    You wrote: “A framing bias occurs when a narrow frame pre-ordains the conclusion to a much more complex problem.”
    I wouldn’t say pre-ordains so much as limits the realm of potential conclusions and solutions.

  10. SL Acceleration/No Acceleration (yin/yang or just darn/dang!)

    We provide a new and more accurate estimate of the intra-mission bias, which leads to a much reduced GMSL acceleration over the whole record. Hence, the conundrum of an uncertain GMSL acceleration from altimetry is still unsolved, in spite of recent opposite claims, and in contrast to the expected effect of ocean warming and continental freshwater fluxes.

    H/T to …

  11. Dr. Curry’s observations and conclusions appear to be valid and worthy of exploration. The climate change agenda is, however, a wholly political construct with ideological agendas driving its every aspect, with anti-capitalism seemingly at its core. There is currently no political headroom nor institutional funding for the types of interdisciplinary studies and analyses Dr. Curry envisions.

    The developed world is mindlessly careening down the unscientific Nut Zero mountainside. Governments blatantly lie to their citizens about weather and climate data. Wealthy individuals and organizations openly fund media outlets to produce climate propaganda that has been coordinated with governmental entities. Crony capitalists and NGOs launder governmental monies they receive to support their political benefactors. Even when UN IPCC and other governmental scientific reports show no increasingly adverse weather events, world leaders, bureaucrats, NGOs and activists shout “Climate Disaster.”

    Rant over. Sorry bout dat.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      Very well said.
      In my simpleton language:

      AGW is real and harnless

      CAGW is a fantasy prediction of doom., consistently wrong since the 1979 Charney Report

      “Climate change” refers to CAGW, not AGW.

      Climate change is a secular religion

      CAGW beliefs were not created with facts, data and logic, so can not be refuted with facts, data and logic.

      CAGW will ALWAYS be coming in 10 years.

      And CAGW will cause every future problem in the world:
      — Unusually hot weather, unusually cold weather, cancer and warts! Climate change will kill your dog
      But not your Mother-in-Law, because they are eternal.
      (That last paragraph was a joke in case you didn’t notice:
      everyone knows climate change will kill your cat, but NOT your dog, because scientists say so.)

      • thecliffclavenoffinance wrote:
        “Climate change” refers to CAGW, not AGW.

        This is false, obviously. Why do you keep repeating it?

        What do you get out of repeating this lie? What’s in it for you?

  12. Stuart Ehrenerich

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the presentation and was especially and pleasantly surprised by how your description of yin-yang thinking mirrors my own as I have gotten older. One “housekeeping” comment however. The Yin-Yang diagram used shows the white(yang) on the left and the black(yin) on the right. However your presentation displays the yin(focused) approach on the left and the yang(random) on the right…it’s a bit distracting. I had to re-read several passages twice to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting your thesis.

  13. Judith …

    > Post-normal science doesn’t seek to control, but rather to manage, in a way that seeks robustness in policy strategies. In postnormal science, management of uncertainty and evaluating knowledge quality are paramount. 

    In the context of your essay, I understand your usage of manage and management in the above sentences. Yet, I would try to drop them as manage and control are actually related terms. If post-normal science doesn’t seek to control then it must return to its basic societal role of ‘offering’, which is to say presenting, information through theory or experimentation which is thought to have a role in describing reality … for open discussion, debate, rejection or acceptance, to be discarded or used. The very opposite of religion, say in the seventeenth century. Management of scientific information comes with a science bureaucracy, something that has been discussed much in these pages. Again, I know what you are saying, I just wish I had substitute terms for you to use.

    Thanks for the piece. Very interesting.

    • Bill thanks for pointing this out, there is invariably confusion about postnormal. Control means to prevent the harm (lockdowns, no emissions), whereas manage seeks to deal with impacts of the harm and minimize the impacts (e.g. vaccines, adaptation)

