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  1. Here’s Scott Denning at the 4th ICCC.

    Comment by Arne — 19 Dec 2011 @ 10:53 AM

  2. Book: “FOOL ME TWICE; Fighting the Assault on Science in America” by Shawn Lawrence Otto; Rodale Books

    page 198 “Between 1999 and 2010, the energy industry spent more than $2 billion fighting climate change legislation, more than $500 million of it from January 2009 to June 2010…”

    “There isn’t much chance of a mainstream scientist attending a meeting organized by a political think tank known for its anti-science activism, so opportunities for interaction between the groups are rare.”
    Are you really sure you wanted interactions like that?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:12 AM

  3. I like to call them “skeptomanics” (…alternatively “skeptomaniacs” should I bump into some true crackpots). The defining strain to me seems a manical urge to question anything and everything – save their own stuff. It’s about the very act of denying – not necessarily the outcome. Thus that broad range of assertions…

    Comment by Random — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:14 AM

  4. The problem I face is designing educational programs to reach grade 5-12 students in the area of climate change. Deniers, er contrarians, have such a loud voice that they have reached many of the kids’ parents who I deal with routinely, who get enraged that I might dare teach their children about such a hoax as climate change. It is my standard operating procedure to present data as much as possible, let students examine the data and reach their own conclusions.

    Clearly, I cannot go into the sort of detail in data analysis routinely included in the research, but enough that students can get a grasp of what the science says. However, any time I begin delving into climate change as a subject, I have to deal with an irate parent, who has been made aware of the skeptical sides of the arguments.

    Individuals like Judith Curry and her statements presented here only make the hill a steeper one to climb. I welcome any suggestions on how best to approach educating our youth to climate change while keeping upset parents at bay. I strongly believe that teaching our young minds about climate change as they prepare to head off to college is vital, but it is not an easy task.

    Comment by Steve E — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:24 AM

  5. Slightly ironic Dr. Muller talks about being misquoted when there’s a nice video presentation of him misquoting hacked emails.

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:33 AM

  6. Besides denialists, were their any voices at this conference who thought that things may be much worse than the general scientific consensus seems to be right now? People like David Wasdell, Fatih Birol, or John Nissen (who, for all their faults, are at least as worthy of a hearing as the likes of Monkton)?

    If not, was there any concern that this conference would perpetuate the perception that the ‘climate debate’ ranges from the two ‘extremes’ of IPCC on one end and denialists (in their various flavors) on the other, even though the actual scientific debate at this point really does not even overlap with this spectrum?

    Comment by wili — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:36 AM

  7. Mark,

    You have highlighted the main problem of persuading the “skeptics”, both scientists and the general public, of the dangers of abrupt climate change. They are completely convinced that they are right. No amount of logical arguments from us is going to convince them that they are wrong. And their distrust of our arguments is only reinforced by our failure to accept theirs.

    We really have to find another way of getting our ideas across to the general public that does not involve dry logic. For instance, every time there is an extreme event scientists should argue that it could have been caused by global warming, not emphasise their uncertainty by saying that there is no proof.

    [Response: Scientists should present their best estimates of likelihoods, nothing more or less.–Jim]

    Secondly, the IPCC report should include a worst case scenario. That is what we have to protect ourselves against. When we take out fire insurance on our homes, it is a totally destructive fire that we insure against, even though a minor fire or none at all is more likely.

    A house fire and an abrupt climate are both non linear events. We don’t say that a house fire is a 1:100,000 event so we will only insure our house for 1/100,000th of its value. In the same way, if sea level can rise over the next 50 years by between 10 cm and 2m, it is the 2m that we should be emphasizing. That is where the danger lies.

    [Response: That’s risk assessment, not science.–Jim]

    But just as the sceptics are divided so too are we believers. My arguments will be dismissed as unscientific by my fellows. So I hold out little hope for mankind. We value our personal freedom too highly for us to act together to tackle this major threat to our existence.

    Comment by Alastair — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:40 AM

  8. I learned a new term the other day, belief perseverance.

    There is a danger in assuming that because we can label something we can understand it, but maybe identifying it is a start.

    Comment by Chris G — 19 Dec 2011 @ 12:02 PM

  9. A nice summary. But I’m unclear as to the purpose of this meeting? There is no real scientific discord on these questions (warming, attribution, risk) — as gauged by the literature. Further, the denier-side participants have shown no real inclination toward intellectually honesty. It’s simply not a scientific interaction when one side refuses to acknowledge objective scientific results.

    Re: 4… Steve… My suggestion is to teach the kids about the enterprise of science, along with the science of climate. A strategy of “show the kids the science and let them decide” is simply not valid, if what you show them is the results of measurements. They’re not capable of evaluating the science on its merits. Of course you can make it plausible, and that’s good. But the real reason they (and their parents) should take it seriously is not because they’ve “evaluated the science.” Rather, it’s because a large, well-trained, sincere and competent collection of climate scientists, working within a framework that has been hugely successful, is telling them to take this seriously. Your students (and their parents) need to understand how to better assess the level of credibility to ascribe to a scientific result, based on the notions of scientific consensus and how such consensus is arrived at.

    Comment by robert — 19 Dec 2011 @ 12:26 PM

  10. It’s been so surprising how Judith Curry misses the appropriate scientific context of paleoclimate hindcasts. It’s not like she can’t check Michael Mann et al’s methods herself and see if anything makes a difference. There’s been a colorful collection of paleoclimate results at different time scales, using different data, covering different parts of the globe, with a variety of statistical methods. There are even group[s] of statisticians that focus on this issue (a complaint by Nature IIRC), along with amateurs that have access to both the data and methods. I mean it’s not like people use a completely different methodology to tease out Ice Ages. Or how about people who tease out past fish population sizes using otolith data? Are they affected by the purported lack of uncertainty of a 10+ yr old paper? I’m sure a bunch of graduate students are hard at work trying to answer a plethora of questions both big and small thanks to the explosion in interest.

    If you’re working inside the field, it should be hard to get worked up by such trivial matters like the emails. It’s like she tries to assess global geopolitics by watching Entertainment Tonight.

    Comment by apeescape — 19 Dec 2011 @ 12:37 PM

  11. It looks suspiciously like the “play nice” rule set only applies to those who accept the mainstream view. Contrarian publicity hounds? They can say whatever they like.

    Comment by Sebastian — 19 Dec 2011 @ 12:38 PM

  12. How does a Kuhn-reading English major quantify uncertainty?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. :-)

    Comment by CM — 19 Dec 2011 @ 12:49 PM

  13. “…and others have found a niche that gets them attention they would not otherwise get.” —Let me guess, Curry?

    Comment by Chess GM — 19 Dec 2011 @ 12:57 PM

  14. Here’s Deming at WUWT today. The title of the post is accurate, but not for the reasons given by the author, but then who would be surprised by that…

    BTW, it concerns forest ecology, so Jim might be interested.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 19 Dec 2011 @ 1:09 PM

  15. I am perplexed that Viscount Monckton should abandon the honorable calling of a London haberdasher to indulge in idle scientific disputation in New Mexico.

    The wholly uncontroversial Monckton shirts I purchased from his King’s Road 1996 evidence his natural talent for haberdashery , and were he to return to his metier he might employ his connections in the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors, to rise to Alderman, and thence continue his progress either towards a fourth rejection by the House of Lords or universal approbation as a cricket umpire.

    Comment by Russell — 19 Dec 2011 @ 1:23 PM

  16. I attended the entire conference and gave a review of solar forcing estimates on the last day. (I spent a lot of time pointing out problems with points some of the speakers made). The above review, while it accurately describes what was wrong with the conference, fails to highlight some very interesting papers that may have a significant bearing on attribution of climate change. One paper for example announced new observations that show significant dust recently injected into the stratosphere which would have caused a tropospheric cooling of ~.07°C after 2005. There were several interesting papers looking at the historic come-and-go of both the Atlantic Oceans ~20 and ~60 year cycles (their paleo-presence was not constant). There were also several papers discussing the latest modeling results from CESM’s simulations using the new CAM5 atmospheric and new seaice modules, all pointing to significant improvements.
    One of the main threads of agreement among those who question the amount of human-caused warming is that, while they agree on the small amount of warming due to AGHGs alone, they disagree on the large effect of positive feedbacks. Instead they claim that the 60 yr AMO seems to have added significantly to warming in the 90s and lack thereof in the past decade. This, in short is perhaps the last bastion of the critics. Currently they agree with most aspects of climate change and only disagree on the amount of positive feedback which they replace with ocean multi-decadal warming and cooling. From some of the papers given it seems at least possible that they are qualitatively correct, that AMO etc. have contributed to climate change enough to slightly reduce currently accepted climate sensitivity to AGHGs. This area needs more careful study and in pointing it out, the conference may have made a contribution to science.

    Perhaps the most lamentable aspect of the conference was the absence of top climate scientists who could easily have, through questioning of the speakers, shown the errors they had made. For example, Richard Lindzen’s paper has already been adequately refuted by Dessler (2010) where he showed that Richard had correctly described a phenomenon but had incorrectly attributed its effects. Someone more familiar with these papers could have easily pointed out Richard’s errors.

    One advantage of the conference is that it brought together both “sides” where they could informally and pleasantly discuss their differences. Too often these two groups meet only in formal confrontational venues not conducive to productive interactions.

    Were there to be a follow-on conference, I strongly recommend that a concerted attempt be made to bring in more of the “main stream” climate scientists to give it a more salutary balance.

    Comment by Chick Keller — 19 Dec 2011 @ 1:52 PM

  17. Re inline on #7
    Risk Assessment is a science that over laps with Climate Science. In human health risk assessment, there are educational standards for the people that sign the reports, standards for the data quality, and even standards for the people that review the data. Climate science is now an important input into Environmental Risk Assessments and Environmental Impact Reports, which are risk assessment documents signed by registered and bonded professionals.

    The IPCC has consistently understated risk, which has shaped the perceptions of the climate science community, research funding, policy makers, and the public. In 2007, climate science GCM (published as AR4) under-estimated the risk of Arctic sea ice retreat with all of its feedback loops. Today, climate science models under estimate the risks of carbon feedback and ice sheet dynamics.

    Climate scientists do not like to think of risk assessment as a science because their training causes them to understate the various risks.

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 19 Dec 2011 @ 2:15 PM

  18. Steve E (#4),
    FWIW, I’m thinking that there were probably many an irate parent when evolution was introduced to the school system as well. If you are teaching science, it is your right (and possibly obligation) to teach the best understanding science has to offer. Unlike evolution, climate change will affect your students in their lifetime.

    Comment by Chris G — 19 Dec 2011 @ 3:13 PM

  19. Thank you Mark for providing this writeup; it’s very helpful, to my understanding at least.

    +1 wili #6 (“was there any concern that this conference would perpetuate the perception that the ‘climate debate’ ranges from the two ‘extremes’ of IPCC on one end and denialists (in their various flavors) on the other, even though the actual scientific debate at this point really does not even overlap with this spectrum?”) – See Tobis distribution,

    re Edward #2’s “Are you really sure you wanted interactions [with contrarians] like that?” – again, IMO it’s extremely helpful to better understand where the contrarians are coming from, and I am inordinately grateful to Mark for attending, interacting & reporting.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 19 Dec 2011 @ 3:15 PM

  20. re: 4
    Actually, Heartland has run a pervasive campaign to reach school boards and parents. They’ve sent 14,000 copies of Jo Nova’s “The Skeptics handbook” to school board presidents.
    They augmented their circulation by adding the 30K+ signers of the OISM petition.

    They’ve regularly run ads entitled:
    Is Your Child Being Educated or Indoctrinated?
    With pictures of a child or of Al Gore.

    You might contact folks @ NCSE.
    While their primary mission has been helping fend off creationism, teachers have turned to them for help on dealing with equivalent attacks on climate science. They’ve recently added Mark McCaffrey to help this specific topic, but others have gotten up to speed as well. Anyway, the NCSE folks are great, they are long accustomed to helping fight such battles, they have an unmatched channel to numerous science teachers.

    Back to the conference: I thought about attending this for fun, but life is short.
    On the other hand, it would be interesting to know how much US funding went into this, and which speakers got travel grants.

    Comment by John Mashey — 19 Dec 2011 @ 3:17 PM

  21. Cynical? Perhaps there are three points to their cynicism.

    Foremost, their reading into opposing science and the Climategate emails/code have caused them to believe that the science is note settled (science never really is, so they may resent being told so).

    Second, through the Climategate emails, they believe what science can be corrupted. From my book on propaganda analysis (“Shooting The Bull”) a quote from Robert Higgs, who has been a peer reviewer for over thirty professional journals, and a research proposal reviewer for the National Science Foun¬dation, the National Institutes of Health and a number of private foundations. “Peer review, on which lay people place great weight, varies from being an important control, where the editors and the referees are competent and responsible, to being a complete farce.”

    Finally, perhaps the cynics have merely been reading everything cynical ever said about science:

    Comment by Guy Smith — 19 Dec 2011 @ 5:04 PM

  22. I’m curious about the difference, if any, in how contrarians respond to each others’ talks, between this conference and a Heartland Institute conference.

    Mark observed in this conference that “there is no common scientific understanding amongst contrarians. Many of them are just as critical of one another’s ideas as they are of conventional science. William Gray stood up after many of the presentations on solar influence to declare…”

    So my Q is, at a Heartland conference post-talk Q&A, do the contrarians shoot down each others’ talks? (do the H. conference talks have Q&As?)

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 19 Dec 2011 @ 5:43 PM

  23. 19 Anna Haynes: Where the contrarians are coming from is explained by the money spent by the fossil fuel industry and by the $ 1 TRillion cash-flow of the fossil fuel industry in the US alone. You are not dealing with people who have any intention whatever of telling the truth and in some cases, there may be psychiatric problems. In Judith Curry’s case, you are dealing with a geographer. Yes, I know that any PhD is supposed to be able to pick up any other field in one year without help, but I don’t believe it if the motive is otherwise and it may not apply in all cases.

    4. Steve E: Teach your students to think like a scientist and let them do the required experiments. Plant seeds so that they can come to realizations after they turn 18.
    Nature isn’t just the final authority on truth, Nature is the Only authority. There are zero human authorities. Scientists do not vote on what is the truth. There is only one vote and Nature owns it. We find out what Nature’s vote is by doing Scientific [public and replicable] experiments. Scientific [public and replicable] experiments are the only source of truth. [To be public, it has to be visible to other people in the room. What goes on inside one person’s head isn’t public unless it can be seen on an X-ray or with another instrument.]
    Science is a simple faith in Scientific experiments and a simple absolute lack of faith in everything else.
    “Science and Immortality” by Charles B. Paul, 1980, University of California Press.

    “Revolutionary Wealth” by Alvin & Heidi Toffler, 2006 Chapter 19, FILTERING TRUTH, page 123 lists six commonly used filters people use to find the “truth”. They are:
    1. Consensus
    2. Consistency
    3. Authority
    4. Mystical revelation or religion
    5. Durability
    6. Science

    The Tofflers say: “Science is different from all the other truth-test criteria. It is the only one that itself depends on rigorous testing.” They go on to say: “In the time of Galileo . . . the most effective method of discovery was itself discovered.” [Namely Science.] The Tofflers also say that: “The invention of scientific method was the gift to humanity of a new truth filter or test, a powerful meta-tool for probing the unknown and—it turned out—for spurring technological change and economic progress.” All of the difference in the way we live now compared to the way people lived and died 500 years ago is due to Science. The other truth filters have contributed misery, confusion, war, fanaticism, persecution, terrorism, inquisitions, suicide bombings, false imprisonments, obesity, diabetes and other atrocities.

    Tyndall’s experiment [in the year 1859] can be repeated by students or demonstrated easily with modern equipment and bottled gasses. Dry ice from a grocery store can be used as a source of CO2. There are videos of demonstrations on the web and RealClimate has about 52 results if you search for Tyndall.
    See the video at:
    Start 20 minutes in.
    See also:

    Perhaps somebody else has the URL that I forgot or lost.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Dec 2011 @ 5:45 PM

  24. > the same material we presented at last year’s GSA meeting

    Is there a link to a page showing the original and the altered graphic?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Dec 2011 @ 5:50 PM

  25. I am not a climate scientist though I have a scientific background. It seems to me that a better approach is possible by starting from scratch. Where does a skeptic become skeptical?
    1.CO2 as greenhouse gas.
    1)Do they accept CO2 as absorbing and reradiating infra red radiation?
    2)Do they believe that it reradiates heat in all directions thus returning some heat that would have escaped to space back to earth?
    3)Do they accept that, all things being equal, this would cause more heat to be retained?
    4)Do they have some mitigating factor that might cancel this process.
    1.Only a change is clouds should matter.
    1.Are there more clouds?
    2.If so is the increase caused by global warming?
    3.Would this mitigate warming?
    4.Is this the basis of skepticism?
    2.Anything else?
    2. Mechanism for interglacial oscillation. Ice ages oscillate between warmer and cooler periods. What is the mechanism?
    1) Gilbert Plass argues for CO2 concentrations as mechanism.
    2)Plass refutes other possible explanations— problem is length of cooling and warming periods and regular oscillation. No other available mechanism.
    3)Doe skeptic agree with Plass? If so then CO2 can cause drastic climate change.
    4)If not, why not.
    5)If so why will now be different from then?
    3. Possible explanation for temporary leveling off of warming.
    1.Heat going into something other than temperature change. (Melting of ice, evaporation, chemical activity.)
    2.Temporary increase of particulate matter in atmosphere.
    1.Will not change overall trend.
    4.Where can CO2 go?
    1.Not photosynthesis.
    2.Not ocean. (See Plass)

    This is the basis of my own conviction about climate change. Large amounts of ice melting should mitigate temperatures, but since more heat is trapped every year, ice will continue to melt until temperatures rise. One might better argue with skeptics if one can pinpoint the source of their skepticism. Those completely innocent of reason must be abandoned.

    Comment by Michael Doliner — 19 Dec 2011 @ 5:57 PM

  26. I think that you’re being much too charitable when you fail to note that some of them are in it for the money. That would be the case even if they were otherwise “sincere,” “angry at their lack of funding,” “envious of the IPCC scientists’ success,” had “found a niche that gets them attention they would not otherwise get,” or “motivated by politics.”

    Fred Singer, for instance, has a long history of taking money from industry groups in exchange for producing “made as instructed” polemics. See here:

    The fact that he is “sincere” is really of no moment. After all, a whore is a whore even if he or she enjoys the work.

