# RealClimate

1. One would hope that this settles the matter. If only as much effort were taken to find the hacker and his *cough*ClimateAudit*cough* sponsors.

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 14 Apr 2010 @ 8:59 AM

2. An interesting and dispassionate report. Unfortunately, it will do little to dampen the damage already done.

I would like to see the same panel openly and directly address the critics that have seized on the emails as evidence of a vast conspiracy.

It is time for those who know better to address the damage being done to our understanding of the facts and our using that understanding to fashion a sensible publlic policy.

Comment by Stormy — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:01 AM

3. One wonders how the report was able to conclude that the methods used at CRU were appropriate and did not involved cherry picking or manipulation when, from reading the report, there seems to be few records of how a lot of the analysis was done.

Comment by Paul Gosling — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:15 AM

4. Round two of three to the CRU scientists!

Yip! Yip!

Round three coming soon, so go for the hat trick there, lads.

Ooops. I had better not use the word “trick” there…..

Comment by Theo Hopkins — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:31 AM

5. Some celebration is now in order! Just one point which earlier commentators may not realise. It’s not about the hack but about CRU’s published papers i.e it has tacked the more important issue first.

Comment by Geoff Wexler — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:42 AM

6. It seems the only sticking point that remains is the lack of notes / inability to recall exactly how the raw data was treated to come up with the working data set. Perhaps if that was more transparent the critics would seem less credible?

Comment by Pete H — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:43 AM

7. “One wonders how the report was able to conclude that the methods used at CRU were appropriate and did not involved cherry picking or manipulation when, from reading the report, there seems to be few records of how a lot of the analysis was done.”

One wonders why someone would assume that being somewhat disorganized becasue of organic growth of the CRU program is the same as having few records.

Comment by t_p_hamilton — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:48 AM

8. Paul in #3 asks how the report was able to conclude that the methods used at the CRU were appropriate and did not involve cherry picking or manipulation. The answer is simple, and is on the first page of the report. The Committee members READ THE PAPERS PUBLISHED BY THE CRU. Try it sometime.

Comment by Eli Rabett — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:09 AM

9. I agree with #3.

The report was very weak.

It sure would be nice if all climate scientists take the advice from the report and get their work reviewed by statisticians.

That is the area where most of the criticism of climate science seems to come from.

We will see.

Comment by RickA — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:10 AM

10. Take care that you summarise such an important report accurately :
“We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians,” the panel remarked in its conclusions.
This is not quite reflected in your summary….

[Response: Watch those goalposts move! Let me be sure that I have your position correct: all of the noise, insults, threats, libel and cries of fraud, fabrication and misconduct are because you feel that more statisticians should have been coauthors on the CRU papers? Got it. – gavin]

Comment by Bill — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:12 AM

11. As the Report urges bringing statisticians in more, it might be timely to point out the longstanding American Statistical Association public position on changes in climate, and see if any other statistical associations (is there one in the UK?) have stated positions?
http://magazine.amstat.org/2010/03/climatemar10/

Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:24 AM

Aren’t they, uhh, like, all hard and technical and stuff?

Comment by John E. Pearson — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:26 AM

13. Who didn’t know this wasn’t going to happen?

A bit off topic but I’m hoping you all are keeping up with this as well:

forward:

Hi All,

Well you did not hear from us for weeks while we spent most of the time preparing for the upcoming Climate Summit. Now we are in more frequent touch. So if we are ‘bugging’ any of you, please feel free to reply with an Unsubscribe in the subject line.

In a few hours MIT will open up the custom portal they have created for The Climate Summit into the Climate Collaboratorium (CC). When that happens I will post a link on our website’s home page and will send you one more short email to put the link in your hands.

Here is a video explanation of the CC, and its intent to harness the collective intelligence of humanity to solve the climate crisis. http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/4171-the-climate-collaboratorium

We would like to ask you all to engage energetically in this project. It is a win-win-win situation for us all to do so. The CC website will engage you in responding to a series of debates with a variety of positions. I will attach a document from which these debates are being constructed. Reading this attachment will prime you for these debates online. Engaging in these debates will provide input to The Climate Summit for this Friday, April 16th.

As always, I thank you so much for your participation with us on The Climate Summit project, and please do tell some friends!

For the Earth,
Stuart Scott, Director
The Climate Summit

Climate Collaboratorium Debates and Positions 04/12/10

Category: Motivating humanity to act
How can the media be used to motivate humanity to respond proactively to climate change?
– Position: Reports in traditional mass media (film/television, newspapers, magazines)
– Position: New media (blogs, wikis, social media) and guerilla marketing (e.g. T-shirts, bumper stickers)
– Position: Media simply reflects larger societal attitudes, and it’s more useful to focus in other realms

How can education motivate humanity to respond proactively to climate change?
– Position: Make primary and secondary education central, to build awareness among the young
– Position: Emphasize university-based education, due to the complexity of climate science and environmental economics
– Position: Adult education, both formal and informal
– Position: Education is a handmaiden to political and economic power and the problem must be addressing by working in those domains

What kind of political action can motivate humanity to respond proactively to climate change?
– Position: Work through formal electoral process (voting and contacting elected officials)
– Position: Demonstrations, rallies, and civil disobedience
– Position: Grass roots outreach and person-to-person organizing
– Position: None

Role of religion and faith: Do religion and faith have a role in motivating humanity to respond proactively to climate change?
– Position: Religion and faith have a central role
– Position: Religion and faith are not important in this domain, which is the province of science and economics

How might a proactive response to climate change be inhibited?
– Position: Raise questions about climate science
– Position: Emphasize high costs of action
– Position: Point out other pressing needs, such as global development

Category: Policy approaches
– Position: International agreement on emissions reductions/land use
– Position: Cap and trade or carbon tax for nations or large regional blocs (such as European Union)
– National/regional subsidies for green technology
– State/provincial or city/metro region climate plans
– None

Comment by Tim Jones — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:28 AM

14. Eli

I am afraid reading any paper tells you very little about what actually went on behind the paper. It only tells you what the authors want you to know.

Comment by Paul Gosling — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:29 AM

15. “3. Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design…”

heh.

Comment by Jaime Frontero — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:33 AM

16. One of the simple points made by the panel is that “at a global and hemispheric scale temperature results are surprisingly insensitive to adjustments made to the data and the number of series included.”

Actually, this isn’t surprising at all. This is obvious to anyone with even the most basic grasp of statistics and the dynamically determined spatial scale of climate variability.

Comment by eric — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:36 AM

17. re 10 ; Not my position Gavin, dont be so sensitive. The report has some very sensible comments which should not be discarded in the general ‘its all fine, we told you so’generalities. Its a good time to have a less arrogant approach, appreciate that everyone can learn lessons, and then move forward stronger for the experience.

Comment by Bill — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:39 AM

18. As a statistician, I am delighted to see a recommendation for more jobs for statisticians.

Of course, the rest of the report was not too bad, either.

Comment by Toby — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:43 AM

19. “12
John E. Pearson says:
14 April 2010 at 10:26 AM

Aren’t they, uhh, like, all hard and technical and stuff?”

Yeah, and we ALL KNOW that the only reason why those papers got published is because they’re also conspiring against the truth of the falsity of AGW, right, guys?

So therefore we *can’t* look at the papers in front of us!

So we should look at the papers in front of NASA, then.

But I gues the CRU already thought of that and would have swapped the papers around, thinking that only a madman would choose the papers in front of him…

where was I…?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:44 AM

20. #10 Bill

I’d be quite happy for CRU to be given more money so it can employ professional statisticians, and also maybe an archivist and other support staff. The report states “we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal”. Overall, it paints a picture of CRU as under-resourced and under-staffed, but still producing sound results despite that.

Comment by Paul A — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:46 AM

21. Let’s see how much media coverage this gets.

Comment by Alexandre — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:51 AM

22. #10 Bill says: “Take care that you summarise such an important report accurately […] This is not quite reflected in your summary…. ”

This is a short post, you could have read it before writing. That’s perfectly reflected in RC’s summary: “they do suggest more statisticians should have been involved”.

They have no specific complain about the statistics themselves, anyway.

Comment by Jesús Rosino — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:52 AM

23. ” Paul Gosling says:
14 April 2010 at 10:29 AM

Eli

I am afraid reading any paper tells you very little about what actually went on behind the paper. It only tells you what the authors want you to know.”

You’re thinking of a NEWSPAPER not a SCIENCE PAPER. These are different things.

A SCIENCE PAPER tells you enough to get on and do your own damn work to see if you can see the same effect.

A NEWSPAPER tells you what the customers of the newspaper wants you to hear. NOTE: The reader is not the customer, they’re the product being sold.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:53 AM

24. Professional climate scientists are statisticians! Hello?

Comment by Mark A. York — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:55 AM

25. #14 Paul Gosling

“I am afraid reading any paper tells you very little about what actually went on behind the paper. It only tells you what the authors want you to know.”

Think this through Paul. Basically you are saying all published science is unreliable. Can science really operate on that basis? Can the individual really operate on that basis?

Comment by Paul A — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:01 AM

26. Here’s the predictable Telegraph spin: ‘Hockey stick’ graph was exaggerated

…Prof Hand praised the blogger Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit for uncovering the fact that inappropriate methods were used which could produce misleading results.

‘Climategate’ inquiry: scientific data criticised
Climate change scientists at the centre of an ongoing row over global warming are criticised for being “naive” and “disorganised”

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:06 AM

27. Re Paul Gosling @14, on the contrary, the paper and its supporting documents will tell you everything you need to know to replicate the authors work, providing you are capable of designing your own code and scripts so that you are not merely duplicating their work, which would be pointless.

Comment by Jim Eager — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:07 AM

28. Congratulations again. Will we now see some action on prosecuting the hackers, as well as those who republished the emails?

Comment by Green Marauder — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:08 AM

29. #23 said: “A SCIENCE PAPER tells you enough to get on and do your own damn work to see if you can see the same effect.”

If only that were true, we wouldn’t have this mess.

[Response: That is unfortunately hopelessly naive. Take the GISTEMP product – all data, all code, all papers describing the methods are online. It has been independently verified that the code does exactly what it is supposed to do. There can be no-one who will seriously argue that this is not reproducible or replicable under any definition you choose. The results from it are robust and other analyses of the raw data and methodologies to correct for UHI have shown no significant difference. Yet there are still hour long TV specials being made accusing the agency and the scientists of fraud and misconduct related to this specific product. How is it possible to be more open or do more to show ‘the workings’? And yet the attacks continue. Why might that be? Clue: the attacks have nothing to do with the scientific need for replication or openness. – gavin]

Comment by MikeV — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:10 AM

30. Prof Oxborough just briefly interviewed on BBC’s “Five Live” radio programme here in Blighty…

Very sound and considered responses especialy to the retort by the interviewer: “Hang on, there weren’t any climate skeptics on the panel”.., to which he replied (paraphrasing) that the interviewer would have to ask the other members of the panel for their specific views on climate change, but their role was not to consider climate change itself, but to address issues of the CRU’s science in relation to the allegations; the panel were confident that this (the science) had been done honestly and reliably….

..and concerning the allegations that lead to the enquiry, Oxborough stated (I’m paraphrasing) “…we addressed a very large number of criticisms, some of them pretty slanderous…”

Comment by chris — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:21 AM

31. ooops…I’ve overloaded “Oxburgh” with an excess of vowels!

Comment by chris — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:23 AM

32. “With very noisy data sets a great deal of judgement has to be used. Decisions
have to be made on whether to omit pieces of data that appear to be aberrant.
These are all matters of experience and judgement. The potential for
misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. It is
regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this
work because it is fundamentally statistical.”

It’s as well that decisions that affect most economies of the western
world aren’t based on this work then!

NS.

Comment by NS — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:31 AM

33. Goslin babbled in 3: “from reading the report, there seems to be few records of how a lot of the analysis was done.” and then asserted in 14: “I am afraid reading any paper tells you very little ”

You apparently learn whatever it is that you want to learn from the things you read, independent of what is written. Bizarre

Comment by John E. Pearson — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:34 AM

34. 19 (CFU),

Ah, but a clever man would have spent many years reading papers, slowly building up a tolerance to them, so that it would not matter which papers he read, and so he would be able to safely ignore any sort of truth forced up on him.

You may now proceed to the fireswamp, where you will encounter Anomalies of Unusual Size.

Comment by Bob — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:42 AM

35. From #20 Paul A. I cant disagree with this.
:The report states “we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal”. Overall, it paints a picture of CRU as under-resourced and under-staffed, but still producing sound results despite that.
BUT,how does this provide any sound basis for supporting future policy decisions affecting billions of people and likely costing billions of dollars?
Its nonsensical…

Comment by Bill — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:42 AM

36. The Daily Telegraph web page is leading with this story. It would appear that they had access to a completely different report.

Comment by Forlornehope — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:47 AM

37. I would like to see a panel convened which will take the contrarians to task for their false and libelous claims made against CRU and others. Would it not be nice to see McIntyre and others cross-examined and have their true colours revealed?

Great news, but hardly surprising. And not a whitewash, there was some justified critique.

Did the denialsits really/honestly in their hearts of hearts think they had a legitimate and convincing case?

Comment by MapleLeaf — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:54 AM

38. The very brevity of this report speaks volumes about how little substance there ever was to this “scandal.”.

On the other hand, the seemingly limitless horizons of hyperbole explored by such as Glenn Beck and George Monbiot and then eagerly reported throughout the popular media says even more about how gullible, easily manipulated and incapable of exerting critical thinking skills our so-called “thought leaders” have become.

Now Beck is obviously a hopeless case but Monbiot could still largely salvage his reputation with a contrite and unqualified apology for his remarks about Phil Jones. Come on, George, you can gag it up. A few moments of pain and it’ll all be over.

Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:54 AM

39. @all climate scientists
“…it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.”

How common is it for climate researchers to collaborate closely with professional staticians?
I know that, i.e. in astronomy, it is not uncommon for the names of professional staticians to appear next to their astronomer colleagues in peer reviewed papers. Is this the exception rather than the rule in climate research? Even if the paper is heavily dependent on statistics for its conclusions?

Do you think such a close collaboration is necessary? Or are most climate researchers already sufficiently proficient staticians?

Comment by Martin — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM

40. NS says: 14 April 2010 at 11:31 AM

It’s as well that decisions that affect most economies of the western
world aren’t based on this work then!

And of course there was never the possibility that decisions of such magnitude would be taken from work produced by a microscopic research unit. Instead, we’re making those decisions based on the work of thousands of researchers working in a vast variety of fields of inquiry who have produced largely inadvertently a coherent, self-consistent, highly robust and highly confident overarching conclusion about what we’re doing to the planet and how we’re doing it, thus implying some possible course of action to fix the problem.

Indeed it’s very fortunate.

Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:18 PM

41. Re: 37;
Yes, Mr. Monbiot, especially considering your often worthwhile writings pre-Jones, and considering that I, too, was highly critical (and I think now very unfairly so) of Dr. Jones, and now feel he deserves a break on this issue…how about a bit of backing up and giving the real story an airing. And…the real story is that there really wasn’t a story, other than an attempt by some unethical scoundrels to scuttle the reputation of climate scientists.
I have a second also to another idea proposed above: how about CNN and MSNBC do a thorough ‘airing’ of the McIntyres of the world with the same fervor and scrutiny that they put legit scientist through? (Well, maybe the scrutiny is suspect)..
Third thought: does Mr. Gosling have any clue how, uh, how can I put this politely, un-thought-through the comment about research papers was? Others have pointed this out with some humor (and a bit of bite); my point is that that sort of argumentation (that we don’t know what is going on behind the papers, hence can’t trust them) shows a basic lack of understanding of what these papers are and how they are generated, peer-reviewed etc. Indeed, if you mistrust all papers of this sort, perhaps you should resort to a bit of tea leave analysis, or haruspicate instead.

Comment by Steve Missal — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:21 PM

42. Re: 26 and the Telegraph report.

Wow, that is some spin even for the Telegraph!
The the Oxburgh report doesn’t mention McIntyre.

Comment by The Ville — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:22 PM

43. Moving goalposts? This is a game? Surely the research group should have been expected, in retrospect, to have been in collaboration with experts in areas that were outside their own expertise. Their dismissal of McIntyre, as an example, was hardly laudatory, or was it? It’s hardly a damning report, if that’s the “victory” or “defeat” some had in mind, but it’s a useful one and a learning tool, I would hope, for the researchers. It has certainly been a good education for the public for these e-mails to have come out and for the various committees to have responded to them. The alternative seems worse: no e-mails and we’d still be debating rather encouraging transparency.

Comment by Walter Manny — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:24 PM

44. Still no police report on the hackers. It isn’t turned all the way around until the REAL criminals are convicted and strong AGW legislation is passed in the US.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:42 PM

45. I guess next denials want an inquiry that will examine work of this panel…

Comment by Puhis — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:43 PM

46. > Moving goalposts? This is a game?
Point is, you’re acting like you are playing a game.
You have no opponent in this, and yet you’re losing.

Going into every topic and trying to turn it to discussing your own hobbyhorse is ‘moving the goalposts’ — trying to change the discussion off the point.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:47 PM

47. #26 – Here are more of Prof Hand’s comments as quoted by the Telegraph:

“The particular technique they used exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick. Had they used an appropriate technique the size of the blade of the hockey stick would have been smaller. The change in temperature is not as great over the 20th century compared to the past as suggested by the Mann paper.”

This appears to suggest that Hand’s contention is that the original MBH graph exaggerated 20th century rise with respect to the period immediately preceding it (i.e. end of the 19th century). Since the instrumental record was used for the end of the blade, I find this statement somewhat baffling.

The reporter also paraphrases Hand as follows:

“He said the graph, that showed global temperature records going back 1,000 years, was exaggerated – although any reproduction using improved techniques is likely to also show a sharp rise in global warming.”

It’s not clear from this whether Hand understands that MBH looked at northern hemisphere only or whether that is the reporter’s misinterpretation.

It’s all very well to state that statisticians should be more involved in climate studies, but Hand’s comments demonstrate that it’s very difficult to get them up to speed on the real issues, if they have no previous relevant scientific experience.

And as far as I can see there is little difference in the 20th century rise in Mann et al 2008 vs MBH 1999.

Or am I missing something here?

Comment by Deep Climate — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:56 PM

48. This is stupid. Statistics are a tool of the trade. Any scientific worker learns the statistical analysis procedures that he/she needs for his/her specific line of enquiry. A good grounding in basic statistical procedures is even taught at undergraduate level. Is there any suggestion that the statistical methods used at the CRU were inadequate to the task?

Comment by Brian Carter — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:57 PM

49. I like how the conventional wisdom among rejectionists has swerved within the space of hours to “Oh, that CRU, they should have been in collaboration with statisticians.”

Dogs eat what’s in their dish. The “FraudKibble” bag is empty, now it’s “StatisicalYummyNuggets” and never a look back.

Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:57 PM

50. Brian @ 48:

I stand to be corrected, have not read the report yet, but going by what I have been reading on the web thus far the answer to your question @48 is a definitive No, there is no suggestion that the methods were inadequate.

That is not surprising given that the HadCRUT SAT record has been replicated by many (including skeptics), and has also been corroborated by independent data observation platforms (RATPAC and MSU data).

Comment by MapleLeaf — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:06 PM

51. Brian Carter says: 14 April 2010 at 12:57 PM

Is there any suggestion that the statistical methods used at the CRU were inadequate to the task?

From the report, which RC might want to republish here given the positively gyroscopic spin levels we’re already witnessing:

In the event CRU scientists were able to give convincing answers to our detailed questions about data choice, data handling and statistical methodology.

Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:12 PM

52. “Do you think such a close collaboration is necessary? Or are most climate researchers already sufficiently proficient staticians?”

Well, those who redo the work anew will use their own statistical methods.

Such methods are explained in the papers.

These papers are just as open to statisticians as any other.

If they were considered bad stats, why didn’t the massive funding from Exxon get the papers out to statisticians who may not have a university subscription?

Do you consider the stats used to be insufficient to draw the conclusions made?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:22 PM

53. For those who didn’t click the link I gave way back at the beginning:

—–excerpt—-
Statisticians Comment on Status of Climate Change Science

Richard L. Smith, University of North Carolina; L. Mark Berliner, The Ohio State University; and Peter Guttorp, University of Washington and Norwegian Computing Center

The authors discussed this article online, live, on March 31, 2010. The discussion can be viewed at the end of the article.

In November 2009, ASA Past-President Sally Morton joined with the leaders of 17 other science organizations to sign a letter (pdf) to all U.S. senators summarizing the consensus of climate change science. In short, the letter cited the strong scientific evidence that climate change is happening and that human activities are the primary driver. It went on to list the many likely consequences, some of which are already starting to occur….
——end excerpt ——

Has anyone seen any comment from any UK statisticians?

Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:27 PM

54. Those bridling at the lack of apparent progress on investigating the hacking should note that typically the British police like to work in private. If they make arrests, that is likely to be the first concrete information you hear about the police inquiry and the direction it has taken.

Comment by Tony Sidaway — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:28 PM

55. And about time – from the report:

CRU did a public service of great value by carrying out much time-consuming meticulous work on temperature records at a time when it was unfashionable and attracted the interest of a rather small section of the scientific community.

For the deniers who have already criticised yet another report praising the scientists and showing they not only did no wrong, but made a huge and critical contribution to the world, I have only contempt. I realise we can’t ignore deniers, because they are a polluting menace and must be stopped. I will be doing my best to expose their wickedness and deliberate attempts to bring climate chaos closer.

But my main focus is on reducing carbon emissions and helping others to do the same.

Comment by Sou — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:29 PM

56. #43 – “Moving goalposts? This is a game?”

When someone says that you have moved your goalposts what they mean is that you have responded to evidence contradicting a claim you had been making by disingenuously switching to a new claim and then acting as if the evidence has just proven that you were right all along. Arguing with people who act this way is incredibly frustrating and tiresome.

If you think that that this characterization is unfair (and perhaps it is; I am not familiar with your posting history), the proper defense in your case would be to argue that a claim is being attributed to you that you never actually made, and furthermore said claim is one with which you disagree.

Comment by Greg C. — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:32 PM

57. I also noted the reviewers questioned the fact that FoI applies to academic research.

A host of important unresolved questions also arises from the application of Freedom of Information legislation in an academic context.

I agree with them – FoI shouldn’t apply to academic research. I doubt very much that was the intention when FoI was introduced. It just happened that no-one anticipated it would be used to query research, let alone to try to stop research and to threaten scientists, as it has been. It was designed to make administrative decisions more transparent.

Comment by Sou — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:44 PM

58. What say you about the new “audit” of the IPCC report that finds lots of “grey” literature being used after the chairman’s comments about the strength of their peer review process?

Comment by Jay — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:46 PM

59. Good news.

This inquiry has been reported on Chanel 4 News in the UK

C4 News is a heavyweight one hour news program.

But McIntyre is talking in the background as I type

The news item is at about min 41 of the news. Google Channel 4 News and go to “catch up”.

Comment by Theo Hopkins — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:47 PM

60. Jay, same thing they’ve said before.

You don’t have to go far back in topics.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:57 PM

61. Jay, it’s amazing how many people got that wrong.
Where did you come across it, so late in the day?
http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/mea-culpa-ipcc-and-gray-literature/

Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 1:58 PM

62. The nicest touch about the report is how they examine the science by actually reading it and questioning the scientists about it, without even deigning to mention irrelevant extraneous matters like certain stolen emails.

But they seem to be straying from their brief a bit with this odd hook they left in about “other groups” using inappropriate statistical methods, apparently so Prof. Hand could get in a dig at Mike Mann in the Telegraph. The panel wasn’t asked to examine the research of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998), and one imagines they didn’t, either, so this looks a bit irresponsible. And odd, in focusing on the ‘blade’, as Deep Climate noted above. In a similar vein, this strained charge that the IPCC “sometimes neglected to highlight” the divergence problem. I could understand rapping the IPCC over the fingers if they’d failed to mention it, but failure to highlight?

Comment by CM — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:02 PM

63. 1) Regarding statisticians, people might read the 1-page essay in A.10.4, p.172 of PDF Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony. Among other this, it observes some reasons why there are rarely as many statisticians around as might be wished, especially in universities.I also argue that to be helpful, statisticians have to understand enough of the science and its context to avoid silly errors, and this takes time and effort. Good statisticians do this.

2) Without naming anybody, I think some comments here must be from people who lack interaction with scientists, statisticians, and usage of statistics in relevant fields. Admittedly, I’m a Tukey fan, and I’m fond of a few of his quotes:

“―The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data.

―Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.”

Comment by John Mashey — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:07 PM

64. Re #9

It sure would be nice if all climate scientists take the advice from the report and get their work reviewed by statisticians.

Provided that the said reviewers know something about climate, which is not to be taken for granted (see DC at #47).

It sure would be nice if your advice was followed by anti-climate-scientists? * Some of their work has already been reviewed in a variety of places. One statistician who also knows about climate has written a book which includes some review material of anti-climate-statistics and is discussed here:

http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/do-you-feel-lucky-punk/

I am sure that writers and readers of RC could provide more examples of contrarian statistical skills (or lack of).

[* This word is chosen carefully because climate is a statistical concept}
——————————-
By the way the Telegraph’s coverage of this report is no joke considering that it is probably one of the main suppliers of information for many of the next batch of MP’s in the UK parliament. I wonder how Murdoch’s Sunday Times will cover it?

Comment by Geoff Wexler — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:23 PM

65. MikeV,

I can’t speak to paleo records, but bloggers doing their own surface temperature reconstructions from GHCN is a small cottage industry these days. We can’t reproduce HadCRUT exactly (unlike GISTemp, which has been pretty much perfectly replicated by CCC), since they use some temp data not included in GHCN, but a good 95%+ of the data used is the same, and the effect on the results is minimal.

Just today Nick Stokes added in SST data to get a global reconstruction (previously everyone had only been looking at land records): http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2010/04/incorporating-sst-and-landocean-models.html

Comment by Zeke Hausfather — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:32 PM

66. Edward:
“It isn’t turned all the way around until the REAL criminals are convicted and strong AGW legislation is passed in the US.”

That is what this is all about, isn’t it?

Comment by Anand — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:45 PM

67. Official panel official: So-called climate change skeptics were “just plain nasty and ill-informed.”

This… people is what is what I have personally experienced on a first hand basis while at a US national research climate research center for 11 years.

The so-called skeptics I have met are *not* scientists because they do not follow the scientific “method” in place since the 1600s that has protected our civiization, you, your fathers, your grandfathers, great grandfathers, etc. who relied sucessfully on this method with their lives.

In the scientific method, you submit your data in a set way (by scientific journals/conferences). If your information is proven to be crap, you move on and don’t keep submitting the same crap.

People who keep submitting the same crap and refusing to accept world wide findings are not scientists. They are pseudo scientists. It is these people who uninformed people keep listening to. This is a road to national suicide. Real science advances your economy and protects your country.

This is the first CHANGE (paradymn shift) in how science is being used by the public and policy makers in 400 years. Something is very, very wrong. I think it is possibly the new rise of the “every man is an expert” trend…

“Instead, “we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganized researchers” who did not store their data and working notes as well as they could have but whose science was conducted “with integrity,” the committee said in a report released Wednesday.

The panel did recommend that the researchers work more closely with trained statisticians to strengthen the soundness of their conclusions. But even if such cooperation had been in place before, the researchers would probably not have arrived at significantly different results, the panel said.

“The fact is we found them absolutely squeaky clean,” the head of the panel, Ron Oxburgh, a geologist and former government advisor, told the BBC. He added that some of the criticism by skeptics, who pointed to the hacked e-mails as proof of a massive scientific cover-up, was “just plain nasty and ill-informed.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/topofthetimes/world/la-fg-climate-data15-2010apr15,0,4480601.story

Comment by Richard Ordway — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:46 PM

68. Bill # 35

“BUT,how does this provide any sound basis for supporting future policy decisions affecting billions of people and likely costing billions of dollars?”

Well apart from the fact that an under-resourced and under-staffed academic group produced sound science in good agreement with the science of other academic groups, what would you suggest?

Perhaps the utterances of an ex-tv weather presenter?

Comment by Richard C — 14 Apr 2010 @ 2:48 PM

69. One thing to look out for is something that often happens in situations like this. There will be a huge furore, as we have seen, with claims and accusations flying around, everywhere, most or all of which are completely untrue and often slanderous. And when all serious investigation finds that literally none of it was in fact true, and that the entire exercise was a politically motivated and manufactured controversy, the cavalry, otherwise known as the “reasonable” critics, arrive just in time to suggest that the few criticisms that have come out of the investigation were what they had been arguing for, all along (terribly convenient, don’t you think?), and that they either haven’t noticed all of the disgraceful slander, or that they have never taken part in it.

This is classic political strategy and something that we see all the time in politics. The “reasonable” people sit back and allow the conspiracy theorists to cause havoc, destroying reputations and spreading malicious falsehoods, and when it is finally (if ever) revealed that it was literally all false and politically motivated, they step back in to the frame, completely untouched by anything that has happened, and focus on the tiny and often unimportant issues that have been revealed during the course of investigation.

Comment by Damian — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:10 PM

70. I’m wondering if somebody has some kind of statistic about the number of articles (printed as well as online) which “reported” on the stolen emails last year and how many of these articles included at least some “hints” at wrongdoings or scams by the scientists. It would then be interesting to count the number of new articles about the inquiries and the results they contain and how many of those articles only pick on the few points of critique (like eg. not working closer together with staticians). I’m fairly certain that it would be a somewhat lopsided chart (lots of reporting then, little reporting now). It might still make for a neat graphic to include in presentations about climate change and the obvious gap between scientific und public understanding.

Comment by Baerbel Winkler — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:37 PM

71. Nonscientists might be shocked at how often professional statisticians are NOT consulted in biomedical/clinical research…which can lead, e.g., to the wrong stats tests being done or data being overinterpreted. So as a biologist I certainly would not single out CRU scientists for special condemnation — especially as the UEA report shows that their papers still hold up under scientific scrutiny (which is typically NOT the case when a biomedical paper’s statistical methods are no good/inappropriate).

Comment by Steven Sullivan — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:40 PM

72. When I went over to see what the auditors have to say, I read Stevie whining that he wasn’t invited to testify.

Either he’s 5 years old or a severe case of meglomania has set in.

One way or the other Phil should breath easier it’s now all about Steve.

Comment by John McManus — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:52 PM

73. bill (35): how does this provide any sound basis for supporting future policy decisions affecting billions of people and likely costing billions of dollars?

BPL: By itself, it doesn’t. Coupled with the other 114 years of work on this problem by tens of thousands of scientists, it does.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 14 Apr 2010 @ 3:59 PM

74. Steven Sullivan says: Nonscientists might be shocked at how often professional statisticians are NOT consulted in biomedical/clinical research…

How did the whole M.K. Chen analysis of the Monty Hall problem in psychological experiments work out?

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:01 PM

75. @72 John McManus: 14 April 2010 at 3:52 PM

When I went over to see what the auditors have to say, I read Stevie whining that he wasn’t invited to testify. Either he’s 5 years old or a severe case of meglomania has set in.

The panel was set up to assess the integrity of the research published by the Climatic Research Unit. The last person to be consulted on matters of integrity would be McIntyre. I doubt he knows what the word means. Nor does he seem to know anything about climate research as the panel kindly pointed out in its report.

…these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU. They seem also to reflect a lack of awareness of the ongoing and dynamic nature of chronologies…

Comment by Sou — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:18 PM

76. What we are seeing is more confirmation that nearly everyone who reported that “Climategate” revealed scientific dishonesty made false allegations of fact. When will the libel suits begin? Find a few choice targets for whom “good faith” is unlikely and put them out of house and home. End this.

Comment by B S Kalafut — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:24 PM

77. #64 Geoff Wexler.

Yes – both camps should use proper statistical techniques. So I agree with you on that point.

However, I am not sure any skeptics are anti-climate – or maybe I don’t know what you mean by that phrase.

The climate is what it is – and you cannot be pro or anti climate, just like you cannot be pro or anti gravity, or pro or anti weather. If it rains it rains.

However, I am sure you meant to refer to skeptics who agree that the world is warming – agree that humans play a part – but are skeptical as to the degree of human contribution to the warming of the last 150 years, or how sensitive the climate really is to a doubling of CO2 levels (to 560 ppm).

There is still a great deal of uncertainty about what will happen to sea level and temperatures in the future. I look forward to looking backwards from 2100 and seeing what the actual data show at that time. I expect there will be a few surprises by 2100 that the science of today failed to take into consideration (yet). Why? Because we have seen numerous surprises and tweaked the climate models to incorporated quite a bit over the last 20 years – and I don’t see any reason for that to change going forward.

Personally, I think a lot more science will be done related to how much of the warming since 1850 is caused by natural variation and how much is caused by humans, and how sensitive the climate is to a doubling of CO2.

After all – this is not the first time the average global temperature has risen above the level of 1850. And even though temperature rises above that level have happened many times before, none of them were caused by humans (at least I don’t think that has been asserted).

This is not the first time the ice in the arctic has disappeared.

This is not the first time CO2 levels have increased.

This is not the first time seal levels have risen above the level of today.

There is still room for reasonable people to wonder whether we really know everything we need to know to state with any accuracy what the climate will really be in 90 years.

Comment by RickA — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:42 PM

78. Those who say there should have been interviews with sceptics, please tell me what sort of sceptics…….

1. World is getting colder – new Ice Age.
2. Temps have not changed – urban heat islands.
3. Temps are rising – but natural variations,
4. Temps are rising, but cabbages grow better – clouds/silver linings.

Comment by Theo Hopkins — 14 Apr 2010 @ 4:49 PM

79. #57 Sou

Maybe FoI should apply to academic research, and maybe it shouldn’t. Off the cuff, without reading the report, I see no reason why FoI should NOT apply to academic research. Either way, it DID apply when the requests were made.

Before anyone jumps down my throat (this topic is fast becoming equivalent to the Israeli/Palestinian issue, where passion reigns and reasoned discussion is impossible), let me say that it is clear that Phil Jones did not tamper with data, or engage in any scientific fraud. I’m glad to hear that has been the outcome of the investigation.

However, I believe Monbiot has some valid criticism of Jones and the university. First off, he should have simply complied with the FoI request up front, and not tried to stonewall, which he does appear to have done. The fact that the FoI request was made by deniers bent on throwing mud is really immaterial – everyone has the right to make an FoI request. The fact that you don’t like them, or you know that they are trying to make your life miserable, is not a valid excuse to deny such a request.

Secondly, I also believe his handling of the issue when it first blew up, and the response of the university, was exceptionally poor. That’s a PR mistake, not a scientific one, and perhaps it can be forgiven since he’s a scientist, not a politician. Still, the handling of the situation was unfortunate, and in the real world, damaging to the attempt to get the public to wake up to the seriousness of climate change issue.

Comment by zeroworker — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:05 PM

Comment by Paul Gosling — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:06 PM

81. I liked this, I think Dr. Allen had a certain failed auditor in mind when he says this:

“Yet climate scientist Myles Allen of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, is cautious about the panel’s call for improved bookkeeping so that others can later review a body’s work: “Science generally progresses by taking different approaches to problems and either confirming or refuting published results, not by ‘auditing’ old calculations. There is a danger that if climate science starts to be treated as a bookkeeping exercise, this would actually impede progress in understanding how the real Earth system works.”

p class=”response”>[Response: Myles Allen is right on as usual. I wonder how those who refer to RealClimate and various others as one monolithic “team” explain why it is that Allen agrees with on these issues, yet has actually been quite critical of the RealClimate blogging exercise? –eric]

Comment by MapleLeaf — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:34 PM

82. For everyone who wants to see libel suits…

Well, I do, too, and they are possibly needed to discredit a certain crowd, but they are also expensive to pursue and I suspect they are unlikely to materialize. I’m sure most people like Dr. Jones would rather just get on with their research.

With that said, I think history will be a much better punishment. The truth is what it is, no matter what anyone says. Events will unfold. And some people will become utterly vilified laughing-stocks in the history texts of the future (if civilization survives, which I have no doubt it will, no matter how much needless suffering is inflicted in the process).

“Now, children, who can name the seven most famous deniers from the early twenty first century, and who can tell me why courses in both statistics and the scientific method are now required by any respected university to achieve a degree in journalism?”

“In the twentieth century most societies already had laws against slander and libel. Who can tell me why first the Crimes Against Civilization legislation was adopted in the year 2049, and then why the separate Purposeful Obfuscation Acts were passed in the year 2057, how they differ from the older slander and libel laws, and how they are affected by freedom of speech concerns? Yes, yes, little Stevie M., you may answer, go ahead…”

Comment by Bob — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:36 PM

83. > all the panel can say

So you reject everything the panel did say as unsupported?
That’s odd, isn’t it?

Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:36 PM

84. Zeroworker says: First off, [Jones] should have simply complied with the FoI request up front, and not tried to stonewall…

Apparently, you’re not aware of the FoI blizzard that was thrown at UEA by CA. These were vexatious requests made in bad faith, and it’s not speculating beyond the data to see this denial-of-service attack as the prelude to the hack.

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:40 PM

85. whether we really know everything we need to know to state with any accuracy what the climate will really be in 90 years.

It’s the imprecision of confused passages like this that bolster the idea that most of the so-called ‘skeptics’ on the interwebs are simply crank-yankers.

“Any” accuracy? Well, yes, I would say we know “everything we need to know” to state with some accuracy what the climate will be in 90 years. How much accuracy? What do we need to know: specifically, and with what level of confidence? Define those questions and then you can get somewhere.

Just spraying FUD all over the walls, on the other hand, does nothing to advance any debate… and that hardly seems like a coincidence.

Crank-yankers.

Comment by Paul Daniel Ash — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 PM

86. A bit OT, but I can’t understand the denialist trope about “not enough evidence to justify making changes to our economic systems/putting millions out of work” &c &c

If you believe in a totally free market then you’re going to have to accept that over time markets will be knocked about by events (including their own instability (1929 et seq)).

So free marketeers are quite happy to see millions out of work from stochastic causes, but then start screaming blue murder if anyone suggests changes to try to ward off threats in the future that might result in increased unemployment (but probably won’t).

Perhaps there’s no point in tyring the analyse the irrational.

Comment by calyptorhynchus — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:47 PM

87. Eli Rabbet wrote:

It is always fun to read comments from proponents of the science of irreproducible results. No they didn’t Eli. A subset of the panel read a small subset of the CRU papers. Eleven in all, as documented in the report.
No details of what they did to “analyse” these eleven papers was listed, no details of which members read them, and how they arrived at their conclusions.

[Response: This argument is disingenuous. They chose papers based on the recommendations of the Royal Society. Those papers cover 20 years, appeared in major journals, and covered large areas. Several of them deal specifically with topics that critics have raised about the CRU–notably tree ring divergence (two), UHI effects (two), and uncertainty in the SAT record (one). It is incumbent on critics to provide evidence that other unexamined papers would lead to a different conclusion–Jim]

Who can tell if this report is any good, it would be like writing a scientific paper without being able to supply the data used … oh, no wonder people here find it so illuminating.

Better delete this post in the interest of nurturing your reader’s inquisitive minds.

By the way, any idea who the groups this esteemed report believes used “inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results” are? Or are we just ignoring that bit in the interests of maintaining the concensus?

Comment by freespeech — 14 Apr 2010 @ 5:54 PM

88. calyptorhynchus says: 14 April 2010 at 5:47 PM

So free marketeers are quite happy to see millions out of work from stochastic causes, but then start screaming blue murder if anyone suggests changes to try to ward off threats in the future that might result in increased unemployment (but probably won’t).