  14. This was written:
    This framing is provisional, acknowledging that our understanding is incomplete and that there may be unknown processes influencing climate change.
    I write:
    This was written:
    So to achieve the most transformative oneness from our binary brain, the idea is to make constructive use of noise in the low-power mode. This can provide new ideas, which our more analytic, power-intensive mode is failing to provide.
    I write:
    One side of the binary brain says CO2 causes harmful climate change and the other side of the binary brain says CO2 causes climate change that is not harmful.
    The real scientific brain questions both sides of that and looks for other, more likely, more powerful causes of significant causes of climate change because a trace gas can only cause a trace of climate change.
    Water, in all of its states, is much more abundant than the gas state of CO2 and water changes state in the temperature ranges that mater more to our Earthly Climate.
    Thawing and Reflecting ice during ice ages causes colder climate.
    Peer Reviewed Consensus CO2 climate science and Peer Reviewed Consensus Lukewarm climate science, the two sides of the binary brain, do not consider internal natural cycles with self-correcting more polar snowfall when the Arctic Ocean is producing Ocean Effect Snowfall that rebuilds sequestered ice on land which spreads after hundreds and or thousands of warm years with more snowfall. This spreading polar ice deflects the Polar Vortex, increases the influence of the Polar Vortex, when the Arctic Freezes, gets covered with sea ice as a major ice ages starts, the polar vortex will expand and pick up thaw ocean beyond the Arctic to advance the great ice sheets until the oceans are depleted. Then there is not enough ocean to maintain snowfall. The ice spreads and depletes and thins until the great ice sheets can retreat rapidly as 20 to ten thousand years ago. Most of the great ice sheets had thawed but the heavy polar ice depressed land and caused most of the meltwater to flow into the Arctic Ocean, which did fill with fresh water and ice. None of this has been studied by consensus or lukewarm climate science. Climate change is normal, necessary, natural, self-correcting and not stoppable by controlling CO2, which can only have a trace influence. CO2 does not change the temperature that polar sea ice thaws and starts the polar ice machines. CO2 does not change the temperature that polar sea ice freezes and stops the polar ice machines.
    Peer Reviewed Consensus CO2 climate science and the Lukewarm Peer Reviewed Consensus climate science, the two sides of the binary brain, do not consider internal natural cycles with self-correcting less polar snowfall when the Arctic Ocean is frozen and not producing Polar Ocean Effect Snowfall and sequestered ice on land which spreads and thaws and thins during hundreds and or thousands of cold years with less polar ocean effect snowfall.
    Ice is not in consensus climate science, ice is not in energy balance theory or charts or models as significant, climate science can never be right, consensus climate science only considers correlations between climate and external forcing and does not consider any significant internal response, does not consider any significant storage of heat energy in oceans and does not consider any “ice in an ice chest”, cold from thawing ice, not any “cooling from spreading and thawing and thinning stored sequestered ice”.
    Science and truth is in the ice core records, ignored, due to billions, now due to trillions to brainwash and gaslight the whole western world. China and India and Russia, and some others, will continue to promote fossil and nuclear fuels internally while they get really rich and powerful, increasing their capabilities to use energy to do and sell everything the western countries used to do.
    We won WWII because the US and Texas supplied Fossil Fuel Energy for producing equipment, weapons and fuel for ourselves and our allies. When WWIII gets more underway, we will need to call a temporary truce with China every now and then to buy more stuff we can no longer make to make more weapons to defend ourselves from them. Like now, we will be given enough to prolong the conflict but not enough for us to win.

  15. Good goddamn piece of writing Doctor. Should have a broad audience.

  16. Richard Copnall

    Interesting ideas – as an engineer my training is to simplify a problem into solvable chunks, apply solutions and then iterate. It’s a very control-oriented approach that suits political need for command and action. But not necessarily the most effective approach when dealing with a complex system.

  17. “The meaning of yin and yang is that the universe is governed by a cosmic duality – sets of two opposing and complementing principles or cosmic energies that can be observed in nature.”
    Particle vs. wave?

  18. Judith wrote:
    Post-normal science doesn’t seek to control, but rather to manage, in a way that seeks robustness in policy strategies.

    I think you only write this because you’re on the outside and no longer on the inside. So you are in search of ways to dismiss the consensus.

    • Non-local presumptive/speculative/unconfirmed/unproven mind reading illustrated.

    • David Appell said:

      “Global warming is required by the laws of physics.”

      The laws of physics do not require that materials and systems comprised of those materials attain any specific states. That is especially the case for systems which are open with respect to energy flows, and that energy flow is determined by the physical phenomena and processes occurring within the system.

      By way of contrast, given the ICs and BCs the laws of physics will tell us the states that the materials and systems will attain. Applications of the complete laws of physics can be eliminated by use of assumed/theoretical/hypothetical states. An assumption, of course, does not in any way predispose the laws of physics to ensure that the state will be attained.

      • “Global warming is required by the laws of physics.” is a nonsensical claim. Adding a small forcing to a huge and complex nonlinear system need not cause any particular change. It need cause no change at all.

        This claim is a perfect example of the simple minded science that underlies AGW.

      • David Wojick wrote:
        This claim is a perfect example of the simple minded science that underlies AGW.

        Let’s take note that you didn’t disprove my claim.
        Because you can’t.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      The consensus of CAGW, which was 59% in a recent poll, is BS. There is no CAGW
      The 50+ years of CAGW predictions have been wrong
      Who wants to be part of a consensus of climate scaremongers who make wrong predictions of climate doom for 50 years in a row? Answer: Total losers like you, Appleman!

      • thecliffclavenoffinance wrote:
        The 50+ years of CAGW predictions have been wrong

        The science projects climate change. “Catastrophic” is an adjective that has no scientific meaning.

        I’m sure you will ignore this result, as you always do:

        “We find that climate models published over the past five decades were skillful [14 of 17 projections] in predicting subsequent GMST changes, with most models examined showing warming consistent with observations, particularly when mismatches between model‐projected and observationally estimated forcings were taken into account.”