    Comment by Stuart Levine — 19 Dec 2011 @ 6:02 PM

  27. Relevant (re motives, not positions), Mashey’s 2008 Taxonomy of the Reasons For Anti-Science

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 19 Dec 2011 @ 6:06 PM

  28. …ok, sometimes for positions…

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 19 Dec 2011 @ 6:07 PM

  29. I am all in favour of tolerating dissidents and of discussions between people of opposing viewpoints provided they all agree to obey the same rules.
    Staying away from personal attacks is quite another matter. It may make for a pleasanter and more comfortable atmosphere but it should not go so far as appeasing individuals who depart from those rules, by creating or manipulating their colleagues evidence.

    The use of fabricated data,removal of uncertainty bands * when they are highly relevant, and doctored graphs , as mentioned above, is utterly unacceptable and should be exposed whenever it occurs. Other scientists and many of the public are quite unaware how common this practice is amongst people trying to rubbish all or parts of the science of climatology.
    * I can see these bands in the graphic to which you have linked above. So the man should be saying “What Hiding?” and the words “Monster Hiding” should be “Cartoon showing how “Uncertainty Monster no longer large enough to conceal Monster Blade”

    Comment by deconvoluter — 19 Dec 2011 @ 6:20 PM

  30. Re: Chick #16

    Thanks for filling in some of the gaps in my summary. Of course, I wasn’t attempting to be comprehensive or to summarize the science. I just wanted to give a flavor of the conference and what I learned about the various doubters.

    The one point you made where I think we disagree is your description of a discussion as being between “both sides” or “two groups”. I came away from Santa Fe feeling that the only thing that all the critics have in common is their willingness to cling to the cynical belief that “climategate” was a scandal that suggested the existence of a vast conspiracy. In terms of the science, they mostly seem to have different ways of trying to jigger the data to argue that mainstream scientists have overstated climate sensitivity.

    Many of their presentations contradicted one another. Those who argue against mainstream science sometimes make strange bedfellows and overlook their own differences, which can be greater than their differences with the mainstream.

    I agree with your assessment that (with the exception of Judith Curry’s ad hominem banquet presentation) the conference was pleasant and non-confrontational. The organizers deserve much of the credit for that, even if the rules were not consistently applied.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 19 Dec 2011 @ 6:23 PM

  31. Mark, a suggestion — try a Google image search for the chart with the faked data, and a search for the original image and one for your comparison. I often (almost always) find that searching on any climate related question, results vary: Scholar pretty good, Google quite mixed, and Google image search really bad for results weighed hugely toward denial/PR sites.

    They’re really big on pictures as you mentioned. Seeing the actual correction as a page with pictures would really help.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Dec 2011 @ 7:08 PM

  32. Regarding comments by Jim on #7, surely there’s a role for science in guiding policy and even bounding possible losses, per Also, given that the biggest factor in future projections of warming is the size of the anthropogenic contribution of GHGs over time, it’s necessary to entangle science with “non-science subjects”, such as economics.

    Thus, I don’t know whether or not such a break can be made cleanly. It may be wise to keep clear of these entanglements in an audience such as was described. But, eventually, these questions will need to be engaged.

    [Response: My point was not that science is irrelevant to policy making, but rather that scientists shouldn’t exaggerate what they actually know, which the guy was claiming we should. It never ceases to amaze me how many people think that scientists should say whatever it is they want to hear. Not going to happen.–Jim]

    Comment by Jan Galkowski — 19 Dec 2011 @ 7:15 PM

  33. [Response: Scientists should present their best estimates of likelihoods, nothing more or less.–Jim]

    That assertion is an excellent example of the error that I am warning about. It is a value judgement uttered with the same conviction that skeptics employ. Of course scientists should be precise when conversing with other scientists, but when they are warning the genral public of the dangers of global warming then they should use the approriate language for that audience.

    The audience for IPCC documents is not other scientist. These documents are intended to warn the public of the dangers of climate change. Up until now, they have failed to achieve that. Carbon dioxide levels are not only continuing to rise but are in fact accelerating.

    Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Do you really believe that a fifth IPCC report written in precise scientific language will succeed where the other four have failed?

    But the IPCC authors won’t make any changes. Like you, and the skeptics, they are sure they are right. That is the Tragedy of Convictions.

    It means that we will continue marching towards the precipice because no-one has the guts to admit that we have chosen the wrong turning :-(

    [Response: Don’t be an idiot OK? So the “appropriate language” is exaggeration in order to scare people? And who exactly do you think the IPCC reports are for if not other scientists? None of them have “failed” in any way. In fact they have gotten better with time, and I’m quite confident that the 5th one will continue that.–Jim]

    Comment by Alastair — 19 Dec 2011 @ 7:15 PM

  34. Alastair, you are asking scientists to depart from scientific method and rigor when that is the only advantage we have over the denialists.

    The issue is not that scientists have not issued dire warnings–indeed, they have issued dire warnings based on solid research. Rather, the issue is that human beings suck at risk assessment and tend toward self-delusion.

    Let the scientists do science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Dec 2011 @ 8:49 PM

  35. I’d also like to know if the contrarians contradict each other at the Heartland conferences as described at Santa Fe. In public they rarely do. Mark has described a raft of motivations, but their actions (or lack) in the public arena suggest a common purpose where the promotion of doubt is more important than the quest for understanding. They are unified by political goals.

    Comment by barry — 19 Dec 2011 @ 9:12 PM

  36. Re: John M. #20:

    For the record, I did not receive a travel grant from the conference. I did make a request, but apparently there were insufficient funds.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 19 Dec 2011 @ 9:15 PM

  37. Re: Hank #24

    > Is there a link to a page showing the original and the altered graphic?

    Original figure

    Altered figure

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 19 Dec 2011 @ 9:50 PM

  38. Mark, is there text to go with those two pictures? They need something — links, caption, pointer, quote — enough for someone to find the source of the numbers charted in the picture. For the one from a publication a cite, or a link? It’d help if you edit the actual image with a bit of text so whoever finds it with an image search knows what they’re getting.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Dec 2011 @ 10:10 PM

  39. From your description of the behavior of people at this conference, and what I have seen of “skeptics” and “deniers” in various forums, I would suggest that there is a unifying characteristic: personality disorder, in particular Cluster B type behaviors.

    Any psychologists out there game enough to tackle this in a proper study ???

    Comment by Dr Mat — 19 Dec 2011 @ 10:16 PM

  40. Ah, and the link for the second one goes right to OISM, can’t be clearer than that! At least for anyone who’s looked up OISM and knows what to expect.
    Thanks, enough info after all, once I dug a bit more.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Dec 2011 @ 10:20 PM

  41. Dr Mat, you might be interested in the (free, downloadable, and short) “Debunking Handbook.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:24 PM

  42. To be fair regarding risk as a science: There is indeed a science of judgment and decision making, which includes normative (ideal) decision making and behavioral (what people really do) decision making. Daniel Khaneman has a popular new book on the topic, adding to his list. But yes, the practice of actually making particular decisions is what you might call engineering by applying technologies of decision making (e.g., multi-attribute decision making). When substantial amounts of subjective judgments are required inputs to those decisions, risk assessment does indeed become more like a craft…. But when substantial amounts of subjective judgments are required for the practice of science, science also becomes more like a craft.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:34 PM

  43. Mark Boslough, Petr Chylek and Scott Denning: you are giving accreditation to Christopher Monckton, Judith Curry and Fred Singer. You are thus helping the fossil fuel industry prevent action on GW. Don’t give any more conferences like that.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Dec 2011 @ 11:35 PM

  44. Re: deconvoluter #29

    The uncertainty bands were reproduced in the graphic, but they weren’t visible in the projected version (see Uncertainty hiding). This was clearly unintentional. But the bands were intentionally removed from version shown in the NIPCC report.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 20 Dec 2011 @ 12:11 AM

  45. Ray,

    You wrote “Let the scientists do science.” They do that by writing in peer reviewed journals. The IPCC reports are not used to do science. They are about informing the public of the dangers of global warming. One of the first rules of good writing is to identify your audience.

    I am not calling for climatologists to be alarmists. I am asking that they report the real dangers. For instance, and meteorologists reported what could happen if Hurricane Irene hit New York, and an evacuation was ordered. It proved unnecessary but it is generally agreed that it was a sensible precaution. Why should climatology be different? The real dangers we face should be highlighted so that the proper precautions can be taken.

    Jim, what is idiotic about that? Just because you are a “scientist” that does not mean that you cannot get things wrong. Calling people idiots is unscientific. It is time you, and your fellow climatologist, were a bit more open to fresh thinking, and be prepared to be more self critical.

    Cheers, Alastair.

    Comment by Alastair — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:29 AM

  46. The comment about Singer’s NIPCC Report using a faked graph caused me to check for myself.
    Sure enough the graph on the 2008 NIPCC report, not the version available now has been faked. The original 2008 NIPCC report is available from here:

    On page 3 the graph is from Keigwin 1996, but it’s not in the original form. The Axes have been faked and the line itself has been horizontally flipped.

    I have overlaid a mirror-image reversed version of the NIPPC version on Keigwin’s 1996 original here:

    Comment by Amoeba — 20 Dec 2011 @ 4:31 AM

  47. I looked at Dr. Curry’s presentation. The bands are not visible at all. It is Dr. Curry’s responsibility to ensure that her slides are properly formatted, especially considering the argument she makes. She is being deceptive with her arguments.

    Comment by Michael Sweet — 20 Dec 2011 @ 5:29 AM

  48. Erm, Jim

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to *provide the world* with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.”
    (Emphasis added)

    I wouldn’t say that the IPCC reports are just for other scientists. I would have thuoght from the context of the IPCC’s founding the target audience is policy makers (who may be expected to have some degree of technical knoweldge) within governments rather than scientists, giving them an assessment of the idea of the risks and consequences of climate change.

    Personally I find them readable, but then I’m a scientist, albeit in a different field. It would be useful, I think, for a more accessible addition to each assessment report: government policy makers get their synthesis (whether they chose to listen to it or not is irrelevant), but that doesn’t always get communicated clearly to electorates. Though no doubt that would cause all sorts of people to start jumping up and down about evil climate propoganda and UN agencies bypassing governments.

    Comment by Seb — 20 Dec 2011 @ 7:15 AM

  49. The Surgeon-General’s report on tobacco presented clear, easy to understand science and recommendations together with deeper detailed science in a 386 page report authored by scores of researchers and with thousands of refs. While there were decades of previous work, that was considered the first truly definitive report. IPCC 4 is really the first report that even approximates that level of definitiveness. IPCC5 will likely be on par with the SG’s report. That report, however, was only the beginning of now almost a half century of political–and economic–work that still goes on today. Why do you have the least inkling that this process will take less time w.r.t. greenhouse gases? It won’t. It will take far more.

    Part of this stems, I think, from the relatively quick success of the Montreal Protocols and the acid rain problem. There are huge differences, however: In the case of CFCs and sulphur emissions, the economic dislocations was relatively minimal, the public dislocations very minimal, there were ready substitutes/controls available at not too great a cost, and the problem could be taken care of within the existing industries. NONE of these apply in greenhouse gasses just as none of these applied for tobacco. Don’t expect anything here other than the response we got from the tobacco industry.

    Sorry to say this, but we’re just going to have to deal with these facts people being what they are.

    Comment by JGarland — 20 Dec 2011 @ 8:05 AM

  50. Seb@45

    Despite the title, the Summary for Policy Makers is the ‘accessible addition’ to each of the IPCC reports that is glommable by the GP. I’m no scientist, and wouldn’t want the SPM any simpler. Handily, this precis makes reference to the larger body of the report, which should (in an ideal world perhaps) obviate calls of propagandizing. The issue is dissemination, not the lack of accessible material. The Oz govt almost made good use of the internet (finally) when trying to educate the public about the proposed carbon tax. Overviews were easy to come by, but you had to do a bit of digging to find out the details. Perhaps I want more detailed information than the average punter, but it seems to me it should be an extremely simple matter for govt to make AR5 findings accessible the GP without having to write another summary.

    I was also a bit confused by Jim describing the assessment reports as being written for scientists. But maybe he means that the body of the report is aimed more at the scientific advisors to policy-makers than to the politicos themselves? I can’t imagine that many politicians would ever read the whole thing.

    Comment by barry — 20 Dec 2011 @ 8:18 AM

  51. I have long been curious as to how the contrarians have arrived at their conclusions. One way to draw a conclusion is to look at available, relevant data with an open mind and go where the data leads. Another is to draw a conclusion based on political affiliation and then seek only facts that seem to support it. I suppose there may be other ways. Did you get a chance to find out how participants arrived at their conclusions?

    Comment by Ed Beroset — 20 Dec 2011 @ 8:51 AM

  52. re: 43 Edward
    “Mark Boslough, Petr Chylek and Scott Denning: you are giving accreditation to Christopher Monckton, Judith Curry and Fred Singer. You are thus helping the fossil fuel industry prevent action on GW. Don’t give any more conferences like that.”

    Edward: Mark didn’t run this conference, he just attended.

    To assess the reason for all this, see Wikipedia or DeSMogBlog on Chylek. The latter is a bit out-of-date, lacking the LANL information, but has other bits.

    You might check the program committee, which has some people that seem reasonable. If you know any of them, ask them what was going on. Note: I once was involved on program committee with a conference where someone rammed a terrible speaker in by a fait accompli, so one cannot assume everyone on program committee was keen for all the speakers. But again, it would be interesting to know where travel funds went (since Mark didn’t get any.)

    Comment by John Mashey — 20 Dec 2011 @ 9:23 AM

  53. Heh.

    Judith Curry seems to be hell-bent on pursuing the professional equivalent of chewing her own head off.

    She would do well to remember that in matters of scientific truth, as there was in Highlander, there can be only one. To wrench another oblique reference from aforementioned film, her professional judgement really seems to be suffering from a bad case of The Slowing…

    Comment by Bernard J. — 20 Dec 2011 @ 9:32 AM

  54. Re: IPCC information for the general public

    The FAQs were a very nice addition to AR4 WG1.

    We already have SPMs, and Technical Summaries, and Synthesis Report, and the actual Working Group reports… I’m not sure it makes life simpler to have yet another IPCC product. There probably is a niche for “The IPCC Brochure,” though. It would have to be written by real people, though, not by committee. A shorter Archer and Rahmstorf?

    Comment by CM — 20 Dec 2011 @ 9:58 AM

  55. Amoeba #46, I must be missing something: how is the time axis faked? Keigwin gives dates “before present” (i.e., 2000AD according to Figure 3 in Keigwin (1996) comparing to Figure 4b), and Singer uses years of the Christian Era. It seems to me the conversion used is correct. So seems the temperature axis.

    (Singer knows how to display time for left-to-right reading Christians. And always impeccably dressed. Grrr.)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 20 Dec 2011 @ 9:58 AM

  56. Martin # 53

    “Before present” is usually defined to mean “before 1950”. The problem with the modified graph is that the 2006 temperature data point is entirely fabricated. It is significantly lower than the modern temperature record measured at hydrographic station “S”. The station “S” instrumental data was included by Keigwin in his 1996 paper, but was removed and replaced with the made-up data by Robinson et al. (2007). This graph with the faked data was cut and pasted into the Non-IPCC report and has been the basis for the claim that temperatures are lower now than the 3000-year average. It is easy to see it’s exactly the same graph created by the Robinsons, but the aspect ratio of the entire graphic (including the text) was stretched horizontally.

    I pointed this problem out to Singer in Santa Fe, and he told me he would make sure to use Keigwin’s original graph in the next edition of the Non-IPCC report. We’ll see.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 20 Dec 2011 @ 10:21 AM

  57. Re #53.

    Smoke and mirrors.
    If people wish to refer to this topic, I recommend the original 2010 text written and linked to by Mark, rather than these graphs which don’t provide an adequate summary of the Sargasso stunt.


    Comment by deconvoluter — 20 Dec 2011 @ 10:31 AM

  58. Alastair,
    I’m not sure what you are calling on scientists to do that they are not already doing. They are already confirming the predicted increase in drought and extreme precipitation events. They are monitoring loss of sea ice in the Arctic, melting of glaciers and release of methatne. They are already tracking decreasing pH in the oceans. They are already tracking and publishing wrt decreases in crop yields with temperature. What specific action would you have them do that they are not doing already. All science can do is give us reliable information and understanding. It is up to us whether we choose to accept or ignore reality.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Dec 2011 @ 10:40 AM

  59. Re my last comment: # 53 should be #54 now.

    Also the clarification in #55 helps. Perhaps it merits yet another article combining the points from #55 and the 2010 text?

    [By the way, this is reminiscent of the date-fabrication used by Channel 4’s Swindle program * which showed a graph going up to about 1980 which was labeled NOW]

    * Certainly in the version which I saw.

    Comment by deconvoluter — 20 Dec 2011 @ 10:51 AM

  60. All science can do is give us reliable information and understanding. It is up to us whether we choose to accept or ignore reality.

    Error. Beep.

    Accepting reality doesn’t change it. Acceptance is just the next first step after completing the four previous stages of grief.

    Science gives SCIENTISTS the knowledge and tools necessary to change reality. The question is will those who are in the best position to change the reality of the problems accept the challenge of changing the outcome.

    I posit those people are scientists. So far I haven’t seen a whole lot of any credible ideas from ANY scientists, let alone climate scientists. I have seen some good ideas from people who have moved beyond acceptance.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 20 Dec 2011 @ 11:40 AM

  61. > the original 2010 text written and linked to by Mark

    Is the text illustrated with the graphs in one place, somewhere?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Dec 2011 @ 12:02 PM

  62. As John Mashey suggests, conference co-chair Petr Chylek is a key figure. Chylek thinks the consensus for AGW is all a conspiracy:

    For me, science is the search for truth, the never-ending path towards finding out how things are arranged in this world so that they can work as they do. That search is never finished.

    It seems that the climate research community has betrayed that mighty goal in science. They have substituted the search for truth with an attempt at proving one point of view. It seems that some of the most prominent leaders of the climate research community, like prophets of Old Israel, believed that they could see the future of humankind and that the only remaining task was to convince or force all others to accept and follow. They have almost succeeded in that effort.

    I don’t suppose he said that at the conference, did he?

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 20 Dec 2011 @ 12:25 PM

  63. Hello there,

    I am not an expert in anyway, but lately have spent some time,
    intermittently, reading blogs from both sides.
    Mark Boslough above cites possible reasons for contrarian positions,
    which differs a little from my perception. I have a strong
    feeling that the root cause is predominantly a particularly
    aggressive strain of right-wing ideology. But, maybe my
    sample is a multitude of laymen sceptics and you refer to the few scientists/near-scientists?

    Comment by pihlstro — 20 Dec 2011 @ 12:49 PM

  64. Chris G, #18 says:
    Unlike evolution, climate change will affect your students in their lifetime.

    Evolution affects us every day! Multi- drug resistant pathogens, mutating HIV, just to name a couple. And the reason you need a new flu shot every year? Evolution!