Well, we spend $4 trillion per year or roughly 6% of global GDP each year buying protection against things we’re fairly sure won’t happen to us, so don’t look for any rationality in this matter. Insurance is really not very controversial but such precedents mean nothing when the established vector of cash is threatened. freespeech says: 14 April 2010 at 5:54 PM Who can tell if this report is any good… I’m sure if you twist yourself into a sufficiently contorted position you’ll be able to find a reading angle that will produce the comfort you’re looking for. Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 6:27 PM 89. Hey “freespeach”, when you are a guest at someone’s house do you call them a jerk just because you can? Do you spray them with your opposing political and religious beliefs just because you can? Do you go out of your way to accuse your host of making stupid mistakes? You are a guest at this blog. It is far more convincing to make a point eloquently, with logic and facts, than to spew, don’t you agree? Comment by Steve P — 14 Apr 2010 @ 7:08 PM 90. Wait a sec… “Science generally progresses by taking different approaches to problems and either confirming or refuting published results, not by ‘auditing’ old calculations. ” That’s not true. The ability to validate a theory or experimental finding is in repeatability. If I claim to have found a way to defeat gravity by the use of a paper clip, a magnet, and a fresh piece of Double Bubble, it’s not an article of faith that it was accomplished; nor is simply telling someone what was used and then telling them to figure it out themselves on how I did it. No, I’ll have to put my procedures out there so other scientists can validate it by repeating what I did. If they can’t after following my instructions, then they disprove my claim. If they can, I’m a zillionare. :) Even in models this holds true. In my last job I worked with multi-factored model outputs that used large data sets that had been cleaned up. The first thing I did as an analyst was replicate the model from soup (raw data) to peanuts (output). If it didn’t match, questions were asked. Often it was a simple mistake on one end or the other, and the process was improved – but to say that good science isn’t about repeatability is to say it’s really about faith. Comment by Frank Giger — 14 Apr 2010 @ 7:30 PM 91. Like Paul Gosling I am part of the peer review process reviewing papers from time to time at the request of the editorial panel of a variety of journals. I too certainly would reject a paper if the data from which conclusions had been made were missing or incomplete and when asked for were said to be lost. As far as I am aware in all disciplines it is incumbent on authors to supply sufficient information so that others can, should they so wish, repeat the experiments. This does not seem to be the case in climate science and I am unsure why the rules are different. Comment by Ian — 14 Apr 2010 @ 7:57 PM 92. Steve P wrote: “Hey “freespeach”, when you are a guest at someone’s house do you call them a jerk just because you can? Do you spray them with your opposing political and religious beliefs just because you can? Do you go out of your way to accuse your host of making stupid mistakes? You are a guest at this blog. It is far more convincing to make a point eloquently, with logic and facts, than to spew, don’t you agree?” Yup, agreed. So pointing out that Eli exaggerated when he claimed they read all of CRUs papers and pointing out that they only read 11 or them, [Response: Good point except for the fact that Eli didn’t say they’d read “all of CRU’s papers”–you made that up right here–Jim] with no details on who read them and what criteria they used to arrive at their conclusions is apparently not using facts to support one’s argument. Apparently it is “disingenuous”, but Eli Rabbet’s claim, profoundly wrong that it is, doesn’t warrant the “disingenuous” tag. As for Jim’s comment, “Several of them deal specifically with topics that critics have raised about the CRU–notably tree ring divergence (two), UHI effects (two), and uncertainty in the SAT record (one). It is incumbent on critics to provide evidence that other unexamined papers would lead to a different conclusion–Jim” Could you point out exactly where in the report they detail their concerns, the follow-up questions and the answers? I only find a 2 paragraphs (8&9) that refer to this and they are little more than “some of us read some of the papers, we asked awesome (but private) questions and we received awesome (but private) responses, and can categorically assure you that everything is just awesome at CRU.” Which might have just gotten them better than an ‘F’ if the panel had any critics on it, but alas there were none. So I totally disagree that my comments were disingenuous. 1) Eli’s comment was wrong, I pointed this out with details of why it was wrong. Apparently it is “disingenuous” to point out that something is wrong. [Response: You raised the issue about only a “small subset” of CRU papers being reviewed, apparently implying that this subset was un-representative of the larger set.–Jim] 2) The scope of documents examined by the panel is irrelevant if they do not include any details of what they did with the documents, what their questions were and what the answers they received were. They could have examined all of them or none of them and we wouldn’t be any wiser, all we have is their conclusions. Given the make up of the panel, total lack of any substantiation and their apparent judgment that no substantiation is necessary, it is pretty hard to put a great degree of value to these conclusions. Comment by freespeech — 14 Apr 2010 @ 8:02 PM 93. The reality-based world again shines the light of fact into the black hole of science denial, from which no photon escapes. How many times must this happen before the McIntyres of this world retreat in shame? How many grains of sand comprise all the beaches in the universe? Comment by Dan L. — 14 Apr 2010 @ 8:05 PM 94. Hang on a sec: there’s a criticism that they can’t find the notes they used for papers 20 years ago… in most areas, the legal requirement to keep notes (receipts, records, legal documents etc) is seven years. The criticisms by Paul Gosling and Ian above are classic bait-and-switch – there’s nothing in this to say the CRU scientists didn’t have their notes and methods at the time of peer-review and for some time after. Of course you wouldn’t accept a paper if the authors couldn’t answer the questions on methodology and analysis at the time. But 20 years on, those papers are supported by more recent work and therefore stand or fall on the basis of other work, not the lab-books of the authors. Comment by Charlie B — 14 Apr 2010 @ 8:44 PM 95. Ian says: 14 April 2010 at 7:57 PM I too certainly would reject a paper if the data from which conclusions had been made were missing or incomplete and when asked for were said to be lost… Do you mean if you were reviewing the paper today, or 20 years ago, when the work in question was actually in play as a candidate for publication? Without accounting for or acknowledging the gulf of time between the actual creation of this work and today, it’s a pretty absurd thing to conjecture about papers passing review without supporting materials being available at the time of review. It’s a fictional interpretation of history, plain and simple. The “rules” for climate science are the same as in any other field, within the boundaries of natural variability, including what’s reasonable to expect in the way of data and note preservation over decades. The “rules” for climate science being unremarkable is why the fact that Jones et al were unable today to produce 100% of their notes, data and other materials collected during the process of preparing papers for publication 20 years ago did not raise an eyebrow when passed under review by other academics. Did you read the report? Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:05 PM 96. This is all very good. However, I would like to caution any non-climate statiticians who get involved in climate analysis (as the report suggests), temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit scales is NOT ratio level data, but interval level. You can’t multiply or divide in those scales. So the data needs to be converted into the kelvin scale. Isn’t that one of the mistakes the climate denialists have made. Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:11 PM 97. Ian and Paul Gosling seem to feel very disposed to coming in and criticising people in another field for what? Not keeping on hand data that is available elsewhere, which they referred to in a paper long ago. I wonder if they themselves have all their raw data from every research project that they’ve ever conducted, and computerised all their old paper records from twenty years ago and more so they are on tap just on the off-chance that any old non-scientist, be it Tom, Dick or Stephen, from another part of the world asks for it. Even knowing that tom, dick and stephen, will announce to the world on their blog (without checking with the scientists first) if they find an ‘error’ (or think they’ve found an error), but won’t announce to anyone if they confirm the original findings. Comment by Sou — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:24 PM 98. > repeatability http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_uHB_QSDDaI4/SZnIpDGMPsI/AAAAAAAAAG4/X15SRHYTAp8/s320/ipcc-cartoon.jpg Sufficient? Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:28 PM 99. > repeatability http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/ Sufficient? Or is this a better explanation of how you feel? http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2fgn3xZDtkI/S7T2bmTJoAI/AAAAAAAAC30/5Y9byXA3scI/s1600/BricksSTRIP%28web%29.jpg Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 9:34 PM 100. Eli wrote: “The Committee members READ THE PAPERS PUBLISHED BY THE CRU. Try it sometime.” I wrote: “So pointing out that Eli exaggerated when he claimed they read all of CRUs papers and pointing out that they only read 11 or them” Jim wrote: “Response: Good point except for the fact that Eli didn’t say they’d read “all of CRU’s papers”–you made that up right here Sorry Jim, I must be reading something else.  [Response: Yes you must be. No more time for playing your word games I’m afraid.–Jim] Comment by freespeech — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:27 PM 101. > they do not include any details of what they did with the > documents, what their questions were In other words, you won’t be happy until you get complete access to all the information yourself, personally. Hope that works for you when someone makes up accusations about you. You have nothing to hide, right? So you needn’t worry about having everything about you made public just to reassure others that you’re not doing anything wrong. Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Apr 2010 @ 10:42 PM 102. A far bigger issue than ClimateGate is the issue of Coal Carbon Capture Science – the blatant fraud that no British or American science agency will address, out of fear of political reprisals from the politicians who control the purse strings. Why no mention of this? No similar call for addressing the many claims about carbon capture? Tar sands in Alberta, let’s say – the U.S. refused to block imports of tar sand syncrude because “it was better addressed with carbon capture”, according to our Council on Foreign Relations… One small problem – it takes more energy to capture and store the emissions from the fuel than you can generate by burning the fuel. Most of the “demonstration projects” (as well as enhanced oil recovery systems for oil well CO2 injection) only capture about 1% of the emissions from the fossil fuel plant, at an energy cost of greater than 1% of the power output. Nevertheless, there is zero transparency – because private interests control the patents to the technology. The chief DOE contractor on this, as well as the overall manager of the bogus DOE FutureGen project, is the private “non-profit” outfit, Battelle Memorial Institute, which has promoted the following claims: FutureGen will demonstrate advanced coal-based technologies to generate electricity for families and businesses, and also produce hydrogen to power fuel cells for transportation and other energy needs. The technology also will integrate the capture of carbon emissions with carbon sequestration, helping to address the issue of climate change as energy demand continues to grow worldwide. The 275 megawatt plant will be developed through a public-private partnership led by the seven founding FutureGen Industrial Alliance members that include: American Electric Power BHP Billiton CONSOL Energy Inc. Foundation Coal Corporation Kennecott Energy Company, a member of the Rio Tinto group Peabody Energy Southern Company Formation of FutureGen Alliance was coordinated by Battelle, a non-profit research and development institution. The Alliance is working with DOE to secure a final agreement for FutureGen. Once an agreement is reached, the process would proceed to site selection and plant design. In reality, this is just a coal gasification project that the putative owner, the DOE, intends to sell off in parts to coal-to-gasoline interests once it’s completed – it’s right there in the DOE proposal. Nevertheless, the press maintains a blackout, the private interests who suck up billions in DOE contracts hide their bogus “technology” behind private intellectual property law. This is one of the biggest frauds being perpetrated by the U.S. and British governments on their public – a massive greenwashing scam – and yet the press won’t talk about it. Why is that, again? Comment by Ike Solem — 14 Apr 2010 @ 11:24 PM 103. Fairly comprehensive article in the Independent: The needed-more-statisticians squib seems to be pretty much damp: Professor David Hand, an expert in statistics at Imperial College, said that the CRU relied heavily on the statistical interpretation of “tough data” and that it could have used better techniques had the climate scientists kept themselves abreast of developments in statistics. “In reading the [scientific] papers, the CRU have to be commended because of the many cautionary comments and qualifications they make in those papers,” Professor Hand said. “There is no evidence at all of anything underhand, the opposite if anything, in that they have brought out in the open the uncertainties associated with what they are doing. That doesn’t mean that better statistical methods could not have been used, and I suspect they could have been used,” he said. “We’re not talking about radically different tools and entirely different approaches, we’re talking about slight differences in methods,” he added. In any case, this probably did not affect the overall conclusions of the research, Professor Hand said. Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:43 AM 104. It just dawned on me that twenty years ago (1990) was ancient history in terms of record keeping. DOS 5.0, top of the line was a 486 with a 20 MB hard drive…which means researchers probably were lucky to have a 286, a ten MB hard drive, and a lot of five and quarter disk drives. And some time share on some old university machine with a huge tape library, complete with robot arm. I wonder how many boxes of printouts and notebooks are squirreled away in some warehouse, shoved under a shelf with the label facing the wall (and therefore hidden). We are completely spoiled by unlimited digital space and access today, and it is really easy to forget how quickly we lept from the analog workspace. Comment by Frank Giger — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:24 AM 105. It is pleasing to see that the Daily Mail, a right-leaning UK popular newspaper, rightly criticised here at RC in the past, and that rubbished Jones personally in the past, and is editorially “sceptic”, covered the story fairly accurately: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265921/No-evidence-malpractice-scientists-accused-fabricating-global-warming-results-inquiry-finds.html However this has not changed the loopy idiot denialists who are commenting on the article. Sometimes you just can’t win….. Comment by Theo Hopkins — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:45 AM 106. 66 Anand: Yes. The task ahead is huge and difficult. 67 Richard Ordway: paradymn shift: Americans are disrespectful. Yes, there is a problem. It is partly that others are trying to change our paradigm to protect profits and partly that we have to change the political, cultural and corporate paradigms to protect the planet and our species. Politics as usual isn’t getting the job done. The third train in this train wreck is that science is so far from what can be thought and perceived by average non-scientists. That is why I keep coming up with the idea of a colony on Mars as insurance against extinction. Evolution is often forced by climate changes. Most people may realize that there is no future for them, so they are forced into denial. We are trying to save everybody; perhaps a hopeless task. This is a dangerous thing to say. We ARE trying to save everybody. We may fail, at least partially. Don’t expect most people to believe us. Comment by Edward Greisch — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:07 AM 107. Hank Roberts wrote: “In other words, you won’t be happy until you get complete access to all the information yourself, personally.” Nope. Nothing personal about the disclosure requirements, they should be public. It surprises me that the panel thought their report was sufficient in its current form, i.e. trust us. “Hope that works for you when someone makes up accusations about you. You have nothing to hide, right? So you needn’t worry about having everything about you made public just to reassure others that you’re not doing anything wrong.” Well, while I really do have nothing to hide, I’d be rather upset if the people supposedly charged with the responsibility for investigating issued this type of report. I doubt if anything here is of sufficient privacy not to warrant public exposure. Do you really think the questions asked and the answers given are that embarrassing? If it were me I’d rather have the details in the public sphere so that the debate ends with the report. This “we asked lots of really smart questions and got splendid answers” approach doesn’t cut it for me. But I guess I must have a higher expectation for what represents investigation and proof. Mea culpa. It is climate science after all. Comment by freespeech — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:15 AM 108. Hank, #101, that technique worked well for SCO in their fight against IBM. That too showed NO EVIDENCE in what SCO accused IBM of, though this cost IBM millions. Since scientists FOI work is for government, these millions (for each center FOIADDoS’d) would have to come from taxpayers. Which I would suppose then be proof that AGW is a hoax to get more tax money to climate scientists… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:22 AM 109. PS This is wrong: “In other words, you won’t be happy until you get complete access to all the information yourself, personally.” Since they’ll only be happy if they get all the information that can be shown to prove AGW a fraud. If the information doesn’t show that, then that is proof that there’s still more data missing, since AGW ***IS*** a fraud, and if all the evidence doesn’t show it, there must be more that does. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:24 AM 110. OT BBC – 14 April 2010 Low solar activity link to cold UK winters “The UK and continental Europe could be gripped by more frequent cold winters in the future as a result of low solar activity, say researchers. …….. …said lead author Mike Lockwood, professor of space environment physics at the University of Reading, UK.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8615789.stm Independent – 20 March 2000 Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past “According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.” http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html Comment by Jimbo — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:32 AM 111. “As far as I am aware in all disciplines it is incumbent on authors to supply sufficient information so that others can, should they so wish, repeat the experiments.” This is true. Isn’t always followed (cf Soon and Balunias and G&T’s paper), but that risks getting your paper removed from the running. “This does not seem to be the case in climate science and I am unsure why the rules are different.” What makes you say that? The paper produced many other works based on the same principles. If there was not enough information to do so, how were they made? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:38 AM 112. I think a lot of you are failing to read what I am actually writing. I have not criticised CRU for not having full records for papers that were written 20 years ago. I doubt many scientists in any field would. I am criticising the panel for saying that they were able to make a full assessment of these papers in the absence of full records, they could not. The fact that they passed the peer review process does not mean there was no problem with them either, it means if there was then reviewers at the time did not pick them up. There is plenty of rubbish which passes peer review, as this blog regularly demonstrates. The strongest argument for the integrity of these older papers is that subsequent work supports them. That is a fair and strong argument, saying they were fully assessed by the panel, when they weren’t, is not. Comment by Paul Gosling — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:40 AM 113. freespeech says “By the way, any idea who the groups this esteemed report believes used “inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results” are? Or are we just ignoring that bit in the interests of maintaining the concensus?” I think I can guess…maybe the same groups who show “a lack of awareness of the ongoing and dynamic nature of chronologies, and of the difficult circumstances under which university research is sometimes conducted” perhaps? Comment by Chris S — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:41 AM 114. ““Science generally progresses by taking different approaches to problems and either confirming or refuting published results, not by ‘auditing’ old calculations. ” That’s not true. The ability to validate a theory or experimental finding is in repeatability.” Yes. Repeat the experiment. NOT calculate the results of the same numbers. It doesn’t matter how many times different people say “1+1=2″, this is not proof that the equation is right. So you need enough information to repeat the aim of the experiment. This is summarised in the Abstract usually where they say something along the lines of: “We have tested the idea that Rats use visual cues to remember the right path to negotiate through a maze to reach the reward in the minimum amount of time” NOT “Rat A took 178% of the time to travel from A to B, a distance that was 1.60m long where the total duration was …. The second time it negotiated the route… The third time negotiating through the route…” Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:43 AM 115. “Off the cuff, without reading the report, I see no reason why FoI should NOT apply to academic research.” So GSK’s drug trials are open season. It’s as academic as weather and climate prediction, which as companies like Open Road will tell you is a business selling weather and climate (ask Piers Corbyn too: he sells long term climate forecasts). Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:49 AM 116. Not quite OT, this that I made recently might interest some: Global_monthly_temperature_record.png It’s the standard five global temperature record estimates plotted as monthly anomalies instead of the usual annuals (see Stefan last week). I’ve not seen a combined monthly plot before. Apart from (yet again…) confirming that the Hadley/CRU estimate is just fine, I think the monthly plot shows something else. Something new to me at least (Hadley notwithstanding). The month to month variation seems to give a sense of the increasing uncertainty in the temperature estimates due to increasing data scarcity further back in the record. Looked at that way, the early 20th century rise is nearly lost in the noise, and the rapid rise since the 1970s becomes even more striking. Comment by GlenFergus — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:53 AM 117. RickA. This: “There is still a great deal of uncertainty about what will happen to sea level and temperatures in the future” Has nothing to do with this: “but are skeptical as to the degree of human contribution to the warming of the last 150 years, or how sensitive the climate really is to a doubling of CO2 levels (to 560 ppm).” Which is known as a non-sequitor. Uncertainties in what rate sea level rises happen doesn’t make the sensitivity of temperature rises in response to CO2 similarly unknown. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:55 AM 118. #71 Comment by Steven Sullivan — 14 April 2010 @ 3:40 PM Steve, it’s a while since you posted this, hopefully you’ll see this and respond… “Nonscientists might be shocked at how often professional statisticians are NOT consulted in biomedical/clinical research…which can lead, e.g., to the wrong stats tests being done or data being overinterpreted.” Just out of interest, when drugs are being submitted for approval does the FDA (or other equivalent national bodies) demand a certain standard of statistical due dilligance on the submitted data? Nial. Comment by NS — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:07 AM 119. RickA (77): this is not the first time the average global temperature has risen above the level of 1850. BPL: It’s the first time it’s done so in 20 million years, though. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:09 AM 120. zeroworker (79): he should have simply complied with the FoI request up front BPL: No, he should not have. There are 3 people in CRU. It takes 18 hours to comply with all the paperwork surrounding a typical UK FOI request. McIntyre et al. spammed CRU with 40 FOI requests, made out more or less at random, over one weekend. And it was clear they lied about needing the data for research. So no, Phil Jones did exactly the right thing. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:11 AM 121. Frank Giger says: 14 April 2010 at 7:30 PM Frank, you’ve rather misrepresented Myles Allen’s straightforward (and true) statement about the nature of scientific advance, since Allen’s statement implicitly incorporates the nature of “repeatability” in relation to science as it is actually done (as opposed to a “Philosophy of Science 101” notion!). Your examples relate to a very small subgroup of scientific observations where a publication is subject to efforts at direct reproduction. A real life example would be the Cold Fusion farrago where a rather outlandish claim was immediately subjected to efforts at direct reproduction, and ultimately shown to be non-reproducible and without merit. In the general flow of scientific advance, repeatability is assessed in a far less direct manner as Myles Allen indicates. Some examples from (a) the field I work in and (b) from climate science: (a) A protein crystal structure is reported and the coordinates deposited in the data base. Unless another group has independently determined the crystal structure, no one will bother to replicate this study (generally there wouldn’t be much point). However other groups might be interested in determining the structures of the protein complexed with potential drug molecules; or might be stimulated to determine the structure of the same protein from a different organism. In doing these subsequent experiments the first study is essentially replicated. If there is a problem with the first study (they got the phases wrong and messed up the structure, or they fabricated the whole thing!), then that’s likely to become apparent in subsequent studies of the sort I describe. (b) Climate science has lots of repeatability of the Myles Allen sort. The fact that the analysis of historical temperature is independently compiled by three groups using different approaches lends a great deal of confidence to its essential reliability; that NASA GISS uses rational extrapolation to “fill in” the Arctic temperature anomalies provides us with an insight that would be lacking if their (and NOAA’s) roles were to do a slavish “repeat” of the Hadcrut analysis in the manner you imply. Similarly, what we know of paleotemperatures and paleogreenhouse gas levels from ice cores comes from a large number of different cores from multiple locations. If there are specific questions, then there may be replication under different conditions to address these; so the Law Dome high resolution CO2 record was obtained from three different cores, each drilled using different methods (thermal, electrochemical and fluid-immersed electrochemical) to assess the possibility of artefacts resulting from different drilling methods. This is far more informative than a slavish repeat (“audit”!!) of a core drill would be. In general science advances as a weave in which published analyses are generally tested “in passing” as new problems are investigated that overlap with earlier work. If there are problems with the earlier work then this may be uncovered through major inconsistencies with subsequent studies. The notion that we can only have confidence in a piece of work if this is slavishly “replicated” is not how science works, and if we were to adopt that approach, we’d really slow up the process of finding stuff out (even if it might be an “auditors” dream!). Comment by chris — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:53 AM 122. #77 In case you thought it was, your comment is not a reply to my #64 which was about the quality of contrarian statistics. Please read the whole review of Grant Foster’s book (See link in #64) and preferably go and buy it. Even when the climatologists stats. have been criticised , it has been because they may not have used the most sophisticated tools available , but this ‘lapse’ has had little effect on the answers. That is not the case with anti-climate stats. which are frequently absent altogether or misused. For contrarians to complain about the quality of climatologist’s stats. is a case of a black pot calling a silvery kettle black. Propagandists like Nigel Lawson et al (a very big et al!) who repeatedly assert that the climate has not warmed this century, are anti-climate because they are trying to deprive their readers of the very concept of climate based on a consistent average over decades. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:55 AM 123. I presume it’s fortuitous that Hank’s #99 immediately precedes freespeech’s comment at #100? As John Cage loved to point out, sometimes random processes lead to illuminating results. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Apr 2010 @ 7:01 AM 124. ========== #19 Completely Fed Up says: 14 April 2010 at 10:44 AM where was I…? ========== Australia….. (sorry ’bout that…) Comment by David N — 15 Apr 2010 @ 7:16 AM 125. This is off topic for this thread, but I was wondering if the recent eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland was large enough to have a noticeable (cooling, yes?) effect on climate a la Pinatubo. It’s large enough to have shut down airports across Northern Europe: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/15/AR2010041500560.html?hpid=topnews Comment by Paul from VA — 15 Apr 2010 @ 7:55 AM 126. While it seems I am banned from posting within this pseudo-science blog for the serious crime of questioning the new religion, I must comment that the lack of reasoning from your posters must be a comforting result for you and your corrupt cohorts.  [Response: Cry me a river–don’t have time for it. Every post you have made, deleted or not, has shown that you are primarily interested in antagonism and mis-representation of positions, like Eli Rabett’s, to fit your own story line. Your mind is apparently made up on the matter.–Jim] Comment by freespeech — 15 Apr 2010 @ 7:58 AM 127. #87 freespeech, Who did they think had used inapropriate statistical tools with the potenential for producing misleading results? I think Michael Mann is one of those referred to. David Hand, the statistician on the panel did mention Mann’s early multi-proxy work as having statistical flaws. I do not know who else he was referring to. But remember, this was the first try at multi-proxy temperature reconstructions. It is superceeded work. Comment by Lloyd Flack — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:23 AM 128. David: “Australia….. (sorry ’bout that…)” No, I ***was*** in Australia. Where I learned all about poison science papers… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:28 AM 129. “BPL: It’s the first time it’s done so in 20 million years, though.” And oddly enough, it’s the first time humans have burned fossil fuels. Maybe there’s a link between them… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:31 AM 130. the BBC threaten to present the report fairly accurately, but then decide they need to balance out the scientific viewpoints with a sports sociologist http://mediaecologies.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/climatgate-the-oxburgh-enquiry-and-the-bbcs-usual-bullshit/ Comment by Sy — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:48 AM 131. RE NS Just out of interest, when drugs are being submitted for approval does the FDA (or other equivalent national bodies) demand a certain standard of statistical due dilligance on the submitted data? Yes, of course. Pivotal studies are accompanied by a Statistical Analysis Plan, but many supporting studies – non-GLP animal efficacy experiments, investigator-initiated clinical trials – will have less input from statisticians, especially in the planning phases. I participate in a lot of proposal reviews and a large proportion of proposed animal studies do not include a justification of animal numbers. Things are improving, but the consulting of statisticians early in the process is not done often enough. Comment by Deech56 — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:53 AM 132. 108 (Jimbo), Jimbo please take the time to actually read the articles you link to, and to understand what they actually say (as opposed to the misrepresentative spin that you got on them from WUWT). Comment by Bob — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:58 AM 133. I find it highly odd, not to mention unhelpful, that a body convened to investigate CRU has seen fit to include highly generalized and abstract criticisms of the CRU critics in its report. They may very well be right in what they say, but such comments should have been entirely outside the purview of this report. At best, the decision to include them will provide CRU’s critics with ammunition to bolster their contention that the report is a whitewash. At worst, it suggests the possibility that the report really was, in fact, a whitewash. [Response: Oh please. The amount of misinformation, disinformation, baseless accusations and straightforward smears levelled at CRU was huge and the inquiry only existed in order to see whether there was anything to the criticisms of the science. Finding nothing, it is not too surprising that they concluded that many critics were behaving dishonorably and disingenuously – which they were. Given the open season on scientists that we have had for the last few months, apparent concern for the feelings of the hard-put upon critics could rightly be described as chutzpah. – gavin] Comment by ROI — 15 Apr 2010 @ 9:42 AM 134. Re :#124 David Hand, the statistician on the panel did mention Mann’s early multi-proxy work as having statistical flaws. Yes but there is a debate about it. He is just one person and how long did he spend on it? http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/unforced-variations-2/comment-page-5/#comment-152813 Just because he comes from IC doesn’t make him right. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 15 Apr 2010 @ 9:44 AM 135. QUOTE: “[Response: Watch those goalposts move! Let me be sure that I have your position correct: all of the noise, insults, threats, libel and cries of fraud, fabrication and misconduct are because you feel that more statisticians should have been coauthors on the CRU papers? Got it. – gavin]” I’m sorry, Gavin, but you’re lumping all of CRU’s critics into one pile, which – though it perhaps makes some sense to you on an emotional level – is a logical fallacy. (E.g. “Islamic fanatics crashed planes into the WTC, ergo all Muslims are terrorists!”) Comment by ROI — 15 Apr 2010 @ 9:49 AM 136. Kevin McKinney wrote: “As John Cage loved to point out, sometimes random processes lead to illuminating results.” As quantum physicists love to point out, random processes lead to all results. Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 Apr 2010 @ 9:50 AM 137. “I’m sorry, Gavin, but you’re lumping all of CRU’s critics into one pile” When it’s a response to a single post, this would require that the post was made by a committee of CRU’s critics. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:15 AM 138. “Pivotal studies are accompanied by a Statistical Analysis Plan,” Including an analysis of whether the statistical tools were the very best ones available? I don’t think so. Definitely not in all cases. And all the intermediate workings? Even if 20 years old? Which, if it were as damaging to corporate welfare as climate change mitigation, would be shouted as proof it was all a lie. Which I believe was the OP’s original point. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 AM 139. A couple of questions for commenters bill and NS, and any others expressing their grave concern about the potential costs of responding to the picture that has emerged from climate science as though it were true (i.e. taking action to reduce CO2 emissions, develop renewable energy sources, etc.): What do you see as the potential range of costs for *lack* of action? On what do you base that perspective? How do *you* assess the likelihood of future scenarios? Comment by Kevin Stanley — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:23 AM 140. 132 (ROI), You don’t seem to understand the actual words involved. Let me clarify it for you. There was exactly one recrimination in the report, and that was that it might have been helpful, even if it does not seem to be common practice even today in many fields of science, if 20 years ago the scientists had enlisted the aid of professional statisticians. This was interpreted by one commenter here as a hugely important point, and that the post here was somehow grossly flawed because it failed to mention that particular, relatively innocuous detail, because it is the one thing that reflects poorly on CRU. Gavin rightly pointed out that this was a prime example of moving the goal posts. Where the scientists were accused for fraud, fabrication and misconduct, no evidence was found, so now this commenter is acting like it’s some big deal that they didn’t enlist the aid of professional statisticians, as if this single negative finding was always the point of the process. Now you (ROI) rotate the direction of the field (rather than moving the goal posts) by complaining that Gavin’s description of the attacks on the scientists is somehow unfair to the people who made the attacks, because he’s not distinguishing the shrill, purposely misleading bloggers from the pedantic, myopic pseudo-scientists from the bizarre, absurdly misinformed media personalities from the unprofessional, libelous, misquoting journalists? Exactly where did he “lump” “all of CRU’s critics,” or even mention them, in the first place? Watching this unfold is like watching Elmer Fudd balance an oversized stack of tea cups topped with a lit stick of dynamite. Comment by Bob — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:28 AM 141. This [needing more statisticians] was interpreted by one commenter here as a hugely important point, and that the post here was somehow grossly flawed because it failed to mention that particular, relatively innocuous detail, because it is the one thing that reflects poorly on CRU. As has already been pointed out, that IS mentioned in the post. Climate change ‘skeptics’ can’t read. It appears to be a requirement. Comment by barry — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:44 AM 142. A far bigger issue than ClimateGate is the issue of Coal Carbon Capture Science – the blatant fraud that no British or American science agency will address, out of fear of political reprisals from the politicians who control the purse strings. Why no mention of this? Because the Oxburgh enquiry was about something completely different, perhaps? Nevertheless, there is zero transparency – because private interests control the patents to the technology. Nevertheless, the press maintains a blackout, the private interests who suck up billions in DOE contracts hide their bogus “technology” behind private intellectual property law. I too have considerable doubts about coal carbon capture. But the claim you make here are ‘patently’ bogus, because all patents must be published. Anyone can freely conduct full text searches at the USPTO website for all US patents filed over the last several decades. Comment by Gerry Quinn — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:51 AM 143. 132 ROI: I suggest you go back and read the first point in the report, which summarises the purpose of the review and the reason for the review. If I were conducting such a review I would be negligent if I did not make some comment on the legitimacy of the allegations and their nature. Those who wrote the report obviously had the same opinion. Bear in mind, the people who conducted the review were leading international figures, appointed on the recommendation of the Royal Society. You couldn’t get better than that. Comment by Sou — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:52 AM 144. #84 and #120 I disagree. While I don’t have first hand knowledge of the situation and could be persuaded that my current thinking is wrong by new evidence, or by facts I’m currently unaware of, what I’ve seen so far does not support the notion that UEA received a “blizzard” of FoI requests, or that they were vexatious to the point that he should not have responded (which, anyway, I’m not sure he was legally at liberty to deny). Monbiot now has an exchange with Steve Easterbrook up on his website regarding the FoI requests: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/04/08/debate-with-steve-easterbrook/ Until I see some more evidence to the contrary, I’m with Monbiot on this one. Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:53 AM 145. ROI @ 131 Of course it is true that not all people who have criticized CRU have exactly the same motivations. Obviously. Please see Damian’s comment at 69, though. Some of the less strident essentially use the more strident as a tool to spread FUD and distort public perceptions, while being able to claim their hands are clean. Comment by Kevin Stanley — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:06 AM 146. #120, BPL After thinking about it a bit, I want to specifically address your argument that responding to an FoI request takes time, and therefore can be disregarded. It took me 10 hours to gather, fill out and file my federal tax forms. Another few hours to do my state taxes. I have to do this every year, and sometimes spend even more time on them if I (or the government) makes a mistake. Does this mean I should not have to file them? There are all kinds of annoying obligations in life. Just because something is annoying or takes time does not somehow remove the obligatory nature of the exercise. Additionally, the vexatious FoI requests you mention occurred after a number of earlier, and definitely non-vexatious, requests were turned down. See Monbiot’s blog for a good treatment: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/apr/08/hacked-emails-freedom-of-information I view FoI as a very important tool in keeping government action transparent, and therefore accountable. It is _NOT_ acceptable to deny such a request just because it’s a pain in the a**. The whole _POINT_ of FoI is that the information is to be made available upon request. If a FoI request can be denied for as meager a reason that it takes time out of your busy day, then the FoI law(s) would be rendered essentially useless. Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:10 AM 147. Gerry Quinn (#144), isn’t this precisely why some companies choose not to patent, or not to patent right away? Can we assume that there are patents for some portion of CCS technology? Secular (#135), that was actually one of Cage’s concerns in performance of his work (as I know from first-hand experience): he wanted to be sure that performers didn’t unintentionally suppress “outlying” possibilities, playing always “in the middle.” But I fear this subthread may becoming a bit of an “outlier” as far as the topic goes. . . ;-) Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:22 AM 148. zeroworker says … It took me 10 hours to gather, fill out and file my federal tax forms. Another few hours to do my state taxes. I have to do this every year, and sometimes spend even more time on them if I (or the government) makes a mistake. Does this mean I should not have to file them? There are all kinds of annoying obligations in life. Just because something is annoying or takes time does not somehow remove the obligatory nature of the exercise. Zeroworker seems unaware that though the law requires most citizens to file tax returns, FOI law does not *require* the recipient to respond to a FOI request by releasing what’s asked for. Under many circumstances, FOI law makes clear that the proper response is to say “no”. Also, being asked to file taxes once a year is a bit different than being bombarded with about 50 FOI requests in a single *weekend*. It’s as though you’re being asked to file returns in every state of the union rather than just those you earned income in. I suspect if you were required to file returns for 49 states which you’ve never worked in that you might find this burdensome and vexatious. Comment by dhogaza — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:41 AM 149. zeroworker – here is some evidence. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/25032/response/66822/attach/2/Response%20letter%20199%20100121.pdf The majority of these FOI requests were received in a matter of days. These ones follow the same format – obviously a cut and paste job. Prior to 2009, CRU received less than a dozen FOIs a year. Usually much less. The last 3 years: 2007. 4 requests 2008. 2 requests 2009. 99 requests 2009 saw an FOI blizzard at CRU, wouldn’t you say? Comment by barry — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:45 AM 150. #145–Fine, but legal responses to FOI can include refusal for cause–including not having “ownership” of the data, which we know to be the case for some at least of the earlier requests. And we know that CRU worked with the relevant compliance personnel. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:02 PM 151. # 119 BPL: “BPL: It’s the first time it’s done so in 20 million years, though.” Sorry BPL – not even close. Not only are you ignoring the MWP, the Roman warming period and the Holocene Climate warming period – but you are ignoring the ice core evidence from Antarctica. Take a look at this nature article – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7271/pdf/nature08564.pdf which shows that even during the last 340 thousand years: This gradient and the uncertainties calculated (see Methods) imply that maximum interglacial temperatures over the past 340 kyr were between 6.0 K and 10.0 K above present-day values (Fig. 4a). Average global temperaturs have risen above todays value many times in even the last 340 thousand years. Comment by RickA — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:04 PM 152. “Zeroworker seems unaware that though the law requires most citizens to file tax returns” He also forgets that your tax form doesn’t require you to post 20 year old receipts. Nor your past years’ travel arrangements, the number of times you’ve had sex (and who with), whether you’ve seen anyone else’s financial details, all your workings out including intermediate stages, and ALL correspondence with your solicitor/accountant… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:17 PM 153. Typically, the ‘critics’ ignore everything said in response to previous postings of the talking points and post them again as though no one had ever thought of them before. Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:20 PM 154. “It is _NOT_ acceptable to deny such a request just because it’s a pain in the a**. ” It is. Check out the legal text of the FOIA in the UK. It is also acceptable to refuse if it breaks the law. It is also acceptable to refuse if you aren’t the correct place to get the stuff from. It is also acceptable to refuse if it’s not for the purposes for which the act was written for (read that act again, oh, hang on, that’s NOTzerowork for you, natch). It is also acceptable to refuse if you’ve already answered as fully as required. Read up on Jack Thompson. Despite the courts not having the right to refuse someone access to the courts because he’s a pain in the ass, he has actually done this. In court cases, a vexatious litigant can not only be refused access to court, he can be fined and jailed for it. But finding this out is work for you, whereas you prefer work for others, zero work for yourself. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:22 PM 155. zeroworker wrote: “I want to specifically address your argument that responding to an FoI request takes time, and therefore can be disregarded.” No one, including BPL, has made the “argument” that FOI requests can be “disregarded” simply because responding “takes time”. Of course you know that. You are just being silly, and entertaining yourself with your ability to get people to waste their time responding to your silly comments. Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 Apr 2010 @ 12:57 PM 156. Regarding FoI: 1) I agree that the flurry of FoI requests received in 2009 were vexatious. However, as #148 was already kind enough to point out, there were 4 requests in 2007 and 2 in 2008. Why didn’t Jones and the university respond to them? I don’t think you can call 2 or 4 requests over the course of a year a “blizzard”, or “vexatious”. It is the denied FoI requests of 2007 and 2008 which I feel Jones and the university have to answer for. There clearly was a campaign to flood the UAE with FoI requests in 2009 – I don’t dispute that – and would agree that the requests received as part of that campaign were vexatious. But that does not explain the earlier denials. 2) I don’t know whether or not Jones was legally compelled to release data in response to these (non-vexatious 2007 and 2008) FoI requests. I’m not a lawyer. If so, then he should have done so, end of story. If not, if he had some legal reason to deny the FoI request, then of course his actual refusal is defensible. However, here is Phil Jones himself in one of the emails: “I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!” Perhaps he simply didn’t know when he wrote this whether an FoI request would be binding or not, but this email clearly displays an unwillingness to release the data, and raises suspicions about whether or not Jones felt an FoI request could legally be denied. 3) Monbiot re-posts a comment from someone who claims to be a public sector lawyer who thinks Jones and the university did indeed break the law by denying the FoI request. The most relevant part of his post is reproduced below: “Professor Jones and his colleagues and his employers knowingly flouted the law of the land without any excuse whatsoever” So, here is a question for those of you who think Jones’ should have denied the request – under what provision of the FoI statute was he permitted to deny the request? Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 1:10 PM 157. #155 Completely Fed Up Did any of these apply to Jones and UEA in 2007 or 2008? I don’t see anything on your list that would make it OK for Jones and UEA to refuse the request, other than the fact that they wanted to put a stick in the eye of those requesting it. I actually understand this motivation. Climate change deniers are a detestable lot. But simply not liking someone does not allow you to refuse an FoI request. If it’s possible for you to eliminate the snark, I’d be happy to listen to the legal basis for Jones and the university’s refusal to release the information requested in 2007 and 2008 if you know of one. Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 1:21 PM 158. Cite sources, e.g. here: http://www.google.com/search?q=british+FOI+vexatious Many, many examples of vexatious requests and denials appropriately made. Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Apr 2010 @ 1:21 PM 159. Its kind of fascinating (in a sick sort of way) to watch the inane degree of focus by some on the actions of UAE. Somehow I am supposed to be absolutely horrified that the FOI requests of a particular person were not treated as nicely as possible. Even though no demonstrable harm was done. Could the requests have been handled better – maybe – so what? All of us could handle most things better given enough 20/20 hindsight. But based on the comments of those complaining about how the FOI requests were handled – its more than obvious, even if the information had been handwalked over, it would not have been good enough. While I knew there was no hope that the investigation and results would cause any recantation of the claims made, I still had a small degree of hope that just one or two people might say something like “you know this is good, some of my concerns have been addressed.” Sometimes in reading the comments of those still claiming problems, its like they think its a game. They can’t concede anything because the “other side” wins a point. Its all in protecting the “win” versus trying to understand the science and what it says. In this case – they seem willing to try to claim a “win” no matter the cost. Comment by Donna — 15 Apr 2010 @ 1:23 PM 160. RickA says: 15 April 2010 at 12:04 PM Rick, it consistently baffles me that rejectionists are so wedded to this notion that we’re as dumb as a bolide, as mindless as continental drift, as stupid as a volcano. Hence the constant chorus of “things happened before”, we’re only following our destiny over which we have no influence, as though we are a brainless ice sheet draped under the uncomprehending sun. Did you notice? By posting here, you’re thinking and doing. You’re your own contradiction. Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Apr 2010 @ 1:52 PM 161. RickA (77): this is not the first time the average global temperature has risen above the level of 1850. BPL: It’s the first time it’s done so in 20 million years, though. As I understand it, measurements indicate that the temperature during the last interglacial, 130000 years ago, was warmer than today’s. Comment by Gerry Quinn — 15 Apr 2010 @ 1:58 PM 162. “As I understand it, measurements indicate that the temperature during the last interglacial, 130000 years ago, was warmer than today’s.” Go on, give us a link… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:17 PM 163. “Did you notice? By posting here, you’re thinking and doing. You’re your own contradiction.” Not so fast, Doug. Posting? Check. Doing? Check. End of list. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:18 PM 164. “Of course you know that. You are just being silly, and entertaining yourself with your ability to get people to waste their time responding to your silly comments.” Which, for him, is zerowork. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:19 PM 165. To Theo Hopkins, Do me a favor and actually read the emails in the CRU release and then tell me with a straight face if you still want to cheer Phil Jones and CRU. If you would like to come over to my house I would be glad to read them to you line by line and then you can explain away. It will be good clean fun. This is a serious offer by the way. I live in Honolulu, you can take a vacation while you are here. Comment by sam — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:33 PM 166. RickA (151) — The evidence indicates that the current global temperature is certainly warmer than during the so-called MWP. Whether it is warmer than any previous time throughout the Holocene is unknown as suitable proxies don’t go back that far. One borehole study suggests not. As Garry Quinn mentions in comment #159 the weight of the evidence indicates it was warmer than now, by about 2 K, during the Eemian interglacial. The concern is that current CO2 levels are already about the same as those prevailing in the Miocene, about 20 million years ago, with sea levels several tens of metrs higher than now. One is forced to conclude it will become one whole heckofa lot warmer. Comment by David B. Benson — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 PM 167. RickA (151): The MWP warm period was a regional event, not a global event. Global temps were cooler. http://www.skepticalscience.com/medieval-warm-period.htm RC has already dealt with the Holecene warm period. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/ok-perhaps-recent-20th-century-warmth-is-anomalous-over-the-past-millennium-or-two-but-wasnt-it-warmer-during-the-holocene-optimum-some-6000-years-ago/ The Holocene was warmer than today but only in the summer and in the northern hemisphere. How do you know the Roman warm period wasn’t regional as well. You cite a new Nature paper to support your position. I assume that means you are willing to accept other papers that contradict your position on the Holocene, the MWP, and the Roman warming period? Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:50 PM 168. Gerry Quinn, note the difference between 1850 and today. Note the rate of change in temperature over that span. Look at the rate of change in the past. Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:53 PM 169. #157 Donna >>Even though no demonstrable harm was done. Right. The huge firestorm in the media that happened after the hack didn’t do any damage at all to the campaign to educate the public on the dangers of climate change or to achieve policy changes to mitigate the problem. Give me a break. As I’ve said, I do not believe Jones participated in scientific fraud. I’m not even convinced that he and/or the university broke the law (although neither have I been convinced that they didn’t – certainly nobody in this comment thread has addressed that point to my satisfaction). But doing a good job with the science ultimately will not do anyone any good if we lose the political battle. It is the political fight, the fight for rational policy change that ultimately matters the most for our future. And it is clear is that this whole affair was a PR disaster for the good guys. Could it have been avoided if Jones and the university released the information up front? I honestly don’t know. But it does strike me as important to keep our noses clean, because we know the character of the opposite side. We know they are media savvy, and we know they play dirty. It is important not to allow them to score cheap debating points by doing stupid things, like stonewalling an FoI request, possibly illegally. Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 2:59 PM 170. 151 (Rick A), I’ll let Barton fight his own battles, but I think a common problem with deniers is that they always focus on the temperature change measured to date, where you’ll find that people at RC are aware of and focused on where temperatures are seemingly inevitably going to go, and that’s the concern. If warming stopped here and now it might be within the realm (although at the top) of normal climate, or at least tolerable. But if we get the 2C global increase that we’re expecting at a minimum, or the 4C or 5C worst case estimate, with possible regional increases that could be in excess of 8 C for important places like Greenland, and even larger ranges regionally and seasonally, then yes, highest in millions of years (I’ll shy away from any exact number, because it’s really not that easy a thing to see clearly in my crystal-time-ball). Comment by Bob — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:08 PM 171. #155 SecularAnimist No one, including BPL, has made the “argument” that FOI requests can be “disregarded” simply because responding “takes time”. That was indeed part of his argument. Otherwise why bother pointing out that it takes 18 hours? Does he just like to type? His argument is actually a good one assuming a flood, or blizzard, or deluge (pick your description) of requests meant only to annoy Jones and the UEA, which, as I’ve admitted, did happen in 2009. It is not a valid argument for the FoI requests received in 2007 and 2008. Why not try to address the issue, instead of being snarky? Is it really that hard? Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:12 PM 172. sam said to Theo: > If you would like to come over to my house I would be glad to read [the CRU emails] to you line by line That’s the worst pick-up line I’ve heard in a while. Comment by CM — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:12 PM 173. Speaking of warmer temperatures, the March report from NCDC is now out. The numbers show serious warm anomalies, as predicted here and on other sites for some time now, with this proving the warmest March ever in several categories, including global land-and-ocean mean. Tropospheric temps for the first three months of 2010 exceeded those of 1998. Meanwhile, the stratosphere was measured at the 9th coolest value ever, just in case someone thought “the sun did it.” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global&year=2010&month=3&submitted=Get+Report Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:13 PM 174. 2) I don’t know whether or not Jones was legally compelled to release data in response to these (non-vexatious 2007 and 2008) FoI requests. I’m not a lawyer. If so, then he should have done so, end of story. If not, if he had some legal reason to deny the FoI request, then of course his actual refusal is defensible. You’re getting close. How about … you don’t know whether or not Jones was legally *allowed* to release those parts of the data not in the public domain. The answer is: no, CRU was not. This was explained in the response to McIntyre’s appeal of the original rejection by the compliance people. The response also made clear that UEA CRU were working with the owners of the unreleaseable data in an effort to get them to agree to allowing UEA CRU to do so. Normal people would react to that by saying, “oh, I can’t get it now, but I’ll wait until they tell me they have permission to do so, and then I’ll have it”. Not McIntyre. In his mind, this reasonable response was near to being a criminal act. “I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!” Perhaps he simply didn’t know when he wrote this whether an FoI request would be binding or not, but this email clearly displays an unwillingness to release the data, and raises suspicions about whether or not Jones felt an FoI request could legally be denied. It’s not Jones’s decision as to whether or not a FOI request can be denied. It’s up to the compliance people. That’s why McIntyre’s appeal rejection letter was signed by a compliance person, not Jones. You’re right that Jones was acting more or less like a jerk towards McIntyre and his team of self-proclaimed martyrs. I don’t blame him. McIntyre’s devoted to discrediting professionals like Jones, Briffa, Mann, Thompson, etc and if possible, to the destroying of their careers. If someone was doing their best to destroy your career, how would you react? In a fair world, folks like Monbiot would be taking McIntyre out back behind the woodshed and giving them a sound beating, rather than rewarding his behavior by engaging in a witch hunt against Jones. 3) Monbiot re-posts a comment from someone who claims to be a public sector lawyer who thinks Jones and the university did indeed break the law by denying the FoI request. Tough. The powers that be have said that no, they haven’t. And this public sector lawyer ought to know that it’s the compliance people who make the final decision, so university broke the law in denying the FOI request, the compliance people, not Jones, are responsible. If he says otherwise he’s not acting very … lawyerly. The most relevant part of his post is reproduced below: “Professor Jones and his colleagues and his employers knowingly flouted the law of the land without any excuse whatsoever” Demonstrably false. The rejection letter to McIntyre’s original request clearly stated that the data not in the public domain could not be released, FOI request or no. Also, of course, the law doesn’t require the university to release data that’s freely available elsewhere, i.e. the 95% that’s available in the public domain. FOI doesn’t require UEA or anyone else to hand McIntyre his bread toasted, buttered, and placed on a silver platter. So, here is a question for those of you who think Jones’ should have denied the request – under what provision of the FoI statute was he permitted to deny the request? That’s been made clear in the various investigations. McIntyre also published the appeal rejection letter when he got it (he rejected the rejection premise, of course). I’ve told you enough. It’s time for you to do your own research. Comment by dhogaza — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:49 PM 175. Jim (126, et al), Just for the record, freespeech might have misread Eli’s comments — and quite naturally so, but he didn’t misrepresent them. But this is way into the chaff so I’ll move on. Comment by Rod B — 15 Apr 2010 @ 3:58 PM 176. http://www.google.com/search?q=UEA+McIntyre+vexatious Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:05 PM 177. #160 Doug Bostrom – I am not calling you dumb. I just don’t agree with the assertion that the average global temperature hasn’t been higher than the value of today in 20 million years. Do you honestly accept that assertion? I just provided a cite to show that I was correct in my earlier post on this point. #161 Gerry Quinn – Thank you. #162 Completely Fed Up – I already gave a link which shows that the ice core data from East Antarctica was 6 to 10K warmer than the value of today in East Antarctica – in addition to citing three other recent periods. #166 David B. Benson – It sounds like you do not agree with the assertion that it has not been warmer than today since 20 million years ago. #167 Daniel J. Andrews – I do accept evidence, although sometimes it is mixed and then reasonable people can differ. My only point was that I do not accept the assertion that the average global temperature has not been higher than today for 20 million years. Do you accept that assertion? #168 Hank Roberts – So what. Do you project the summer temperatures forward into winter? Temperatures go up in down in many cycles – not just up. #170 – Bob. Your right. If we ignore the past then we are really only looking at 35 years of data to judge the future by. I don’t think this is enough and mostly occured during a natural warming period – so can we really take a 30 year trend and then project it forward to 2100. I would feel better with a 60 year trend, even better with a 120 year trend, etc. 30 years just isn’t enough to really say what the climate will be in 2100. Comment by RickA — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:12 PM 178. “#162 Completely Fed Up – I already gave a link which shows that the ice core data from East Antarctica was 6 to 10K warmer than the value of today in East Antarctica” Aye, and the EAIS covered the entire globe..? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:28 PM 179. zeroworker wrote: “Why not try to address the issue, instead of being snarky?” The issue I am addressing is your deliberate dishonesty and your obvious intention to waste people’s time by badgering them with dishonest comments until they are sufficiently annoyed to respond. In which respect you are similar to the people who sought to waste the time of climate scientists by badgering them with deliberately dishonest FOI requests. Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:30 PM 180. “Otherwise why bother pointing out that it takes 18 hours? Does he just like to type?” Because 50 FOI requests taking 18 hours is pretty much 100% of the time for the three people they had for 10 weeks. Since one of the puling crowd’s complaints was that the information was not released on a timely basis (this basis being much shorter than 10 weeks), don’t you think that it’s rather a salient point? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:31 PM 181. “>>Even though no demonstrable harm was done. Right. The huge firestorm in the media that happened after the hack didn’t do any damage at all to the campaign to educate the public on the dangers of climate change or to achieve policy changes to mitigate the problem.” So this is the damage that the CRU are responsible for???  Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:33 PM 182. #174 dhogaza OK, I will look into the appeal rejection McIntyre received. I have not seen that to date, and thanks for the reference. Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:45 PM 183. re RickA 15 April 2010 at 4:12 PM (1) I don’t think there’s much support for your notion that the warming of the last 35 years occurred during a “natural warming period”. The evidence that bears on this indicates that the sun has made an overall slight cooling contribution during much of this period: and that natural contributions have been rather minimal: http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.abstract?sid=487f40e9-b7b4-47a8-a6cb-b7deb93e3e6a (2) Your notion that one “judge(s) the future” by inspection of the last 35 years (or 60 years, or 120 years or whatever) is non-scientific. Our assessment of future consequences of raised greenhouse gas concentrations (warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification etc.) is based on an understanding of the physics of the response to enhanced radiative forcing and the ocean chemistry in response to raised CO2 levels etc. It’s got rather little to do with extrapolation of trends… Comment by chris — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 PM 184. “I don’t think this is enough and mostly occured during a natural warming period – so can we really take a 30 year trend and then project it forward to 2100. I would feel better with a 60 year trend, even better with a 120 year trend, etc. 30 years just isn’t enough to really say what the climate will be in 2100.” So fundamentally wrong. We are not just simple extrapolating to 2100! We know the forcings involved, natural and man-made. It is the additional man-made forcings from greenhouse gases since the 1970s that explains the warming since the 1970s. And the continued warming. Furthermore, the idea that somehow you know more about climate science as a laymen then literally thousands of peer-reviewed climate scientists world-wide is the height of pure arrogance. Comment by Dan — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:53 PM 185. Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 PM 186. 177 (RickA), And there you hit on the heart of it. All deniers are focused on what’s happened to date, and what the (imaginary) MWP means, and how the temperature record is measured and adjusted, and what today’s and tomorrow’s weather is doing, and on and on and on. But the reality is that multiple lines of evidence, beginning with a very strong understanding of physics, chemistry, and atmospheric physics which has been born out by rigorous experimentation, and ending with paleoclimate studies and detailed observations which support the theory… [drum roll here, please] … All point to a very, very high probability of a very dangerous increase in temperature over the next fifty to two hundred years which is entirely based on what we’ve already done to the atmosphere and what we are going to do to the atmosphere if we don’t begin to make adjustments to how we consume and generate energy. It’s that simple. Everything else, all of the “they homogenized wrong” and “it’s not really that warm yet” and “he stonewalled FOI requests” and “the hockey stick is the sign of the devil” is all nonsense. Physics says it’s going to get very, very warm, and each and every clue that we find says the physics is right. Comment by Bob — 15 Apr 2010 @ 5:00 PM 187. RickA… Correction… what I should have said at the end there is “Physics says it’s going to get very, very warm, and each and every clue that we find says that our understanding of the physics is right.” So you are right to say that 30 years is an unsatisfying period in which to look for a climate trend. But if you wait for a 60 or 100 year trend, it is then too late and the human race is, to use an ironic term, “cooked.” Comment by Bob — 15 Apr 2010 @ 5:03 PM 188. you keep on telling us the same thing, but whats the next step to dealing with it ? What do the scientists propose? Comment by Bill — 15 Apr 2010 @ 5:23 PM 189. CFU #162: Go on, give us a link… Eemian David Benson #166: As Garry Quinn mentions in comment #159 the weight of the evidence indicates it was warmer than now, by about 2 K, during the Eemian interglacial. The concern is that current CO2 levels are already about the same as those prevailing in the Miocene, about 20 million years ago, with sea levels several tens of metrs higher than now. One is forced to conclude it will become one whole heckofa lot warmer. Why? Clearly the high temperature in the Eemian had some other cause than high CO2, a cause which does not apply today – so what is the basis for your conclusion? Hank Roberts #162: Gerry Quinn, note the difference between 1850 and today. Note the rate of change in temperature over that span. Look at the rate of change in the past. I’m not sure what any of that has to do with the question of whether the temperature was higher than today during the Eemian interglacial. In any case, do we have sufficiently high frequency data from the Eemian to determine whether the recent rate of change is unprecedented? Bob #170: If warming stopped here and now it might be within the realm (although at the top) of normal climate, or at least tolerable. Where do you get “might” from? Clearly today’s climate is perfectly tolerable and in fact rather nice. And even the polar bears don’t seem to have been bothered too much by the Eemian, or by the thermal maximum 8000 years ago, which (as far as I can see from the little I’ve read) seems to have been hotter than today in the Arctic… Certainly there is some global average temperature above which the effects will probably start to become undesirable on average, but there is no obvious indication that we have reached it yet. Comment by Gerry Quinn — 15 Apr 2010 @ 5:37 PM 190. The FOI is a moot point. The data isn’t available. This inquiry is a moot point. The data isn’t available. Peer review is a moot point. The data isn’t available. Why didn’t Phil Jones just tell everyone that the data isn’t available? Why drag this on for years, first denying requests, then justifying the denial because of this or that, when he could have just told the truth. Or am I wrong? [Response: He did. Some people were not happy with that answer. – gavin] Comment by Tim Huck — 15 Apr 2010 @ 5:51 PM 191. RickA (177) — Internal variability AKA natural warming and cooling has but a small role to play in the last 13 decades of the instrumental record: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530 Comment by David B. Benson — 15 Apr 2010 @ 6:16 PM 192. Perhaps the moderators have been rather generous? The Emails and the FOI requests are both off topic as they are the subject of the next inquiry chaired by Sir Muir Russell. When Prof.Oxburgh was asked questions referring to either of the above topics he refused to reply. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 15 Apr 2010 @ 6:22 PM 193. Not at all surprising. Am I correct in saying that the IPCC investigation is the only one left to come out? I find the lack of media coverage on the investigations strange. For months we were bombarded with allegations of scientific fraud. Now that it’s coming up clear, the mainstream media outlets don’t care anymore. It’s like they dropped the story in the middle, right when the soundbites were screaming the opposite of what measured investigation would later show. Comment by Kate — 15 Apr 2010 @ 6:26 PM 194. Furthermore, the idea that somehow you know more about climate science as a laymen then literally thousands of peer-reviewed climate scientists world-wide is the height of pure arrogance. actually that would be the height of pure ignorance, as in the Dunning-Kruger effect. [link added for RickA] Comment by flxible — 15 Apr 2010 @ 6:34 PM 195. Kevin McKinney #147: Gerry Quinn (#144), isn’t this precisely why some companies choose not to patent, or not to patent right away? Can we assume that there are patents for some portion of CCS technology? The OP claimed that the CCC companies “hid behind intellectual property law”. Either they filed patent claims or they didn’t. If they did, they are forced to disclose those claims by intellectual property law. If they didn’t, they are not hiding behind intellectual property law. Either way, the OP has no leg to stand upon. Comment by Gerry Quinn — 15 Apr 2010 @ 7:03 PM 196. RE CFU “Pivotal studies are accompanied by a Statistical Analysis Plan,” Including an analysis of whether the statistical tools were the very best ones available? I don’t think so. Definitely not in all cases. And all the intermediate workings? Even if 20 years old? “Very best” is a term I rarely hear from statisticians. Statisticians will try to choose the most appropriate tests, but statisticians will argue – it’s not as cut and dried as some people think (as anyone on an e-mail chain devoted to Bonferroni corrections will know). Anyway, the sponsor has to justify the choice of statistical tests and the FDA will evaluate the SAP and the tests that are proposed. My point, and I believe Steven Sullivan’s point, is that the suggestion that scientists should collaborate more with statisticians is not limited to climatology research. My post in response to NS was that a lot of medical research studies are not as tightly controlled as studies that are planned for FDA submission. Trust me, climatologists would not be very productive working under such constraints. Comment by Deech56 — 15 Apr 2010 @ 7:23 PM 197. IEEE Spectrum has a bit of a slugfest going on in comments on this article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/environment/climategate-is-dead-long-live-climategate- I’ve responded to some, but some defence of the science there is needed too. Comment by Philip Machanick — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:18 PM 198. David Benson says: The concern is that current CO2 levels are already about the same as those prevailing in the Miocene, about 20 million years ago, with sea levels several tens of meters higher than now. Also worth noting: Rate of ocean acidification the fastest in 65 million years Comment by Jim Galasyn — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:22 PM 199. #189 Sorry for getting off topic, although I was initially responding to someone else. I’ll hold my fire on the FoI stuff for now. I’ll wait for the results of the next inquiry, although I will say the more research I do on this intensifies the bad taste in my mouth rather than the opposite. But I have to say, as a longtime reader of the site, but a new poster, I was hoping this site would be a place where mudslinging would be held to a minimum and people would at least try to politely engage with a newcomer. I’m not one to shrink from a debate, but I have tried to be respectful. I have not received respect in return. Instead, I’ve received responses such as: “your deliberate dishonesty and your obvious intention to waste people’s time” “Which, for him, is zerowork” Totally uncalled for, as well as incorrect. Let it be known that in the future I will fight fire with fire. Comment by zeroworker — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:24 PM 200. Note to zeroworker: I’m sure you feel some of the responses you’ve received about FOI requests have been outright rude. And in a vacuum you’d be right. A lot of people are kind of short-tempered about it because the same canard has been posted here almost daily since the hack itself back in November. The moderators and we posters get tired of telling the basics again and again; the CRU released all the data it could before the first FOI request took place, and was prevented from releasing the other data (the last 5%) because it was owned by various met agencies and covered by non-disclosure agreements. There’s a widespread belief that McIntyre was well aware of this, having been told of it on multiple occasions, and he still had readers of his blog send FOI requests to the CRU. If you go to the search box on RC’s home page and look for “CRU hack” all the threads from November pop right up top. Try reading through the comments and seeing how many times your question was asked (“if they’d just followed FOI guidelines there wouldn’t have been any problems…”) and how many times it was answered by Gavin and others. All I can say is that they exhibited far more patience than I have. Comment by David Miller — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:24 PM 201. zerowork, However, as #148 was already kind enough to point out, there were 4 requests in 2007 and 2 in 2008. Why didn’t Jones and the university respond to them? They did. If you check the document I posted, you’ll see that some were accepted and information released where it was possible. For 2009, most of the requests were out of CRU jurisdiction. They were unable to comply. But even during the blizzard some FOIs were responded to positively. If you want to get into the details of the rejections, I recommend researching via google. I don’t see the point in supplying further references as you don’t seem to read them. Comment by barry — 15 Apr 2010 @ 8:53 PM 202. Kate: I find the lack of media coverage on the investigations strange. For months we were bombarded with allegations of scientific fraud. Now that it’s coming up clear, the mainstream media outlets don’t care anymore. It’s like they dropped the story in the middle, right when the soundbites were screaming the opposite of what measured investigation would later show. At the risk of sounding a bit patronizing … unfortunately your surprise is probably due in part to your being a high school senior (a very bright, thoughtful, and well-educated one, however). We old cynics don’t find it at all surprising, unfortunately. The press pandering to power … no surprise here. Unfortunately, the stories of heroic exposures by the press like the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, etc are famous for being the welcome exception to the sordid everyday reality of the press licking the hand that feeds them. Comment by dhogaza — 15 Apr 2010 @ 9:28 PM 203. RickA and BPL: You are highlighting one of the things I find most frustrating and irritating about the climate debate. Accuracy, and a high regard for truth are absolutely paramount (but often overlooked) in debate. Even when the original claim is completely misleading and disingenuous (such as claims that temperature has been high in the distant past) this does not excuse a casual treatment of the facts when responding. RC has some interesting debate. I think frequent contributors on both sides need to put more effort into checking facts and constructing reasoned arguments, rather than taking a scatter-shot approach without regard for reality. Comment by Didactylos — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:28 PM 204. Barry – thanks for the link at 15 April 2010 @ 11:45 AM My favorite was the following: “ref – FOI_09-97 request – I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested1] 1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements; 2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization; 3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that “prevents further transmission to non-academics”. 4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement, Status – clarification sought” Evidently this skeptic did zero work to read the instructions printed on the bottom of the boot. BTW, the typo “involing” appears in thirteen of the cut-n-paste FOI requests. I guess the current meme is “sure, we sent in 99 requests to harass the CRU, but you can’t count the first one, because if you had responded the way we demand to that one, the others wouldn’t have been sent” “…or that they were vexatious to the point that he should not have responded (which, anyway, I’m not sure he was legally at liberty to deny).” zeroworker — 15 April 2010 @ 10:53 AM “Under section 14(1), public authorities do not have to comply with vexatious requests. There is no public interest test.” “Deciding whether a request is vexatious is a balancing exercise, taking into account the context and history of the request. The key question is whether the request is likely to cause unjustified distress, disruption or irritation. In particular, you should consider the following questions: Could the request fairly be seen as obsessive? Is the request harassing the authority or causing distress to staff? Would complying with the request impose a significant burden? Is the request designed to cause disruption or annoyance? Does the request lack any serious purpose or value?” direct from the UK Information Commissioners Office http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ico.gov.uk%2Fupload%2Fdocuments%2Flibrary%2Ffreedom_of_information%2Fdetailed_spec**ialist_guides%2Fawareness_guidance_22_vexatious_and_repeated_requests_final.pdf (sorry about the sucky URL – removed the double asterisks, which I hope I extracted correctly from all the Hooey that google has decided to use to obfuscate links) I get five out of five yes; YMMV. Comment by Brian Dodge — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:42 PM 205. RickA@9,77 It sure would be nice if all climate scientists take the advice from the report and get their work reviewed by statisticians.(my metathesis) Excerpts from Wegman Report 2006. ”‘It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.” …Report: “As statisticians, we were struck by the isolation of communities such as the paleoclimate community that rely heavily on statistical methods, yet do not seem to be interacting with the mainstream statistical community. The public policy implications of this debate are financially staggering and yet apparently no independent statistical expertise was sought or used.”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy David Hart seems to be following up on a report by a respected leader professional statisticians (17+ pages of wiki resume at http://www.galaxy.gmu.edu/stats/faculty/wegman.resume2.htm) The problem is the climate scientists study their quite intricate and complex data and invent statistical method to cope with it. Their invented method has no entry in the dictionary of valid statistical techniques employed by professional statisticians. When a statistician works his way through the analysis, s/he comes up with the “proper” technique and result. Unfortunately for everyone this “proper” result is so close to the climate scientist’s ad hoc invention that, given the “noise” in the data, it really makes little difference which is used. Except to the players. The climate scientist resents the apparently mindless criticism of his (quite inventive) work. The professional statistician resents unwillingness of the climate scientist to use the accepted analysis and terminology. The rest of us suggest that the two camps get together at the start and work together. It doesn’t happen or it doesn’t seem to happen. So be it. I don’t see a technical problem here. The statistician is trained to spot in advance potential problems with the data analysis. If the most appropriate techniques are used and described the chance of error is lessened. OTOH, the climate scientist checks and rechecks the work and relies on peer reviews to spot any errors. So far, the results come out the same – but a political problem has been created. Just as a climate scientist resents some scientist from another field commenting on results from an ignorant point of view, the statistical analyst resents the publication of climate science ignorant of statistical technology. I didn’t intend to single out RickA, I believe this post would serve equally well for : 3Bill@10, Roberts@11,53, Jaime Frontero@15, Eric @16, Toby@18 – who seems to have a firm grip on the politics, Paul@20, Jesús Rosino@22, Mark A.York@24, NS@32, Martin@39, Deep Climate@47, Brian Carter@48, Doug Bostrum@49,51,103, CM@62, John Mashey@63, Geoff Wexler@64,122, 134, Richard Ordway@67, Steven Sullivan@61 – Wegman uses biological science as an example of where the statisticians are consulted. The FDA insists on it., Bob@82 Wow, freespeech@87 – read Wegman, Chris S@113, NS@118, Lord Flack@127, Check out Wegman and Principal Components, Deech56@131, ROI@135, Bob@140, barry@141, close. Comment by John Peter — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:56 PM 206. Sign petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/clim4tr/petition.html Thanks 192 Philip Machanick. I commented on the IEEE web site you mentioned. Comment by Edward Greisch — 15 Apr 2010 @ 10:57 PM 207. A little googling didn’t reveal anything much relating to question that occurs to me; is there any reason the CRU folk can’t publish the FOI requests they got, the answers they gave and an indication of how much work it took to deal with? I understand that doing so might in itself seem quite a bit of work but if it were possible to illustrate the extent of the problem that a sudden blizzard of attack-claims causes there might be some payoff in general understanding. It could potentially be a useful approach for any researchers – publish everything you can pre-emptively, publish FOI and similar demands, publish your responses, publish the money/time it took to provide such info. At least it would both weaken the attacker’s stick and provide one with which to beat them back. As in “Look – look! Rude persons sponsored by industry lobbyist wasted x gazillion poundollars of taxpayers money by forcing us to do this pointless paperwork!” Estimates of the costs should perhaps be included in grant requests so that overall figures for the waste of money can be compiled and published, indexed by order of most expensive requester. Sometimes giving people what they *claim* they want is the best way to get them to go away and stop being a nuisance. Comment by tim rowledge — 15 Apr 2010 @ 11:04 PM 208. Re: 110 I was born in the UK in 1965 and grew up there in a town in Eastern England. Snow was already a “rare and exctiting event”, there were sleety days most winters, but significant snowfalls that persisted for more than a day only occurred, as far as I can remember c 1970, c 1975, c 1980, 1986 and 1990. Comment by calyptorhynchus — 16 Apr 2010 @ 12:23 AM 209. While I’m sure it’s gratifying to statisticians to know that CRU’s work would have been better had they used more statisticians, what about more software engineers, more computer scientists, more PR people and more lobbyists? I’m sure a few minor jobs could also be found for a whole range of other disciplines. They key issue is: did any of this result in producing results that are indefensible? Since others approaching the problem from a different angle produced consistent results, I would say no. Chris’s #121 cold fusion example is a good one. Had CRU’s work been bogus, someone else would have shown it up. You can’t tell me all the people trying to replicate the cold fusion experiment wanted it to fail… or was the greenie conspiracy not in charge of Nature‘s editorial policy yet in the late 1980s? Cold fusion is notable for being an area of science that generated a remarkable number of papers in high-impact journals knocking it down. Comment by Philip Machanick — 16 Apr 2010 @ 12:48 AM 210. #194 David Miller and #195 barry I’ve done a lot of digging – reading the FoI act, looking at old comment threads, reading various blog posts, etc. I have to say a few things: 1) It does indeed look like the university acted legally 2) I say “looks like” because the results of the 2 inquiries are not categorical that the university acted appropriately in terms of FoI. I’ll be interested to see the results of the third inquiry, although I expect them to be cleared at this point. 3) I disagree that this is as cut and dried as some others here seem to think. 4) I still believe the emails are quite quite damaging. Even if Jones did comply with FoI, he at times claimed he would take actions that would certainly violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. Whether this was illegal or not, it definitely damaged the campaign to increase public awareness of climate change and its seriousness. 5) I appreciate those who responded respectfully and with helpful links. Comment by zeroworker — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:22 AM 211. #178 CFU – apparently it was globally warmer than today (half a degree C), during the last interglacial, the Eemian due to a rather more pronounced eccentric orbit, and hence higher summer insolation in the Northern Hemisphere. Some discussion here: http://www.bgs.ucalgary.ca/files/bgs/otto-bliesner_marshall_overpeck_miller_2006.pdf None of which strengthens the deniers catalog of zombie arguments. Perhaps BPL was referring to levels of atmospheric CO2?. Comment by Dappled Water — 16 Apr 2010 @ 4:22 AM 212. #83 “For everyone who wants to see libel suits… Well, I do, too, and they are possibly needed to discredit a certain crowd, but they are also expensive to pursue and I suspect they are unlikely to materialize.” The professor should have no difficulty taking the libel suits in The UK. I would also suggest he sues Michael Graham for the libelous comments he made on an Irish radio programme about Professor Jones and Mann. The Law in Ireland, as in the UK, is strongly protective of a persons reputation. I agree the US is a different matter though. There it is possible to lie and slander to your hearts content without any real concern for legal repercussions. Comment by Sandra — 16 Apr 2010 @ 4:23 AM 213. Mark Fiore got the Pulitzer this week, so it seems appropriate to (re?)post this: http://www.markfiore.com/political/watch-climate-gate-science-animation Comment by CM — 16 Apr 2010 @ 5:21 AM 214. 169- zeroworker “”>>Even though no demonstrable harm was done. Right. The huge firestorm in the media that happened after the hack didn’t do any damage at all to the campaign to educate the public on the dangers of climate change or to achieve policy changes to mitigate the problem.”” You misunderstood my point. No demonstratable harm was done to those who requested the information- the ones who submitted request under the FOI. And based on what I have seen – there would have been no way to respond that would have avoided what ended up happening. Since some of what was requested info could not be released by those who got the FOI request then the supposedly harmed party was always going to be able to claim that they were abused in some way even though they weren’t. I know (and at times agree) that some wish real climate only reported on the science. Unfortunately dealing with the politics now seems to be part of being a scientist who deals with any issue that some want to make into a poltical game. And when it gets as ugly as this has gotten, the whole thing becomes tragic. Scientists who are doing a good job – what every investigation has so far shown – get blasted by those using cherry picked, hacked (or whatever you want to call it), out of context info. And then somehow it becomes the scientist’s fault. Comment by Donna — 16 Apr 2010 @ 5:41 AM 215. Does anyone else see parallels between the Icelandic volcanic dust cloud and climate change? All flights in many northern European countries have been grounded, causing huge knock-on problems for the airline industry around the world, because of a scientifically-based possibility that the dust cloud may cause planes to crash. It is not certain that planes would crash, but the scientists say that there is a likelihood that it might, so many flights have been cancelled. I keep hearing from deniers that we shouldn’t be enacting policies which have a huge financial impact on the world’s economy unless the science is certain, right down to the most minuscule of details. So where is the cry for scientific certainty on the Icelandic volcanic dust cloud? Obviously, the grounding of all of those planes must be designed to wreck western business and introduce a communistic form of global governance, so I fully expect to see the defenders of individual freedoms on denier blogs bombarding the scientists involved with FoI requests, to ensure that scientific integrity is maintained. Until the science behind the closure of airspace is audited, by people with no relevant scientific qualifications, nobody can trust it! Comment by Dave G — 16 Apr 2010 @ 5:44 AM 216. Re #190 Kate . Inquiry Pathology I forgot about the IPCC one. That makes six. Three in the UK , of which two completed (see also #189) , two in the University of Pennsylvania of which one has been completed as far as I know,and the one you mention. Of course that disregards Nigel Lawson and the IOP energy sub-group’s clamour for more and wider inquiries. The IPCC needs to be still more careful with proof reading and checking their references. Apart from that, this concession to the conspiracy theory of science, is doing no good to anyone except that it has helped to educate a few non climatologists about a branch of climatology. It turns out that the real news is restricted to the initiation of such inquiries. BBC 2 (TV) hardly bothers to report their findings. Did anyone see a mention of the first inquiry on Newsnight ? If there was one , I must have missed it in spite of watching. As for this week’s report from the Royal Society, Newsnight devoted about 1/2 minute to it on 14th. April near the end of the programme. The spoken words were accompanied by text displaying one of the leaked emails referring to ‘hide the decline’. This was a totally unjustfied and confusing juxtaposition. For those who want to check this exceptionally bad report it might still be available on the web. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:18 AM 217. RickA: Not only are you ignoring the MWP, the Roman warming period and the Holocene Climate warming period – but you are ignoring the ice core evidence from Antarctica. BPL: Point taken about the previous interglacials. My bad. The MWP was not global however, and even if it had been, was not warmer than today. The “Roman Warm Period” does not even formally exist; deniers made it up. The Holocene Climate Warming Period is right now, and is at peak temperature today. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:24 AM 218. I just had to share… I saw this posted on WUWT this morning: About 18 months ago a freind speculated that Mr Gores film ‘An Inconveiniant Truth’ had sublimable messages inplanting pitures of skellitons sexual acts and death. He said these images induce a religious response to the material presented. I realise theres a little pagan earth loving spirit in all of us, but, ‘HELLO’ whats to crusade over a miniscule tempature change. I think my freind has hit on something. You just can’t make this stuff up. Comment by Bob — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:56 AM 219. Clarification of my last comment. The reference to non climatologists only applies to some of the Royal Society’s panel. I have no objection to their being selected. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 16 Apr 2010 @ 7:10 AM 220. Frank Giger says, “That’s not true. The ability to validate a theory or experimental finding is in repeatability.” Frank, this is a common misunderstanding. Repeatability and reproducibility address different errors/concerns. Repeatability is needed for measurements and addresses random errors in the measurements. Reproducibility is what is needed to address systematic errors. A particular researcher might carry out similar measurements via a different method to see if he/she gets similar results, thus checking for the possibility of systematic error. Another researcher may try to independently replicate a published result. What is crucial here is that, at a minimum, the implementation of the procedure to obtain the results must be independent. Ideally, you have a similar, but not identical method implemented on a similar dataset–thereby showing that the results are robust. “Auditing” adds no value to the scientific method. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Apr 2010 @ 7:21 AM 221. From the report: “Recent public discussion of climate change and summaries and popularizations of the work of CRU and others often contain oversimplifications that omit serious discussion of uncertainties emphasized by the original authors. For example, CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined” If CRU believed their work was being misrepresented by the IPCC, should CRU have resigned from the process in protest as others did? /Mango Comment by Mango — 16 Apr 2010 @ 7:26 AM 222. QUOTE: “the inquiry only existed in order to see whether there was anything to the criticisms of the science. – gavin]” You see, that’s just it. The inquiry existed to look into the truth/falsehood of an assortment of charges…not into the character or ingenuousness of the accusers, who were many in number and of many different minds. The report would have accomplished its goal if it merely said “not guilty (save for the statistics bit). Instead, it went on to say “not guilty, and furthermore, the accusers are often bad guys”, which gives a neutral observer the impression that the body is carrying water for someone. My point isn’t that they weren’t right in attacking the attackers; my point is that it gives partisans on the other side, and even some neutrals, grounds to doubt the impartiality of the judging body. Comment by ROI — 16 Apr 2010 @ 7:44 AM 223. zeroworker (146), Did you receive demands from the IRS that you fill out forty copies of your form 1040 over one weekend? Quit defending the indefensible. 1. 95% of CRU data was already publicly available. 2. The other 5% was under proprietary agreements and could not be released by CRU, though people were still free to get it from the national met services it originated with. 3. McIntyre organized a denial-of-service attack by encouraging his bloggers to “picky any five countries” and send FOI requests to CRU about them. Such information is supposed to go to research. As far as I know, none of the people who submitted the data actually had any plans to use it for research. 4. McIntyre already HAD a great deal of the data he asked for–having gotten it from CRU itself years earlier. 5. The McIntyre blizzard came conveniently before the Russian hack. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:14 AM 224. OT, but since there have been a lot of comments on FOI requests people might be interested in this news relating to Queen’s University Belfast and the appalling Douglas J Keenan: Comment by Paul A — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 AM 225. “If CRU believed their work was being misrepresented by the IPCC, should CRU have resigned from the process in protest as others did?” Doesn’t appear to be supported by your quote. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:26 AM 226. “The inquiry existed to look into the truth/falsehood of an assortment of charges…not into the character or ingenuousness of the accusers, who were many in number and of many different minds” But ALL moved those goalposts in order to remain able to state they were right and there WAS a problem, so there. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:27 AM 227. “211 Dappled Water says: 16 April 2010 at 4:22 AM #178 CFU – apparently it was globally warmer than today (half a degree C), during the last interglacial” According to some recurrent denying posters here, you can’t say that because the data is nearly nonexistent. Now, if you’re talking about the Vostock cores, please note they are not a global phenomena. Unless the world really WAS smaller in those days… And also note that maybe 0.5C warming is inherent because of thermal inertia. Please also note the CO2 concentration graph over that period: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png NOTE: If you consider that there isn’t an imbalance, then the CO2 levels of the last interglacial require that we have a high sensitivity of temperature to CO2. This is not a good thing. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:39 AM 228. “4) I still believe the emails are quite quite damaging.” Yes, we guessed. “Even if Jones did comply with FoI, he at times claimed he would take actions that would certainly violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.” So when you emailed that joke to a friend, you broke the obscenity laws? See, I thought the law was that if you threaten someone, that’s a different crime from murder. Apparently, you think merely saying “i’m gonna kill you” is the same as actually killing someone. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:42 AM 229. > ROI > … look into the truth/falsehood of an assortment of charges If someone makes false charges against you, do you merely rebut the charges without asking who lied, and wondering about their motives and future plans? Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:44 AM 230. “207 tim rowledge says: 15 April 2010 at 11:04 PM A little googling didn’t reveal anything much relating to question that occurs to me; is there any reason the CRU folk can’t publish the FOI requests they got, the answers they gave and an indication of how much work it took to deal with?” Some would complain about data protection act and tortious interference with their work. So you’d have to do yet MORE work to sanitise. Given that zero still thinks the emails show that the CRU are wrong, what are you expecting to happen? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:45 AM 231. zero: Let it be known that in the future I will fight fire with fire. BPL: Super. So far you’ve been fighting it with smoke. And mirrors. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:01 AM 232. tim rowledge (207): is there any reason the CRU folk can’t publish the FOI requests they got, the answers they gave and an indication of how much work it took to deal with? BPL: Because they have no legal or moral obligation to do so, and it would be just one more gigantic waste of time keeping them from doing their jobs? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:04 AM 233. Dappled (211), Yes, I had the CO2 history mixed up with the temperature history. It’s only hotter now that at any time in the last 130,000 years, not 20 million. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:05 AM 234. Bob (218), The charge is ridiculous. Nobody involved SEND BARTON PAUL LEVENSON MONEY in this has ever used subliminal advertising SEND BARTON PAUL LEVENSON A CHECK for any nefarious purpose. This is just the SEND BARTON PAUL LEVENSON A BIG CHECK kind of conspiracy-theory craziness we keep SEND BARTON PAUL LEVENSON MONEY NOW seeing on this blog from the deniers. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:09 AM 235. #217 BPL. Thank you for your thoughtful response regarding the prior interglacials having higher temperatures than today. It is always a pleasure to engage with people who read other peoples points, think about them, continue to argue if they are not convinced, but also concede when they have made a mistake. Comment by RickA — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:24 AM 236. > publish FOI requests, and replies, apparently are public information, e.g. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/search/UEA%20CRU Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:31 AM 237. P.S. — it’s really not hard to find this stuff. e.g. http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/availability/ —- excerpt follows —- We receive numerous requests for these station data (not just monthly temperature averages, but precipitation totals and pressure averages as well). Requests come from a variety of sources, often for an individual station or all the stations in a region or a country. Sometimes these come because the data cannot be obtained locally or the requester does not have the resources to pay for what some NMSs charge for the data. These data are not ours to provide without the full permission of the relevant NMSs, organizations and scientists. We point enquirers to the GHCN web site. We hope in the future that we may be able to provide these data, jointly with the UK Met Office Hadley Centre, subject to obtaining consent for making them available from the rights holders. In developing gridded temperature datasets it is important to use as much station data as possible to fully characterise global- and regional-scale changes. Hence, restricting the grids to only including station data that can be freely exchanged would be detrimental to the gridded products in some parts of the world. We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data. The priorities we use when merging data from the same station from different sources are discussed in some of the literature cited below. Parts of series may have come from restricted sources, whilst the rest came from other sources. Furthermore, as stated in http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/landstations/ we have never kept track of changes to country names, as it is only the location and the station’s data that are important. So, extracting data for a single country isn’t always a simple task. —- end excerpt— Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:35 AM 238. How did you know El Nino would linger this long and the records would start falling? I’m impressed. Could you comment however on the NASA model: http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/CFS-10-27.gif Were they all weell below observations, and again, how did you know? thanks t Comment by thomas hine — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:41 AM 239. I find this extended meta-discussion about what color are the file cabinets used by climate scientists, whether their ties are knotted correctly, etc. very cheering. When the big climate change “debate” dribbles down exclusively to a matter of how many hours are required to fulfill an FOI request or whether or not an inquiry report included extraneous matters in its outline, I suppose it’s safe to conclude there’s nothing wrong with the findings of inconvenient avenues of research CRU and others are pursuing. Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:46 AM 240. Re #205 I am not so sure whether Wegman’s use of statistics has been consistently high: Please see this: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/riddle-me-this/#comment-37293 The rumour that Wegman believes that most of the CO2 should collect near ground level because of its density, is so unbelievable that I shall take it to be inaccurate. You write: Their invented method has no entry in the dictionary of valid statistical techniques employed by professional statisticians [‘Their’ refers to MBH] Research is not done by cookery book. Here is a professional statistician who does not agree with the drift of your remark http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/pca-part-5-non-centered-pca-and-multiple-regressions/ All this shows the inadequacy of inquiries except as a method of discrediting individuals. If Wegman had some doubts about non centered PCA he should have submitted a completed piece of work on it to see whether it could pass peer review. Instead of doing the numerical work , he appears to have padded out his report with material lifted from sociology (see Deepclimate) without providing the supporting evidence. I am beginning to think that there may be a social network of statisticians ready to beat people over the head with their dictionaries of acceptable practice. You assert that the disagreement between his method and that of MBH would only appear to be ‘small’ because of the large noise. You should provide evidence for this. An alternave interpretation is that the two methods were equivalent for most purposes (for this problem), except that MBH converges quicker. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:59 AM 241. #223 BPL Can you read? I’ve acknowledged, multiple times, that the university did indeed receive a blizzard of FoI requests. Of course they should not have had to respond to them. Yet you continue to bring the point up. Let me refresh your memory: “the vexatious FoI requests you mention occurred after a number of earlier, and definitely non-vexatious, requests were turned down” “I agree that the flurry of FoI requests received in 2009 were vexatious” “There clearly was a campaign to flood the UAE with FoI requests in 2009 – I don’t dispute that” “His argument is actually a good one assuming a flood, or blizzard, or deluge (pick your description) of requests meant only to annoy Jones and the UEA, which, as I’ve admitted, did happen in 2009″ Are you really incapable of understanding such plain language? By the way, this is exactly one of the (despicable) tactics used by folks like McIntyre and other deniers. Just ignore the comments of the other side, and keep hammering home the same point, whether it has been addressed or not.  Comment by zeroworker — 16 Apr 2010 @ 12:37 PM 242. To ‘zeroworker': “But I have to say, as a longtime reader of the site, but a new poster, I was hoping this site would be a place where mudslinging would be held to a minimum and people would at least try to politely engage with a newcomer.” With respect, I don’t see how you can have been a longtime reader and still hoped your marginally contrarian views would be greeted with other than disdain. Whether or not the disdain is justified, it’s a hallmark of this site. There is hope for you, though, that you will be treated better down the road. Your own mud-slinging, “the character of the opposite side… they are media savvy, and we know they play dirty,” should play well here. Jim the moderator tried to inject some civility into the proceedings last week, and it was a pause that refreshes, but I fear only a pause. Comment by Walter Manny — 16 Apr 2010 @ 12:44 PM 243. @ #218 Bob William Gray seems to be a first time poster on WUWT (going by a google search). I call Poe :D Comment by Sou — 16 Apr 2010 @ 12:46 PM 244. #228 Fed up >>Apparently, you think merely saying >>“i’m gonna kill you” is the same as >>actually killing someone. Not at all. Let’s see if your apparently puny brain can understand this (I doubt it): 1) the emails display intent to subvert the spirit, and on occasion the letter, of the law. 2) Legal issues aside, they were and are a PR problem, largely because of 1) above. Do you think the hack promoted general awareness of climate change issues, or the reverse? 3) If the answer to 2) is that they did NOT promote general public awareness, then they were damaging, since effective policy responses to climate change can not be effected without public support, and the more public support that exists, the easier such policy responses will be to implement. I now believe the university’s actions were legal. Yesterday when I first posted I was agnostic on the question, so I’ve modified my position based on the information I’ve since obtained, partly thanks to other commenters (and I sincerely thank those who did so). But certainly no thanks to YOU, who had nothing to offer but insults and snide remarks. Comment by zeroworker — 16 Apr 2010 @ 12:56 PM 245. “The rumour that Wegman believes that most of the CO2 should collect near ground level because of its density, is so unbelievable that I shall take it to be inaccurate.” Worst, he’s not even competent to do a check on the consequences of that. 400*11,000m/1,000,000 = 4.4m Therefore the first 4.4m of the atmosphere is CO2. Bugger. Better get to asphyxiating… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:09 PM 246. Dave G (215), surely you jest… Comment by Rod B — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:12 PM 247. zeroworker says: 16 April 2010 at 12:56 PM “Let’s see if your apparently puny brain can understand this (I doubt it):” and… “But certainly no thanks to YOU, who had nothing to offer but insults and snide remarks.” Why not just make your point without feeling obliged to return any perceived insults that may have been directed at you? It looks a tad hypocritical to whine about snide and insulting remarks and then come out with “puny brain” nonsense. Comment by Dave G — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:12 PM 248. Bob (218), that’s about as far out there as one can get…. (:-) Comment by Rod B — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:15 PM 249. > 1) the emails display intent to subvert the spirit, and on occasion the letter, of the law. Eh, when the law is being abused, the spirit can go do what little boys do in the dark. IMHO. Comment by Martin Vermeer — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:18 PM 250. “>>Apparently, you think merely saying >>“i’m gonna kill you” is the same as >>actually killing someone. Not at all.” So how is saying “I’d rather delete my stuff than give it to that arsehole” (not a direct quote) breaking the spirit of the FOI? Unless the spirit of the FOI is to never to be annoyed by an arrogant time wasting idiot. Myself I thought it was so that the people could see the government (as in Parliament and Councils) doing its job. “Yesterday when I first posted I was agnostic on the question” Didn’t seem like it “However, I believe Monbiot has some valid criticism of Jones and the university” “he should have simply complied with the FoI request up front” “Until I see some more evidence to the contrary, I’m with Monbiot on this one.” “Additionally, the vexatious FoI requests you mention occurred after a number of earlier, and definitely non-vexatious, requests were turned down.” “It is _NOT_ acceptable to deny such a request just because it’s a pain in the a**” Didn’t to anyone else. “2) Legal issues aside, they were and are a PR problem, largely because of 1) above.” Except that “1) above” was false. It’s a PR problem in the same way as if you were to accuse me of having KP would damage my reputation. Even though you pulled it straight from the nethers. So how am I supposed to avoid that? Kill you before you get a chance? Tempting… “3) If the answer to 2) is that they did NOT promote general public awareness” “they” being the hackers. Again, how is this CRU’s fault? If “they” are the emails, then why should private emails promote public awareness? They’re not public. You’re REALLY stretching the old “thought producer” to find something that will stick to the wall, aren’t you? “But certainly no thanks to YOU, who had nothing to offer but insults and snide remarks.” Yeah, I’m hurtin’ inside. See me crying. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:18 PM 251. Re: Hank Roberts 16 April 2010 at 11:35 AM Thank you for posting a link to the page concerning CRU data availability http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/availability/. The pdf “Data agreements” dates from just after the large number of FOI requests in 2009 (as shown in your previous post), which were almost all requests for confidentiality agreements and not for actual data. The UEA posted this document (which contains copies of all the confidentiality agreements existing at that time) in response, which allowed them (quite legitimately) to refuse each request with an almost identical email containing a link to that page. So each request took little time to respond to, once the pdf had been prepared, and I understand they were responded to by the Information Officer from the University. I’m not supporting this FOI campaign, but the idea that it led to a large amount of wasted time for the CRU scientists does not seem to be supported by the evidence. Comment by Ruth — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:25 PM 252. > zeroworker > CFU Look, guys, instead of just shouting at one another about whose is bigger, how about looking something up and citing your sources? There’s a way: Google. Found this in 30 seconds: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5569901 —-excerpt—- Rep. INSLEE: Now, I guess the question to you is do you have any reason to believe all of those academies should change their conclusion because of your criticism of one report? Professor EDWARD J. WEGMAN (Professor Information Technology and Applied Statistics, George Mason University): Of course not. HARRIS: And the limits of Wegman’s expertise became painfully clear when he tried to answer a question from Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky about the well known mechanism by which carbon dioxide traps infrared radiation – heat – in our atmosphere. Prof. WEGMAN: Carbon dioxide is heavier than air. Where it sits in the atmospheric profile, I don’t know. I’m not an atmospheric scientist to know that. But presumably, if the atmospheric – if the carbon dioxide is close to the surface of the earth, it’s not reflecting a lot of infrared back. —- end excerpt —- Science: citation, not pontification. Try some today. It’ll do you good. Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:39 PM 253. “I’m not supporting this FOI campaign, but the idea that it led to a large amount of wasted time for the CRU scientists does not seem to be supported by the evidence.” So 10 weeks of 100% of the entire department is not a lot of waste of their time??? Now, even if it was 1 week for all 50 for one person to complete, given that NOT ONE USE of that data has happened, the effort, even if it was only ONE HOUR has, by definition BEEN WASTED. Unless you’ve read evidence that shows that anything constructive has been done with the information released. Feel free to post it. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:39 PM 254. Rod B says: 16 April 2010 at 1:12 PM “Dave G (215), surely you jest…” Yes, but there is a point (about the varying degrees of certitude needed to take measures which financially affect many people) in there somewhere! Comment by Dave G — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:42 PM 255. re: #205, #240 Re: Wegman Read the first page of “Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony” at DeSMogBlog. The current version is V1.0, but V2.0 will appear fairly soon, as there is even more. If the first page is interesting, read Appendix A.10 on the seeming plagiarism and grey literature in the Wegman Report. Then, Deep Climate found seeming plagiarism, not just of Bradley’s text, but of pages of social networking material from two well-known textbooks and Wikipedia. See this, which points at 2 side-by-side comparison files. The 10-pager shows the antecedents of the Wegman Report, the 5-pager shows the antecedents of a paper in 2007 by Said, Wegman, Rigsby, and Sharabati, essentially trying to claim that the “mentor” style (Wegman) of network is less likely to cause peer review problems than the “entrepreneurial” style (Mann, paleo in general). But don’t take this on faith, go read the details. Comment by John Mashey — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:45 PM 256. Re: Hank Roberts': “If someone makes false charges against you, do you merely rebut the charges without asking who lied, and wondering about their motives and future plans?” No, *I* wouldn’t merely rebut charges against me; *I* might also attack my opponents’ character and motives, if I believed them to be motivated by malice. Similarly, Gavin, the RC community of posters, and CRU are free to do so as well. No one expects them to be impartial about accusations against themselves. However, the question wasn’t whether *I* (or CRU, as it were) should do these things; the question is whether it is wise or seemly for a putatively neutral investigating body to do so. My contentions are: that it is not wise; that it presents an optic that suggests that the neutral investigative body is not impartial. The ambit of the investigative body was determining whether the various accusations were true, not whether those who uttered the accusations were malicious. (Indeed, one can be malicious and yet also make a true accusation; also, the very existence of the investigative body suggests that some critical mass of people deemed at least some of the charges to be credible.) Comment by ROI — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:53 PM 257.  As to the actual post part of your post, this quote “Prof. WEGMAN: Carbon dioxide is heavier than air. Where it sits in the atmospheric profile, I don’t know. I’m not an atmospheric scientist to know that.” (which, by the way is a non sequitor wrt your opening money shot) Should have been answered with: “So how do you know that CO2 being heavier than air has any meaning in this discussion?” But to go on to say “if the carbon dioxide is close to the surface of the earth, it’s not reflecting a lot of infrared back. ” Is intended to give the idea that the gasses are fractionalised. Which again puts CO2 around where our heads are. This doesn’t even need you to be an atmospheric scientist. If you “know” enough to know CO2 is denser, then all you need is how much CO2 there is. 400 parts per million. This is not an unknown figure. School yard maths gives you the answer. No need to be an atmosphericist. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 1:54 PM 258. “Look, guys, instead of just shouting at one another about whose is bigger, how about looking something up and citing your sources? There’s a way: Google.” Uh, don’t come in with your parental “I think you’ll find mine’s even bigger, though” and then try and segue into “use google” to turn up something that isn’t even answering what our conversation that you’re waving your opinion over was about. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:05 PM 259. Deech56 @196 My205 response to your 131 comment crossed in the mail, so to speak. I hope you will agree that the problem of statistical consulting is mostly political. The climate scientists get picked on more than most other scientists. Their conclusions, like those of the medical developers, extend way beyond any particular paper in question. Global climate work is believed to be very important to the rest of the world. Our lives and more may depend on the work described in one of the climate science papers. It shouldn’t be necessary to explain to climate scientists that their work, if not based on statistical analysis of climate data, is very closely related to such analysis. More importantly from a PR (political) point of view, when a climate scientist tries to defend warmer global temperatures to a “person in the street” feeling a colder regional weather, the scientist reverts to a statistical logic to explain. Outsiders are, and will continue to be, surprised that the climate scientist would not seek the advice of the very best statistical special-ists. This political blemish will come out in the open at any review by non-climate scientists of climate science work. As I mentioned in my 205 post, this in a political problem, not a technical problem. The climate scientists (and the statistical analysts also –if the work is so important, why aren’t they seeing that it gets done) should do a cost/benefit analysis and see if it makes sense to continue on what appears to be a go-it-alone approach. I would disagree that climatologists would be less productive planning with and working with statisticians. As audits have demonstrated, climate scientists are pretty good untrained statisticians and political problems should disappear at best and, at worst, be replaced with technical problems that we probably would want to resolve. In any case, a cost/benefit review could decide in any specific case and at least reduce the presentation problems since, presumably, both scientific groups would agree on such an analysis. Philip Machanick @209 As I mention above: 1- Climate Science work is highly correlated with, if not dependent on statistics. 2- Any problem with BAU is political. If climate scientists want to “solve” such a political problem and don’t want more statisticians , PR people or lobbyists might be a good, but more expensive, next choice. Computer Scientists can always be added to a project. Whether or not they add enough value depends on the project. (BTW, Cold Fusion still plunges ahead. …” On 22–25 March 2009, the American Chemical Society held a four-day symposium on “New Energy Technology”, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the announcement of cold fusion. At the conference, researchers with the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) reported detection of energetic neutrons in a standard cold fusion cell design[65] using CR-39,[11] a result previously published in Die Naturwissenschaften.[66] The authors claim that these neutrons are indicative of nuclear reactions,[67] although skeptics indicated that a quantitative analysis would be necessary before the results are accepted by the scientific community, and that the neutrons could be caused by another nuclear mechanism than fusion.” ROI@222 Agree, with my above caveats. Geoff Wexler@240 Hank Roberts@252 You both are “preaching to the choir”. I’ve already said I believe the climate scientist’s work was pretty much ok technically. FWIW, neither I, nor Wegman know anything about climate science and we both admit it. Not using recognized statistical techniques is likedriving on the wrong side of the road. If you’re a good enough driver, you can do it. But why waste your energy. My over elaborate point is that the statistics “problem” is political. Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:11 PM 260. Fed up… So how is saying “I’d rather delete my stuff than give it to that arsehole” (not a direct quote) breaking the spirit of the FOI? The spirit of the FoI statute is to allow citizens to acquire information from various institutions, and that those institutions must have a valid reason for declining the request. Information that can be legally obtained via FoI requests is not supposed to be deleted, regardless of whether or not the requester is an arsehole. Being and arsehole is not a valid reason to be denied information, or a valid reason for data to be deleted. This really is a very simple point. Unless the spirit of the FOI is to never to be annoyed by an arrogant time wasting idiot. Whether or not it annoys the person who has to obtain and release it is immaterial. Again, this seems pretty simple. Myself I thought it was so that the people could see the government (as in Parliament and Councils) doing its job. Well, FoI is more broad than that. I think there are some interesting questions raised when FoI applies to academic research. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but I did not see anything (and I have read most of it) in the statute which exempts climate researchers or academics. “Yesterday when I first posted I was agnostic on the question” Didn’t seem like it “However, I believe Monbiot has some valid criticism of Jones and the university” “he should have simply complied with the FoI request up front” “Until I see some more evidence to the contrary, I’m with Monbiot on this one.” “Additionally, the vexatious FoI requests you mention occurred after a number of earlier, and definitely non-vexatious, requests were turned down.” “It is _NOT_ acceptable to deny such a request just because it’s a pain in the a**” Didn’t to anyone else. Then everyone else jumped to conclusions, just like you did. None of the quotes you’ve produced demonstrate that I said I thought the university did something illegal. I did indeed leave open the possibility that the university acted legally, although, as I have admitted, I did question whether or not it did. To my knowledge, Monbiot has not made this accusation either. Except that “1) above” was false. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that. So how am I supposed to avoid that? Kill you before you get a chance? Tempting… I hope I never run into you in a dark alley. If “they” are the emails, then why should private emails promote public awareness? They’re not public. In a perfect world, the emails would not have been made public. Clearly the hack was an illegal breach. I hope the perpetrators are found and punished. But the breach did happen, the emails are public, and they have been damaging. Comment by zeroworker — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:11 PM 261. re #244 zeroworker The PR problem is a contrived one and that’s the real problem. What’s lacking is some informed and honest depiction in the media of the reality of the situation. If that were to be provided then everyone else might move from your “agnostic” position to your informed one, with respect to UEA’s actions, and it wouldn’t be a “PR problem” at all. It’s a pathetic disgrace that science commentators in the media aren’t able (or willing) to give an informed and truthful account of these events. The notion that scientists have got to be (or pretend to be) paragons of virtue is totally unhelpful and simply feeds the contrived and po-faced that has become the prevailing media narrative. As a scientist I make damned sure that everything I publish is correct as far as I’m able, and if I have an undergraduate lecture at 9:00 in the morning I don’t drink the night before, read through my lecture and get in an hour early to be properly prepared. But I might well have too much to drink on a Friday night and may well be found bellowing crudely at the referee at a rugby match at the weekend. There are some scientists whose work I don’t think much of (they may not like me, and good for them), and I’d be quite likely to omit citing their work in a paper; when we get a critical review of a manuscript we’re more than likely to curse and disparage the editor and reviewers (by email quite likely), but once we’ve got it out of our systems we’ll knuckle down and prepare a revision or do the extra experiments requested. Scientists are real human people just like everyone else. George Monbiot, in particular, has puffed himself with self-righteous indignation over the fact that scientists don’t conform to some fanciful ideal of his imagination. In my opinion he and much of the rest (but not all) of “science commentators” ave been the bigger problem; they have the opportunity to truly inform their readers of the nature of science in general, and the issues surrounding this particular storm in a tea cup, in particular….they’ve blown it. Prof Oxburgh has done a good job, though… Comment by chris — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:16 PM 262. On the FOI emails…. First, I read the emails — all of the damn things — and here is what I come away with on the FOI issue. 1) There are two classes of requests to which Jones and others objected to. The first were those for the raw station data used in CRUTEMv[2,3]. For reasons which should be clear, not all of this data could be released, and what could be released is more easily available from GHCN. Whatever was said in the emails regarding these requests (“hide behind IPR…”, etc.) doesn’t matter. UEA was correct in denying these requests since it had no right to release the data not in GHCN. The second class consisted solely of requests from David Holland for the internal IPCC communications between the authors of AR4 Ch. 6. It was these requests which seem to have been referred to in the press statement made by Graham Smith of the ICO. At some point, the Information Officer at UEA determined that these were not subject to FOI, and this is reflected in the emails. 2) As can be seen here, not all requests have been refused. A brief check revealed that about 15 requests received by CRU were granted. If you discount the 60 or so requests received as a result of the McIntyre campaign the split is about 50/50, with the bulk of the other refused requests being for internal communications of all kinds between members of the CRU. The refusal of these leads me to believe that the rejection of Holland’s request (there is only on in the list at whatdotheyknow.com) was probably within the law. The EIR specifically exempts internal communications, I do not know if FOI does. 3) Steve’s acolytes were clearly responsible for the vast majority of the requests, both for the confidentiality agreements and for at least 3 other campaigns of much smaller import. 4) There is at least on really stupid person out there who made an FOI for the leaked emails. I used to have some questions about how severe the FOI aspect of this kerfuffle was. After reviewing the document referenced above I am convinced that these charges are as baseless as the others. Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:21 PM 263. “I hope I never run into you in a dark alley.” I thought you said earlier: “>>Apparently, you think merely saying >>“i’m gonna kill you” is the same as >>actually killing someone. Not at all.” You want to slow down and listen first? To yourself? “In a perfect world, the emails would not have been made public” OK, so why should “3)” be saying that they should make the public better informed and that their inability to do so is CRU’s fault? Or that they should do something other than be who they are in private? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:49 PM 264. “The spirit of the FoI statute is to allow citizens to acquire information from various institutions,” No it isn’t, it’s to allow the governed to know how they are being governed. Maybe where YOU live, it’s “acquire information from various institutions” but if you tried that here or in the US you’ll get arrested for corporate espionage among sundry other laws. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:51 PM 265. “261 chris says: 16 April 2010 at 2:16 PM The PR problem is a contrived one and that’s the real problem” It’s also one that isn’t of CRU’s making, nor one they could have prevented by any reasonable actions. When someone claims something slanderous about you, it’s not YOUR fault they have damaged your reputation. Unless you want zero work done. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 2:56 PM 266. re: #259 John Peter How much personal exposure do you have to good climate scientists, statisticians? “It shouldn’t be necessary to explain to climate scientists that their work, if not based on statistical analysis of climate data, is very closely related to such analysis. More importantly from a PR (political) point of view, when a climate scientist tries to defend warmer global temperatures to a “person in the street” feeling a colder regional weather, the scientist reverts to a statistical logic to explain. Outsiders are, and will continue to be, surprised that the climate scientist would not seek the advice of the very best statistical special-ists.” This may be a shock, but many climate scientists are quite adequately-skilled in statistics, and often do talk to statisticians. They even do conferences together, like the International Meeting on Statistical Climatology, #11 in July, to pick an example offhand. Finally, unlike, for example, proofs in geometry, which are either right or wrong, statistics is often a bit fuzzier. You might try reading the essay on p.172 of the report I mentioned in #255 from which I repeat for the Nth time a John Tukey quote: “―Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.” In the real world, “good-enough” answers, soon-enough, at reasonable cost, are worth a lot, especially when the statistics is more of the exploratory data analysis sort than the confirmatory. Comment by John Mashey — 16 Apr 2010 @ 3:32 PM 267. John Mashey @205 Are you claiming the Wegman report was not political? Thanks for the entertaining references. We should get Colbert or Ledderman to pick up on the comedy. Seriously, You know what plagiarism is well enough not to try to hide behind “seeming” plagiarism. And I refuse to take sides against anything entrepreneurial, least of all for some sort of ‘social network’ concept. That said, as someone with your experience knows only too well, it’s better to have them on the inside peeing out, than on the outside peeing in. If it were up to me (which it isn’t), I’d find a way to get a professional statistician to incantate over my work, dress up my vocabulary, let his or her name appear with the dozen or so other authors on a paper and never have to deal again with the problem of no professional statistician involved in the work or with the ensuing side effects. Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 3:57 PM 268. I’m a ‘lay person’ in this area but I understand the science in this area and recognise the failure of the media to see beyond the sceptics’ scams. I haven’t read the Economist articles but a year ago I read abook called ‘Fixing Climate’ which proposed the idea of a device to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (in an economical way ) Was this mentioned in the Economist article ? Any comments about this ? Comment by PeteM — 16 Apr 2010 @ 4:16 PM 269. PeterM, unfortunately, this is rather like the idea of a device that will retrieve us THOUSANDS of times the amount of Gold we currently know about by retrieving it from the sea. Or an actual real device that has existed for near 100 years that can turn lead into gold. The problem is the proviso: in an economical way. But such things are easier if energy expended doing so did not cause more CO2 to be produced and we were putting out less anyway. They are also a lot easier. Lets do the easy stuff we know first. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 4:36 PM 270. “None of the quotes you’ve produced demonstrate that I said I thought the university did something illegal.” And that quote fest came after a quote of YOU saying you were agnostic on the idea. They were “I believe… wrong things were done”. Agnosticism. Belief. No connection. You BELIEVED there was a problem. This is not an agnostic position. The agnostic position would be NOT TO HAVE AN OPINION. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 PM 271. John Mashey@266 I don’t know whether or not professional statisticians confer on a paper to paper basis. Everyone else is getting bored with my posting here that I believe climate scientists do good statistical work, you are the one who qualifies the requirement as “good enough”. Anyone qualified can join the ASA for$150/yr. I did and I’m sure half the climate scientists I know of could if they wished. So what’s your problem with professional statisticians? Do you have a problem with Information Technology folk who label themselves computer scientists?