        “Evaluating the performance of past climate model projections,” Hausfather et al, Geo Res Lett 2019.


    • Dan Hughes wrote:
      The laws of physics do not require that materials and systems comprised of those materials attain any specific states.

      OMG how untrue.

      When a CO2 molecule encounters a photon of the right wavelength, it absorbs that photon with a certain probability, which can be calculated, and then attains a higher energy state.

      By way of contrast, given the ICs and BCs the laws of physics

      What are “ICs” and BCs?”

    • Consensus = political buzzword synonymous with: collusion, collaboration, compliance, solidarity, and to lesser extent; conspiracy, complicity and conformity…

  19. UK-Weather Lass

    What richness of human values were present in Mesopotamia a very long time ago, when the seeds of most universal human beliefs and intelligences were readily sown, shared, improved, enriched and enshrined across such diverse cultures from north, east, south and west of the planet? How did humans move from very ancient and crude bone oracles to the rich wisdom of, for example, the I Ching (Book of Changes), into observation of the heavens as a structure from which to build the understanding contained in, for example, the many forms of calendars of reckoning and advice which can be found in so many of our cultural histories, religious or otherwise? Why shouldn’t the stars have guided wise people to find meanings hidden deep within the wisdom of oracles portending important events, for example the coming of a great and important person, or great and important people?

    The male-female principles of yin and yang exist in everything, even in our minds where the logical and ordered left side is balanced by an intuitive and creative right side with a highly developed communicator sitting between them and offering a bigger picture. Male or female of gender we have both sides and the middle to ensure both sides are equally valued in a balanced and healthy mind. Conversely balance is of no consequence to nature and it is from largely random events that progress appears to be made by all known living things at least on planet Earth. Since we cannot understand randomness we must make mistakes upon our journeys and study nature closely and locally to pass on generational know how.

    As an example of randomness the occurrences and patterns of mutation within SARS-CoV-2 infection replication events continues speaking to us loudly that knowing not what we should do for the best yields far more potential for random successes (e.g. tamer variants) than human attempts to control nature via lockdowns, isolation or confinement. The resulting and consequential immune system failures which appear from unwise and unnecessary consensus activity should tell us something very important about freedom. Consensus constraining actions lead to greater dangers from common diseases and that tells us something rather important about the lack of quality of our leaders during the pandemic. Strong free thinking individual leaders know how to lead – a consensus will never know how to lead since they are all already following with no idea about what a leader looks like and who their leader really is.

    Religion at least gives us characters to look up to and believe in and stories containing much wisdom. Consensus appears to offer its followers short term protection from criticism but little else in the longer term especially in terms of success and has a rather nasty legacy to remind us how poor a way of living it is. We need to get the word freedom once again wholly active in all we do and protect it as if our lives depend upon it because in many senses of our language to be free really, really does matter especially in seeking out leaders who can lead with left, right and centre brains and make sense out of conflict and nonsense out of consensus.

    • Having introduced tortoises into the climate conversation , Judith should follow the Tao of Climatology upstream to its roots.

      The earliest physical evidence of climate modelers at work may be the turtle oracle bones used to forecast climate change by Shang Dynasty pyromancers.

      You can read all about in Needham’s Science and Civilization in China

      • Hydrodynamic code programming and parametrization were hared work in those days, as the Yellow Emperor had yet to invent the abacus.

      • On this specific point (something to end the year with)

        From: ‘Muddled Math and its Implications for early Chinese
        Manuscript Culture’ Daniel Patrick Morgan 2016.

        “The story of the system origin is clear. A five-planet conjunction at the beginning of a dynasty
        was considered an auspicious omen, and many dynasties purport to have begun with one: not only the
        Qín, for example, but also the Zhōu and Hàn. Huáng Yīnóng has shown that the fabrication of celestial
        omens was something of a cottage industry such that the majority of five-planet conjunction records in
        Chinese history were fabricated to glorify good emperors, while actual conjunctions during the reigns
        of bad emperors went unrecorded.4 The Wǔxīng zhān, however, is the first instance I know of in which
        the data of mathematical astronomy is grounded in propaganda to the detriment of its accuracy.”

        The only record I found where a measurement of a disturbance/change in earth’s tilt was inadvertently recorded was by the Chinese in year 173CE (and as of 2022 supported by clear proxies). Only to be ignored, in favour of Ptolemy’s, apparently a most untrustworthy other.

        “Oh Lord, protect us from ourselves”

        May the New Year be a change to the better.

    • UK-Weather Lass,
      I liked your comment. But to add to that somewhat I would like to refer you to a work by Iain McGilchrist.