    Comment by KEVIN B — 20 Dec 2011 @ 12:53 PM

  65. Anna @ #19, thanks. It was precisely the Tobis graph that I was thinking of, though I think even that understates the disconnect between public perception of the range of ‘debate’ and the actual range of the discussion now going on in scientific circles.

    For another view of how far the public and policy makers are from fully grasping the realities we now face, this is well worth a look and listen:

    And even this admits (~at 43 minutes) that he is leaving out ‘discontinuities,’ presumably like the massive methane release that seems to be going on right now in the Arctic.

    Comment by wili — 20 Dec 2011 @ 2:11 PM

  66. Comparing the original and “modified” Sargasso Sea Surface Temp graphs – am I correct that these are the original and “modified” SSST graphs referred to?

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 20 Dec 2011 @ 2:48 PM

  67. wait a minute – they *are* flipped relative to each other, Keigwin starts in the present & OISM starts in the past. So I’m confused & need to go back & understand.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 20 Dec 2011 @ 2:52 PM

  68. Chick Keller, #16
    I think you have absolutely nailed the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

    There is an ongoing disconnect between the predictions of warming from models and the recent trend. A 60 year cycle in ocean temperatures would explain most of the post 1979 warming and if scientists are going to convince the remaining “true” sceptics they need to counteract that argument effectively. I don’t think you will ever convince the Watts, Lindzens, Spencers and Monktons of this world, but maybe Curry could be brought round with a convincing paper.

    I have done linear regression graphs on Hadcrut3 over 50, 35, 25 and 15 year periods and they clearly show a rough 60 year cycle with a pronounced downward dip in the last 10-15 years in all but the 50 year analysis. However even that is clearly levelling off. Viewed in isolation it looks like we are in for a period of, if not cooling, at least a reduced rate of warming.

    This is reinforced by the recent reduced rate of sea level rise, and levelling off of ocean heat content figures.

    I am waiting for a convincing argument that these trends are illusory, or explained by other factors. I read Tamino’s recent paper on the matter but did not think it particularly convincing. Maybe only time will tell.

    I am no scientist, just a member of the public with a copy of Excel who tries to view these things as objectively as I can!

    Comment by Matthew L — 20 Dec 2011 @ 2:54 PM

  69. Re 59: “Science gives SCIENTISTS the knowledge and tools necessary to change reality.” ? Explain how that works? As a geologist, science gives me the knowledge and tools to understand and explain geology. Unless I have some powers I’m not aware of, it doesn’t give me the power to “change” geological reality.

    Comment by Tokodave — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:02 PM

  70. Matthew L – perhaps you could explain what you didnt find “convincing” in F&R. Can you explain why you think that analysis is flawed? Surely removing known causes of variation is a good way to show the underlying trend?

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:08 PM

  71. Matthew L., A little bit of understanding of the science will save you spinning your wheels a lot. Take a look at the data. Look specifically at the last 10 years. Now look at the period 1977 to 1987. Determine a trend. Now determine a trend from 1987 to 1997. Both are near zero. Now determine the trend from 1977-1997. The trend is significantly positive.

    Moral of the story: Global temperature data are noisy. Trying to draw conclusions based on short times is like being told to go pee in the corner in a round room.

    Learn what the models are actually do. It is not a prediction. The prediction was made in 1896.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:43 PM

  72. Thomas Lee Elifritz: “Science gives SCIENTISTS the knowledge and tools necessary to change reality.”

    Thomas, I believe it is customary to end a statement like that with “BWAAAH
    AAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAA!!!!” And then you’re supposed to stroke a cat.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:48 PM

  73. I’ve emailed Keigwin asking to see the incorrect OISM graph; unless someone else has a copy?

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:51 PM

  74. “The first thing I do when I read an editorial or blog entry is check to see if the supposed science has been published in scientific literature. If not, I don’t see why I should bother to read what nobody could be bothered to put through scientific peer review.”

    I guess that’s a good way to filter out hoaxsters (most of them, anyway)

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 20 Dec 2011 @ 3:56 PM

  75. RE #7, Alastair, I was about to write, but you said it for me.

    I would only point out that the 3rd party (aside from the denialists and the scientists) should have an equal voice in all this: the party of the people — those who are at risk of harm from climate change, or do not like the idea of harming others through climate change and its impacts and effects.

    I haven’t been following the Judith Curry debate, but I would hope this would help her to understand our (the people’s) position and not feel so sorry for the denialists or appease them, or whatever it is she is doing; I’d like scientists and denialists to start appeasing “the people.”

    Here goes, Judith, if you are reading: Scientists strive to avoid the FALSE POSITIVE of making untrue claims; they and their works like the IPCC are inherently VERY reticient and conservative; they cannot afford to be the “boy who called wolf” when there is no wolf. I understand and am even somewhat sympathetic to that position; if they make a false claim their reputations will be harmed, and people won’t heed them anymore.

    People, OTOH, you’d think would be striving to avoid the FALSE NEGATIVE of failing to address a true serious catastrophe. They do not need high levels of certainty about AGW, or about whether the lump in the body is cancerous to take preventive and precautionary action. ESPECIALLY WHEN, AS CONFUCIOUS SAY, TURNING OFF LIGHTS NOT IN USE (and 1000s of other measures to reduce GHGs) SAVES MONEY (and helps the economy and solve many other environmental and non-environmental problems too)!!! We people cannot afford to be “the villagers who get eaten by the wolf.”

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 20 Dec 2011 @ 4:10 PM

  76. #66 Anna Hayes:

    Your Keigwin figure is not the original. I’m going to go out a bit on a limb here, and observe that it is unlikely that a scientist would label a graph with a reference to the ‘Medieval Warm Period’. That’s an obvious tell that the graph has been fiddled with by a contrarian. The original was linked to by Mark Boslough back in post #37:

    Original Keigwin1966.png

    What’s interesting to me (though infuriatingly vague) is that in post #56, Mark Boslough says:

    The problem with the modified graph is that the 2006 temperature data point is entirely fabricated. It is significantly lower than the modern temperature record measured at hydrographic station “S”. The station “S” instrumental data was included by Keigwin in his 1996 paper, but was removed and replaced with the made-up data by Robinson et al. (2007).

    Well, Mark, what exactly *was* the modern temperature record there in 2006? In any case, the takeaway point for me here is that the Sargasso Sea does not represent *global* average temps!

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 20 Dec 2011 @ 4:41 PM

  77. Lubos Motl has a reply to this post. It’s at his usual level of hysterical rantings. Sometimes I wonder who still takes him seriously.

    [edit – some things really are too stupid to link to]


    Comment by Peter Hartmann — 20 Dec 2011 @ 5:41 PM

  78. Phil and Ray, I saw nothing wrong with Tamino’s methodology, just that he wasn’t really covering the main point I am interested in, which is that the AMO and PDO might be enough to explain a large part of the warming trend his graphs so clearly show.

    The AMO appears to run on an approximate 60 year cycle whereas his study only covered the period since the mid ’70s. He covers the point about recent cooling fairly well. If he is right, we will all know soon enough after the current La Nina is finished.

    I am making my charts up into a series of images and will post links. The signal is pretty apparent and looks persuasive to those of us with limited statistical expertise. I am more than happy to be shot down in flames. I would expect nothing less in this forum and why I am posting here.

    Comment by Matthew L — 20 Dec 2011 @ 5:49 PM

  79. Further to my earlier post, here are my very basic charts:

    Hadcrut3, 50 year linear regression

    Hadcrut3, 30 year linear regression

    Hadcrut3, 25 year linear regression

    Hadcrut3, 20 year linear regression

    Hadcrut3, 15 year linear regression

    Seal level annual change in mm (linear regression)

    Interesting to look at the AMO chart in comparison?

    Comment by Matthew L — 20 Dec 2011 @ 7:19 PM

  80. Matthew L., Great. How does your AMO/PDO model do on reproducing cooling of the stratosphere? Polar amplification? And isn’t it odd that, given these oscillations are quasi-cyclic that we have never seen as rapid a rise in global temperatures as we are seeing right now? I mean, you’d think a cyclic forcing ought to produce behavior that sort of repeats, wouldn’t you? Gee, I wonder what could be different about now compared to, say 70 years ago? What could it be?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Dec 2011 @ 8:39 PM

  81. Matthew L @78 — The traditionally defined AMO is not independent of the known forcings. Therefore it looks quite a bit like a cycle’ without actually being one. A test for Granger causality will show that this G-causality runs from the forcings to the AMO.

    The PDO expalins too little of the variance to bother with on a first cut. Stick with the known physics, as in Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Dec 2011 @ 8:48 PM

  82. While I share Mark’s concerns on the noisy extreme edges of the Santa Fe climate conference, they were a small fraction of the agenda and a distraction from the science focus. I reinforce Chick Keller’s observation that in Santa Fe we learned a lot about the challenges of predicting our complex climate system, recent progress and new strategies for forecasting and prediction. In particular the value of semi-empirical approaches including simplified and intermediate complexity modeling in conjunction with data was highlighted. The last IPCC interpretation of the1970s-1980s cooling from aerosol pollution was shown to involve natural variability components as well. The Berkeley group’s finding were a nice affirmation of the IPCC warming trends. There were cutting edge talks on our understanding of the role of clouds-aerosols, the sun, cosmic ray induced nucleation (CERN study), fires, forest die-off and Arctic change, global GHG surveys and climate treaty verification. We can’t change how the Singer’s and Monkton’s think or behave but clearly they were unable to defend their position technically and came across as unreliable in a science forum. Only by exposing them in discussions like ours can we neutralize their confusionism. Climate science is complex but the science elements clear and undisputed. The case for climate change is built on data and understanding of underlying mechanism, Keeling curve of CO2 rise caused by fossil fuels, IPCC reported warming confirmed by Berkeley group, positive water feedback observed after Pinatubo. Its the variability that confounds both public perception and science and we are gaining a handle on this as we learned. Also some things we will never know well enough like clouds (aerosol and feedbacks) as Graeme Stephens eloquently conveyed in his Charney lecture at AGU (and long term feedbacks/tipping points to new climate states). We have to act now in light of uncertainty given that the risks of impacts will grow with rising CO2 and the both the climate system and energy infrastructure have a lot of inertia. Its like insurance, there will be some winners and many losers. My 2 cents, (1) its important for us to focus on the science and recognize what we know and what we don’t and (2) The skeptics need to be as critical of their work as they are of the climate science community, which in turn will benefit from us all being open and resilient rather than closed and threatened by them. There will be a technical summary of the conference that will focus on the science presented and a special issue of JGR that will be peer reviewed science and more lasting than the blog. Unfortunately, Mark’s experiences at the conference were rather skewed and I wish he had focused a bit more on the science as Chick Keller noted, clearly he was distracted by Monkton et al. We were very fortunate to have talks by V. Ramaswamy, Phil Rasch, Steve Wofsy, Graeme Stephens, Peter Huybers, Bill Cotton, Gerry North, Bjorn Stevens, A. Tsonis, D. Rosenfeld, Q. Fu, P. Webster, Paul Brekke, Jim Coakley, Dave Lawrence, Bill Lipscomb, Mark Flanner etc.., that spanned spectrum of accomplished climate scientists as well as senior scientists (activists!!) who are pushing us all to new approaches to enhance climate science in critical ways (and its is very important for us to discriminate them from the so called skeptics who are weak on substance but high on hype, critique and propaganda). Unfortunately, Mark’s summary is skewed by his personal experiences and unfortunately he missed the main message-science. These are my personal opinions and it continues to be my privilege to jump in and help with these conferences. I am glad to report that the last Santa Fe conference’s BAMS summary by me is suggested reading in the NASA GISS climate website (Manvendra K. Dubey) and clearly the questions we posed 5 years ago were constructive and progress was made. In closing a leader like the late Steve Schneider (whom I was lucky to have interacted with at Stanford) would see value in venues like this for climate science and his constructive legacy challenges us continue this.

    Comment by Manvendra Dubey — 21 Dec 2011 @ 12:13 AM

  83. This?
    “Global Warming And The Next Ice Age” By Dubey Et Al 2008
    Is there a copy available to read online?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Dec 2011 @ 1:27 AM

  84. Re : #77

    who still takes him seriously

    Perhaps the answer to your question is the president of his country, V.Klaus , an economist, who should never be confused with his predecessor, who had the same first name and has just died.

    Comment by deconvoluter — 21 Dec 2011 @ 5:36 AM

  85. FWIW, Curry sort of responds to this piece:

    Comment by SteveF — 21 Dec 2011 @ 6:48 AM

  86. #75, Lynn, the argument about Curry is about a farcical spot light diversion effort to divert attention from the reality of climate change to herself. Being a star jester in contrarians court,
    she claims comedy to compensate from her own lack of evidence proving IPCC 50% right, or wrong. Mike Mann is accurate not about a stick, but about the progression of Global Warming,
    seriously occurring big time in the Arctic even since 2006, well past “Global warming has stopped since 1998, or 2002”? contrarian propaganda. Citing stollen E-mails scribblings as prime proof of a massive fabrication of a false reality is a politician swaying practice, not a scientific presentation Having read some of her papers, especially about Arctic boundary layers, I don’t know if this Judith at this conference in California
    is the same person as the one who tried to elucidate a rather complex matter factually , without self, the observer/scientist in the picture, I don’t think she has realized how great she was by being selfless,
    and how much she has been corrupted by fame.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 21 Dec 2011 @ 7:50 AM

  87. [Response: Dubey #82. Thanks for all this additional information. As I pointed out to Chick, my essay was not intended to be comprehensive or to summarize the science. As suggested by the title, the focus was on the “cynics” who attended the meeting. I agree with virtually everything you say about the conference. But you say, with respect to Monckton and Singer, “Only by exposing them in discussions like ours can we neutralize their confusionism.” We already know about their confusionism, but if the intent is to expose and neutralize it, it doesn’t do any good to keep that information to ourselves, among only the hundred or so attendees of the conference. Part of my motivation for writing this essay was to share this information with the larger community.

    I don’t think it is fair to say that I missed the science at the conference; I attended virtually every presentation and was there for all five days. I had conversations with most of the participants and made a special effort to interact with contrarians. My experiences were not skewed. What made this conference different from the other climate-related conferences I’ve attended over the past two or three years (e.g. AGU Fall meetings and a couple Chapman Conferences) was the relatively large attendance by contrarians. If my essay appears to be skewed, it is because it was focused on that aspect, and never intended to be a comprehensive summary of the science, which (as you say) will be available elsewhere.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 21 Dec 2011 @ 10:07 AM

  88. Thanks Mark. Appreciate the clarification. If we had polled the audience, after the conference, which had a much larger number of contrarians than most venues we would have the outcome that the science for climate change is much much much stronger and rigorous than that against it. I think this may be worth doing in an objective survey, since it would offset the skewness and hype created by the media that is impossible to control. As you stated, the discussions were polite and the contrarians were civil and the mainstream scientists listened to them patiently and tried to understand where they came from. I was exposed to Monkton for the first time and it was quite a revelation to see he could rebut everything including himself and facts did not matter. Singer was exposed in his inconsistency, and could not understand or answer questions since he does not listen, some one should say that. Lindzen was very professorial and asked probing questions to many, enriching the science, even as he is dug in deep in his point of view as his talk demonstrated. By giving all the chance to participate and present and listen we helped the climate science community at large. It was good to have you there.

    Comment by Manvendra Dubey — 21 Dec 2011 @ 11:12 AM

  89. Mark Boslough #56,

    The problem with the modified graph is that the 2006 temperature data point is entirely fabricated.

    Indeed. Added after the fact based on what seems a bogus computation.

    “Before present” is usually defined to mean “before 1950″.

    That is the convention… but Keigwin (1996) appears to use the 2000 convention: the station S data is all after 1950 but within the graph 4b.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 21 Dec 2011 @ 12:08 PM

  90. Manvendra:

    If we had polled the audience, after the conference, which had a much larger number of contrarians than most venues we would have the outcome that the science for climate change is much much much stronger and rigorous than that against it.

    Does Petr Chylek still think that the AGW consensus is a conspiracy by the climate research community (see my comment #56)?

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 21 Dec 2011 @ 12:58 PM

  91. As a catastrophic AGW skeptic interested in the preservation and advancement of all science, I applaud Jim the moderator’s treatment of Alastair’s comments. IMHO that’s exactly how scientists should behave.
    Anything less and we can just combine the fiction and non-fiction sections of the library.

    Comment by David Wright — 21 Dec 2011 @ 1:48 PM

  92. RE #86, Hi Wayne & “#75, Lynn, the argument about Curry is about a farcical spot light diversion effort to divert attention from the reality of climate change to herself. Being a star jester in contrarians court, she claims comedy to compensate from her own lack of evidence proving IPCC 50% right, or wrong.”

    Thanks for the insight. 50%, huh? That’s my whole point (RE #75), .50 on the null is plenty enough for me to start turning off lights not in use, etc. Don’t need .05, which was first reached in some studies back in 1995 — I think it was .04 for winter temps and .06 for summer temps, .05 combined.

    Which means everyone who is a man (or a woman, for that matter) should have been reducing GHGs back in 1990 or even before.

    And whatever happened to theory, like “the greenhouse effect”? I thought science was composed of both theory and evidence. It’s like the man in a freefall doubting gravity because he hasn’t splattered on the ground yet.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 21 Dec 2011 @ 2:12 PM

  93. > a catastrophic AGW skeptic

    One who, by delaying mitigation, turns inconvenience into catastrophe.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Dec 2011 @ 2:15 PM

  94. Want a good analogy to how policymakers are reacting to climate change?

    Here it is:

    Donella Meadows
    quoted Jay Forrester, who summed this up long ago:

    “People know intuitively where leverage points are …. Time after time, I’ve … figured out a leverage point …. and discovered that there’s already a lot of attention to that point. Everyone is trying very hard to _push it in the wrong direction!_”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Dec 2011 @ 2:54 PM

  95. “All good scientists are skeptics”
    Below is a paragraph (unedited) from my 2010 discussion with late Steve Schneider concerning the skeptics, a hockey stick and some other aspects of climate science. Today we know much more about uncertainty in aerosol forcing, cloud feedbacks, ocean circulation, and natural climate variability (perhaps much more means that in reality we know much less). There is no place for denial of the recent warming or of an anthropogenic contribution to that warming. The question is of a scale. In the Arctic it is likely that up to 50% of the recent post 1970s warming can be explained by the natural climate variability. What fraction of recent global mean warming is due to a natural climate variability – I do not know yet. Steve says: “All good scientists are skeptics”. I say, a scientist who is not a skeptic becomes a cheer leader.