All of your examples have nothing to do with the problem as I see it. It’s political. Yes, you can drive on the wrong side of the road, because you know it’s safe in a particular instance. However, if a cop stops you there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get a ticket, and a Judge/Jury may even convict you – even though you can prove there was no risc. That’s the real world for the non-elite, live with it.

IPCC and a lot of climate scientists push scientific consensus on an unsuspecting public. It gives that public a feeling of comfort and helps to make the denier’s job more difficult. I suspect a lot of that same public would sleep easier if they knew “professionals” had checked the statistics – and would be alarmed to be told that they hadn’t. In such an environment, I would get some ASA types to sign on.

John, I’m trying to be as practical (and pragmatic) as I can be. What more do you want?

Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 5:00 PM

272. Funny, I was just this morning looking up the status of the Lackner carbon-fixing “trees.”

http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2654

GRT, the corporate entity, is teaming up with Columbia U. (Probably not coincidentally, Wally Broecker of “Fixing Climate” is ultimately employed by Columbia.) They hope to be selling CO2 commercially in two years, at costs less than $100/ton, hopefully declining to$50 eventually, and with minimal energy inputs in operation.

BTW, you can read my “enhanced” summary/review of “Fixing Climate” here:

http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2654

(Or via profile page.)

http://hubpages.com/profile/Doc+Snow

Comment by Kevin McKinney — 16 Apr 2010 @ 5:42 PM

273. > John Peter
> … I would get some ASA types to sign on….
> I’m trying to be as practical (and pragmatic) as I can be.
> What more do you want?

References are always nice. They’re even more useful _before_ posting.

http://magazine.amstat.org/2010/03/climatemar10/
American Statistical Association
Statisticians Comment on Status of Climate Change Science
1 March 2010

“In November 2009, ASA Past-President Sally Morton joined with the leaders of 17 other science organizations to sign a letter (pdf) to all U.S. senators summarizing the consensus of climate change science….

As members of the ASA’s Climate Change Policy Advisory Committee …. We prefer to think of the views of skeptics as part of the scientific spectrum, but nevertheless believe they are a minority who do not represent the mainstream scientific viewpoint.

Some organizations that feature these views in sophisticated advertising campaigns have manipulated the evidence to create the impression that the consensus among climate scientists is quite different from what it is. Here, we comment on some of the most common arguments that climate change is not happening or that humans are not responsible….”

—-end excerpt—-

Look it up for yourself.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:10 PM

READ the actual scientific literature? What do you think you’re doing? SCIENCE?

You’re supposed to grab anything readily to hand which has the texture of fact and artfully frame the issue to entrap journalists in the desired thinking box.

After all, there is no way to “win” an argument with journalists who believe there always has to be the other side of the story and that it’s not their job to evaluate evidence and figure out right from wrong. You are supposed to set up the maze so that the journalists find the two sides of the story you want them to find…

Comment by Andrew — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:24 PM

275. re: #271 John Peter

I have no problem with professional statisticians. Why would I?

I’ve been exposed to some of the very best ones, worked with others, and have a close in-law who is a good one, and I campaigned for years to get more statistics into computer architecture and performance analysis.

As for “good enough”, if you’re an ASA member, I assume you understand normality tests. Is there a “best” normality test? Are some “less-good” but “good enough”? I do not believe there is always a binary dichotomy between “good” and “bad”. It’s like simulations that provide varying levels of approximations. Some are “not good enough”, and if you use the results, things fail. Others are “good enough”, but not perfect.

I think the Wegman Report was political.. but you are the one who brought it up as a credible reference. You quoted a report by {Wegman, his colleague Scott, his recent PhD Said, with help from two more his students), accepting that apparently as truth. Do you talk to enough climate scientists and statisticians who work with them to assess the Wegman claim objectively?

Note: I say seeming plagiarism because it’s not up to me to declare it… but the side-by-side comparisons are clear. What is *unclear* is who did it and who knew about it.

“IPCC and a lot of climate scientists push scientific consensus on an unsuspecting public.”

I hope that is just a poor choice of words…

Comment by John Mashey — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:25 PM

276. #271

There is a public relations war between science and its enemies. The result appears to be that the climatologists are perceived as driving on the wrong side of the road, statistically speaking, whereas their opponents have no such problem. This has happened in spite of the latter’s abysmal history of statistical blunders.

I am not sure that your proposed remedy would make much difference. As far as I can see a powerful propaganda machine can make people perceive almost anything about any topic. If it is not statistics, it will be the choice of statistician, if not that there will be something else.

Incidentally is there agreement about the correct side of the road? You write as if there is a statistical bible somewhere which is understood mainly by members of the ASA and which avoids all controversy.

Comment by Geoff Wexler — 16 Apr 2010 @ 6:41 PM

277. > climatologists are perceived as driving on the wrong side of the road,
> statistically speaking, whereas their opponents have no such problem.

The discussion thread is going to get interesting, since VS showed up there:
http://magazine.amstat.org/2010/03/climatemar10/
American Statistical Association

Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 7:21 PM

278. John Peter and John Mashey,
I’m not a statistician, but I do sometines play one at conferences. I work in a very applied field in which statistical analysis is usually pretty rudimentary. I’ve developed a reputation in that field as a bit of a nag when it comes to trying to push things toward a more rigorous statistical basis. I suspect my experience is like that of most scientists, including climate scientists. I don’t have statisticians readily available. I have a couple of shelves of books I keep as references. I have a couple of names in a rolodex. And when it comes to statistics, I’m pretty much an autodidact, so I have lots of oceans of weakness around a few islands of strength. Generally, you pick up those strengths when you have a problem that requires them for a solution.

Statistics is not like other branches of mathematics in that the basis is still not on an entirely satisfactory footing, and there is a lot of disagreement even among statisticians as to appropriate methodology. My rolodex has both Bayesian representatives and strict Frequentists. Ultimately, you have to understand that the role of statistics in science is supporting. You use the statistics to elucidate the trends so that you can understand the mechanisms. In other words, I agree with John Mashey: the statistics has to be good enough.

John Peter, I have a bone to pick with your statement: “IPCC and a lot of climate scientists push scientific consensus on an unsuspecting public.”

Scientific consensus is not some ad hoc idea, but is central to the scientific method. It is crucial for defining the direction of research and future development in the field as well as for policy, education and even epistemology. To view it as a substitute for evidence is just flat wrong, precisely because it is evidence based. It is really one of the most subtle aspects of the scientific method, but really, until you understand the nature of scientific consensus, you don’t understand science.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Apr 2010 @ 7:38 PM

279. John Mashey@275

I thought you might have a problem with professional statisticians because you do not seem to distinguish between someone earning a living for doing statistical work and someone else who happens to be “good” at it. I see now you are a long time champion for statistical excellence. Thanks for straightening me out.

OK, I was using good to apply to an individual, say your close-in-law. OTOH, “good enough” is a results oriented judgment call that may or may not result from some statistical test(s). I think we are in agreement here.

I had no intent to refer to the Wegman report as a credible technical reference; from the beginning four years ago I saw it as political. I did find some of its references useful (I always try to uses original source). The only Wegman claim that I took seriously was the lack of statistical co-authors on any of the Mann papers. That seemed pretty prima facie to me. However lacking such credit, I have no way of verifying that Mike conferred with “professional” statistician(s)- my private belief is that he did, that’s how Yale trained us.

WRT your note “plagiarism” or even “seeming plagiarism” are poor terms if you mean misrepresentation. Plagiarism has to do with copying without permission and that doesn’t seem to be what you’re complaining about. Anyway the reference I saw to your work dropped the “seeming” and is “all over the web”.

I agree, “unsuspecting” was a very poor choice of words on my part. I apologize to any and all I may have offended and will try to do better in the future.

Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 8:30 PM

280. Hank Roberts@273

Huh???

Read it again. Your excerpt seems to support my position, it’s all political.

Don’t you agree?

Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 8:40 PM

281. Geoff@276

Thanks for taking the trouble to try understand what I am posting.

You said:“There is a public relations war between science and its enemies.”

Seems to me it’s not much of a war, in any case the enemies appear to be losing.

You said:“The result appears to be that the climatologists are perceived as driving on the wrong side of the road, statistically speaking, whereas their opponents have no such problem. This has happened in spite of the latter’s abysmal history of statistical blunders.”

I’m not sure I understand what you mean. The climatologists are accused of not employing professional statisticians – people who try to make a living using their statistical skills. I do not know if this accusation is true because the climatologists have never said whether or not they do. Whose numbers are right and whose are wrong is not the issue as far as I can tell and over the six years of the “hockey stick” debate as I recall it everyone changed their numbers several times, as any scientist should expect in an exploratory scientific investigation.

The only problem I see is no professional statisticians as co-authors of the climatologists’ papers. To me that’s a political problem pure and simple. FWIW my personal belief is that it would be easier to solve that problem than war (your word, not mine) about it.

You said: “I am not sure that your proposed remedy would make much difference. As far as I can see a powerful propaganda machine can make people perceive almost anything about any topic. If it is not statistics, it will be the choice of statistician, if not that there will be something else.”

Possibly true, but I believe a lot of the world gives more credence to the statisticians than to your other enemies (again, your word, not mine)

You said:“Incidentally is there agreement about the correct side of the road? You write as if there is a statistical bible somewhere which is understood mainly by members of the ASA and which avoids all controversy.”

Not quite, the climate scientists’ statistical work is more or less correct even when it’s unconventional. I see it more as a question of language and communication, not religion. When in Britain you drive on the left, in the US on the right. Only convention, not science or religion.

OK?

Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 9:21 PM

282. The discussion thread is going to get interesting, since VS showed up there

One poster over there already schooled him on one test he applied. Doesn’t stop VS from claiming that Tamino isn’t a statistician, though.

Comment by dhogaza — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:08 PM

Don’t rely on excerpts posted on some blog by some guy as facts. It was a pointer.

You suggested that climatology needed attention from the American Statistical Association.

You could look it up.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:31 PM

284. Ray Landbury@277

Thank for chiming in. As far as I am concerned you do very good work and you’ve always done very good work. That is not only my impression but, as far as I can tell, also the impression of other RC posters.

If you reread my #277, I think we three, John and You and I are in agreement about “close-enough”. At the risk of disturbing that calm, I mean close enough for judgmental action. (Please don’t make waves unless you feel have to.)

As I mentioned in response to John “unsuspecting” was very poor word choice on my part.

FWIW, using “consensus science” instead of “accepted science” is even worse. To me accepted science means accepted by practitioners, even skeptics. Consensus means anyone can vote and that’s not very scientific. I’ll agree with your last paragraph if you replace Consensus” with “accepted”. Is that asking such a much?

Comment by John Peter — 16 Apr 2010 @ 10:58 PM

285. Auditing of science does have its place.

If someone had done some auditing of space program work we wouldn’t have lost a Mars probe due to bad (or the lack of) conversion from Imperial to Metric measurements in the calculations.

I’m really disturbed by the whole “enemies of science” line. It implies that anyone that is questioning of a study or findings is an enemy.

That, friends, is how inflexible dogma is formed.

Comment by Frank Giger — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:27 PM

286. Off topic but I’m wondering what connection the current Icelandic volcano eruption has to do with global warming. A couple thoughts have crossed my mind:
1. Does mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet have any geologic effect as far away as Iceland? I’ve read that there are earthquakes in Greenland triggered by mass loss. Might that have released pressure leading to an earlier eruption rather than later?

2. After the warmest March on the instrument record is the ash cloud sufficient to have a significant cooling effect on the global climate which may lead skeptics to the erroneous conclusion that warming has stopped or reversed? (Not that they need actual data to jump to the wrong conclusion.)

Cheers
J.D.

Comment by J.D. Gibbard — 16 Apr 2010 @ 11:37 PM

287. Dhogaza, I just posted on that thread telling VS to search Google Scholar for +grant +foster. His top cited paper on a new statistical method (the CLEANEST method) got 118 cites. I’d say that makes him a statistician.

Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 17 Apr 2010 @ 12:21 AM

288. I think Dave G’s comment at #215 deserves some applause. A nice illustration of the absurdity of the whole shenanigans.

@zeroworker. I think you’ll find your blood pressure will be eased if you just ignore CFU’s posts altogether. You know the cliche about heat & light I’m sure.

With regard to the possible underuse of statisticians by the CRU (& possibly others). Whilst it’s probably true that more professional statistical input is desirable there seems to be a problem with finding professional statisticians who also understand the physics of the subject. Wegman’s comments to the congressional hearing is one example, and there’s plenty more out there in the blogosphere.

Comment by Chris S. — 17 Apr 2010 @ 3:12 AM

289. Hank Roberts@283

My question was – is the WR politics or technology?

FWIW you can pretend you know what I’m doing, but you don’t. I did follow your ref – I always do – because they’re the best, almost always useful and informative.

You misrepresent what I believe which is very bottoms up. Professional statisticians showing up as coauthors on climate science papers will stop the WR kind of junk. I may be wrong but that’s what I believe.

A professional in a field is someone who earns money doing work in that field. This is true for any field including statistics.

ASA is basically a political organization of people interested in statistics. Anyone can join for $150/yr. They’ll get lots of desperate email pleas for candidate names for biological statistician jobs. They won’t be asked to do anything technical. If a climate scientist wants to do their own climate science, join ASA, learn the trade (terminology and latest hot technical methods) and don’t try to bust the union. Then decide whether you want to contract the climate statistics work out or do it yourself. You’re now a professional statistician (as well as a climate scientist). Your ASA policy crap is too top down to be really effective. and it’s political as all heck. My question, which you have not yet answered: Is the WR politics or technology? Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 3:14 AM 290. zeroworker (245): Let’s see if your apparently puny brain can understand this (I doubt it): …But certainly no thanks to YOU, who had nothing to offer but insults and snide remarks. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:16 AM 291. #227 – “According to some recurrent denying posters here, you can’t say that because the data is nearly nonexistent.” – CFU Read the link, it’s peer reviewed, you may learn a thing or two. You’re wrong, deal with it and save your energy for the deniers/skeptics. Comment by Dappled Water — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:42 AM 292. Auditing of science does have its place. If someone had done some auditing of space program work we wouldn’t have lost a Mars probe due to bad (or the lack of) conversion from Imperial to Metric measurements in the calculations. That’s engineering, not science. Orbital mechanics, for instance, wasn’t affected. The scientific *instrument* was lost due to sloppy engineering, science itself was unaffected (other than the fact that those waiting for data had to do something else with their lives for a bit). Traditional auditing of that mars probe would not have helped anyway. Auditing would just verify that the right number of the wrong components had been purchased, delivered, and paid for. Engineering has its own checks and balances that are designed to try to prevent errors of this sort rather than simply account for them, as auditing would do. Fell short in your example, but the failure of a system doesn’t prove that no such system exists, as you seem to believe. Comment by dhogaza — 17 Apr 2010 @ 6:27 AM 293. “Auditing of science does have its place.” And as you point out, it IS being done. But you want to put it in a place that IS NOT ITS PLACE. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Apr 2010 @ 6:45 AM 294. @286 J.D.Gibbard (April 16th, 11:37PM) As for your first interrogation, the phenomenon you describe is called isostatic adjustment : as the brittle part of the lithosphere loose weight, it is pushed upwards by the ductile part of the lithosphere which was under pressure (a little bit like a ship gets higher as he looses weight), and adjacent land masses are going downward to keep the global mass. It’s happening in Canada, in Scandinavia, in the french Alps (a bit more complicated, but it clearly happens), and it does not surprise me that it happens in Greenland if the ice sheet is diminishing (I didn’t hear about that, but it is mainly because I’m not in this particular field anymore – and I suspect measurements are quite scarce on Greenland). However, this is a regional phenomenon, and Scandinavia shows that it’s likely Iceland is not “feeling” that. Iceland volcanoes are hotspot/rift induced, and do not quite require any relief of the pressure to erupt ;) The last eruption is not quite as big as the Laki XVIIIth century one, or even the one occuring in the seventies … Nothing out of the ordinary, except the safety principle widely applied for the aircrafts. If you wish more doc on the isostatic adjustment, wikipedia is a good start, you can also look at the works of Luce Fleitout (geology laboratory, ENS Paris) or Jerry Mitrovica (Toronto) which spent lots of time on that. For once I was useful here \o/ Comment by bratisla — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:01 AM 295. Frank Giger says: “I’m really disturbed by the whole “enemies of science” line. It implies that anyone that is questioning of a study or findings is an enemy.” WHat would you call someone who claims that greenhouse warming violates the 2nd law? I usually call them “denialists” and that sends Walter Manny (among others) into a tizzy. If the so-called “debate” were rational we wouldn’t hear phrases like “denialists” AND “enemies of science”. If all they did was argue over whether the climate sensitivity was 3K or 2K or 1K it would be different. But the “debate” is nowhere near rational. The denialists who propagate such pure and utter bullshit are, in fact, “enemies of science.” Comment by John E. Pearson — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:48 AM 296. John Peter, You know what? I’ve been a working physicist for about 3 decades now, and nobody has ever given me a ballot for the scientific consensus election! Luis Alvarez one time said, “There is no democracy in physics. We can’t say that some second-rate guy has as much right to opinion as Fermi.” While this position might be anti-democratic, it is not counter to scientific consensus. In scientific consensus, one votes by publishing. That is, those theories, methods, ideas and techniques that are indispensible to making enough progress to publish are part of a tacit consensus. Those that reject this consensus body of knowledge abstain from voting not by being silent, but rather by not publishing. They fail to publish because their rejection of the consensus proves a serious impediment to understanding. Probably the most famous example of a consensus marching forward over the objections of a great mind is found in quantum mechanics, which succeeded despite Einstein’s opposition. It is not even that people did not listen to Einstein–they just had to embrace quantum mechanics if they wanted to understand the microworld. The signature of a powerful, long-lived, well mixed greenhouse gas is wherever you look in the paleoclimate and the current climate. It simply is not possible to understand Earth’s climate unless CO2 sensitivity is around 3 degrees per doubling. Accept that, and much becomes clear. Reject it, and you won’t have much to say about climate. And that is one reason why even those few smart–shall we call them rejectionists(?)–don’t publish. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:54 AM 297. Frank Giger@285, You are mixing up science and engineering. I know of few space projects that have enough systems engineers–and the loss of the Mars probe is directly attributable to budget cuts midproject. The normal review process would have caught the error in units had it been followed. An outside auditor would not have caught it because it was buried where they never would have found it. Like it or not, Frank, science works. Until you understand why it works, I’d just as soon not have you mucking about with how it gets done, ‘kay? Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:58 AM 298. John, what would you call those on the other side of the fence that exaggerate AGW studies and make flat out lies about the dangers? Environmentalist and other groups have been less than sqeaky clean when it comes to getting the facts straight. Are they “enemies of science” as well? [Response: People who abuse science and get things wrong deliberately to make political points – whatever they are – are behaving unethically. But on this issue there is no ‘balance’ in the abuses – the nonsense coming out of the contrarians (straightforward lies from Monckton, disinformation from McClean and Carter, libel from many others) is on a completely different scale than the occasional (and quickly corrected) over-statement from some NGO. Each deserves to be corrected and criticised but, really, these things are not equally bad. – gavin] @ dhogaza (291), who writes that engineering isn’t science: Hahahahaha! Somebody tell the guys at NASA that they’re working a Liberal Arts project. Tell Ray Ladbury that physics isn’t science – I think he’ll be quite suprised. Auditing in the form of fact checking from raw numbers to output is statistical as well as checking materiel against invoice. We can freely debate whether the CRU FOI’s were put forth by someone that was qualified to perform a formulaic and mechanical check of the math, but to say that it should never be done is ludicrous. Comment by Frank Giger — 17 Apr 2010 @ 8:53 AM 299. Bob, #82, you’re right- history will judge the McIntyres and Wattses as the absurd charlatans that they have always been. Unfortunately, we don’t have time. Early Senate opponents of the Vietnam War (Church, Fulbright, Morse) were defeated in their reelection attempts. Their opponents went on to make more history, usually in a damaging manner. Climate change denialism will become completely discredited in about 10-15 years, but this additional window of burning coal and destroying forests would be lethal. We’ve been screwing around with these guys- and their friends in the media and the Senate- for too long. Time to bust them once and for all- form a united front, spend some money, and insist that the public wise up. Comment by mike roddy — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:40 AM 300. John Peter @ 284 FWIW, using “consensus science” instead of “accepted science” is even worse. To me accepted science means accepted by practitioners, even skeptics. Consensus means anyone can vote and that’s not very scientific. I’ll agree with your last paragraph if you replace Consensus” with “accepted”. Is that asking such a much? Definitely asking too much. The skeptics, almost to a one, do NOT accept the science (at least not in public). You’ve been around here long enough that you must realise that. The science behind climate change is generally better accepted by people that don’t have an ideology or political agenda that won’t allow them to see that the science is pretty much settled on this issue. Comment by Steve in Dublin — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:41 AM 301. Yes, let’s have some (back of envelope) projections for this volcano and global – or maybe more realistically, regional – temps. Or is volcanic activity at a fairly normal level, and it is just the unusual wind direction that is carrying it over Europe? Wrong volcano in wrong place with wrong wind at wrong time? For non-UK readers here. (OK. Off Topic) At the height of the financial crisis the UK govt froze all Icelandic assets in the UK using (yes!) anti-terrorist legislation. Some say this is the Gods getting their own back. Comment by Theo Hopkins — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:42 AM 302. @zeroworker #260: The spirit of the FoI statute is to allow citizens to acquire information from various institutions, and that those institutions must have a valid reason for declining the request. The spirit of the FoI statute? FoI was never intended as a tool for obtaining scientific data from universities. That wasn’t even on the radar of those who passed the legislation. Anyone who tries to use it for that purpose is hardly in a position to whine about “the spirit of the FoI statute.” Comment by ChrisD — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:43 AM 303. dhogaza (291), who writes that engineering isn’t science: Hahahahaha! Somebody tell the guys at NASA that they’re working a Liberal Arts project. Engineering isn’t science, nor is it a discipline within the liberal arts. Though apparently it’s all greek to you. Go “ha ha ha” all you want, all you’re doing is to prove to both engineers and scientists that you don’t understand either field, because if you did, you’d understand why they’re different fields. Both fields are important and have made complementary contributions to the technological advances we’ve seen in the last couple of centuries, but they’re different. And no, the fact that certain individuals have at times tended to straddle the dividing line does not change that fact. Tell Ray Ladbury that physics isn’t science – I think he’ll be quite suprised. Physics is a scientific, not engineering, discipline. You’re right! Ray’s already posted, making points similar to mine, good luck getting him to disagree with him. Comment by dhogaza — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:44 AM 304. Auditing by liars gets you stuff like the financial market collapses. You wouldn’t want the fate of the Earth to depend on people like that, eh? Oh, wait …. Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:49 AM 305. Kevin McKinney @ 272 In the article you linked to about Lackner’s synthetic carbon-fixing ‘trees’… it implies that with currently available technology each ‘tree’ could capture 1 ton of CO2 per day at a cost of$100 per ton. While every little bit helps, it seems to me that the costs far outweigh the benefits of this approach. To wit:

1. The world-wide production of man-made CO2 is currently at 28,431,741,000 metric tonnes per year (source: Wikipedia). We’ll give Lackner the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s talking metric tonnes (a U.S. ton is .91 metric tonnes, which would make that figure 31.24 billion).
2. Multiply that number by 100 to get the annual cost: $2.84 trillion! 3. What powers these things? (I can’t find that info anywhere. The$100 cost per ton may be for the sodium hydroxide that’s used to capture the CO2. Dunno) But if a significant portion of that 100 is electricity, then what about all the CO2 that is produced just to generate that electricity? 4. How much CO2 is produced to manufacture one of these? So even if you had 1 or 2 million of those ‘trees’ (or even 100 million), it wouldn’t even put a dent in the problem. And there is the same eyesore problem as with wind turbines. Just sayin’… Comment by Steve in Dublin — 17 Apr 2010 @ 10:38 AM 306. Regarding the FoI blizzard targeted at the CRU and coordinated by McIntyre, see McIntyre’s template here (complete with miss-spelled ‘involing': http://climateaudit.org/2009/07/24/cru-refuses-data-once-again/#comment-188529 An indication of the level of intellect of McIntyre’s zombies is exemplified by this FoI request: FOI_09-97 I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested1] 1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements; 2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization; 3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that “prevents further transmission to non-academics”. 4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement, You will note that this particular zombie sent the FoI request without specifying the countries that the FoI request concerned. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/25032/response/66822/attach/2/Response%20letter%20199%20100121.pdf Comment by Scared Amoeba — 17 Apr 2010 @ 11:01 AM 307. The perils of exaggerating to make a point. 100 million would take us man-made CO2 negative, and who knows what adverse effects that would have? I suspect it wouldn’t help the real trees much :-\ Sorry, enough of the OT stuff. I’ll leave it there. Comment by Steve in Dublin — 17 Apr 2010 @ 11:08 AM 308. The primary frustration with these investigations is that they are dancing around the principal issue that people care about: the IPCC and its implications for policy. Focusing only on CRU activities (which was the charge of the Oxbourgh panel) is of interest mainly to UEA and possibly the politics of UK research funding (it will be interesting to see if the U.S. DOE sends any more $$to CRU). Given their selection of CRU research publications to investigate (see Bishop Hill), the Oxbourgh investigation has little credibility in my opinion. However, I still think it unlikely that actual scientific malfeasance is present in any of these papers: there is no malfeasance associated with sloppy record keeping, making shaky assumptions, and using inappropriate statistical methods in a published scientific journal article. The corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue. The assessment process should filter out erroneous papers and provide a broader assessment of uncertainty; instead, we have seen evidence of IPCC lead authors pushing their own research results and writing papers to support an established narrative. I don’t see much hope for improving the IPCC process under its current leadership. The historical temperature record and the paleoclimate record over the last millennium are important in many many aspects of climate research and in the communication of climate change to the public; both of these data sets are at the heart of the CRU email controversy. In my opinion, there needs to be a new independent effort to produce a global historical surface temperature dataset that is transparent and that includes expertise in statistics and computational science. Once “best” methods have been developed and assessed for assembling such a dataset including uncertainty estimates, a paleoclimate reconstruction should be attempted (regional, hemispheric, and possibly global) with the appropriate uncertainty estimates. The public (and some scientists) has lost confidence in the data sets produced by CRU, NASA, Penn State, etc. While such an independent effort may confirm the previous analyses, it is very likely that improvements will be made and more credible uncertainty estimates can be determined. And the possibility remains that there are significant problems with these datasets; this simply needs to be sorted out. Unfortunately, the who and how of actually sorting all this out is not obvious. Some efforts are underway in the blogosphere to examine the historical land surface data (e.g. such as available from GCHN), but the GCHN data set is apparently inadequate in terms of completeness. Sorting out the issues surrounding the historical and paleo surface temperature records should be paramount, in addition to tightening up and improving the assessment processes (particularly the IPCC). April 17, 2010 | Judith Curry [Response: Anyone making accusations of corruption – especially in the light of the tsunami of baseless accusations against scientists that have been hitting the internet in the last few months – needs to be sure that they adequately document the evidence for their allegations. Absent that documentation, I see no reason to take them seriously. Casually throwing around such statements in comments on blog posts is not an appropriate course of action if they are meant to be credible. – gavin] Comment by ZZT — 17 Apr 2010 @ 11:31 AM 309. 299 (mike roddy), Time to bust them once and for all- form a united front, spend some money, and insist that the public wise up. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can fight fire with fire. Today’s post on WUWT is a perfect example. It touts a large, obvious mistake in the GISS data for Finland that was quickly rectified. He even admits it was corrected… but at the bottom of a very long post that most people will stop reading by the 3rd paragraph. So, “our” side requires that people read and understand everything, while “their” side requires only something eye popping as a headline, and then nothing more of any substance beyond that. Or, alternately, they can just plain make it up and make it sound scientific and well thought out, and their sheep bray all over at how fantastic and sound the logic is. The problem is that when you are telling people what they want to hear, they believe it without question. When you tell them what they don’t want to hear, as often as not they’ll stop listening because it hurts too much. I’m afraid a lot will hinge on both the economy and this November’s mid-term elections. If the Republicans win too many seats, or if the economy stays too sluggish, not only will climate legislation be stalled, but the Democrats (in both the legislative and executive branches) will have been too weakened to make an issue of it. If the Democrats can hold on, and if the economy will show signs of life so that deniers don’t get the double whammy of saying “they’ll destroy an already crippled economy,” then the key is to make an issue of climate change in the government, and make the government keep bringing it to the attention of the MSM, and for the MSM that has been basically silent for the past year (outside of Faux News and other denialist banner carriers) to wake up and keep it in the public’s eye. But I don’t think money can do that. Faux News, I’m sure, uses the issue more for its populist, capitalist audience targeting than for any money they are being paid directly by fossil fuel interests. On the flip side, no amount of money will get the rest of the MSM to start being journalists again. I personally would love to see congressional hearings that haul the main deniers up and expose them, first by hitting them with their own contradictions, secondly by exposing their funding and motivation, and lastly by exposing their incredibly weak position. I’d love to see Inhofe crash and burn trying to stand with them. He’ll make a great 21st century McCarthy. But again, none of that can happen until (1) the economy is strong enough for people to feel some breathing room and (2) for the Democrats to feel secure enough to make an issue of it. Comment by Bob — 17 Apr 2010 @ 2:36 PM 310. Apparently Judith Curry has completed her transition to the Dark Side. Interesting. In my opinion, there needs to be a new independent effort to produce a global historical surface temperature dataset that is transparent and that includes expertise in statistics and computational science. And apparently she’s unaware of the half dozen or so efforts, some spun out from the bowels of denialism, including an effort by the statistician known as RomanM, and a variety of software engineering experts, have been doing just that? And each of these efforts come up with essentially the same conclusion, despite using different analysis techniques? No matter how many people slice and dice this data, whether they begin from accepting the denialist view as being at least possibly viable (beginning with JohnV back in the early days of Watts surface stations project), tend to accept climate science and are just interested in helping improve tools (Clear Climate Code project), the answer’s the same. No credible analysis exists that refutes what nature tells us: it is warming. Comment by dhogaza — 17 Apr 2010 @ 2:38 PM 311. I just followed ZZT’s post and went over to read the thread. Later, among other things, Curry posted this: So I still don’t think that misconduct has occurred, rather we are seeing possibly “bad” science and suppression/nonpublication of data. Both are very undesirable particularly with regards to high impact and policy relevant science. She says some other things that will be very, very easy for deniers to cut and paste out of context, particularly amidst what ZZT already posted. I’ve seen a number of statements by scientists that she’s one of the “good guys,” but all I’ve seen of her is shooting climate science in the head (not the foot, the head) by supporting false denier positions. It’s like she fell for the Overton Window, and thinks she’s being balanced by supporting the denier’s middle of the road (which is, in fact several long steps beyond the gutter). What’s her deal? Why does she believe the nonsense? Hasn’t she taken the time to actually read the e-mail trails, and get the facts? Comment by Bob — 17 Apr 2010 @ 2:50 PM 312. What’s her deal? Why does she believe the nonsense? Hasn’t she taken the time to actually read the e-mail trails, and get the facts? The comment left at Bishop Hill was left by someone whose profile there reads: “Comment left by ‘Judith Curry’ This item was posted by an anonymous author, meaning that he or she does not have a personal account with this website.” So it’s possible it’s not really her. However, given some of the things she’s written elsewhere in the last several months, it’s certainly possible it *is* her. Comment by dhogaza — 17 Apr 2010 @ 3:13 PM 313. Bob @311 Judith believes climate science is settled and AGW has won. She wants climate scientists to stop calling each other names and worse. This is overly idealistic but she does try to teach climate science. Her students are enough turned off by all the nastiness that they switch majors out of the field. Real Climate’s message to her seems to be “deal with it”. Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 3:15 PM 314. Unfortunately, the debate between science and anti-science is bound to be nasty–and if your field is at the front lines of that debate, you are bound to experience that nastiness. The problem is that science deals in multiple lines of redundant evidence–never relying on just one analysis or one dataset for a result that is important. Anti-science does not–indeed cannnot–deal in evidence. When their strategy of chipping at tiny pieces of evidence fails to bring down the mountain of evidence as a whole, they inevitably focus on the softer targets–the scientists. Even here they fail. They may manage to ruin a few lives or even disgrace the work of a few scientists–but again the redundancy fills in any chink. Ultimately, they wind up in tinfoil-hat land, blathering about conspiracies between scientists and politicians or governments. It’s a special type of crazy. As to Judith Curry, she seems to be sufficiently naive to think that anti-science can be persuaded by evidence. If the posting on Bishop Hill is an imposter, then perhaps this will cure her of that naivity. If is really is her, perhaps we should pitch in and send her a broom so that she can clean up the ashes of her credibility. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Apr 2010 @ 3:47 PM 315. Steve in Dublin@300 I am unhappy with some of the semantics around the climate science blogs. I consider myself a research scientist and a “skeptic”. That’s how we were taught and how we work. I was much more skeptical when I started to learn about CS here on RC so some change is possible even for me, given the right tools. I rarely admit to being a “skeptic” because that term has become a pejorative label on RC. That said, I am pragmatic and you are more right than wrong in your post@300. I emphatically agree with Gavin’s note@298. He criticizes the cavil actions of some individual “scientist”s’ unethical, scurrilous and despicable behavior. He calls them contrarians, a little less pejorative than deniers and, being a trained scientist, does not (mis?)use the term skeptic. So I’ll go with the flow and accept your terminology for now, on this blog, but I don’t like it. Actually, I don’t believe in labeling individuals at all. Describe their actions or the actions, positions or policies of their organizations but don’t label the individual with the group’s behavior. Labels are a slippery slope on the way to Joe McCarthy but then that’s a story for another day. Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 3:51 PM 316. Ray Lanbury@314 Ray, why are you so angry? Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:00 PM 317. I just read Judith Curry On the Credibility of Climate Research, and I’m appalled by her position, and her comments, and particularly by her characterizations of McIntyre, Watts, skeptics, and history. I feel like I just tumbled through a looking glass, and the Red Queen is shouting “off with their thermometers.” Comment by Bob — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:02 PM 318. Gerry Quinn (#195) I don’t think “private intellectual property rights” are patent law in this instance: I think he was talking about the right to hold intellectual property secret (which also has some legal protection.) As you point out, this is in a way the antithesis of patenting. I could be wrong, but that’s how I read it. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:03 PM 319. Having known contrarians, the denialists are not contrarians. Contrarians adopt a contrary position no matter what. It’s amusing to talk with one of them once you have identified the species. The game is to figure out the minimum number of moves needed to get them to contradict the position they started out with. Comment by Eli Rabett — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:20 PM 320. Democrats have had a majority of both houses of Congress for four years, and a trifecta with the Obama administration, including a super majority. Blaming Republicans seems a bit specious. Short memories seem to prevail here. The EPA and cap-and-trade were both Republican initiaties. But if y’all want to make climate change mitigation purely partisan, we can roll with that. Nothing will get done and every initiative will be reversed with the eventual change of party control. Sums up the debate in a nutshell. Advocates seem less interested in solutions and more interested in keeping their political party in power. So much for science. Comment by Frank Giger — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:27 PM 321. All in all, it sounds like just about any lab in the US and probably, from my understanding of such things, anywhere else in the world. Labs are almost always somewhat disorganized, understaffed, and overworked. I know ours is (and we’re not climate scientists, we’re biologists). But, come on, no scientific paper is ever perfect nor is that even possible. There are always more experiments to be done or different approaches to be taken but at some point you have to publish the darned thing, if only just to get on to doing the next set of experiments and or approaches. Comment by Steve — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:28 PM 322. Steve in Dublin (#305), keep in mind I’m not pushing these things, although I admit to finding them intriguing. But–the story does claim “minimal” energy use in operation; and that was the whole point of Lackner’s idea. And remember, they are neither intended to be a complete solution, and the cost is meant to drop by half. Right now, they’re piloting, trying to create a business model that will have the technology ready to go when the market for sequestration develops. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:31 PM 323. #285 I’m really disturbed by the whole “enemies of science” line. It implies that anyone that is questioning of a study or findings is an enemy. The fact that you are disturbed doesn’t make it wrong and your second sentence is a straw man argument which is not implied by the first. There is a good example above from thermodynamics. Here is the another comment: It is perfectly clear that the recent “argument” has gone well beyond honest questioning and is now being led by people who do not hide their hatred of climate researchers. The misrepresentation,harassment and bullying of people like Phil Jones and the others is hardly an example of scientific debate with its attendant questioning and controversy. Have you come across Morano, Inhofe and Delingpole? This has gone even further than it did with earlier campaigns by the pro-tobacco, pro CFC lobbies (often the same people but in slightly less angry mode). The warnings are there in history. Please see Corrupted science: by John Grant. The anti-scientific campaigns triumphed in both the USSR and Nazi Germany and in both cases helped to bring down the regimes concerned. In our countries we have checks and balances, we still have, for example, the National Academies, but the lesson from history is that not all people like the scientific method and would like to return to something else if they get the chance. For more on questioning please see: The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney and (more up to date) Climate Cover-Up by James Hoggan For bad statistical behaviour read the new book by Grant Foster looks most promising. Not long to wait for another book about the ‘questioning’ by Naomi Oreskes. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:33 PM 324. John Peter 17th April 2010 @3:51 PM “Labels are a slippery slope to Joe McCarthy…” Surely the “slippery slope to Joe McCarthy” is to hound, harrass, and make false accusations against a group of individuals (scientists), denounce them even from government office (Inhofe, Morano), and flood the internet with misrepresentation constructed from “think tanks” and other dubious sources with a vested interest in misinforming the electorate, induce ill-informed bullies to harass the scientists by phone, email and scurrilous FOI requests, sucker supposedly well-informed journalists into a narrative of anti-science humbug… …the analogies are starker than you think. Comment by chris — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:40 PM 325. RE: 313 “She wants climate scientists to stop calling each other names and worse.” John, can you identify which “climate scientists” call one another names? Objectively, it appears that there are true climate scientists doing their job, and a loose group of “not climate scientists” throwing unjustified rocks at them. Personally, I object strongly to using the term “climate scientist” to describe people who are not practising in the field, and that includes meteorologists. As to the passage above attributed to Curry, the author’s hovercraft is full of eels as far as I’m concerned. +++++ On the volcano eruption and the concept that thinning icecaps in other places might stimulate volcanic activity, I wish I were a sci-fi writer. It’d be a cool story to write that AGW melted the thick caps, unleashing volcanic activity that, through a twist unique to scifi, blocks access to oil and gas reserves. I’d need a scifi twist to dispel the notion that it might frack the other way and open new access, but seeing the rubbish trucks haul past the anti-science spew daily puts me in a bad-fracking mood. (I rather expect to see NASA’s report of the sun’s recent eruption to be tortured into a justification for the observed warming, which, of course, ‘isn’t happening anyway.’) Comment by ghost — 17 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 PM 326. > John Peter says: 17 April 2010 at 3:15 PM > … > Judith believes climate science is settled and AGW has won. … You have perhaps some reason to believe she believes this? A cite to a source? Someone you trust who told you this is true? Your own research into what she believes? Have you bothered looking at what she actually says? Know how to find her home page? Google her name plus “website” and you’ll find it. http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html “… No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.” Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 PM 327. John Peter@316, I am sorry if my post in 314 came across as angry. I am certainly disappointed and bemused by the drift in position of Dr. Curry. The fact of the matter is that the consensus theory of Earth’s climate is the only position that is consistent with the evidence. It is an unfortunate corollary of that theory that dumping CO2 into the atmosphere must warm the climate by somewhere between 2 and 4.5 degrees C per doubling. Those who contend otherwise are either a)ignoring, b)rejecting or c)denying massive bodies of evidence. I simply do not see how science can compromise with such people. They are necessarily taking an anti-science position every bit as much as creationists, anti-vaxxers and Moon-Landing Hoaxers. Moreover, since they refuse to consider the evidence, it is impossible to hold a scientific discussion with these people. Any attempt to do so will break down into recrimination and character assassination. Ultimately, our society will have to choose between science and anti-science. There can be no compromise between the two. Certain scientists need to learn that. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Apr 2010 @ 5:25 PM 328. PS, that’s the same article reprinted at Earthzine. The one comment there is interesting: “Bente Lilja Bye, April 14th, 2010 at 8:57 am First of all I completely agree with you when you say that uncertainty can and must be included in our communication of climate science. I am convinced that this will gain trust and credibility. However, I am disappointed about the silence and misrepresentation of fact when it comes to sharing data – one of the topics in Climategate. As was for the first time finally publicly mentioned (by someone other than me, but the second evaluation report led by Lord Oxburgh http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8618024.stm ), it is not up to CRU (Climate Research Unit at East Anglia) to share data collected by others. It is first and foremost a political decision made by governments and not scientists. In fact, CRU had published all data that were open for them to share on their website. As a former Director of European Sea Level Service, I know that sharing climate data is not straight forward – and so I made a video shedding some light on the issues connected to climate and other earth observation data. http://astrocast.tv/blog/?p=2787 Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Apr 2010 @ 5:37 PM 329. ghost@325 “She wants climate scientists to stop calling each other names and worse.” John, can you identify which “climate scientists” call one another names? Objectively, it appears that there are true climate scientists doing their job, and a loose group of “not climate scientists” throwing unjustified rocks at them. Personally, I object strongly to using the term “climate scientist” to describe people who are not practising in the field, and that includes meteorologists. As to the passage above attributed to Curry, the author’s hovercraft is full of eels as far as I’m concerned. Take a look here http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/currydoc/Curry_BAMS87.pdf and then in a mirror Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 6:40 PM 330. Frank Giger, I don’t think it is fair to blame the scientists for turning this whole issue into a political firestorm. Actually, I and some others have praised Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain when they have tried to find a way forward to take the threat of climate change seriously. However, the unfortunate fact remains that when it comes to trying to motivate and educate the public, the political right has AWOL, leaving the political stage to Al Gore. And when some of the more Antediluvian elements on the right have called for prosecution if not persecution of scientists, more moderate elements have not restrained or denounced them. It has now reached the point where I would be very concerned for the future of science and scientists under a new Republican administration. Look, there are idjits on both sides. I and others here have tried to restrain those calling for prosecution of lobbyists who lie about the science. I’ve even actively sough out solutions from those who oppose a larger government role in tackling this problem. I’m not feeling much love, though from the right side of the aisle. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:07 PM 331. #320–“But if y’all want to make climate change mitigation purely partisan, we can roll with that.” Nonsense, Frank. The Republican party has drifted into anti-science mode to a dismaying degree, and that is not the Democrats’ fault; it’s a product–as far as I can tell–of Republican pandering to extreme elements such as the “ditto-heads,” and embracing elements of the religious right for whom denialism of scientific theory arises out of Biblical literalism. It was telling that George W. Bush tried as much as he possibly could to play down his Ivy League education. It is this that has led the GOP–or dismayingly large numbers among its membership, anyway–to walk away from achievements such as the Montreal protocol, signed, if memory serves by G.H.W. Bush. Of course, there are honorable exceptions to this (though not, unfortunately, my congressmen, with whom I’ve corresponded on the topic.) John McCain is one; another would be Lindsay Graham (and there are still more.) As far as what I want is concerned, I want a debate that’s *less* partisan; it’d be more efficacious, less frustrating, and after all, we all do breathe the same air. That’s why I engage folks as I can, including the aforesaid congressmen. But the dynamic that’s developed is self-sustaining to a degree. The reality of continued warming is going to have to do part of the convincing, I’m afraid. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:23 PM 332. Hank Roberts@326 I couldn’t get your link to work – first time that ever happened to me with one of your links. I couldn’t find the RC topic a couple of months back where she actually used the word “war” (I think I remember) She states this opinion (my emphasis) in a much more politically correct manner in part of her (in)famous multi posted trust memo: (http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html) “…In 2006 and 2007, things changed as a result of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” plus the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, and global warming became a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut. The reason that the IPCC 4th Assessment Report was so influential is that people trusted the process the IPCC described: participation of a thousand scientists from 100 different countries, who worked for several years to produce 3000 pages with thousands of peer reviewed scientific references, with extensive peer review. Further, the process was undertaken with the participation of policy makers under the watchful eyes of advocacy groups with a broad range of conflicting interests. As a result of the IPCC influence, scientific skepticism by academic researchers became vastly diminished and it became easier to embellish the IPCC findings rather than to buck the juggernaut. Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre. The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil…” OK if you can find the RC topic from a couple of months back – Santer blasted with both six guns and Judith said she’d never post on RC again Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 7:42 PM 333. Frank Giger, Advocates seem less interested in solutions and more interested in keeping their political party in power. So much for science. That’s a cop out. Easy to say, but utterly without foundation. The EPA and cap-and-trade were both Republican initiatives. No matter who’s idea it was, the leadership by the Bush administration for eight years was stall and ignore and suppress, and the signal from Replublicans for the past two years has been “no, no, and more no.” I have not even seen a “take climate change seriously” comment from the Republican side, let alone leadership. It’s not about the parties or the other issues. It’s about the fact that at this point in time, the Republican party seems utterly beholden to the fossil fuel industry, so while they are in power nothing short of an over night 10C jump in temperature will get them to move. As far as this bit: Democrats have had a majority of both houses of Congress for four years, and a trifecta with the Obama administration, including a super majority. That’s silly. A majority in both houses with Bush in the oval office was useless, especially in that climate. Everyone was stalemated. After the election, the Democrats had their hands full with the bail out, the economy, Afghanistan, health care, and a thoroughly obstructionist opposing party, combined with a need to not be perceived to do what the Republicans did with their own trifecta, which was to pretty much do everything except move the Capitol Building overnight without telling the Democrats where and when. Now is when the Democrats finally seem to have a chance to move on climate, but they can’t do so because the denialist movement has made it politically dangerous, so they really can’t move on it until after the mid-term elections. Comment by Bob — 17 Apr 2010 @ 8:09 PM 334. Ray@327 You’re right but energy balance makes GW very simple for a physicist. The globe is getting a little warmer. It was already radiating 33 degrees Kelvin too much. The UV in from the sun is the same. There is a lot more CO2 around. All measured, no models. No physicist (I know of) can explain those factual observations any way other than GHG. So you don’t even need a climate scientist, but should you encounter one s/he will give you several dozen more facts. So what’s to deny??? Stay cool Comment by John Peter — 17 Apr 2010 @ 8:12 PM 335. Re: 329, 332– John I’ve seen that article, but I don’t think a spat 5 years ago supports your claim that climate scientists ‘call each other names’ now, at least beyond the background level normal for technology fields. If it is but one of dozens of ongoing incidents, then I consider my question answered, and I shan’t pursue it further. It probably is beside the point that the hurricane intensity issue comes close to being weather, or at least in the intersection of climate and weather. Reading her more recent work, I wonder if she has fallen victim to that which she jointly criticized, though. That passage you quoted for Hank contains its own fallacy–that only big oil funded climate change FUD (perhaps that is dealt with elsewhere in the original). The salient point is that entities substituted for and/or augmented the activities that public big oil formerly conducted. People with whom I have discussed the matter may have used ‘big oil’ as a general term, but they well understood it to mean ‘carbon interests,’ whether that meant coal companies, utilities, oil-producing nation-states, or their activist organizations. The passage could be read to suggest that allegedly formerly complacent academic researchers now are not; they don’t appear to be rebutting the tragic existing research yet, though. Perhaps she addresses it elsewhere, but one can hardly overlook the role that the Bush administration’s government-wide gag order played in the rise of “skepticism.” That certainly accomplished something that no private organization could do, at least in the U.S. Among other things, the disbelief machine appears bent on selling the IPCC’s best case scenario as the worst case, ignoring or eliminating the real worst case. Cherry-picking from your quoted passage, I probably agree with the phrase “global warming became a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut,” but because of the body of physics and ecology evidence, not because of AIT or IPCC. As an aside, one anecdotal thing I’ve noticed among my peers is that the “contrarians” among them appear to be tiring of denial-hoax overload. Repetition of the same unsupported attack points coupled with the year-over-year absence of true rebuttal of the body of literature supporting the AGW hypothesis appears to be wearing on these people. They also had/have a ho-hum reaction to the CRU email thing, being quite familiar with how easy it is to be embarrassed by e-messages they have written. Maybe it matters; maybe it doesn’t. Comment by ghost — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:48 PM 336. ~295 John: to sending “Walter Manny (among others) into a tizzy”, that’s not the characterization I would have chosen for myself, but fair enough, and let’s face it: “tizzy” is a great word. My point, which I grant is a tiresome one relative to the discussion of the actual science, is that name-calling gets in the way of understanding, or at least I think it does. An error in focus, if you will. The Moncktons and Gores of the world should be ignored rather than vilified on a site purporting to be about climate science. Comment by Walter Manny — 17 Apr 2010 @ 9:52 PM 337. University told to hand over tree ring data Queen’s University in Belfast has been told by the Information Commissioner to hand over 40 years of research data on tree rings, used for climate research. Douglas Keenan, from London, had asked for the information in 2007 under the Freedom of Information Act. … The university claimed that as the information was unfinished, had intellectual property rights and was commercially confidential information, it did not have to pass it on. After a series of counter claims from Mr Keenan and the intervention of the Information Commissioner, Queen’s have now been told that they could be in contempt of court if they do not hand the data over. Comment by Jim Galasyn — 17 Apr 2010 @ 10:35 PM 338. The problem, IMHO, is a lack of good faith negotiations – which both sides are guilty of. But as we saw in health care, bipartisan negotiations means Republicans getting a chance on voting for the bill once it hits the floor (according to the Congresswoman Pelosi, who actually said that). The other problem is the overblown rhetoric on the part of advocates for and against AGW efforts. For ever flat earther with his fingers in his ears shouting “la la la, I can’t hear you,” there’s another with an out of context photo of a polar bear and outrageous claims about what is to blame on AGW. For all the complaining about denialist groups, not much is mentioned about the damage advocacy groups do to the scientist’s credibility. Twisting the words of scientists is hardly a one sided affair – and it happens as much as it does on the “anti” side. Comment by Frank Giger — 17 Apr 2010 @ 10:59 PM 339. Having read http://www.earthzine.org/2010/03/22/judith-curry-on-the-credibility-of-climate-research/ If I were a young person looking for graduate education in climate science, I would NOT choose Georgia Tech. I think I would choose a university where RC people teach. Judy Curry’s idea of separating the research into segments done by different people would require more people to work on one project. That seems an unlikely luxury. Why did we not hear about “extratropical cyclone named Xynthia that brought hurricane-force winds and high waves to Western Europe at the end of February 2010″? It was in the URL above and on http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=42881 and http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/01/europe.storms/index.html A storm like Xynthia should have made MSM headlines for being extremely unusual and a possible product of AGW. It could be that the news was withheld BECAUSE it might have been attributed to AGW. The North Atlantic is a COLD and stormy place, generally not hospitable to tropical type storms, especially in February. Could we have an RC article on Xynthia please? Was Xynthia NOT a hurricane? Comment by Edward Greisch — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:57 AM 340. In the article linked to by John Peter @ 332, Judith Curry writes: …But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre. The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil. Afraid she didn’t do enough digging there. McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (an Ontario economist who helped McIntyre to launch his 2003 campaign against the hockey stick) are both backed by the George C. Marshall institute, a right-wing ‘think tank’ funded by Exxon. McKitrick also has ties with the Fraser Institute and Heartland Institute think tanks. Sources: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/ Climate Cover-Up by James Hoggan, pp. 109, 112 And there is an in-depth analysis of the whole hockey stick smear campaign here: http://deepclimate.org/2010/02/04/steve-mcintyre-and-ross-mckitrick-part-1-in-the-beginning/ Big oil (and coal!) have their dirty little fingerprints all over this stuff. It’s just pretty well hidden (indirectly funded through think tanks), as you would expect it to be. Comment by Steve in Dublin — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:32 AM 341. Frank Giger (298): @ dhogaza (291), who writes that engineering isn’t science: Hahahahaha! Somebody tell the guys at NASA that they’re working a Liberal Arts project. BPL: dhogaza is dead right. Engineers build things. Scientists investigate nature. They are both valid jobs, but they are NOT the same job. There are far too many engineers who think they’re scientists, and almost without exception, think they’re better at it than real scientists–and as a result, embrace pseudoscience. A disproportionate fraction of engineers comprise the supporters of creationism (think Henry Morris), Velikovskian astronomy, alien presence in archaeology and history, and global warming denial (e.g. Robert Essenhigh). Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:45 AM 342. Frank Giger at 320, In case you haven’t noticed, the GOP is the political arm of big business in the USA. The fossil fuel industry desperately wants to shut up scientists talking about AGW, and the Republicans are their boys. Acceptance of AGW is less than half among Republicans than it is among Democrats, according to polls, and that isn’t a coincidence. Fox News, which is operated by former GOP strategist Roger Ailes, disseminates a constant stream of anti-AGW propaganda through its assorted TV stars–Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck, etc. They often bring up the same talking points on the same day. The GOP has turned very hard right since the 1970s, because it has essentially been hijacked by far-right advocates. It is no longer the party of Gerry Ford, or even the party of Dick Nixon. Nixon created the EPA; the modern GOP would like to see it dismantled. The old GOP accepted social security and medicare; the new GOP would like to see both “privatized.” The old GOP rejected outright racism; the new GOP flirts with neo-Conservatives and right-wing militias and uses Mexican immigration as a subject to attract white votes in California and Texas. It IS a partisan issue. It’s not like the UK where both the Conservatives and Labor take AGW seriously. I wish it weren’t, but unfortunately, that’s the fact at the moment. To vote GOP is to vote against doing anything about AGW. Period. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:02 AM 343. #325 It appears that alarmist computer modelers with their uncertain science, precautionary principles and anti-capitalist agenda are winning. Each day, European air lines consult the various forecasting authorities to predict the likely movement of the volcanic ash cloud and announce their decisions to ground most of their air-fleets. How is it that they have come to rely on computer modelers to help them with these decisions? Even worse, the behaviour of jet engines outside the main plume of a volcanic eruption is not yet fully predictable.* It would be better to experiment with the crews and passengers. This is outrageous. If it goes on my local supermarket will run out of my favourite Kenyan green beans. ———————- * Some projections include a permanent reduction in efficiency which would further increase the emissions of CO2 from aviation. ——— (Sorry it is a bit late in the month) Comment by Geoff Wexler — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:05 AM 344. If I were a young person looking for graduate education in climate science, I would NOT choose Georgia Tech. I think I would choose a university where RC people teach. Judy Curry’s idea of separating the research into segments done by different people would require more people to work on one project. That seems an unlikely luxury If I were a young person interested in climate researcher, I don’t think I’d want someone who takes Anthony Watts or Steve McIntyre seriously as a researcher as a thesis advisor. Just sayin’ Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:26 AM 345. A variation of my previous comment was given on the radio just now, but unlike mine, it was intended to be interpreted literally. So once again , but directly this time: Big business is the first to rely on computer models, in this case for short term weather forecasting, when its livelihood depends on getting it right. Perhaps that is also why it has used the precautionary principle,over the volcanic problem , so far. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:29 AM 346. Somehow this slipped through the cracks last night John Peter says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. 17 April 2010 at 8:12 PM Ray@327 You’re right but energy balance makes GW very simple for a physicist. The globe is getting a little warmer. It was already radiating 33 degrees Kelvin too much. The UV in from the sun is the same. There is a lot more CO2 around. All measured, no models. No physicist (I know of) can explain those factual observations any way other than GHG. So you don’t even need a climate scientist, but should you encounter one s/he will give you several dozen more facts. So what’s to deny??? Stay cool Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:58 AM 347. Hank Roberts @304 Over the last few years, top MIT grads accepted the high starting salaries and huge potential bonuses to work on Wall Street as quants. Using their considerable mathematical skills to trade complex financial instrumentals like MBS and CDS, these neo-millionaires (neo-billionaires?) are still there doing their thing. No one, including the quants own management, has a clue about how they do what they do, it’s just that they make beaucoup bucks for the firm. Oh, and BTW, MBS and CDS are probably one of our best exports – financial services are 10%+ of US GDP. Go ahead, regulate. (SEC is just now suing Goldman Sachs to get some$$ back.) Hank, you’re forgetting the golden rule Them that has the gold, make the rules Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:26 AM 348. Frank Giger @336, I doubt you will find a scientist anywhere who applauds the fact that science has become a political football. Science and politics play by different rules. Politics requires compromise to work well (indeed, that’s one reason why politics isn’t working too well in the US). Science cannot compromise–it must cleave to what the evidence says is the truth. Frankly, all of the political emphasis on the science is hindering political attempts to come up with a solution based on the science. That absolutely has to be a political process. I am utterly agnostic when it comes to cap and trade, carbon taxes, etc. I think that either could be implemented effectively or catastrophically. However, it is difficult to come up with a solution based on science when your potential partners across the aisle start by rejecting the science. It shoves science into the political combat zone and it forces the rejectionists into an anti-reality position. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:29 AM 349. Re Kevin McKinney #318: The OP says “Nevertheless, there is zero transparency – because private interests control the patents to the technology.” From that it seems clear he is implying that these patents themselves are somehow secret, which is nonsense. Comment by Gerry Quinn — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:33 AM 350. Gavin note on 297 Please forgive me but an tsunami of baseless accusations is exactly the environment more baseless accusations. The objective of such political accusations is to damage the public credibility of the targets. By the time such a target recovers, the objective has been achieved. Sadly, re-establishing creditability to previous levels after such an attack is rarely, if ever, achieved. Think Joe McCarthy. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:48 AM 351. John Peter, I am not saying that climate science or even climate change is simple. I’m saying that if you look at all of the evidence, it is simply an inescapable conclusion–and since science requires us to look at all the evidence, the rejectionists (more acceptable than denialists?) are of necessity anti-science. Scientists can no more treat with them than they can with creationists or moon-landing hoaxers. The reason for this has nothing to do with the “purity” of science. Rather it has to do with the inevitable tendency of anti-science wingnuts to turn every reasoned, evidence-based argument into a personal attack on the credibility of scientists and of science in general. Science works. It has proved its mettle. Those who reject its methodology are trying to become arbiters of truth based on an entirely unproven and indeed ad hoc mothodology. And that we as scientists must not allow. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:49 AM 352. Bob @309 Rupert Murdock owns Fox and much, much more. You’re right, tey don’t need any money Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:54 AM 353. > John Peter > Quants Sorry, they fooled you (and the financial markets) by lying, not by being smarter: http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N18/dubai.html “… I assumed BCG would train me, and that as it had been with MIT, intelligence and hard work would prove sufficient. Still, I wondered what I would do if for some reason it turned out that I couldn’t get my head around the analysis? In hindsight, analytical skills should have been the least of my worries….” Your ‘Golden Rule’ is pure libertarianism, isn’t it? If so, why bother. Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:05 AM 354. dhogaza @310 Judith believes in GW, all scientist’s must, the evidence is too strong. Judith is a bona fide academic climate scientist, believes the public has accepted AGW, is concerned by erosion of IPCC creditability with the public, and is pushing transparency as a solution. The public is fighting for the opportunity to invest in “green” projects and suspects IPCC of being another UN operation, tainted by corruption. I agree with Judith about the importance of reliable transparent data. I agree with you that we don’t know how to do that. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:24 AM 355. The Democratic partisans here are in denial. Bob wrote: “Now is when the Democrats finally seem to have a chance to move on climate, but they can’t do so because the denialist movement has made it politically dangerous, so they really can’t move on it until after the mid-term elections.” How is the “denialist movement” stopping the Dems from doing whatever they like? What part of the US constitution entitles them to anything other than whining? It’s not only Fox and the other pro-Republican organizations which are pushing this “movement”. CNN lies too, as it did about Iraqi WMDs and any number of unrelatd issues. Go to opensecrets.org and look up who finances Dems such as Baucus. Didn’t Obama just open the US Atlantic coast for drilling? Climate inaction is evidently a bipartisan policy. BPL says that the Tories take climate change seriously in the UK. But what have they (or Labour for that matter) done about it? Did they invade Irak to make sure the oil stays in the ground? Saudi Arabia supports denialism and yet it did more to curb CO2 emissions than any of these political parties. It’s about power and money, not science. Comment by Anonymous Coward — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:28 AM 356. Bob@311 Judith is looking at the politics, not the scientific facts. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:29 AM 357. BPL, C’mon! How is it that engineers build things that work if they embrace pseudoscience? Comment by Rod B — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:36 AM 358. BPL, ps: though that hyperbole pales in comparison with your next stereotype post…. Comment by Rod B — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:41 AM 359. #341 BPL – Engineers build things. Scientists investigate nature. Now come on, you can’t really believe this can you? Are all scientists sitting in a library doing Hilbert Transforms while all engineers are building bridges? Where do JJ Thomson & Ernest Rutherford fit into this worldview? These types of silly statements are made often on climate websites on either side of the bruhaha & they make all hard-core advocates on either side look like bumpkins. BPL you are too smart to say things like this, please take better care of your credibility. Comment by Matt Bulger — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:13 AM 360. BPL, C’mon! How is it that engineers build things that work if they embrace pseudoscience? By embracing pseudoscience outside their field. For example, rejecting evolutionary biology in favor of pseudoscientific intelligent design creationism doesn’t impact an engineer’s ability to build a bridge or design a microprocessor. Ditto a belief in astrology, GCR-driven climate change, etc. Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:18 AM 361. BPL, C’mon! How is it that engineers build things that work if they embrace pseudoscience? Why don’t you go to Texas or Louisiana and ask some creationist civil and petroleum engineers that question? Comment by caerbannog — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:19 AM 362. caerbannog asks: Why don’t you go to Texas or Louisiana and ask some creationist civil and petroleum engineers that question? I worked at Boeing Commercial for a number of years, and I was surprised to find a couple of excellent aeronautics engineers who were also creationists. It’s a weird disconnect. Comment by Jim Galasyn — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:24 AM 363. Rod B., It does your credibility no good to distort what BPL said. Science and engineering are distinct. I would be no more inclined to fly in an airplane designed and built by scientists than I would to believe a theory constructed by engineers working outside their discipline. There are certainly plenty of engineers who understand science. There are plenty of scientists who work in applied fields and do engineering (myself included). The problems arise when someone with technical training (note that I do not say “education,” which connotes broad understanding) thinks that they can apply the tools of their trade well outside of their expertise WITHOUT going to extraordinary effort to learn the subject matter. Intelligence does not preclude being a fool–it merely makes one a more ingenious and innovative fool. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 AM 364. Ray@351 I agree that an attack on all scientists or science would be ill advised.I just don’t see how anyone can deny simple thermodynamics, we’ve been engineering using it for decades. My proposal is to debate folk like Monckton with my simple logic. He can’t deflect it and even the great majority will see it. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:50 AM 365. Chris@324 I agree – right on!!! Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 12:38 PM 366. ghost@335 (313) You say: “…As an aside, one anecdotal thing I’ve noticed among my peers is that the “contrarians” among them appear to be tiring of denial-hoax overload. Repetition of the same unsupported attack points coupled with the year-over-year absence of true rebuttal of the body of literature supporting the AGW hypothesis appears to be wearing on these people. They also had/have a ho-hum reaction to the CRU email thing, being quite familiar with how easy it is to be embarrassed by e-messages they have written. Maybe it matters; maybe it doesn’t.” Your more moderate statement above seems me to be just what Judith means when she opines “…In 2006 and 2007, things changed as a result of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” plus the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, and global warming became a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut. The reason that the IPCC 4th Assessment Report was so influential is that people trusted the process the IPCC described: participation of a thousand scientists from 100 different countries, who worked for several years to produce 3000 pages with thousands of peer reviewed scientific references, with extensive peer review. Further, the process was undertaken with the participation of policy makers under the watchful eyes of advocacy groups with a broad range of conflicting interests. As a result of the IPCC influence, scientific skepticism by academic researchers became vastly diminished and it became easier to embellish the IPCC findings rather than to buck the juggernaut. Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre. The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil Do you still believe that …the author’s hovercraft is full of eels as far as I’m concerned…. ? Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 12:58 PM 367. John Peter, Unfortunately, it does not work to engage anti-science in debate–we’ve seen that repeatedly wrt creationists and biologists. The problem is that scientists have to stick to the evidence and present it with all its qualifications and ambiguities or they aren’t doing science. The anti-science types are free to play Calvin-ball. The starkest example of this was when Richard Lindzen used his concluding remarks in a debate to bring up the canard of “warming” on Mars, Jupiter, Titan and other planets and moons. Now Lindzen is way to smart a guy not to realize that what goes on on these bodies is utterly distinct from what goes on in the inner solar system! I was shocked! It was right then that Lindzen stopped being a scientist in my view. The thing is that there is much more to science than “logic”. There is empirical evidence and the methodologies for interpreting it–in other words, expertise. If laymen are to be the judges of who wins the debate, then they have to understand the subject matter sufficiently to do so, and that is a very tough order. No. Scientific debate takes place in journals and conferences–and here the rejectionists have had nothing substantive to say for decades. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Apr 2010 @ 1:13 PM 368. BPL@342 I thought BB supported BO in 2008. AIBTB. 8^) Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 1:20 PM 369. dhogaza @344 I thought Judith said “auditor”, not “researcher”. My thesis adviser insisted I not make mistakes in cojtent (or even spelling) ;>) Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 1:26 PM 370. Geoff Wexler@345 That’s exactly what Judith was trying to tell us. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 1:29 PM 371. Hank Roberts@353 Lying or telling the truth, quants follow the golden rule Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 1:37 PM 372. #351 Ray “I’m saying that if you look at all of the evidence, it is simply an inescapable conclusion–and since science requires us to look at all the evidence, the rejectionists (more acceptable than denialists?) are of necessity anti-science” Not so Ray. I think many sceptics are simply disagreeing with the interpretation of the science. CO2 doubling results in about 2-4deg warming, unarguably. Accepted, but only assuming a large net positive feedback from the (?enhancing) effects of water vapour etc. Ray, you scientists haven’t nearly sorted out the true effect of clouds yet, let alone a myriad of other chaotic effects. Who knows what the resulting feedback really is? In terms of real evidence, all the public sees is global temperature on a plateau for the last decade while CO2 emissions accelerate. Might not this recent (admittedly short-term) “experiment” be expected to start giving a reasonable person some pause? Comment by simon abingdon — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:21 PM 373. To Ray’s: “The debate between science and anti-science” “It was right then that Lindzen stopped being a scientist in my view” To reduce affairs to these sort of simplistic, black-and-white phrases is to try to define the debate into a dunk shot. There is no doubting the sincerity of such views, and how comforting to think it’s so blisteringly obvious that only a fool could see things otherwise (or in Lindzen’s case, a smart liar). But there are, in fact, scientists who disagree with each other in this field, and Lindzen is a bona fide, published scientist. What non-scientists here want to make of Lindzen is their choice, but he represents contrary science, not anti-science. Comment by Walter Manny — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:28 PM 374. Re #366: This passage from Judy contains several large eels: ‘Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre. The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil…’ Big oil funding for deniers did not dry up at all. ExxonMobil did shift much of its funding from specific think tank denial projects to general funding, with a net functional difference of precisely zero. See also some of the recent light cast on Koch family funding. Social scientists who actually study the media, e.g. Max Boykoff, disagree strongly that they ever “supported the consensus.” The only thing new about McIntyre was his use of the term “auditing” to describe his activities of picking out what he thinks are weak points in climate science and then arguing for much broader implications of the flaws he claims to have found. I rather doubt that’s the approach taken in the business world. If Judy is such a big believer in auditing, she ought to ask to see an audit of McIntyre’s finances before taking his word that he doesn’t receive any funding from big oil et al. For a scientist, she seems to like to jump to a lot of unsupported conclusions and take rather a lot on faith. Comment by Steve Bloom — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:31 PM 375. Ray @367 One more try: Climatologists, should they debate with X before the general public, should KISS. That’s what Lindzen did which so frustrated Hansen before Congress. Lindzen, with few facts, won even though Jim had many, many more facts. My solution is to use Ram’s zero dimensional model instead of Trenberth’s more complete, more complex one dimensional version. Both work, but Trenberth’s is more difficult – number one and has more easily attacked features, e.g. clouds – number two. Lindzen or any people savey jerk will tear you apart. Ram’s zero dimensional model is simple and has only three dependencies: 1) Conservation of energy. All of the thousands of goodies that the audience uses were designed over the past century or so by engineers using this first law of thermodynamics. 2) Boltzman’s radiation law. Undeniable. Solved thousands of astronomical science “problems” and many earthly device designs over the last couple of centuries. 3) CO2, we’re wallowing in it. Carefully tracked for half a century. Stop there. That’s all you need to prove GW and win With simple extension, but only if necessary, AGW. Try to tell the whole truth and you’re skewered. Trenberth’s one dimensional model, whose numbers change all the time depending on which climate scientist is presenting, is always in agreement with Ram’s so your’re honest using Ram’s. May not be very scientifically exciting but you win. Even Monckton will be stuck, forced to “Hitler Youth” or some other insult or debating trick, easily recognized by your audience for what it is. Keep It Simple Stupid Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:35 PM 376. Matt Bulger@359 You can’t investigate nature, sitting in a library. Most science is experimental. Ask Nobel – he left no prize for Hilbert Space mathematicians. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:53 PM 377. I thought Judith said “auditor”, not “researcher”. Let me generalize, then, to suggest that I wouldn’t want her as an advisor if she took watts and mcintyre as serious *anythings* other than PITAs doing their best to monkeywrench process in order to prevent any action to cut back CO2 emissions growth. Is that better? Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:57 PM 378. Several RC readers have emailed me, and after a quick perusal of the comments regarding my post at Bishop Hill, I have a few comments to make. I haven’t come across any posts in the blogosphere with my name on that were not written by me. I haven’t posted anything on RC in several years, although I did invite RC (gavin) to post something on my “Part II: Towards rebuilding trust” essay. Gavin declined, although he did email comments to me on the essay. I have not made any public statement regarding my not posting at RC. I post mainly on sites where I feel there is an opportunity to provoke people to think and challenge their own prejudices on a particular topic. I have posted on blogs ranging from climateprogress to wuwt, and I have received a broad range of responses, with highly negative responses coming from across the spectrum. I don’t stay away from blogs that aren’t “friendly” to me, and I rarely spend time trying to preach to the converted. So what am I up to? I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research. The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion. The field of climate research faces some unique challenges owing to the extremely high relevance of our science for policy, and the scientists and the institutions that support the science have not yet adapted to dealing effectively in this highly charged and politicized arena. We need to have a broad discussion on how to improve this situation. As to whether I have gone over to the “dark side.” First, I’m not sure why we are talking about “sides” (that tribalism thing); we should be talking about science and how to improve the integrity of science. With regards to the “dark side,” there are people making politically motivated attacks against climate research (Marc Morano and Myron Ebell come immediately to mind). And then there are people questioning many aspects of climate research and the IPCC process and making arguments based upon evidence (e.g. Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford). To dismiss all criticisms of the climate establishment (e.g. IPCC, RC, etc) as the “dark side” and to be dismissed is hampering scientific progress and diminishing the credibility of climate science. So yes, I talk to people that many RC readers would classify as the “dark side”: the skeptical bloggers, “mainstream” skeptical scientists, and even some people from the libertarian think tanks. Regarding my personal opinion on where I stand regarding climate science as presented by the IPCC. I place little confidence in the WG2 and WG3 reports; these fields are in their infancy. With regards to the WG1 report, I think that some of the confidence levels are too high. During the period Feb 2007 – Nov 2009, when I gave a presentation on climate change I would say “don’t believe what one scientist says, listen to what the IPCC has to say” and then went on to defend the IPCC process and recite the IPCC conclusions. I am no longer substituting the IPCC’s judgment for my own judgment on this matter. So if the readers here assess that this constitutes going over to the “dark side” then so be it; my conclusion will be that the minds seem to be more open on the “dark side”. Gavin’s statement “-especially in the light of the tsunami of baseless accusations against scientists that have been hitting the internet in the last few months-“ makes the mistake of dismissing all accusations/criticisms. I agree, it is difficult to sort through all the crazy statements and identify the substantive arguments. So I will help you out. I have seen no mention on RC of Andrew Montford’s (Bishop Hill) book “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” If Montford’s arguments and evidence are baseless, then you should refute them. They deserve an answer, whether or not his arguments are valid. And stating that you have refuted these issues before isn’t adequate; the critical arguments have not hitherto been assembled into a complete narrative. And attacking Montford’s motives, past statements or actions, etc. won’t serve as a credible dismissal. Attack the arguments and the evidence that he presents. I for one would very much like to see what RC has to say about this book. [Response: You are certainly correct in arguing that any substantive points that the ‘auditors’ have brought forward have been completely obscured by the mean-spirited flotsam that seems to accompany any of their contributions. However, forgive me if I don’t take seriously the endless requests to check out the allegations or accusations that are to be found just around the corner (on that blog/in that book/in that online presentation/in that submission etc.) but that on further inspection evaporate like the Cheshire Cat’s grin. This passing of the buck simply serves to propagate memes that end up being something that ‘everyone knows’ but when pressed, no-one can articulate. For example, Montford was interviewed on the BBC World Service the other day and was given copious time to expound on what he thought the most crucial neglected issue was. He chose to discuss McKitrick’s problems in getting his repetitive and singularly unconvincing papers on the (non-)impact of socio-economic variables published. If this is the worst example available, the IPCC process is in fine shape. Looking at the bigger picture, the only issue of major importance is whether the IPCC reports give a reasonable summary of the state of the science – including the level of uncertainty. In any of the sections where I have good knowledge of the underlying science (mostly WG1), this is fulfilled in spades – and I have yet to find any substantial group of scientists who disagree (and this is borne out in the various surveys of the scientists that have been done). Issues of process are of interest only insofar as they affect the science assessment. “Does it matter?” is the key question – and as far as I have seen, the answer is no for any purported issue that I have investigated. You might have a different opinion, but I have yet to see any justification for that. – gavin] Comment by Judith Curry — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:57 PM 379. I analyzed the coverage of Climategate vs. Exonerations in my latest blog post titled: Climategate Coverage: Unfair & Unbalanced As expected, the coverage of the accusations far outweighed the coverage of the exonerations. Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences Selden, NY Global Warming: Man or Myth? My Global Warming Blog Twitter @AGW_Prof “Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group Comment by Scott A Mandia — 18 Apr 2010 @ 2:58 PM 380. I have seen no mention on RC of Andrew Montford’s (Bishop Hill) book “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” If Montford’s arguments and evidence are baseless, then you should refute them. They deserve an answer, whether or not his arguments are valid. Why? Should physicists refute every crank who claims to have invented a perpetual motion machine that doesn’t violate the second law? Should biologists refute every thumper with a bible in hand? You said: I agree, it is difficult to sort through all the crazy statements and identify the substantive arguments. So I will help you out What is substantive about Bishop Hill’s claims? You’re not helping anyone out by simply saying “Bishop Hill!” without telling anyone *why* his claims are substantive. C’mon, what is in there that’s worth the waste of time involved in reading his book, not to mention the fact that buying it lines his pockets? Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:28 PM 381. “But there are, in fact, scientists who disagree with each other in this field, and Lindzen is a bona fide, published scientist.” So was Fred Seitz. However, have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/u/8/Py2XVILHUjQ Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:29 PM 382. Also … we should be talking about science and how to improve the integrity of science. With regards to the “dark side,” there are people making politically motivated attacks against climate research (Marc Morano and Myron Ebell come immediately to mind). And then there are people questioning many aspects of climate research and the IPCC process and making arguments based upon evidence (e.g. Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford). Just because you claim that there’s a qualitative difference between the people you mention, doesn’t mean that, in practice, there is. What evidence do you have, for instance, that McIntyre and Montford aren’t politically motivated? And why in the world should anyone take Montford, in particular, seriously? To dismiss all criticisms of the climate establishment (e.g. IPCC, RC, etc) as the “dark side” and to be dismissed is hampering scientific progress and diminishing the credibility of climate science. Strawman, no one does that. You’ve seen people like Gavin, for instance, state that Jones’s e-mail asking people to delete stuff was “ill-advised”. LIkewise there has been informed criticism of the IPCC among the climate science community. I could go on. The fact that people dismiss *some* criticism as being baloney doesn’t mean that people dismiss *all* criticism as being baloney. The fact that people can differentiate between reasonable criticism and baloney doesn’t “diminish the credibility of climate science”. Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:40 PM 383. “In terms of real evidence, all the public sees is global temperature on a plateau for the last decade while CO2 emissions accelerate.” You mean a plateau where the trend is up 0.12C per decade when the sun is in an unusually long quiet phase and the average is expected to be 0.17C per decade? Now how could the public see a plateau with all that going on? Because people are lying to them. People like you. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:41 PM 384. “C’mon, what is in there that’s worth the waste of time involved in reading his book, not to mention the fact that buying it lines his pockets?” Maybe, in order to educate us, Bishop will buy the books himself out of his own pocket and give them away? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:43 PM 385. So if the readers here assess that this constitutes going over to the “dark side” then so be it; my conclusion will be that the minds seem to be more open on the “dark side”. I’m astounded that someone can say this with a straight face. It’s clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that the denialsphere is *full* of people who will, under no circumstance, accept the basic fact that pouring GHGs into the atmosphere will warm the planet. McIntyre’s convinced that leading researchers are guilty of scientific misconduct and fraud and should be fired (isn’t it nearly a decade since he went after Lonnie Thomspon?). Watts … I can’t even type that name without breaking out into hysterics when I think of what you’ve said regarding open minds. Bishop Hill? Perhaps the most pompous and in the running for most uninformed and certainly among the most close-minded of the bunch. On and on. Who are these “open-minded” people you’re talking about? Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:45 PM 386. > Gavin’s statement “-especially in the light of the tsunami of baseless accusations …“ > makes the mistake of dismissing all accusations/criticisms Dr. Curry, what puzzles me is why you read this as dismissing _all_ the accusations. If I dismiss the black sheep, am I dismissing all the sheep, including white and brown? Or, asked another way: Do you think _any_ of the accusations have been baseless? I’d like to see you and they come up with some talking points you agree on. But have you looked at the blurbs for those Stacey International books? This one? http://www.stacey-international.co.uk/v1/site/product_rpt.asp?Catid=331&catname= The people whose rhetoric outreaches the science are on all sides. But the level of rhetoric seems to lean toward one side more than another. I try to jump on nonsense wherever I see it, and I see the RC scientists doing that as well. (I just this morning noticed an advocacy group has a page up saying an ice free summertime arctic in five years is likely, and tried to call them out — advocates ought to be using current time series trends for data, not 3-year-old outliers. I’ve seen other scientists leaning hard on people on all sides about getting facts right and sources correctly cited.) Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:52 PM 387. Hank Roberts@353 If you want to know what quants really are google quants wall street If you’re in a hurry, try http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/science/10quant.html 8<{ Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 3:55 PM 388. Judith Curry, Thanks for your coment here. You wrote that you used to say: “don’t believe what one scientist says, listen to what the IPCC has to say”, but no longer do. Why not? What has changed? Isn’t it merely the perception of a portion of the public that has changed (the ‘lost credibility’), or did something more fundamental change or come to light? If the IPCC process is still the best we have in terms of broadly supported (by scientists) scientific assessment? If so, it would be best to stress that point. If not, what would be a better alternative? [Response: Bart, this touches on a bigger issue. Almost every scientist will prefer to rely on their judgment rather than that of a committee like the IPCC. But the reason why IPCC and all similar bodies are set up in the first place was to allow policymakers to distinguish between individual judgments of particular scientists (which are often contradictory) and the general consensus in a field. Assessment reports are vital for that function and any argument that suggests that policymakers should go back to listening to a very small number of individuals over a heavily peer-reviewed assessment document is just doomed. IPCC might not be perfect (for instance, I think it could be a lot more policy-relevant than it is), but if it didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it. – gavin] Comment by Bart Verheggen — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:04 PM 389. #378 Judith, I have yet seen the validity in preaching to those who relish in reading stolen E-mails. All while Multi-year 10 year ice goes extinct over the Arctic ocean. Your talents are needed here, to explain incessant polar warming, despite rising and waning oscillations. Despite the occasional sensitivity related very over publicized mild cooling in the rest of the world. The Arctic melts. For me, what is needed is a greater effort at debating the “Dark night” warming mechanisms in order to improve models, especially ice models, rather than dabbling at debating with the hopeless. Its all about science not politics, forgive if I hang out with the tribe of scientists. Comment by Wayne Davidson — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:16 PM 390. Judith Curry: “So what am I up to? I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research.” Concern troll is trolling. Comment by Adam R. — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:17 PM 391. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/how-wall-streets-quants-lied-to-their-computers/?em Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:33 PM 392. But on topic — I’d urge anyone who’s leaping to post their opinion to first go back and read the inline response Gavin added to Judith Curry’s post. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/04/second-cru-inquiry-reports/comment-page-8/#comment-171284 Listen to what he’s saying. Shouting louder isn’t helpful. Listening is. Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:36 PM 393. Gavin, I would gladly donate an excerpt from my book as a blog post and maybe even add some details. I suggest the treatment of Amman’s paper by Briffa in Ch 06 of Ar4. [Response: I’ll make some points in response below, but this example is typical of the non-issues that are being brought up. The point of the an assessment is to get the science right and the Amman and Wahl paper was completely apropos in demonstrating that the impact of McIntyre’s points amounted to nothing very much. All this brouhaha about how the specific paper was handled is completely irrelevant to that fact. – gavin] Here is what the record establishes: 1. The paper in question was given special treatment by briffa, overpeck, and the journal editor in charge of it [Response: Lots of papers get ‘special treatment’ because issues sometimes arise. Ho hum. – gavin] 2. The paper relied on another paper that was not published until after the IPCC report. [Response: No. It cited another paper that, for various reasons, was held up. If you think that the IPCC report would have been substantially different if there hadn’t been this cite, you are very much mistaken. – gavin] 3. Briffa consulted with Wahl outside of and in direct violation of IPCC processes that he was aware of. [Response: The IPCC report was a two year plus process and there was no injunction about discussing it with other colleagues. This imagining of mysterious inviolable rules in a process which reinvents itself every time is just post-hoc whining. Sorry. – gavin] 4. Briffa utilized writings of Wahl without proper citation, with full knowledge that he was violating the procedures and was consciousness of the improper nature of the act. [Response: Oh please. The comment was a correct statement. Are you suggesting that you’d prefer an incorrect response instead? The point here is to be correct. – gavin] 5. Jones suggested that the paper be backdated to avoid discovery. [Response: Nonsense. You are completely wrong on this one. Jones’ comment was a joke related to the fact that there is a typo on the Amman and Wahl paper which says the submission was “Received: 22 August 2000″ which is clearly a misprint. – gavin] 6. Hollands FOIA request for Briffa’s, ammand,s and osborne’s correspondence about this paper and the communications that violated the open IPPC process, caused Jones to ask that people delete their emails. [Response: It is very unclear that personal emails are FOIA-able (something I’m having a lot of fun in the US context for instance ;) ), but regardless Jones’ request (as I’ve stated many times) was ill-advised. There is a huge difference though between FOI requests for data and for requests for personal communications between close friends, colleagues and co-authors that were written with absolutely no expectation that they could be made public. – gavin] 7. The ICO has reason to believe that Holland’s request for information was improperly handled. Those are the facts. Now, I don’t think these facts have anything to do with the reliability of climate science. They go to the credibility of the people involved. [Response: Sure… And it’s nothing to do with casting aspersions over a report simply because you don’t like what they concluded. – gavin] Not the science, but the behavior of a small group of scientists who argueably perceived that they needed to bend administrative rules to preserve a certain un-settled scientific position. Their behavior doesnt make their position wrong, but neither is their behavior something that you can condone and expect to be trusted by a doubting public. [Response: Nothing needed bending to preserve ‘a position’. There simply isn’t some huge mass of evidence that somehow contradicts the statements in the IPCC report related to multi-proxy reconstructions. Whether the Amman and Wahl paper was or was not cited is pretty much immaterial. It was relevant and therefore was cited, but the implication that this was somehow crucially important or that it’s absence would have lead to some hugely different outcome is simply fantasy. – gavin] Comment by steven mosher — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:44 PM 394. It’s clear to me that IPCC WG1 is pretty good science and a useful link between, say David Archer’s “The Climate Crisis”, and the climate science literature. It’s also useful, especially in a science like climate change to have meaningful “knowledge” checkpoints. It’s not clear to me that the other sections of xARn are all that necessary or even that they add positive value. Global governance is probably impossible at this stage of our development and embedding any science, even the best science, within an unacceptable governing structure probably lessens the value of both. I’ve only glanced at AR4 WG2 and3 and the other reports of AR4, so it’s unscientific or worse of me to reject them out of hand, but I strongly suspect they will be the source of the criticism and calls for reforms in the IPCC process. I’m not saying that WG1 should not be more regional and more up-to-date; it’s just that I feel that’s not where the problems, if any, are with IPCC. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 4:58 PM 395. Gavin, note @388 Policymakers that can’t distinguish shouldn’t be policymakers. You can not replace individual production with group production and maintain quality. If IPCC process was workable, I personally believe that Jim would not need to get himself arrested and Ram would find better use of his time than retraining grandmothers to cook greener. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:10 PM 396. #389 In English law you cannot steal an email. It is not tangible property. At worst you can copy it or delete it without permission. There is a complicated conflict of laws here among the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Cutting through that, it is clear that the vast majority of the CRU material that entered the public domain belonged there under the FOIA. Some may have been withholdable under the DPA, but most of it should previously have been disclosed in response to FOIA requests. The thing about the FOIA is that generally the motive behind the request is irrelevant; there is a right to copies of most publicly held information in the UK, period. So, unless you are going to construct some reverse Robin Hood argument along the lines that even though the material was wrongfully not disclosed, the rights of the holders to wrongfully withhold disclosure are greater than the rights of others to take a ‘Robin Hood’ approach to the failure to comply (which I think is as ridiculous as it sounds), then I suggest you dispense with the emotive language. Comment by The Lawyer with a physics degree — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:24 PM 397. dhogaza @385 For each and every instance of your seventeen accusations: The presumption of innocence – being considered innocent unless proven guilty – is a legal right that the accused in criminal trials has in many modern countries. The burden of proof is thus on the prosecution, which has to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the trier of fact, who is restrained and ordered by law to consider only actual evidence and testimony that is legally admissible, and in most cases lawfully obtained, that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In case of remaining doubts, the accused is to be acquitted. This presumption is seen to stem from the Latin legal principle that ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies). that’s what’s “wrong” with what you’re doing. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 5:54 PM 398. These comments prove Judith right. Comment by Skip Smith — 18 Apr 2010 @ 6:03 PM 399. Hank Roberts @391OT “…I fully expected them to tell me that the problem was that the alarms were blaring and red lights were flashing on the risk machines and greedy Wall Street bosses ignored the warnings to keep the profits flowing… is right, whether the those who worked for those same bosses would tell him or not. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 6:08 PM 400. For most people this comes down to a question of ‘who do you trust?’ There is a subset of the population who choose to put scientists on pedestals and assume that they do not suffer from the failings of other professionals like policemen, lawyers, teachers, bankers, journalists et. al. For this group of people the CRU emails mean nothing because there is no ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ that would require them to question their faith in scientists. The rest of the population is sceptical and does not automatically assume that scientists are motivated purely by a desire to find the truth. For this group of people the CRU emails are evidence that the public claims are scientists are strongly influenced by things that have nothing to do with science. You can argue until the cows come home about how there is nothing in there that conclusively proves the claims wrong but the claims have never been proven correct either. This means accepting the claims requires that one trust the professional integrity of the scientists – something that is difficult to do after reading the emails and understanding the true context. What has happened is not only do we have evidence that scientists don’t always put scientific concerns first when making public statements we have the spectacle of two inquiries which insist that letting politics interfere with the public presentation of science is perfectly acceptable. The only consequence will be a further erosion of trust in climate science and the institutions that support it. The bottom line is trust is earned – not demanded and once lost is tough to get back. Nothing will change until the climate scientists acknowledge this and start to work at earning back the trust that has been lost. Comment by Raven — 18 Apr 2010 @ 6:26 PM 401. Raven, (400) It’s not just that there is no ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ that the allegations of fraud against the climate scientists at the center of so-called “climate-gate” are bogus (though that is true), it’s the simple fact that there exists plenty of positive evidence that the allegations rely on a complete (deliberate?) misreading of the emails. Take the *hide the decline* nonsense; it’s impossible for this to be deception on the part of Jones because the decline in question (the divergence problem, and how this effected temp reconstructions) was never hidden from the scientific literature. Yet *skeptic* after *skeptic* repeats the claim as if it has never been rebutted. It’s the same with the other allegations. Nobody here assumes that scientists are “motivated purely by a desire to find the truth”. That’s just baloney. We certainly aren’t so naive to believe, however, that so-called skeptics are automatically beacons of virtue and honesty. Most have been shown to be far from it. They are the ones who should be worrying about earning back trust. Comment by Robert Murphy — 18 Apr 2010 @ 6:58 PM 402. John Peter Most science is experimental. Ask Nobel – he left no prize for Hilbert Space mathematicians. What ? !! You have your calendar wrong and have confused pure and applied maths. Kepler and Galileo moved on from your view in the 16th and 17th centuries. Nobel prizes are not restricted to experiments! Most people tend to remember the theoretical ones. How about Arrhenius’s theory of electrolytes which more or less founded physical chemistry? That was before he went on to use simple maths to define and estimate climate sensitivity. Too simple? How about other Nobel prizes? BCS theory of superconductivity,Einstein’s theory of the photoelectric effect? Heisenberg , Schrodinger, Dirac and Feynman (both Hilbert space mathematicians)….and more recent ones. What is true is that physics is empirical i.e that theoretical and experimental work are joined at the hip. This is also a basic misunderstanding used by contrarians who avoid the “science of global warming”. The ‘science’ does not just mean using thermometers it means applying the laws which condense vast amounts of earlier experiments into a few highly tested equations. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 18 Apr 2010 @ 7:08 PM 403. Steve Mosher’s comments are almost Kafkaesque; he appears to represent a group that believes that scientific matters can be decided in the same way that cases are settled in a courtroom, i.e., that the side that can argue most persuasively wins. What he doesn’t seem to fully grasp is that there is an underlying physical reality that is being discussed. Using his technique, a group of people in a speeding bus on a dark, rain-slick road might argue about whether or not the bridge up ahead has been washed out. Presumably, if those arguing against the “wash-out theory” win the debate by, say, undermining the credibility of those on the other side of the argument (perhaps two of them were seen to be improperly conferring in the restroom) then the passengers can rest easy. Comment by Jerry Steffens — 18 Apr 2010 @ 7:39 PM 404. #378 Judith Curry “I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research. The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion. ” Let us change that to “I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about evolution. The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion. ” Make sense in that case? No, nor in the first. Comment by David Horton — 18 Apr 2010 @ 7:39 PM 405. Geoff Wexler@402 Thanks for your interest and comments. I didn’t understand “your calender”. From Wiki: “Alfred Bernhard Nobel (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (Stockholm, Sweden, 21 October 1833 – Sanremo, Italy, 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite. He owned Bofors, a major armaments manufacturer, which he had redirected from its previous role as an iron and steel mill. Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous. In his last will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him… Here’s what I believe, as always, I may be wrong: Hilbert Space is mathematics. Nobel did not like/trust mathematicians and provided no Nobel prizes in mathematics, pure or applied. Theories are very rarely accepted until confirmed by experiment and Nobel prizes are very rarely rewarded before confirmation. Some of my best friends are Theoretical Physicists. With these caveats, I think we agree Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 7:50 PM 406. David Horton @404 OTOH “…”The discovery answers an age-old question that has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin: How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random, operating like a ‘blind watchmaker’?” said Chakrabarti, an associate research scholar in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton. “Our new theory extends Darwin’s model, demonstrating how organisms can subtly direct aspects of their own evolution to create order out of randomness.”…http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/11/princeton-team.html Well, whada you know 8*) Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:01 PM 407. #406 John Peter “an age-old question that has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin: How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random, operating like a ‘blind watchmaker’?” Really John? I guess it would be a bit like that age old question that has puzzled climatologists – how can a small amount of CO2 warm the planet. [Response: John needs to read Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, by Dennett. He clears up any confusion about this. He shows that on the one hand some biologists have been ‘puzzled’ — Gould in particular was — but why they shouldn’t be. A few billion years, plus evolution precisely the way Darwin understood it, and voila: exquisite complexity.Someone ought to write the same book for climate, except that it would be boring because it is actually much less complex than evolution.–eric] Comment by David Horton — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:08 PM 408. “The Lawyer with a physics degree says” … “I forgot that unauthorized access to a computer is a crime”. Hopefully now that your memory’s been jogged, you won’t have this problem again. Not that this is the only thing wrong with your post. (p.s. I do not believe either the lawyer nor physics claim) Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 PM 409. “Our new theory extends Darwin’s model, demonstrating how organisms can subtly direct aspects of their own evolution to create order out of randomness.” Well, whada you know 8*) John Peter just proves that he knows as much about evolutionary biology vs. creationism/intelligent design arguments as he does about climate. No. The quote mine doesn’t support a creationist/intelligent design point of view. This is a feedback model. Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:32 PM 410. Quoth the raven: The bottom line is trust is earned – not demanded and once lost is tough to get back. Nothing will change until the climate scientists acknowledge this and start to work at earning back the trust that has been lost. Of course, the raven isn’t pointing out that the raven has never trusted climate science (therefore there’s no trust to regain), and that for some reason raven trusts the lying, quote-mining, felony-committing e-mail thieves without demanding they earn it. Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2010 @ 8:34 PM 411. Judith Curry wrote, ‘The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion.’ The accusation of “cargo cult science” has “some validity”? Curry’s explication of “some validity” would be fascinating were she to provide it. To say nothing of what she means or thinks others mean by “cargo cult science”. And outside of academic committee-speak, what does “some validity” mean? Either a charge is valid or it isn’t. To make nebulous, undefinable charges is irresponsible. (Note: not somewhat irresponsible.) Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:04 PM 412. > John Peter C’mon. You can look things up as easily as anyone else, and find http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v100/i25/e258103 One citation since it was published. Nothing about it being revolutionary, nothing anthropomorphic, nothing directed. Don’t fall for press release science. Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:18 PM 413. “I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research. The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion.” Sounds like Ms Curry explaining why she is hanging around the sites where the “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” can invariably be found, rather than here at RC where thinking folks come to learn about real science from the individualists that actually do science. Nothing wrong with “fighting the good fight”, providing of course, she can stick to the science among that crowd. Maybe, being a climate scientist, she can do a reasoned critique of the “science” involved in the Bishop Hill book as a guest post at ….. Bishop Hill? So a suggestion: one open comment thread for those who want to discuss the political “climate”, another for those who want to hash over the IPCC’s relevence or accuracy, and another for denialist memes, maybe others as well …. OT comments following actual blog posts can be moved to the appropriate OT thread, non-group commentors can regale each other and interlopers with their individual theories. Comment by flxible — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:25 PM 414. #410 dhogaza 3 years ago I had absolutely no reason to doubt the consensus and only stumbled into the hockey stick debate because I was trying to figure out how much sea level rise I was likely to see in my lifetime. It took some time to sort out the nonsense sceptical arguments from the ones with merit but once I did the absolute refusal on the part of climate scientists to recognize the legimate issues raised really surprised me. [Response: I hear this sometimes, but every one of the ‘legitimate issues’ that we are supposed to be ignoring are either issues that the community has been looking at for years (UHI, uncertainties in paleo proxies or modelling) or are ‘issues’ which have rightly been dismissed as not been legitimate but that keep on being raised (co2 saturation, hoaxes, ‘corruption’ etc). So what are these ‘legitimate’ issues we are ignoring? Name one. -gavin] Comment by Raven — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:37 PM 415. Quite of few of us who started from the negative postion didn’t get there through the “denialist propaganda machine.” I think the concern over how the public views the science has much less to do with emails and “ill advised” efforts to have data destroyed rather than released. For some of us in the USA – quite a few of my peers – it came from three places: 1) Overblown alarmism from environmental groups that was clearly bogus. When NGO’s were brought in to advise and influence the IPCC reports (not the science part, though a few were referenced in error – a big ding in credibility), lots of eyerolls commenced. Why Greenpeace or the WWF had a seat at the table is still a mystery to me – last I checked they aren’t a government or a group of scientists qualified to speak about climate change. They had nothing of substance to add but a well telegraphed point of view and the appearance of injecting their agendas into the reports. 2) The UN stamp of approval. Nothing says slanted political effort rife with corruption like a United Nations Committee. Not to say that every UN project is rotten (there are quite a few that work above board, effectively, and efficiently), but they prove the exception rather than the rule. 3) The immediate policy recommendations that seemed to come concurrent with the first report. Granted, many folks got read-aheads so that they wouldn’t be ignorant when it was released, but to the layman it looked like a deal where the fix was in long before the starting bell. When the first recommendation is that the West pay eco-reparations to nations with dubious records when it comes to corruption, they definately lost me. People like me then dug into the science; it’s solid, or solid enough to warrant action. Maybe not the sort of action being forwarded at the UN or even within the US Congress, but that’s policy debate. Comment by Frank Giger — 18 Apr 2010 @ 9:42 PM 416. Judith Curry does understand something that posters and commenters here apparently do not. Many of the criticisms leveled against the IPCC, AR4, and CRU are valid and serious. Most of us who make these criticisms do not believe that, even if all of them are 100% true, they invalidate climate science. Most of us do not believe that the IPCC should be disbanded (although I have called repeatedly for the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri, which I will do again here–he should go. I also believe Phil Jones should not step back into post.) or CRU be closed. I would bet large sums of money that Steve Mosher, Steve McIntyre, ‘Bishop Hill’ and Anthony Watts would agree with me (maybe Watts would like the IPCC to go away). IPCC’s AR4 has serious flaws, although the flaws do not call into question climate science. One third of its references are not peer-reviewed, according to Donna Framboise. The Synthesis did not catch the error on Himalayan glaciers–why not? The IPCC has serious defects that do not call into question climate science. Its publishing schedule, review procedures and team make-up do not serve the needs of stakeholders. Lead authors should not review for inclusion their own work, nor negative comments on that work. They should enforce the rules on deadlines for IPCC reports. Rajendra Pachauri should resign, but not because climate science is wrong. He should resign because he vilified a climate scientist who told him the IPCC was wrong about Himalayan glaciers and worked mightily to suppress the error until the conclusion of COP15. Phil Jones should not step back into post, and not because climate science is wrong, and not because of his work as a scientist. He should step down because he did not inform the science community about siting issues that compromised his 1990 Nature article on UHI, and because he advised colleagues to break the law by deleting emails subject to FOIA requests. Those are not the acts of a leader of a premier unit of an academic institution. Like I said, Curry gets this. You all apparently do not. Comment by Tom Fuller — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:13 PM 417. David Horton @407 Eric note Thanks guys for the help. Guess I never heard before there was anything called “evolutionary biology”. Now that you mention it, I don’t know why it’s so sensible. I’ll take a look for Dennett, thanks for the link. I may even be able to avoid the misty net. Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:18 PM 418. Hank Roberts@412 Mea culpa, of course you’re right. It’s late and I’m tired but I realize that’s no excuse. Thanks Comment by John Peter — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:20 PM 419. John Peter, Judith et al.: I’ve been through this kind of thing twice before, with the tobacco and AIDS denial movements in South Africa. There are all kinds of arguments you can bring to bear about how scientists should be better communicators, but it all boils down to one thing: whenever the denialists are given equal time (and I use this term to mean people who flatly reject the science, rather than real skeptics or contrarians amenable to logic, who are exploring the fringes of the science to make sure it holds up), it creates the impression that they represent a valid flaw in the science. The only way to counter this is to speak up frequently and clearly. John, you make a good point about hammering on the simplest points possible (#375). George Monbiot did a brilliant job of destroying Ian Plimer’s credibility by backing him into a corner over his totally incorrect information about CO_2 emissions of volcanoes, and ignoring all his other questionable claims. As for your request for “reliable transparent data” (#354), it exists. The problem with CRU is that they were picked on as using a few data sources of which they were not the primary curator, and a bogus issue was created around that. Add to that that most of the furore is around papers published no more recently than 1998 (12-20 years ago in general) and you have to wonder how anyone is taken in by all this. As I’ve said elsewhere, its as much a failure of journalism as anything else. Comment by Philip Machanick — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:30 PM 420. If Judith Curry is still reading this thread and wishes to discuss matters she is going to have to be much more specific about her various claims. It would probably be best to start with a single one, work that one out and then go on. The choice is up to you Prof. Curry [Response: Apparently the point was to try and move the conversation onto more productive topics in paleoclimate reconstructions and temperature records. How that would be facilitated by alluding to ‘corruption’ in the IPCC seems a little mysterious. – gavin] Comment by Eli Rabett — 18 Apr 2010 @ 10:49 PM 421. > move the conversation onto more productive topics in paleoclimate reconstructions > and temperature records. How that would be facilitated by alluding to ‘corruption’ > in the IPCC seems a little mysterious. Mysterious? you haven’t looked at the other climate book from the same publisher, the one I asked Dr. Curry’s comments on. This one: http://www.stacey-international.co.uk/v1/site/product_rpt.asp?Catid=331&catname= That’s Carter, going all Orwell on us — the paleo people are apparently uniformly in on the UN/IPCC conspiracy, and once you can fake the paleo records, you know: “… those who control the present control the past, and those who control the past … Seriously, I think that’s the area we need Dr. Curry’s honest evaluation on, and may be what she’s talking about — this notion that all these scientists are in on the conspiracy to falsify everything to control the world. Maybe it looks different from Georgia. Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 PM 422. “In case you haven’t noticed, the GOP is the political arm of big business in the USA.” And the Democratic Party isn’t? :) Unfortunately, a good faith, robust debate on policy isn’t desired by either party at this time. I wouldn’t trust either party to come up with the right solutions by themselves. Revisiting engineering versus science, I still don’t see the bright shining wall between them. The scientist develops the formulaic relationships between factors based on theory (which is backed by observation), and then develops a mathmatical model that uses adjusted data. The model then generates output, which the scientist looks at and then refines his theory (sometimes validated, sometimes not). The middle portion – the workings of the model – is the computation of the ballistic path, and not the physics of inertia, gravity, etc. In other words, the “engineering” phase of the science. As part of my last job I performed much simpler sorts of similar tasks, from cleaning up raw data, smoothing noise, weighting relevant factors, drawing conclusions about trends, etc. Most of the work was at the front and back end of the model, as it always is, but if the math is wrong inside the code the whole thing can go horribly askew! In our office it was standard practice to brief assumptions, methodology, and findings – and then have someone else do a computational check (“audit”). We prevented having egg on our faces more than once that way. One of the things I tell “deniers” of global warming (everyone I’ve ever talked to has been misinformed or ignorant rather than stupid) is that all models are wrong; some are just much better than others. That is to say that models of complex systems do not have to be 100% on the money to be fundamentally correct and of use. Similarly, expecting climate models to have anything but a confidence level within a range is missing the point. One has only to look at their own house note escrow account model to see that born out. Comment by Frank Giger — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:06 AM 423. #414 – Gavin There was a recent paper on SLR which was withdrawn. The authors said: Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.  [Response: This is pointless. I ask for legitimate issues that are being neglected and you respond with some kind of litmus test I have to pass about a decade old paper which has been examined ad nauseum. Just get over yourself. – gavin] There are other examples. For example, the endless repetition of the claim that the climate models represent climate from first principles when critical processes are parameterized. The parameterization does not mean the models are useless but does mean their results outside of the range where they were trained must be treated with extreme caution because they could be useless. I do not feel that climate scientists have adequately conveyed these limitations to the public even though these issues are covered in the bowels of the IPCC reports. Again it appears that political concerns are put ahead of communicating the science accurately. [Response: I call BS. I have written extensively on the uncertainties in climate models, produced copious FAQs on the subject, made our code available to all, put all of the output on line and here you are accusing me of putting ‘political’ concerns ahead of the science? And you wonder why your concerns don’t get treated seriously? – gavin] Comment by Raven — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:28 AM 424. “398 Skip Smith says: 18 April 2010 at 6:03 PM These comments prove Judith right.” No, Judith’s comments prove Judith right. Just she’s pointing them at the wrong people. SHE is indulging in groupthink. Raven is indulging in less-than-cargo-cult science. You’re politicking. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:52 AM 425. “What has happened is not only do we have evidence that scientists don’t always put scientific concerns first when making public statements” Funny how the NIPCC, the Heartland Institute, Spencer, M&M, Watts et al are never under that spotlight from people like Raven. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:53 AM 426. “.Cutting through that, it is clear that the vast majority of the CRU material that entered the public domain belonged there under the FOIA.” Really? Given that even the leakers themselves said that most of the info they stole was about nothing to do with the science or operational work (e.g. “I’ll be on holiday …”, the vast majority cannot belong under FOIA. Also, you can’t “belong” under FOIA. You can be *asked* under FOIA to release. More, as one other poster put it, one FOIA request wasn’t even a request. Given your inability to see any of this because you’re blinded by cupidity, I wonder how much of a solicitor you are. Given too that you use lawyer rather than solicitor, you’re a ‘merkin. So how much do you know about UK law rather than your own? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:56 AM 427. I have seen no mention on RC of Andrew Montford’s (Bishop Hill) book … I for one would very much like to see what RC has to say about this book. While science fiction is a legitimate genre, I don’t think RC is the appropriate venue for literary reviews… Comment by Martin Vermeer — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:18 AM 428. One quick comment: Judith mentioned “corruptions” in the “IPCC process.” Gavin and others have jumped on this phrasing in particular, but I think in the wrong sense. As I read it, she states that the process is corrupted … not the people. A subtle but important point. As with a corrupted computer file, the IPCC process isn’t working properly. Extrapolating from this some sort of claim that the people in the IPCC are corrupt – i.e., evil, perverted, or depraved – seems to be, willful or otherwise, a misreading of her post. Comment by Ted — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:25 AM 429. JP (376): You can’t investigate nature, sitting in a library. BPL: Tell it to Stephen Hawking. Or Albert Einstein. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:13 AM 430. Frank Giger, the UN bashing seems odd to people in the health field – the WHO is well respected. Comment by Deech56 — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:30 AM 431. [My last comment on this topic] Nobel did not like/trust mathematicians and provided no Nobel prizes in mathematics, pure or applied. Good thing that he did not live to see his prejudices overthrown by the people at Stockholm. Is this not applied maths? I hope you will not quible about the terminology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renormalization_group It led to a whole bunch of N prizes e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_G._Wilson Comment by Geoff Wexler — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 AM 432. “For each and every instance of your seventeen accusations: The presumption of innocence – being considered innocent unless proven guilty” This isn’t a court of law. This isn’t a case of guilt or innocence. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 5:30 AM 433. I’m happy to give Judith Curry the benefit of the doubt that her motives are benign (for now), but in doing so I believe she is naive in the extreme to think that those who are demonstrably anti-science and anti-scientists are ‘open-minded’. The open minded people who are looking to find out more will find it. It’s right there in front of their noses. She doesn’t need to go to WUWT or CA to find those open-minded people, they will find the science themselves by going to good quality sites (like realclimate) and scientific journals. My guess is that the social worker is coming to the forefront with Curry, and she thinks she can ‘save’ people by bending over backwards to ‘see their point of view’. Either she will be burnt in the process and realise the futility of her approach, or she will end up like other do-gooders and end up being used by those with malicious intent (but she will be blind to that and continue to pursue her crusade). Comment by Sou — 19 Apr 2010 @ 6:31 AM 434. [In 414 Response: I hear this sometimes, but every one of the ‘legitimate issues’ that we are supposed to be ignoring are either issues that the community has been looking at for years (UHI, uncertainties in paleo proxies or modelling) or are ‘issues’ which have rightly been dismissed as not been legitimate but that keep on being raised (co2 saturation, hoaxes, ‘corruption’ etc). So what are these ‘legitimate’ issues we are ignoring? Name one. -gavin] You don’t mention solar irradiation, potential negative feedbacks, effect on storms, clouds, beneficial effects etc but I appreciate that you could not cover all questioned issues in an in line response. The point is that many of us are educated in a discipline that gives us some understanding of the underlying processes. We came to this issue to better understand the science. Some such as Frank Giger (415) were satisfied by what they read, others such as Raven not fully. However, when reading responses such as dhogaza’s to Judith Curry, or the constant tone of posts from completely fed up et al, or the constant official response from governments that the science is settled when it isn’t, of Rajendra Pauchari accusing people who question a misprint in IPCC reports of practicing voodoo science, those of us who were already questioning the science really begin to smell a rat about motivations. As I read it, one is a sceptic if one is not convinced that Human emmissions of CO2 and other gases are catastrophically heating up the world and to mitigate the effects we have to drastically cut CO2 emmissions. And the only way a right thinking person sould not believe all that is if they are in the pay of an oil or coal company or deranged. If one can not honestly answer yes to all these questions one is a sceptic. Is the Earth warming by more than normal climatic variation? Do you believe that UHI is accutately accounted for in HadCrut and GISS? Are sea levels going to rise by more than the current 3.3 mm per year for the next century? Does increased CO2 in the atmosphere have more negative than positive effects? Increased temperatures (asumes yes to Q1) will increase or intensify storms? Increased temperatures from increased CO2 in the atmosphere will result in more positive than negative feedbacks on temperature? If we don’t make any effort to change CO2 emmissions world temperatures will increase by more than 2C over the coming century? Reducing CO2 emmissions to 50% of current levels by 2050 will reduce this increase to under 2C? 2C is the magic number? The hardest thing to understand about this issue is the motives of people. My motive for looking at this is to work out if the EUR15 per tonne of CO2 tax that I pay is justified. Also as a PhD engineer with many published papers I would like to know that the science is good and properly examined with all potential alternative theories taken on board. I would also like to see better discussion of science issues in general within scientific representative bodies. It is harder to discern the motives of proponents. Some are looking for research funds and these are often linked to global warming mitigation. Some have interests in trading CO2 emmissions. Perhaps governements like my own looking for more sources of revenue. Some proponents (the more shrill) are clearly ideologically motivated. But for many people I suspect it is a genuine belief that all of the above is correct. These people genuinely believe that the evidence says we should act now to reduce CO2 emmissions. If this is indeed the case there should be no difficulty with properly examining contrary science views. This is the only way the correct picture will emerge. I can not understand the reluctance by genuine science people not to discuss genuine scientific concerns about this extremely important issue. Have any of you geninely assumed a devil’s advocate position to see how robust your beliefs are? Comment by votenotokyoto — 19 Apr 2010 @ 6:47 AM 435. Raven said: For most people this comes down to a question of ‘who do you trust?’ Indeed. Here’s my take on how to short circuit having to delve in all the evidence and counter evidence: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/who-to-believe/ I think they’re pretty common sense points as to how to assess the credibility of a certain position without necessarily having to know all the ins and outs. Comment by Bart Verheggen — 19 Apr 2010 @ 6:49 AM 436. Frank Giger: Why Greenpeace or the WWF had a seat at the table is still a mystery to me – last I checked they aren’t a government or a group of scientists qualified to speak about climate change. WWF scientists are frequent contributors to the published literature in areas such as conservation biology and population ecology, both impacted by climate change. Why shouldn’t NGOs with a strong scientific underpinning have a seat at the table? After all, Saudi Arabia does … Comment by dhogaza — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:15 AM 437. While science fiction is a legitimate genre, I don’t think RC is the appropriate venue for literary reviews… Oh, I don’t know, RC took on Crichton. On the other hand, he had a real publisher, and is widely read. Bishop Hill, on the other hand … Comment by dhogaza — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:21 AM 438. OK Gavin, perhaps you are right. Let’s pick just one issue for know and engage a full and honest debate. How about we start with MBH 98 and MBH 99. Let’s begin a real debate about RE vs r [edit. Dredging up discredited criticisms (see IPCC AR4) about 10 year old papers, the key conclusions of which have been reproduced now by dozens of other studies. Sorry, that’s jumping the shark. It is a tacit admission on your part (and that of would-be repeaters of the meme) that you aint got nothin. so in this, don’t bother posting.] Comment by Bob — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:32 AM 439. Re: trust, a bright high school senior can figure out what the deal is. … As for the second option, that scientists are part of a conspiracy – if you stop and think about it, like, really? … (http://climatesight.org/2010/04/11/mind-the-gap/) If you haven’t already read it, it will brighten your day. Comment by CM — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:40 AM 440. I am not a scientist and I am not a member of any organization the would benefit either for or against climate legislation. Like many people, I made comments that would be considered derogatory against the scientists, the IPCC report and the UN. Please accept my apology and anyone that may have been offended. I have been following this since the Copenhagen conference and can see the benefit of legislation regarding climate change and reducing the use of fossil fuels etc. From reading these posts, it would appear some people think that progress in the area of climate change has come to a halt. I live in Canada and the Canadian Government has informed the UN that it is in agreement with reducing greenhouse gasses 17% by 2020 to 1995 levels. This is the same position taken by the USA. Various groups and politicians have been working behind the scenes in preparation for the UN meeting in Cancun later on this year. I also have noticed a big change in commercial advertising seen on the television and radio. It seems that the large corporations have included an environmental message in a lot of their advertising that was not there before. I list these examples to show something positive rather than contribute to the negativity that is out there. Maybe some people think this doesn’t go far enough but it is a start and better than nothing. I believe climate legislation will arrive sooner than later. I also think more progress would be made if certain individuals and organzations became a part of the solution rather the problem itself. I would rather be on the train that under it. Comment by Triple Bay — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:52 AM 441. @ dhogaza: Then the scientists who published would be there, but not WWF as an organization. [edit – over statements] We could use this same line of thinking and involve all manner of “denialist” groups that have published scientists as members, even ones that haven’t published within climatology fields. They need only be published in a related or impacted area. Unless you’re not defending the citations in the IPCC reports that credit the WWF for the research supporting it, which the UN isn’t. Saudi Arabia is a country, which is why it was involved with a United Nations effort. Comment by Frank Giger — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:59 AM 442. At least Crichton was Crichton. The author of “The Jesus Paper” is just trying to be Dan Brown. Comment by CM — 19 Apr 2010 @ 8:00 AM 443. 434 votenokyoto: Let’s take your questions even further. What is the point of having biodiversity? What is the point support human being in some under-developed country? What is the point of check-and-balances What is the point of property? What is the point to have humanity? Would you really mind read the papers where are the answers to your questions? If you are not happy with some result, replicate it. All the methods and data is available to you. You don’t really need to believe any particular scientist, do trust only scientific method. Comment by Petro — 19 Apr 2010 @ 8:10 AM 444. This could be considered OT, I suppose, but discussion on this thread has been, er, rather wide-ranging, so: for those who need to deal with the subgenre of “station siting skepticism,” NCDC has added a nice “real-world” illustration of the advantages of dealing with anomalies (rather than absolute temps) as a sidebar to the latest monthly report: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global The box isn’t far down the page, and is headed “Did you know?” The graph speaks volumes, I think. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Apr 2010 @ 8:16 AM 445. Saudi Arabia is a country, which is why it was involved with a United Nations effort. Neither Greenpeace nor WWF are voting members of the IPCC, so what exactly do you claim is their involvement? They’ve put out work that’s been cited? As long as their work has merit, there is no problem with that, whatsoever. M&M got referenced. Why shouldn’t others on the other side of the fence? You’re bothered by the fact that they’ve made comments on draft reports? Everyone can. I think I understand your objection: you don’t like Greenpeace, you don’t like the WWF, so they should be shut out of the process, regardless of the merit of their work. Comment by dhogaza — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:00 AM 446. 434 Vote no on Kyoto: Is the Earth warming by more than normal climatic variation? Do you believe that UHI is accutately accounted for in HadCrut and GISS? Are sea levels going to rise by more than the current 3.3 mm per year for the next century? Does increased CO2 in the atmosphere have more negative than positive effects? Increased temperatures (asumes yes to Q1) will increase or intensify storms? Increased temperatures from increased CO2 in the atmosphere will result in more positive than negative feedbacks on temperature? If we don’t make any effort to change CO2 emmissions world temperatures will increase by more than 2C over the coming century? Reducing CO2 emmissions to 50% of current levels by 2050 will reduce this increase to under 2C? 2C is the magic number? Two of these questions are not like the others. My motive for looking at this is to work out if the EUR15 per tonne of CO2 tax that I pay is justified. Also as a PhD engineer with many published papers I would like to know that the science is good and properly examined with all potential alternative theories taken on board. Thank you for admitting that it’s all about your EUR15 per tonne of CO2 tax. The scientific questions you raise have all been answered definitively, as you would know if you actually understood the science. You are really asking just two questions: Will I be a winner or a loser? (i.e. “Will the costs, to me, of AGW be greater than the benefits, to me, of BAU?”) If I’m a winner, why should I pay to help the losers? These are not scientific questions. You won’t find the answers to them on this blog. In any case, it’s evident from your blognomen that you’ve already answered them to your satisfaction. Why are you posting here, then? Comment by Mal Adapted — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:01 AM 447. Tom Fuller says: Many of the criticisms leveled against the IPCC, AR4, and CRU are valid and serious. Many? Please enumerate. I would bet large sums of money that Steve Mosher, Steve McIntyre, ‘Bishop Hill’ and Anthony Watts would agree with me. Why would you want these characters on your side, instead of actual climate scientists? Comment by Jim Galasyn — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:14 AM 448. “My guess is that the social worker is coming to the forefront with Curry, and she thinks she can ’save’ people by bending over backwards to ’see their point of view’.” You have to bend over backwards before you can put your head up your … Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:21 AM 449. Judith Miller says: The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion. And the evidence for this assertion is…? Comment by Jim Galasyn — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:24 AM 450. “As I read it, she states that the process is corrupted … not the people. A subtle but important point.” Also vague and unsupported, therefore untenable in a discussion. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:24 AM 451. Geoff Wexler@431 Thank you Comment by John Peter — 19 Apr 2010 @ 10:10 AM 452. Tom Fuller (#416) is a piece of work. “Concern troll” does not do this fellow justice. He affects a reasonable tone here; not so much in his online “Examiner” column and in comments on other blogs where he refers to RealClimate’s moderators and regular commenters as propagandists and brainwashed robots and whines bitterly about how mean everyone here is to him. He proclaims himself a “liberal skeptic”, as though having a “liberal” or “conservative” point of view has anything whatsoever to do with the scientific reality of AGW. He claims that he accepts the reality of AGW in order to establish credibility, and then consistently attacks the science and the scientists (as in comment #416) with an onslaught of bogus talking points copied and pasted verbatim from denialist websites. There is a market for writers who are willing to tell the Ditto-Head demographic what they want to hear. And there are many wannabe pundits and hack pseudo-journalists chasing that market. Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Apr 2010 @ 10:20 AM 453. Tom Fuller writes, “Many of the criticisms leveled against the IPCC, AR4, and CRU are valid and serious. Most of us who make these criticisms do not believe that, even if all of them are 100% true, they invalidate climate science.” The only really serious issues before us are the danger of global warming and what actions should be taken to mitigate it. Pretty much everything else is academic. So it is hard for me to understand how criticisms that do not invalidate climate science can be regarded as “serious.” In science, as in any human endeavor, there are always mistakes, or at least things that could have been done better. The hardest errors to catch, and therefore the most common, are the ones that don’t affect the conclusions. In peer-reviewing papers, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a submitted paper without a typo, and I routinely see them in work published in major journals with professional copy editors. Critics of climate science have a long history of picking on inconsequential errors and exaggerating in such a way as to give the impression that they invalidate the serious conclusions. Remember the media frenzy over whether 1934 or 1998 was the warmest year in the US? Or the more recent media frenzy over an IPCC error in reporting exactly how long it is expected to take the glaciers to melt? Those who bring up such issues in a discussion over the reality and consequences of global warming, without making it extremely clear that they are inconsequential with respect to the genuinely serious issues, are (reasonably, I think), suspected of trying to feed ammunition to the anti-global warming cranks. My impression is that errors and scientific flaws brought up in appropriate context are generally dealt with seriously and forthrightly by climate scientists, particularly on this forum. Comment by trrll — 19 Apr 2010 @ 10:46 AM 454. It would seem having been soundly slapped down in their strategy of character assassination, the new word from the mother ship is to keep the accusations so vague and malleable that they cannot be refuted. Judy Curry now alleges “groupthink” or “cargo-cult science” or “tribalism”–careful not to hurl allegations against any individual scientist, who might mount a defense. No. Wouldn’t want that. Much better to use the passive voice. “Mistakes were made,” sounds so much nicer–and every bit as insidious–as allegations of outright fraud. And it can’t be rebutted–or even challenged–in a court of law or public opinion. So now it’s the IPCC “process” that is corrupt, not the scientists. I would find it fascinating to know just what critical conclusions about climate science would differ if we went with the consensus in the scientific literature rather than that expressed in the IPCC documents. But then details aren’t part of the instructions from the mother ship, are they? Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Apr 2010 @ 10:57 AM 455. And by “Judith Miller,” of course I meant “Judith Curry.” No need to bring fantasy WMDs into this thread. Comment by Jim Galasyn — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:12 AM 456. OT, it seems there is more evidence of somewhat greater impact of GW (or deglaciation) on local earthquakes – see http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1919/2501.abstract?ct=ct I’m just wondering if deglaciation in other parts of the world (aside from big glacier areas like Greenland & Antarctica) might also experience increased earthquates, perhaps due to the extreme rapidity of our current warming. It seem the rapidity might be a enhancing factor of such activity in this era. How about Andes or Himalayan deglaciation & increased quakes? Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:22 AM 457. The natural sciences including climate science boils down to a scientific method: 1) Observe 2) Create hypothesis (explaining observations) 3) Test hypothesis experimentally (in a controlled environment) Would experiments support hypotheses, you have found something new explaining reality. Would experiments something else, modify or reject hypothesis and start over. Basically, this method is the only one creating accumulative knowledge. in each step, previous knowledge is tested in control experiments. This is the method, how also climate science has reached current conclusions about human-induced global warming. The beauty of the scientific method is its transparency. Anyone mastering it can repeat all the necessary experiments, from the beginning to the latest Science paper. True sceptic tests previous hypotheses all the time. True sceptic also accepts, that most of the time previous explanations are valid, more valid those which have been tested longer time and more times. Comment by Petro — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 AM 458. Tom Fuller (#416) is a piece of work. “Concern troll” does not do this fellow justice. He affects a reasonable tone here; not so much in his online “Examiner” column and in comments on other blogs where he refers to RealClimate’s moderators and regular commenters as propagandists and brainwashed robots and whines bitterly about how mean everyone here is to him. Actually, he adopts the same reasonable tone he uses here on every site ran by pro-science types, and then, as you point out, turns nasty and vile elsewhere, including his own blog and other denialist blogs. A bit of a jekyll and hyde performance. Tom Fuller is not to be trusted. I don’t believe his “I really believe in the science” whine any more than I believe in the sincerity of his co-author Stephen “Piltdown Mann” Mosher. Comment by dhogaza — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:44 AM 459. Ray, #454, there’s also the “make vague accusations why some action is wrong”. cf Gilles “not using fossil fuels would be inconvenient, therefore we should use them”. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:45 AM 460. John Peter @ 417 OT Guess I never heard before there was anything called “evolutionary biology”. Wow that’s an eye opener for me. You are science knowledgeable and are probably a person who is well read by choice, and yet …. All life evolves and has done so for a rather long time, so evolutionary biology is a vast field which cuts across and underlies the other parts of biology. Re the other comments – read Dennett ? Not a bad thing to do in itself but he is not a biologist. For heaven’s sake try a bit of the real thing first. Let me see — 1 Your Inner Fish – read for sure. 2 some current mostly genomic type stuff – The language of life by Collins Evolution for everyone 3 dropping back in time – Darwin’s Lost World by Brasier 4 the best little (larger sizes are available) intro to speciation – Frogs Flies and Dandelions by Schilthuizen Some recent books that cover multiple topics Only a theory by Kenneth Miller Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins The Tangled Bank – by Carl Zimmer – has his own blog http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/ Some not so recent books On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin Blogs? plenty. e.g. The Panda’s Thumb; the BioLogos blog is a religiously oriented evo blog Human evolution – John Hawks blog, see also TalkOrigins.org Hominins FAQ Creationists are a problem, but sometimes fun: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/04/the-silliest-th-3.html Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Apr 2010 @ 12:19 PM 461. @RL 454 Judith Currys balanced discussion represents the finest spirit of a balanced scientific debate, whereas the treatment by ‘real climate’ demonstrates the lack of confidence to even enter into that debate. I think quite correctly she describes the corruption of the process and the spinning of what the science means (by the IPCC in particular) rather than the science itself. But this is at the heart of how the mainstream media and policy makers have exaggerated the threat to such a degree that people then lose faith in the science itself.( and there is evidence they are ) I feel climate scientists forget how many other apocylyptic scares the public have been subjected to that are simply sexed up scientific work (commonly quite mundane). This distortion we might call post modern science or ‘ecopoliticalscience’ ie. more to do with absolving politicians of any responsibility for the risk in question (and making us all pay for it) [Response: Scientists should be correcting misconceptions in the media whether this is in a direction that minimizes the problem or if it is exaggerating the problems. Both things exist and to blame scientists for media mistakes is misplaced. -gavin ] Comment by PKthinks — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:12 PM 462. Tom Fuller wrote “Like I said, Curry gets this. You all apparently do not.” Fuller provided a list of specific concerns, 1 of which I agree with, but most seem to me specious, Curry didn’t even do that. What is “cargo cult science” supposed to mean? Why, in the middle of a request for reasonableness, bring up a merely rhetorical, portmanteau charge like that? Curry either has a tin ear for argument or she has a thinly veiled agenda. Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:20 PM 463. Raven (414) — Here you are: http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2010/04/sea_level_rise_defence_and_dev.html Assume linear SLR to find how wet you’ll be. Comment by David B. Benson — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:20 PM 464. Pete Dunkelberg@460 Thank you very much. I’ve already reserved Dennett from our library, but I’ll certainly look into your refs also. When I began to post here, I said I am very grateful for the assistance this very high quality RC site gave me with my climate science education. That help has been of much greater value than I ever would have imagined. Thanks again to one and all. You are a wonderful bunch of people. I said I would attempt to return your very valuable gifts by trying to share some of my accumulated life experiences although I expected this offering to be of much less value than the education I was receiving. There again, my expectations far exceeded my capability. Since this is a blog, I suggested that you ignore any of my comments that didn’t seem useful and I am delighted by the courtesy with which you have responded. I know that my statements are only my opinion, no more, no less. In all candor I now realize that my opinions were nowhere near as valuable as I had hoped. Thank you all for your patience. At this point I intend to stop posting. I’ve said all that I think I know how to, probably several times over. Actually Judith yesterday expressed most of any important contributions I might make anyway, as well as many more than I could imagine. She also expressed them much more clearly and concisely that I ever could. Many thanks again, I’ll be watching, continue along your paths with the best of luck. John Peter Comment by John Peter — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:41 PM 465. Judith Curry’s attempt to engage climate contrarians is well meant but it seems to be based on the assumption that these people are fair-minded critics whose goal is the advancement of scientific knowledge. It’s all very well for her to ask other climatologists to spend time rebutting Montford’s book, but is she also urging McIntyre to publish his “audits” that find no problems with published climate research articles (surely, there must be the odd one) or for Watts to respond honestly to refutations of his ideas on urban heat islands or the alleged undersampling of weather stations? I fear that by engaging these people as reputable participants, she is conferring on them a status that they do not deserve. Professor Curry claims that mainstream science needs to clean up its act. But, while she’s busy complaining about the specks in the eyes of mainstream scientists, let’s hope that she tries to do something about the beams in the eyes of those contrarians that she now wants to engage in debate. I’m doubtful that she’ll get any real quid pro quos from the contrarians but it will at least be an interesting experiment to watch. Comment by Andy S — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:49 PM 466. “You’re bothered by the fact that they’ve (WWF) made comments on draft reports? Everyone can.” This is not true. The draft reports were not made public. Similarly, read RC’s articles about mistakes in the IPCC reports – one or two of them were where WWF was cited and made the incorrect summary of the actual studies. [Response: you have this competely wrong. The way you get a ‘seat at the table’ is simply by publishing relevant stuff. WWF does some pretty good work on synthesising the published literature (I was loosely associated with a report on oceans recently) and the authors were scrupulous about getting it reviewed and getting it right. Mistakes still occur of course, but there is no priviliged position for these NGOs compared to any others. – gavin] It is very difficult to say that the IPCC reports are free of political bias when advocacy groups are at the table to give imput on the shaping of the documents. It is needless political polarization that seems to be appealing to a base for support of the report rather than neutral science. Comment by Frank Giger — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:55 PM 467. Judith Curry’s attempt to engage climate contrarians is well meant but it seems to be based on the assumption that these people are fair-minded critics whose goal is the advancement of scientific knowledge. It’s all very well for her to ask other climatologists to spend time rebutting Montford’s book, but is she also urging McIntyre to publish his “audits” that find no problems with published climate research articles (surely there must be the odd one) or for Watts to respond honestly to refutations of his ideas on urban heat islands or the alleged undersampling of weather stations? I fear that by engaging these people as reputable participants, she is giving them a status that they have not earned. [Response: Yes indeed, that is exactly what she is doing. And without any recognition of it either. As for McIntyre, I see no evidence of “the odd one”. He never acknowledges anything positive from climate science. This alone should tell the unbiased person something very important about him. As for Montford’s book–the fact that someone is writing books on the hockey stick 12 years later speaks volumes about where they are at on the science of climate change. It’s an absolute and utter joke.–Jim] Professor Curry claims that mainstream science needs to clean up its act. But, while she’s busy complaining about the specks in the eyes of mainstream scientists, let’s hope that she tries to do something about the beams in the eyes of those contrarians that she now wants to engage in debate. I’m doubtful that she’ll get any real quid pro quos from the contrarians but it will at least be an interesting experiment to watch. [Response:They will use her for whatever they can get out of her, as they do with everything. Great post–Jim] Comment by Andy S — 19 Apr 2010 @ 1:59 PM 468. #372 simon monckton Simon, you could help maybe these looking at the plateau you speak of, understand that 10 years does not make a climate trend. Someone might correct me but my understanding is that the 2-4 degree rise is not reliant on “a large net positive feedback” and that the climate models don’t contain that which is not reasonably quantified. As to the effects of clouds, the geocarb and many other studies indicate that the earth was much warmer than today in the past. It is not unreasonable to see that the Lindzen Iris Effect stands on very shaky ground in this respect. My question is, if the Iris Effect is real then what are the mechanisms that allowed the temperature to be higher in the past. If Lindzen can get that quantified he may have something. But in general it looks like a pretty weak theory in contrast to the earth system capacity to warm up and cool down with a little push. As to feedbacks, I’m quite concerned about what we don’t know because the paleo record has warming in it with out human influence. Maybe flood basalt eruptions and asteroids were initiators but look at the Eocene? What kept the temperature rising? I suspect that continental plate position combined with other effects were involved but there is at least reason to believe that albedo reduction and the hydrologic impacts are certainly in play. How much? Consider the sensitivity of the entire earth system as Gavin has proposed. Based on changes in the paleo record there is reasonable evidence and cause to believe that the sensitivity of the system itself has compounding dominoes that continue to fall in the inertial direction they begin and more rapidly than the Charney estimates. If true, and there is no good reason to think otherwise that i can see, we are looking at significantly larger and faster changes than the GCM’s can account for at this time. This should worry you as it does so many others that are looking at it seriously. A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:14 PM 469. #423 Raven #438 Bob You, and many others continue to miss the point. For a brief overview consider this: The majority of the math and physics were well understood by the 50’s, especially when the upper atmosphere research was conducted by the US military (because we needed to understand what would happen to ballistic missiles up there, while they were on their way to various destinations around the world). - 1950’s basics of climate math and physics well understood and that adding GHG’s could and would be expected to warm the planet – 1970’s Milankovitch Cycles confirmed. So anything after that was really copious amounts of icing on the cake. We really did not need climate models to confirm glob al warming but they certainly do help. The observations and related proxies are sufficient to confirm that ‘this’ global warming event is largely if not entirely (with respect to forcing) human caused. Let me emphasize the end of that last sentence. PERIOD A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:24 PM 470. JPR: there was also a huge amount of work done on IR absorption at different layers in the atmosphere in the development of the AIM class (AIIM-7 onward) of passive IR A-A weapons. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 2:36 PM 471. #470 CFU Thanks for the detail. I recall the AIM-7 (Sparrow I believe it was called). I used to drive by it every day on my way to work, along side an AIM-9 at the gate at Naval Weapons, Camp Pendleton. Not positive though, been awhile since I was on that base. A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:05 PM 472. voteno (434): Is the Earth warming by more than normal climatic variation? BPL: Yes. The Earth should now be cooling if you go by Milankovic cycles. Do you believe that UHI is accutately accounted for in HadCrut and GISS? Yes. What makes you think it isn’t? Are sea levels going to rise by more than the current 3.3 mm per year for the next century? Probably, since the rise is accelerating, and since we don’t know when there might be catastrophic failures in major ice sheets. Does increased CO2 in the atmosphere have more negative than positive effects? Yes. Increased drought in continental interiors is a major threat to human agriculture. Increased temperatures (asumes yes to Q1) will increase or intensify storms? A minor issue. I for one don’t much care. Increased temperatures from increased CO2 in the atmosphere will result in more positive than negative feedbacks on temperature? Yes. That’s so well established at this point it takes a deep degree of ignorance of the field to even bring this up. If we don’t make any effort to change CO2 emmissions world temperatures will increase by more than 2C over the coming century? Probably. Especially if we trip some of the geophysical feedbacks that could suddenly make the problem immensely worse (e.g. permafrost and seabed clathrates). Reducing CO2 emmissions to 50% of current levels by 2050 will reduce this increase to under 2C? Maybe, but I’d like to see them reduced much more. BTW, it’s “emissions.” 2C is the magic number? So they think. I’m not sure if it is or not. The hardest thing to understand about this issue is the motives of people. My motive for looking at this is to work out if the EUR15 per tonne of CO2 tax that I pay is justified. Also as a PhD engineer with many published papers… But NOT a climatologist. So you have no special expertise in the field. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:22 PM 473. PKthinks (461): the mainstream media and policy makers have exaggerated the threat to such a degree that people then lose faith in the science itself. BPL: What part of “human civilization could be completely destroyed if business as usual continues” do you not understand? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:34 PM 474. Cool link, Lynn; thanks. (#456.) It reminds me of Eckholm, who thought that crustal deformation might be part of a climate feedback cycle involving vulcanism. (Of course, he didn’t know about radioactive decay replenishing Earth’s interior heat, and thus was forced to conclude that the Earth must be contracting due to slow ongoing cooling.) WRT the Andes and Himalayas, my layman’s guess is that this mechanism probably is not significant, since 1) the weight of ice is so much less than the weight of the mountains themselves, and 2) both are still active uplift areas (IIRC.) But maybe somebody will weigh in who actually–unlike moi–knows something about the topic. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:11 PM 475. > BPL: What part of “human civilization could be completely destroyed > if business as usual continues” do you not understand? Barton, some people plan to be (or imagine they will be) among the few survivors, and won’t imagine civilization completely destroyed as long as they survive. In fact they may well imagine their sole survival would improve civilization. Cough *Guarani Aquifer* cough. You need to reach them with what climate change can disrupt, perhaps: Our industrial base, our capacity to make high technology equipment, the productive capacity of the oceans, the transportation network, the ability to build and launch spacecraft — if any of those matter to them, they might care about climate change. Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:39 PM 476. votenotokyoto – if a scientist spots an asteroid heading for earth would you ruminate on his/her motives for telling humanity about it?? Assuming something is wrong just because you dont like the consequences doesnt seem a like honest strategy. And looking at your list of “done to death” questions – in science there is always uncertainty. How’s your risk analysis? You can avoid your carbon tax by avoiding carbon – that would be the whole point. But suppose the AGW theory is right and nobody took action? Comment by Phil Scadden — 19 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 PM 477. Hank Roberts wrote: “… some people plan to be (or imagine they will be) among the few survivors …” The phrase “the top one percent” comes to mind. Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 PM 478. On corruption of the IPCC’s processes: the biggest problem I see is the relentless pressure not to be seen as “alarmist”, which has led to the biggest error I’ve seen in FAR (2007): the limitation of sea level projections to those based on theory and models with very high confidence. The resulting projection of a maximum of 0.59m was widely taken as cause for complacency by those who didn’t read the fine print. As James Hansen has said, multi-metre sea level rise in a century is not something we can rule out, and more recent science has projected sea level rise of over 1m by the end of the century. To me this is a much bigger deal than whether someone lost the records of how they produced the results of a paper 20 years ago, or whether WWF or whoever should or should not have been involved in the IPCC. The biggest political influence on the IPCC is the pressure to dampen anything that could be labelled “alarmist”, no matter how justifiable the underlying science. Comment by Philip Machanick — 19 Apr 2010 @ 5:49 PM 479. SecularAnimist (477) — That’s still too many for hunter-gathering. Comment by David B. Benson — 19 Apr 2010 @ 5:52 PM 480. Hank Roberts: Barton, some people plan to be (or imagine they will be) among the few survivors, and won’t imagine civilization completely destroyed as long as they survive. In fact they may well imagine their sole survival would improve civilization. Indeed. It’s a common libertarian and survivalist fantasy, fed by fiction by the likes of Robert Heinlein, etc. Comment by dhogaza — 19 Apr 2010 @ 5:55 PM 481. A kudos to Judith Curry for posting on the subject of open minds knowing exactly how her observations would be treated here by the regulars. It takes courage to wade into this sort of predictable maelstrom, and I appreciate as well the apparently uncensored conflict of ideas even as the moderator strictly holds the line on what he believes to be the true science. Comment by Walter Manny — 19 Apr 2010 @ 6:55 PM 482. @ 447 The phrase “the top one percent” comes to mind. Probably the top ten percent or more. Still, how much influence can 10% have? Unless they have all the money…. http://extremeinequality.org/?page_id=8 Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:01 PM 483. 470 & 471 try Sidewinder. If memory serves, Sparrow belongs to another country. 475 Hank Roberts & 477, 479, 480: You can tell them for sure that THEY will NOT be among the survivors, if any. The survivors do not own computers and have never heard of computers. The survivors are living in the stone age in some place so remote that they will never be found. To own a computer is to be among the for certain dead in a collapse of civilization. See: “Collapse” by Jared Diamond and “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan. The only alternative is Mars or deeper in space. Financial elite types are incompetent to survive on Mars. They just don’t have the right stuff. Figure on maybe a dozen survivors, or fewer, all astronauts with post-doctoral degrees in hard sciences if they are on Mars. Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:08 PM 484. Why people resist believing in Global Warming: Reference: “From Eternity to Here” by Sean Carroll, 2010, page 373: “But at a deeper level, our anthropocentrism manifests itself as a conviction that human beings somehow MATTER to the universe. This feeling is at the core of much of the resistance in some quarters to accepting Darwin’s theory of natural selection as the right explanation for the evolution of life on Earth. The urge to think that we matter can take the form of a straightforward belief that we (or some subset of us) are God’s chosen people, or something as vague as an insistence that all this marvelous world around us must be more than just an ACCIDENT.” If we MATTER to the Universe, then it is a law of Physics that it is impossible for humans to go extinct, or even be harmed in a major way, like a major population crash. Therefore, GW cannot exist, or if it does, GW cannot harm us. Therefore: Job 1: Tell them that Earth is NOT the center of the solar system. They somehow missed it. etc. Absolutely ANYTHING we say is alarmism. We have to give them a “Sign from God”. They are expecting celestial trumpets the size of the solar system, the sky splitting open, angel music with real angels, lightning from planet to planet, etc. Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:29 PM 485. Well put here: http://sphaerica.wordpress.com/ —excerpt follows—- Climate change is similar. It’s going to keep getting warmer. The physics isn’t going to suddenly read Anthony’s blog and say “whoa, this can’t be right, what was I thinking?” At the same time, oil production is going to peak. The decline after the peak is unlikely to be as civilization crushing as “those other alarmists” are pronouncing, but it will affect prices and events, and John and Jane Public will feel it directly. Combined with irrefutable, mounting evidence that the world is warming, people are going to take a second look, and a third. And when people look, they’ll realize they’ve been had… by a ridiculous science “journalist” from Australia, and a weatherman turned blogger, and an amateur scientist with ties to the coal industry… and the cast of characters goes on and on getting only more bizarre. The media will run their next big story, “How Did They Fool Us?”, except that it should be titled “How Did We Get It So Wrong?” The deniers won’t give up, of course. They’ll try NASAgate, and the Rural Heat Island effect, and “but look, this year is colder than last year, the globe is cooling.” They’ll try it all again, but people have been there once. They’ll fall for it eventually, but not right away. Then someone can take down the big green banner that says “Mission Accomplished,” and humanity can get to work on figuring out how to manage energy and life without burning every ounce of fossil fuel that hundreds of millions of years could bury deep within the earth, and without following an ever accelerating downward spiral of mindless and ultimately unsatisfying consumption, in the name of continuously advancing and worshiping the modern God, The Economy. Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:38 PM 486. Can someone please name the “open minds” at CA, WUWT and BH? I have read Dr. Curry’s posts on other sites and I think she really is trying to reach people in hard-to-reach places. Heck, I’ve tried to do the same thing, and so have others who post at various climate blogs. I also follow the responses to her posts and find that posters tend to a) amplify her criticisms of her scientific colleagues, and b) chastise her for sticking up for the science (somewhat patronizingly, IMHO). I would love to find out how she feels she has been successful by posting at places like CA. Comment by Deech56 — 19 Apr 2010 @ 7:50 PM 487. Judith Curry argues for climate scientists to keep an open mind. Just what are we to keep our mind open to? I’d be perfectly willing to consider any actual evidence they published in peer reviewed journals. They don’t publish. When they do write it is scurrilous screeds implicitly accusing the entire scientific community of fraud. Thanks, but I don’t think they make tin-foil hats in my size. Judith says science needs to clean up its act. I ask, just exactly which results have been called into question by the actions of any single scientist or group of scientists? Judith is so busy looking at the sideshow that she’s missing the show in the big tent. That is the fact that science produces reliable approximations of truth even when practiced by fallible humans. THAT is the truly remarkable thing. It’s time to look at the science instead of the audits. Hell, the audits are still working on a 12 year old paper. At this rate it will take them til the 22nd century to audit the science of the 20th! Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Apr 2010 @ 8:16 PM 488. I guess the Fourth CRU Inquiry will have to be “Why the heck didn’t you scientists warn us soon enough and convincingly enough in time to do anything about this??” Oops. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=antarctica-andrill-ice-sheets “… emerging evidence from an Antarctic geological research drilling program known as ANDRILL suggests that the southernmost continent has had a much more dynamic history than previously suspected—one that could signal an abrupt shrinkage of its ice sheets at some unknown greenhouse gas threshold, possibly starting in this century. Especially troubling, scientists see evidence in the geological data that could mean the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which holds at least four-fifths of the continent’s ice, is less resistant to melting than previously thought. … the policy implications are grim. “Our models may be dramatically underestimating how much worse it’s going to get,” he says, noting that many population centers worldwide are within a few meters of sea level. Looking at signs of meltwater in the early Miocene, DeConto says, “we’re seeing ice retreat faster and more dramatically than any model predicts.” Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Apr 2010 @ 8:24 PM 489. “BPL: What part of “human civilization could be completely destroyed if business as usual continues” do you not understand?” What part of “human civilization may *** NOT *** be completely destroyed if business as usual continues” do you not understand?” What part of an asteroid may obliterate the earth do you not understand? What part of a supernova gamma ray burst that kills all life on earth instantly do you not understand? What part of a highly fatal pandemic do you not understand? What part of a nuclear terrorist attack do you not understand? What part of a gigantic volcanic eruption that disrupts food supplies for years do you not understand? What part of – fill in the blank apocalypse – do you not understand? We should solve all these problems, nobody dispute this. We have limited resources. The certainty of AGW catastrophe has been over-stated by many. It is by no means clear where AGW falls in the list of must avoid apocalypse scenarios, and where our money is best spent. Comment by Tom S — 19 Apr 2010 @ 8:25 PM 490. Re: Hank 488 – Color me confused. I thought evidence of melt downs in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet would have been painted in bright colors in the recent (last 20 million years) sea level record. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Sea_Level.png Oh, yeah. Never mind. Comment by Andy — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:04 PM 491. A kudos to Judith Curry for posting on the subject of open minds knowing exactly how her observations would be treated here by the regulars Kudos for Walter Manny for keeping his mind so open it is at risk of falling out of his skull. The problem isn’t the subject of open minds, Manny. The problem is that Curry sees the potential for open minds among the masses, like yourself, that jump up and down with their fingers in their ears going “la-la-la-la”. Curry herself seems to have adopted some of the myths of the la-la-la crowd as truth, in her own mind. Fine. She’s entitled to do so. We’re entitled to point out that up is up and down is down, no matter what she chooses to believe. For those other than Manny, it’s ironic, isn’t it, that she sustains conversations at places like WUWT and CA, yet her contribution here has been a good old-fashioned drive-by post with absolutely no evidence of a desire on her part to take part in a conversation regarding the merits of her post (or to take part in conversation here regarding anything)? Comment by dhogaza — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:17 PM 492. Oh please. I wouldn’t sell the human race’s ability to adapt to planetary changes so short. Or even our society’s. Even the Dark Ages wasn’t that big a leap backwards in Western Civilization, and had no effect on other cultures. Our species survived terrible droughts in Africa due to Ice Ages, then adapted to the cold and then rapid warming in Europe, and will adapt again. Each time technology has gotten a net gain (with some technological noise in the curve). Indeed, if any species can survive the next mass extinction event, I’ll bet on homo sapiens. Comment by Frank Giger — 19 Apr 2010 @ 9:20 PM 493. Weird, that ANDRILL report was published in Nature a month ago. Has anyone heard any comments on it? It’s big news for paleoclimate. Isn’t it?? “DeConto’s collaborator, climate modeler David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, says the answer to the puzzling disparity between model predictions and the core data could lie in an erroneous assumption about Antarctica itself. For example, Pollard says, some parts of the land underlying the East ice sheet might be much lower than currently believed. In that case, if warming oceans strip away the surrounding ice shelves, significant chunks of the ice sheet could slide into the ocean. Subglacial lakes, which form as glaciers slide over depressions, may have an underappreciated role, he added. DeConto says polar stratospheric clouds also need further study. There are indications, he says, that they act as infrared reflectors, which might contribute to ice sheet melting in ways not yet accounted for in models. Whatever the cause, the key evidence for ice sheet dynamism in the Antarctic comes from the core’s lithographic record. Sedimentologists have studied its facies, the visible characteristics that distinguish each stratum, for indications of how warm or cold the surrounding environment was. The McMurdo Sound facies repeatedly vary from “ice proximal,” where fractures, scraping and larger grain size indicate a glacier rumbling by, to “ice distal,” where laminated sediments and marine fossils speak of lapping waves in an ice-free marine environment. Harwood, a University of Nebraska geoscientist, says there is already evidence enough for policymakers to take action against global warming in hopes of preventing a dramatic Antarctic meltdown. “This core is going to be studied for the next 20 to 30 years,” he notes, but already, he adds, the Miocene-age evidence it contains strongly suggests that it would be a mistake to count on ice-sheet stability in the Antarctic. “We see two or three periods of ice-sheet collapse, including one that looks abrupt, with very rapid deglaciation.” —- I mean, there’s the paleo record. Is someone updating the models for the next IPCC report based on these ANDRILL core data? Please? Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Apr 2010 @ 10:00 PM 494. Re #490: Hank, these results are indeed striking. I don’t know if anyone has a detailed Antarctic ice sheet model aside from De Conto and Pollard. I was surprised at the comment that significant parts of East Antarctica might be below sea level, since I had the impression that radar scans had found that to be not the case. Their other ideas for explaining the melt seem a bit hand-wavy. FYI a co-worker of Gavin’s was co-author on a recent paper finding that the Laurentide ice sheet melted from the top rather than collapsed from the bottom, although there’s the large latitude difference to take into account. Comment by Steve Bloom — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:18 PM 495. Re #492: Also, Hank, I couldn’t find anything recent in Nature about ANDRILL. Link? (I did find this article from a year ago regarding their prior results.) Also, IIRC De Conto and Pollard’s prior results (using the model they now say is deficient) from last year found relatively slow melting of the WAIS (~1,000 years). One wonders if that’s now in question. Comment by Steve Bloom — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:43 PM 496. Hank Roberts #492: the IPCC didn’t even include known dynamics of ice sheets in 2007, for fear that the wide error bars would frighten the pollyannas. For the short-term trend watchers: follow the link on my blog to the AMSU-A satellite data, and check out the latest update. So far, since 10 January, only 1 day has not been warmer than the equivalent day for every past year (this data set goes back to 2nd half 1998 but includes the previous record or near-record year, 2005). I’m still wondering when (assuming this continues) one of the wingnuts is going to steal Christy’s email … Comment by Philip Machanick — 19 Apr 2010 @ 11:47 PM 497. dhogaza #458: I don’t believe his “I really believe in the science” whine any more than I believe in the sincerity of his co-author Stephen “Piltdown Mann” Mosher. dhogaza, it’s called “plausible denialism”. Comment by Martin Vermeer — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:10 AM 498. > Judith Curry argues for climate scientists to keep an open mind. Yep. But, science asks for open eyes. Evidence. Any scientist spending more than a half second taking already a title like ‘the hockey stick illusion’ seriously, is living in a very dark place. Comment by Martin Vermeer — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:29 AM 499. [off topic] Dhogaza (#480), Yeah, but Heinlein also wrote The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, where the heroes mount a revolution to save their home from the ecological collapse a computer model has convinced them is imminent… On a Heinlein spacecraft, what would happen to the “soci-alists” who think air should be free and there should be no cap or price on fouling up the shared atmosphere? A quick citizens’ trial and a one-way trip through the airlock, that’s what. I just don’t get why Heinlein fans would want the coal industry to get a free lunch in Spaceship Earth. Tanstaafl! Comment by CM — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:34 AM 500. “Our species survived terrible droughts in Africa due to Ice Ages, ” With numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Not billions. We also had ZERO cars. ZERO computers, ZERO hospitals. We also died en masse. Comment by Comletely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:49 AM 501. “470 & 471 try Sidewinder. If memory serves, Sparrow belongs to another country.” Nope, the AIM-9 is the sidewinder. The AIM-7 was the Sparrow and its utility (in the Korean War, IIRC) was really shitty. The tech of persuit computation just wasn’t up to the job. It DID lead to more work but most pilots used it as a dumbfire and to scare off enemy pilots. It was the Sparrow. Comment by Comletely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:54 AM 502. Re #467 and Jim’s response. One is reminded in this regard (engaging with cranks) of the rise of Anthony Brink in South Africa. Full story at Bad Science ( http://www.badscience.net/2009/04/matthias-rath-steal-this-chapter/ ) with the relevant section below: “Brink stumbled on the “AIDS dissident” material in the mid-1990s, and after much surfing and reading, became convinced that it must be right. In 1999 he wrote an article about AZT in a Johannesburg newspaper titled “a medicine from hell”. This led to a public exchange with a leading virologist. Brink contacted Mbeki, sending him copies of the debate, and was welcomed as an expert. This is a chilling testament to the danger of elevating cranks by engaging with them. In his initial letter of motivation for employment to Matthias Rath, Brink described himself as “South Africa’s leading AIDS dissident, best known for my whistle-blowing exposé of the toxicity and inefficacy of AIDS drugs, and for my political activism in this regard, which caused President Mbeki and Health Minister Dr Tshabalala-Msimang to repudiate the drugs in 1999″.” And a repeat for effect: “This led to a public exchange with a leading virologist. Brink contacted Mbeki, sending him copies of the debate, and was welcomed as an expert.” Comment by Chris S — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:27 AM 503. The report, which is only 5 pages long, is at: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/SAP Has anyone commenting here read it, I wonder? Comment by Chris Squire [UK] — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:33 AM 504. FG (491), I agree that the species will survive. I nonetheless don’t want civilization to fall. A disaster that doesn’t kill everybody is still a disaster. What in the world makes you think it’s okay just to wipe out 95% of humanity? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:13 AM 505. Where do you get this number of 95% of humanity getting wiped out? Where is the proof for this? Comment by Frank Giger — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:17 AM 506. 491 (Frank Giger), Indeed, if any species can survive the next mass extinction event, I’ll bet on homo sapiens. Species, yes, probably, in fact almost certainly. Individuals? Hundreds of millions, even billions of individuals? Unlikely. You and your family, or me and my family? Also very unlikely. Our current political systems, values, way of life, technology and maybe even shared history? No. See posts 475 (Hank Roberts), and 480 (dhogaza). Comment by Bob — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:46 AM 507. “What in the world makes you think it’s okay just to wipe out 95% of humanity?” When he thinks he’ll be in the 5% and ESPECIALLY when he has to pay his way to avoid it. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:53 AM 508. Our species survived terrible droughts in Africa due to Ice Ages, then adapted to the cold and then rapid warming in Europe, and will adapt again. Each time technology has gotten a net gain (with some technological noise in the curve). Indeed, if any species can survive the next mass extinction event, I’ll bet on homo sapiens. As BPL points out, Frank Giger is endorsing needless deaths and large-scale suffering in the name of … Gotta-have-that-SUV? Just what does justify your cavalier attitude towards the future death and suffering of others, Giger? Comment by dhogaza — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:54 AM 509. John Peter #205: 1) The “Wegman Report” is not credible as a critique of climate science, though of course that won’t stop the ‘skeptics’ from hauling it out regularly. 2) “biological studies’ encompass vastly more than just drug studies. I assure you with complete confidence that the input of a professional statistician are NOT a requirement for publication of most biological research. Comment by Steven Sullivan — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:59 AM 510. “461 PKthinks says: 19 April 2010 at 1:12 PM @RL 454 Judith Currys balanced discussion ” Balance doesn’t mean take all sides equally. Please read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_balance Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:03 AM 511. PS this may help too, PK: Okrent’s law, stated by Daniel Okrent: The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true. Referring to the phenomenon of the press providing legitimacy to fringe or minority viewpoints in an effort to appear even-handed. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:06 AM 512. “Indeed, if any species can survive the next mass extinction event, I’ll bet on homo sapiens.” There are 6.8 billion individuals in the species at present so the likelihood of a fertile male and female emerging at the other end of the process of global warming is pretty good, but it’s a fairly abysmal target. It sounds like you’re content to sacrifice 6,799,999,998 individuals just so we can burn some more carbon. Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:31 AM 513. Re Frank Giger @491: “Our species survived terrible droughts in Africa due to Ice Ages, then adapted to the cold and then rapid warming in Europe, and will adapt again.” It’s estimated that around 1000 breeding human pairs “survived” the consequences of the Toba eruption ~70,000 tears ago. Is this what you have in mind for us? Comment by Jim Eager — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:39 AM 514. Hi all, sorry to be OT, but any chance of a thread on this… http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/issues/climate_forcing.xhtml i was told that this subject was just ammunition for deniers (and that Bill Mcguire was suspect), when i tried raise it on RC a few years ago. I would suggest that this attitude should not drive the scientific subjects RC covers. Discuss it if you dare! :-) Best Regards, Mark Comment by mark — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:57 AM 515. Judith Curry has been hanging with McIntyre for about a year now, even to the point of appearing with him on stage. Maybe she thought she could influence him, but Mc has gotten worse, if anything- try reading his “The Trick Within a Trick” on CA about the CRU exoneration. Mc’s entire MO is to be shocked about climate scientists’ data and behavior. So, it’s apparent that her influence on him has been either zero or negative. Yet, she continues to hang with him, and also continues to endorse the basic findings of mainstream climate science, notwithstanding her mouthing denier talking points about tribalism etc.. I must confess to being utterly puzzled by this woman. You could float a few theories- she lives in politically conservative Georgia, she likes the dissonance of extreme outlier opinion, she respects Mc for being so stubbornly rebellious (against the facts, that is), her plan is to expose and humiliate him in a future tell all, she has money issues and needs a secret angel… Who the hell knows? I don’t. Comment by mike roddy — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:20 AM 516. Frank Giger wrote: “Our species survived terrible droughts in Africa due to Ice Ages, then adapted to the cold and then rapid warming in Europe, and will adapt again.” Others have already pointed out that this is a rather cavalier attitude — indeed, a near sociopathic attitude — towards the massive and long-term suffering that unmitigated global warming will certainly bring down upon billions of human beings, and the likely collapse of present-day human civilization. I would also point out that there are scientifically plausible scenarios in which anthropogenic global warming triggers processes that could indeed wipe out not only the human species, but the vast majority of species on this planet. And for what? So that millions of Americans can sit, frustrated and impatient, in giant gas-guzzling SUVs, stuck in gridlock traffic for hours at a time, day after day after day, while ExxonMobil rakes in 100 million dollars per day in profit and proclaims that any effort to reduce the monumentally wasteful and destructive use of fossil fuels is an “attack on liberty”? Comment by SecularAnimist — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:21 AM 517. “502 Frank Giger says: 20 April 2010 at 7:17 AM Where do you get this number of 95% of humanity getting wiped out? Where is the proof for this?” Let’s assume 95% is exaggerated. What level of avoidable death and destruction would you find acceptable in order to avoid addressing AGW? 50%? 30%? Even 10% at present global population levels means about 700 million people dead. Contrast that with about 60-70 million killed in World War 2. That also doesn’t take displacement of populations into account. Is 10x the casualties of WW2 acceptable, provided you don’t have to pay a carbon tax? Comment by Witgren — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:27 AM 518. “It’s estimated that around 1000 breeding human pairs “survived” the consequences of the Toba eruption ~70,000 tears ago.” I seem to recall that the genetic diversity required at least 50,000 individuals to survive the sapiens crunch. Note: the genetic diversity between all non-African humans is smaller than the genetic diversity between nearby chimpanzee family troops and most of the human genetic diversity is within Africa. So unless Africa is left mostly unaffected, genetic problems are an inevitable consequence of a second population squeeze. This may not worry some of the more rural humans, but recessives are a big problem: why can you breed closer together dogs than you can humans? Human genetic poverty. I, for one, do not wish to have to learn to play the Banjo… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:29 AM 519. Urgent Temporary Opportunity for research in Europe? I have been asked if anyone is using the temporary lack of aircraft in Europe to do some measurements on contrails cloud formation etc. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:46 AM 520. Frank Giger wrote: Indeed, if any species can survive the next mass extinction event, I’ll bet on homo sapiens. I’d bet on Blattella germanica Comment by SecularAnimist — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:48 AM 521. “502 Frank Giger says: 20 April 2010 at 7:17 AM Where do you get this number of 95% of humanity getting wiped out? Where is the proof for this?” Where do you get the proof that humans will survive, Frank? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 9:58 AM 522. Re: Judith Curry. She’s a fascinating case of the quixotic. Has RealClimate ever approached her to write an article *here*? Her infrequent and thoughtful posts to the ‘skeptic’ sumps are always reviled by a large fraction of the respondents there as the work of a hopeless ‘warmist’. At least here she wouldn’t get *that*. ;> I think a dialogue between her and the folks behind RealCLimate, not to mention the respondents here, would be most interesting. Comment by Steven Sullivan — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:01 AM 523. John P. IJIS Arctic sea ice extent still highest since 03. The Danish Arctic-roos site has Arctic sea ice extant & area on the 1979-2006 average. However, Cryosphere Today seems reluctant to get above the 1979-08 ave. Does that mean ice VOLUME still increasing? http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic Comment by J. Bob — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 AM 524. Here is a postive article that may make your day look a little brighter. The article is called Optimism for a clean energy future written by Maggie Fox, President and CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36031.html Enjoy and have a nice day. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36031.html Comment by Triple Bay — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:28 AM 525. Oops, my last post was obviously written before I’d seen Curry’s post later in the thread, where she cited Montford. What a shame. Comment by Steven Sullivan — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:36 AM 526. BPL: I agree that the species will survive. I nonetheless don’t want civilization to fall. A disaster that doesn’t kill everybody is still a disaster. What in the world makes you think it’s okay just to wipe out 95% of humanity? [followed by a flurry of attendent tirades towards ol Frank :)] What is the basis for the implicit assumption that large population reduction = loss of “civilization”? When did what you “want”, or think is “OK”, become the scientific basis for deciding the sustainable size of the human herd? This question is one most here keep dancing around, but never apply science to. I suppose because it’s really OT, but it’s definitely what brings many folks here, especially those like Gilles and Andreas … Frank not so much maybe, although I don’t read him as being a BAU denialist …. and it’s always treated as a problem of values, not science. “avoidable death”?? comparisons to WW2?? Really disappointing, especially coming from folks who usually present good science arguments and links. Some of us are quite convinced that overpopulation is pretty much the core of most human problems today. Why do responses to that question always devolve to virtually religous ones? It seems to me that the developed world [the “civilization” valued] has pretty much destroyed it’s environment to achieve high standards of living for relativitly few. With the bulk of easily obtainable energy used up, extreme damage already done to the oceans [sustenance for a large portion of the current poor population], about a third of global population already suffering malnutrition, and current levels of land-based food production [based on pillaging the environment] already inadequate to support those malnourished ….. how can a population of current and projected size NOT be an existing disaster for the planet? Assume some inconcievable revolution in human behavior that resulted in reducing human effects on climate change to near zero, which I believe would require massive reductions in FF energy consumption, cessation of land clearing for “development”, even for increased food production, and core changes to the “growth” mentality” of western socities, not to mention some pie-in-the-sky mitigation schemes …. what population would provide a sustainable future for your [I have none] progeny? More than current? 5% less? 25% less? 50% less? Who here has shown evidence that BAU inevetibly results in a 95% human “die off”, or even 75%? [BAU including application of exotic mitigation schemes – the high tech we call civilization] Wouldn’t the population “crash” naturally reach some sustainable level? Can you cite any evidence for what a sustainable human population would be and what it would look like? Would a greatly reduced population necessarily be UNcivilized? Would a large reduction necessarily mean reverting to the social order extant in the past at that number? Is humanity somehow exempt from the population dynamics observed in other species? Does the fact that most would find loss of say a billion or 2 humans a tragedy, mean we must find a way to preserve an unsustainable number? Is there a way to ramp down the population gradually? The Chinese approach? Discuss, don’t dismiss as if it’s not a relevent problem. Comment by flxible — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:38 AM 527. Frank Giger blames climate inaction on the Democrats, who have a majority in the House and a Democrat in the Oval Office. Not the Republican’s fault, no sir. Seriously, Mr. Giger? You’re chiding the Democrats for not voting as a reliable monolithic block, like the modern Republicans? Is that really what you want? Comment by Steven Sullivan — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:59 AM 528. Ray Ladbury #454 ” Judy Curry now alleges “groupthink” or “cargo-cult science” or “tribalism”–careful not to hurl allegations against any individual scientist, who might mount a defense. ” Not really ‘now’ , Ray; Dr. Curry was already using this rhetoric back in Nov 2009 (http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/22/curry-on-the-credibility-of-climate-research-2/). Like Monbiot she seems to have lost her shi..er, I mean, her moorings a bit once the ‘Climategate’ broke. I would really like to see her debate on RC, on a specific list of things she thinks is wrong and why. And I’d like to see Gavin et al. respond (even if it’s redundant to previous RC posts) in similar detail. From what she writes I am rather skeptical that Dr. Curry has really spent much time at NON-skeptical sites…it might do her some good. Having a debate with her peers in a public place would do everyone good. Comment by Steven Sullivan — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:13 AM 529. I want to recommend a very thoughtful article, available in an online a biology journal. It’s about how finding facts is done, and how finding patterns relating facts is done, and the differences in how we think doing them. It’s about modeling, and about how information is presented. He refers to the ‘hairball’ (a visual display of complicated interactions or associations) as iconic. I think this is may be useful explaining how the IPCC works as well. There’s finding facts, and there’s modeling how they may relate. The edges of understanding Arthur D Lander, Center for Complex Biological Systems, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, U.C. Irvine, California BMC Biology 2010, 8:40doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-40 Brief excerpt follows: —————– … Although I do not doubt that many of my colleagues in the sciences were lured into their professions by the thrill of discovering new knowledge, I would speculate that at least as many were attracted, as I was, by the challenge of understanding the world in new ways. It has always disappointed me that so much of the vast literature on how science is, or ought to be, practiced deals with the former goal and not the latter…. The question of how we create understanding out of validated bits of knowledge seems to have attracted so much less attention because, I suppose, it is easily seen as trivial…. A graduate student will accomplish it as quickly as a senior professor; more quickly in some cases, because seasoned scientists tend to be more distrustful of the impulse to submerge messy facts beneath neat, orderly concepts. There are many phrases that describe the action of replacing the messy with the simple to promote understanding: ‘creating an abstraction’, ‘generalizing’ and ‘distilling a concept’ come to mind, but the phrase I find most evocative is, ‘building a model’…. Models do not arise by logical inference from data; they are acts of human creation. Any set of data can be modeled in a large (perhaps infinite) number of ways. Our reasons for choosing one over another are not to be found in the data themselves, but rather in our ideas about how a model will help us connect the data to other knowledge. This point is well illustrated in Kyle Stanford’s book Exceeding our Grasp, [1] which investigates the origins of influential biological models that were later discarded or discredited. Stanford relates how some of the best minds in biology routinely failed to conceive of the models that would eventually supplant their own, even when the later models would have equally well fitted all the data to which they had access…. —- end excerpt —- Life on earth is a big part of the climate cycle, though not yet a big part of the climatology as presented to the public because biological changes are hard to document let alone model. For people who don’t click through and read the article, below are some of the references (in the original some are URL links) that may tempt you to consider this relevant. I wonder if this sort of discussion might be useful to Dr. Curry as an approach to thinking out loud about what the IPCC is doing, to get away from the loaded words like “corrupt” and focus on the science. —— 1. Stanford PK: Exceeding our Grasp: Science, History and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. New York: Oxford University Press; 2006. 2. Box GEP: Robustness in the strategy of scientific model building. In Robustness in Statistics. Edited by: Launer RL, Wilkinson GN. New York: Academic Press; 1979:201-236. 6. Epstein JM: Why model? J Artificial Societies Social Simulation 2008, 11:12. 7. Kell DB, Oliver SG: Here is the evidence, now what is the hypothesis? The complementary roles of inductive and hypothesis-driven science in the post-genomic era. Bioessays 2004, 26:99-105. 8. Nabel GJ: Philosophy of science. The coordinates of truth. Science 2009, 326:53-54. 10. Tomlin CJ, Axelrod JD: Understanding biology by reverse engineering the control. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2005, 102:4219-4220. Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:14 AM 530. Secular Animist says: I’d bet on Blattella germanica “The future is bright for dinoflagellates.” — Jeremy Jackson Comment by Jim Galasyn — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:22 AM 531. Frank Giger asks: “Where do you get this number of 95% of humanity getting wiped out?” Can’t speak directly to 90%, but… There are about 41.5 million arable hectares on the planet. If modern agriculture were to collapse–which cannot be ruled out–this land could support about 83 million people, or about 0.8% of the globe’s projected population in 2050 to 2060. Now this presumes that the productive capacity of the environment has not been severely degraded–which also cannot be ruled out. Fisheries are already collapsing, so we don’t get much help from the oceans. Based on this, I would say a 95% decrease is not unlikely. We are way over carrying capacity of the planet in any case. The only reason our current population is so high is that we’ve learned how to turn petroleum into corn and soy beans. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 AM 532. “What is the basis for the implicit assumption that large population reduction = loss of “civilization”?” We’re teaching Eskimos Cost Accountancy. We’re not teaching Cost Accountants how to fish in an ice hole. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 AM 533. “523 J. Bob says: 20 April 2010 at 10:19 AM John P. IJIS Arctic sea ice extent still highest since 03.” The joys of picking cherries. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:38 AM 534. Frank Giger: 5% survival would leave 340 million. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_population_growth_(lin-log_scale).png there were 4 million people 10,000 years ago. If that many survived, it would be .05% survival. 99.95% dead. The % killed by previous collapses, if my memory is correct and I got it right from the anthropology/archaeology department was 99.99%. 1 in 10,000 survival. But they had a livable planet once they wandered far enough from wherever they started. This time, there is no guarantee that there will be anything left to eat anywhere. There is evidence of cannibalism in at least one previous collapse. …. Comment by Edward Greisch — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:55 AM 535. J.Bob @523, it menas both are plotting ice *extent*, just as the graph labels state. Comment by Jim Eager — 20 Apr 2010 @ 12:14 PM 536. I’m just waiting for GKarst to pop up and tell us ice extent is increasing now… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 12:36 PM 537. Re: 529 – my moment of ephiphany was when the sole taxonomic biologist on my committee mentioned in an off hand way that he found huge numbers of microscopic tardigrades (water bears) on the bark of trees downwind of the campus dining hall’s stove vents. Apparently they fed off the grease or bacteria that fed off the grease that otherwise would have accumulated into dripping masses of gunk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade If not for the little stuff that runs the world, it’d have come off the rails a long time ago or we’d be up to our arm pits in our own waste. How much of the natural world can we kill before we don’t have enough air to breathe, or clean water to drink? How much longer can we depend on the earth to breathe in most of the emitted CO2? Man and the earth needs more than just corn, nitrogen fertilizer and oil to survive. The biosphere II experiment was interesting in its failure (CO2 cycling). Comment by Andy — 20 Apr 2010 @ 12:43 PM 538. 1) I blame both Democrats and Republicans – which is something that doesn’t seem to be in vogue around here. My comment was in response to the notion that it is all Republican’s fault. 2) Where is the proof that 95% of everyone is going to die? Show me the published, peer reviewed paper saying that if [insert favorite political action] doesn’t happen, 95% extinction is probable. For all the angst about denialists lying and making stuff up on the site this one went right by the wayside without a quibble. 3) Gotta love this quote: “And for what? So that millions of Americans can sit, frustrated and impatient, in giant gas-guzzling SUVs, stuck in gridlock traffic for hours at a time, day after day after day, while ExxonMobil rakes in 100 million dollars per day in profit and proclaims that any effort to reduce the monumentally wasteful and destructive use of fossil fuels is an “attack on liberty”?” So if the USA suddenly stopped emitting GHG’s the world would be “saved?” Really? It’s just us doing all of this damage? Why the hell is the UN involved if the problem is stupid Americans and their SUV’s? 4) Ray has it right – our population curve is unsustainable even without climate change. Anyone who thinks the doubling and then the doubling of the double can go on infinately hasn’t taken an clear look at things. I just don’t believe that people will voluntarily limit population growth, and at some point it is going to get very nasty. Comment by Frank Giger — 20 Apr 2010 @ 12:55 PM 539. > Judith Curry argues for climate scientists to keep an open mind. Judith is wasting her time…… exactly what contrarians want. She is talented, and spends time with mind numb anti-science chaps. Mean time: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png according to “accu weather” TV hugging met contrarian, the ice has been restored to “Normal” levels, before this recent very fast thin ice melt. He was flat out wrong of course, and thin ice is not his expertise, not weather I suppose. But when a contrarian gets it wrong, they appear more often on TV, sort of like a MSM feedback loop rewarding incorrect prognostications, every body loves a boxer taking a beating! Comment by wayne davidson — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:01 PM 540. “So if the USA suddenly stopped emitting GHG’s the world would be “saved?” Really?” If the USA stopped wasting their energies consuming, they’d find they had a better quality of life because they won’t need to sit in traffic jams so much. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:07 PM 541. “What is the basis for the implicit assumption that large population reduction = loss of “civilization”?” We’re teaching Eskimos Cost Accountancy. We’re not teaching Cost Accountants how to fish in an ice hole. Then, considering fishing of any kind [especially in ice holes] may soon be a thing of the past regardless, and cost accountants have obviously been totally inept by ignoring the true costs of energy economies, we can assume Eskimos and Cost Accountants are not “civilized” or sustainable? Or is it that loss of either = loss of civilization? Citing why civilization is going to hell in the handbasket doesn’t define it or a solution to preserving “civil society” at some undetermined level. Comment by flxible — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:17 PM 542. Re: Apocalyptic warnings of civilization collapsing, human extinction, cannibalism… Uhm, folks, I understand your need to voice such concerns. But keep it down to a low roar, eh? There may be children and impressionable people reading, and they might get the impression this is the scientific consensus you’re talking about, since that’s what this site normally spends its time defending. Remember how the “2012” hype had people writing NASA to ask if they hadn’t better kill themselves/their children/their pets now, so they wouldn’t suffer? I’m not saying the specter of civilization collapsing should not be raised. I think it would be irresponsible not to recognize it as a distinct possibility under business as usual, and insist risk assessments take heed of it. But there are responsible and irresponsible ways of communicating and framing it. Wallowing in angst, by itself, is not motivational. And telling Frank Giger what a genocidal SUV-loving psychopath he must be (for not agreeing that some arbitrarily high percentage of humanity is going to die) is unlikely to convince Frank Giger of anything much, isn’t it? Comment by CM — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:34 PM 543. Frank Giger wrote: “I just don’t believe that people will voluntarily limit population growth …” Considering that there is a huge unmet demand for birth control all over the world (particularly in countries with the highest rates of population growth), it would seem that many people (particularly women) would voluntarily limit population growth, but lack the means to do so. Simply providing contraceptives to those who want them but cannot currently get them would help address the population issue. Having said that, we need to drastically reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions on a time scale of a decade or so, and measures to voluntarily reduce population growth are not going to accomplish that. However, as a rhetorical dodge to divert attention from the need to rapidly reduce fossil fuel use (particularly the monstrously wasteful and lifestyle-degrading fossil fuel use in the USA), the idea has some merit. Comment by SecularAnimist — 20 Apr 2010 @ 1:41 PM 544. Back on the actual topic of this thread: P.6 of the Oxburgh report now has: “Addendum to report, 19 April 2010 For the avoidance of misunderstanding in the light of various press stories, it is important to be clear that the neither the panel report nor the press briefing intended to imply that any research group in the field of climate change had been deliberately misleading in any of their analyses or intentionally exaggerated their findings. Rather, the aim was to draw attention to the complexity of statistics in this field, and the need to use the best possible methods.” H/T BigCityLib. Comment by John Mashey — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:15 PM 545. A new product from the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington: continuously updated Arctic Sea Ice *Volume* Anomaly. The current graph nicely shows that sea ice volume, unlike the more volatile sea ice extent, has not recovered from its 9/2007 minimum. http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php Comment by L Hamilton — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:25 PM 546. CM is quite correct… claims of human extinction will appear to the casual visitor to place RC in the loony-toons category, if only because the casual visitor, along with participants such as Frank Giger, will not have the background to understand the point. Loss of 95% of the human race is not necessarily likely, it is merely possible. This is based on the fact that, for example, Americans per capita consume 2.5 gallons of oil per day. Consumption is in the form of motor transport for themselves and everything they consume, most importantly food and water (pumping stations require power), as well as for fertilizer to grow bountiful food supplies, plastics, energy to create products, energy to produce light and electricity, communication and entertainment (TV broadcasts), and every other aspect of their daily life. If access to this resource is limited by its growing scarcity, the stress on society will be huge. If, simultaneous with its growing scarcity, we discover the need to voluntarily cut usage without alternatives due to serious detrimental effects of climate change, the pressure grows even stronger. If, combined with this resource issue, the planet is faced with severe water shortages and droughts in what was once fertile cropland… If entire populations (the majority of the human race, and therefore many of it’s physical structures, exist along a coast) are displaced by sea level rise… If the human race responds the way it always has to such stresses, with war, conflict and nationalist and chauvinist priorities… Well, things could get grim. No one is saying it’s likely, but it is possible, and the solution will not be some magical cold fusion device that the next Einstein quietly invents in his garage at the last possible moment. The solution is recognition of the realities of the situation now, and a tempered, reasoned, but concerted effort to replace some fossil fuel usage and abandon utterly wasteful lifestyle practices now, before the stresses that force us into action are too great to overcome. That said… do we really need to be expending 2.5 gallons of oil per day for every man, woman and child in the country? Most people go through a gallon of milk a week. Picture a plastic gallon container (made from oil, of course). Two and a half a day. People consume two and half such containers of oil a day. 912 a year! 60 bath tubs full of oil, per year, per person, for America alone (which is less than 5 percent of the world population). And that doesn’t even count coal and natural gas. Comment by Bob — 20 Apr 2010 @ 2:45 PM 547. “95% dead” and the alarming edge of the Overton Window The trouble is that it is not definitely ruled out; it is a rational possibility. But that does not mean that we should focus on it to the exclusion of other outcomes. It is most unlikely that the climate sensitvity to 2 X CO2 is very low (<1.5K). Apart from that there is a range, and in the words of John Houghton (recent lecture) “we just don’t know “. Any value within this range can occur and the actual value depends on judgment as well as evidence. That refers to the subject matter discussed in IPCC working group 1. The uncertainties appear to grow with the other working groups. For educational reasons we have to decide whether to emphasise the bleakest or the less bleak outcomes. The position now is that contrarianism in its various forms is making the worst outcomes more likely because of its delaying action. The middle of the road “cautious” projections are quite bad enough and even these are being attacked. When reviewing Mark Lynas, Gavin distinguished between what could happen and what will very probably happen. I am against too much talk of the 95%. Not because it is impossible, but because it is not helping. It is used by people like Jim Lovelock to go around asserting that it is already too late to do anything. It is used by anti-scientists to accuse the whole of climate science of being alarmist. In addition to Lovelock, I have noticed that some of those (not of course on this site!) , who have rounded unfairly on the CRU have tended to come from the alarming edge of the O window. Fred Pearce and George Monbiot (whom I still admire e.g. for the way he helped to expose Ian Plimer in debate) fall into this category. Where does Wally Broecker fit into this? He appears in Fred Pearce’s book, as a source of gossip. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:23 PM 548. 545 (L Hamilton), Thanks for the link. The only thing I’ve found close to this is the “ice area” estimates from Arctic ROOS I’d love to show it to all of the people trumpeting about “Arctic ice recovery” *rolls eyes*, but unfortunately the fact that they use a numerical model to come up with their estimate (as if everything in human knowledge weren’t, in fact, a model, too) means that “that crowd” will dismiss it out of hand as being both invalid and probably “homogenized.” Comment by Bob — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:26 PM 549. Hank Roberts: Barton, some people plan to be (or imagine they will be) among the few survivors, and won’t imagine civilization completely destroyed as long as they survive. In fact they may well imagine their sole survival would improve civilization. dhogaza: “Indeed. It’s a common libertarian and survivalist fantasy, fed by fiction by the likes of Robert Heinlein, etc.” Tad OT: though quite the libertarian, Heinlein tended to a view of humans and their regard for where they lived as akin to large rats who invariably raped a planet’s resources. Check out discussions of this in “Time Enough For Love” and his later books. He understood the score and tended to be pessimistic about outcomes regarding cooperative efforts amongst the human species. “When a place gets crowded enough to require ID’s, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.” – RAH Comment by J.S. McIntyre — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:36 PM 550. Perhaps OT, but of continuing relevance to the question of AGW: During the 1990s I commanded Boeing aircraft engaged on long-haul flights. Before 9/11 we were able to offer the hospitality of flight-deck visits. To the few who were interested you would discuss the instrument readings and explain (for example) that while the Indicated Air Speed (IAS) was only 250 knots (the air is thin at altitude) the True Air Speed (TAS) might be 500 knots and the Ground Speed (GS) perhaps 600 kts, pointing as you did to the wind-vector read-out which showed (here some trig discussion) maybe 100kts of tailwind component (if you were lucky!). Then you might consider the difference between the TAT read-out (Total Air Temperature, the frictionally-heated aircraft skin temperature) and the SAT read-out (Static Air Temperature, the actual air temperature outside the aircraft). This would typically be 25deg and you would explain that the kinetic heating of the airframe was roughly proportional to the square of the aircraft’s speed in hundreds of miles per hour. (Then there might be a discussion of 1500mph Concorde with its corresponding carpet-stretching 225deg heating and the consequent implications for designing much faster atmospheric flight which would need revolutionary metallurgy). Why am I telling you all this? Because the met forecasts by then were uncannily accurate in the immediate term. You could leave the coast at FL370 and as the 5deg lines of longitude fell behind, the in-flight wind readouts would continue to correspond to those forecast with extraordinary accuracy. But after 9 hours the forecasts began to drift away. No captain I knew would willingly embark on a 10-hour flight without very substantial fuel reserves in excess of the legal minimum (viz Origin to Destination to good-forecast Alternate plus 15 minutes) because of the rapidly increasing uncertainty of the departure forecast. And there’s the rub. No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs. Any meteorologist who doesn’t continually “look out of the window” will get his forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Hence this week’s unnecessary total shut-down of UK airspace. And hence the futility of any prognosis of global climate behaviour in the long term. Comment by simon abingdon — 20 Apr 2010 @ 3:39 PM 551. simon abingdon (550) — But as is repeatedly mentioned, climate is not weather. What is being projected is various long term averages. For a decadal prediction of global GISTEMP, my simple http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530 using just CO2 plus AMO for small corrections does a decent job, I claim, of predicting the average temperature for the 2010s. I’m relucant to attempt to project further in the future than that; for 9 decades of projection, probably the big AOGCMS do rather well and in any case are better than nothing. Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:15 PM 552. In his post on the 20th April 2010 at 3:39 PM, Mr. Abington confuses climate with weather. I may not be able to predict a sequence of unbiased coin tosses, yet I can calculate that the expectation of either heads or tails will be one half. Comment by sidd — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:18 PM 553. The hell with the statisticians, professional or otherwise, global warming is here to stay and our climate scientists are and were and will be right, correct, accurate and true before and notwithstanding this socalled review or report. Mr. Jones should keep his head high and not loose any sleep at all. Look around you, observe and think. It is plain to see, it is the only obvious thing on this planet: IT IS WARMING. I, a member of the set of homo sapiens, feel insulted by this report. There never was a question as to the veracity of the results of our scientist’s efforts. In fact no judgement of any board of inquiry whether positive or negative would or could have changed my mind. Science is NOT done by concensous (that usually applies to sex or some related activity). Nor is it done by agreement or by adherence to a set of protocols or whatever other difficult word you can come up with. Read Darwin’s books. He does not start by saying that he hired a group of statisticians or any other experts. No, indeed not all. He observed, he talked to other people, he even sent emails(snailmails). He thought. And then he took a leap and proposed his hypothesis, provided sufficient evidence and made it into a theory. The rest is history and the reactions were mostly gobblethegook, whether pro or con. Mendelyev did not ask any statisticians or mathematicians what was wrong with his table. He put forward his hypothesis, made some logical decisions and then made some socalled predictions of not yet discovered elements. But I do not call this a prediction at all. Instead it is a logical and necessary consequence of his proposal. He did not know about isotopes, he did not know about valence bands or electrons or whatever our scientists discovered afterwards. But the implied consequence was the soon to be discovered elements, valence bands etc. . The same can be said about Euclid or Archimedes or Newton or Leibniz or Mendel or Arrhenius or any other of our truly outstanding scientists. We have been blessed to have so many. Mr. Jim Hansen has to use his own grandchildren to convince us of the gravity of the climactic situation. You cannot read a better and more comprehensive report of global warming than the ones he has produced so many times and in so many ways. The whole socalled climategate story is just a disgusting example of sacriligeous sanctimony on the part of the ignoramuses. I read with absolute amazement all over the press and the internet what the Boethians thought were the requirements to be a good scientist. This is risible in the extreme. The ONLY requirement is to put forth a good hypothesis, back it up with as small a sample of evidence as possible to justify said hypothesis and build a theory that stands up to the current tests. The rest is so much garbage. We know it will get more detailed and more accurate over time but that is just that:”a detail”. With Gauss I say (quoting very liberally)” I do not want to listen to the Boethians and I do not care a wit about what they have to say. Comment by Joseph Sobry — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:25 PM 554. 550 (simon abingdon), The problem is that you misunderstand the problem. No one is trying to, or needs to try to, predict exactly how each gust of wind on the planet will form, grow, move and die. One only needs to predict, on aggregate, how things are likely to develop, over a range of possibilities and conditions. Such simulations may, in turn, be run thousands of times so that a range of possible outcomes is considered. Consider a coin. No model I could design will accurately take into account enough factors (uneven weight of the coin, slight breeze, how a person flips the coin, shape of the surface on which is lands) to predict whether it will come up heads or tails with any accuracy. But consider 1,000 coin flips. One can predict a distribution of heads and tails among those coin flips with fair accuracy. Predicting weather is predicting one coin flip. Predicting (or rather, modeling) climate is thousands of coin flips in aggregate, repeated hundreds of times. You are also, I suspect, listening to too many weak denier arguments and putting far too much weight on the outcomes of the models among the sizable body of other evidence available. The models support the science, but there is no keystone that you can knock out and then declare the issue as settled. By the way, man would never have gotten to the moon or achieved thousands of other milestones with your approach to what can or cannot be done, and how to go about doing it. Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:26 PM 555. simon abingdon says: 20 April 2010 at 3:39 PM “No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs. Any meteorologist who doesn’t continually “look out of the window” will get his forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Hence this week’s unnecessary total shut-down of UK airspace.” Unnecessary? Planes have had all four engines shut down (and subsequently scrapped) by volcanic dust and their windscreens sandblasted to the point of opacity. I think there was a reasonable argument for shutting down an airspace in which there was a high concentration of volcanic dust at flying altitudes. Or should they have waited for planes to start falling from the sky before they did anything (the libertarian solution)? Comment by Dave G — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:32 PM 556. #550 Climate unpredictable? (Simon Abingdon) As has been said in these threads a thousand times: weather is not climate. Climate is an average thing, that can be predicted with an accuracy that’s useful. See here: http://www.grist.org/article/we-cant-even-predict-the-weather-next-week/ Comment by Dick Veldkamp — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:33 PM 557. I dont think anyone has a real handle on what it would take for our current civilization to collapse (not to mention what do you define as “civilization”). What we have seen in past is societal collapse under far less pressure than rapid warming would produce but then these societies had much less resources than we have. Against this, the change would be global not regional and involves rates of change in the natural world that are unprecedented for our global civilization so who knows? What we can say with confidence though is that rapid climate change lays us open to all manner of very bad things. Do we really want to take that risk? Comment by Phil Scadden — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:36 PM 558. Simon, that’s the old weather/climate confusion. Say you planned to fly across the Arctic, considering the possibility of landing on the ice, would you rather plan your trip for March or for May? The forecast for ice thickness is rather reliably different, and you can make that forecast far more than ten hours in the future. Not everyone pays attention, though: “May 16, 2000 Associated Press Five people aboard a Russian-designed biplane were stranded Monday when the plane landed at the North Pole and sank through the ice.” You’ve stated a classic example of confusing weather and climate. Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:41 PM 559. Frank Giger wrote: “I just don’t believe that people will voluntarily limit population growth …” Hmmm, that’s not what the dat show: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_reveals_new_insights_on_poverty.html Comment by Jim Eager — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:55 PM 560. @550 Capt. Abingdon, speaking as one who used to compute the wind field over the Atlantic and keep your aircraft right on schedule (remember when you used to carry a navigator?), I can assure you that there’s almost no connection between the physics of those wind forecasts and the physics behind the climate models that apply to AGW. The dymamics of weather, even for very big storm systems, takes place on scales of time and space that completely vanish in a climate model. The smallest unit of time that a climate model deals with is (by convention)30 years. That’s a full career in the cockpit. Believe me, the scientists who design and run climate models know their meteorology from the ground up and their geophysics from the exosphere down. The main problem with climate models isn’t lack of understanding of what makes the atmosphere tick, it’s how to integrate that knowledge into a set of equations that will make a computer behave the way the atmosphere behaves for enough model time to yield a valid forecast. It took about 40 years to accomplish that for a weather model that covers only 24 hours over a continent, and we did that about 50 years ago. To a meteorologist of my generation, the progress we’ve made in the past 20 years is astounding. Climate models are getting better every month as experience accumulates and better data becomes available. You’ve gotta remember that looking out of the window doesn’t tell you a thing about the climate. Comment by Dan Lufkin — 20 Apr 2010 @ 4:58 PM 561. Simon Abingdon, Here. Read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate Not the same thing. Do you invest in stocks or mutual funds? No sane person buys a stock today intending to sell it tomorrow–too much uncertainty. Over time, though, there is an upward trend. It is literally bankable. Now go clean up all that straw from that straw man you demolished. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:03 PM 562. Once again, simon abingdon @550 confuses weather forecasting with projecting long term changes in climate. Comment by Jim Eager — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:03 PM 563. CM and Bob, There is a difference between predicting imminent collapse and pointing out that risk is at present unbounded. The latter is a condition of our state of knowledge. However, we must treat the situation serious and spare not effort to avert the threat until the risk is better understood. That is simply probabilistic risk assessment 101. It is simply fact that Earth is over its carrying capacity. It is also a fact that agriculture and human civilization have only existed during the past 10000 years of relative climate stability, and that without a healthy agricultural infrastructure we are 3 orders of magnitude over carrying capacity rather than merely one order of magnitude above. I consider that an important distinction. Frank Giger, Humans have limited population growth voluntarily. Many Europeans countries and Japan are now below replacement levels. This only happens at a fairly high standard of living, unfortunately, and that means greater energy consumption, or at least adequate quality of life. Somehow, we must find a way to ensure quality of life in a way that is sustainable, or our lives will have no quality to speak of. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 PM 564. @Barton #473 and CFU #510,511 I think, ‘human civilization could be completely destroyed ‘ this demonstrates what lack of balance is ! and with regard to ‘both sides equally’ balance does not mean eqivalence, only the ability to weigh each side of a discussion. That means you do not start with the assumption that you know the perfect answer to a debate before it has started, (same as saying the science is settled actually) Comment by PKthinks — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:13 PM 565. Simon Abingdon says: No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs. Climate science doesn’t depend on computer models. Check out a good, college-level textbook to learn why. From reading the pre-print, I recommend Ray’s book, but unfortunately it won’t be out until the end of the year. Comment by Jim Galasyn — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:16 PM 566. Simon Abingdon (#550) ” No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs… And hence the futility of any prognosis of global climate behaviour in the long term.” A total non sequitur. It’s like saying that because a river-flow model can’t predict the exact trajectory of every leaf that falls into the stream, the model is incapable of forecasting that torrential rains will cause the water to rise. Comment by Jerry Steffens — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:31 PM 567. The NASA GISS data on their website show a station’s temp data ‘after combining sources at same location’ and another data set showing ‘after homogeneity adjustment’. They are quite often different. Last year I checked the weather station data for Lismore (Centre St) Australia. The AHA set was different from the ACSASL set. Sometime this year I checked again and found that they the AHA is the same. This seems to have happened to some other stations. Can anyone tell me the reason why they have been changed? You can see the ACSASL set at:- http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=501945860000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1 and the AHA set at:- http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=501945860000&data_set=2&num_neighbors=1 Comment by Ian George — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:32 PM 568. simon abingdon If you cannot tell the difference between climate and weather then you are not well enough informed to comment on this site. Please return to CA or some other fool magnet. This has been a public service announcement from the It-is-impossible-to-call-the-roll-of-a-die-but-easy-it-call-the-average-of-thirty-of-them institute. Comment by elspi — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:37 PM 569. Simon Abingdon – unfortunately your meteoroglical training has not made clear to you the difference between climate and weather. The former being the long term (usually 30 years) trend of the latter. The physics telling us that the earth is and shall be warming is fairly well understood, and therefore we have a completely non-futile understanding of the evolution of climate over the coming century. Comment by guthrie — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:43 PM 570. Climate science doesn’t depend on computer models. Too true. My fav page for demonstrating the salient effect of greenhouse gases on climate: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/not-computer-models/ Comment by Steve in Dublin — 20 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 PM 571. No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs. Any meteorologist who doesn’t continually “look out of the window” will get his forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Hence this week’s unnecessary total shut-down of UK airspace. And hence the futility of any prognosis of global climate behaviour in the long term. Two illogical ‘hences’ and one false ‘unnecessary’. There is no evidence of faulty weather forecasts unless the Telegraph made it up. The shut-down was based on short term forecasts which were constantly being up-dated. The justification was nothing to do with forecasts but the policy of ‘zero tolerance’ of volcanic ash , which is still in operation in the US. That in its turn was based on expert opinion as it stood one week ago. The tolerance level for ash has been raised to-day by a factor of 10 in Europe (Yes it sounds odd if it was zero before). This has been the result of enormous pressure from the aviation industry.In great contrast to the global warming issue , the industry appear to have conducted some research and produced new data to support their case. This was supposed to have been based on flights by e.g. KLM over the ash clouds , followed by careful inspecton of the engines in consultation with the engine manufacturers. Climate models are not just long range weather forecasts and are not essential anyway for the prognosis of global warming. I hope for the sake of safety of others that this kind of commercial Telegraphy type propaganda is not guiding the aviation industry’s major decisons. There is of course a connection with global warming which is the risk that jet engines might run less efficiently after slight damage by ash. This means more CO2 per mile. No idea if true. Comment by Geoff Wexler — 20 Apr 2010 @ 6:22 PM 572. Sobry 553: “The hell with the statisticians, professional or otherwise, global warming is here to stay…” Heh, besides cursing them it’s worth noting that this topic seems to be gaining salience among mainstream statisticians, which ought to prove constructive. See for example the discussion following a March article in AmStat News, including a challenge to the ASA by Hank Roberts: “> The views of climate change ’skeptics’ and ‘deniers’ appear in many media, > from blogs and videos to op-eds and congressional testimony. We prefer to > think of the views of skeptics as part of the scientific spectrum, but > nevertheless believe they are a minority who do not represent the > mainstream scientific viewpoint. Now that you’ve taken this public stance, I hope someone at the ASA is going to watch the comments and not ignore the people claiming to be statisticians who are making claims as statisticians about climate change. You’ve taken notice of an open can of worms — which is good. Now, please keep paying attention to the people claiming statistical expertise about climate change who only appear in blogs and videos. They’re reaching the public with assertions they claim are good statistics. Your move.” http://magazine.amstat.org/2010/03/climatemar10/ Comment by Larry Hamilton — 20 Apr 2010 @ 6:36 PM 573. Let me try to get to grips with the weather/climate question by coming at it from a different angle. I understand what we mean by “weather” because we can pin it down by stating the values of various parameters, for example: Place in question, time of observation, wind direction and speed, visibility, cloudbase and extent, precipitation, temperature and dewpoint, pressure. How do we do the same for climate? What parameters define and specify climate? While we can use broad terms like maritime, continental, temperate, tropical, polar, equatorial, etc there remains a rather uncomfortable feeling of vague generality and lack of scientific rigour. What are a climate’s relevant numbers and units of measurement? What are the boundaries within which a climate exists? If we talk about climate change how do we say exactly what elements have changed and by how much? Is it possible in any case to talk about climate in terms which are convincingly specific? If I think about it I have to say I honestly don’t know. Maybe some of you can help. Comment by simon abingdon — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:24 PM 574. Simon, you might want to check out Barton’s excellent How to Estimate Planetary Temperatures. It’s a quick overview of how we use basic radiative thermodynamics to characterize simple atmospheres. Comment by Jim Galasyn — 20 Apr 2010 @ 7:51 PM 575. 529, Hank Roberts Thanks for the references. Peter Guttorp, who co-wrote the Amstat News article on the current unpleasantness, is presenting a paper at an invited session on AGW at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, BC this August. He has experience in dynamic modeling of fisheries. Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:03 PM 576. Capt. A: The trouble is that the AGW situation is even more abstract than our usual way of thinking about climate. Maritime, continental and the like are classifications of the climate of particular localities or regions while AGW is about *global* climate, and mostly about temperature, at that. If you were to set up an observatory on one of the moons of Jupiter and measure the overall temperature of the Earth as a planet, that would be the global temperature. (It’s easy; astronomers have been making measurements of that kind for 120 years.) Since we’re stuck down here, we have to combine tens of thousands of individual temperature measurements to get the global average. (Don’t worry about measurements at individual weather stations being distorted by pavement, etc.; climatologists figured out how to compensate for that a hundred years ago.) The point is that every serious study of global temperature shows a gradual rise over the past 150 years and other solid evidence ties that rise to the CO2 that we have been pumping out. How that increase in temperature will play out in weather is still rather uncertain. This much is clear — we’ve added a lot of extra energy to the big heat engine of the atmosphere. That energy has got to show up somewhere and chances (like 99.9%) are that it will mean more active weather: heavier rain, hotter highs, lower lows, windier winds, that kind of thing. Right now, we’re having 700-year floods every year in the Midwest. Several people have made the comparison to throwing dice. That’s right, the basic question is How many times do you have to throw before you catch on that the dice are loaded? Stay tuned and take notes. This is going to be on the final. Comment by Dan Lufkin — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:36 PM 577. The link is broken. Also, real climate could really do with a threaded/hierarchical reply system. Ideally, it should hide any reply below level X by default. These discussions are incredibly hard to navigate… Comment by naught101 — 20 Apr 2010 @ 8:36 PM 578. Oh, Simon has it much, much more wrong than “climate vs. weather” when he says this: “No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs. Any meteorologist who doesn’t continually “look out of the window” will get his forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Hence this week’s unnecessary total shut-down of UK airspace.” This week’s total shut-down was due in very large part to lack of data on what a highly-dispersed cloud of volcanic ash was likely to do to airplanes. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that forecasts or (more importantly) radar tracking of the ash cloud has been inaccurate. The existing data for flying through ash clouds, even extremely low-density ones, isn’t very optimistic. It mostly includes three 747s that had three, four and four engines shut down flying in such conditions back in the 1980s. There’s not a lot of data and while these three represent almost anecdotal evidence, the results in each case were almost catastrophic (engine restarts after gliding with a 15,000+ feet loss of altitude, with in one case only two engines being startable, two airplanes were over alaska IIRC, no suitable airfield within gliding distance). So airlines themselves instituted a zero-tolerance policy towards even extremely diffuse volcanic ash clouds. Simon should know this, because flights are diverted by flight operations folks for various airlines several times a month, minimum. Happens all the time. Just as Simon talks about no captain undertaking a 10 hr flight without taking on more than the legally required minimum fuel load, airlines are more cautious regarding ash clouds than they’re legally required to be. There’s not been a large incentive to try to gather more data because past incidences tend to be out over the pacific, or alaska, or the PNW (Mt. St. Helens nearly 30 years ago), rather than over extremely high-volume airspace like Europe. Suddenly, airlines have taken an interest in exploring the safety margins rather than simply avoiding ash clouds. Without doubt, I imagine money will be spent to gather a lot more data after this extremely expensive incident. Simon fails to note that this “totally unnecessary shutdown” wasn’t protested by airlines at the time. It’s only been as its stretched out to a week, with the possibility of an extended eruption, that the airlines began pushing back. If the airspace had been left open, airlines on their own would’ve made case-by-case decisions, and in the first days I don’t think there’s any doubt most flights would’ve been cancelled without government action. Anyway, blaming computer models for this shutdown is simply stupid. Comment by dhogaza — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:11 PM 579. How do we do the same for climate? What parameters define and specify climate? While we can use broad terms like maritime, continental, temperate, tropical, polar, equatorial, etc there remains a rather uncomfortable feeling of vague generality and lack of scientific rigour. What are a climate’s relevant numbers and units of measurement? What are the boundaries within which a climate exists? If we talk about climate change how do we say exactly what elements have changed and by how much? Is it possible in any case to talk about climate in terms which are convincingly specific? So after all your time posting here, you finally admit you know nothing of climate, really (not to mention climate science), yet that’s not stopped you from claiming that climate science is wrong, or (just now!) that climate models are useless. You’re a piece of work, dude … Comment by dhogaza — 20 Apr 2010 @ 10:13 PM 580. L Hamilton #545: the sea ice volume anomaly data is interesting. I plotted -1xGISStemp 5-year average and it looked pretty similar. I couldn’t find a processed version of the sea ice volume anomaly data as represented in the graph but it wouldn’t surprise me too much if, with the same 5-year average, you had a very high correlation with -1xGISStemp. If anyone finds that data please post a link. Comment by Philip Machanick — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:18 PM 581. Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that climate is what we expect and weather is what we get? Comment by Frank Giger — 20 Apr 2010 @ 11:45 PM 582. Simon, I am 100 percent skeptical of the AGW theory and I think the motivations of the people who push it are questionable. But I will concede that even though it sounds silly, long term average temperature predictions COULD have more predictive power then short term day to day temperature predictions. The key word though is could. In my head I think of it as an analogy to quantum physics where things get less and less predictable on smaller distance scales — of course for climate I see time scales that way and not distance. A stupid example is if I put a time bomb in my house and set it to go off in 3 days. I now can predict with much confidence that my house will explode in 3 days. I didnt have to simulate every particle in the house with a supercomputer either…. So the question as far as AGW theory goes is how strong is the evidence that CO2 acts to increase atmospheric temperatures. Is it anywhere as strong a predictor as that time bomb? Personally I think the evidence for CO2 driving climate or anything is really really weak. The basic idea behind it is seems plausible but when I look for the hard evidence what I find is shockingly unconvincing and based waaay too much on speculation. Basic science or properties of matter these are not. I mean if CO2 drives temps then why do ice cores clearly show the exact opposite? To me this is really strong evidence against CO2 — the trace gas — driving climate change, causing volcanoes or 5 billion human deaths. Comment by Sam — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:37 AM 583. Simon Abingdon #550: About climate, would you be willing to bet against boreal summer 2010 being warmer than boreal winter 2010/2011? What odds would suit you? Because the met forecasts by then were uncannily accurate in the immediate term. Yep — numerical weather prediction. The very same, physics-based code you’ll find inside climate models. You know it works. Comment by Martin Vermeer — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:34 AM 584. “with regard to ‘both sides equally’ balance does not mean eqivalence, only the ability to weigh each side of a discussion.” They why when you weigh the denialotropes do you get any substance at all? They don’t even agree what IS going on, they only agree on what ISN’T. When the denial bring up non-science nonsence (G&T), why do you weigh them and find them appropriate? You don’t, is the short answer. You appeal to false balance. Prove me wrong: assert the problems with denial of AGW. Let’s SEE you do the weighing. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:35 AM 585. “This only happens at a fairly high standard of living, unfortunately, and that means greater energy consumption, or at least adequate quality of life.” Ray, that is only a side effect of what is REALLY needed: you need almost everyone out of the poverty trap, so that survival is no longer the constraint. With a capitalist society, this means that, because most of the wealth is concentrated in a few powerful people or organisations, that there are massive amounts of “capital” tied up and that capital can only be realised by consumption. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:37 AM 586. “And there’s the rub. No computer model can reliably forecast very far into the future without having continuously updated inputs.” Here’s the rib, simon: that is completely wrong. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:40 AM 587. “we can assume Eskimos and Cost Accountants are not “civilized” or sustainable? ” No, we can assume that Cost Accountancy has relevance only where monetary civilisation such as we currently have (and require many billions of people to allow such speciali sation) and that being able to feed yourself is a useful trait we’re speciali sing ourselves out of. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:43 AM 588. 526 flxible and others: “What is the basis for the implicit assumption that large population reduction = loss of “civilization”?” It is a matter of “history” as amplified by archeology and anthropology. It is NOT implicit at all. Something like 2 dozen previous civilizations have collapsed, and we know what happened, how it happened and why it happened. [ Probably many more civilizations that we don’t know about have also collapsed.] I have cited 2 key books repeatedly: “Collapse” by Jared Diamond and “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan. Both Jared Diamond and Brian Fagan are world famous professors . READ their books. My numbers come from books of this type. 99.99% death is an average. Sometimes there are zero survivors. The pattern is: Collapse starts with a change in the environment, usually the climate. The change makes food unobtainable, usually because agriculture no longer works. Starvation causes mass death. When there is no food, people will not go to work, so civilization ends. With no police, there is no law and no morality. Neighbors sometimes hunt each other as food. Survivors, if any, wander off in search of food, if they can. “Why do responses to that question always devolve to virtually religious ones?” WRONG!!!! See the above books. See also the scientific literature on the subjects you question. Those other subjects are not part of climatology, so we only give you the results. By the way, when a collapse happens, there is a pattern of increasing religiosity until the end, when the priests are killed and everybody changes to another religion. “what population would provide a sustainable future for your [I have none] progeny?” See: “Now or Never” by Tim Flannery 2009 page 2: We have already exceeded Earth’s carrying capacity by 25%. “Wouldn’t the population “crash” naturally reach some sustainable level?” NO The proper subject is called “Population Biology.” Population Biology is a well developed subset of biology. There is always OVERSHOOT and OSCILLATION Unless the population reaches ZERO. Zero population is EXTINCTION. “Would a greatly reduced population necessarily be UNcivilized?” See “Collapse” by Jared Diamond and “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan. “Is humanity somehow exempt from the population dynamics observed in other species? ” Certainly NOT. Human is a race of chimpanzee. Laws of Nature apply. “Does the fact that most would find loss of say a billion or 2 humans a tragedy, mean we must find a way to preserve an unsustainable number? Is there a way to ramp down the population gradually? The Chinese approach? Discuss, don’t dismiss as if it’s not a relevent problem.” We can’t discuss that because it is too difficult. I can only say that we are trying to limit the tragedy as much as possible. I am hoping to prevent the extinction of the human race. WE CAN NOT find a way to preserve an unsustainable number, by definition. Politicians will have to answer the questions that are beyond science. Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Apr 2010 @ 3:07 AM 589. Ray, #563: I agree with everything you say here. Except the order of magnitude. #531: Well, that sure made me choke on my coffee. But look again. World potential arable land comes to around 4 billion hectares, not 40 million (did you mix up km2 and ha?). Of this, we’ve already cultivated 1.5 billion ha. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arable_land, citing FAO World Soil Resources Report 90). Of course, much of the remaining potential arable land is rainforest, which we are well advised to let stand; much of the cultivated land is badly degraded; your point about the oceans stands; and climate change is a big, bad joker, so there’s plenty of real reasons to worry. Comment by CM — 21 Apr 2010 @ 3:09 AM 590. Dan Lufkin says: “This much is clear — we’ve added a lot of extra energy to the big heat engine of the atmosphere. That energy has got to show up somewhere and chances (like 99.9%) are that it will mean more active weather: heavier rain, hotter highs, lower lows, windier winds, that kind of thing.” I don’t follow that at all. Since the temperature difference between the equator and the poles will lessen, my admittedly naive expectation would be for less active weather. Really, though, the Earth looks way too complicated for such simple arguments. If the modelers have reached a consensus on future storm strength I’d like to hear it, otherwise I’m willing to wait. In the mean time, we can be confident there will be change, and despite the old saying change is usually bad, or at least expensive. Comment by NoPreview NoName — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:30 AM 591. simon is doing a 91: http://www.skepticalscience.com/chaos-theory-global-warming-can-climate-be-predicted.htm Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:47 AM 592. Sam (#582), don’t you find it odd that so many scientists and scientific bodies clearly don’t share your personal feeling about the strength of the evidence? As for ice cores, temperatures and CO2, see here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/ Comment by CM — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:17 AM 593. “Really, though, the Earth looks way too complicated for such simple arguments. ” Ah, well, there’s a problem right there. Just because the interaction of electrical forces are complex, it doesn’t mean that you can’t just say “well, if I burn this bit of wood, it will disintegrate”. What “complicated” thing would stop more energy in being expressed as higher temperatures? “If the modelers have reached a consensus on future storm strength I’d like to hear it, otherwise I’m willing to wait.” And when consensus is reached, you or another patsy will proclaim that consensus is not science. Or that there are 3 people who disagree. Or… “the old saying change is usually bad, or at least expensive.” So let’s stop changing the climate. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:18 AM 594. Edward: “With no police, there is no law and no morality. ” Not so. With survival being the overwhelming need, morality takes a second place. If you’re starving you WILL steal to eat. It’s not a breakdown in morality, it’s a lack of food. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:20 AM 595. “Personally I think the evidence for CO2 driving climate or anything is really really weak.” Fair enough. Have you read the evidence, though? http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm or are there no such things as greenhouse gasses? http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm we’re upsetting the balance. http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm empirical evidence abounds. http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming.htm and we can see it’s warming. http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm why would the past record *accidentally* accord with stellar physics and the evolution of our sun according to the main sequence? http://www.skepticalscience.com/saturated-co2-effect.htm and we can still see the effects of more CO2. http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-cycle-length.htm how can the IR know it came from the Sun rather than from IR retention? http://www.skepticalscience.com/its-not-us.htm more empirical evidence. http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-levels-airborne-fraction-increasing.htm more evidence of CO2 increasing. http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-cycles-global-warming.htm evidence or at least appropriate correlation between extra energy to the surface causing warming. http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2-was-higher-in-late-Ordovician.htm again with the sun’s evolution concording with climate physics. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:29 AM 596. “Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that climate is what we expect and weather is what we get?” Which proves what? AGW and climate science say that we should expect warmer weather. We have seen this. And cries of “what about all this snow, eh?” is contraindicated as valid by your comment. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:30 AM 597. “I mean if CO2 drives temps then why do ice cores clearly show the exact opposite?” Because they don’t. The ice cores show that CO2 drives warmer temperatures. If it weren’t for CO2’s effect as a driver of temperatures, the much smaller effect of the Milankovich cycle would not thaw us out of an ice age. An odd definition of “the exact opposite”. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:33 AM 598. hi guys, not a scientist, just a layman here. what do you make of the claim making the denialist rounds about a study from finnish scientist Jyrki Kauppinen saying that “increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide explains only 5-10 percent of observed global warming? ***PROJECT JIM*** [Response: Very likely nonsense (or terrible reporting). I’d bet serious money no such paper willl appear in the June issue of Nature (these things can’t be predicted like that at all). – gavin] Comment by Walter — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:04 AM 599. CM, Yes, I did mix up ha and km2. However, I did it twice (the amount of land to support a single hunter-gatherer is aboout 0.5 km^2–so the carrying capacity for hunter-gatherers is still about 90 million. Personally, I think this is the major risk we must confront, and we don’t even know how to evaluate it yet. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:29 AM 600. Sam #582: ice cores record events before massive human intervention of emission of billions of tonnes of CO_2. Over that period, there was no primary driver of CO_2 emissions, so CO_2 increases were mostly caused by temperature increases. As the sea gets warmer, its capacity to dissolve CO_2 reduces, and it outgasses CO_2. More CO_2 in the atmosphere amplifies the initial warming. This effect is well known and has been extensively studied; without changes in greenhouse gases, the temperature swings between ice ages and interglacials can’t be as big, and there is no explanation other than the greenhouse effect for venus. That is not the mechanism today. There is no external trigger for warming. The solar constant over the last few decades has been constant and nothing else has introduced a trend. CO_2 is the only factor we know of that can be causing a temperature rise when there is no change in orbital parameters or solar output. The fact that there is a linear increase in temperature (smoothed out for natural variability) when CO_2 is increasing exponentially fits the theory pretty well. The basic science is not at issue, and is not discussed much because it was all well accepted by the 1940s. For the same reason biologists do not have lengthy debates any more about the structure of DNA. And anyway, who said CO_2 causes volcanoes? Comment by Philip Machanick — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:30 AM 601. CFU says: “Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that climate is what we expect and weather is what we get?” Which proves what? That Mark Twain was a clever guy who understood the difference between climate and weather. Climate leads us to expect nice warm, dry, days starting on July 5th in Portland, Oregon. When we get rain, that’s weather, not climate. Not so difficult, really. Comment by dhogaza — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:34 AM 602. CFU, the Mark Twain quote just shows that the difference between climate and weather has been understood for a very long time. ;) Comment by Frank Giger — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:38 AM 603. thanks, gavin. guess i’ll just have to wait for that june issue of nature… the guy is a physicist, not a climatologist, but still seems like a real scientist. not sure what his reason was for doing that study. do you guys know of any other studies showing anything similar, or is this (supposed, purported) study a total “outlier”? Comment by Walter Crain — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:46 AM 604. Walter #598, I had a look at Kauppinen’s publications. There’s nothing in there to suggest anything but the usual pattern of a late-career scientist trying to build a bit of infamy by talking drivel. I bet the denialosphere is already alleging his “Nature” paper is going to be blocked. BTW, I have a few results I intend to publish in Nature too. Don’t hold your breath. Comment by Philip Machanick — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:46 AM 605. Sam@582 Well, given that the only concrete objection you raised to CO2 as a mechanism is the same denialist canard that in some past warming epochs, CO2 has followed rather then led the onset of warming, I think we can safely discard the hypothesis that you are an expert on the subject. Dude, think about it. In those epochs, the initial cause of warming was small changes in solar radiation. Once you got enough warming, natural (e.g. non-fossil) sources of CO2 kicked in and prolonged and intensified the warming event. Note that natural sources have not kicked in significantly. And actually, the greenhouse properties of CO2 are a property of matter–kinda’ by definition. So, Sam, you can either unlearn all the crap you think you know and start the work of actually learning the science, or you can remain an ignorant fool. Your choice. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:00 AM 606. Yes Frank, et al. So what point was there to it? Counter to simon? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:10 AM 607. “the amount of land to support a single hunter-gatherer is aboout 0.5 km^2″ Even 15th Century farming was fine with less than 5 acres per person. 10Ha, or 0.1km^2. Most independent crofters had 5acres *per family*. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:22 AM 608. Walter, you’d be better off asking the fella himself. How would you expect someone here to know why he did something? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:24 AM 609. 573 (simon abingdon) Is it possible in any case to talk about climate in terms which are convincingly specific? In answer to your question, most certainly, yes. If I think about it I have to say I honestly don’t know. As to your statement that you honestly don’t know… have you tried? Not by visiting silly denialist sites that are trying to mislead you, but by actually studying the subject, starting with a clear understanding of how greenhouse gases operate both on an atomic and macroscopic level? Did you start by learning all that you could, and then after developing a firm understanding of everything involved, decide that it was incomplete? Or did you start from a point of ignorance, and say to yourself “I don’t think this can be true, it doesn’t see right to me,” and then stop there? Maybe some of you can help. As to this last bit, well, yes, but no, not really. It has to start with you. No one can hold your hand on this and drag you, kicking and screaming, through all of the disparate components that would lead you to understand all of the facets of climate science. But if you honestly admit to your own ignorance, and the importance of the issue, and want to learn instead of rhetorically asking, quite honestly, childishly ignorant questions, then you need to do some hard work. Start here: The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart As you go through that, and have questions… use google. Don’t make any assumptions. Don’t treat it as a debate, or a legal case that you must personally decide. Certainly do not treat it as something that you have already decided is wrong, and so you can dismiss most of what you read as things that can’t possibly be true, before you really understand them. Be honest to yourself. Treat it as a college degree that you must earn, and remember that you are not qualified to make a decision until you completely understand as much as possible about all aspects of the subject. When you have specific, detailed, meaningful questions, come back and ask them, and people here will help you. Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:25 AM 610. #598 Walter, I find this at a Finnish climate site: Asiasta ensimmäisenä uutisoineen Turun Sanomien mukaan Kauppinen aikoo julkaista tutkimustuloksensa Nature-lehden kesäkuun numerossa. Kauppinen kuitenkin kertoo CO2-raportille, että artikkelia ollaan vasta kirjoittamassa, eikä sitä ole vielä edes tarjottu mihinkään tiedelehteen arvioitavaksi. Hän kuitenkin toivoo, että tiedelehdet sen julkaisisivat. “According to [the Turku daily] Turun Sanomat, who was the first to report on the matter, Kauppinen intends to publish his research result in the June issue of the Journal Nature. Kauppinen tells however to CO2-raportti, that the article is only just being written, and it hasn’t even been offered yet to any science journal for review. He hopes however that science journals will publish it.” (My translation. No comment…) Comment by Martin Vermeer — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:25 AM 611. corr: will publish it -> would publish it. Comment by Martin Vermeer — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 AM 612. 573 (simon abingdon), I think people here could recommend some excellent books, too (real ones by scientists, not ones designed to confuse you), if you prefer solid paper to computer screens. Could someone suggest a list of titles, qualified by style/approach/content (e.g. “very scientific” versus “a good layman’s introduction” versus “focuses on the subject of [whatever]”)? Then Simon could choose a book most appropriate to his own background and style. A little perspective, too, Simon… You came to a site run by scientists, who have dedicated themselves to a lifelong career of studying climate to an intricate degree, and launched into what amounts to an accusation. What you have done is equivalent to walking into a room full of pilots at an airport and announcing, quite unequivocally, that planes cannot possibly fly. Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:50 AM 613. Your spam filter should return the questionable posting to the writer along with the suggestions on how to make it acceptable to the filter. I just lost quite a lengthy post and don’t think that I can recreate it. Not everyone writes in another file and copies to this comment box. Comment by catman306 — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:05 AM 614. wow! thanks so much for the responses guys. phillip, that link to his publications shows me he’s a “real scientist” whose opinions would (could) carry some weight with me. and it would be just like those extemeley clever denialists to begin the “his “Nature” paper is being blocked” rhetoric…. martin, that’s hilarious! he hasn’t even written the paper. so “nature” obviously doesn’t even know about the paper, much less plan to publish it in june…. are you finnish? can you read him “in the original”? i was quite amused by some of the obvious results of a poor translation in the google translation of the article. e.g. the caption of the photo reads: “Professor Jyrki Kauppinen front is built in the 1970s…” here’s what google comes up with for the words you translated: “On the first uutisoineen Turun Sanomat According to Kauppinen intends to publish the research findings to Nature magazine’s June issue. Kauppinen, however, the report says the CO2 that we are only writing articles, and it was not even offered any scientific journal for review. He hopes, however, that the scientific journals to publish.” can i quote your translation for a “buddy” of mine? – who alerted me to the article here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/04/iceland_volcano_unlikely_to_ca.html#comments at April 19, 2010 12:27 PM Comment by Walter Crain — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:20 AM 615. 550 simon, interesting observation. I would say that with your life & death perspective of weather, gives a fresh outlook as opposed to the arm chair observers. And anyone who can fly a 474, especially in some of the airports I’ve been at, has my respect. I quite feel confident they know the difference between short term weather and climate (long term weather or summation of short term weather). Having been on the flight deck of a 747, it was interesting to see the evolution of the cockpit design from dials to the CRT/plasma/LED displays. Having been at one time, involved in the design and development of flight simulators, there might be a comparison to a flight simulator and climate simulator. Both start out with basic physical equations of motion, aerodynamics, etc. However a point is reached where, generally at the edge of an envelope, unexpected characteristics show up and must be incorporated, “tweeked”. However this is many times after the fact, not before. This is where pilot experience is invaluable. One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data. Comment by J. Bob — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:24 AM 616. “One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data.” Why does “one” have to wonder that? Especially since you’ve been lurking here with your propaganda to know this isn’t the case: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/ Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:31 AM 617. > One has to wonder rebunking long debunked assertions of fraud by the modelers? Seriously, you are a waste of time. Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:48 AM 618. flxible (526), You’re probably right that our huge population is not sustainable in the long run. Nonetheless, I would prefer a slow decline by lowering the birth rate below the natural death rate, to a large decline that kills many quickly and destroys civilization. Why does what I want matter? Why the hell shouldn’t it? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:53 AM 619. flxible (541): Citing why civilization is going to hell in the handbasket doesn’t define it or a solution to preserving “civil society” at some undetermined level. BPL: Let me spell it out for you. 1. Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe. 2. Trucks and trains stop bringing food into cities. 3. Governments try to cope with ration lines and soup kitchens. This lasts until the stored food runs out. 4. Desperate people try to take food away from one another. The elites who have it will be prime targets. Anyone with a working farm will find it overrun. 5. Areas who suspect other areas of having more food will invade them, first as refugees, then as impromptu armies. Pakistan and India each accuse each other of hoarding food. So do Serbia and Croatia. So do the US and Mexico… 6. In the cities, pigeons and squirrels disappear almost overnight. Then the rats start to go. 7. People start killing and eating each other. 8. Deaths from starvation rise catastrophically. 9. Deaths from infectious disease rise catastrophically because malnourished people have severely weakened immune systems and less bodily reserves. 10. Governments collapse. Without farmers and workers, you can’t keep nation-states running. 11. Nearly everyone on Earth dies. A few in isolated, hard-to-get-to places with good farmland survive. In the cities, a few successful bullies and gangs survive by exploiting everyone else around them. In the long run they also die because they’re too stupid to figure out how to farm, irrigate, ensure clean drinking water, etc. 12. Most of the technology and records are lost when the cities burn, and more as buildings collapse over time. Unharmed magnetic disks gradually lose their data. Are you getting the picture yet? Yes, some kind of society will survive because humans are social animals. But the important future skills will be farming, hunting, gathering, and fighting. Not math, language, computer programming, or teaching. Women will again be subjugated, since they are vulnerable when pregnant or nursing and need to be defended by others, and average about 5% less upper body strength than men. (I know the protectors could be celibate females or whatever, but on average, women will be at a pronounced disadvantage.) Hated ethnic and religious minorities will be killed off in the absence of police protection. I would guess the dark ages last for about a thousand years. Or, since all the easily available metal and fossil fuels will be gone, possibly forever. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 10:15 AM 620. RE #125 & the Iceland volcano. I don’t know what effect it will have — I’m no climate scientist. But from what I’ve learned here over the years is that, yes, the short-term effect could be some cooling due to the aerosol effect (or the warming we’re causing could be somewhat suppressed or masked), and long-term, tho volcanos do also emit GHGs, the amounts would be much smaller compared to the GHGs we’ve emitted since industrialization, so the added warming effect would be very small by comparison to human-caused warming. At least that’s what I told the students yesterday in a class where I gave a guest lecture on environmental issues, and a student put me on the spot with a question about the volcano’s impact…after I had spoken about how the end-Permian warming may have been triggered by Siberian trap extreme volcanic activity — which I later told the class was a lot more volcanic activity than volcanos we have in these times. So, let me know if I’m wrong, or my explanations need some tweaking. Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 21 Apr 2010 @ 10:18 AM 621. David B. Benson, Can you point me to a source of AMO data? I just had my AMO paper turned down by J. Climate for, among other shortcomings, using detrended AMO. That was what I had, and I thought it was appropriate because if the trend is mostly due to CO2, you’d be correlating CO2 with CO2 and get a spuriously accurate fit. But apparently I was wrong. I need the raw data, if you know where to get it. If not, does anyone here? Scientists? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 10:22 AM 622. Lynn @620, for volcanic aerosols to cause warming they have to remain in the atmosphere long enough to do so. To remain in the atmosphere long enough to cool surface temperatures they have to get into the stratosphere. The Eyjafjallajokull plume only rose ~8km, 24,000 feet at it’s worst, well below the stratosphere. Moreover, it’s plume consisted mainly of condensed steam generated by the melting of 200 meters of overlying ice. Comment by Jim Eager — 21 Apr 2010 @ 10:45 AM 623. J.Bob says “One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data.” The fact that you have to “wonder” means that you haven’t actually gone to the trouble to look, have you? If you had done so, you would see that: 1) climate models are dynamical models. You put in the physics and let them run. There can be no tweaking based on a single criterion. 2) Climate models are run on paleo and historical data as well as current scenarios. If they were overfit for the present, they would diverge from the past as well. 3)There is a whole helluva lot more than a single temperature trend that climate models must match. Why not actually devote a couple of months to learning the actual science instead of continually attacking straw men? Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:12 AM 624. BPL #619 Nikita Khrushchev is quoted as saying “The living will envy the dead” in comments he was making about nuclear war. Your scenario could happen very easily and I would suspect that same quote would apply. Perhaps you would consider using that line somewhere in your scenario. Comment by Triple Bay — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:35 AM 625. BPL, there is a link to the undetrended data at ESRL: PSD: Download Climate Timeseries: AMO SST I think what you need is there not positive. Comment by stevenc — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:37 AM 626. Me: Really, though, the Earth looks way too complicated for such simple arguments. CFU: Ah, well, there’s a problem right there. Just because the interaction of electrical forces are complex, it doesn’t mean that you can’t just say “well, if I burn this bit of wood, it will disintegrate”. Response: So you accept my simple argument that weather will be less active? Thank you, but I think that’s foolish. It’s people like you who think that global warming can’t be caused by carbon dioxide just because there’s such a small fraction of it in the air. CFU: What “complicated” thing would stop more energy in being expressed as higher temperatures? Response: How could you possibly come to the conclusion that I don’t think it will get warmer from my post? Of course it will get warmer! That’s backed up by much more than simple arguments by amateurs on a blog. CFU: So let’s stop changing the climate. Response: Of course. That’s what I was saying. I think everyone but you here understood that without me spelling it out. Comment by NoPreview NoName — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:40 AM 627. Walter, Since Nature is published weekly – there is no single “June issue.” Although deniers might jump on such a detail as proof of something…it could just be a translation or reporting problem. Comment by arch stanton — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:51 AM 628. Off-topic, but hopefully not too much. Dr. Mann is *finally* threatening some deniers with legal action. See http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/climategate-figure-threatens-lawsuit-over,1256901.shtml My suggestion to Dr. Mann (take it for what it’s worth): A lot of us would like you and some sharp lawyers force those deniers to defend their sleazy statements under oath. And should you win a judgement from these bozos and they plead poverty, don’t let them off the hook — grab the little sobs by their ankles and shake the pennies loose. Comment by caerbannog — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:52 AM 629. > The phrase “the top one percent” comes to mind. To paraphrase the immortal(?) General Buck Turgidson: “No more than one or two billion, tops!” Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:54 AM 630. BPL: Let me spell it out for you. 1. Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe. could you precise where the water evaporating from oceans is supposed to condensate in your scenario ? and on which known facts it is based ? Comment by Gilles — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:54 AM 631. 594 Completely Fed Up: You don’t have enough ammunition unless you live in an army ammo plant. See 619 Barton Paul Levenson, who got it right. You have a point that morality is instinctive, But: Reference book: “The sociopath next door : the ruthless versus the rest of us” by Martha Stout. New York : Broadway Books, 2005. 4% of all people are born sociopaths/sciopaths/psychopaths. There is no cure yet. A written test, the MMPI [Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory] can identify sociopaths before they cause destruction. 4% of people don’t have those moral instincts. Once civilization falls, you had better shoot the psychopaths. Does that seem a self-contradiction? If civilization crashes, Morality will seem to have ended, at least for a while. 526 flxible: Your last question is NOT IN MY JURISDICTION. I only do science and engineering. RC only does climate science. We are going to let the politicians take the blame. Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:02 PM 632. “Response: So you accept my simple argument that weather will be less active?” Simple as in “wrong”? If so, yes, your argument that the weather will be less active is simple. If there’s more energy in a system, those things that dissipate energy will become either more prevalent or more violent and chaotic (so as to dissipate more energy per incident). Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM 633. QUESTION: How do you disrupt a blog that promotes discussion of climate science? ANSWER: Deliberately post an off topic complaint that questions a basic tenet of the science that has already been explained to you repeatedly and add some obviously inaccurate information about how aircraft traffic shouldn’t be disrupted by volcanic ash, just to insure maximum effect, and then sit back and grin at the multiple responses that someone seeking information will have to read though before finding any posts of substance. Having just read through the black hole of information, above, created by Simon Abingdon, I strongly suggest that if you cannot resist responding, only one or two sentences will be less likely to enable his disingenuous behavior. Steve Comment by Steve Fish — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:18 PM 634. > weather … less active There’s good scientific reason to expect less rather than more variability; Gavin has mentioned it several times in the past. I’ll see if I can turn up the reference; I recommend looking for citations rather than simply proclaiming what you believe, regardless of “which side” you think you are on about this or any other question. While I’m looking for the cite, though, try logic: We know the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet. With a warmer Arctic, the difference in temperature that drives the heat engine is less. What happens when you reduce the temperature difference between hot and cold sides of a heat engine? Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:24 PM 635. arch (621) lol…it just gets funnier. i guess you could say he has 4 or 5 chances of having it published in a june issue of nature…. Comment by Walter Crain — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:26 PM 636. “594 Completely Fed Up: You don’t have enough ammunition unless you live in an army ammo plant. ” You can’t eat ammunition, so what does that have to do with morality? Or were morals only invented after the rimless cartridge? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:31 PM 637. Sam (582): Personally I think the evidence for CO2 driving climate or anything is really really weak. The basic idea behind it is seems plausible but when I look for the hard evidence what I find is shockingly unconvincing and based waaay too much on speculation. Basic science or properties of matter these are not. BPL: Actually, it is. It is based on the radiative properties of CO2, a quantum effect that has been known since the 19th century and explained almost as long. CO2 mostly passes sunlight but absorbs thermal infrared light. That’s a fact, laboratory-tested since 1859. Sam: I mean if CO2 drives temps then why do ice cores clearly show the exact opposite? BPL: Try here: http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:38 PM 638. EG (588), That’s a pretty good summary. I take issue with one minor point, though–humans are not “a race of chimpanzee.” We don’t even share a genus with chimpanzees, let alone a species or subspecies. (Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus versus Homo sapiens.) Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:43 PM 639. > less rather than more And here’s one for the “more” side, but much later in the warming process, an example from the PETM I’ve mentioned before. This stuff isn’t simple. You can have more extreme rainfall while having less overall weather variability, and the devil is in the local details. http://ic.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/eart120/readings/Schmitz_Puljate_07.pdf Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:46 PM 640. Ray: “the amount of land to support a single hunter-gatherer is aboout 0.5 km^2″ CFU: Even 15th Century farming was fine with less than 5 acres per person. 10Ha, or 0.1km^2. Most independent crofters had 5acres *per family*. BPL: That’s why he said “hunter-gatherer,” not “farmer.” Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:51 PM 641. what do you make of the claim making the denialist rounds about a study from finnish scientist Jyrki Kauppinen saying that “increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide explains only 5-10 percent of observed global warming? That one’s easy to demonstrate; just take the time-derivative of the temperature data and *poof* — the CO2-forced global-warming signal vanishes! Comment by caerbannog — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:51 PM 642. Walter Crain (614), Thanks advances to in linguistic analysis computers by, now can translate we perfectly any to English language! Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:54 PM 643. J. Bob (615): One has to wonder if climate models are “tweeked” to fit the present data, but might not work for future data. BPL: “Tweaked.” And no, they’re not. The only empirical data that goes into them is grid square data like the albedo, elevation, mean observed temperature, relative humidity, etc. at a given longitude and latitude. You start with that, the Earth in a particular known state, and then time-step away from it, modifying the parameters according to physical laws written in as equations. They are dynamic simulations, not statistical fits. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:56 PM 644. Hank@634, You also get a low more water vapor–which puts a lot of energy into the atmosphere when it condenses. That could lead to more violent storm activity. It could also mean that things are prone to greater variability depending on condiions–competing effects tend to produce the wierdest results. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2010 @ 12:58 PM 645. Gilles: “could you precise where the water evaporating from oceans is supposed to condensate in your scenario ? and on which known facts it is based ?” The question isn’t so much where it “condensates” [assuming you mean falls as rain], but where [and if] it collects, and whether that happens to coincide with productive arable land …. as well as whether the vaporizing occurs equally from fresh water bodies as from the oceans. Currently some areas “normally” in drought [southern California] is where the US produces a large part of it’s food crops, obtaining major amounts of irrigation water from a man-made lake that is already evaporating at problematic rates. Applies equally to the American “grain belt” and the aquifer below it which is paleowater [“fossil” really] Comment by flxible — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:07 PM 646. oops…i meant “arch” – who made comment #627, (not #621…). dang. Comment by Walter Crain — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:09 PM 647. BPL@416/417 “Why does what I want matter? Why the hell shouldn’t it?” Because you’re one individual of one species? As anther single individual, I suspect we’re already observing the “slow decline” that may [or not] result in extinction, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that there is some much smaller [sustainable] level of human population that could have a perfectly acceptable “civilization”. Lowering the birth rate to achieve a decline to a sustainable level in time to preserve western social standards is IMO a pipe dream – denialism in fact – avoidance of a crucial core question. BPL: “You’re probably right that our huge population is not sustainable in the long run. Nonetheless, I would prefer a slow decline by lowering the birth rate below the natural death rate, to a large decline that kills many quickly and destroys civilization. Let me spell it out for you. 1. Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe. (Already happening, you haven’t shown it will be sudden, total or ongoing, just maybe that it’s time to consider the “100 mile diet”) 2. Trucks and trains stop bringing food into cities. (Already a problem, consider the current situation with imported perishable commodities not being flown into EU/UK or what’s happening with the thousands of freight trucks needed to bring perishables daily into any large metro area like NYC paying exponentially more for fuel and tires) 3. Governments try to cope with ration lines and soup kitchens. This lasts until the stored food runs out. (Ever notice how many soup kitchen and food bank lines there already are in every “civilized” urban area?) 4. Desperate people try to take food away from one another. The elites who have it will be prime targets. Anyone with a working farm will find it overrun. (Growing a lot of my own food, I’ve experienced overnight thefts of crops for at least the last 2 decades – the current “civil society”, which in N America seems to involve a lot of guns) 5. Areas who suspect other areas of having more food will invade them, first as refugees, then as impromptu armies. Pakistan and India each accuse each other of hoarding food. So do Serbia and Croatia. So do the US and Mexico… (Of course the increasingly fortified US southern border [as well as the northern one now] is evidence of this common human inclination, more related to an unsustainable population than climate) 6. In the cities, pigeons and squirrels disappear almost overnight. Then the rats start to go. (Not to mention the various ungulates and small “game” as well as any size or type of marine life, all affected already) 7. People start killing and eating each other. (Well …. might help with the overpopulation?) 8. Deaths from starvation rise catastrophically. (Which of course is the sort of population control nature usually imposes, but does “catastrophic” really mean totally ruinous?) 9. Deaths from infectious disease rise catastrophically because malnourished people have severely weakened immune systems and less bodily reserves. (Ditto #8, really a natural component of sustainability) 10. Governments collapse. Without farmers and workers, you can’t keep nation-states running. (Have nation-states served so well achieving a sustainable civil society? As a life long “farmer/worker” I haven’t had support of state governments as even a secondary goal) 11. Nearly everyone on Earth dies. (as they always have) A few in isolated, hard-to-get-to places with good farmland survive. In the cities, a few successful bullies and gangs survive by exploiting everyone else around them. In the long run they also die because they’re too stupid to figure out how to farm, irrigate, ensure clean drinking water, etc. (Really the “end of life as we know it” sci_fi scenario) 12. Most of the technology and records are lost when the cities burn, and more as buildings collapse over time. Unharmed magnetic disks gradually lose their data. (Again, a fantasy scenario) Are you getting the picture yet? Yes, some kind of society will survive because humans are social animals. But the important future skills will be farming, hunting, gathering, and fighting. Not math, language, computer programming, or teaching. Women will again be subjugated (….) Hated ethnic and religious minorities will be killed off.” I’ve had the picture for some time Barton [and Edward, from books based on historical non-global events], because it’s been the reality for my lifetime, which is why I’m living the way I do, as an integral part of the primary production of a vibrant, varied, small community. But none of your points [based primarily on #1] really addresses sustainable population levels and how to get there [other than major collapse] at a point when the planet is poised to do it for us. I think that primary production has always been the important skill, and in modern times the “gathering” has been quite lucrative with the amount of waste in N America, and there are a lot of folks with the varied skills necessary for subsistence who also have excellent math, language and technical skills, and use them to teach self-sufficiency and sustainability. Specialization appears to have become the doom of our current societal arrangement, but can we “evolve” to a more sustainable system before nature vis climate force a change? Even optimistic scenarios seem to require a generation or more to get a grip on emissions and clarify where the climate is really heading and I much doubt the current state of “civilization” will get us there. Just sayin’ …. where is “there”, and how, realistically, do we get there from here? Sorry to be OT and sound so much like Gilles, but unsustainable population seems to me to be the root of most problems, including CO2 emissions. Comment by flxible — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:27 PM 648. #550 simon monckton Think of it this way. A locomotive is coming from two states away, but it will come. Load times are variable and track and weather conditions may effect the conductors decision to go faster or slower. You are tied to the track and can not get up. You don’t know precisely when the train will kill you. but inevitably, you will die when the train hits you. We don’t know all the details but we do know the train is coming. PERIOD. Let me reiterate: PERIOD This is why I want you to confirm your real name. You constantly spout red herrings and miss simple points to maintain your religious belief that there really is no problem just because we actually can’t see the train two states away. Don’t forget, you are on the track with the rest of us and there is no other track. We have one planet. If we blow it, there is no second chance, we are warming there will be impacts. Survivability is reliant on adaptation and mitigation for peoples around the world. How many survive depends on the degree to which degradation happens; but it will happen, we just don’t know how bad ‘precisely’. Your logic is quite pathetic. A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:41 PM 649. #523 J. Bob Again, short term is not long term and ice extent is not as important as ice volume or multi-year ice loss. http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-ice On confidence levels I can say that confidence is reasonably high that we are losing multi-year ice, but I have not finished my reviews yet. so be patient. A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:42 PM 650. “BPL: That’s why he said “hunter-gatherer,” not “farmer.”” I noticed. Hence I said “15th Century farming”. Or is there some reason why farming will be impossible? Maybe where the climate is too marginal to manage a static farming system (cf Sub-Saharan Africa), but it’s not like the earth is going to get to the status of Arrakis… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:44 PM 651. “We don’t even share a genus with chimpanzees, let alone a species or subspecies. (Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus versus Homo sapiens.)” Although taxonomically, there’s no reason apart from hubris to have Homo rather than Pan as our genus. We certainly haven’t shown a lot of wisdom. So sapiens is already on shaky ground. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 1:46 PM 652. stevenc (625), Thanks! I found the data. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:03 PM 653. caerbannog (628), Hear, hear! I left a comment to that effect at “Earth Times,” but somehow I doubt they’ll print it. I was just a wee bit harsh on the folks who made the video. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:11 PM 654. BPL: Drought becomes so severe that harvests fail all over the globe. Gilles (630): could you precise where the water evaporating from oceans is supposed to condensate in your scenario ? and on which known facts it is based ? BPL: Try reading the AR4 report, then you’d know. But here’s the answer on a silver platter: With global warming you get more rain along coastlines and less in continental interiors. Merely moving the rainfall pattern is enough to destroy harvests. Increasing the drought to pretty much all farmland by 2050 or so will destroy every harvest. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:14 PM 655. flxible (647), Of course population is a big part of the problem. But it’s not a big part of the problem on the same time scale. Stopping fossil fuels has to be done in 5-10 years. Slowing and eventually reversing population growth can take longer. You seem to almost revel in the prospect of most of humanity dying. What the heck, they’ve always died, they always will. Tell me, is murder good or evil in your view? Or are good and evil meaningless concepts to you? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:22 PM 656. CFU (650): Or is there some reason why farming will be impossible? BPL: Lack of cropland? No more irrigation systems? No ability to manufacture even an iron or bronze plow? No more artificial fertilizer? No more natural fertilizer either when most of the plant, animal and human life is dead? Any of these seem like a potential problem? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:25 PM 657. “Since the temperature difference between the equator and the poles will lessen, my admittedly naive expectation would be for less active weather.” NoPreview NoName — 21 April 2010 @ 5:30 AM The response to global warming and the change in temperature differences depends on what kind of weather or storm. Thunderstorms have same order of magnitude vertical and horizontal dimensions, and their energy primarily comes from vertical temperature differences + latent heat of water vapor. As Global warming raises temperatures and humidity near the surface, more energy becomes available to drive local storms, and the (moist) adiabatic lapse rate will always provide a path for creation of storms. Tropical thunderstorms are common and intense; winter temperate thunderstorms are rare. [1] The temperate zone mass air movements, (high)low pressure (anti)cyclones, are much larger horizontally (~10^3 km, ~continental) than vertically (~10km, tropospheric) and their energy primarily comes from horizontal temperature gradients. so the decrease in average delta T from the equator to the pole should decrease the average speed of weather forming Walker circulation. However, this doesn’t simply mean less intense thunderstorms; there will be enough instability for even weaker frontal systems to trigger thunderstorms. They will be slower moving, so the straight line winds(vector sum of downdraft outflows and gross storm velocity) will decrease, but slower moving storms will drop more rain => less wind damage, more flooding. The other complicating factor is seasonal variations in temperature differences; when the sun goes down north of the arctic circle, the ocean will get cold enough to freeze over, and the loss of convection will allow air temperatures to drop well below zero. Although the average temperature gradient will decrease, the peak gradients may increase, especially in spring and fall; we might expect more damaging floods in the springtime, or possibly even the whole of England snow covered in early winter.(Hmmm… [2] &;>). Atlantic hurricanes are intermediate in the ratio between their vertical and horizontal scale. They are triggered by continental scale air mass movements coming off North Africa, but derive most of their energy from the vertical gradient of high sea surface temperature/humidity to the cold dry top of the troposphere[3] – Katrina grew from a Category 3 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just nine hours as it crossed an unusually warm patch of the Gulf Loop Current. The latest information[4] indicates fewer but more intense storms, consistent with weaker triggering weather patterns but warmer SST. There is a considerable spread in model results, and I wonder if weaker harmattan winds across the Bodele Depression will result in less dust over the tropical Atlantic; the dust tends to suppress hurricane formation.[5] “Dust”, “Bodele”, and “harmattan” don’t appear in the Knutsen et al paper. Comment by Brian Dodge — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:27 PM 658. CFU (651): Although taxonomically, there’s no reason apart from hubris to have Homo rather than Pan as our genus. BPL: Yes, there is. We may share 95% of our genome with chimps, but morphologically and developmentally we are very unlike chimpanzees. We have 46 chromosomes, chimps have 48. We are fully bipedal, chimps are knuckle-walkers. We have a menstrual cycle and are continuously sexually receptive; chimps have an estrus cycle and are not (yes, I know about sex-as-communication among bonobos). Humans are born at a much earlier stage of gestation and infants are dependent much longer. We take 12-16 years to become sexually mature, chimps take 8-10. We live twice as long as they do even under optimal conditions. We are hairless, chimps are furry. Chimps are about three times as physically strong as we are, which is why they are so extremely dangerous when they get aggressive. They copulate ventro-dorsally, we copulate ventro-ventrally. We have articulate speech, they don’t and can’t, lacking Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas in their brains. We make fire and space shuttles, they don’t. And we are about three times as encephalized as they are (Jerison EQ about 7.3 versus about 2.3 for chimps). That alone is very much a non-trivial difference. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:31 PM 659. I’m sorry my simple request for a specification of the various metrics by which we might characterise climate has apparently caused some unintended fluttering in the dovecotes. Maybe the answer is that climate is just an unknowable Schroedinger wave function of innumerable probabilities, which collapses into weather when we try to measure it. [Response: Or not. – gavin] Comment by simon abingdon — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:39 PM 660. Walter Crain — Here is a simple climate model which shows that CO2 accounts for most of the variance in the last 13 decades: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530 Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 2:46 PM 661. David B. Benson,(659) thanks. it will take me a bit of time to read/absorb all that. thanks again. i’ll be back! ****PROJECT JIM**** Comment by Walter Crain — 21 Apr 2010 @ 3:04 PM 662. Barton Paul Levenson — Your response from J. Climate is quite disappointing, especially as the AO is defined as the lienrly detrended North Atlantic SSTs (NASSTs) from CRU. One approach to revising your paper is to first due the correlation for NASSTs, then cite te paper defining AMO followed by the correlation for AMO. Of course, the linear trend will quite closely match the effects of CO2 forcing. I attempted to detrend AMO using the actual CO2 forcings rather than just linear, but this turned out inessentially different than just using AMO; details are in the link to follow from prior comment #659. The other choice is to consider an AGU journal instead. Presumably the editor and referees there will actually know what the AMO is. As I imagine jour paper is rather short, is GRL a suitable choice? Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 4:02 PM 663. BPL @ 654: BPL: Try reading the AR4 report, then you’d know. But here’s the answer on a silver platter: With global warming you get more rain along coastlines and less in continental interiors. If that’s the “Official” answer, you’ve just turned me into a complete and total opponent of everything that the AR4 advocates. If you want to point me at a non-fee article that explains the mechanics behind that, I’d be happy to review it. However, absolute humidity increases exponentially with temperature. That alone insures that any winds from coastal to interior areas will carry moisture which will then be more likely to precipitate over night, evaporate the following day, and be carried further inland the following day. Unless I’m missing something really basic, the exponential rise in absolute humidity with respect to temperature will insure that what you’ve described isn’t going to happen. I’ll buy changes in Hadley Cells moving precipitation patterns leading to changes in growing regions — including the reduction in growing regions as Hadley Cells move northward — but what you’ve described doesn’t seem to agree with my knowledge of basic meteorology. Comment by FurryCatHerder — 21 Apr 2010 @ 4:06 PM 664. Ray Ladbury, 623 “1) climate models are dynamical models. You put in the physics and let them run. There can be no tweaking based on a single criterion.” Uh?? If only it was so easy…as powerful as the computer can be, you will never be able to “put the physics” and simulate 50 years…so there is some “tweaking”. Good or bad, biased or not is another problem… [Response: Please read the FAQs on the subject. – gavin] Comment by Naindj — 21 Apr 2010 @ 4:07 PM 665. Walter Crain (660) — The first formula is missing a right parenthesis; it ought to read AE(d) = k(lnCO2(d-1) – lnCO2(1870s)) – GTA(1880s) Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Apr 2010 @ 4:09 PM 666. CO #592, I read the content of the link you posted http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/ supposedly addressing the C02 temp lag I brought up. Problem is it doesn’t actually address the specific problem of the lag. He claims that James Hansen predicted it but doesn’t go into detail how he did this… The older link on RC which is mentioned in the article actually does attempt to address the lag but what comes out is quite frankly embarassing. Here is what he says: “So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming.” Could have?? Mickey mouse COULD have caused the last 5/6 of the warming! So many times with pro AGW “evidence” you run across the statement “consistent with”. “Consistent with” is certainly not the same thing as proving. It sounds like lawyer speak. They assume that CO2 amplified the warming but give no proof as to how they knew this. If C02 really did amplify warming with a feedback effect, wouldn’t that neccisarily be a runaway effect, where temps increase until there is basically no more CO2 that can be released from the oceans by increased heat?Since this obviously isn’t the case, there must be some dampaning there. So the question is how much, correct? What if the system is almost or entirely critically damped? [Response: You are very confused. Positive feedback does not lead to a runaway effects (hint, some series converge). The words ‘consistent with’ are not used in that post so what you are complaining about is unclear. And CO2 is greenhouse gas – something that has been known for over a century. More than likely it was still a greenhouse gas during the ice ages. – gavin] Comment by sam — 21 Apr 2010 @ 4:20 PM 667. Naindj, You are thinking of statistical models, in which parameters are adjusted to give best fit. In dynamical models, you can put in new physics, but this is very unlikely to overfit. This is a very different beast. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:07 PM 668. Apropos Gilles: could you precise where the water evaporating from oceans is supposed to condensate in your scenario ? and on which known facts it is based ? Enjoy this child’s treasury of global drought stories. [Response: Also, see what the models suggest will happen. – gavin] Comment by Jim Galasyn — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:16 PM 669. One common fallacy I see repeated is that it is easier to predict climate 100 years in the future than it is to predict it in 10 years. I have created models professionally, but not climate models, so I have some knowledge of the subject. The problem is iterations and positive feed forward. The argument is that errors cancel out over time but exactly the opposite is true. It is like 100 computations in a row with the output of #1 being the input of #2 etc. A small error or misunderstanding of the physics involved in problem #1 is amplified in #2 and #3 etc until it makes the model worthless. This is usually solved with software plugs like the effect of particulates in the atmosphere which is unknown so any value can be used to make things come out right. The problem is that as time progresses the plugs have to be adjusted to account for the fact that the models drift. Without constant tweaking they become worthless. [Response: This is simply not the case for climate models. Please read the FAQs to get a better sense of what is done. There is no ‘constant tweaking’ in the sense you imply, and no long term accumulation of errors. The climate of the model is the generally the same in the first 100 years as it is in the last 100 years of a thousand-year+ control run. – gavin] Comment by netdr — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:19 PM 670. “I’d bet on Blattella germanica …” SecularAnimist — 20 April 2010 @ 9:48 AM “The future is bright for dinoflagellates.” Jim Galasyn, quoting Jeremy Jackson — 20 April 2010 @ 11:22 AM but maybe not for Rattus species – http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBKK27922820080828 “(Reuters) – The price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year as inflation has put other meat beyond the reach of poor people, officials said on Wednesday.” Or the subspecies homo sarahpaliens which is dependent on salmon fishing – http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/02/tech/main6165328.shtml “Humboldt Squid Invade California – They can grow up to 100 pounds and 6 feet long and follow food sources. The squid have also recently been spotted off San Diego, Oregon and Washington, all on the U.S. West Coast.” http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009859494_apwahumboldtsquid1stldwritethru.html “Large Humboldt squid have shown up in the Strait of Juan de Fuca where commercial fishermen say they are stealing their catches. Now, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is giving the fishermen some revenge by allowing them to sell squid they accidentally catch as they troll for salmon.” “Greg Bargmann, Fish and Wildlife marine ecosystem manager, said the state decided last week that commercial fishermen could sell squid they inadvertently catch.” “in four days of fishing earlier this month, Willmett said he caught two king salmon, 42 silver salmon – and 30 squid. Normally, he would have caught up to 100 salmon.” “In 2009, adult spawning escapement for Sacramento River fall chinook was dismally low — only 39,500 adult salmon returned compared to the escapement goal of 122,000 adults, which was the management target in 2009. ” http://www.cbbulletin.com/378071.aspx http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=humboldt-squid-expansion “Many researchers attribute the squid’s recent success to the very climate, current and oxygen-level changes that have been hurting populations of other species in the diverse California Current.” “Hungry, hungry Humboldts – A growing mass of these hungry squid could have a large impact on some fish stocks, especially those that are already faltering. ‘They can eat pretty much all they want,’ Gilly says, noting that researchers have found a range of meals inside the squid, ranging from tiny krill to 40-centimeter-long hake—and even some salmon remains.” “One factor contributing to the squids’ expansion seems to be the eastern Pacific’s growing dead zones, where they spend much of the day.” Soon to be heard at your local fish ‘n chips – “would you like fries with your calamari nuggets?” Remember when canned salmon was considered cat food? Comment by Brian Dodge — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:22 PM 671. BPL: “Of course population is a big part of the problem. But it’s not a big part of the problem on the same time scale. Stopping fossil fuels has to be done in 5-10 years. Slowing and eventually reversing population growth can take longer. You seem to almost revel in the prospect of most of humanity dying. What the heck, they’ve always died, they always will. Tell me, is murder good or evil in your view? Or are good and evil meaningless concepts to you?” Considering that I’ve long seen overpopulation as a very major problem, maybe I do revel in the prospect, specifically because “good and evil” do have some meaning to me, prompting my view that what’s selfishly being done to the biosphere is the evil – and considering that humanities current operational values are very unlikely to do anything helpful in the next 5-10 years, claiming that “time scale” is more pressing is …. well, denialism, just like the inclination in the US and Canada to view providing birth control, particularly abortion, as evil is denying the population problem. I’m not about to murder anyone, even with extreme provocation, but I haven’t hesitated thumping anyone I catch raiding the results of my personal labor with a club, people are capable of learning. Yes, humans always die, I watched both my parents do so, and some siblings, without considering whether those events were “good or evil” – sad, yes, but just part of the cycle, the most pressing part of the cycle actually, and we “developed” types spend an amazing amount keeping everyone alive for every possible minute. Humanity continues to view itself as somehow outside or apart from the biosphere, and able to manipulate it to advantage [especially using our “economics”], when what’s really more to the point is how can we accept we’re an inextricable part of it, and find our “niche”. Excessive FF consumption is but one aspect of the “unpaid capital” we extract from the planet, as you and many here recognize, and right now it doesn’t look likely to change much in even 50 years. BPL: “Lack of cropland? No more irrigation systems? No ability to manufacture even an iron or bronze plow? No more artificial fertilizer? No more natural fertilizer either when most of the plant, animal and human life is dead? Any of these seem like a potential problem?” It’s happening now Barton, and will continue exponentially regardless of FF use. A very real problem for the industrial agriculture our economic system has developed for sustaining the excess population packing our cities who primarily keep the cash-flow wheels turning, but not so much for those who’ve been avoiding that mentality and developing productive, sustainable organic agriculture, which is supporting a pretty sizeable population now without buying into the “disposible” lifestyle. An aside – note that my use in a previous post of ‘specialization’ takes care of the spam filtre, no need to make posts harder to read by inserting underscores or dashes in that commonly used word :) Comment by flxible — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:23 PM 672. Brian Dodge: [long, informative post] What constitutes “active weather” wasn’t well defined in the prior discussion. I did consider that what I was considering less active weather could lead to more flooding in the way you described. You motivated me to look up more on lapse rate, and apparently it is expected to decrease in the tropics and increase otherwise. [http://stratus.astr.ucl.ac.be/textbook/chapter4_node7.html] It makes me wonder if tropical thunderstorms will become weaker and temperate ones stronger? Doubtless it’s not that simple. Thanks for your above reply. Comment by NoPreview NoName — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:38 PM 673. “If you want to point me at a non-fee article that explains the mechanics behind that, I’d be happy to review it” What if the only articles are paywalled? Just because you have to pay for it doesn’t make it wrong, you know. The mechanics are fairly simple and obvious. The mechanics to counter that are also simple and obvious. Which one wins is fairly dependent on the specifics. So BPL’s answer may be correct in general and therefore, given only space for one answer, the best answer (in the same way as the best answer to “how many legs do I have” is NOT the average number of legs, but the average number (between 2 and 1) is the one that reduces the amount you’re wrong by). Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:40 PM 674. “BPL: Yes, there is. We may share 95% of our genome with chimps, but morphologically and developmentally we are very unlike chimpanzees. We have 46 chromosomes, chimps have 48.” And we have two chromosomes that are doubles bound together. Therefore, we really have 48. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:41 PM 675. “BPL: Lack of cropland? No more irrigation systems?” We didn’t have much in the way of irrigation complexity in the C15. Praying for rain was the best we had… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:42 PM 676. ~659 If by “unintended fluttering in the dovecotes” you refer to the heaping of poor analogies — with a side order of vitriol — that your observations have inspired, I hear you, but it’s more like a fluttering in the chainsaw convention. Curry’s “tribalism” is too mild a description. Comment by Walter Manny — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:46 PM 677. simon abingdon – something wrong with a 30-year average of global temperature as an indicator for global climate? For regional, 30 year trends in precipitation, temperature. Comment by Phil Scadden — 21 Apr 2010 @ 5:51 PM 678. “that your observations have inspired,” simon’s post was little more than “fire the phasers into the dilithium crystals to realign the quantum flux” answer. I.e. BS. But you two have a love fest. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:05 PM 679. “One common fallacy I see repeated is that it is easier to predict climate 100 years in the future than it is to predict it in 10 years.” Strawman. It’s easier to predict the 100 year climate than it is the 10 year climate. But you change your hearing to fit your preconceptions. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:06 PM 680. #667 repeats a fallacy which Eli last saw on Dot Earth, the idea that ——————————— The problem is iterations and positive feed forward. The argument is that errors cancel out over time but exactly the opposite is true. It is like 100 computations in a row with the output of #1 being the input of #2 etc. A small error or misunderstanding of the physics involved in problem #1 is amplified in #2 and #3 etc until it makes the model worthless ————————— Were this true, computational fluid dynamics would never work, and clearly it does, to the extent that wind tunnels are being closed down, chemical engineering of fluid transport would not work, which it clearly does, and global climate models (nee global circulation models) would also not display the observed circulation patterns seen in the atmosphere, which again, they do, and yes, Virginia, great progress is being made in the area of turbulent flows. Anyone who claims differently should take it up with Ansys first. Comment by Eli Rabett — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:14 PM 681. simon says:”Maybe the answer is that climate is just an unknowable Schroedinger wave function of innumerable probabilities, which collapses into weather when we try to measure it.” I cannot resist a bit of wordplay – simon’s idea lacks coherence. Note the second sentence on wikipedia about quantum decoherence: Quantum decoherence gives the appearance of wave function collapse and justifies the framework and intuition of classical physics as an acceptable approximation: decoherence is the mechanism by which the classical limit emerges out of a quantum starting point and it determines the location of the quantum-classical boundary.) Comment by t_p_hamilton — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:14 PM 682. “Right now, we’re having 700-year floods every year in the Midwest. Severe flooding in the Midwest is a consequence of uncontrolled agricultural expansion and wetland draining, not climate change. Comment by Jack Maloney — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:15 PM 683. Sam@666, OK, so I see that rather than going to the top of the page and clicking the “Start Here” button to learn the actual science, you’ve decided you’d rather remain ignorant. OK, then, I’ll just put you down for one ignoramus. And I will look forward to you publishing your PHYSICAL MECHANISM whereby Mickey Mouse could account for the last 5/6 of the warming. Care to try agian? 1)We know with 100% certainty that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. 2)We know that CO2 accounts for more than 7 of the 33 degrees of greenhouse warming that keep Earth from turning into a snowball. 3)We do not know of any mechanism whereby CO2 should magically stop being a greenhouse at 280 ppmv. 4)We know there are natural sources of CO2 that are currently frozen in parmafrost or CO2 dissolved in the oceans. 5)We know that as the planet warms the CO2 is released. 6)We know that the small changes in solar irradiance are not sufficient to account for all of the warming seen in an interglacial (it accounts for at most 1/6). 7)We know CO2 can account for the remaining 5/6. OK, got that, Punkin? Now go the the fricking top of the page and click on the fricking “Start Here” button. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2010 @ 6:57 PM 684. > Jack Maloney > … not climate change … [Citation needed, unless you’re saying “couldn’t be, nope, no way”] “… We find that in much of the middle and high latitudes, precipitation has systematically increased over the 20th Century. This is consistent with changes predicted by climate models when concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are assumed to increase. The dataset also helps us to put some recent damaging extreme precipitation events into a global, long-term perspective….” or Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends Pavel Ya. Groisman1, Richard W. Knight, Thomas R. Karl, David R. Easterling, Bomin Sun, and Jay Lawrimore Abstract Over the contiguous U.S. precipitation, temperature, streamflow, heavy and very heavy precipitation and high streamflow in the East have increased during the 20th century. In the past 50 years, in addition to these changes, increases in evaporation, near-surface humidity, total, low, and convective cloudiness, earlier snow cover retreat and spring onset in the West, and a decrease in near-surface wind speed have been documented. Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:00 PM 685. #669 “I have created models professionally, but not climate models, so I have some knowledge of the subject.” I know a lot about dogs, so let me tell you about horses. Comment by Jerry Steffens — 21 Apr 2010 @ 7:19 PM 686. Gavin says: “You are very confused” Me: Guilty! To Ray, I think this has been said to you before here, but you sound a little pissed! We just refuse to be re-educated, don’t we? Hows about I make you a deal. I will buy and read, cover to cover, any book that you recommend on climate. But you have to read Roy Spencer’s new book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. (I gonna try reading it on my shiny new Ipad tonight) I would be happy to pay for your copy. (no ipad included) Afterwards, you can you use it for toilet paper or piss on it if you like. Comment by sam — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:28 PM 687. 630 Gilles: Iowa and Illinois are 22 inches ahead on rain over the past 2 years. The muddy fields have prevented harvesting and planting by about 5 or 6 %. Meanwhile, South Texas got zero rain for a whole year. EITHER flood OR drought can prevent agriculture from happening. GW causes both, in different and shifting places. The constant change makes life difficult for farmers. The thing GW does is it moves the rain to an unexpected place. Crops then fail in both places. See 668 638&658 Barton Paul Levenson: Some geneticists have said that human and chimpanzee genes are more similar than the genes of some single species. I can’t give you a reference off hand. We and chimps have the same emotions per Jane Goodall. In the context of population biology, we act the same as chimps. 647 flxible: OK, so you are someplace you think is far away and you have your own little farm or whatever. You think you will be the survivor because you are self sufficient. WRONG. Because: Population growth continues without an apocalypse: The apocalypse used to have 4 horsemen, but now it has more: famine, pestilence, war, disease, asteroid impact, ecological disaster phase 1, ecological disaster phase 2, genocide, etc. WHEN the population crash happens: PEOPLE WILL FIND YOUR FARM AND TAKE YOUR FOOD. We know somebody can find you because you found a way to connect to the internet. YOU ARE NOT FAR ENOUGH AWAY. The closest place that is far enough away is Mars, the planet. How do you get other people to stop breeding: Simple: You don’t. “where is “there”, and how, realistically, do we get there from here?” NOT IN MY JURISDICTION. And I am so glad it is not in my jurisdiction. Since it is not in my jurisdiction, it is not my job to answer your question. NOT IN REALCLIMATE’S JURISDICTION. We aren’t going to answer that question. It isn’t a science question. 663 FurryCatHerder See:http://environmentaldefenseblogs.org/climate411/2008/01/14/global_winds/ and my answer to Gilles above 682 Jack Maloney: No it isn’t. I never saw it rain before like it did last year. I live on the boundary between Illinois and Iowa. See 684. Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Apr 2010 @ 8:55 PM 688. CFU @ 673: I’m going to give you an opinion that many here will not like: Paywalling papers related to climate change is pretty sleezoid behavior. It’s also counter-productive and probably related to why the denialosphere has the success it has. And it certainly doesn’t help with the reputation problems this thread is dealing with … Comment by FurryCatHerder — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:47 PM 689. Edward @ 686: That link points to an article that’s consistent with my response to BPL. See my comments about Hadley Cells and the poleward migration of same. BPL’s claims are completely different. Comment by FurryCatHerder — 21 Apr 2010 @ 9:51 PM 690. I don’t see why paywalling climate change (or any) papers is “sleezoid.” Journals have the right to charge for their product, same as any other publication. OTOH, I too wish they wouldn’t, for much the reasons FCH gives–a) I can’t read them so readily; and B) Joe Public would have good access to them in an ideal world. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Apr 2010 @ 10:58 PM 691. Sam, Sam, Sam … But you have to read Roy Spencer’s new book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. Just how likely do you think that there’s any truth there? And … Spencer’s a scientist (sometimes, fewer times than in the past apparently, and the trend’s increasing in the wrong direction). You do realize that if Spencer’s right, proper publication in the scientific literature would lead to worldwide fame in his field, and since he’s turning a bunch of applied physics on its head, even a possibility for a Nobel, right? If his argument’s sound, why do you think he’s having it published by a very openly extremist right-wing publisher, rather than submitting it for review by fellow scientists as is common practice in every field of science you can think of? Could it be because it’s utter silliness that would be shot to pieces and would never be published if he were to do so? Or is it because you believe that only extreme right-wing publishers are uniquely qualified to publish this so-called “science”? Comment by dhogaza — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:04 PM 692. #573 simon abingdon I understand what we mean by “weather” because we can pin it down by stating the values of various parameters, for example: Place in question, time of observation, wind direction and speed, visibility, cloudbase and extent, precipitation, temperature and dewpoint, pressure. How do we do the same for climate? How about ‘pinning down’ climate by stating all those parameters you use for weather, but averaged over a period of time, and averaged in a way appropriate for that parameter. Usually 30 years is taken as the averaging period. What parameters define and specify climate? While we can use broad terms like maritime, continental, temperate, tropical, polar, equatorial, etc there remains a rather uncomfortable feeling of vague generality and lack of scientific rigour. What are a climate’s relevant numbers and units of measurement? What are the boundaries within which a climate exists? If we talk about climate change how do we say exactly what elements have changed and by how much? Is it possible in any case to talk about climate in terms which are convincingly specific? Terms like maritime, continental etc do not define a climate. They are simply names for climates with average values for all those other parameters,which fall within agreed limits for each particular name. Comment by Andrew Hobbs — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:07 PM 693. Also, Sam, as a creationist, Spencer could easily write a book entitled “The Great Evolution Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Biologists”, and just as “authoritatively” overthrow a century plus of biological science. He’d be just as believable … and frankly, has written things that, while not of book-length, are just as ridiculous. Comment by dhogaza — 21 Apr 2010 @ 11:08 PM 694. Edward!! Not a science question?? Not in your or RC’s jurisdiction? Population/social dynamics and sustainability and whether we’re smarter than chimps is about as appropriate as I can imagine when the discussion is about reducing CO2 generation drastically in 5-10 years to prevent extinction. Is climate change a purely academic question? Sorry to rub your sore spot, but the whole of the situation is only academic to an oldster like I, who won’t be dealing with the mess our predecessors and leaders have made of Eden …. I’ll be real suprised if I live to see any collapse beyond what’s been happening in my lifetime, but I’ve been aware of those many horsemen the majority of my life, they’ve just picked up the gallop a bit due to our exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet. Discussion here that bears on the critical variables that the science brings to light is the education that’s the purpose of this roundtable I believe. Comment by flxible — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:04 AM 695. Re 634 Hank Roberts – I think it’s more complicated than that; the meridional temperature gradient change is different in the upper troposphere (and at least some of the stratosphere, at least for CO2 and solar forced warming); at least the changes in the lower troposphere and surface are affected by oceanic upwelling and the persistence (one hopes) of the Antarctic ice sheet and in general the seasonal and latitudinal distributions of the tendency… If water vapor increases in general, I could imagine there *might* be greater variations in water vapor, which might affect severe thunderstorms (dryline type contrasts) … other things being equal, global teleconnections of low-frequency variability via Rossby waves tend to be more sensitive to SST anomalies when the SST anomalies are against a background of higher SST … Concentration of precipitation into shorter time periods would be one form of increased variability. Could greater water vapor increase the rate of depening of synoptic-scale extratropical lows? Comment by Patrick 027 — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:08 AM 696. BPL :”Merely moving the rainfall pattern is enough to destroy harvests. Increasing the drought to pretty much all farmland by 2050 or so will destroy every harvest.” Can you give me the chapter of AR4 where a total destruction of every harvest in 2050 is described ? As I understand, this would mean a global shift of the whole precipitation pattern , where all the rain would suddenly avoid all cultivated area and fall only on empty regions , and where all possibility of irrigation suddenly disappear ? is it sustained by any scientific literature and reported by IPCC? or do you accuse them implicitly of incompetence ? Other question : if you’re right, could you explain what should be done to avoid that and where is the dangerous threshold to avoid, quantitatively , before 2050? (amount of burnt carbon and temperature for instance ?) Comment by Gilles — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:30 AM 697. Sam #686: we don’t owe you an education, you do. And if you seriously think that forcing Ray to read Spencer’s new turd is going to do anything but put him (or any scientist) in a mighty foul mood, you need to get out more my friend ;-) Comment by Martin Vermeer — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:34 AM 698. “630 Gilles: Iowa and Illinois are 22 inches ahead on rain over the past 2 years. The muddy fields have prevented harvesting and planting by about 5 or 6 %. Meanwhile, South Texas got zero rain for a whole year. EITHER flood OR drought can prevent agriculture from happening.” Sure, but this kind of variability has always existed. As a whole on the Earth, I would expect some gaussian distribution around normal conditions. Could you explain why this distribution could evolve towards a “two-humps” distribution around “no water at all” and “much too much water” , and suppress quantitatively all crops ? statistically, this would be very strange that nature would know exactly what to do to kill us … again, quantitatively, can you give a scientific argument for drawing for example the average expected yearly crops as a function of average temperature ? or is it just a scenario for the next Hollywood scary movie, in the case we would have escaped 2012 ? Comment by Gilles — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:36 AM 699. I just finished reading the Discover interviews with Judith Curry and Michael Mann. Looking at data for a number of years now and having read the emails, I like what Mann had to say. Having read many of of Mann’s papers recently, I also must say there is nothing in his work suspect or off statistically. Comment by Jacob Mack — 22 Apr 2010 @ 1:12 AM 700. dhogaza, If Roy Spencer is a creationist as you claim I admit that that is not really a plus for me…. but I have known many engineers, professors, doctors, surgeons etc that have been deeply religious yet were very good in their fields. I’ve always thought of that as a bit of a contradiction, but whatever. Lets not drag the man’s religious views into this. Comment by sam — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:02 AM 701. Great resources so some may learn how to do their own analyses quantitatively using statistics: http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/elementary-concepts-in-statistics/#What%20are%20variables The Statistics Homepage… start there. http://books.google.com/books?id=5QgAfL1N6koC&printsec=frontcover&dq=statistics+in+climate+research&ei=uvjPS_ykCpD8lQSez8ToCA&cd=1#v=onepage&q=statistics%20in%20climate%20research&f=false Statistical Analysis in Climate Research: Hans von Storch & Francis W. Zwiers. Comment by Jacob Mack — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:23 AM 702. 689 FurryCatHerder: It still say the rain moves. If the rain moves, agriculture is disrupted, and the point is the disruption of agriculture, not the detail that is weather. What is the distance from South Texas to central Illinois or central Iowa? Something like 1000 miles, which is typical for how far the rain moves. BPL also moved the rain about that far. Don’t quibble over weather. Weather isn’t in the climate forecast. BPL said: “The rain moves.” 300 miles and 3000 miles are both the same order of magnitude as 1000 miles, so don’t quibble over that either. Comment by Edward Greisch — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 AM 703. “I’m going to give you an opinion that many here will not like: Paywalling papers related to climate change is pretty sleezoid behavior.” In your opinion. But does it make it untrue? No. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:00 AM 704. netdr #669 It can indeed be possible to predict long timescales much better than short ones. My favourite analogy is tides; it’s next to impossible to predict how far up the beach the next wave will break, but very easy to accurately predict when high tide will be. Just as next month’s weather may be harder to predict than the 2050 climate. Comment by VeryTallGuy — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:07 AM 705. #669 netdr, If we are making a prediction of the climate then we are likely to want the expected value over a longer period, the further in the future we are predicting. If we are making a prediction for ten years from now then we might want the expectationover a year. If we make a prediction for a century from now then we might want the expectation over a decade. The latter is likely to be more accurate. Also, we do not estimate the sensitivity to changes in forcings of the climate is not estimated by calulating the rate of change and projecting it forward for a given period. Climate models are run for a period till their output fluctates about the mean values in the same way that the actual climate does. They are then run witht changed inputs in the same way until they fluctuate around new mean values. The difference between the outputs gives us the sensitivity to the changes. What we are looking at is changes in long term equilibrium conditions. The accuracy of these estimates will me more accurate as conditions have more time to reach new eqilibria. Comment by Lloyd Flack — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:26 AM 706. Walter Crain #614: > are you finnish? can you read him “in the original”? I have to plead guilty to both charges… > can i quote your translation for a “buddy” of mine? Sure. Here’s the full translation, mainly for its entertainment value: Finnish professor’s controversial claim: CO2 can raise temperature only 0,1 degrees Professor Jyrki Kauppinen and colleagues of the Physics Department of Turku University is preparing a sensational research paper, according to which carbon dioxide doesn’t raise climatic temperature practically at all. Based on Kauppinen’s spectral measurements climate will warm only 0,1 degrees, if the concentration of carbon dioxide in the climate [sic!] doubles. Kauppinen tells CO2-raportti, that a method is used in the research which no-one else has earlier thought of. In the study, summer and winter temperatures from various sources are compared, and from these one may infer, e.g., climate sensitivity. Kauppinen also has harsh words for the climate panel IPCC, and considers the IPCC reports at least partly fraudulent. According to [the Turku daily] Turun Sanomat, who was the first to report on the matter, Kauppinen intends to publish his research result in the June issue of the Journal Nature. Kauppinen tells however to CO2-raportti, that the article is only just being written, and it hasn’t even been offered yet to any science journal for review. He hopes however that science journals would publish it. Kauppinen is certain that at least journals in the field of physics will publish the study. According to Kauppinen it is possible that the study doesn’t end up in the respected science journals Nature or Science, because according to him, they try to avoid publishing climate sceptical studies. Kauppinen does not consider himself a climate sceptic. He said that a couple decades ago he was a bit sceptic, but nowadays he is certain that CO2 does not raise temperature at least significantly. Professor Kauppinen has not previously published work in the field of climatology.” And the Finnish Meteorologial Institute writes: Ilmatieteen laitos pitää valitettavana, että ilmastotieteellistä tarkastelua kestämättömiä, tieteellisesti tarkastamattomia väitteitä käsitellään julkisuudessa tiedeuutisten kaltaisina. […] Kauppinen ei ole esitellyt tutkimusmenetelmiään, minkä vuoksi hänen väitteitään hiilidioksidin pienestä vaikutuksesta on mahdotonta kommentoida tai arvioida tarkemmin. “The Finnish Meteorological Institute regrets that claims that don’t stand up to climatological scrutiny, and have not been scientifically reviewed, are treated on public fora as if they were equivalent to scientific news items. […] Kauppinen has not presented his research methods, which is why his claims of a small effect of carbon dioxide cannot be commented on or evaluated more precisely.” (FMI does much more than weather: climate, space missions, and recently oceanography was added. World class folks.) Comment by Martin Vermeer — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:51 AM 707. Ray #599, BPL #640, Ray’s calculation made more sense to me when I thought (from his remarks about modern agriculture failing, and the reference to arable land, to which hunter-gatherers by definition are not confined) that he was referring to feeding the world on some form of agriculture without fossil-fuel inputs. CFU’s point seemed apposite to me. Comment by CM — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:12 AM 708. BPL #654, The AR4 (Box 11.1) describes projections to the end of the 21st century based on the A1B scenario showing: “Likely increase in risk of drought in Australia and eastern New Zealand; the Mediterranean, central Europe (summer drought); in Central America (boreal spring and dry periods of the annual cycle).” None of which is good news, but isn’t there a certain gap between your vision of harvests failing globally by 2050 due to drought in all continental interiors, and what you can ascribe to IPCC projectons? Comment by CM — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:12 AM 709. 650 “Or is there some reason why farming will be impossible?” Sea level rise will drown a lot of arable land. Soil degradation will seriously impair productivity. 15th century farming was heavily man-power intensive and also needed the pulling power of horses or bullocks…it would take time to build up stocks of draught animals and they require a lot of forage, where food-growing land is in short supply and poorly productive it might be difficult to afford draught animals, so the plough would be pulled by women or slaves. Lack of refrigeration meant that meat was stored under salt with everything that was not needed to produce next years young slaughtered, some vegetables were also salted, roots were stored buried in clamps and subject to severe loss. No, not impossible, but difficult and almost certainly a lot less productive than in the 15th century. Comment by Brian Carter — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:14 AM 710. Look, guys, if you’re writing for people in the United States, specifically, challenging religion is not going to help any conversation meant to educate people about climate science. Think of it like the MWP or the PETM or the original hockey stick chart — they don’t _matter_ all that much to the current problem, they’re old (in different ways) and easy to argue about, and impossible to change, and climate science doesn’t rely on that. Stop. Read what follows twice. Walk around the block. Think again. “45% of Americans in 2008 answered true to the statement, “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” The figure is similar to previous years and much lower than in Japan (78%), Europe (70%), China (69%), and South Korea (64%). The same gap exists for the response to a second statement, “The universe began with a big explosion,” with which only 33% of Americans agreed.” You can care about the rate of change being too fast for biology, let alone for human enterprise, and respond appropriately _regardless_. Choose your battle. Noble and glorious defeat takes everyone and their grandchildren down with you. It’s a stupid fight to be picking. Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:19 AM 711. Ray@683 Interesting points! Can you direct me to your source on the CO2 20% (7/33) of the current Greenhouse warming? Based on this, in a linear model (?) would not doubling CO2 emission give us aleast another 7 deg without feedback – which due to your point 4 and 5 will have a postive effect (increase the warming)? Looks to me as the current models are way off on the effects of a doubling of C02? Many Thanks Comment by Neil — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:26 AM 712. You can almost bet that even if more professional statisticians had been brought on board, that the denialists would be loudly claiming the old cliche, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics! ;-) Face it, climate scientists just can’t win…they’re too damn honest. Comment by Fred Magyar — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:31 AM 713. sam: “But you have to read Roy Spencer’s new book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”.” So for one unit of education, you want one unit of anti-education to be read? Sam, consider: why are you giving equal time to someone who is willing to forgo science when it disagrees with his religious beliefs? Spencer is willing to accord the Bible a scientific accuracy in Genesis. If he’s willing to bend science that far, isn’t it pretty easy to imagine he’d bend science for political beliefs? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:37 AM 714. “B) Joe Public would have good access to them in an ideal world.” So why should Joe Public get access to stuff he never paid for? Or should we all chip in to a worldwide tax fund to pay for research? I wonder what would happen if Yosef Public from Moscow raised 50 requests for US research data… Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:39 AM 715. Sam #683, re: CO2 lags temperature, perhaps I should have started you out on the relevant SkepticalScience post or the IPCC FAQ. Anyway, if you still refuse to get this after Ray’s and Gavin’s explanations, your bad. Comment by CM — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:44 AM 716. Gavin, Ray, I was exactly talking about tuning of dynamical models, which is a big part of the FAQ you refered me to (and which I read some months ago, and which is very clear and very much appreciated)… Correct me if I’m wrong, tweaking and tuning are synonyms, right? Sorry it seems that I am again one of these “bloody” engineers who have made some modelling in their past and who are still in trouble to trust so complex simulations…In my case I once tried to model interactions between acoustic waves and combustion flame in a gas turbine..There were merely 3 equations in the play: Navier Stokes, Combustion and Acoustic waves (which is derived from compressible Navier Stokes). And I remember we had to add, amongst many other “handmade tuning” some artificial numerical buffer to avoid the system to diverge. So I was a little bit in shock when I read “You put the physics and let them run”… GCM, as far as I can understand is a “little bit” more complicated than that. But you are the experts, and I am still in the process of dissecting the (almost) full code provided here, so I stand corrected. Comment by Naindj — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:53 AM 717. Sam says, “Hows about I make you a deal. I will buy and read, cover to cover, any book that you recommend on climate. But you have to read Roy Spencer’s new book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”.” Great. We can have a frigging pseudo-science book of the month club. What’s next? Velikovsky? The complete works of the Discovery Institute? Something in astrology or the anti-vaccination campaign, perhaps? Sam, I studied physics for 10 years. I’ve been doing physics for 20 years. I took 2 years of my spare time and learned enough climate science so that I could follow the primary literature. Here’s a hint: You do not learn the science by reading blatant political screeds. You read the primary literature, or you read popularizations of the published literature by legitimate climate scientists. Spencer’s book does not deal with the literature. It is merely his musings on cherry-picked topics–musings his fellow climate scientists have found utterly unpersuasive. Is it really so mysterious why scientists like me are frustrated when laymen who are utterly clueless and who have no understanding of the evidence 1)make seemingly authoritative pronouncements about science 2)utterly ignore it when scientists correct them and repeat the same tired zombie arguments 3)are corrected by the scientists with more of an edge 4)utterly ignore the correct information but whine about what meanies the scientists are 5)run off and declare victory to their fellow clueless twits. You want me to soften my tone for widdow Sammy-wammy? Sorry, but this is a place to learn about science. Maybe you should come back when you actually want to learn. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 5:20 AM 718. DBB (662), I intend to try again, but first I want to go through the paper and thoroughly revise it according to the reviewer’s comments. It’ll take me a while. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:35 AM 719. BPL: Try reading the AR4 report, then you’d know. But here’s the answer on a silver platter: With global warming you get more rain along coastlines and less in continental interiors. Furry (663): If that’s the “Official” answer, you’ve just turned me into a complete and total opponent of everything that the AR4 advocates. BPL: I’ve been waiting to hear that from you. No real surprise. GCMs predict growing drought in continental interiors. Empirical evidence shows growing drought in continental interiors. What more do you want? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:37 AM 720. Sam (666), Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:38 AM 721. sam #686: “refuse to be re-educated?” No, sam. You refuse to be educated. Comment by Philip Machanick — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:40 AM 722. flxible (671): Considering that I’ve long seen overpopulation as a very major problem, maybe I do revel in the prospect, specifically because “good and evil” do have some meaning to me, prompting my view that what’s selfishly being done to the biosphere is the evil BPL: So all those people deserve to die early. Got it. You’re like some far-right stereotype of environmentalists, ready to kill humans en masse to save the planet. Are you sure you aren’t a troll? Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:43 AM 723. Walter Crain #614: no evidence on this issue that he’s a real scientist. Real scientists™ don’t go blabbing to the media about their latest greatest result before they’ve written the paper let alone had some sort of independent review in case they’ve forgotten to carry the 1, or some other blunder that blows the whole thing away. Comment by Philip Machanick — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:47 AM 724. “Based on this, in a linear model (?) ” It’s a logarithmic one. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 7:42 AM 725. “705 Brian Carter says: 22 April 2010 at 4:14 AM 650 “Or is there some reason why farming will be impossible?” Sea level rise will drown a lot of arable land.” This doesn’t stop farming from working. I can break or lose my hammer. This doesn’t mean you can’t hammer nails into wood any more. What that WOULD mean is that less than the current land extent that is usable for farming will not be available for farming. But this doesn’t stop farming from working. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 7:44 AM 726. #718– And let’s not forget that Spencer and Christy did indeed commit such a blunder once. Took a few years to catch it, too. “Tropical Tropospheric Trends” was the RC heading, IIRC. There’s also this: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/spencers-folly-3/ (One can link back to part 1, if desired, to follow the full development of the argument, which is quite detailed.) Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:13 AM 727. Neil@707 Where on Earth did you get the idea that CO2 forcing was linear in CO2 concentration. It is in fact logarithmic, and the best estimates are that a doubling will increase global temperatures by an average of 3 degrees. The 7 degrees is a broadly accepted conservative estimate. Not sure what to give you for a source. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:50 AM 728. 3K projected rise later this century because of failure at Copenhagen This is from the BBC web site , which has always differed from the radio and TV. But beware , the former may be due for a cut. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8635765.stm Comment by Geoff Wexler — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:02 AM 729. CM, While it is true that hunter-gatherers are not confined to arable land, they do have to glean enough calories and protein to sustain themselves. To do that of poor, nonarable would probably not be possible. Look at where humans were found prior to the development of agriculture–it pretty much overlaps with our current range, except for very low population densities in the far North that hunted large animals and survived by fishing–neither of which will now sustain even the numbers the sustained previously. Moreover, we will be talking about a seriously degraded environment for production of calories and especially protein. I think there is every reason to believe that global carrying capacity for hunter gatherers is aroung 100 million. Now you may ask why I am looking at hunter-gatherers rather than primitive agriculture. Well, when did agriculture come into being? Roughly 10000 years ago, when the current era of relatively stable climate commenced. This may well not have been coincidence. After all, humans haven’t changed all that much even in 30000 years. Why did agriculture develop then? Could it be that the stable climate was needed for the caloric benefit of agriculture to exceed that of hunting and gathering? So what will happen to agriculture once the climate ceases to be predictable? Again, it is not a risk we know how to bound. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:04 AM 730. “There’s also this: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/spencers-folly-3/ As far as I can judge, Tamino deals only with linear perturbations around an equilibrium value, but this doesn’t describe properly limiting cycles that are inherently non linear. In this case the equilibrium value is unstable linearly (see predator-prey model for an example). Another probably is the assimilation of the average temperature to the effective temperature, which is not true. Varying the distribution of temperature on the globe (which IS a prediction of GCM) can change the average temperature without any change of radiative balance, and reci_procally (adding any non spherical component Ylm with l≠0 keeps the average temperature constant but changes the effective temperature). Comment by Gilles — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:13 AM 731. dhogaza wrote of Roy Spencer’s new book: “If his argument’s sound, why do you think he’s having it published by a very openly extremist right-wing publisher, rather than submitting it for review by fellow scientists as is common practice in every field of science you can think of? Could it be because it’s utter silliness that would be shot to pieces and would never be published if he were to do so?” Could it be that right-wing extremist publishers pay a lot better than peer-reviewed scientific journals? There is a lot of money to be made telling Ditto-Heads what they want to hear. Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:46 AM 732. With regard to the off-topic comments about the proper Linnaean taxonomic classification of humans and chimpanzees, there are a lot of different possible ways to classify biological organisms. “Genus” and “species” are concepts, not objective biological realities. So let’s not fight about it. What is interesting to me though, is how people seem to fall into two broad camps: those who seem to particularly value, and therefore emphasize, the commonalities and bonds between humans and other animals; and those who seem to particularly value, and therefore emphasize, the differences and distances between humans and other animals. This does, I think, have some bearing on our responses to AGW. For those of us who recognize and value the other animals of the Earth as our brothers and sisters rather than as “resources”, AGW has an additional tragic dimension. Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:03 AM 733. Climate Scientist Sues National Post for Libel http://www.desmogblog.com/climate-scientist-sues-national-post “Dr. Andrew Weaver, one of the most respected climate scientists in Canada and one of the best climate modellers in the world, has launched a libel suit against the National Post newspaper and its publisher, editors and three writer: Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin.” Also being discussed at Deltoid: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/scientist_fights_back_against.php Comment by Jim Eager — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:08 AM 734. “Enjoy this child’s treasury of global drought stories. [Response: Also, see what the models suggest will happen. – gavin]” ok, but where does the figure 10-12 (relative to 2100 and with > 700 ppm CO2, if I understand correctly) predict anything like the collapse of all harvest on the Earth in 2050 ? or even in 2100 ? Comment by Gilles — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:15 AM 735. Neil asks:”Based on this, in a linear model (?) would not doubling CO2 emission give us aleast another 7 deg without feedback – which due to your point 4 and 5 will have a postive effect (increase the warming)?” The absorption is linear for the first few ppm, then as the absorption reaches saturation, gradually becomes logarithmic. Statements about the 20% of greenhouse effect is the sum of all the increases from 0 to 391 ppm CO2, compared to the sum of the increases from all greenhouse gases, from 0 to whatever they are. Comment by t_p_hamilton — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:23 AM 736. David B. Benson, (#660) thanks for that link to a “simple” (hahaha) explanation… gotta say i love tamino’s statistical analyses. funny and informative. rabett’s pretty funny/smart too. Martin, (#703) thanks so much for that translation. really appreciate the effort. you know, i plan to have my design for the 9/11 “ground zero” memorial built soon. i have a really cool design no-one’s thought of. i only have “napkin sketches” so far, but i plan to submit a full design in june. i hope the panel will consider my design…. Philip, (#719) understood. i just mean to say he has SOME credentials. and he has published some legitimate work. nice “tm” sign… all, you know, i know the data and science is there, but, as you guys must know, you (scientists) are losing the “PR” battle. more and more “people on the street”, people in my non-scientific circles, either 1)doubt the consensus, or worse 2)don’t trust scientists anymore…”climategate” dealt a serious blow, i’d say. anyone have data on recent opinion polls on AGW? specifically, questions to non-scientists, like 1)what % of earth scientists do you think “believe in” AGW? 2)do you “believe in” global warming? and of course, even if people (we) believe it’s happening, it’s another thing to get us to want to do anything about it. especially if we think it’s “gonna hurt”. it’s like with national debt. we all “know”, logically, that debts are unsustainable, but we put off dealing with it. debts are fun… i love the idea of mann “fighting back” legally over the hockey stick distortions. Comment by Walter Crain — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:32 AM 737. > Gilles > … Varying the distribution of temperature on the globe > (which IS a prediction of GCM) > can change the average temperature > without any change of radiative balance Does anyone understand this? I realize English isn’t his first language. Does “varying” mean “noticing variations in” or “altering”? What does he think a GCM predicts? (Which GCM is he talking about?) What does “change the average temperature” mean? (at some individual place? the global average? just by stirring? Maybe he’s talking about changing the average surface temperature by bringing up deep cold water, but he says > without changing the radiative balance It’s so many odd things in such a small bundle it reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s creations. Does anyone follow any of this? If so, perhaps creating a separate topic for Gilles, like they do over at Deltoid, would help him pull his ideas together? Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:33 AM 738. Ray@727 “Where on Earth did you get the idea that CO2 forcing was linear in CO2 concentration” I did not get it from anywhere – I was simply making the observation on your statement in your posting #683 “2)We know that CO2 accounts for more than 7 of the 33 degrees of greenhouse warming that keep Earth from turning into a snowball.” If we get 7 deg warming from current levels of C02 then we should get 7 deg additional warming for a doubling if there was a linear relationship and we exclude any feedback effects. So would I be correct in stating that if we double current levels of C02 (from ~380ppm) the logarithmic relationship gives us 3 deg? i.e. the more CO2 we pump in the less (by proportion) the temperature increases? Interesting . . . . I thought I heard somewhere that a significant factor in the 3 deg increase in temperature was based on the ice core analysis? i.e. when analysing past temperature changes and comparing them with levels of CO2 and factoring in the various known natural cycles it was estimated that the doubling of CO2 from ~100 ppm to 200 ppm created a warming of 3 deg? But if that is the case and the relationship is logarithmic then how can going from 100 to 200 give you 3 deg and going from 380 to 760 also give you 3 deg? Guess I must be missing something – I am sure you will put me right ;-) Comment by Neil — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:51 AM 739. Gilles, OK, now you are pounding your pud. First, what matters is the energy distribution at TOA–as Tamino says, and there’s no reason to expect latitudinal variation of that. What is more, Tamino’s critique of the timescales Spencer has used is valid quite independent of your red herring. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:05 AM 740. BPL: “So all those people deserve to die early. Got it. You’re like some far-right stereotype of environmentalists, ready to kill humans en masse to save the planet. Are you sure you aren’t a troll?” No one “deserves” to die, especially “early”, but it happens, and science and “civilization” is making those decisions daily. I said nothing about “deserving”, and your imaginary mass murderer-savior must be someone you’ve seen in a TV melodrama. You lump me in an ‘-ist’ box so as to better dismiss me, but while the extreme nature of the label says something about your politics and religion it doesn’t really fit the picture of Bart the scientist. You were the one who initiated the “good vs evil” question, which I don’t see as relevant to any scientific discussion, I just fit my understanding of the current reality to your focus, it’s ranting about good and evil that’s trolling. You insist the entire [admittedly unsustainable] population of the planet “reduce emissions to zero” in 5-10 years and dismiss overpopulation as a problem that has to be dealt with on some different, unspecified, time scale – I have a real problem with your evaluation on a practical level and am making objective observations. Our “faith based” society values human life more than anything including the biosphere; if there were some smaller number of us we could have our cake and eat it too. Edward thinks that’s out of his/mine/your/RC’s jurisdiction, but I think we need to figure out what that smaller number is and how to get there because extreme emission reductions are not in our immediate future and I know that letting “nature” continue it’s course will not be easier or more pleasant …. and I know I won’t be around to see the worst of it – meanwhile my emissions are about as low as possible in todays reality, I have chosen not to add to the population problem, and I contribute to rational sustainability in the community I’m an integral part of without being far-anything. Hoping for the same from all of you, but seeing the projections on agricultural possibilities here, I suspect few have any hands on understanding of primary production, especially from a bio-science perspective. Comment by flxible — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:06 AM 741. For anybody wanting to know the peer reviewed content of Roy Spencer’s book see that he writes on 20th April entry in his blog: http://www.drroyspencer.com Quote: “About one-half of Blunder is a non-technical description of our new peer reviewed and soon-to-be-published research which supports the opinion that a majority of Americans already hold: that warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning.” All looks a perfectly reasonable and honest approach to me. You don’t have to agree but the many discourteous comments here are lamentable. Comment by Titus — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:12 AM 742. Here’s something of interest: ““Energy: the Big Gamble” on PBS Nova contained blatant lies about the pending climate legislation in California. Funding for NOVA is provided by ExxonMobil, Pacific Life, David H. Koch… This is the same Koch family, that makes its billions off oil and gas, that Greenpeace found had spent25 million from 2005 to 2008 funding climate denial. This show was designed to scare US voters, and initially, California voters who now face the oil industry’s ballot initiative to put a stop to pending climate legislation, AB32 to move the state to a clean energy economy.”