      “Bohr’s greatest insight into the deep nature of the universe was that contraria sunt complementa: contraries fulfil one another. But it is also a timeless insight, to be found in one form or another in most ancient cultures of which I am aware. The most sophisticated of these, because of the detailed and refined exposition it has given rise to in China, is that of yin and yang, contrary forces that fulfil one another by their complementary nature (whose symbol, incidentally, Bohr placed at the centre of his coat of arms when ennobled by the Danish Government). And in that symbol the male and female principles are also implied.
      That the concepts may have become vulgarised is not a weakness in the concepts but, rather, in the cast of mind that does not measure up to them, much as a religion is not vitiated simply by the misguidedness of some of its followers. The idea of complementary opposites is, however, present at the beginning of the Western philosophical tradition, most notably in Heraclitus.
      And as Nietzsche says, ‘The world for ever needs the truth, hence the world for ever needs Heraclitus.’
      In one of his most penetrating observations, Heraclitus notes: They do not understand how a thing agrees at variance with itself: it is an attunement turning back on itself, like that of the bow and the lyre.
      It is the tension between the warring ends of the bow that gives the arrow the power to fly, as it is the tension in the strings of the lyre that gives rise to melody: this is what he meant by his saying ‘war is the father of all things’. What looks like a waste of effort – pulling in opposite directions – is the essence of generative vitality. The word translated here as attunement is harmoniē. Harmony is, after all, the reconciliation of things that contend with one another. According to Charles Kahn, Heraclitus’ most rewarding commentator, the word brings together three main ideas – the fitting together of surfaces that are ‘true’; the reconciling of warring parties; and the accord of musical strings. Whatever is, therefore, brings together elements that are made to fit, and in a manner that is fitting; draws peace out of conflict; and gives birth to beauty out of this reconciliation.” McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (pp. 1244-1245).

      And to close, I’ll add another excerpt from the same book. It details the different ways in which the two hemispheres attend to the world. Much of what McGilchrist asserts is backed up by both clinical work which enables certain parts of the brain to be temporarily disabled for the tests conducted and by damage to various parts of the brain and the study of the consequences in contrast with the persons personality and behavior before the trauma.
      But specific to the point I would make, and which McGilchrist makes repeatedly in the book, is the evidence that the left hemisphere attends to the world, which is largely dominated by a decidedly reified version, in a way that reinforces certainty. When that certainty is challenged, even by evidence that effectively argues to the contrary, the LH dominance will double down instead of open up and listen. I think any reader of Climate Etc. will be familiar with certain kinds of conversations that occur here and the intractability of some of the arguments. Anyway, one more from Iain:

      “The lust for precision comes from a need for certainty. However, knowledge not only does not imply certainty, but is actually incompatible with certainty. Certainty resides only in our concepts, not in the reality to which we apply them.” McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (p. 901).

    • The Journal of the Unification Church Seminary?

      Is this an homage to Fred Singer’s years as the Reverend Moon’s science editor?

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  23. Yin:


    The Feds have finally admitted that renewables are causing reliability problems! A step in the direction of sanity. If you replace reliable power with unreliable power the power becomes unreliable.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      “The Feds have finally admitted that renewables are causing reliability problems! A step in the direction of sanity” (Wojick)

      I wonder how many bureaucrats got fired for saying that?

  24. A common problem we often see when looking at challenges to understanding — sn issue related to both climate change and COVID-19 — is misunderstanding (sometimes deliberately so) as a result of confusing the observation of adverse effects with cause and effect.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance

      The common problem (for us, not for them) is that leftists will use any crisis, whether real (Covid) or fake (climate change) to scaremonger to create great fear. In an effort to ramp up government power over the private sector. This strategy has been extremely effective. The last stop in this journey of fundamental transformation is a US Marxist economy.

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  26. thecliffclavenoffinance

    My comments never show up here when I press the Post Comment button, and sometimes do not show up at all. So I do not have high hopes for this negative comment showing up and staying here.

    I read this long article simply because it is not proper to comment on an article without reading the whole thing. You never know what the conclusion will be.

    Ms. Curry lost my full attention after the line:
    “On the left, the climate change problem is framed as being caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere .. “,

    Ms, Curry has consistently opined that there is a climate problem and that CO2 reduction in necessary. She is not the usual Climate Howler, but is worse — a lukewarmer who should know better..

    There is no climate problem.

    The current climate is the best climate for humans, animals and especially plants, in the 5,000 years since the Holocene Climate Optimum ended. And the best climate (mainly because of the CO2 level) for C3 plants in millions of years. We should be CELEBRATING the current climate. Those who think the current climate is a problem, are fools.

    CO2 does not need to v be reduced.

    In fact, the optimum CO2 level for C3 plants is at least 750 ppm, based on over 3,000 plant – CO2 scientific studies. With the optimum CO2 level of at least 750 ppm (1,000 ppm would be even better), we can get optimum C3 plant growth with lower water requirements (about 90% of about 300,000 plant species are C3 photosynthesis plants). With optimum C3 plant growth, our planet can support the largest number of humans and animals. More t CO2 in the atmosphere would be GOOD news. Anyone who is anti-Co2 is also anti-life.

    My interpretation of Ms. Curry’s beliefs, that we have a climate problem, which is false, and that CO2 levels must be reduced, which is false, lead to ONLY one possible conclusion: Deleting Climate Etc. from my list of 50 web bookmarks, and spending my time reading articles by more intelligent authors.