    So yes, Petr, I fully agree all good scientists are skeptics and should be challenging every aspect of what we do that has plausible alternative hypotheses–I personally published what was wrong my my own original 1971 cooling hypothesis a few years later when more data and better models came along and further analysis showed AGW as the much more likely outcome–the story is in Chapter 1 of my new book. In fact, for me that is a very proud event–to have discovered with colleagues why our initial assumptions were unlikely and better ones reversed the conclusions–an early example of scientific skepticism in action in climatology–as we are all supposed to be doing as you said well. But the very existence of remaining uncertainties does not by itself refute AGW as the most plausible explanation of the century-long observations. In systems analysis we could crudely break up conclusions into three groups: well established, competing explanations and speculative (as Moss/Schneider suggested in 2000 in the TAR uncertainties guidance language). The existence of the non-well established categories must be both acknowledged and investigated openly–I fully agree–and should lead assessors to lower confidence in conclusions than for cases where there are fewer non-well-established aspects. But the difference between legitimate scientific “skepticism” and “denial” is the refusal to accept a preponderance of evidence as the best current understanding–with confidence levels attached, of course–just because some elements of a complex system remain in competing explanations or speculative categories. That is why I object to the characterization that anything that has recently happened by this climatic Watergate-like internet burglary has changed very much the AGW conclusions of the IPCC or the NAS or CSIRO or Hadley Center, since those conclusions depended primarily on fingerprinting studies over time frames less than two centuries, not the millennium of the debatable wavy-handled hockey stick.

    Stephen H. Schneider
    Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies,
    Professor, Department of Biology and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
    Mailing address:
    Yang & Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building – MC 4205
    473 Via Ortega
    Ph: 650 725 9978
    F: 650 725 4387

    Comment by Petr Chylek — 21 Dec 2011 @ 3:14 PM

  96. Returning to Boslough & Keigwin’s Sargasso Sea surface temp graph & its modification by OISM folks, here are comments from Lloyd Keigwin (who I keep wanting to call “Lord Keigwin”; gotta stay away from that GWPF page) – his comments align with what others have pointed out above, & also he noted the “Station S” error also shows up (as of now, at least) in the graph (at bottom of right sidebar) on this page (from Oceanus) about his research; “could be my error; There’s a reason that magazines…are called ‘gray literature.'”; he agrees the SkS graph (showing Station S “smudge”) looks to be the right one, from the Science paper.

    Keigwin says (reprinted with permission):
    “The differences Mark refers to are subtle. … Where the figure has been used or reconstructed elsewhere, the points seem accurate. … What Mark called to my attention long ago is how the skeptics have used the 50-yr series of thermometer-based measurements that began in 1954. On my 3000 year horizontal axis those data don’t look like much more than a smudged line (1996 paper Fig. 4B).

    When Fred Singer, the Robinsons, et al. reproduced the figure they didn’t bother to try to reproduce the smudge. In one case that I recall… they simply used a “dot.” I think Mark’s point is that the temperature they chose for that dot was offset from the long-term average (which I eyeball to be a fraction above 23 degrees C) such that it strengthened their case against today being especially warm.

    Considering all the other things going on in the climate wars, this is just a little skirmish. Unfortunately, the way the data have been used has used up a lot of time since 1996. The big point the skeptics miss …[is that] long-term cooling in the data since 3000 yrs ago is driven by changes in Earth’s orbit. These have nothing to do with humanity, except that if you want to look for a human-induced change you need to de-trend the data.”

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 21 Dec 2011 @ 3:22 PM

  97. The funding for the Santa Fe conference is not yet clear to me, although I see a lot of national labs involved, hence Federal tax funds. I’m not into Golden Fleece awards, but I expect tax-funded research entities to spend our funds wisely.

    1) I see a bunch of people on the program that I think would have a hard time getting their talks thorough credible peer review, starting with Monckton, whose presence alone casts serious doubt on the credibility of the conference. At least he didn’t use swastikas this time.
    2) Were there no better “real science” talks to be had?
    3) Consider just a few examples:
    Don Easterbrook
    Howard Hayden*, retired atomic physicist whose book lauded Ernst-George Beck’s infamously-bad paper on CO2.
    Christopher Essex

    Nicola Scafetta*
    N-A Morner

    *’d signed the APS Petition, which sadly included a bunch of LANL and Sandia-related folks. This is especially sad, given AGW’s likely effects on NM.

    Are Singer’s views unknown? Monckton’s? It’s nice that everyone was pleasant, but:

    a) Did they use places that could have gone to real researchers?

    b) How much did this conference cost?

    I don’t just mean the direct costs, but the time/money, much from government grants, as well as govt-paid salaries. One way or another, much of the funding for science conferences eventually comes from taxes … and generally, that’s a good deal for the public. But conferences are not cheap, and their best use is in encouraging high-bandwidth interactions among serious people … which makes every speaking slot precious. Was it good use of time to hear Monckton? Singer?

    c) Did any of those get travel funds?
    Some of those people spend endless time wasting the time/money of real scientists, helping out Heartland and getting paid for it.

    The following may be unfair, but in a time of economic stress for Americans and science funding, maybe not.

    If any of these got travel funds, it may be time to encourage Congress to look into defunding the part of LANL that sponsors this, before the next one happens. Why not invite Chris Horner, Tom Bethell, Lawrence Gould, Will Happer, William O’Keefe, Bjorn Lomborg, Andrew Montford, etc. I mean, if Monckton is invited, why not them? They have opinions also. I don’t expect Program Committees to be be perfect, but I expect them to exercise plausible judgement, especially when spending govt money.

    This isn’t as bad as Singer’s SEPP and Sandia sharing a board member, Donna Bethell, but it is a red flag in a period when certain members of Congress try hard to defund any science they dislike, helped by some of these people.

    As an old supercomputer guy, I used to interact with good LANL folks over the years so this is not a broad complaint against LANL … but giving a platform to Monckton, Singer, et al does not make me a happy taxpayer.

    Comment by John Mashey — 21 Dec 2011 @ 4:02 PM

  98. Giving a platform to Monckton, Singer, et al does not make me a happy taxpayer.

    Indeed, and as an unhappy taxpayer you have the right (through FOIA at the very least) to find out exactly who at LANL ordered up this conference and exactly what their views on the phenomenon are, and how that effecst his or her performance on the job. I want names. Certainly Mr. Boslough should be able and willing to help you out with this minor quest.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 21 Dec 2011 @ 4:25 PM

  99. No wait, hold that thought, this was almost too easy.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 21 Dec 2011 @ 4:39 PM

  100. Yes, Thomas, Chylek’s skepticism is well-known (but not as off the rails as some of those invited to the conference!).

    Indeed, and as an unhappy taxpayer you have the right (through FOIA at the very least)

    It would be interesting to learn more about the planning process behind this conference …

    Comment by dhogaza — 21 Dec 2011 @ 5:53 PM

  101. Similar delay histories, dramatically different consequences! Would Copernicans have been as diplomatic and accommodating if they knew the failure to accept their theory would result in huge human suffering?

    Comment by s.b. ripman — 21 Dec 2011 @ 9:07 PM

  102. was rereading through comments

    way back #7 Alistair.

    Global Warming: future temperatures could exceed livable limits: researchers find.

    Comment by john byatt — 21 Dec 2011 @ 11:09 PM

  103. re: 98, 99
    Feel free to FOIA: it’s on my TODO list, but I have a bunch of time-consuming items ahead of it and it will likely be months before I can get to this one.

    BTW, regarding Singer, people might be amused by his article in Heartland’s Environment and Climate Newsletter, p.17. Also see Roger Cohen on p.16.
    That’s 2 of the 6 organizers (Austin, Happer, Cohen, Singer, Lewis, Gould) of the 2009 APS Petition. Cohen and Austin are members of the organizing committee for APS GPC. Less than 0.5% of APS signed the petition … but about half of them have signed up for GPC, I think. (I have list of petition signers, and have checked it against APS directory, which is tedious, but works.)

    Comment by John Mashey — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:57 AM

  104. It surely is great to find not only an article of great interest to a layman (my own background in in the humanities, though to the MA level, not PhD, and instructing in my field in various universities) but one to which there are so many replies from people mostly far better qualified than I am to comment.

    I just read every single comment here and though it took awhile, I feel I’ve had an appreciable increase in both my knowledge and understanding of the highly complex subject of climate change/AGW, though I’m been reading extensively, if at the armchair level, for several years in the field.

    I will say I’m surprised that a sole presenter at the conference was allowed to ignore the established ground rules in her presentation. One respondent to the article points out that she had her own grievances, of which I was already aware, but to that defense of her, I have to ask, “Was the Sante Fe Conference her first, last, and only chance to rebut her critics???” I think not. She certainly manages to get heard, a whole bunch, to the best of my knowledge.

    Thanks to all for both the article and all the replies.

    Comment by Mekhong Kurt — 22 Dec 2011 @ 4:49 AM

  105. Mekhong Kurt: “I will say I’m surprised that a sole presenter at the conference was allowed to ignore the established ground rules in her presentation.”

    You don’t know Aunt Judy, do you?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Dec 2011 @ 9:30 AM

  106. There seems to be some confusion about my presentation at the Santa Fe meeting, Mark Boslough seems to have misunderstood it substantially. For anyone that is interested, my presentation can be seen at:

    A .ppt can be found at

    Comment by Judith Curry — 22 Dec 2011 @ 12:06 PM

  107. Thank you for the link you provided in 37 to the original chart of temperatures in the Sargasso Sea with station S and the altered version without it. I am perplexed that anyone should want to make alterations – particularly as minor as those shown – since the original chart appears to show that a) a clear Medieval Climate Optimum in the Sargasso sea b)that the recent temperature is below the Medieval level. I thought the two issues of contention were whether the medieval warming was localised to North West Europe and below current temperatures?

    Comment by Peter Lilley — 22 Dec 2011 @ 12:16 PM

  108. s. b. ripman wrote: “Would Copernicans have been as diplomatic and accommodating if they knew the failure to accept their theory would result in huge human suffering?”

    The same question could be asked of some of today’s climate scientists. Perhaps they will reproach themselves with that question in years to come.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Dec 2011 @ 12:36 PM

  109. 2 question about the norm for poster sessions – at a normal conference, can a layman show a poster in a poster session? and are the posters vetted for quality?

    (sorry if this comment is a dupe – I apparently had the recaptcha wrong before, so am not sure it went through.)

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 22 Dec 2011 @ 12:43 PM

  110. Peter Lilley, What can we say. Reality was never good enough for the denialists.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:16 PM

  111. Anna, for most conferences I attend, to submit a poster one must submit an abstract describing the work. Session chairs will read the abstract and select which ones are presented as posters (or oral presentations – not to be confused with invited talks). Whether or not an abstract leads to a poster depends on the conference organizers – for some conferences, everybody gets to present a poster; for others, posters are relatively rare and even getting the abstract published in the abstract book (without poster) is an accomplishment.

    Comment by Deech56 — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:30 PM

  112. JC:

    There seems to be some confusion about my presentation at the Santa Fe meeting,

    Well, I’m looking at the pdf, not listening to your talk, but really, the Josh cartoon of the uncertainty monster under a sheet with a hockey stick and a caricature of Michael Mann saying “what uncertainty?” ???

    Of course there’s an answer to this cartoon – “the uncertainty clearly discussed in Mann’s paleoreconstruction papers”. The existence of which is ignored by Josh … and you.

    Would you care to be precise about the claimed misrepresentation of your keynote address? After all, the person describing it was in the audience …

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:35 PM

  113. > “… if they knew … result in huge human suffering?”

    C’mon, this “if” is absurdly demeaning to the scientists.

    Suffering is often from avoidable problems.
    Scientists are no less aware, often more aware, than the average citizen.

    A professional field — public health — is dedicated to this, and has had much to say about climate change already.

    People persevere for lifetimes, trying to warn about avoidable suffering from business as usual.

    “… During the first decades of the 20th century, many other countries banned or restricted the use of lead paint for interior painting. Despite this knowledge, the lead industry in the United States did nothing to discourage the use of lead paint on interior walls and woodwork. In fact, beginning in the 1920s, the Lead Industries Association and its members conducted an intensive campaign to promote the use of paint containing white lead, even targeting children in their advertising….

    “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
    ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:42 PM

  114. JC:

    From the powerpoint:

    Why is there such strong belief among scientists in the IPCC attribution statement?
    Some hypotheses:
    • Overconfident interpretation of the scientific evidence
    • Groupthink in context of a consensus building process
    • Confidence in, and authority of, the IPCC
    • High salience of the issue motivates individuals to take a stand
    • Solidarity among scientists against a perceived “war on science”
    • Defense of the status quo (strong funding feedback)
    • Personal and political sympathies for environmental movement
    • UNFCCC/IPCC ideology

    I can’t help but note that “high confidence in a very large body of scientific work that overwhelmingly supports the attribution statement” isn’t on the list.

    In other words, a priori you state that understanding that the statement is entirely consistent with our scientific knowledge is not an honest or possible reason for agreement.

    A sophisticated variant of the old “when did you stop beating your husband, Judith” form of accusation …

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:42 PM

  115. #114 My keynote address followed my presentation on attribution uncertainty, which can be found here

    # 112 Listen to the youtube presentation

    Comment by Judith Curry — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:52 PM

  116. See also:

    Manufacturing Uncertainty: Contested Science and the Protection of the Public’s Health and Environment.

    David Michaels and Celeste Monforton

    American Journal of Public Health: July 2005, Vol. 95, No. S1, pp. S39-S48.
    doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.043059

    Point is that political argument and debate go on long after the questions of scientific interest have been well worked through.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan:
    “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

    Not everyone believes that; there’s an entire worldview that has

    “… the ambition to change the very nature of knowledge production about both the natural and social worlds…. neoliberal theorists like Hayek … state that the Market is the superior information processor par excellence. The theoretical impetus behind the rise of the natural science think tanks is the belief that science progresses when everyone can buy the type of science they like, dispensing with whatever the academic disciplines say is mainstream or discredited science.”

    Mirowski, Philip, “The Rise of the Dedicated Natural Science Think Tank” (New York: Social Science Research Council, July 2008).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Dec 2011 @ 1:55 PM

  117. Anna #109

    Different conferences have different poster policies. I am most familiar with AGU because I’ve convened many sessions at the AGU Fall meetings. When I first started attending these meetings more than 30 years ago, most people considered the poster sessions to be somewhat of a “ghetto” and everyone preferred the oral sessions. Some people will disagree, but in my opinion, the posters have become the highlight of AGU. Posters now outnumber oral presentations by a ratio of 2 to 1.

    As a session convener and chair, I’ve had a couple disgruntled presenters who were unhappy that I assigned posters to them. A couple years ago, one presenter didn’t show up for that reason. He felt he had been dissed. This year I got scolded by a presenter who is a high-profile scientist, because I gave him a poster and gave oral presentations to a few early career scientists (it is AGU policy to encourage age and gender diversity in the oral sessions; a policy I support).

    I have never rejected a poster. Lay persons can present posters as long as they pay the abstract and registration fees. “Crackpot” posters generally get put together in their own session. A couple years ago I had some posters that were very much on the fringe, but their subject matter was consistent with my session, so I included them. Laster year, there was a poster by someone from the Heartland Institute (not in my session).

    I personally prefer to present posters, at least at AGU, because there is more opportunity for interaction. Over the past several years, I’ve presented posters at AGU, GSA, Chapman conferences, and Planetary Defense Conferences. I’d never had a poster abstract rejected in my entire career until the Santa Fe meeting. According to the conference chair, it was not rejected because of its technical content but because it was deemed to be an “attempted refutation” of an unpublished report (the NIPCC). The first author was Lloyd Keigwin, but I was going to present it along with my other posters since I was attending. I knew that Fred Singer–the editor of the NIPCC report–was going to give an invited oral presentation about the content of that same unpublished report. I wanted to give him the opportunity to see the original data that had been expunged from a graph in the that report.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 22 Dec 2011 @ 2:01 PM

  118. Anna,In many conferences, submissions are reviewed and either accepted or rejected, and only then is it decided whether they are more appropriate as orals or posters.

    I actually prefer a poster format, as 1)there is more interaction with the audience, and 2)my papers tend to be somewhat mathematically dense and take longer than the typical oral timeslot just to explain!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Dec 2011 @ 2:15 PM

  119. Peter #109

    Here’s my hypothesis about what motivated the Robinsons to alter the Keigwin graph. It was a prominent figure in the unpublished Robinson et al. paper (formatted to look like a PNAS reprint) that went out with solicitations to sign the so-called Oregon Petition.

    By removing the Station S data, the Robinsons were able to pretend like the most recent paleotemperature was the “current” temperature. They were then able to say in a Wall Street Journal editorial: “During the past 3,000 years, there have been five extended periods when it was distinctly warmer than today.” (Robinson & Robinson, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4, 1997).

    This meme was picked up and used in Congressional Testimony: “During the past 3,000 years, there have been five extended periods when it was distinctly warmer than today.” (Raymond Keating, Testimony to House Small Business Committee, June 4, 1998).

    If you do a Google search on a phrase like this, you will see that it has proliferated all over the internet and people actually believe it, even though it based on a doctored version of the Keigwin (1996) graph. That’s why I thought it would be good to correct the record with a poster at Santa Fe conference, which was attended by people who might believe stuff they see on the internet as opposed to peer reviewed literature.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 22 Dec 2011 @ 2:28 PM

  120. Judith #106

    Can you be specific about what you think I misunderstood about your banquet presentation? It’s unfortunate that you didn’t take questions afterward to clear up any potential misunderstandings. I was hoping you would visit one of my posters or attend my own presentation so we could have a discussion. I did have questions for you, and I still do.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 22 Dec 2011 @ 2:37 PM

  121. Re: #117

    In response to my comment about Fred Singer, I received an email message from Peter Chylek, the conference chair, who informed me that Fred Singer was not invited and did not present an invited talk. Their contributed submitted abstracts were accepted for presentation. I apologize for this mistake.

    I have gone through the conference program and website and was unable to find the list of invitees, and have now requested the list from Dr. Chylek.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 22 Dec 2011 @ 3:11 PM

  122. re: #117 While I attend many talks @ AGU, I always make time to walk the posters, which fill the bottom of Moscone, a new set every day. As Ray notes, there is way more chance for interaction.
    The fact that Chylek denied him a poster slot, while having talks from Monckton, and from Singer (which included same topic), is one more question, as per #97.

    Related: LANL, Sandia and APS
    Two years ago, I documented the social network (fairly clear) and demographics (skewed towards old men) of the Petition to APS, which got ~200 signers, less than 0.5% of the APS membership. The social network was fairly clear, i.e., not a grassroots effort as much as a network of friends of the organizers. Although a tiny % of LANL and Sandia, there was a noticeable cluster of signers in NM.
    Very few of the signers had any obvious connection with climate research.
    The organizers were:

    Robert Austin (Princeton biophysicist),
    Roger Cohen (retired ExxonMobil),
    Laurence Gould (University of Hartford, a big fan of Monckton’s)
    Will Happer (Chairman of George Marshall Institute, also Princeton atomic physicist)
    Hal Lewis (Retired nuclear physicist, has since quit APS)
    Fred Singer

    They made much noise, but unsurprisingly, relatively few physicists have ideologies that require ignoring basic physics. The demographics showed a strong skew towards older men, quite unrepresentative of APS as a whole.