http://cleantechnica.com/2010/04/22/oil-industry-uses-pbs-nova-to-scaremonger-risk-of-clean-energy/

This just shows how the depths to which American media establishments have fallen – particularly in the area of “science journalism”.

Comment by Ike Solem — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:26 AM

743. Re: R.L. trying to be heard

Hate to say it, but in pop discourse these days
self-serving rhetoric = conclusive analysis.

I don’t know how to pound it home:
Rhetoric is not analysis. Rhetoric is not analysis.

The two things are different.
Different. Different means different. Different.

Rhetoric.

Is.

Not.

Analysis.

Logic and facts can be tested and verified.
Rhetoric is fancy b.s. designed to be persuasive and often attempts to mimic analysis.

Rhetoric can be defined and identified and subjected to analysis.

You want to LEARN, do good ANALYSIS.

You want to INFLATE YOURSELF WITH MINIMAL EFFORT, do RHETORIC.

Science is hard work.
Science requires lots and lots of training.
Science requires lots and lots of practice.
Science requires lots and lots of math. Sometimes
science tells you to WAKE UP.

Holy Moses. Suck it up for pity’s sake.

Comment by Radge Havers — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:53 AM

744. Mr. Gilles writes on the 22nd April 2010 at 9:13 AM:

“assimilation of the average temperature to the effective temperature”

sidd

Comment by sidd — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:05 PM

745. @ Ray:

“Why did agriculture develop then? Could it be that the stable climate was needed for the caloric benefit of agriculture to exceed that of hunting and gathering? So what will happen to agriculture once the climate ceases to be predictable?”

You need to get Guns, Germs, and Steel for really good, scientific answers to those. It’s far more about geography and how the axis of the continents lay on the planet along climate bands than any sort of grand design.

Those bands were pretty big, btw.

Are y’all still predicting a mass extinction event? I read some of the IP4 report, especially the impacts section, and I still haven’t found that 95% loss of human population in there.

Stop blaming religion or poor educations or national membership for not embracing AGW. Y’all are your own credibility issue.

For Moderator:

I am shocked that there was no in line comments from the scientists on the board over this. The line has been that when one is over the top and making stuff up in favor of AGW, corrections come swiftly. This comment thread has proven this to be not quite correct.

Mass extinctions? 95% of the human population destroyed? Really? I haven’t read that anywhere on this site.

This is one conservative that appreciated and was concerned over the science. But it is clear that there are two sets of rules on criticism – one for “deniers” and one for the “enlightened.”

I will call my Congressman and Senator and ask that they vote against AGW legislation, and similarly pressure the White House to not cooperate with the UN over climate change. The scientists and their advocates are out of control.

[Response: Get a grip. The idea that ‘scientists’ and ‘advocates’ are ‘out of control’ comes from you intereaction with a single commenter here? Really? Commenters are responsible for there own comments and the editors do not necessarily endorse what is said. There is lots of stuff in the threads that is wrong or misguided, but there are only so many hours in a day. If you want to know what ‘scientists’ say, read the IPCC report, don’t waste time on blogs. If you want to raise strawman objections to political issues, carry right on. – gavin]

Comment by Frank Giger — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:17 PM

746. Thanks Ike. Off topic for the thread but close to home for me.
Irate comment posted, using the PBS feedback link, which I commend to your publication:

Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:18 PM

747. CFU, in general:

First, much of the RESEARCH is being paid for with tax dollars from various governmental entities around the world. NASA? Not private. NOAA? Not private. University of (insert state here)? Not private. (insert country here) Ministry / Department / Bureau of Climate / Science / Environment? Not private.

Second, the cost of =giving away= the articles is probably less than the cost of paywalling them. How? Those servers that insist I pay aren’t free or cheap. Splattering all over the Interwebs? Someone else pays.

Third, is Climate Change =important= or =profitable=? And don’t give me the “someone has to pay!”, because a lot of someones already paid, and the price for paywalled papers is often NOT cheap. After spending a fair amount of money downloading papers a few years back, I decided if it was important enough for me to read and stay informed, $25 or whatever was entirely too much and a sign of profiteering. And profiteering is pretty sleazy, whether it’s climate scientists or Microsoft … Comment by FurryCatHerder — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:29 PM 748. Ray @ 729: Hunter-gatherer civilizations never reached anywhere near 100 million humans, and I seriously doubt ever would have. You’re making a very common mistake for people who don’t grow stuff or know how to grow stuff — it isn’t that food won’t grow if some small change happens (or even some larger change), it’s that planting seasons and harvest times change. The significance of that is that we have a highly mechanized and commercialized agricultural =industry= that doesn’t like unpredictability. Agriculture has also devolved into a much smaller set of crops because consumers want the exact same kind of corn each time they open a can. Even in terms of longer term plants, such as trees and vines, the life expectancy of the plant is short enough that vineyards and orchards can be replanted in their normal life spans with different varieties or crops. We’ve been doing this “agriculture” thing for 10,000 years and we’ve managed to survive a number of fairly long term climate shifts. The question, in my mind, is can we do a better job than trashing the climate just so we can prove how clever we are as a species. Comment by FurryCatHerder — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:45 PM 749. Hank, I can only assume he is talking about second order effects–e.g. deviations over the surface of the planet from a perfect black body. And of course, in bringing in the spherical harmonics (since he is leaving m unchanged and so with a cos(phi) dependence), he’s assuming variation with longitude. Again, none of this really matters at TOA. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:53 PM 750. Dunno, Hank. (#732) What puzzles me is this: assuming that “prediction of GCM” refers to polar amplification of warming–which seems reasonable at first blush–we then are confronted with the implication that this means GCMs modeling GHG warming. Which is by definition in contradiction to “can change the average temperature without any change of radiative balance,” since GHG warming implies a change from radiative equilibrium. (And of course, those GCM runs do show warming under CO2 forcing.) I think Gilles may have missed the context by not going back to “Spencer’s Folly Part I.” What Tamino was doing was showing that Spencer had essentially “proven” his conclusion by virtue of the assumptions that he made–a sort of inadvertent cherry-pick of (inappropriate) timescales. Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:55 PM 751. Gavin, I await for your response to the following: “Doug Keenan has received a favorable decision from the FOI Commissioner” The Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7102743.ece “However, the lead scientist involved, Michael Bailee, said that the oak ring data requested was not relevant to temperature reconstruction records. Although ancient oaks could give an indication of one-off dramatic climatic events, such as droughts, they were not useful as a temperature proxy because they were highly sensitive to water availability as well as past temperatures, he added. “It’s been dressed up as though we are suppressing climate data, but we have never produced climate records from our tree rings,” Professor Bailee said. “In my view it would be dangerous to try and make interpretations about the temperature from this data.””  Comment by Jimbo — 22 Apr 2010 @ 12:59 PM 752. #705 Loyd flack Also, we do not estimate the sensitivity to changes in forcings of the climate is not estimated by calulating the rate of change and projecting it forward for a given period. Climate models are run for a period till their output fluctates about the mean values in the same way that the actual climate does. They are then run witht changed inputs in the same way until they fluctuate around new mean values. The difference between the outputs gives us the sensitivity to the changes. What we are looking at is changes in long term equilibrium conditions. The accuracy of these estimates will me more accurate as conditions have more time to reach new eqilibria. ***************** Actually the values need a lot of tweaking. No one is capable of starting with a blank sheet of paper and calculating the temperature of the earth. We can put in everything we know then adjust the answer with a fudge factor. We back cast by running the model to show how it matches the past. Since we are 1/3 of the way to a doubling and current models show 6 o C for a doubling we should have experienced 2 o C warming already. Unless the heat is hiding somewhere and don’t suggest the oceans since it hasn’t been detected there. [Response: You are completely wrong. The ocean heat content has been increasing over the last few decades – see Domingues et al, 2008; Levitus et al 2009. Models do not ‘show’ that a doubling of CO2 leads to 6 degrees warming. The canonical number is closer to 3 deg C, and that is the long term equilibrium. – gavin] To correct for that the models add a fudge factor of aerosols which are unknown and so can be any value the coder wants them to be, and magically it fits. [Response: There is nothing magic about aerosols. Or are you suggesting that they be set to zero with no uncertainty? – gavin] Run it forward and it doesn’t predict the future at all so we add more aerosols etc. [Response: Wrong again. See Hansen et al 1998, or our last post on the subject. – gavin] The point is the more wrong the original estimate of forcing is the more fudge factor is needed. The longer you let the error run the further from the truth you get. It is therefore harder to predict 100 years than 10 years. [Response: None of your logical steps make any sense, but perhaps this discussion could help you. – gavin] Comment by netdr — 22 Apr 2010 @ 1:05 PM 753. “Does anyone understand this? I realize English isn’t his first language. If you realize that just now, I’m flattered ;) I meant changing the temperature distribution. There is no law of physics that imposes a constant relative temperature distribution, even in latitude. There can exist limit-cycle at any period – and multi secular cycles cannot be excluded since the characteristic timescale for thermohaline circulation is about 1000 years for instance. Limit-cycle are notoriously difficult to predict quantitatively since they depend crucially on non linear feedbacks that cannot be described precisely. No model of the sun can reproduce the 11-years cycle for instance. So the argument of comparison with computer models is very weak. I don’t think the Earth system is simpler. We know cycle with short timescales like ENSO just because we had time to study them, but you cannot precisely measure any cycle whose characteristic period would be comparable with your timespan, or clearly distinguish it from a linear trend. Does “varying” mean “noticing variations in” or “altering”?” Comment by Gilles — 22 Apr 2010 @ 1:39 PM 754. Resisting the science. Some food for thought maybe. Propagandists understand this as they attempt to create an illusion of popular support for their ideology in order to build more support. Trying to force reason to give way to the herd. “As predicted, participants became more likely to believe in ESP when claims were more popular. Contrary to predictions, participants appeared to react against the views of science when evaluating claims, particularly when they believed those claims were unpopular. This finding may reflect decreasing trust in the institution of science.” Social Influences on Paranormal Belief: Popular versus Scientific Support http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Egrpproc/crisp/crisp15_3.pdf Comment by Radge Havers — 22 Apr 2010 @ 1:59 PM 755. re:698 Why would you expect a Gaussian distribution? Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:29 PM 756. “Run it forward and it doesn’t predict the future at all. . .” And you know this how, exactly? Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:30 PM 757. SecularAnimist This does, I think, have some bearing on our responses to AGW. For those of us who recognize and value the other animals of the Earth as our brothers and sisters rather than as “resources”, AGW has an additional tragic dimension. Just so, as well as not recognizing that value being what got us in this fix in the first place. Comment by flxible — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:39 PM 758. #623 Ray, if these models were so perfect, why are they re-iterated? #643 BPL says “You start with that, the Earth in a particular known state, and then time-step away from it, modifying the parameters according to physical laws written in as equations.”. Modifying the parameters? Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmm, that sounds like “tweeking”. Remember many physical “constants”, or parameters, are based on empirical or experimental data. As far as “statistical fits”, nothing was said about that. However did you ever wonder how many great discoveries were based on direct observation , as compared to “statistical fits”? We could start with the discovery of controlling fire, domestication of animals and plants, and work our way up to penicillin. #649 Hi John, I’m a patient person. We will see what happens in late summer, but so far the ice area & extent are running the highest in about 8 years. #680 Eli, one of the reason winds tunnels are being closed is the lack of aircraft companies and fewer aircraft are being designed. Also wind tunnels are now being shared by various companies as a cost savings. It is far easier, and cheaper, to test a car in a wind tunnel, rather then build a math model of the car. In about a hour, and a rotating tilt table, one can have the primary coefficients and flow patterns documented, with greater confidence then approximating turbulent flow. Comment by J. Bob — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:53 PM 759. “And profiteering is pretty sleazy, whether it’s climate scientists or Microsoft …” Profiteering? So tell me, is Dr Phil Jones selling CRU data on the black market? No. What IS happening is that, to reduce the tax burden on the ordinary public paying that government, the met services have to SELL stuff. Profiteering my arse. Who is profiteering is Piers Corbyn. Who is profiteering are those who never paid a penny towards the CRU work. Who is profiteering are those who waste my taxes answering questions that have NO PURPOSE but to waste my taxes. WHO is profiteering by using a paywall for papers? And how is that sleazy? And how is that making the science incorrect? It doesn’t. Comment by Cmopletely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:57 PM 760. “I will call my Congressman and Senator and ask that they vote against AGW legislation, and similarly pressure the White House to not cooperate with the UN over climate change.” Now THERE is someone who is out of control. So pissed off with being wrong he’s willing to sink the world just to spite others. Comment by Cmopletely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 2:59 PM 761. #677 Phil Scadden “something wrong with a 30-year average of global temperature as an indicator for global climate?” Well to start with I really have no idea what you want your definition of global temperature to mean. For example, is it supposed to include the upper atmosphere, the deep ocean and the earth’s interior? And why do you see temperature alone as defining climate? (OK, you did add precipitation for regional). Why not also sunshine, cloud, wind, humidity etc (parameters that the public usually associate with the word “climate”, for example when planning their holidays)? And you suggest averaging over 30 years (presumably because “they” have said so). Why not over just one year so taking necessary account of seasonal variations? Then the influence of ENSO, AMO etc, even Milankovitch cycles (perhaps not) on climatic changes over longer periods might become more readily apparent. I hesitate to say it, but it does seem to me that the science of climatology is currently obsessively focused on showing that temperatures are rising dangerously due to our CO2 emissions (hence the insistence that climate only exists in 30-year chunks), rather than studying the wider subject of climate and all its manifestations for its own sake. (Maybe climatologists think that at the moment that’s the only important thing they should be doing, but I’d like them to say so). Comment by simon abingdon — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:01 PM 762. CM #708 – I can vouch for the drought in New Zealand scenario, many regions are now falling into drought and where I live it has been that way for 6 months. Record low rainfalls in a few regions. Quite a change from the norm – it rains a lot here. I wonder if it has anything to do with the anomalous pool of warm water that formed in the lower Pacific during this El Nino?. One of the commenters here drew attention to it last year. Comment by Dappled Water — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:03 PM 763. Titus says: All looks a perfectly reasonable and honest approach to me. You don’t have to agree but the many discourteous comments here are lamentable. Anyone scientist involved in climate research who says this, as does Spencer: As I travel around the country, I find that the public instinctively understands the possibility that there are natural climate cycles. Unfortunately, it is the climate “experts” who have difficulty grasping the concept. Is flat-out lying. There’s not a climate “expert” in the world who has difficulty grasping the concept of natural climate cycles. In addition to lying about this, he’s planting the seed for you to imagine that since natural cliamte cycles exist, human change to the atmosphere can’t change climate. Which is another lie. Now, Titus, what exactly is reasonable about lying? Did we grow up with different value systems, perhaps? Comment by dhogaza — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:08 PM 764. “There can exist limit-cycle at any period” Uh, makes no sense. ” – and multi secular cycles cannot be excluded ” multi what? It’s not that english is not your first language, but that you have before exhibited NO rigour in your thought or arguments and you now seem to be running the Manuel defense (Faulty Towers) so that you can talk gibberish. If you’d exhibited some sanity earlier, it would be worth the effort of finding out what you’re on about, but as it is, it’s likely going to end up with you changing your argument yet again and complain that it’s our fault. Comment by Cmopletely Fed Up — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:09 PM 765. Jim Eager@733 Climate Scientist Sues National Post for Libel http://www.desmogblog.com/climate-scientist-sues-national-post “Dr. Andrew Weaver, one of the most respected climate scientists in Canada and one of the best climate modellers in the world, has launched a libel suit against the National Post newspaper and its publisher, editors and three writer: Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin.” Also being discussed at Deltoid: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/scientist_fights_back_against.php Worth repeating. Comment by flxible — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:11 PM 766. Walter Crain (736) — Thank you. I don’t know how to make the matter any simplier, I fear. FurryCatHerder (748) — Hunter-gatherers do not and have never had civilizations. The closest I know about were in Jomon hunter-gathers who lived in permanent settlements but never cities. They practiced proto-agriculture; seed selection but no tilling. Their population density is considered to be quite high for the times before actual agriculture, a requirement for having cities and hence, by definition, civlizations. Comment by David B. Benson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:21 PM 767. > Cmopletely typo? ————- Gavin, I hope you don’t mind our using this for a misc. thread til the next open thread comes along, since there seems nothing much new about CRU. ————- Ah, an ugly theory slain by beautiful facts for a change: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=green-investments April 22, 2010 Do Green Investments Spur Growth or Emission Cuts? Two reports from the federal government … By Douglas Fischer and The Daily Climate “… Green investments are spurring significant growth across the U.S economy while decreasing industry’s overall emissions per dollar of goods and services, according to two reports released Wednesday by the federal government. Meanwhile households have replaced industry as the country’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, according to government data….” Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:32 PM 768. Do note — at the original source, the headline writer got it wrong. The article says “decreasing industry’s overall emissions per dollar” — that does NOT mean “decreasing industry’s overall emissions” — this is at best unclear wording, they’re talking about “energy intensity” — so still an increasing emissions problem, one they say is increasing less rapidly. Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:41 PM 769. Neil says at #738: “2)We know that CO2 accounts for more than 7 of the 33 degrees of greenhouse warming that keep Earth from turning into a snowball.” If we get 7 deg warming from current levels of C02 then we should get 7 deg additional warming for a doubling if there was a linear relationship and we exclude any feedback effects. I’m not sure where the 7/33 number came from, but you need to take a couple more things into account. The first is that CO2 effects are approximately logarithmic above some value (100 ppm IIRC) and approximately linear below it. It would be a logical error to take the combined linear + logarithmic effect and extend it as if it were logarithmic. So would I be correct in stating that if we double current levels of C02 (from ~380ppm) the logarithmic relationship gives us 3 deg? i.e. the more CO2 we pump in the less (by proportion) the temperature increases? Yes. That’s true. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t mean we can burn all we want because it matters less and less; a 4C warmer world is much more alarming than a 3C warmer world. And 6C of change is much more than twice as bad as 3C. Think of it this way: the ice ages were around 5-6C cooler than now. That world was a whole lot different than our current world. I thought I heard somewhere that a significant factor in the 3 deg increase in temperature was based on the ice core analysis? i.e. when analysing past temperature changes and comparing them with levels of CO2 and factoring in the various known natural cycles it was estimated that the doubling of CO2 from ~100 ppm to 200 ppm created a warming of 3 deg? But if that is the case and the relationship is logarithmic then how can going from 100 to 200 give you 3 deg and going from 380 to 760 also give you 3 deg? Guess I must be missing something – I am sure you will put me right ;-) Well, what you’re missing is the meaning of logarithmic. I suspect you’re thinking linear: if 100 ppm difference was 3 degrees from 100-200, 380 ppm should be 3.8 times 3 degrees. Or maybe you thought it should be 3.8*3.8 ? We really can’t tell. You had it right when you said 3 degrees each time CO2 doubles (as an approximation, above some minimum value) Comment by David Miller — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:47 PM 770. Dhogaza #761 Why is the idea that climate may not even need external forcing (co2, solar, orbital, cosmic ray, etc) to have long term patterns and fluctuations so crazy?Look at the great red spot on Jupiter. (which is actually not that red through a telescope btw). How can long term storms and weather develop on that planet which has basically no surface and a much simpler composition? Look at the distribution and structure of galaxies? Not perfect examples I know but something to think about. Comment by Sam — 22 Apr 2010 @ 3:50 PM 771. Ray (#729) Yes, it did occur to me, after, that arable land might be a fair proxy for land able to sustain high densities of hunter-gatherers. Anyway, I didn’t mean to argue that the world could sustain a larger h-g population than you say. To the contrary, if the climate were to become too inhospitable for agriculture throughout the world, I wouldn’t give much for our prospects as hunter-gatherers either. (I might be wrong, of course — if unpredictable variability were the main issue, the opportunist, diversified h-g strategy might carry the day.) If we can’t farm, we’ve lost. We’d better figure out the triple challenge of getting 1) high-yield, 2) low-input farming 3) adapted to climate change, and get the transition under way. We need some serious investment in sustainable agriculture R&D, and I’m all for instilling a sense of urgency about it. I too like to point out that no-one has ever farmed in the climate we’re headed for. But the visceral morbid stuff posted on this thread (not by you) about how we’ll be eating each other and envying the dead strikes me more likely to either cause despondency or attract ridicule. Where cities choked with corpses are concerned, I prefer Stephen King. PS. You may find the below paper interesting. It argues that high climatic variability, aridity, and low CO2 made agriculture impossible before the Holocene. (I’m confused over the CO2 argument. I’d have thought photosynthetic limits would make energy needs harder to satisfy regardless of strategy, farming or h-g. Perhaps someone could enlighten me?) Richerson, Peter J., Robert Boyd, and Robert L. Bettinger. 2001. Was Agriculture Impossible during the Pleistocene but Mandatory during the Holocene? A Climate Change Hypothesis. American Antiquity 66, no. 3 (July): 387-411. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2694241 Comment by CM — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:03 PM 772. Ray, commented on early agriculture as a result of stable climate: I’ve read similar things: I think Hansen suggests the rise of civilization due in part to stable sea levels allowing (my paraphrasing) higher productivity in growth from river floods and abundant fish. I’ve also read the opposite; agriculture as a response to changing climate conditions where tribes were forced to grow crops in addition to hunting/gathering. In the end it’s mostly academic. Whether agriculture formed in response to a stable climate or a changing one, or a changing climate following a stable period doesn’t change the fact that we’re at or beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet. I think that if agricultural output declines by a mere 20% for a few years major wars will result. Almost certainly a 50% decline would end civilization as we now know it. I don’t have any cites handy, but as they say in “climate wars”: “People always raid before they starve” Comment by David Miller — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:05 PM 773. Response to response #752 Since we are 1/3 of the way to a doubling and current models show 6 o C for a doubling we should have experienced 2 o C warming already. Unless the heat is hiding somewhere and don’t suggest the oceans since it hasn’t been detected there. [Response: You are completely wrong. The ocean heat content has been increasing over the last few decades – see Domingues et al, 2008; Levitus et al 2009. Models do not ‘show’ that a doubling of CO2 leads to 6 degrees warming. The canonical number is closer to 3 deg C, and that is the long term equilibrium. – gavin] [Response to response. I believe that you are wrong. The ocean heat has been decreasing since 2005 when we began measuring correctly with argo network.. Prior to that we used hull sensors and bathythermographs (XBTs). Both give a biased result because they over sample shipping lanes and unde sample the rest of the world’s oceans. http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ Where is the heat hiding out ? If for 5 years the ocean is cooling when we have been pumping CO2 into the atmosphere and the satellites don’t show warming either? http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2005/to:2009/plot/uah/from:2005/to:2010/trend The UAH reading shows cooling at a rate of -.0356 per year. So the heat isn’t going in to the air and it isn’t in the sea where is it? How can models predict 100 year warming accurately when they can not adequately model heat movement. Answer they can’t. I have seen many claims of 6 degrees C and more warming when the climate alarmists want to be alarming which is always unless they want to prove how accurate their models are. NetDR] [Response: And it’s warmer today than it was yesterday. Relevance to long term trends? Similarly zero. You are free to make things up however you like, but if you want to have any credibility, I would suggest not doing so. Look up our previous discussions on climate sensitivity (see the index button above) and see what scientists actually say. – gavin] Comment by netdr — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:38 PM 774. Scotland has 78,772 square kilometers and in Neolithic times supported but one tribe of 200–400 individuals. That’s a population density of but 0.0025–00050 persons per square kilometer. Huneter-gathering was land-intensive, it seems. Comment by David B. Benson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 4:45 PM 775. Sam, if you look stuff up before you post what you believe are facts, you’ll have newer information than the last time you learned the subject. It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backward — but it’s all we have. To make up for that, use Google or Scholar. Example, you posted “How can long term storms and weather develop on [Jupiter] which has basically no surface and a much simpler composition?” Google finds among much else: “Jupiter radiates 1.6 times a much energy as falls on it from the Sun. Thus, Jupiter has an internal heat source….” http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/jupiter/interior.html This is an exercise we all find we have to go through over and over, if we’re going to post more than our own opinion based on something we think we remember learning sometime in the past. Science changes every day; the habit of looking things up is the only way to know what’s going on in any field. Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 5:50 PM 776. pardon me, netdr, are you saying it’s been cooling lately? really? referencing “trends” from 2005 to now? really? http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/stupid-is-as-stupid-does/ http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/dont-get-fooled-again/ Comment by Walter Crain — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:38 PM 777. Hank #775, I was not commenting on the source of energy for the great red spot, I was commenting on it’s persistence. How does the fact that Jupiter radiates more heat then it receives contribute to it’s longevity? My post was on “climate not needing EXTERNAL forcing” for long term trends ie great red spot…. You noted that Jupiter produces it’s own internal heat. How does that contradict or correct what I said? Comment by Sam — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:44 PM 778. Simon – okay, I will be more precise and say average surface temperature. And why?, because the looking deeper, climate is driven by energy flows. If there is a positive energy imbalance, then surface temperature will rise till there is a balance. Weather is distribution of energy around an unevenly heated globe. While temperature isnt the sum of climate, if temperature rises (indication of energy imbalance), then the other indicators will change as well. For local effects, these are important but in the context of AGW, temp will do. “And you suggest averaging over 30 years (presumably because “they” have said so). “ Because I can do statistics too? The internal variability due to energy flows within the system matters a lot to weather and seasonal forecasters but not that relevant to the overall energy balance which is where the prediction from AGW are relevant. This is tests of what models predict against data from real world. It seems to me that you are trying to insist on climate models predicting the weather, which they dont, only the average weather. “I hesitate to say it, but it does seem to me that the science of climatology is currently obsessively focused on showing that temperatures are rising dangerously due to our CO2 emissions (hence the insistence that climate only exists in 30-year chunks)” How about because human-induced forcings on climate are currently the most important thing coming out of climate research from perspective public knowledge sharing. Increasing temperature affect everything else. And actually, the long term expected average for precipitation, temperature etc ARE the definition of climate as opposed to weather. How would define climate? Comment by Phil Scadden — 22 Apr 2010 @ 6:50 PM 779. simon abingdon says: And you suggest averaging over 30 years (presumably because “they” have said so). See this for the reason: Results on deciding trends Comment by Jim Galasyn — 22 Apr 2010 @ 7:15 PM 780. It always blows me away to check in at RC and read the utter gibberish that denialists post with such utter confidence. Comment by John E. Pearson — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:00 PM 781. JBob, What part of “modifying the parameters ACCORDINT TO PHYSICAL LAWS” sounds like “tweaking” to you. And here thay always taught me that physical laws were deterministic. And what the hell do you even mean by a model being “reiterated”? Do you even know what a dynamical model is? Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:12 PM 782. Sam, ever hear of conservation of energy? It says that the energy for a steadily rising temperature has to come from somewhere. And Jupiter has a very different climate than Earth. It probably does have a solid surface–probably metalic hydrogen. And since its energy is mainly produced internally, or via tides with its inner satellites (Io, Europa, and to a lesser extent Ganymede and Callisto), it is not surprising that many of its patterns are long-lived. You know, you’re not exactly wowing us with your depth of understanding. Maybe you want to start learning a while rather than pontificating. Anyone here would be happy to help you out. However, you need to understand that the purpose of this site is to learn about climate science. If all you are interested in is claiming that your inability to understand climate science invalidates it, you may find a more convivial home elsewhere. If on the other hand you want to learn, Wilkommen, Bienvenue… Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:21 PM 783. Sam, Jupiter’s red spot isn’t a “trend” — unless you know of some measured change over time (size? temperature? location?) that I haven’t found; as far as I know it’s a storm, a cold one, though with a warm heart: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/jupiter-spot-weather-100316.html Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:25 PM 784. Frank Giger: It might help if you actually followed a thread and understood what people are talking about before you start threatening to call politicians and ask them to vote based entirely on your own ignorance. Your complaint at 745 about people discussing “[m]ass extinctions” and possibly “95% of the human population [being] destroyed” is entirely predicated on your own failure to find out why that conversation had begun in the first place. Whatever your reason for not doing so, I do hope that you will perhaps take away from this that your own bias can cause you to react hastily and to therefore reach incorrect conclusions — not to mention that it makes you look intellectually lazy. So, here is where I believe the discussion started: 473 Barton Paul Levenson says: PKthinks (461): the mainstream media and policy makers have exaggerated the threat to such a degree that people then lose faith in the science itself. BPL: What part of “human civilization could be completely destroyed if business as usual continues” do you not understand? I could be wrong, but I would have thought it fairly obvious that if we do absolutely nothing and continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, a point will likely come in the future where the earth is too warm for humans to inhabit in large numbers? You may have had a point if your complaint had been about the fact that other people reading this thread might not have known why the conversation had originally started, and so, probably would have gone away the wrong impression. Sadly, that wasn’t your point. Do remember to get in touch with your “Congressman and Senator” again and tell them that you were a little hasty in your original reaction, and that they should now “vote [for] AGW legislation”, won’t you? It’s a little sad that it only took a few people saying something that you didn’t like for you to react in that way, given that you have previously said that the science is sound. Comment by Damian — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:38 PM 785. In neolithic times, there were no domesticated crops in Scotland – they had to rely on hunter-gatherer techniques. It was the bronze age before crops or draft animals arrived there via the east-west axis from the middle east, and well before the spread of foods from South and Central America. So to say that AGW is going to leave Scotland only able to support 400 people is ludicrous. You’ll have to come up with a better line than that to bolster the incredibly unsubstantiated claim that AGW is going to kill 95% of everyone on the planet. More credibility lost. Comment by Frank Giger — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:47 PM 786. Rebuttal to 704 VeryTallGuy says: It can indeed be possible to predict long timescales much better than short ones. My favourite analogy is tides; it’s next to impossible to predict how far up the beach the next wave will break, but very easy to accurately predict when high tide will be. Just as next month’s weather may be harder to predict than the 2050 climate. Then 2050 climate must be devilishly difficult to predict since next month’s weather cannot be predicted with our present knowledge and computing capability. Which is my exact point. The ocean wave is a poor analogy since each wave is independent of the next and all are driven by well known simple interactions that even ancient people could use to predict the phenomenon approximately. A better analogy is if each wave in a time period had a positive feedback and tended to cause a larger or more waves in the next period. This could set in motion the events which cause fewer or weaker waves in the next time period. This is perturbed with natural events which can cause extra waves such as storms. The proportions of each are unknown and feed back upon each other so they are chaotic. That is a much closer analogy to the weather. Even if you can tease out the exact effect of one of these effects you cannot predict how the various effects will interact. That is why long term climate is as difficult to predict as weather. [Since CO2 alone only accounts for 1 o C of warming without feedback the preponderance of feedbacks and interactions must be positive feedback to produce the 3 to 6 o C warming the models produce for a warming. Balancing this warming exactly so it warmed without running away is a balancing act of the highest order.] If the wave model with the feedbacks sounds simple to you try to code it sometime. I have created models for a living and I believe that creating a program which exactly simulated the various interactions from first principals is beyond the ability if anyone on earth. Saying that it is doable is easy but I don’t buy it. I have too much knowledge of coding computer models to just code up the physics and sit back and push the button and magic happens. #716 Naindj shares my suspicions and with good reason. [Response: Just feeling that something can’t be done is not a good reason. – gavin] Comment by netdr — 22 Apr 2010 @ 8:58 PM 787. Now, here’s something that’s very on-topic relative to the CRU tree-ring issue – yes, it’s better to publish ALL your data and not truncate tree-ring records when they start deviating from the temperature trend, yup! (Now, about that drug trial data – where’s the outrage on that lack-of-transparency issue?) Science Magazine: Asian Monsoon Failure and Megadrought During the Last Millennium The Asian monsoon is the weather system that has the greatest effect on the greatest number of people in the world. Naturally then, knowing better how climate change might affect the monsoon is tremendously important. One obstacle that prevents a better understanding of future behavior is a poor knowledge of its past… Here’s the Perspective summary: Toward Understanding and Predicting Monsoon Patterns – Eugene R. Wahl and Carrie Morrill Much of the world’s population lives in monsoon Asia and depends on monsoon rainfall for water and agricultural fertility. The monsoon also affects climate in other parts of the world. It results from an interplay between the ocean, atmosphere, and land surface. Many factors thus affect its strength, including sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; variations in solar output; land snow cover and soil moisture over the Asian continent; and the position and strength of prevailing winds. The links between these factors and the monsoon appear to wax and wane over time, and the observational record is too short to explain this longer-term variability. This lack of information makes it difficult to forecast and plan for anomalous monsoon activity, and to predict how the Asian monsoon may be affected by global climate change. This situation is now changing: On page 486 of this issue, Cook et al. report a Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA) that contains reconstructions of summer dryness and wetness for the region since 1300 C.E., based on tree-ring data. This is one of those complicated issues – how relevant are past climate records to the new CO2 regime we’ve entered? What kind of deviation from such past behavior should we expect under the new forcing? Regardless, what’s most interesting is that there seems to be a good correlation to sea-surface temperature records. Obviously, predicting the future of the Asia monsoon (which affects the region from Africa to Indonesia) is of great importance… However, I do wonder if the media will be as excited about this particular tree-ring dataset as they are about the CRU one… I’d say the odds are about 100 to 1 against – but who knows? Maybe the Guardian will publish a dozen articles about it and host a big debate, along with the NYT… Comment by Ike Solem — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:30 PM 788. PS for Sam, Earth’s internal heat contributes very little to the surface, and quite smoothly. Boreholes are used to check for changes in the temperature of rock near the surface as an indication of past surface temperatures; the deeper you go, the less variation there is from the steady change in temperature. It’s not like there are pulses of internal heat coming out of the Earth in any large scale, despite all the attention we give to volcanos. A couple of pictures from this page http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/determining_climate_record.html explain it well: Specific: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/images/borehole_reconstruction.jpg Figure 1.9: Borehole temperature profile from Ottawa, Canada (Open Mind, 2007) Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Apr 2010 @ 9:32 PM 789. 774 David B. Benson: 0.0025–00050 persons per square kilometer is an interesting number, but wasn’t Scotland covered by a glacier in those days? I’m not sure when you mean. Do you mean after the ice melted 20,000 years ago and before King Arthur? Neolithic goes back a long ways. I remember from somewhere a number of 70,000 people total during the ice age. That would go back to or almost to the origin of Homo Sap. Spoken language began something like 50,000 years ago. Just a few hundred people in Scotland does seem reasonable for projecting survivors of a collapse of civilization. 710 Hank Roberts: Yes, we know that “45% of Americans in 2008″ etc. We have to start with: “The Earth is not the center of the Universe.” But telling lies isn’t a good idea either. No doubt a “Sign from God” will appear eventually, such as the price of bread reaching$10 per slice, or civilization collapsing. How exactly would you tell the whole truth without telling the whole truth? And how do you have an intellectual discussion while pretending?