    As a public service, I use three blogs to publicize links to the best articles I’ve read in three hours every morning of the year.
    Ms. Curry’s older article on how climate change is affecting children was brilliant, and had been recommended. This article is rejected as claptrap.

    • Stuart Ehrenerich

      IMHO, JC does not say we have “a climate problem”. I believe she is saying that collectively, the scientific community and the body politic do not know how to deal with climate change. The climate would always be changing…. It’s all a matter of how you deal with that change instead of trying to stop it from changing.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        I have read every Curry article in the past and recall she stated there is a need to reduce CO2 emissions in the last article, which I criticized. The only possible reason for that conclusion is that this planet has a climate problem. Which I believe she has also stated directly in other, prior articles. If any author believes there is a climate problem and wants to lower CO2 emissions to “fix” that problem, I move on to reading more intelligent authors, which I will do after today’s article. Ms. Curry seems like a very nice lady, but that does not determine whether or not I will read her articles. (I never claimed to be nice!)

    • Cliff, if you are not interested in discussing and debating the issue then this is indeed not the place for you. There are lots of skeptical blogs where everyone agrees there is no problem and that is where you should stay. This site features the full range of opinions, which is its strength.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        You are not very nice after I complemented your articles at Cfact,org and i won’t change my recommendation because of what you sais.

        But you are mistaken. Ms, Curry does not debate her belief that climate is a problem and that CO2 emissions must be reduced, That is assume, not defended. While people can debate those beliefs in the comments, the author is rigid in her beliefs and it shows in many articles. I have never seen those beliefs defended in the articles.

        If an author believes there is a climate problem, without ever stating exactly why … I’m not interested in false claims of a climate problem.

        The same author must believe humans can predict the future climate, because there is no climate problem now, so she must be predicting a climate problem. I’m not interested in almost always wrong climate predictions.

        And the same author will believe we (whoever we is) must do something about that CO2 climate problem, without ever stating exactly why … I’m not interested in false claims of a need to reduce CO2 emissions.

        So I’ve lost interest in this website.
        Some comments are good
        But most articles are not
        That’s my opinion
        Yours may differ.

      • I am unaware of any long-term data series of the various climate metrics (extreme heat, storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires, SLR, tornadoes & etc.) that show increases in the number, severity or intensity of adverse weather or other climatic variables. With the absence of such data, one cannot truthfully assert there is an ongoing climate concern (much less crisis) that needs immediate attention.

        Speculation about future climate responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations is just that; speculation. Massive natural energy fluxes so overwhelm the almost-immeasurable impacts of the radiative consequences of credible CO2 increases that one must scientifically assume that noise covers any possible energy changes long-term.

        Again, climate change is a political issue and will not be resolved by scientific study, no matter the framing. Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. Independent scientists have no gold in comparisons to politicized governments, NGOs and billionaire activists feeding into the media frenzy.

        The climate locusts will continue to eat through the Western world until economic reality sets in, hopefully sooner rather than later. At the age of 74, however, it is no longer my problem.

      • Dave Fair commented:
        I am unaware of any long-term data series of the various climate metrics (extreme heat, storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires, SLR, tornadoes & etc.) that show increases in the number, severity or intensity of adverse weather or other climatic variables.

        That’s a statement about you, not climate variables.

        Look in the 6AR.

        “Global warming already driving increases in rainfall extremes: Precipitation extremes are affecting even arid parts of the world, study shows,” Nature 3/7/16

        “Increased record-breaking precipitation events under global warming,” J Lehmann et al, Clim. Change 132, 501–515 (2015).

        Evidence for more extreme downpours:

        Papalexiou, S. M., & Montanari, A.(2019). Global and regional increase of precipitation extremes under global warming. Water Resources Research, 55,4901–4914.

        “Here we show that, worldwide, the number of local record-breaking monthly temperature extremes is now on average five times larger than expected in a climate with no long-term warming.”
        – Coumou, D., A. Robinson and S. Rahmstorf, 2013: Global increase in record-breaking monthly-mean temperatures. Climatic Change , doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0668-1.

        “Although projections under 21st century greenhouse warming indicate that it is likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged, concurrent with a likely increase in both global mean tropical cyclone maximum wind speed and rainfall rates, there is low confidence in region-specific projections of frequency and intensity. Still, based on high-resolution modelling studies, the frequency of the most intense storms, which are associated with particularly extensive physical effects, will more likely than not increase substantially in some basins under projected 21st century warming and there is medium confidence that tropical cyclone rainfall rates will increase in every affected region.”

        – IPCC 5AR WG1 Ch14 sec 14.6.3 p.1252

        “The most recent and most comprehensive analyses of river runoff do not support the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) conclusion that global runoff has increased during the 20th century. New results also indicate that the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts since the 1970s are no longer supported. {2.5.2, 2.6.2}.”

        – IPCC 5AR WG1 TFE.1 pg 44.