    This bounced off the (generally sensible) APS leadership, but a followon push came to create an APS Topic Group on the Physics of Climate (GPC), whose organizing committee is:
    Jerome I Friedman (Chair), MIT
    James Brasseur, Pennsylvania State University
    Brad Marston, Brown University
    Pierre Meystre, University of Arizona
    Roger W. Cohen, Exxon/Mobil Corporation (Retired)
    Judith Lean, Naval Research Laboratory
    Robert H Austin, Princeton University
    Warren S Warren, Duke University

    Note: I think it’s a fine thing for APS physicists to seriously engage with climate science, given the many interesting problems and assuming they get up to speed enough on the climate side. Before his death, Steve Schneider was working towards such engagement in his typical fashion and we used to talk about this, given my APS studies.

    Since I keep lists and am an APS member, I looked up the petition signers in the main APS directory, which took a while.
    Surprisingly, Singer was no longer listed as an APS member, although he was certainly there while the 2009 Petition campaign was under way.
    In any case, of the ~200 petition signers, about half have also joined GPC.

    I also checked a few others, who were *not* petition signers.
    Monckton was not listed in APS… :-)
    Among those who were *not* signers, but are currently APS members listed for GPC:

    Judith Curry
    Freeman Dyson
    Richard Lindzen
    Gerald Marsh (GPC and FPS – he gave list (including Monckton) to the APS FPS editors …
    which led to the kerfuffle with Monckton “peer-reviewed” (no) paper in 2008.

    Marsh (and Dyson, I think) are long-time APS members, I’m not sure about the others.

    Needless to say, with Austin and Cohen on the committee, I will be fascinated to see the final list of candidates for officers of this.

    Comment by John Mashey — 22 Dec 2011 @ 3:15 PM

  123. Judith Curry@115: # 112 Listen to the youtube presentation

    Well, I did. Then I had a look at the TAR itself, just for kicks.

    From Judith’s presentation (2:14):

    The first strategy [against the “uncertainty monster”] is uncertainty monster hiding, and I think the hockey stick is a good example here. Now I don’t blame Michael Mann for what ended up in the TAR, how can you blame a guy [inaudible]… But, again, it ended up in there, with a high level of confidence.

    Now let us look at what the TAR actually says:

    Mann et al. (1998) reconstructed global patterns of annual surface temperature several centuries back in time. They calibrated a combined terrestrial (tree ring, ice core and historical documentary indicator) and marine (coral) multi-proxy climate network against dominant patterns of 20th century global surface temperature. Averaging the reconstructed temperature patterns over the far more data-rich Northern Hemisphere half of the global domain, they estimated the Northern Hemisphere mean temperature back to AD 1400, a reconstruction which had significant skill in independent cross-validation tests. Self-consistent estimates were also made of the uncertainties. This work has now been extended back to AD 1000 (Figure 2.20, based on Mann et al., 1999). The uncertainties (the shaded region in Figure 2.20) expand considerably in earlier centuries because of the sparse network of proxy data. Taking into account these substantial uncertainties, Mann et al. (1999) concluded that the 1990s were likely to have been the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, of the past millennium for at least the Northern Hemisphere. Jones et al. (1998) came to a similar conclusion from largely independent data and an entirely independent methodology. Crowley and Lowery (2000) reached the similar conclusion that medieval temperatures were no warmer than mid-20th century temperatures. Borehole data (Pollack et al., 1998) independently support this conclusion for the past 500 years although, as discussed earlier (Section, detailed interpretations comparison with long-term trends from such of such data are perilous owing to loss of temporal resolution back in time.

    The largely independent multi-proxy Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions of Jones et al. (1998) and Mann et al. (1999) are compared in Figure 2.21, together with an independent (extra-tropical, warm-season) Northern Hemisphere temperature estimate by Briffa (2000) based on tree-ring density data. The estimated uncertainties shown are those for the smoothed Mann et al. series. Significant differences between the three reconstructions are evident during the 17th and early 19th centuries where either the Briffa et al. or Jones et al. series lie outside the estimated uncertainties in the Mann et al. series. Much of these differences appear to result from the different latitudinal and seasonal emphases of the temperature estimates. This conclusion is supported by the observation that the Mann et al. hemispheric temperature average, when restricted to just the extra-tropical (30 to 70°N band) region of the Northern Hemisphere, shows greater similarity in its trend over the past few centuries to the Jones et al. reconstruction. The differences between these reconstructions emphasise the importance of regional and seasonal variations in climate change. These are discussed in the next section.

    Notice how uncertainty is carefully “hidden” by pointing it out repeatedly throughout the text and the graphs.

    Comment by toto — 22 Dec 2011 @ 3:43 PM

  124. To be fair, I must also make the following observation about Mark Boslough’s post:

    Mark says:

    Next to the cartoon was and image of the cover of the book “The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science” illustrated with the multiproxy time series that Mann and his coauthors made famous. Ironically, Mann’s carefully plotted uncertainty bands were not visible on the presentation graphic, just as they were not reproduced in Fred Singer’s NIPCC report. “What uncertainty?” indeed!

    It is true that the (enormous) error bars in Mann’s graph are not visible in the presentation. But in this particular case, it seems to have been an artifact of the video equipment rather than deliberate misrepresentation. The error bars are visible in the actual book cover. It looks like the faint gray-on-white simply did not survive the transition to Powerpoint+projector.

    Comment by toto — 22 Dec 2011 @ 3:53 PM

  125. I think there are two key reasons why the contrarian message is so readily lapped up by so many:
    1. A total lack of understanding of science, any science not just climate science. Amongst many I’ve spoken to there seems to be a belief that science can not possibly understand a complex system like the climate (although they seem happy to take drugs to alter the state of the equally complex system, their body).
    2. If they get past 1. then there’s a good chance something like cognitive dissonace kicks in. Thinking back to the 1980s when it first struck me just how dangerous CO2 emissions could be it was very frightening. At first I just clung to any bit of science that seemed to justify me not changing my lifestyle but eventually it just became too obvious……and it’s been obvious ever since. The real clincher was when I used to follow the contrarian links in blogs and found that they were all, without exception, gibberish (although sometimes this wasn;t clear initially and took some research).

    I think many scientists forget just how hard it is for even scientifcally savvy amateurs to understand climate science. Much easier to follow Monckton’s soothing lies.

    Comment by Roly Gross — 22 Dec 2011 @ 4:11 PM

  126. #120 Mark

    If you recall from the banquet, the original plan was to have a general discussion after both presentations. The discussion quickly got derailed by various people challenging Anjuli Bamzai about research funding, and people started leaving. I had to leave the conference early Thurs a.m., and thus missed the second half of the conference. If you had questions about my presentation, I’m sorry I missed you at the Conference, but I am pretty accessible via email and also at my blog. I did two blog posts on the Santa Fe Conference

    With regards to my apparent disagreement with Richard Muller, as per the Daily Mail article. This was discussed on my blog in these two threads:

    With respect to my plenary presentation at the banquet. I am very surprised that you inferred that “My impression was that her presentation was intended to be more of a vehicle to criticize her adversaries than to talk about uncertainty.” My presentation was about how scientists are coping with uncertainty at the science-policy interface. I mentioned two scientists by name: Mann and Trenberth, neither of whom I regard as adversaries. My verbal mention of Mann was very oblique; the issue that I used as an example of “uncertainty monster hiding” was the treatment of the hockey stick in the TAR, and I made an explicit statement in my talk that I did not blame Mann for this.

    Your objection cannot be what I actually said; rather it seems to be associated with the hockey stick cartoon. I have been experimenting with humor and cartoons as a way of presenting topics that are uncomfortable to the audience. Inferring from my use of this cartoon that I was attacking Michael Mann is incorrect, particularly in context of the words I actually said.

    My discussion of the word “denier” was done in an academic context that cited the social science literature on denialism. I did not use the word in a pejorative way to label other individuals or groups, which is what the conference organizers wanted to avoid. My main point was to address the misconceptions reflected by Trenberth’s statements. My statement about 50% denier was in context of what I thought was an absurd definition of climate denier in a published social science paper.

    You say I dismissed standard risk reduction methodology. You really missed one of the main points of my talk which was the misunderstanding of many climate scientists about decision making under deep uncertainty. My argument is that climate scientists’ perception that the only decision making option is do nothing versus precautionary principle motivated emissions reductions has been damaging to both climate science and policy. Other DMUU strategies such as building resilience, adaptation and broadening the decision making framework are gaining increased traction. My main point was that understanding uncertainty and areas of ignorance is critical information for the decision process.

    You also state that my treatment and understanding of uncertainty was naïve. Recall, this was an after dinner talk, not a scientific treatise. For my recent publications on scientific uncertainty, see:

    Curry, JA 2011: Reasoning about climate uncertainty. Climatic Change, 108, 723-732.

    Curry, JA and Webster PJ 2011: Climate science and the uncertainty monster. Bull Amer Meteorol. Soc., in press (December issue)

    Curry, JA 2011: Nullifying the Climate Null Hypothesis. WIREs Climate Change, Volume 2, Issue 6, pages 919–924,

    Uncertainty has been a major topic on my blog, see this tab

    I don’t intend to continue to discuss this further here, if you would like to continue discussing or have further questions, let me know here or send me an email, and I will start a new thread at Climate Etc.

    Comment by Judith Curry — 22 Dec 2011 @ 4:13 PM

  127. Judith Curry wrote: “… the misunderstanding of many climate scientists about decision making under deep uncertainty …”

    There is no “deep uncertainty” that anthropogenic GHG emissions need to be reduced, substantially and rapidly, if we are to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic global warming and climate change.

    Of course, the entire purpose of the generation-long, fossil fuel-funded denialist propaganda campaign has been to create the illusion of such “deep uncertainty” where no such uncertainty actually exists.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Dec 2011 @ 4:31 PM

  128. I’ve just had a chance to re-watch Judith Curry’s presentation. (It does indeed look like someone very sloppily whited out the uncertainty bars in the hockey stick graph; see this part of the youtube presentation (around 2:20), compared to slide 5 here. They even managed to fade out portions of the horizontal bar that goes across the graph).

    In any event, whoever spoke out at 14:55 (in the same youtube link above), was absolutely correct. Judith Curry insists on using broad, unqualified statements, and in most cases these vague criticisms are presented within some sort of philosophical rant as opposed to any specific scientific issue she has. She actually doesn’t talk about scientific uncertainty in the video at all; instead, she criticizes Mike Mann, Trenberth, along with vague statements about “many scientists.” This make her objections absolutely meaningless except in forums where these sort of undergraduate-level “debates” are the key highlight of the evening. Her more specific criticisms that she wrote about elsewhere, for example dealing with the role of aerosols in attribution studies, was thoroughly demolished recently by the response paper by Gabrielle Hegerl, Peter Stott, Susan Solomon, and Francis Zwiers.

    Overall, I do not see how science benefits from these sort of conferences. It seems more like a forum for public entertainment than it is a vehicle to have everyone sit down and “talk about the issues,” as if two people like Kevin Trenberth and Chris Monckton are going to sit by a fire and sing kumbaya after they reach a mutual understanding on ENSO dynamics. Moreover, opening up technical discussion to random people and pretending it is at the same level as the literature (for example the recent guest post on her blog about how glacial-interglacial variations are caused by cycles in extraterrestrial dust) aren’t helpful either to “skepticism” or “science.”

    Compare this to conferences like AGU, where people who actually understand science get together and actually do talk about the uncertainties, demonstrate a lot of “healthy” skepticism, while at the same time doing it in a way that will likely help progress the field in whatever subject is being discussed. Curry is tackling a non-issue, and her transition from scientist to philospher isn’t actually benefiting anything.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 22 Dec 2011 @ 4:32 PM

  129. toto #124

    You are correct. I couldn’t see the uncertainty bands when it was projected on the screen, which added to the irony. But later when I saw the pdf version, I realized that was unintentional. See my post (#44):

    The uncertainty bands were reproduced in the graphic, but they weren’t visible in the projected version (see Uncertainty hiding). This was clearly unintentional. But the bands were intentionally removed from version shown in the NIPCC report.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 22 Dec 2011 @ 4:50 PM

  130. Judith #126

    Too bad you didn’t get a chance visit my posters Wednesday before you left. Both were about uncertainty quantification, a subject you appear to have an interest in. One of the reasons I go to conferences is to have face-to-face scientific interactions. I don’t find blogs all that useful for scientific discussions. I don’t know about yours, but most blogs are set up to play to the spectators and there isn’t really much opportunity for real and candid information exchange that allows the participants to change their positions. Maybe next year you will consider attending the uncertainty session I convene every year at AGU and interacting with the participants, including me.

    With regard to Mann and Trenberth, your treatment of them during your evening presentation appeared adversarial to me, as an independent observer. I just called it as I saw it, and if you don’t consider them to be adversaries, why do you ascribe an ideology to them as opposed to a different scientific opinion? As I recall, your quoting of Trenberth provoked an outburst from the back of the room (I couldn’t see who it was that began shouting at you about it).

    With regard to using humor in presentations, I always try to do that, but I find that self-effacing humor works better for most audiences than unfairly making someone you disagree with into the butt of your jokes. Especially when the cartoon reinforces a false accusation about the subject. Especially when you know that the subject of your joke has been the victim of conspiracy theories, email theft, harassment, and even death threats. This behavior just doesn’t promote the collegiality our field sorely needs, and yes, that was my main objection to your presentation.

    With regard to your use of “denier”, you say it was in an academic context. My use of the word “contrarian” was also, but the conference organizers asked me not to use it so I didn’t. You were the only one I observed at the conference who did not abide by these explicit ground rules.

    With regard to decision making under uncertainty, you appear to be suggesting there is something fundamentally about how we should approach climate change (as opposed to nuclear weapons safety or planetary defense from asteroid impacts). I know you don’t want to discuss it here, but it seems to me that you want a different set of rules for setting climate policy than is customarily used for other high-consequence risks.

    Thanks for the links. I hope you get a chance to catch up on the large body of nuclear weapons UQ literature that has come out of the national labs, and incorporate it into your thinking. We can talk about it at AGU next year.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 22 Dec 2011 @ 5:37 PM

  131. Judy, Risk assessment is my day job, and I can say without any uncertainty that you don’t understand it. First, you don’t even define standard risk assessment methodology, but instead throw up your hands in the face of the “uncertainties”.

    Risk assessment begins with the identification of a credible threat. “Climate change” would be too broad to be defined as a threat. Rather, it would be an increased stress that poses several threats. By any reasonable understanding of the term credible threat, I would hope you would agree that, for example, increasing drought and other threats to agriculture make the grade. Sea level rise, loss of glaciers as water sources and so on also meet the definition, albeit on a longer timescale.

    Once the credible threat is defined, the next step is to bound the risk posed by the threat, where risk is defined as the probability of the threat being realized times the cost were it to be realized. Here we run into a problem. In a world where the the population is set to crest at roughly 10 billion around midcentury, a significant increase in drought would indeed have severe consequences. Unfortunately, you are claiming that the models are too unreliable to yield reliable estimates of probabilities. That means that the risk cannot be bounded.

    When a risk with severe consequences cannot be bounded, standard risk assessment prescribes risk avoidance as the only reasonable strategy, since intelligent allocation of resources toward risk mitigation is not possible for situations of unbounded risk.

    For climate change, the only way to avoid the threat is to quit burning fossil fuels and otherwise reduce CO2 emissions. Indeed, without reliable models–as you contend–the only reasonable strategy is to slam on the brakes HARD.

    Judy, uncertainty is not the friend of the complacent.

    As to your characterization of the IPCC as a “manufacturer of consensus,” I am astounded that anyone familiar with the IPCC process could come to that conclusion. The IPCC is a barebones operation. They have little funding, and God knows the editing tasks carry little glory. All the IPCC can do is reflect the consensus that it finds in the scientific literature. Bray and von Storch 2008 found that a large majority of climate scientists feel they do an adequate job at this.

    In short, Judy, your talk contains 3 sorts of contentions:
    3)so vague that they fall into the category of “not even wrong”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Dec 2011 @ 7:02 PM

  132. RE @102

    I have a hard time believing this statement:

    “will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more,”

    The later statement about most areas with temperatures above 90 degrees are arid also seems pretty ridiculeous.

    Having grown up in DC, I recall all the time spent playing basketball in weather in the mid 90’s temp & humidity wise. And I know a few Vietnam vets who can attest that hot humid conditions – which they were exposed to for periods ranging from days to weeks, carrying loads upwards of 70 – 90 lbs – where not what they wooried about killing them.

    This is exactly what pushes me into the “sceptical” camp. I don’t doubt we are warming and that human activities are probably a significant cause. What I have doubts about are many of the predictions.

    Comment by timg56 — 22 Dec 2011 @ 7:13 PM

  133. Secular,
    The “deep uncertainty” is not that we should not reduce carbon emissions, but rather the effects that those emissions may have on the climate. The constant blame that anytime someone mentions uncertainty that they are somehow linked to the fossil fuel-funded denialist propaganda machine does no credence to your argument. If there truly were no (pr very little) uncertainty, then we would be able to attribute temperature forcings much better than we currently do. Some of the best forcings are +/- 50%. Not exactly high certainty.

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Dec 2011 @ 8:40 PM

  134. Some words of wisdom and guidance from the well informed NY times climate journalist Andrew Revkin.

    Climate Panel Needs to Follow its Own Advice

    That discusses the implications of IPCC Chair Pachauri’s lighthearted comments on how to deal with skeptics with Jerry Brown and Richard Branson on TV and some past slips.

    “I believe it’s time for Rajendra K. Pachauri to take a new approach to discussing climate change or leave the chairmanship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after nearly a decade in that position. There is an unavoidable and counterproductive blurriness to the line between his personal advocacy for climate action — which is his right as an individual — and his stature as the leader of the panel, which was established in 1988 as “a policy relevant but policy neutral organization.”

    Comment by Manvendra Dubey — 22 Dec 2011 @ 10:21 PM

  135. #132, there is humidity, then there is Humidity,


    Comment by john byatt — 22 Dec 2011 @ 10:49 PM

  136. #126 Judith Curry:

    Your objection cannot be what I actually said; rather it seems to be associated with the hockey stick cartoon. I have been experimenting with humor and cartoons as a way of presenting topics that are uncomfortable to the audience. Inferring from my use of this cartoon that I was attacking Michael Mann is incorrect, particularly in context of the words I actually said.

    I have to say that I find this line of reasoning incredibly disingenuous. If you are going to give a presentation then you can’t pretend that the visuals do not form part of the message that you are trying to get across! More than that, the visuals will be remembered long after the words are forgotten.