        “Frigid weather like the two-week cold spell that began around Christmas is 15 times rarer than it was a century ago, according to a team of international scientists who does real-time analyses to see if extreme weather events are natural or more likely to happen because of climate change.”

        “Extreme Precipitation Events are on the Rise,” Climate Central, 5/6/14.

        “The Atlantic and Pacific Ocean hurricane season is most powerful on record this year,” USA Today 10/23/18.

        “2018 sees record low for deadly tornadoes in US,” The Hill, 12/29/18

        “The Weather Channel noted that the lack of tornado-related deaths correlates to the lack of strong tornadoes in 2018.

        “Accurate and timely watches and warnings – including cellphone alerts – supported in part by improved radar technology play a major role in saving lives throughout the tornado season,” NOAA spokesman Chris Vaccaro told USA Today.”

        changes in warm extremes (US)
        from NCA (National Climate Assessment)
        section 6.1.2

        “Changes in warm extremes are more nuanced than changes in cold extremes. For instance, the warmest daily temperature of the year increased in some parts of the West over the past century (Figure 6.3), but there were decreases in almost all locations east of the Rocky Mountains. In fact, all eastern regions experienced a net decrease (Table 6.2), most notably the Midwest (about 2.2°F [1.2°C]) and the Southeast (roughly 1.5°F [0.8°C]). The decreases in the eastern half of Nation, particularly in the Great Plains, are mainly tied to the unprecedented summer heat of the 1930s Dust Bowl era, which was exacerbated by land-surface feedbacks driven by springtime precipitation deficits and land mismanagement. However, anthropogenic aerosol forcing may also have reduced summer temperatures in the Northeast and Southeast from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s, and agricultural intensification may have suppressed the hottest extremes in the Midwest. Since the mid-1960s, there has been only a very slight increase in the warmest daily temperature of the year (amidst large interannual variability). Heat waves (6-day periods with a maximum temperature above the 90th percentile for 1961–1990) increased in frequency until the mid-1930s, became considerably less common through the mid-1960s, and increased in frequency again thereafter (Figure 6.4). As with warm daily temperatures, heat wave magnitude reached a maximum in the 1930s. The frequency of intense heat waves (4-day, 1-in-5 year events) has generally increased since the 1960s in most regions except the Midwest and the Great Plains. Since the early 1980s (Figure 6.4), there is suggestive evidence of a slight increase in the intensity of heat waves nationwide as well as an increase in the concurrence of droughts and heat waves.”

        “Western Drought Has Lasted Longer Than the Dust Bowl,” Scientific American, 7/21/21.

        Regarding changes in extreme events:

        “Many climate extremes are projected to increase in frequency, intensity and duration over the course of the twenty-first century1,2,3. For instance, recent studies project a significant increase in extreme heat events over most continents even by the year 2035 4 and an increase in temperature-induced drought episodes over roughly half of the global land surface for the period 2071–2100 5. These projected changes in climate extremes are consistent with observed trends. In particular, heatwaves and heavy precipitation events have already increased over the past decades6,7,8,9. In addition, increasing occurrences of synchronous hot and dry extremes10, hotter droughts11,12 and a temperature-induced intensification of dry seasons13 were observed over the course of the last century. In this regard, rising temperatures have led to a substantial increase in the occurrence of compound warm season droughts over Europe during recent years14.”

        Citations here:

        “Increasing impact of warm droughts on northern ecosystem productivity over recent decades,” David Gampe et al, Nature Climate Change (2021).

        “Among its [IPCC AR6 WG1] key conclusions is that it is an “established fact” that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have “led to an increased frequency and/or intensity of some weather and climate extremes since pre-industrial times”.
        “Explainer: What the new IPCC report says about extreme weather and climate change,” CarbonBrief, 10.08.2021

        From the IPCC 6AR: Evapotranspiration

        AR5 assessed that there was medium confidence that pan evaporation declined in most regions over the last 50 years, yet medium confidence that evapotranspiration increased from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Since AR5, these conflicting observations have been attributed to internal variability and by the fact that evapotranspiration is less sensitive to trends in wind speed and is partly controlled by vegetation greening (Zhang et al., 2015a, 2016d; Zeng et al., 2018c). Observation-based estimates show a robust positive trend in global terrestrial evapotranspiration between the early 1980s and the early 2010s (Miralles et al., 2014b; Zeng et al., 2014, 2018c, Zhang et al., 2015a, 2016d). The rate of increase varies among datasets, with an ensemble mean terrestrial average rate of 7.6 ± 1.3 mm year-1 decade-1 for 1882–2011 (Zeng et al., 2018b). In addition, a decreasing trend in pan evaporation plateaued or reversed after the mid-1990s (Stephens et al., 2018a) has been reported as due to a shift from a dominant influence of wind speed to a dominant effect of water vapour pressure deficit, which has increased sharply since the 1990s (Yuan et al., 2019). The absence of a trend in evapotranspiration in the decade following 1998 was shown to be at least partly an episodic phenomenon associated with ENSO variability (Miralles et al., 2014b; Zhang et al., 2015a; Martens et al., 2018). Thus, there is medium confidence that the apparent pause in the increase in global evapotranspiration from 1998 to 2008 is mostly due to internal variability. In contrast to the AR5, there are now consistent trends in pan evaporation and evapotranspiration at the global scale, given the recent increase in both variables since the mid 1990s (medium confidence). Given the growing number of quantitative studies, there is high confidence that global terrestrial annual evapotranspiration has increased since the early 1980s.

      • Jesus, David. Even your citations prove my assertations. They essentially, among much rambling discourse, document the possibility of slight warming and wetting over time; a boon to the flora and fauna of the Earth.

        “Researchers” comb through worldwide-data to find regions that have changed in rainfall/drought, whichever the direction. Yet UN IPCC and U.S. assessment reports document that there are no statistically significant adverse worldwide trends in rainfall, runoff, floods, droughts & etc. Again, read your citations, all the while noting cherrypicked starting dates that should color any results.

        You present reports above speculating about the future climate as being fact/data. I encourage everybody to read what you have posted with a critical eye to differentiate fact from CliSciFi modelturbation. Picking apart tendentious governmental and NGO propaganda is fairly easy for the truly informed, but it takes alot of time.

        Climate science has moved beyond your propaganda churning, David. You are not now relevant to the discussion.

    • Michael Cunningham aka Faustino aka Genghis Cunn

      I think that a lot of people were surprised by Judith’s comment in her previous post that “Yes, we need to reduce CO2 emissions over the course of the 21st century.” I can’t recall a previous supporting argument for that from her. I also thought that, writing in 2022, a remark about a policy being implemented to end-century was bizarre, many things will have changed by then and warming might long have ceased to be an issue. The comment seemed to be superfluous. I write as one who has been in Judith’s camp since CE began. Being 6.10 pm in Oz, may I wish all a Happy New Year, although I fear that Australia will be heading downhill.

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  29. No matter what I do, no matter what WordPress ID I comment from, no matter what email address I use, I am unable to receive comments from this blog.

    I think Judith has made it impossible.

  30. Philip Mulholland

    You cannot think until you know, you cannot know until you think.

    • “You cannot think until you know, you cannot know until you experience”. Book: ‘Water Logic’ by Edward DeBono.

      De Bono says that the child continually asks ‘Why?’. There
      is a need within the child to connect the new concepts to what is already learned or entered and stored in the brain; concepts already residing in the brain and that therefore make the new concepts recognisable.

      It is why ‘research’ rarely leaves the beaten path of dogma.

  31. A healthy and Happy New Year to everyone!

  32. Michael Cunningham aka Faustino aka Genghis Cunn

    Net Zero Watch (GWPF) have carried this post.

  33. Everett F Sargent

    Curry fruitcakes are yummy! :D

    • EFS, you have a lot of nerve showing up here after your disgraceful disinformation campaign of hate during the pandemic. You were a tool and a fool who was wrong about virtually everything.

  34. I drew a metaphor from music, the relative, and the absolute, as Yoni and Wang. In real-time consciousness, mind and cognition is relative, and intuition is absolute. In memory, associative memory is relative, and photographic is absolute.
    It probably works as a cosmological metaphor too.

    In the climate system, I can see the ordering of the solar signal driving NAO/AO anomalies, but what could be considered as chaotic responses of the atmosphere/oceans, tends to mediate what the solar signal does:

    Weaker solar wind states => negative NAO/AO => meridional jet stream => a warmer AMO and brief tropical/Saharan plumes into mid and higher latitude land regions.

    The atmosphere keeps the torrid zones daytime cooler, and the oceans and clouds keep the night time warmer, seems pretty well balanced wherever you look really.

    As for the framing, I would suggest that “controlling the climate” is actually the Yang chatting nonsense to the Yin and confounding it to the extent that it can only chat back more nonsense. Like in a bad case of runaway paranoia. Tipping points of delusion.

    • In case the first paragraph is confusing, Yin is the absolute and Yang is the relative.

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  36. I personally believe that many of the pandemic mistakes, (and to be clear, virtually everything we were told was wrong or biased and based on panic and fear), were due to the regime of censorship and cancellation we entered sometime around 2016.

    Elite institutions are seeing their monopoly on defining truth being destroyed. Just as the printing press destroyed the Church’s monopoly on truth leading to the Reformation and a hundred years of conflict, the internet is destroying the monopoly of the corrupt media, our Federal intelligence and law enforcement, and academia used to have on truth.

    These elites are desperate and that explains the rise of viscous personal attacks, attempts to destroy dissenters careers, and often threats of physical violence. It explains the manipulation of lies to affect the outcome of elections by media, federal agencies, and big tech. In some cases, actual violence happens, such as the assaults in 2016 on people walking to Trump rallies. And the 2020 BLM riots were quite dangerous because law enforcement became pretty ineffective. The mob threatened people after the RNC finale at the White House. This is actual political violence and it is tolerated and encouraged by some.