    I saw the YouTube video of the presentation long before I read this article and I literally groaned when you got to that slide. I actually stopped watching at that point because I decided not to waste my time watching the rest.

    Why? Because it’s a lie. It doesn’t matter what you say when you present a slide like that; if you put up a slide entitled “Uncertainty Monster Hiding”, the cover of a book entitled “The Hockey Stick Illusion — Climategate and the Corruption of Science”, and a cartoon depicting Michael Mann hiding an “uncertainty monster” under a sheet and saying “What Uncertainty?”, what other interpretation can we form than the obvious one — that you are accusing Michael Mann of deliberately hiding the undertainty in his data?

    And by doing so, you are ignoring the massive error bars and uncertainties that he clearly stated in the original work that was faithfully reproduced in the IPCC report. In other words, not only is it a personal attack on Michael Mann’s integrity, it is completely unfounded!

    Having seen the comments here, though, I did decide to download the presentation via the link you provided to see whether the uncertainty bars really were visible in the original presentation (they weren’t in the YouTube video, adding to the misrepresentation). They are in the PDF, making the slide as intended supremely ironic.

    But skipping through the rest I couldn’t help but notice slide 18, where you state that the reasons for your belief ca. 2006-2008 were “confidence in, and authority of, the IPCC” and “solidarity among scientists against a perceived ‘war on science'”.

    Really? You’re a climate scientist, but your belief in the attribution statement came not from the evidence and understanding of the science but faith in the IPCC and a response to a perceived “war on science”???

    I’m not even a climate scientist and yet I’ve had no trouble forming my own opinion based on the scientific literature. I’ve even been deeply sceptical of the IPCC’s ability to accurately reflect the literature due to the inherent conservativeness of the process.

    I can now understand why your “beliefs” were so vulnerable to being shaken by “climategate”.

    Perhaps you should consider the possibility that not everyone’s “beliefs” were formed the same way as yours.

    Comment by JasonB — 22 Dec 2011 @ 10:53 PM

  137. If there truly were no (pr very little) uncertainty, then we would be able to attribute temperature forcings much better than we currently do. Some of the best forcings are +/- 50%. Not exactly high certainty.

    The problem, of course, is that even the lower end of the sensitivity range given by science is not a pleasant prospect.

    There’s significant uncertainty, which is not “ignored” by mainstream science (as Curry claims), but rather *comes from* mainstream science.

    The problem that you, and she, and other denialists is that the uncertainty that you tout does not, in the context of science, give us reason for optimism.

    Thus Curry’s insistence that it’s certain that uncertainty leads us to *lower* sensitivity than even the most optimistic end of the IPCC range.

    It’s not “uncertainty” per se (which, if that was the concern, would give equal weight to uncertainty on the high end).

    It’s truly the implications that run against political beliefs. You know that…

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Dec 2011 @ 11:37 PM

  138. Further … if Curry were honest about the “uncertainty monster” she’d point out that it’s not certain that we won’t see a several C raise in average global temps in the next few decades.

    But her “uncertainty monster” only has one eye and its neck is fused and unable to turn. It is genetically programmed to stare in one direction, the direction that claims that all of uncertainty is on the low range – actually, far below the low range – and apparently is incapable of examining the full realm of uncertainty …

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Dec 2011 @ 11:41 PM

  139. I have a hard time believing this statement:

    “will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more,”

    The later statement about most areas with temperatures above 90 degrees are arid also seems pretty ridiculeous.

    Having grown up in DC, I recall all the time spent playing basketball in weather in the mid 90′s temp & humidity wise. And I know a few Vietnam vets who can attest that hot humid conditions – which they were exposed to for periods ranging from days to weeks, carrying loads upwards of 70 – 90 lbs – where not what they wooried about killing them.

    This is exactly what pushes me into the “sceptical” camp.

    Get back to us when you’re in your 60s or 70s or 80s or 90s and tell us how that basketball playing in extremely humid high-temperature weather works out for you.

    So your skepticism of climate science is based on a rejection of the medical reality that high, humid temps can kill people.

    Your Vietnam vets, of course, were selected based partially on physical fitness and age. There’s a reason that old farts can’t volunteer for the infantry, or those who are overweight, have heart problems, etc.

    It’s precisely because the army selects for people who can survive difficult physical situations. If your lack of confidence in medicine’s well-based, then the Army should select (or draft!) *EVERYONE*, because according to your hypothesis, *EVERYONE* should be able to survive harsh field conditions, and the Army’s stupid for being selective …

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Dec 2011 @ 11:48 PM

  140. timg #132:

    I have a hard time believing this statement:

    “will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more,”

    Heat can only flow if there is a difference in temperature. The wet-bulb temperature is, by definition, the coolest temperature that can be achieved by evaporation (e.g. sweating). If the internal body temperature is near 98.6F, and the average human needs to dissipate 100 Watts at rest in order to avoid raising their temperature, then I don’t have any difficulty believing that a wet-bulb temperature above 95F for six hours or more is going to be a serious problem.

    Having grown up in DC, I recall all the time spent playing basketball in weather in the mid 90′s temp & humidity wise. And I know a few Vietnam vets who can attest that hot humid conditions – which they were exposed to for periods ranging from days to weeks, carrying loads upwards of 70 – 90 lbs – where not what they wooried about killing them.

    But what were the web bulb temperatures? They never exceeded 31C/88F anywhere in the world during the last decade according to the paper.

    The US National Weather Service says that a dry bulb temperature of 95F at just 80% humidity corresponds to a heat index of 133, where “heat stroke is highly likely with continued exposure”.

    So why would this paper push you into the “skeptical” camp? As someone who’s actually travelled to Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and northern Australia, it seemed like a wholly unremarkable finding to me. But then I haven’t played basketball in DC, so it’s possible that it has the highest web bulb temperatures in the world and people there have evolved to not only cope with it but actually play basketball in it.

    Comment by JasonB — 22 Dec 2011 @ 11:59 PM

  141. timg doesn’t understand the meaning and implications of the terms he’s reading, confounding dry bulb temperature and separate humidity with wet bulb temperature, and remaining ignorant of the military understanding of the resulting wet bulb globe temperature, his VietVet friends were either not marines or didn’t pay attention to the warning flags, and he obviously hasn’t heard about the Canadian Humidex or the dew point.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:09 AM

  142. Your Vietnam vets, of course, were selected based partially on physical fitness and age. There’s a reason that old farts can’t volunteer for the infantry, or those who are overweight, have heart problems, etc.

    And even then, the highest heat category at US military installations is a WBGT Index >= 90F, which would be easily exceeded, for example, by a wet bulb temperature of 90F, let alone 95F.

    At that heat category, the work/rest cycle for hard work for acclimatised personnel is 10 minutes work followed by 50 minutes sitting or standing, in the shade if possible. (Unacclimatised personnel aren’t allowed to do hard work at all in heat category 5.)

    Here’s a current pamphlet for the US Air Force:

    Mining companies operating in hot environments have similar rules, with explicit instructions to look out for signs of heat stroke amongst your co-workers (e.g. signs of confusion or disorientation).

    Comment by JasonB — 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:10 AM

  143. As a long-term lurker (it is particularly helpful to an interested amateur with some scientific training to pursue links and resources from a variety of knowledgeable commenters here, as they tend to be evidence-based and use primary sources) I find Dr. Curry’s comments either reckless or, more likely, disingenuous. It is hard to believe someone with scientific training could be so sparing of factual material and so generous with insults and claims of persecution. The disingenuous part would be providing more fodder for the fan club that appears to lap up any claims of censorship, insult, obstinacy and unwilling to notice the lack of technical argument and response to what were at first exceedingly polite requests for evidence.

    Scientific training ideally provides a grounding in setting aside prejudice and opinion and looking at evidence. I could hope that at some point some phony skeptics would have a stab at some real skepticism and take a look at how rigid their belief system is. They agree with the circus variety of anti-state-of-the-art arguments (see Skeptical Science which gets better and more thorough all the time) which do not agree with each other, but regard anything from the massive work done over time by almost the entire scientific community and the vast independent resources dedicated to the work worldwide as entirely suspect. One thing that never seems to enter their calculations is the possibility that they, and not all the world’s most credible scientific resources, are wrong.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:19 AM

  144. According to, the highest average wet-bulb temperature at Nha Trang airport in Vietnam during the Vietnam war was from mid-day to 2 PM in May, with a mean of 79.7F and standard deviation of 1.7F.

    I don’t know how good a proxy this is for typical conditions experienced by US soldiers during that time, but it does seem a long way shy of the 95F discussed in the paper that timg was so concerned about.

    Comment by JasonB — 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:52 AM

  145. Watched the video, Mark was accurate. Judith “was personally relieved about being viewed as a peacemaker”.Self over the subject. Portraying colleagues in the same ilk, so its one big scientist ego feud, a wrestling spectacle refereed by the media, who adore never ending stories.

    There is no uncertainty in Arctic warming, the fridge of the Northern Hemisphere is changing, yet Judith talks about a natural variability, its a diversion, she wants to be the subject talking about the subject she does not talk about.

    I rather want to read why she thinks its variable, I am all for this debate. The rest is a waste of time.

    Dr Hansen had it right, in darkness, no sun, radiation escaping continuously straight to space, indeed there is significant consistent warming. Especially during the long night or more strongly during the long day, 24 hours continuously, added greenhouse gases are tipping the summer/winter balance,, we live it and someone calls it a fantasy needing clarification. I challenge Mrs Curry to forget about her being Jeanne D’arc. Go back to explain the mechanics of this variability she hints about.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 23 Dec 2011 @ 4:32 AM

  146. Why anyone would want Monckton to represent them is beyond me. If he was a committed pro-AGW evidence advocate I would still want him to shut up because he is a self-publicising, embarrassing fake.

    Comment by Roly Gross — 23 Dec 2011 @ 8:12 AM

  147. Chris Colose wrote: “I do not see how science benefits from these sort of conferences.”

    As a non-scientist reading this discussion, I must admit that I don’t either.

    In fact, by all appearances the whole and entire point of this conference was to confer undeserved legitimacy on some of the most egregiously anti-science AGW deniers around.

    Judith Curry’s presentation sounds like an offensive travesty … and Monckton ?!? Good grief.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Dec 2011 @ 11:33 AM

  148. Here’s something that might shed light on the Q (#124,128,129) of whether Curry’s Slide 5 (as seen at her talk) was accidentally-not-showing vs. hiding the hockey stick “uncertainty shading”: the “hockey stick” (HSI book cover) image on her prepared slide is lighter than the actual book cover image – compare them here (link).

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 23 Dec 2011 @ 11:37 AM

  149. re: #121 Boslough
    Did you ever get a list of invited speakers?
    What does that mean, exactly for a conference like this?

    Comment by John Mashey — 23 Dec 2011 @ 12:43 PM

  150. JasonB,

    Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding. I formed the wrong idea about wet bulb temperature from the linked article.


    I know quite a few Marines, including the one who is my son. Could I suggest you take a lesson from Jason on politeness?


    I played into my 40’s every week until a change in jobs disrupted my schedule. Now, the knees keep me from playing. The one that was rebuilt several years ago is a candidate for joint replacement.

    BTW – where does your expertise on the infantry come from?

    Comment by timg56 — 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:50 PM

  151. John #149
    At AGU, conveners can select up to four invited speakers per oral session. Invited speakers are usually given a bit more time and they are identified on the program as “invited”.

    For the Santa Fe conference, the abstract submission form had two boxes to be checked: “invited” and “contributed”. According to Petr Chylek (the conference chair) the invited presentations were to be 15-20 minutes long, and the contributed presentations were to be 10-15 minutes. I checked the “invited” box when I submitted my abstract.

    As it turned out, all the presentations were 20 minutes long, so I assumed everyone had requested an “invited” presentation. As far as I could see, there was no identification of invited speakers on the conference program or website (unlike the way AGU does it).

    When I posted a comment yesterday saying that Fred Singer had given an invited presentation, I immediately got a message from Petr correcting me and telling me that Fred was not invited. Now I’m very curious about who *was* invited, and what the distinction was between invited and contributed speakers and I have a request out to Petr asking for the list. Perhaps the invited speakers were the ones who got travel grants.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:59 PM

  152. I now wish I’d had the time to attend, since the discussion raises an interesting possibility, in parallel with my findings in Skeptics Prefer Pal Review Over Peer Review: Chris de Freitas, Pat Michaels And Their Pals, 1997-2003.
    1) Heartland ICC’s.
    2) Energy and Environment
    3) Climate Research. That was a respectable journal with a “rogue editor” who for a while a certain set of authors’ papers, not all of which were necessarily bad, but some of which were awful … along with reasonable papers from many other authors.
    Compared to 1) and 2), it is far better to have papers (or talks) where most of the research is reasonable, than it is to publish in E&E or talk at ICCC. Those sound more credible on a C.V. and can be quoted elsewhere.

    I’m too busy with another project to look hard at this right now, but maybe others have the time. Talks by the following may be just fine, or not.Maybe others can comment, perhaps looking at Final Agenda, especially: the following.
    Again, the papers may be perfectly fine … but I’ve never seen such a concentration of *familiar* names for a Federally-funded conference like this, and some of these titles make me nervous:
    J. Curry (Georgia Tech) A Critical Look at the IPCC AR4 Climate Change Detection and Attribution
    R. Lindzen (MIT) Climate v. Climate Alarm
    D. Easterbrook (Western Washington U) Ice core isotope data: The past is the key to the future
    F. Singer (SEPP) Is the reported global surface warming of 1979 to 1997 real?
    Judy Curry (Georgia Tech) The uncertainty monster at the climate science-policy interface (Banquet speaker)
    N. Scafetta (Duke U) The climate oscillations: Analysis, implication and their astronomical origin
    C. Loehle (Nat Council for Air Improvement) Climate change attribution using empirical decomposition
    P. Chylek (LANL) Ice core evidence for a high spatial and temporal variability of the AMO
    C. Monckton (The Viscount of Brenchley) , Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?
    C. Essex (U Western Ontario) Regime algebra and climate theory
    N-A Morner (Paleogeophysics, Stockholm) Sea level changes in the Indian Ocean: Observational facts
    P. Knappenberger, Short-term climate model projected trends of global temperature and observations
    W. Gray (CSU) Recent multi-century climate changes as a result of variation in the global oceans deep MOC
    PM-3 P. Chylek, C. Folland, et al (LANL, UK Met Office) Observed and model simulated 20th century Arctic temperature variability: Anthropogenic warming and natural climate variability
    PM-8 H. Inhaber (Risk Concept) Will Wind Fulfill its Promise of CO2 Reductions?
    PM-12 H. Hayden (U Connecticut) Doing the Obvious: Linearizing (recall: his book lauded E-G Beck’s CO2 paper and he’s a retired atomic physicist … but maybe he’s become a climate researcher)
    PW-3 Fred Singer (SEPP) Are observed and modeled patterns of temperature trends ‘Consisten’? Comparing the ‘Fingerprints’

    Comment by John Mashey — 23 Dec 2011 @ 3:25 PM

  153. John, perhaps this will be another opportunity:

    February 29, 2012 – March 2, 2012

    “… the first Conference on Data Analysis (CoDA), hosted by the Statistical Sciences Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The invited program features sessions exploring
    Statistical Issues in Climate and Energy ….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Dec 2011 @ 7:09 PM

  154. re MarkB (#151)’s
    > “Now I’m very curious about who *was* invited…and I have a request out to Petr asking for the list” –

    FYI, today I asked the Conference Coordinator of the (LANL) Center for Nonlinear Studies for the list of the conferences’s travel grant recipients, but he wasn’t willing to provide it.
    Let us know when you hear back from Petr please.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 23 Dec 2011 @ 7:17 PM

  155. Interesting that so many seem to reject the scientific consensus due to the “climategate” emails. For me, it was the outrageous antics of people like Fred Singer and Jo Nova that convinced me that the anti-AGW crowd pretty much has nothing worthy of serious consideration to present.

    Comment by rykart — 24 Dec 2011 @ 3:37 PM

  156. response to commenter 152’s request

    In addition I have synopsized other interesting papers if others would like a further posting.

    . Curry (Georgia Tech) A Critical Look at the IPCC AR4 Climate Change Detection and Attribution

    Hard to comment on this paper since it’s diffuse in its discussion. Largely superceded by more recent work since AR4

    R. Lindzen (MIT) Climate v. Climate Alarm

    Right observations but Dessler (2010) shows fairly clearly wrong interpretation. I asked Richard about this at the meeting but he hadn’t read Dessler’s most recent paper.

    D. Easterbrook (Western Washington U) Ice core isotope data: The past is the key to the future

    Mostly a rant. His arguments left out most of the research in the past 15 years???

    F. Singer (SEPP) Is the reported global surface warming of 1979 to 1997 real?

    After Rich Muller’s paper, this was just an embarrassment to Fred.

    Judy Curry (Georgia Tech) The uncertainty monster at the climate science-policy interface (Banquet speaker)

    Perhaps the most unfortunate keynote talk I have ever heard.

    N. Scafetta (Duke U) The climate oscillations: Analysis, implication and their astronomical origin

    Nicola is a careful and persistent scientist, but this paper most would call numerology reminiscent of Ted —–,
    Work a decade ago. Still it’s work that one needs to keep in mind. The premise, that gravitational effects on the sun by Jupiter could constrain solar activity, at least timing, is pretty far out, but not entirely far out.

    C. Loehle (Nat Council for Air Improvement) Climate change attribution using empirical decomposition

    Loehle looks at 20 and 60 yr cycles in the temperature record over the past 150 yrs or so. He uses observations through 1950 to “calibrate” natural warming and cooling and then applies this to temperature changes since 1970. He gets that AMO/PDO might have caused over 1/2 of warming 1970-2000 and substantial cooling since. But when I try to do the same thing, I have to omit the warming cycle 1910-1940 because there was a significant warming during that time due to rising AGHGs. That said, I get about 1/5 of the warming 1970-2000 due to multi-decadal ocean cycles. Later in the conference Chris Folland, Chylek et al showed a more rigorous cross-correlation attempt to sort out forcings which got about 1/3 warming from AMO. Others doing this don’t get as much, but I’m sure there will be lots more study of this in the growing body of literature. To me bottom line is that AMO/PDO does account for warming and cooling since 1920 and that will most likely reduce current estimates of median climate sensitivity, but by how much we’ll have to wait and see. (btw I’ve asked Gavin to consider a posting on RC about this.)

    P. Chylek (LANL) Ice core evidence for a high spatial and temporal variability of the AMO

    Fascinating paper which shows among other things that both the 20 and 60 yr ocean cycles come and go over the time period he looked at ~4,000 yrs. Modelers are looking at why this might be. Here they reproduce the results of another paper in the literature:

    C. Monckton (The Viscount of Brenchley) , Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?

    Monckton’s paper:
    Monckton is a consummate debater and as such could easily win either side of the warming argument. His economic criticism of the Stern Report looked to me like setting up an unreal or exaggerated strawman and then of course easily knocking it down. Mostly useless to us.