    I also have good news. 25 states are now Constitutional carry states. If you are legally able to purchase a firearm, you can carry it to defend yourself and your family. By all means, arm yourself and train, train and train again until you are good enough to take on any bad guys who might show up.

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  39. @curryja

    Dr Curry, that was an extremely interesting post.

    I have quite some experience and knowledge with Tai Chi/I Ching in my research for my martial art Goju Karate (Go = hard Ju = soft). This duality is a feature of most Eastern Martial arts. I am practitioner of some 18 years.

    Some points you may find interesting in your Tai Chi study:

    – The I Ching mode of duality was the inspiration for binary language invented by Gottfried Leibniz that underpins modern computing.

    – I Ching (book of changes) has 2 aspects; yin/yang and whusing (5 elements). There are 2 primary systems for I Ching; 3 trigrams and 6 trigrams. The trigram system most commonly associated with martial arts.

    Get this….

    – The 8 trigrams (also found on South Korean flag) have the numbers 1 to 8. 1 = heaven, 8 = earth…the first thing you do in Tai Chi. The numbers are arranged so that their opposites add up to 9, also known as the “heavenly number”. So 5 = fire and 4 = water, 3 + 6, 7 + 2.

    – Each of these are factors of 108. 1 + 0 (tai chi = grand ultimate) + 8 = ALSO = 9. So 6×18 = 108, 2×18 = 36 and so on and so forth.

    – These numbers appear EVERYWHERE throughout eastern culture. 18 Lohans, 36 is the Chinese equivalent of “dozen”, so it is used as an informal approximation, a specific number and to indicate something auspicious. 108 is the number of sufferings buddhists cast off to achieve enlightenment. Some temples have 108 steps. In the new year the bells are tolled 108 times. Your own “long form” is called “108 postures”. In GoJu, the final kata (form) is also called Suparenpei which means “108 steps/postures”. Other katas in our style are Sepai (18) Sanseruyu (36) and Seisan (13 = 8 (trigrams) + 5 (whusing = dynamics).

    There is a book called “Study and Uses of the I Ching in Tokugawa Japan”. In it the influence of the I Ching is documented very thoroughly including attempts to use it to explain Western technology.

    Before that I recommend the Brennan Translations and the “Tai Chi Fashou” Yang Banhou. It’s very short and was written in 1840 or so. Absolutely and utterly fascinating:

  40. I’m new to Dr Curry’s work, have to say that I’m impressed by the honesty and integrity of her! Saying no to politically motivated science requires true confidence in the profession as well as courage.

    It’s sad to see science is being pushed around by politics in the western world too. In China, we have the dangerously humongous Three Gorgeous Dam that were politically motivated, many scientists were forced to approve it, and many of them did. The one who stood up and disagreed was tragically punished.

    As someone who understands Chinese medicine, discerning yin and Yang is the most important step in diagnose. I found that Yin, Yang and many other Chinese cultural norms have been interpreted philosophically in the west, that they lost their original meaning, that is the most practical and useful.

    In the original script of Chinese Medicine, [Huang Di Nei Jing], It says [Yang is the qi in the sky, governs the outer layer (of the earth), Yin is the qi under the ground, governs the inner layer (of the earth)]. It also says [the qi under the ground goes upwards become clouds, the qi in the sky goes downwards become rain.]

    I found Herman A Pope’s comments about [Water, in all of its states, is much more abundant than the gas state of CO2 and water changes state in the temperature ranges that matter more to our Earthly Climate] is closest to the Yin and Yang I understood.

  41. Jerome Ravetz

    Welcome! I have been a ‘closet Taoist’ for a very long time, and your discussion inspires me to have a go! I will be so happy to see your book. I am gradually shaping ideas on what it is all about. Will share asap.

  42. Eamonn Wallace

    back again for a quick note:

    Reacting to your comment on Tai Chi and having studied it on and off for many years I thought these videos might interest you:

    Peking 24 form

    8 brocades qigong

    I also OCR’d (maybe a few errors) John Blofeld’s intro to Taoism, when I first read it at 16 I was blown away, I hope people find it as interesting as I did as a teenager, the last half of the piece concentrates on the I Ching and divination (take or leave this part)

    Stay well…

  43. Dr. Judith Curry: “Normal science is conducted by elite scientists”.

    Reading that phrase made me think that, when you proof-read this, you thought “there aren’t enough words that trigger confirmation bias in here.”

    Maybe that’s unfair. you used to do “normal science”, right? So I guess you used to be an “elite scientist”, but now you’re not.

    Still, it must be tempting to occasionally be a little less ethical if only to tap into that bottomless well of taxpayer funding. All that money that’s making those elite scientists so much money.

    But it must be worth it for the good night’s sleep you get from being entirely free of bias, now that you work for a completely transparent private company (the Climate Forecast Application Network).

    Too bad that you few brave non-elite scientists don’t get the recognition and money that you deserve.

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