    Monckton’s poster—didn’t see it, but from the abstract it looks like something very similar to his talk.

    C. Essex (U Western Ontario) Regime algebra and climate theory

    His reasoning assumes that those involved with modeling haven’t thought of his concerns. I think a careful look at the literature might show a stronger basis for turing to models to understand observations. As for climate being said to be “average” weather, we all know that’s an over-simplification but one that helps the lay person see the difference between precise April day behavior and average April behavior. Everyone agrees there is more to it thatn that, but to first order…

    Morner (Paleogeophysics, Stockholm) Sea level changes in the Indian Ocean: Observational facts

    Pretty much a rant. He showed that there has been little SLR in the Indian O.—Maldives, etc. and claims the satellite observations are just plain wrong. Not much new there.

    P. Knappenberger, Short-term climate model projected trends of global temperature and observations

    Chip gave a nice, thoughtful talk, but it’s results have been superceded. He looked carefully at whether the AR4 model simulations adequately predicted the warming “hiatus” of the past 10 years. He found it just barely likely. However, those simulations knew nothing about the anomalous lack of solar activity, unexpected dust in the stratosphere (paper given at this conference), and Sue Solomon’s study showing decreased stratospheric H2O also had caused cooling. Were he to repeat his work with models incorporating these, he probablyl would have come to a different conclusion. I note here also that at least two carefully initialized model simulations done around 2000 did predict a hiatus due to existence of ocean cycles in their cooling phases. Chip, unfortunately didn’t discuss these publications.

    W. Gray (CSU) Recent multi-century climate changes as a result of variation in the global oceans deep MOC

    Classic Gray. Not much new there, but useful as he keeps urging us to look at the oceans more carefully. Byw, during the conference Bill kept saying that it’s the oceans—that solar and dust loading aren’t all that important in determing climate…….

    PM-3 P. Chylek, C. Folland, et al (LANL, UK Met Office) Observed and model simulated 20th century Arctic temperature variability: Anthropogenic warming and natural climate variability

    Another study arguing that AR4 models underestimated ocean multi-decadal warmings and coolings especially in the Arctic.

    PM-8 H. Inhaber (Risk Concept) Will Wind Fulfill its Promise of CO2 Reductions?

    Interesting paper making the point that inefficiencies of having to daily start up fossil fuel backups will greatly reduce their efficiency. Something to think about.

    PM-12 H. Hayden (U Connecticut) Doing the Obvious: Linearizing (recall: his book lauded E-G Beck’s CO2 paper and he’s a retired atomic physicist … but maybe he’s become a climate researcher)

    Didn’t see it.

PW-3 Fred Singer (SEPP) Are observed and modeled patterns of temperature trends ‘Consistency’? Comparing the ‘Fingerprints’

    Fred’s ideas are pretty old-fashioned. The many recent studies of satellite temps are showing increasing agreement with models.

    Comment by Chick Keller — 24 Dec 2011 @ 6:13 PM

  157. > some of these titles make me nervous

    Google the title; the ones I’ve looked at so far were retreads of stuff previously cited or commented on, but not necessarily updated to reflect that,

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Dec 2011 @ 7:05 PM

  158. Re: 156 Chick: thanks!

    Comment by John Mashey — 25 Dec 2011 @ 12:32 AM

  159. #156 Thanks Chick, very good break down, I understand more why they are so stiff with accepting AGW. From what they disclose I don’t read what is really going on. First they don’t deal with the duality of light and dark, adiabatic lapse rate and layered boundary layers, they don’t have an idea about CFC’s as a Greenhouse gas having opposite effects in the Polar stratospheres. They fail to reveal sea ice implications, even if W Gray is right, cold air caps the open ocean, without a colder Arctic atmosphere, the polar seas have less ice, subsequently Arctic seas are more susceptible to become the agent of change. W Gray must include both, at the surface there is an interface interplay, excessively important for hurricanes, tornados as well as climate. Which brings me back to Curry’s work about boundary layers, of which they appear to disappear when there is less and no ice, even in darkness. My horizontal refraction work brings that out in spades. So all in all they are talking about substance having little to do with present deeply changing climate circumstances. They are talking about ants when they should be observing Gorillas.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 25 Dec 2011 @ 9:24 PM

  160. Michael Doliner

    >> 3. Possible explanation for temporary leveling off of warming.

    The theory of catastrophic global warming based on positive feedback is wrong? Could you even entertain the possibility that an unpredicted period of levelling off might indicate that to be the case?

    [Response: Strawman premise, incorrect assessment, pointless rhetorical question. please try and do better. – gavin]

    Comment by David Harrington — 25 Dec 2011 @ 11:54 PM

  161. > Chip gave a nice, thoughtful talk, but it’s results have been superceded

    That’s advocacy science in action (his company is the 2nd hit if you search for “advocacy science” — along with a plethora of hits to seemingly reasonable and sober work citing the usual deniers doubting the IPCC).

    Any opportunity to repeat an already debunked paper as though it were fresh and new is precious for these folks.

    What matters to the advocate is repeating his talking point, not updating it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Dec 2011 @ 10:03 AM

  162. @ timg56 — 22 Dec 2011 @ 7:13 PM re your skepticism of dangerous wet bulb global temperatures – “I have a hard time believing this statement:

    ‘..will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more,'”

    from (Marine Corps Paris Island, the place where “We make Marines”)

    Category……WBGT °F……..WBGT °C……..Flag color

    “Black Flag (WBGTI of 90 and above degrees F): All nonessential physical activity will be halted.”

    You may not believe it, but the guys that train the tough guys that become Marines believe it – from experience.

    “Many studies have measured the incidence of heat casualties among military personnel in a training environment. The reported incidence of heat injury at basic military training facilities is typically about 5 to 8 cases per 10,000 troops per week, although higher rates were reported in the Marine Corps prior to implementation of heat-related training restrictions.”
    “…Vietnam [heat casualties] ran as high as 378 per 10,000 per week. Because these figures do not include soldiers who were adversely affected by heat but did not come to the attention of the reporting system, the true incidence of heat illness may have been much higher.” PRACTICAL MEDICAL ASPECTS OF MILITARY OPERATIONS IN THE HEAT, LARRY A. SONNA, MD, PHD*

    Of course, if you’re not a physically very fit and well trained soldier under the observation of Medical Officers who frequently check the temperatures and your responses, and order you to refrain from dangerous physical activity when conditions warrant(or conversely, accept that the necessities of war require sacrifice), YMMV –,-preparedness-and-response/heathealth-action-plans/heat-threatens-health-key-figures-for-europe
    “Over 70,000 additional deaths were recorded in the summer of 2003 in 12 European countries.”

    “Russia Heat Wave May Kill 15,000, Shave $15 Billion of GDP” “The capital broke another record today when the temperature reached 32.8 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit).”

    “What I have doubts about are many of the predictions.” How ’bout the observed facts? Do you also believe that the public health officials who report heat related deaths are in on the conspiracy with the climate scientists?

    The reason you are getting piled on is because your doubts are based on some combination of social/political/religious/economic/educational background considerations; and you not only lack knowledge to base your doubts on facts, you do not respect the years of work and hard gains in knowledge achieved by the experts because the facts they know disagree with your “gut feelings”.

    If you ask “how do you know that?”, you will likely get a polite explanation – and probably more information than you want.
    If you say instead “I have a hard time believing” to someone who has been maliciously attacked by the likes of Monckton, or Plimer, or Morano, or Palin, or Limbaugh, or even Curry(who’s smart enough to know better), you immediately signal that you’ve chosen a “side”. Reality is like a Möbius strip – there’s only one side.

    Do you also have a hard time believing that “skeptics” might have a reason to mislead you, perhaps by omitting error bars on a reproduced graph, and then claiming that “warmists” are ignoring uncertainty?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 26 Dec 2011 @ 2:23 PM

  163. As Chris Colose points out in 128, with references to the slides used, it is clear that the slide JC used in her presentation is not the one she has in her PDF. The projector did not incorrectly project the uncertainty ranges. The slide in the presentation has clearly visible erase marks. The one in the presentation has obviously been tampered with to remove the uncertainty. One can only wonder who did the tampering? And why would the PDF not match the slides used in the presentation? What is JC’s response to these questions?

    Comment by Michael Sweet — 26 Dec 2011 @ 6:33 PM

  164. Michael #128

    In the conclusion of my essay I pointed out that the contrarians at that Santa Fe conference appeared to have one thing in common: the cynical belief (contrary to the evidence) that climategate was a conspiracy and that the IPCC is rigged.

    The accusations you are making about Prof. Curry–that she intentionally hid the uncertainty bands–are no different than the cynical accusations that climategate conspiracy theorists have made about the authors of the stolen email. There is no evidence that she did this, just as there is no evidence that anybody “hid the decline” in global temperatures. In fact, if you look at other slides from the pdf version of her presentation, you will see other gray-scale shading that is not visible in the youtube video.

    If you are going to accuse someone of doctoring a graph or other misconduct, you need bomb-proof evidence. Please, let’s not sink to the level of making unsubstantiated and false accusations, or we are ceding the high ground.

    In my essay, I said “Mann’s carefully plotted uncertainty bands were not visible on the presentation graphic, just as they were not reproduced in Fred Singer’s NIPCC report.” I did not know why they were not visible. I assumed at the time they were not shown on the original book cover just as they were removed from the NIPCC version of the graph. But let me say again for the record that I never suspected or accused Prof. Curry of expunging them.

    I hope Prof. Curry will give the subjects of her own criticism the same benefit of the doubt in the future.

    Comment by Mark Boslough — 26 Dec 2011 @ 10:21 PM

  165. BTW, via Climate, Etc I found Don Easterbrook’s 49-slide talk, presumably for 20 minutes.

    “The 1977-1998 global warming period is over and we are now in a period of global cooling that will last several decades, similar to continuing natural cycles dating back thousands of years.”

    I love the conclusion:
    “Dogma is an impediment to the free exercise of thought. It paralyzes the intelligence.”

    Comment by John Mashey — 27 Dec 2011 @ 4:57 PM

  166. In Chick’s (156) response to John Mashey he said that Fred Singer had embarrassed himself.

    With all due respect to Chick: I don’t think that it is possible for Fred Singer to embarrass himself.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 27 Dec 2011 @ 7:05 PM

  167. re: 166
    Actually, I think it is possible, for other reasons that should become clear within the next week or two. But: does anyone have a copy of Fred’s talk at Santa Fe?
    That would be specifically useful.

    Comment by John Mashey — 27 Dec 2011 @ 8:04 PM

  168. For a sympathetic and fascinating take on William Gray, check out Chris Mooney’s Storm World (a good read as well). He was *the* giant in his field for a very long time, but it seems an object lesson in how a lot of knowledge can be a dangerous thing when traveling into strange waters. Authority is not self-substantiating forever, unless backed by facts and evidence.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 27 Dec 2011 @ 10:28 PM

  169. Perhaps the most unfortunate keynote talk I have ever heard. …

    Interestingly, recently a worthwhile, I think, discussion broke out in an old thread at Climate Etc., and Judy has tossed in several comments. Fred Moolten has done his usual patient and seemingly thorough job of presenting current science.

    Fred gets it going here with a discussion on a new paper: Anthropogenic and natural warming inferred from changes in Earth’s energy balance – Huber and Knutti.

    The discussion resumes here, and again here.

    Some may have forgotten this, but Judith thought Pat Michaels had the better argument in the dust up between Santer and Michaels before congress earlier this year. The video is here, panel 2.

    It’s rare these days that anything is interesting there, but I thought this back and forth was.

    Comment by JCH — 27 Dec 2011 @ 10:29 PM

  170. JCH, that is indeed interesting, particularly this brief assessment of the Huber&Knutti paper.

    We need a climate hearing; some Qs need to be asked where they can be answered under oath.

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 28 Dec 2011 @ 12:14 PM

  171. @170

    According to Dr. Curry

    “It is a weak methodology that agrees with a bunch of previous studies, so there is no surprising result. I can do a post that tears the paper apart, but since I don’t think this is a very significant paper, i don’t think it is worth the effort?”

    I doubt she’s capable of “tearing the paper apart”, or even making a significant dent on its conclusions, especially considering that her previous foray into detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change ended with an embarrassing train wreck…

    Comment by doskonaleszare — 29 Dec 2011 @ 7:09 AM

  172. #165–Wow. Cherry-pick HADCRU starting in ’98 and you still get a basically flat linear trend (-.0013C/decade.) Talk about dogma and evidence!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 29 Dec 2011 @ 9:40 AM

  173. Chick @ 156, thanks for the extensive summary. A question: are you thinking of the AMO as a forcing?

    All: James links a nice new little paper and a previous blog post on the same subject:

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 29 Dec 2011 @ 11:28 AM

  174. At #117 Mark Boslough asked if Fred Singer was invited. At #121 he noted that Petr Chylek had e-mailed him to say that Singer was not invited. I don’t believe Chylek’s comment since Singer appears as an invited speaker on Judith Curry’s web site which has a list of speakers:

    Comment by Ian Forrester — 29 Dec 2011 @ 10:44 PM

  175. re: #174 Ian thanks!
    From that list, I note that 2 organizers (Chylek & Schwartz) had invited papers, I guess OK.

    But Singer had 2 and Scafetta 1 (Rhodes Fairbridge appears again!). Singer has “proved” that the warming of 1978-200 is NOT real.

    Suggestion: could we have a discussion thread for each of the 3 papers, as each deserves some analysis,
    remembering that tax dollars paid for this conference.

    Comment by John Mashey — 30 Dec 2011 @ 11:26 AM

  176. Gavin’s response to 160.

    Gavin the question is only seen as rhetorical as it is unlikely that you would furnish an answer. Positive feedbacks are essential to the theory that AGW constitute an urgent problem for mankind to tackle and these positive feedbacks are assumed in the models. Is it even conceivable to you that this assumption is wrong and that explains the recent lack of warming? And for the record this is not a rhetorical question, or a straw argument, this is a question from a taxpayer to a modeller who’s paid for by my taxes, and I would at least appreciate the courtesy of a response.

    [Response: Since we appear to live in different countries, I’m not sure of the relevance of your financial affairs to commenting on a blog, but regardless, I’m happy to respond. First off, your conception of what goes into models is wrong – positive feedbacks are outcomes that derive from the physics, not a priori assumptions. Secondly, the constraints that we have on what the net feedback is do not come from models at all, but from the records of past climate. Thirdly, I’m happy to test any reasonable variation in the model physics that is in accord with physical observations – that unfortunately rules out changing the conservation of energy, Clausius-Clapeyron, Navier-Stokes, radiative absorption properties of greenhouse gases etc. though. Indeed, climate modellers across the world have been varying what can be varied for decades – and none of those variations give you matches to the real world while at the same time indicating that climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is negligible. Instead, you have dozens of models that indicate that short term trends in temperature can vary widely due to the internal variability, and that what we have seen in the last decade is neither exceptional nor predictive of changes in the future (presumably you don’t think that the Excel linear regression function is a climate model). There certainly are observations of climate that do challenge the models – the warm poles during the Eocene, the abruptness of the warming at the end of the Younger Dryas – but recent temperature trends are not anything like as anomalous – indeed, given the relative uncertainty in aerosol or solar forcings and the importance of internal variability on short time scales – it doesn’t appear very anomalous at all. – gavin]

    Comment by David Harrington — 30 Dec 2011 @ 11:44 AM

  177. To Pete @ comment 173– “Chick @ 156, thanks for the extensive summary. A question: are you thinking of the AMO as a forcing?”
    In the sense that semi-cyclic ocean variability can alternately warm and cool the atmosphere. Thus AMO could have alternately warmed the earth in the 1930-40s, cooled it 1960-70s, and warmed again 1990s (note no trend here, just ups and downs as with solar activity). If this cycle is not taken into account we get an incorrect idea of the magnitude of AGHG forcings and feedbacks and thus a less accurate estimate of climate sensitivity from 20th century observations compared with models. The big problem is to determine the fraction of the warmings and coolings attributable to AMO cycles.

    Comment by Chick Keller — 30 Dec 2011 @ 2:04 PM

  178. I believe that it would be very helpful if RealClimate made a post on AMO – what it is, how we know it’s “for real”, how much of an impact it can have on temperatures, etc.

    Comment by toto — 30 Dec 2011 @ 6:18 PM

  179. toto, Most of what you need to know about AMO is in its name–it oscillates. It doesn’t increase quasi-linearly. If one is to contend that a partial cycle is responsible for much of current warming, one must also explain why it has not caused similar warming in the past.

    AMO is just the latest straw grasped by the “fun-with-Fourier” mathturbators.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 30 Dec 2011 @ 9:39 PM

  180. Gavin’s response to 176

    Do you have a view on the findings of this paper?

    They do appear to cast doubts on the reliability of the climate models currently being used for predictions of future climate?

    [Response: Their study is mostly confused and that conclusions doesn’t follow. Mainly they have misunderstood that any real-world climate record is made up of a combination of a particular realisation of the internal variability (when a El Nino occurs, how the jet stream wiggles, when there is a storm etc.) combined with a component that is externally driven (by volcanoes, greenhouse gas changes, orbital variations, the sun, aerosols etc.). The internal variability part is unpredictable by climate models because it is chaotic (with the exception, for relatively short periods of time, of simulations that are initialised to the observed state like weather forecast models), while the component driven by the external factors is predictable (at least in theory). On short time scales in local regions, the ratio of the unpredictable internal variability to the predictable component is very high. This is what these authors found, but is neither surprising nor determinative of how useful long term projections are. There is a comment on this paper that makes the same points (and more) (Huard, 2011). – gavin]

    Comment by David Harrington — 31 Dec 2011 @ 2:03 AM

  181. There is a thread on Catholic Answers Forum about the Curry-Muller fallout; they cite & link:

    Here is how I responded (hope I got it at least partly right, bec I haven’t been following Curry’s gripes):

    For one thing, the vast majority of working climate scientists say global warming is happening. Another thing, it seems Judith Curry is not taking into consideration the solar cycles and that the sun has been in a solar minimum for the past 10 or so years, during which in normal times (without human GHG emissions in the atmosphere), we would expect a cooling trend, but there has been none; it has been a constant warming trend, though not as sharply warming because of the solar minimum and other factors (like the ocean absorbing much of the heat).

    Another thing, Curry is not a skeptic or denialist, she is simply focusing on uncertainty bands in climate science. See her blog – She seems to criticize other climate scientists for not focusing enough on uncertainty bands, and also seems to be reacting against scientists who have expressed resentment to the way she has mischaracterized them and their work. It’s more like an in-family squabble based more on hurt feelings than on science.

    Also, it seems she is not as much at odds with Richard Muller, as the article claims; see the discussion about Curry & Muller in…fe-conference/.

    In other words, she is in the same camp with other scientists — striving to avoid the FALSE POSITIVE of making untrue claims, but just more worried about avoiding the false positive than many other scientists. We (people on earth, who want to see abundant life continue), on the other hand, should be striving to avoid the FALSE NEGATIVE of failing to avert true serious calamities that could greatly harm life on earth, or even end it. That should be our focus — not on details along our road to catastrophe, like whether some correct number is 6.546 and not 6.547, or 53.56% of life on earth will die v. 68.92% of life on earth, or that we are “only” 94.678% confident that disaster will happen, and not 95.024% confident.

    It’s going to be a very serious catastrophe if we fail to mitigate climate change….that’s all we need to know. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to turn off lights not in use or screw in an LED light. Don’t let family squabbles distract us from our duties to humanity and God’s creation.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Dec 2011 @ 11:28 AM

  182. Gavin’s response to 180

    Thanks for the feedback Gavin, I am sure you will do a rebuttal paper this time around rather than just critiquing their paper on here and I look forward to reading it. They do mention you several times in the paper and refer to your original comments re their method, stating that you did not have an issue with the findings. From your comment that does not seem to be the case.

    [Response: The Huard commentary makes most of the points I would make. I have certainly never stated that I ‘have no problems with their method’, so if that is the impression given, it would be incorrect. My comments on their first paper are here. – gavin]

    Comment by David Harrington — 31 Dec 2011 @ 11:32 AM

  183. Aside, earlier note that David Harrington:30 Dec 2011 at 11:44 AM
    refers to “the recent lack of warming” — rebunking; correction needed.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Dec 2011 @ 1:01 PM

  184. LV @ 181

    Re: Curry

    ” It’s more like an in-family squabble based more on hurt feelings than on science.”

    Diplomatically stated, and there does seems to be some truth in it, but it may not be quite fair to climate scientists. IMO, it’s more like Kim Kardashian crashing the set of Nova and trying to make attention getting waves.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 31 Dec 2011 @ 1:24 PM

  185. #184, you mean like the family kid throwing a temper tantrum bec the parents and older sibblings have been involved in fighting against some dangerous disaster and have ignored the little one?

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Dec 2011 @ 4:53 PM

  186. re: #174 & `175, and various comments from thsoe who attended.
    Regarding Singer:

    Synthesizing various public information and some private emails, I conjecture a pattern.
    Does this fit behavior seen at the conference?

    1) When speaking to experts, Singer’s work often gets clobbered or is seen as irrelevant.
    However, when people point out multiple serious problems, he is polite, pleasant, says he will followup, but usually does not.

    2) He has often lectured to larger groups, usually friendly to his messages or with minimal expertise to challenge him. See Minnesota Free Market Institute, pp.52-59 or Strange Scholarship…, pp.80-82 where Ed Wegman ran a session at his Interface conference (statisticians, mainly) called:
    Testing the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming: A continuing controversy,
    S. Fred Singer, Science & Environmental Policy Project

    I hear Singer gave his talk, than had to leave immediately for the airport, so there was little or no time for questions.

    3) While polite in person, Singer often acts elsewise: the Justin Lancaster episode, the attacks on Ben Santer, sic’ing lawyer (unsuccessfully) on Science and Naomi Oreskes, writing numerous negative things about people in friendly venues like the Washington Times or the Heartland newsletters.

    4) No matter how much his material is debunked (as on satellites), or challenged in person, the same talks keep coming.
    For example, the 2nd piece at Santa it seems to have been his standard talk around Europe earlier in the Fall, mostly for friendly, inexpert audiences. At least one (expert) group challenged him strongly, but that seems to have been ignored.

    5) He hasn’t really produced much in the last decade or two of:
    a) Climate research in credible peer-reviewed journals (not E&E)
    b) That has stood up very well.

    Does anyone know of anything beyond:

    1) S. Fred Singer, “Statistical Analysis does not support a human influence on climate,” Energy and Environment, 2002

    2) David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer, “Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation,” Geophysical Research Letters 2004

    3) David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer, Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels, “Disparity of tropospheric and surface temperature trends: New evidence,” Geo. Research Letters 2004.

    4) David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer,, “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions,” Intl. J Climatology, 2008.

    5) Fred Singer, “Lack of Consistency Between Modeled and Observed Temperature Trends,” Energy and Environment, June 2011.
    Do take a look at that, as he acknowledges:
    “I thank Roger Cohen and Christopher Monckton for useful discussion, three anonymous reviewers for valuable comments, and Robert Warren Anderson and Wm McBride for technical assistance.”

    (Robert Warren Anderson, I think, is recent Economics PhD at George Mason University.

    Comment by John Mashey — 31 Dec 2011 @ 5:06 PM

  187. #176 David Harrington

    Of course this is a tired old question but ‘what lack of warming’?

    Or are you only considering a narrowly limited view of the available data to justify your unsubstantial statement?

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 31 Dec 2011 @ 9:20 PM

  188. David Harrington,
    First,there is strong evidence that the feedback for a forcing is positive–be that forcing CO2 or TSI. It is pretty much impossible to make a climate model look Earthlike without a positive feedback. Then there are the estimates of CO2 sensitivity–nearly all of which give values of 2-6 per doubling of CO2. The 90% confidence interval is 2 to 4.5 with a most probable value of 3, and far more probability on the high side than the low. You seem to want to bet the future of human civilization on a 20:1 longshot.

    There is far more to climate science than the past 40 years of warming. There is the explanatory power of the consensus model, which allows us to understand hundreds of millions of years of climate. There is the predictive power of that model (e.g. ongoing warming, Mt. Pinatubo, increasing drought and impulsive precipitation…). There is the fact that the stratosphere is cooling even as the troposphere warms–a sure sign of a greenhouse mechanism.

    As to the paper you cited, both you and the authors of the paper need to understand how climate models work. Climate models display both weather and climate. Unless the weather for a particlar run of a model matches the weather that actually occurred in our reality, the results of that run will differ from reality. Essentially, what your authors have done is take a single or a few runs and look at details of the predictions. Not only is this an invalid approach, it fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of scientific models: They don’t give “answers”, but rather insight into trends and important contributing factors.

    Once scientists understand these factors and trends they can make reliable predictions for future climate. These are what you need to pay attention to, as they have proven reliable.

    You appear to be a “lukewarmer”–that is, you are reluctant to reject science, but you do not want to embrace ALL the conclusions of scientific analysis because of their implications. The lukewarmer position seems to be based on the fallacy of argument from consequences. It is like the creationist who embraces “micro-evolution”, but rejects “macro-evolution” because it undermines the holy writ of his choice. Grasping at straws is not a consistent position.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jan 2012 @ 7:54 AM

  189. See Fred Singer’s Fake! Fake! Fake! Fake!

    [Response: Singer states “But I do claim that the commonly reported and accepted warming between 1978 and 2000 is based only on thermometers from land surface stations and is not supported by any other evidence that I could find.”. Now since the completely independent satellite data show significant warming over this period (UAH-TLT: 0.09ºC/deg, RSS-TLT: 0.14ºC/dec), and the completely independent ocean datasets (HadSST2 and HadSST3) show significant warming over this period (HadSST2: 0.13ºC/dec, HadSST3: 0.13º/dec), one is left only with the conclusion that Singer is unable to find these sources, since of course, Singer is an honourable man. In which case, here are the links (RSS, UAH, HadSST2, HadSST3. I’m sure that will help clear things up, for Fred Singer is an honourable man. – gavin]

    Comment by John Mashey — 2 Jan 2012 @ 10:10 AM

  190. > Fred Singer’s “Fake …”

    Weird. And regrettably, nobody can be wrong all the time. Some of the information he has is correct, some is imagined. How do you tell?

    (seriously) don’t miss his

    It’s easy to imagine horrors being prepared for, then let imagination run and think “but what _other_ reason can I imagine for them doing that?”

    For example, temperature hotter than molten lead is needed to inactivate ‘mad cow’ prions, and the lag time could be years between spreading the stuff by handling it carelessly and consequences showing up. Scary. For a while the Federal Register had requests for bids for a system of incinerators around the country, for burning mad cow carcasses.

    I don’t know what ever became of that. I suppose nowadays there’d be a different scenario, to have them available for a bird flu epidemic if one got going.

    But it’d fit right in with Singer’s worry about the plans to set up prison-like FEMA camps on a 72-hour notice.

    No, I’m not saying that. But you can put pieces together, if you cherrypick the pieces, to make nightmares.

    Look back seven or eight years and poke around for what our more suspicious not to say paranoid fellow citizens made of that idea.

    “Carcass Disposal Working Group. August 2004. Chapter. 2. Incineration. Authors: … Kansas State University. © 2004 by National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, Kansas State University”

    It remains possible that Nehemiah Scudder will take the presidency in 2012 regardless of how people think they voted.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jan 2012 @ 11:49 AM

  191. > don’t miss his
    to be clearer–Singer didn’t write the FEMA camps piece at American Thinker.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jan 2012 @ 12:40 PM

  192. The American Deranged Thinker demonstrates that if you start out believing the absurd, your thinking will lead you to ever more absurd conclusions until you reexamine the source of all the absurdities. That way madness lies.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Jan 2012 @ 2:24 PM

  193. #189

    “Now since the completely independent satellite data show significant warming over this period (UAH-TLT: 0.09ºC/deg, RSS-TLT: 0.14ºC/dec) …”

    UAH-TLT looks low to me – isn’t also 0.14ºC/dec, not 0.09?

    Any word on when Nesdis-Star project at NOAA will release an LT product? Their T2 (MT) analysis runs quite a bit warmer than RSS, and falls squarely in the middle of synthetic “MT” trends from CMIP model ensembles, as I recall from Santer et al.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 2 Jan 2012 @ 7:47 PM



    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jan 2012 @ 11:18 PM

  195. David,

    You are partially correct regarding model inputs regarding feedback. The feedbacks are not assumed, but calculated based on painstaking research. Even so, some of the feedbacks are not so well understood, that their calculated values could be significantly in error.

    Explanations for the descrepencies between the models and observed temperature changes or paleoclimatological data center around two explanations: first, the climate has not reached equilibrium, such that temperatures will eventually reach the modelled values, or that some of the inputted feedbacks are too high (if positive), or not low enough (if negative), and that future models will be able to incorporate these newer inputs.

    With regards to the recent lack of warming, most explanations center around either natural cooling events such as a solar minimum or changes in ocean cycles, or additional human inputs. such as aerosols from coal burning. It is difficult to zero in on either cause at the present, because they each had an opposite influence a decade ago.

    Comment by Dan H. — 3 Jan 2012 @ 12:44 PM

  196. Dan H. wrote: “With regards to the recent lack of warming …”

    There is no “recent lack of warming”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Jan 2012 @ 1:50 PM

  197. “With regards to the recent lack of warming”

    Dan H.- There isn’t any “recent lack of warming.”

    Repeating false statements you heard from Fred “Fake! Fake! Fake! Fake!” Singer or some bozo blogger on WTFUWT won’t make them come true. It will get you ignored by people with better things to do, and treated rudely as a denialist by snarky commenters with lots of time on their hands – like me. I can cherry pick statistically non significant time periods which show warming, and I know that the larger increase in T over the last 6 years versus the last 10-30 years isn’t meaningful climatologically. I usually assume that anyone who apparently thinks that short term trends are significant has a deceptive agenda, and is pretending to misunderstand(misunderestimate?) OLS fits, cherry picking endpoints, and the difference between climate and weather – especially when they obstinately refuse to acknowledge the facts.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 3 Jan 2012 @ 3:09 PM

  198. Dan H is really good at this, isn’t he?

    An effective tactic is to fill a thread with misinformation quickly while seeming — to a new or naive reader — to be a reasonable commenter.

    One method: person A posts faux-naive leading questions; person B posts deceptively worded calm and apparently reasonable answers.

    Indicia: rebunking; no citation; misstatements; partial quoting from single papers; using co2science’s always-twisted misreadings of papers; never correcting or engaging, just steadily posting the talking points.

    I’m not cynical enough yet. Working on it though.

    [Response:Pegged perfectly–Jim]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jan 2012 @ 3:14 PM

  199. Brian Dodge @ 187

    Not much of a warming trend since 1998 according to these data sets . I think that is what folks are generally referring to when the mention a lack of “recent” warming. Looks pretty flat to me unless I am missing something ?

    Comment by David Harrington — 3 Jan 2012 @ 3:38 PM

  200. Indicia: rebunking; no citation; misstatements; partial quoting from single papers; using co2science’s always-twisted misreadings of papers; never correcting or engaging, just steadily posting the talking points.

    Look up ‘16,000 children die from hunger and related causes’.

    These people are trolling from the religious community.

    Guaranteed. That’s their evolution technique as well.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 3 Jan 2012 @ 4:09 PM

  201. How long does this recent “lack of warming” have to last, before the remainder accept what the rest of us can already see? Twelve years and counting.

    So you can ‘see’ temperature across the globe below 3000 meters in the oceans? Quite a trick. What else can you ‘see’ from a raw data graph?

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 3 Jan 2012 @ 5:00 PM

  202. David Harrington says

    Not much of a warming trend since 1998 according to these data sets.

    Changing the start date by just one year either way, you get a much different result:

    1997 to 2011

    1999 to 2011

    1998 was an exceptionally hot year. If there was no subsequent warming, one would think the subsequent annual temperatures would drop back to 1990s’ levels. They did not.

    Comment by JCH — 3 Jan 2012 @ 6:06 PM

  203. #199 David Harrington

    What part of 10 years is not enough time to separate the natural variation out of the human influenced trend don’t you understand?

    Natural variation happens. It is now happening on a new climate path based on an increase in the radiative forcing.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 3 Jan 2012 @ 6:10 PM

  204. #199–David, looks can be deceiving–especially if you ‘look’ with an agenda. For example, same data:

    How about that; GISS has .15C or so per decade. Not quite so flat as you may have thought.

    And of course, that’s still starting from the cherry-picked date of 1998.

    Let me assume for the moment that you really want to know: the alleged ‘recent lack of warming’ does not demand (nor require) explanation because the observed temps lie within the expected variability of the data. With the global temperature data we have, it generally takes around 15 years to reach the de facto standard of 95% confidence.

    For example, the HADCRU data (not sure just which flavor of it) was announced to show that level of confidence earlier this year–not all that long (in the scheme of things) after the infamous BBC ‘bushwhack’ question about warming since ’95 which was put to Dr. Phil Jones. At the time, of course, it was a start date carefully picked to make him say something close to ‘there is no statistically significant warming since 1995.’ (Warming was then significant at only about 90% confidence, which Dr. Jones said; but that didn’t stop legions of ignorami from posting that ‘there has been no warming from 1995.)

    It’s an extremely tiresome game, and I do wish people would stop playing it. Unfortunately, it’s warming that seems perpetually to be stopping. I’ve written about the phenomenon at length here:

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Jan 2012 @ 6:15 PM

  205. Hank #198, David Harrington is pretty good too — isn’t he?

    1998, hmmm, cherries!

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 3 Jan 2012 @ 6:17 PM

  206. [edit – enough cherry-picking of start dates and pointless arguments. Please either talk about something interesting, or go elsewhere.]

    Comment by Dan H. — 3 Jan 2012 @ 6:26 PM

  207. David Harrington

    Try this:

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 3 Jan 2012 @ 6:35 PM

  208. “…what folks are generally referring to when the mention a lack of “recent” warming…”

    Oh goody, another mole to whack. Lack: dearth, absence, deficiency

    Even since 1998 there has been no lack, dearth, absence or deficiency of warming, and the trends are accelerating!

    Despite Singer’s inability to find data which shows global warming(or his butt with both hands in his back pockets), perhaps this explains why 2007 and 2011 November-December Arctic ice extents were more than 2 standard deviations below normal, and some of the costly and deadly extreme weather events predicted by the science prior to the IPCC “report in 1998 –

    “These changes in atmospheric composition are likely to alter temperatures, precipitation patterns, sea level, extreme events, and other aspects of climate on which the natural environment and human systems depend.”
    “These projections are likely to be underestimates, and our confidence in them cannot be high because they are based on scenarios in which significant changes in extreme events such as droughts and floods are not fully considered or for which rapid nonlinear climatic changes have not been assumed…”

    “It’s an extremely tiresome game, and I do wish people would stop playing it.” It’s not just tiresome, but already deadly. Anybody betting against an unexpected, rapid, nonlinear event like the ice shelf collapses that kills a bunch of people? Perhaps an F-8 tornado striking a large city.

    Yeah, I know that there’s no such thing as an F-8 tornado, that it will take tens of thousands of years for Greenland and the WAIS to collapse, and that the 200+ meter thick Larsen & Wilkins ice shelves are stable and will change slowly with global warming, er, climate change. BTW, when did the climate alarmists change the name from the International Panel on Global Warming (IPGW) to the International Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 3 Jan 2012 @ 9:04 PM

  209. “Anybody betting against an unexpected, rapid, nonlinear event like the ice shelf collapses that kills a bunch of people?”

    In effect, significant bits of the US ‘gummint.’ A practical example is the Corps of Engineers, which in rebuilding the NO levees did not allow for SLR, though it will likely be quite significant during the lifetime of those levees. And, IIRC, the House last year actually directed that climate change could not be considered in planning by government agencies such as the Corps. (Couldn’t find a reference for that, unfortunately.)

    Certainly, the Republican party is so betting–since such an event could render them obvious public idiots, not to mention render their caucus criminally (ir)responsible. One example here:

    Elsewhere, I’ve suggested that the GOP should take the ostrich as their new emblem. . .

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Jan 2012 @ 7:55 AM

  210. David Harrington wrote: “Not much of a warming trend since 1998 according to these data sets. I think that is what folks are generally referring to when the mention a lack of ‘recent’ warming.”

    Yes, deniers are generally referring to the cherry-picked period beginning with the extraordinarily hot year 1998 when they repeat this dishonest talking point about a nonexistent “lack of recent warming”.

    The same, exact misleading claim has been posted and refuted thousands of times. But deniers never tire of reciting it.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Jan 2012 @ 10:45 AM

  211. Ya know, what’s exhausting about dealing with these crap merchants is that they’re purveyors of false hope.

    People who aren’t scientists, who are looking for real information while trying not to fool ourselves, are prime targets for that kind of misrepresentation.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Jan 2012 @ 12:07 PM

  212. #212–Yep. I’d love to focus all the energy I spend on this stuff back onto what I’m actually trained to do.

    But if the re-bunking continues, so must the de-bunking. All part of the ‘hydrocarbon cycle,’ I guess.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Jan 2012 @ 2:57 PM

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