734&696&698 Gilles: “where does the figure….. . predict anything like the collapse of all harvest on the Earth in 2050 ? or even in 2100 ?”
ALL harvest doesn’t have to collapse. There is a lesser harvest collapse that will cause a social disaster. There is nothing about it that I know of in the IPCC. So what? We are not prevented from reading other books.
“could you explain what should be done to avoid that and where is the dangerous threshold to avoid, quantitatively , before 2050?”
WE DO NOT KNOW the threshold. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. We do know what should be done: We should quit making CO2.
“Sure, but this kind of variability has always existed.” WRONG. Failure to distinguish weather from climate. The climate WAS predictable until now. The recent variability is MUCH LARGER that previous weather.
And collapses of civilizations have “always” happened. BUT THIS TIME IT IS WORSE THAN USUAL. NO, we can NOT give you an equation. So what? We do know enough to say that changing the climate is very dangerous. That is all we need to say. READ: “Collapse” by Jared Diamond and “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan.

745 Frank Giger: “Mass extinctions? 95% of the human population destroyed? Really? I haven’t read that anywhere on this site.”
Of course not. That is in the Anthropology and Archaeology Department, not the Climate Science Department. Since Anthropology and Archaeology are not mathematical sciences the way Physics is, you aren’t going to get an equation either. Check the Biology and Paleontology Departments on the subject of extinctions.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:04 PM

790. 782 Ray Ladbury and Sam: This is from my fallible memory: Jupiter’s heat comes mostly from the fact that Jupiter is shrinking, liberating gravitational energy. Not a biggie.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:15 PM

791. #781 Ray, if you have ever worked with models, you soon realize that to get test results and models to converge, you may have to incorporate things not included in the original model. So you re-iterate the model to incorporate things you did not include, items discovered in the process, or just plain modify he whole model because the original model was wrong.

You commented “Do you even know what a dynamical model is?”, I’m glad you asked, yes. A couple come to mind.

The fist was technical direction of a 3-D conduction/forced convection model. This was a model of a medical diagnostic system to insure temperature in the test enclosure was uniform, to within specified limits, during normal operation. In order to generate the basic steady state flow patterns, it would take about 4-6 hours on a CRAY multiprocessor system. That was just for starters.

The second was technical direction, developing a satellite IR sensor simulator, in the 10 to 40 micron region. This included development of a sensor model, atmospheric and surface characteristics. The computerized simulator was required to run in real time and provide immediate final test results.

I could add other physical models, including 3-D conduction/convection/radiation models, but the above should serve.

Comment by J. Bob — 22 Apr 2010 @ 10:29 PM

792. 781, Ray Ladbury: And here thay always taught me that physical laws were deterministic.

Why on earth did you write that?

Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:01 PM

793. Here’s something that you may not have heard of – another U.S. media news blackout, apparently – it’s the alternative conference to the Copenhagen Conference – and no, I don’t mean another Heartland Institute meeting for Andy Revkin of the NYT to attend, but rather the one in Bolivia:

The declarations forged by the working groups in Cochabamba will be taken to the Cancún summit by President Morales as a counter-proposal to the widely criticized “Copenhagen Accord.” Movements of Indigenous Peoples, trade unions, farmers and environmentalists are also building momentum out of Cochabamba with plans for mass demonstrations in Cancún.

The Bolivian government said the protection and rational use of natural resources was the main proposal of the conference which also advocated the penalization of nations harming the environment. The creation of an International Court for Climate Justice to judge violators of environmental agreements was presented by Bolivian President Evo Morales. Morales said the new structure should be validated by the United Nations.

The US media was noticeably absent from the conference, which began Monday. However, the Summit had a significant international impact, according to experts interviewed by Telesur. They assured that it has been fully justified and had an international scope with views to the Mexico climate summit slated for the end of the year and after the Copenhagen fiasco.

Yes, Hank Roberts, this is on-topic, as the CRU email hack and subsequent overblown media response was all quite nicely timed to have the maximum disruptive effect on Copenhagen – a bit more on-topic than discussions of Jupiter’s red spot, I’d say. I’m also unsure why you claimed that discussion of the Deceptive PBS NOVA program on California renewable energy plans is off-topic – isn’t it clear to you that energy and climate go hand in hand? Fixing the climate problem means replacing fossil fuels with various renewables, doesn’t it?

As cleantechnica notes,

Actually, the last time that California had blackouts was during the Enron extortion in 2000-2001. That was not because we had some “excessive” amount of renewable energy. It was found by FERC to be due to purely financial market manipulation by Enron.

Comment by Ike Solem — 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:29 PM

794. David Benson @ 766:

I’m not referring to individual cities as “civilizations”, but the entire population of the Earth when we were hunter-gatherers. The planet didn’t reach 100 million individuals until about 500BCE, long after plant and animal domestication, the establishment of major city-states, and other “modern” developments, like indoor plumbing.

Cmopletely Fed Up @ 759:

As someone who actually runs, and pays to have run, web servers, I assure you that you’d likely save on those tax dollars if the data weren’t so closely guarded and those paywall sites weren’t, you know, making people pay.

And yes, I consider it to be profiteering when so many of the papers that are referenced here and on other science sites all come with a fairly hefty cost. When I first started reading here, I routinely purchased papers. After spending something well over $100 for a handful of papers I just plain got fed up. Don’t tell me the money from downloading papers pays for much of anything, either — it would take massively huge numbers of downloads to pay for the research, and I’m not the only person who DOESN’T pay for them. Comment by FurryCatHerder — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:10 AM 795. 782 “Sam, ever hear of conservation of energy? It says that the energy for a steadily rising temperature has to come from somewhere. ” Again, average temperature is NOT a physical quantity linked to energy, for an inhomogeneous distribution. If you imagine the SAME average temperature with a different pattern, the effective temperature will be generally different and so the radiative balance won’t be fulfilled anymore. If you correct by the ratio of effective temperature to the power 1/4, then you can adjust again the radiative balance, but with a different average temperature. The relation is not single-valued. You can argue that the amount of variation allowed by the possibility of different repartitions (by changes for instance in oceanic circulation, cloud coverage, and so on…) is not enough to explain the observed temperature change. But it cannot be demonstrated solely by energy conservation. And in my opinion the evidence that natural cycles cannot explain at least a significative part of the observed warming is still very weak, agreement with computer models is NOT a strong argument. Comment by Gilles — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:22 AM 796. Hank #783 Interesting link about the imaging of features on the great red spot. What is staggering to me is that this was done with a ground based telescope. The angular size of the GRS in our sky is extremely small. I’ve seen seen some amateurs get surface features on jupiters moons before which is also impressive. Amazing what can be done with good optics, still conditions, and more importantly processing with registax and photoshop. Before I moved to Hawaii I used to be a bit of an amateur solar system photographer. Unfortunately the turbulent skies here (combined with the wife) have pretty much killed that little hobby. Comment by Sam — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:15 AM 797. #758 J. Bob I see you are still hung up on short term natural variability in the trend. You need to understand that the process has non linear realities in the interacting systems. While this is a continual process here is a comment from Walt Meier at NSIDC: Confidence levels on the data are not at this point real well defined. There are uncertainties because the ice motion algorithm has limited spatial resolution and ice moves at scales below those that can be directly observed. However, the measurements have been found to be unbiased, or at least very little bias (~50-100 km over a year), meaning the errors don’t accumulate much over time and the Lagrangian tracking of ice age parcels works pretty well. Comparisons with similar methods using other data, as well as other thickness/age data, shows that the overall pattern agrees quite well across all the methods. Thus, while there may be a lot of uncertainty that a particular parcel at a particular place in time has a particular age, there is fairly high confidence in the overall distribution of ice age types across the Arctic and there is very high confidence that there is much more thin first-year ice and much less thick, old multiyear ice than there used to be. Summary – uncertainties exist due to spatial resolution/observation limitations – measurements have been found to be (relatively) unbiased – fairly high confidence in overall distribution of ice age types – very high confidence more first-year ice and much less thick, old multiyear ice Now here’s where you say, ‘well then we don’t know anything’, right? And then return to your ‘hey look at the current ice extent, it’s really high, as high as in the last 8 years’. But you will continue to ignore the fact that that is irrelevant to the long term trend and inertial forces that virtually guarantee that we will lose the ice in the summer melt within 30 years and quite possibly less. By the way, even after that happens, the ice extent will still grow back in the winter. In case you had not noticed, it’s really cold in the Arctic in winter. Context will get you relevance. A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:40 AM 798. I just wanted to say this since other threads for this are closed: I have seen several claims here by other posters that PBS is bisased against AGW and other environmental concerns known in science. I could not disagree more with these claims. I have watched PBS my entire life. I read PBS.org all the time. I am watching a special now on the plastics pollution issue and dead zones on PBS. I am also looking at AGW research on PBS.org that is quite clear that it is well established on the science of climatology.PBS is not biased, but rather it has the most accurate and scientific programming on all of television. I watch NOVA all the time and read extras on their website. Comment by Jacob Mack — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:42 AM 799. Ed Norton: “Carbon Dioxide is changing the chemistry of sea water.”—PBS Comment by Jacob Mack — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:48 AM 800. “How does the fact that Jupiter radiates more heat then it receives contribute to it’s longevity?” A storm like the red spot dissipates energy. If the energy dissipated is not renewed, the storm abates. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 2:35 AM 801. I was hoping to see Lord Oxburgh speak at the NAE Grand Challenges Summit in Chicago yesterday, but the Icelandic volcano caused cancellation of his flight! This link is to the presentation slides of Dr. John Holdren, chief science advisor to President Obama. Very powerful and highly recommended: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/jph-chicago-04212010.pdf Comment by CRS — 23 Apr 2010 @ 2:52 AM 802. I think this is once again an example of overstating the case being counter-productive. Actual predictions about the near future are serious enough, without just making stuff up. It is easy to see how the media gets led astray when there is a minority trying to sensationalise everything. So, a message to everybody: if you want to make extreme predictions, please attach a timescale based on current scientific knowledge – otherwise you will be written off as yet another doom-and-gloom merchant with no grasp of reality. And as for those taking these silly “predictions” seriously? Gavin put it rather well: “Get a grip. […] There is lots of stuff in the threads that is wrong or misguided, but there are only so many hours in a day.” Comment by Didactylos — 23 Apr 2010 @ 3:08 AM 803. David #769 Many thanks for your comments I was just trying to understand the statement made by Ray #683 “2)We know that CO2 accounts for more than 7 of the 33 degrees of greenhouse warming that keep Earth from turning into a snowball.” I always like to do a few quick mental checks with “facts” just try and ensure they bear up to reality. I can certainly accept the 33 Deg GHG warming of the planet and the physics of this is realatively simple to understand, but the 7 deg due to C02 seems to be more speculative rather than hard fact? [Response: Indeed. No-one knows the effect of removing CO2 from the atmosphere since that has never happened. Instead, people have calculated the radiative impact of the different constituents. CO2 once you adjust for the overlaps accounts for about 20% of the long wave absorption – so just under 7 deg C out of 33 deg C. However, this is a no-feedback calculation. Actually removing the CO2 would cause changes in water vapour and clouds and surface albedo, and you would likely end up with temperatures with much more than 7 deg C cooling. In tests with the GISS model, removing CO2 cools the planet by 20+ degrees C and produces a snowball earth for instance. – gavin] Comment by Neil — 23 Apr 2010 @ 3:31 AM 804. Frank Giger, I’ve read Guns, Germs and Steel. It doesn’t explain why agriculture began 10000 years ago rather than 8000 years or 80000 years. After all, the temperature regimes were similar. You had similar flora and fauna at least in latitude bands up to +/-35 degrees. We could certainly have domesticated the dog up to 100000 years ago. Frank, I think you misunderstand my concern. It is not that I am predicting catastrophic collapse of civilization. It is that I cannot rule it out given the evidence we have. As a risk management professional, that rings alarm bells. It is like the situation when I cannot rule out the loss of a space mission. My training tells me that I can’t ignore this. We already know that the globe is over its carrying capacity. We know this is causing significant degradation of ecosystems, soil, oceans, etc. We know that climate change will exacerbate many of these problems, as will another 3 billion people. It is irresponsible to simply whistle past the graveyard and say “Oh, everything will be all right.” Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2010 @ 4:18 AM 805. David Benson #774 – Scotland had 3 to 400 people in NEolithic times? Where on earth did you get that idea from? Scotland supported hunter gatherers from something like 7 to 3,000BC, with a population that was growing much of that time. OF course there were few people in the early settlements 9 thousand years ago after th glaciers retreated, but numbers increased as you would expect. Comment by guthrie — 23 Apr 2010 @ 4:25 AM 806. Gilles (696): Can you give me the chapter of AR4 where a total destruction of every harvest in 2050 is described ? As I understand, this would mean a global shift of the whole precipitation pattern , where all the rain would suddenly avoid all cultivated area and fall only on empty regions , and where all possibility of irrigation suddenly disappear ? is it sustained by any scientific literature and reported by IPCC? or do you accuse them implicitly of incompetence ? BPL: Try here: Battisti, D.S., and R.L. Naylor 2009. “Historical Warnings of Future Food Insecurity with Unprecedented Seasonal Heat.” Science 323, 240-244. Dai, A., K.E. Trenberth, and T. Qian 2004. “A Global Dataset of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870–2002: Relationship with Soil Moisture and Effects of Surface Warming.” J. Hydrometeorol. 1, 1117-1130. 12% of Earth land surface “severely dry” by Palmer Drought Severity Index 1970. 2002 figure 30%. UN warns of 70 percent desertification by 2025 Published by Jim on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 4:15 PM BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — Drought could parch close to 70 percent of the planet’s soil by 2025 unless countries implement policies to slow desertification, a senior United Nations official has warned. “If we cannot find a solution to this problem… in 2025, close to 70 percent could be affected,” Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said Friday. Drought currently affects at least 41 percent of the planet and environmental degradation has caused it to spike by 15 to 25 percent since 1990, according to a global climate report. “There will not be global security without food security” in dry regions, Gnacadja said at the start of the ninth UN conference on the convention in the Argentine capital. There is some dispute over whether 70% of land surface or just 70% of current farmland is meant. The official may have misread the report. Giiles: Other question : if you’re right, could you explain what should be done to avoid that and where is the dangerous threshold to avoid, quantitatively , before 2050? (amount of burnt carbon and temperature for instance ?) BPL: We should get rid of all the artificial CO2 sources we can as fast as we can. That’s the threshold. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 5:50 AM 807. CM (708), I don’t say harvest will fail globally in 2050. I say they will fail globally somewhere between 2010 and 2050. I don’t know when as I don’t have enough information to pin it down more precisely. That it will happen I have no doubt. Human civilization is on the way out if we don’t act very soon. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 5:55 AM 808. CFU (713), Not to mention Spencer has been openly dishonest in the past: http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Spencer.html Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 6:06 AM 809. Re #761 Simon Abingdon Have you heard the expression that climate is “average weather”? I’m having difficulty in understanding your suggestion that climate should be based on an average of a sample size of 1. For example, I live in Wellington NZ. A reasonable question I might ask a climatologist is “What is the best time of year to play cricket in Wellington?” You seem to suggest that climate should be defined as the average of months over a single year. If this were so, then the climatologist would tell me that I should never play cricket in Wellington, because the average annual rainfall indicates that it will rain more often than not. But that’s silly, because most of the rain that falls in Wellington occurs during winter, so clearly the months are not all the same. So we need to at least treat each month separately. But let’s stick with your suggestion of a sample size of 1. We’ll define the climate of Wellington as based on the last 12 months. OK, so February and March are clearly the best time to play cricket, because those had the least rain in the last 12 months. But hang on, last year, February and March rained almost continuously. The November and December before that (2008) were actually better for cricket. So is the answer Feb/Mar or Nov/Dec? Using your definition of climate, based on averages of a sample size of 1, we get different answers depending on which year we use as a reference frame. Hmmm. That doesn’t sound so useful. This suggests that if we want to define climate as “average weather”, then a sample size greater than 1 might be a good idea. Is 30 an arbitrary number? Maybe. Is 30 a better sample size for an average than 1? Yes. Do you think you can come up with a number for sample size that is better than either 30 or 1? If so, please let us know, along with your reasoning. Comment by CTG — 23 Apr 2010 @ 6:13 AM 810. the sample “sample size” discussion above made me think of this. http://dailyradar.com/beltwayblips/video/it-s-dark-where-i-am-yet-just-two-hours-ago-it-was/ you can watch the whole thing, but the “good part” that i’m thinking of starts around 3:40. my favorite is the graph of the cooling trend since august – can’t argue with those facts….. Comment by Walter Crain — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:17 AM 811. “I have seen several claims here by other posters that PBS is bisased against AGW and other environmental concerns known in science.” It isn’t that they are biased against AGW but that they (like almost all media) DO NOT CARE to check their sources. Therefore false balance is given because denialists are very loud and promoted by those media which are hostile to science and AGW. E.g. Monkton has still not been chastised over his claim to be a science adviser to Mrs Thatcher. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:37 AM 812. Gilles: “Again, average temperature is NOT a physical quantity linked to energy, ” E~nkT average kinetic energy per molecule in a gas. Yup, no link there. Quite an odd one given you state yourself as a scientist. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:39 AM 813. “As someone who actually runs, and pays to have run, web servers,” What does this have to do with science journals and paywalls? “I assure you that you’d likely save on those tax dollars if the data weren’t so closely guarded and those paywall sites weren’t, you know, making people pay.” I assure you you’re full of crap. Not only are they not closely guarded, the cost of building and maintining a paywall pays for more than just the paywall, it pays for the research too. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:43 AM 814. “I assure you that you’d likely save on those tax dollars if the data weren’t so closely guarded and those paywall sites weren’t, you know, making people pay.” PS I don’t pay. So it’s not costing ME anything. What it IS costing is people who want it. They aren’t paid by my taxes, so how can their expense increase my tax burden? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:44 AM 815. “806 Barton Paul Levenson says: 23 April 2010 at 6:06 AM CFU (713), Not to mention Spencer has been openly dishonest in the past:” And I’ll just say that I don’t have a problem with Spencer being religious. What I DO have a problem with is that he’ll ignore and bend science merely because he doesn’t like the results when it comes to science vs his religion. And he does the same when it comes to science vs his politics. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:48 AM 816. More irresponsible journalism at CNN today. The Iceland volcano was caused by global warming. http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/23/weisman.volcano.iceland.earth/index.html?hpt=C2 I look forward to reading comments on CNN from you guys about how there is not enough scientific data to back up a claim like this, and they are doing the cause more harm than good. At least they put it in the Opinion section, that’s an improvement. Comment by Tom S — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:52 AM 817. “More irresponsible journalism at CNN today. The Iceland volcano was caused by global warming.” Think of it from their POV (as lazy buggers). Today: Big hit and lots of page impressions for little work. Tomorrow: Print up something from someone saying “Iceland volcano not caused by global warming”. Day after:Big hit and lots of page impressions for little work. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:24 AM 818. Tom S., You are right. It’s absolute horse puckey. It is also, as you point out, on the op ed page, and so, not really journalism. It would be nice if the intelligent folks on both sides of the political debate could simply accept the science and get on with addressing the threats. Unfortunately for the sake of rapid progress, accepting the science is a prerequisite. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:28 AM 819. sidd 744″please, what is your definition of “effective temperature” ? Sorry to be late, I didn’t notice the question . “My” (actually THE ) definition of effective temperature is the black-body temperature corresponding to the same emitted power per unit area. I should have said more exactly “average effective temperature”, i.e. the equivalent BB temperature corresponding to the same whole radiative power, if it were constant over the whole Earth surface (TOA more exactly). “Gilles (696): Can you give me the chapter of AR4 where a total destruction of every harvest in 2050 is described ? BPL: Try here:” Sorry, none of this is an AR4 chapter. Are you implicitly accusing IPCC of incompetence for not having clearly warned for such a danger ? BPL :UN warns of 70 percent desertification by 2025… BPL: We should get rid of all the artificial CO2 sources we can as fast as we can. That’s the threshold. Sorry again, this has nothing to do with a “threshold” in the sense I know. But tell me : given that the current temperature trend is around 0.15 °C/decades, meaning that an average of 0.2°C is expected until 2025, (which could well be completely washed out by natural variability, AMO, any volcanic eruption , and so on..) and given that climate inertia is much larger than 15 years : what the hell can you expect from getting rid of any CO2 source to influence the droughts in 2025 ? isn’t it a kind of magic thought ? Comment by Gilles — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:29 AM 820. Re 805 It is effects (just an example) such as this http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36722426 which are not properly taken account: “A deadly, airborne new strain of fungus has emerged in Oregon. It has killed nearly one out of four known affected people so far and might also attack animals ranging from dogs to dolphins. And it is likely to spread, researchers now warn.” As the climate changes will we see more of these pathogenic changes? Wheat crops have already been increasingly hit by wheat fungus. Are we determined to change the climate so much so as to create a fungal epoch about which we could very little? Comment by MX — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:34 AM 821. Gilles says, “Again, average temperature is NOT a physical quantity linked to energy, for an inhomogeneous distribution.” I’m sorry Gilles. That comment was intended for those of us who live in a physical world–you know the places where you have to add energy to see significant, long-term increases in temperature. Ya know, sophistry isn’t really helping your credibility. In fact it is merely cementing your reputation as a troll. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:36 AM 822. #801 CRS Thanks for the link to Holdren’s presentation. An excellent overview, in my opinion. I agree that it would be a positive step to replace “anthropogenic global warming (or climate change)” with the phrase “anthropogenic climate disruption”. It speaks more powerfully and broadly to the actual impact of what’s happening already, and likely to happen with BAU. Comment by Hugh Laue — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:47 AM 823. Jacob Mack says: “I have seen several claims here by other posters that PBS is bisased against AGW and other environmental concerns known in science. I could not disagree more with these claims. I have watched PBS my entire life…” Yes, well the argument is that something seems to have changed at PBS, and they’re now taking money from some of the most deceptive and dishonest actors, like Koch Industries. Senator Inhofe (noted climate denialist) has Koch as his top lifetime donor – along with Massey Energy of coal mine disaster fame. ExxonMobil (recent recipient of a$3 billion grant from the Obama Administration to develop their $15 billion Papua New Guinea gas field – despite their recent$40 billion in profits!) also contributed to this PR effort.

Of course, if Exxon and Koch and Massey had produced this piece, then who would believe it? They need to put it on a “trusted, neutral news outlet” if they have any hope of getting people to swallow it.

If you watch the program, you’ll see that it is as deceptive and dishonest as the “Great Global Warming Swindle” aired in Britain.

The message of the NOVA piece is that moving to a clean energy economy is just too risky. To drive the message into our subconscious, the show itself is called “Energy: The Big Gamble” and each time the narrator intones on the terrors of climate legislation, dice are shown being rolled (by uncaring hands) to show you just what a risk is being taken with your life. Tremble, Californians! Some unseen gambler is messing with your livelihood.

That’s not science journalism, that’s paid political propaganda run by a front group – and if I was you, I’d be very upset about the direction that PBS has decided to take. Look at their leading questions:

Q: Is California’s push toward renewable energy too aggressive?
(Translation: It’s too aggressive)

Q: What’s wrong with California’s strategy in the energy game?
(Translation: There’s something wrong with the strategy)

Q: Why aren’t you a big fan of nuclear power?
(Translation: What’s wrong with you?)

Q: What could make renewables like wind and solar more practical?
(Translation: wind and solar aren’t practical)

Q: Some environmentalists want to build wind farms and solar farms but don’t want them in their backyards… the NIMBY syndrome…
(Translation: only hypocritical enviro types support wind and solar)

Q: You put a lot of hope in the so-called car of the future. Why?
(Translation: Why stop running cars on fossil fuels?)

Q: What’s allowed California to lead the way on environmental issues?

Vaitheeswaran: First of all, they have the technological base, with universities like Berkeley and national labs like Livermore…

As anyone who bothers to look knows, Berkeley got in bed with oil giant BP and is not funding any renewable energy research centers – which is understandable, since DOE isn’t making any money available for such work. On that issue, nothing has changed since Bush. Efforts to convert Livermore from a nuclear weapons lab to a energy research center were scuttled by the Bechtel-BWXT-Battelle-Washington Group-UC contractors at Livermore. There’s zero discussion of this basic fact, however.

This is pretty deceptive and dishonest by any standard – and PBS should be roundly pilloried for agreeing to run Koch-Exxon propaganda as “science journalism.”

It’s really a shame, since PBS NOVA used to be a pretty good science journalism program.

Comment by Ike Solem — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:48 AM

824. JBob,
I think the problem you are having is that you seem to think that the purpose of models is to explain test results. It is not. Models–as well as data–are meant to yield insight into the physical system. While it is generally assumed that a model that better matches representative data will have greater predictive power, the degree to which this is true depends greatly on the model

In a statistical model, overfitting the data is a real risk, and so metrics such as Akaike information criterion (AIC), Bayesian information Criterion (BIC), etc. are used to guard against this.

In dynamical models, the risk of overfitting is significantly reduced–indeed virtually nil–because the contribution of the factors is determined by physics. One includes a factor if it is deemed likely to contribute significantly. If the match to the calibration dataset is poor, one includes additional factors. One then validates the model against an independent dataset. As long as the physics of the system are pretty clear–and the climate is pretty well understood–the approach converges. You and netdr seem to be claiming some special knowledge based on the fact that you have implemented some models before. I’ve seen a chimp drive a car before. It doesn’t mean he understood the rules of the road.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:59 AM

825. Re drought and agriculture, there are reasons other than drought to be concerned about agriculture in a warming world:

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:08 AM

826. > Is 30 an arbitrary number? Maybe.
Nope.
http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/01/results-on-deciding-trends.html

Seriously, he explains where the numbers come from. You can do it yourself.
It’s a lesson at high school arithmetic level in how it’s decided by statisticians based on how much the particular data set varies over time.
Clear, straightforward, reality-based, depends on the particular data set used.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:24 AM

827. Tom S:

You are quick to accuse CNN of “irresponsible journalism”. But is it really? As you observe, it is an opinion piece. But most importantly, it doesn’t make the silly claim you say that it does.

The claim that Alan Weisman does make, “the Earth’s crust, relieved of so much formidable weight of ice borne for many thousands of years, has begun to stretch and rebound. As it does, a volcano awakens in Iceland” – this claim is based on recent scientific research, published by the Royal Society. Isostatic adjustment is a well known phenomenon, so it should not be surprising that scientists are examining the short term effects of unprecedented ice sheet changes.

Is this rock solid science? No, it is an opinion piece about ongoing science and its immediate relevance to current events. That much is made very clear.

Tom S, I’m not sure whether your error was failing to discover the fact that this is actually an active area of research, or whether you inferred more from the article than was actually said. Either way, your response was a knee-jerk reaction.

Alan Weisman works very hard not to draw a straight line from cause to effect, precisely because so many people can’t get their head around the idea of climate change being only a contributory factor in extreme events. Global warming didn’t directly cause Katrina, or the Australian fires. But we expect these events to become more frequent in a warmer world, so ignoring the link is equally disingenuous.

Comment by Didactylos — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:27 AM

828. Tom S., You are right. It’s absolute horse puckey. It is also, as you point out, on the op ed page, and so, not really journalism. It would be nice if the intelligent folks on both sides of the political debate could simply accept the science and get on with addressing the threats. Unfortunately for the sake of rapid progress, accepting the science is a prerequisite.

And of course, for every idiotic piece in the MSM that exaggerate the impacts of global-warming, one can find dozens of idiotic pieces that deny the same. It is pure sophistry to imply otherwise.

Comment by caerbannog — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:27 AM

829. “824
23 April 2010 at 8:59 AM

JBob,
I think the problem you are having is that you seem to think that the purpose of models is to explain test results.”

I disagree. JBob’s problem is that the science supports AGW and the models use the science. Therefore he has to paint a picture that models do not use the science and that they are being manipulated for nefarious purposes.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:28 AM

830. Ray ”
I’m sorry Gilles. That comment was intended for those of us who live in a physical world–you know the places where you have to add energy to see significant, long-term increases in temperature.”

But Ray, that isn’t always true even in the real physical world ! if you add heat to melting ice, you have NO increase of temperature. When the inner core of stars is getting hotter, when they start burning helium , their surface become COOLER. During solar cycles, the temperature increase or decrease but the core activity doesn’t change.
I agree that it seems unlikely that an increase of forcing results in a decrease of average temperature. But
* even this cannot be excluded on physical grounds, and it wouldn’t be contradictory with energy conservation, since the average effective temperature can increase with a decreasing average temperature, with a change of relative latitudinal temperature distribution
* such variations could contribute significantly to multidecadal trends if there are limit-cycles. I don’t see clearly why this can be excluded by current data.Whether I’m a troll or not.

Comment by Gilles — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:30 AM

831. CFU:

I see you responded to Tom S without reading the story he linked, or finding out whether there is any substance to it. I don’t wish to be overly rude, but reading more and posting less may help the signal to noise ratio here.

Comment by Didactylos — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:34 AM

832. “if you add heat to melting ice, you have NO increase of temperature.”

Your assertion was the other way around.

YOU said : If you increase the temperature of ice, you’re not adding energy to it.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:40 AM

833. Ike:
I watched the same recent NOVA presentation about California’s Energy initiatives, but I had a somewhat different take. It is true that it emphasized the uncertainties quite a lot. And, I was annoyed at their letting the CEI representative sound off. But I felt the overall impression was that the initiatives had a signficant chance of succeeding. Moreover, it seemed to me that there was a implicit suggestion that even if everything was entirely successful, all told it was worthwhile.

Finally, at the end, it asked whether we have any choice in trying such things, with the clearly implied message that we don’t.

Most important, it seemed to me that it took for granted that global warming was a serious problem and that just doing nothing was not an option.

Comment by Leonard Evens — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:06 AM

834. “I see you responded to Tom S without reading the story he linked”

I see you didn’t bother thinking.

But controversy sells.

Refute that but don’t decide you can avoid reading.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:12 AM

835. “When the inner core of stars is getting hotter, when they start burning helium , their surface become COOLER”

Yup, just what I’d expect from someone who is clueless about science.

You see, the inner core of the star is not the surface of a star.

But you see to forget this even as you state it.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:13 AM

836. Completely Fed Up @ 813:

Not only are they not closely guarded, the cost of building and maintining a paywall pays for more than just the paywall, it pays for the research too.

You are completely delusional. There simply aren’t enough people buying papers from paywall sites, or the journals themselves, to pay for the research that’s being performed.

Paywall sites exist to replace the revenue that’s been lost by publishers for the print versions of their journals. Unless you want to find some way that journals kicked-back revenue to researchers (hint: they didn’t), there’s simply no connection between an organization, such as SpringerLink, and the money going to researchers.

Here, have an article about them —

Their total sales were €880M, per that article, with 5,000 employees. Since it’s a business, I’m sure it also pays it’s stock holders a return on their investment in some form.

Would you care to tell me how much of that €880M was left to send to researchers after paying operating costs and investors?

So … care to try again?

Comment by FurryCatHerder — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:20 AM

837. TomS’s CNN piece is bizarre. Mostly description of Iceland, a bit about early Icelandic government, a wee bit o’ plate tectonics, then:

“…something else is lately worrying geologists: the likelihood that the Earth’s crust, relieved of so much formidable weight of ice borne for many thousands of years, has begun to stretch and rebound.”

-ok, fine, isostatic rebound…no problems so far, but then:

“As it does, a volcano awakens in Iceland (with another, larger and adjacent to still-erupting Eyjafjallajokull, threatening to detonate next). The Earth shudders in Haiti. Then Chile. Then western China. Mexicali-Calexico. The Solomon Islands. Spain. New Guinea. And those are just the big ones, 6+ on the Richter scale, and just in 2010. And it’s only April.”

/facepalm

Now, he doesn’t say “I think THIS causes THAT.” He just puts the fact of isostatic rebound right next to those other events and kind of waggles his eyebrows at us. So my question(s) to Weisman would be “do you in fact see a connection between glacier mass loss and earthquakes in, say, Chile? If so, can you explain to me how that might work? If not, can you explain why you completely changed the topic like that?”

And as for the “it’s only April” bit…USGS says the averages are one magnitude-8 or higher earthquake per year, 17 between 7 and 7.9, and 132 earthquakes between 6 and 6.9. So he mentions seven earthquakes above 6.0, and then says “And it’s only April” in such a way that you can almost hear the ominous background music…but according to USGS, 10+ earthquakes at 6.0 or larger in ONE MONTH wouldn’t be unusual at all.

So yeah, Didactylos, he doesn’t actually make any outlandish claims…he just hints (blatantly) at stuff that’s outlandish (or just wrong) and tries to get the reader to believe crazy sh*t without him actually having to say it directly.

Reminds me of (US Senator from Kentucky) Mitch McConnell in that sense. Functionally lying all over the place, but a lot of the time each individual sentence is technically true…just incredibly misleading in context. But that’s OT, I suppose.

Comment by Kevin Stanley — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:20 AM

838. CFU : I didn’t say that for the ice -although this may be true for non isothermal system.

But actually I didn’t even say that for the Earth : i said that you can conserve energy balance (= emissivity) with an increased average temperature. It is easy to check it :
a) assume a temperature latitude distribution T(theta)

b) compute the total emissivity :E1 = integral (T^4 2 Pi sin(theta) d theta)

c) do a perturbation ∆T(theta) with a vanishing average, that transfers heat from the low latitudes to high latitudes . The most general form is a linear combination of P2n (Theta) where Pl are the Legendre polynomials and n>1 (average = 0), with the right sign of coefficients. For instance +a (1-3 cos^2(theta)) with a >0 .

d) recompute the total emissivity E2 = integral (T+∆T)^4 2 Pi sin(theta) d theta)

since the relative variation of (T+∆T)^4 is proportionnal to T^3, the effect of pole warming is less than that of equator cooling, so the emissivity decreases, although the average temperature is the same : E2 1. This time the emissivity is the same , whereas the average temperature has increased. So radiative balance is conserved, with an increased average temperature.

You can easily check that average temperature is proportional to effective temperature only if the relative repartition T (theta) / is constant, i.e., temperature variations are strictly proportionnal to the initial temperature. Which is NOT the case in GCM outputs, since the (cooler ) poles are more warmed than (hotter) equator. Actually this is understandable since the relative sensitivity of high latitudes to temperature variation is less than that of the low latitudes, so in some sense they are more “elastic ” or more variable.

Although it may be seem counterintuitive, it is quite possible to transfer heat, for instance by a modification of oceanic circulation, and conserve radiative balance with an increasing temperature. I do not claim it is the case, but you can’t dismiss it by physical arguments – and i do not see any impossibility that it can contribute to a fraction of degree of average anomaly.

Comment by Gilles — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:24 AM

839. Neil, in #803 says:

I always like to do a few quick mental checks with “facts” just try and ensure they bear up to reality.

Great!

I can certainly accept the 33 Deg GHG warming of the planet and the physics of this is realatively simple to understand, but the 7 deg due to C02 seems to be more speculative rather than hard fact?

There’s a disconnect there. The basic radiative effects of CO2 – which you say you accept – were established a good 50 years ago. Look up the work of John Tyndall, Joseph Fourier, Svante Arrhenius, Guy Callendar, and Roger Revelle. The AIP site is a good place to start.

If you accept a 33 degree effect but question 7 degrees from the most significant driver of the effect, what number would you assign and why?

Comment by David Miller — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:29 AM

840. Weird. So now I see that Weisman’s implications may not be (quite) as far -fetched as I thought:
http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/issues/climate_forcing.xhtml
…but his form of expression is still unconvincing (and annoying).

Comment by Kevin Stanley — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:30 AM

841. Gilles says: I agree that it seems unlikely that an increase of forcing results in a decrease of average temperature. But…

Our ignorance of the thermodynamics of planetary and stellar atmospheres is not as great as you think. Please read carefully Barton’s How to Estimate Planetary Temperatures and do some problems from Ray’s workbook [pdf]. This will help convince you that climate scientists actually do know what they’re talking about.

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:34 AM

842. The controversy over AGW/Climate Change continues and I suppose that is to be expected. Despite the contraversy, the US is moving along with policy on climate change and Canada will follow.

The wording in the article seems to me to fit into the purpose of Copenhagen. The article doesn’t say it but I think legislation will be the position the US takes when the UN countries meet in Cancun later on this year.

I am a member of the general public. My fear is a fear of the unknown. Where is this legislation going to take us. Despite my concerns, I recognize something needs to be done. Different web sites certainly add fuel to the fire that promotes the contraversy. The problem I have with these other sites is that they mainly offer critism to the scientists and no solutions. I am taking a positive approach in realization that something needs to be done. Even if a person does not believe in AGW, fossil fuels are not going to last forever. I don’t understand the science behind it but I know there is less snow during winter than when I was child growing up. I hear stories about declining bee populations and problems the bat population is having. Bees pollinate so what happens to the food supply if the bee popluation is reduced to the point where there is not enough pollination? Bats eat insects so what effect will a larger insect population have? What about decling fish stocks etc. Some posters have spoken about crop failure and famine. That is a very real possibility. I could give many other examples. I could give other examples but hope you understand the point I make trying to make considering I am not a scientist.

Comment by Triple Bay — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:37 AM

843. > 816 Tom S says: 23 April 2010 at 7:52 AM
> … at CNN today. The Iceland volcano was caused by global warming.

No, the piece at CNN doesn’t say that.
You’ve managed to misread a fairly clear nontechnical opinion piece.
Then you invite people to criticize your mistake but attribute it to the writer at CNN.

Did anyone leap into this without actually checking? If so they’ve learned not to trust you.

You’ve confused the end of the ice age with global warming.
You’ve confused continental drift and rifting with global warming.
The writer didn’t say what you claim.

You can look this stuff up, once you understand what you’re reading. Try just the first page of this result:

One example:
http://resources.metapress.com/pdf-preview.axd?code=tutgtcjgne3uhx21&size=largest
GE Sigvaldason – Bulletin of Volcanology, 2002

“A pronounced volcanic production maximum on the rift zones through Iceland coincided with rapid crustal rebound during and after glacier melting at the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary. At peak glaciation, ice thickness over central Iceland may have reached 1,500-2,000 m, causing 400-500-m depression of the crust. Rapid climatic improvement caused glacier melting and removal of the ice load within about 1,000 years…. with an average rate of uplift on the order of nearly half a metre per year over central Iceland…. The volcanic production maximum coincides with crustal rebound after the last glaciation….”

Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:37 AM

844. #797 John P, looks like we are going to have a long & interesting discussion.

No, I am not just looking at short term trends, which is why I like to look at the long term trends (200+ years) from http://www.rimfrost.no/ among others. However getting back to sea ice, I have seen papers (which I will try to dig up) where satellite data and visual observations were compared. They give a error range of 5-10%. The primary error is generally along the ice edge. Assuming a 10% error, that means a starting error of 0.8-1.4 M sq.km., depending on the season. Since the ice forms/dissipates in secular fashion, one can bias out some errors, over time. Looking at the satellite specs., my guess the error is still between 3-5%, or 0.3 to 0.6 M sq. km. realistically.
Now John, your making up words, I did not say “we don’t know anything”, however I will say “we don’t know everything”. But let’s see what this summer brings, as well as the new satellite to measure ice thickness.

#824 Ray go back and read my post on the medical diagnostic model. It says, in part “In order to generate the basic steady state flow patterns,”. The reason we spent so much time inputting the 3-D data representing the physical objects in the enclosure was TO UNDERSTAND the flow patterns, and gain insight as to what was happening, and improve the design. Anyone who has worked with fluids, knows how complicated they can be, and use any help they can get. That is why they generate holograms of rocket engine exhausts, to understand what is going on.

The basic purpose of the model is to gain understanding, and it must reflect reality. To say “climate is pretty well understood”, one might paraphrase M. Twain “it might be premature”.

While statistics has it’s place, I think a good observer can pick things out better, especially the unexpected. Ever watch a neurologist pick things out of a EEG graph with a dozen “squiggly” lines?

Comment by J. Bob — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:47 AM

845. Now that the CRU scientists have been exonerated, it’s time to look at the real scandal: the politically motivated attacks on climate science and scientists based on flimsy evidence and dubious scholarship. Here is a case in point:

More dubious scholarship from Edward Wegman and his proteges.

In both the original Wegman report and a subsequent follow-up paper by Yasmin Said, Wegman and two others, the background sections on social network research show clear and compelling instances of apparent plagiarism. The three main sources, used almost verbatim and without attribution, have now been identified. These include a Wikipedia article and a classic sociology text book by Wasserman and Faust. But the papers rely even more on the third source, a hands-on text book that explores social network concepts via the Pajek analysis software package – the same tool used by the Wegman team to analyze “hockey stick” author Michael Mann’s co-author network.

Not only that, but the later Said et al paper acknowledges support from the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as well as the Army Research Laboratory, raising a host of new issues and questions. And chief among those questions is this: Will George Mason University now finally do the right thing and launch a complete investigation of the actions and scholarship of Wegman and Said?

Comment by Deep Climate — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:02 AM

846. Secular (732),

I have no problem with chimpanzees. I just don’t think humans are chimpanzees, for the same reason I don’t think rats are mice, or dogs are wolves, or kangaroos are wallabies. Related but not the same animal.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:08 AM

847. Titus (741),

I’m planning to publish a book about why geographers and astronomers are wrong about the shape of the Earth. About half of it deals with new research I am about to publish which proves clearly that the Earth is a flat disk supported on an infinite column of stacked turtles.

Why don’t scientists take my book seriously? I’ll tell you why–because they’re a closed-minded clique that’s already made up their minds; a stifling scientific orthodoxy more like the medieval Inquisition than like real scientists like Galileo and Immanuel Velikovsky!

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:15 AM

848. CFU:

I’m sure you believe that you answered me, but you failed to string your thoughts into a coherent narrative. Or, put another way: you made no sense at all. And still no sign that you read past the headline (if you read the headline at all).

Kevin Stanley:

Glad you eventually found the link in my post. Maybe if we repeat it a few times everybody else jumping on the bandwagon will see it, too.

All:

Why is this such a controversial topic? Probably because there is already enough confusion about climate, and focussing on the aspects that are least well understood simply adds to that confusion, and provides opportunities for ignorant commentators to take things out of context and make more stuff up. Despite this, I think we can handle the discussion.

Comment by Didactylos — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:27 AM

849. BPL: “I just don’t think humans are chimpanzees, ”

Nobody said we were.

We don’t say that Bonobo’s are Orangutans either.

We are genus Pan. We’re not Pan Paniscus.

Our common ancestor was the human like progenitor of the modern Chimpanzee who is just as evolved as humans are.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:33 AM

850. “CFU : I didn’t say that for the ice -although this may be true for non isothermal system”

No, you said it for ice. And anything else that has a temperature.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:34 AM

851. “You are completely delusional.”

FCH, you’re projecting again.

“There simply aren’t enough people buying papers from paywall sites, or the journals themselves, to pay for the research that’s being performed.”

Strawman.

It doesn’t have to pay for the research, it just has to pay TOWARD research.

And the 880M doesn’t come from my taxes, so it’s not costing me any tax money.

It may be costing Open Road money or Piers Corbyn money or BAA money, but it’s not costing ME my taxes.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:37 AM

852. Gilles (753): There is no law of physics that imposes a constant relative temperature distribution, even in latitude.

BPL: It’s called “Lambert’s cosine law:”

I = I0 cos(θ)

where I is radiative flux density, I0 is I perpendicular to the path of propagation (e.g. flat on to the sun), and θ is the angle the surface is tipped away from that parpendicular (for a spherical planet, the latitude). This ignores axial inclination, but axial inclination averages out over the year.

The flux density absorbed by the climate system, for each of nine 10-degree latitude bands, would be

F = (S / pi) cos(theta) (1 – A)

where S is the solar constant, pi the circle constant, and A the bolometric Russell-Bond spherical albedo. The effective temperature is then

Te = (F / (ε σ))0.25

where ε is surface emissivity and σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant.

Working with one hemisphere and assuming symmetry, let’s assume that, with cloud cover, A is 0.5 north of the 60 degree lines and 0.28 below, giving a mean planetary albedo of 0.31. Assuming the following values:

S = 1366.1 W m-2
pi = 3.14159…
ε = 0.996 (as in the ECHAM5 GCM)
σ = 5.6704 x 10-8 W m-2 K-4

We then find F and Te to be:

85°  18.9 135.3
75°  56.3 177.7
65°  91.9 200.8
55° 179.6 237.5
45° 221.4 250.2
35° 256.5 259.6
25° 283.8 266.2
15° 302.4 270.5
5° 311.9 272.6

You will find that the poles are, in fact, usually colder than the equator.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:42 AM

853. J. Bob (758): Modifying the parameters? Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmm, that sounds like “tweeking”.

BPL: You completely misunderstood what I said.

Start with two zones: A has an albedo of 0.2, and B has an albedo of 0.2. A receives 200 Watts per square meter of insolation and B receives 400. Their initial effective temperatures are 230 K and 274 K. The greenhouse effect results in surface temperatures of 263 K and 297 K.

Areas with temperatures under 265 K, let’s say, become ice-covered. So the program changes the albedo of square A from 0.2, appropriate for land, to 0.6, appropriate for ice. It changed a parameter, but it was based on a physical law, not a “tweak” to fit observations:

if Ts < 265 then
A = 0.6
else
A = 0.2
end if

You then recalculate the temperatures and test again, until the system reaches equilibrium. This is about a million times less sophisticated than a real climate model, but a real climate model does nothing essentially different. It is not "tweaking" anything. It is taking starting conditions and then seeing how they change based solely on physical law.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 11:53 AM

854. Sam (770),

Jupiter does have weather. In addition to sunlight, which takes it up to an effective temperature of 110 K, it has an internal heat source which makes it radiate at 124 K. And it rotates every 10 hours, as opposed to 24 hours for Earth, which just stirs things up all the more. Coriolis force on Jupiter is quite fierce. Not only is the spin time 2.4 times faster, but the radius spinning is 11 times greater.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:00 PM

855. FG (785): You’ll have to come up with a better line than that to bolster the incredibly unsubstantiated claim that AGW is going to kill 95% of everyone on the planet.

BPL: % of Earth land surface “severely dry” (Palmer Drought Severity Index -3.0 or lower) in 1970: 12%.

In 2002: 30%.

Year it reaches 100% if expansion continues at the same rate (+2.9% per year): 2044.

Of course it won’t go all the way to 100%. But it doesn’t have to. 50-70% would be enough to collapse human agriculture completely, pretty much. I mean, not all land surface is arable, is it? Nobody’s ever going to farm in Antarctica.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:10 PM

856. Jim :”Our ignorance of the thermodynamics of planetary and stellar atmospheres is not as great as you think. Please read carefully Barton’s How to Estimate Planetary Temperatures and do some problems from Ray’s workbook [pdf]. This will help convince you that climate scientists actually do know what they’re talking about.”

YOU obviously don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t speak about gross estimates of the equilibrium temperatures, I’m speaking about spontaneous fluctuations of a fraction of degree. Where are the ENSO, the PDO, or the AMO, in BPL’s calculations ?

Comment by Gilles — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:26 PM

857. Gilles (795): average temperature is NOT a physical quantity linked to energy, for an inhomogeneous distribution

BPL: Let’s take 2 cubes of fresh water, each 1 kilogram in mass, both at temperatures of 300 K. The energy content in Joules is

H = m cp T

cp for fresh water is 4,184 J/K/kg, so H = 1 x 4184 x 300 for each block, or 1,225,200 J for each block, or 2,510,400 J for both.

Now let’s make it inhomogeneous. Put block A at 280 K, block B at 320 K. Now their heat contents are:

H1 = 1171520 J
H2 = 1338880 J

Total = 2510400 J

The average temperature is 300 K. The total heat content would then be

2 x 4184 x 300

or 2,510,400 J. Wow, same figure. Maybe average temperature does relate directly to heat content!

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:27 PM

858. We are a new climate denial skeptics group from Calgary that will take care of this problem:
http://friendsofginandtonic.org/

Comment by Monckhausen — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:28 PM

859. Did (802): Actual predictions about the near future are serious enough, without just making stuff up.

BPL: And whom, precisely, are you accusing of “making stuff up?” Please do name names.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:30 PM

860. Gilles (838): i said that you can conserve energy balance (= emissivity)

BPL: Energy balance does not equal emissivity. Emissivity is the ratio of radiation from a body to that expected from a black body. Energy balance is a condition of a system in which losses equal gains. Do you mean emission? That would be closer, though still not right.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:42 PM

861. http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/

[edit – that is what links are for]

Comment by ZZT — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:56 PM

862. Edward Greisch (789) — That was after the ice sheet had mostly melted away althugh the Cairgorns might still have had remnent ice caps. That was long before the coming of the Celts to Scotland, so long before Julius Ceasar, much less King Arthur.

FurryCatHerder (794) — Hunter-gatherers are not and have never been civilized. They have and presumably have always had societies, but not cities so by defintion no civilizations.

Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 12:57 PM

863. Neil (803) — Perhaps
http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Greenhouse101.html
http://bartonpaullevenson.com/NewPlanetTemps.html
will assist you.

guthrie (805) — Yes, Neolithic. I don’t recall the exact dates, but the paper in a conference proceedings was most definite regarding the number of people, one tribe, as adequate to explain all the early archaeology sites. I had picked out this paper because in had a picture of an early dugout canoe. I probably should have used
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesolithic
although in Scotland the dates coincide with the Neolithic of Southwest Asia.

Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:14 PM

864. “The line has been that when one is over the top and making stuff up in favor of AGW, corrections come swiftly.”

Frank, all you’ve done is SAID that it was OTT and made up.

Got anything to back that up?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:20 PM

865. I see Dr. Roy Spencer has a new book, where he’s figured out why it’s not CO2 causing warming.

“But what they (myopic climate researchers) have ignored is the potential for the climate system to cause its own climate change. Climate change is simply what the system does, owing to its complex, dynamic, chaotic internal behavior.”

[Response: So the ice ages aren’t caused by anything, Pinatubo made no difference to climate, the Eocene just did it’s thing for fun, etc… There are huge implications to assuming that climate sensitivity is zero which Spencer simply never addresses. And since he ignores the reasons why we conclude from the data that sensitivity is non-negligible (around 3ºC), his argument for why it must be tiny is not convincing (especially since the actual paper that apparently proves it, is still not publicly available!). – gavin]

Comment by Markum — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:29 PM

866. Gilles, again with the sophistry?
Yes, adding heat to melting ice doesn’t raise temperature–but that’s now long term. Eventually the ice melts.

And there is absolutely nothing mysterious about the core of a gravitationally collapsing star warming even as its surface cools (due to the lower cross section for He+He fusion).

Finally, there’s nothing mysterious about a 30-year global rise in temperature–you won’t get that happening without an input of energy. Period. And none of your red herrings will that–it’s just conservation of energy.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2010 @ 1:41 PM

867. Tom S wrote: “More irresponsible journalism at CNN today. The Iceland volcano was caused by global warming.”

Ray Ladbury replied: “You are right. It’s absolute horse puckey.”

Well, perhaps not quite “absolute” ?

In the CNN op-ed piece, here’s what Alan Weisman actually wrote:

Yet something else is lately worrying geologists: the likelihood that the Earth’s crust, relieved of so much formidable weight of ice borne for many thousands of years, has begun to stretch and rebound.

Periods of exceptional climate change in Earth history are associated with a dynamic response from the solid Earth, involving enhanced levels of potentially hazardous geological and geomorphological activity. This response is expressed through the adjustment, modulation or triggering of a wide range of surface and crustal phenomena, including volcanic and seismic activity, submarine and sub-aerial landslides, tsunamis and landslide ‘splash’ waves glacial outburst and rock-dam failure floods, debris flows and gas-hydrate destabilisation. Looking ahead, modelling studies and projection of current trends point towards increased risk in relation to a spectrum of geological and geomorphological hazards in a world warmed by anthropogenic climate change, while observations suggest that the ongoing rise in global average temperatures may already be eliciting a hazardous response from the geosphere.

And Reuters reports:

A thaw of Iceland’s ice caps in coming decades caused by climate change may trigger more volcanic eruptions by removing a vast weight and freeing magma from deep below ground, scientists said on Friday.

They said there was no sign that the current eruption from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier that has paralysed flights over northern Europe was linked to global warming. The glacier is too small and light to affect local geology.

“Our work suggests that eventually there will be either somewhat larger eruptions or more frequent eruptions in Iceland in coming decades,” said Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a vulcanologist at the University of Iceland.

“Global warming melts ice and this can influence magmatic systems,” he told Reuters. The end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago coincided with a surge in volcanic activity in Iceland, apparently because huge ice caps thinned and the land rose.

“We believe the reduction of ice has not been important in triggering this latest eruption,” he said of Eyjafjallajokull. “The eruption is happening under a relatively small ice cap.”

Carolina Pagli, a geophysicist at the University of Leeds in England, said there were risks that climate change could also trigger volcanic eruptions or earthquakes in places such as Mount Erebus in Antarctica, the Aleutian islands of Alaska or Patagonia in South America.

“The effects would be biggest with ice-capped volcanoes,” she said. “If you remove a load that is big enough you will also have an effect at depths on magma production.”

She and Sigmundsson wrote a 2008 paper in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters about possible links between global warming and Icelandic volcanoes.

That report said that about 10 percent of Iceland’s biggest ice cap, Vatnajokull, has melted since 1890 and the land nearby was rising about 25 millimetres (0.98 inch) a year, bringing shifts in geological stresses.

They estimated that the thaw had led to the formation of 1.4 cubic km (0.3 cubic mile) of magma deep below ground over the past century.

At high pressures such as under an ice cap, they reckon that rocks cannot expand to turn into liquid magma even if they are hot enough. “As the ice melts the rock can melt because the pressure decreases,” she said.

Sigmundsson said that monitoring of the Vatnajokull volcano since 2008 suggested that the 2008 estimate for magma generation was “probably a minimum estimate. It can be somewhat larger.”

So while a direct connection between this particular volcanic eruption and AGW may be unlikely, Weisman’s statement that the possibility of geological effects of AGW — including increased vulcanism in Iceland — is “worrying geologists”, does appear to be an accurate characterization of the science.

Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Apr 2010 @ 2:15 PM

868. #846–

Can’t wait, BPL! I’m anticipation all the way down. . .

;-)

Comment by Kevin McKinney — 23 Apr 2010 @ 2:51 PM

869. >> Is 30 an arbitrary number? Maybe.
>Nope.

Actually, Hank, “maybe” is the right answer. Bob Grumbine’s analysis shows that internal variability stops influencing trends at about 21 years – there is nothing magic about 30 in itself. 30 years was established as the period for climatic normals by the WMO long ago (the 1920s IIRC), and applies to all climatic variables, not just temperature. Bob’s analysis shows that for the temperature record, 30 is certainly adequate to avoid the influences of internal variability, but any number between 21 and 50 years would do the same, so in that sense 30 years is arbitrary.

On the other hand, using a period of 30 as opposed to, say 1 as Simon suggests, is not arbitrary. Averages with a sample size of 1 are not really going to tell you much about climate as opposed to weather. What I’d like Simon to explain is why he thinks 1 is a good sample size to assess climate.

Comment by CTG — 23 Apr 2010 @ 4:36 PM

870. re 846
I think that Gilles will concur with me in supporting your effort. After studying very carefully his N°795, 819, 838 sq, I feel so enlightened that even the English language is beginning to be known to me.

Comment by François — 23 Apr 2010 @ 5:04 PM

871. 816 Tom S, I agree. They went from the industrial revolution and greenhouse gasses to glaciers melting causing the crust to rebound, which awakens Icelandic volcanos and sets off earthquakes worldwide. The article clearly linked both Eyjafjallajokull’s eruption and worldwide earthquakes to AGW.

Comment by RichardC — 23 Apr 2010 @ 5:39 PM

872. Markum (864) — That CO2 is a global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas is established beyond rational doubt. The remaining question is how much the climate responds to adding some extra to the atmosphere. The usual measure is Charney equilibrium climate sensitivity (of about 3 K) and here is a recent review worth reading:
http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

But the climate is currently far from equilibrium, due to burning fossil fuels and deforestation, so another measure is simply the response to date. Here is a simple analysis of the last 13 decades of the instrumental record
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530
in which the first formula is missing a right parenthesis and should read
AE(d) = k(lnCO2(d-1) – lnCO2(1870s)) – GTA(1880s)

Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Apr 2010 @ 5:58 PM

873. Just a post from a layman. IMHO why 30 years for the models. Simply to filter out the noise. A meteorologist can give a forecast for rainfall amount for a year but the chance of being correct is a lot less than if they gave a 30 year forecast total rainfall which would simply be worked out by taking average yearly rainfall and multiply times 30.

Comment by Ani — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:17 PM

874. Barton Paul Levenson @ 847

Spencer’s book is explicitly talking about ‘climate scientists’.

Sorry to have to say it but I do not think your research on ‘flat earth’ would stand a chance of peer review.

I’d try researching another topic if I were you. Then write your book to complement your research when the peer review is accepted.

Comment by Titus — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:26 PM

875. Triple Bay @ 842 I am a member of the general public. My fear is a fear of the unknown. Where is this legislation going to take us. Despite my concerns, I recognize something needs to be done. Different web sites certainly add fuel to the fire that promotes the contraversy. The problem I have with these other sites is that they mainly offer critism to the scientists and no solutions.

Yes the globe is warming. The decade of the zeros (2000 – 2009) was warmer than the nineties by about .19 degrees C. That’s a lot for one decade. On the basis of recent research, sea level rise is expected to be greater than the IPCC indicated. Winters are becoming shorter (as measured by average climate, the astronomical length is the same of course). You want to talk about solutions? I think the web site you want is Climate Progress:
http://climateprogress.org/

Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:30 PM

876. #864 Markum

I suppose Spencer now has proof that increasing GHG’s don’t increase radiative forcing.

So if I read the inference correctly, climate changes because of magic, GHG’s are not opaque to infrared, and the magic climate fairy regulates the climate system for us.

Didn’t someone say Spencer is a creationist too?

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Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:33 PM

877. Hank Roberts – you still haven’t explained why discussion of PBS NOVA is “off-topic” – why do you think that is, again?

P.S. The comment that “Bob Grumbine’s analysis shows that internal variability stops influencing trends at about 21 years” is some serious nonsense right there – particularly since orbital precession is an example of “internal variability” (in Earth orbital parameters) that influences climate trends on a timescale of thousands of years.

None of the “internal variability” on timescales from millenia to days changes the basic fact, however: greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuel combustion are by far the dominant driver of current global warming trends. Reversing those trends requires replacing fossil fuels with renewables – don’t you agree, Hank Roberts?

Comment by Ike Solem — 23 Apr 2010 @ 7:38 PM

878. CTG, I know what you’re saying. Bob Grumbine’s point, and the important lesson I think for anyone who hasn’t taken Statistics 101 to learn, is that the time span for detecting trends statistically has to be based on the internal variability of the particular data.

The WMO — as you point out, long ago, before calculators, let alone computers! — picked that because for the data sets involved it was long enough to be useful but still manageable for doing the actual math.

Anyone who learned Statistics 101 using one of these, as I did http://www.oldcalculatormuseum.com/fridenstw.html
appreciates the need to use no more data than actually required

When whoever asked if 30 years was arbitrary, I figured he meant in

Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Apr 2010 @ 8:38 PM

879. #853Barton, I understand all that, but remember one thing, albedo’s are not constant. Take snow cover as a simple case.The albedo can change by a factor of 2 depending on the terrain and composition of the snow, assuming say a clear sky. Adding clouds and particulates of varying degree, you can have a significant variation. Since most of the earth’s surface is water, water can have a even larger variations. So while the physical laws are great, those parameters, like albedos, are more then a little problem. And that’s just one parametric value.

Comment by J. Bob — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:25 PM

880. Markum (#864),

Roy Spencer has not proven anything. His argument concerning climate changes brought about internally is simply not convincing. There is no mechanism, and “the system is complex” is not an acceptable answer. Why are clouds suddenly changing now? There are also plenty of signatures of greenhouse warming (like strat. cooling, weakening of the diurnal temperature gradient) and what clouds are doing also does not change the radiative properties of CO2. Spencer is just throwing up more smokescreens.

Comment by Chris Colose — 23 Apr 2010 @ 9:32 PM

881. @854 (Gavin)

It’s available in press at JGR – Atmospheres.

DOI:10.1029/2009JD01337
http://www.agu.org/journals/pip/jd/2009JD013371-pip.pdf

Comment by thingsbreak — 23 Apr 2010 @ 10:39 PM

882. I was trying to come up with some simple graphics using the woodfortrees site to illustrate the issue of short time frames giving misleading trends and why one needs to look at 15+ years of data and why climate is 30 years in response to “Where is the heat hiding out ? If for 5 years the ocean is cooling…” and “The UAH reading shows cooling at a rate of -.0356 per year.” comments from netdr — 22 April 2010 @ 4:38PM(and his link to woodfortrees graphs).
Others answered the question adequately and provided links to Tamino and Grumbine who are more knowledgeable than I am before I came up with a good answer, but I did accidently create my alltime favorite woodfortrees plot.

Comment by Brian Dodge — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:00 AM

883. CFU :” No, you said it for ice. And anything else that has a temperature. – YOU said : If you increase the temperature of ice, you’re not adding energy to it.”

CFU, you’re just using strawman arguments since i NEVER stated that. Don’t blame me for your limited capacities of understanding, please.
The relation you used E=nkT is NOT relevant because T is NOT an average temperature of the atmosphere, it is a SURFACE temperature (either ground or TOA) . So actually it is related to effective temperature, or a radiative efficiency, but not to a thermal content because of the vertical gradient. It is at best close to a local thermodynamical temperature, but integrating on a surface doesn’t give anything physically relevant (there is nothing like \int T dS in any physical equation). The same for all BPL arguments with a volume with a constant C.

Of course this does not mean it is useless. It can be considered as a proxy, like the length of glaciers or the date of blooming, and it can be usefully compared with model outputs. But you can’t use physical laws to state “oh it can obviously do nothing but raise” for instance.

BPL : you’re right for emissivity, I should have said radiance, or more exactly radiant exitance, the power emitted by unit area. Again I’m not talking about gross estimates of local temperature, I’m talking about the detailed distribution of the very complicated climate machine including all radiative and convective transfers – your calculation is of course greatly insufficient to deal with that.

Comment by Gilles — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:20 AM

884. Ray :”Finally, there’s nothing mysterious about a 30-year global rise in temperature–you won’t get that happening without an input of energy. Period. And none of your red herrings will that–it’s just conservation of energy.”

Sorry, but it’s just plainly wrong. The average surface temperature of the Sun is varying on timescales of decades, with no variation at all of the input energy from below. Period. There can be limit-cycles with temporary storage of heat in the ocean, for instance, and nothing allows you to state that it can not oscillate at 30-year timescale – AMO is a counterexample. You may argue that the amplitude is limited, but you need very careful measurements and not simple back-of-the-envelope calculations.

Comment by Gilles — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:28 AM

885. Another example : the surface temperature of the Eyjafjölljökull has increased dramatically recently. I don’t think there was any “input of energy” in the Earth.

Comment by Gilles — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:33 AM

886. #844 J. Bob

My opinion is that you are a master of confusion and inference. You say you are looking at long term but you have repeatedly brought up this years sea ice extent, and by extrapolation of connotation vaguely presenting it as significant and causing doubt about long term trends, even though it does not represent a long term trend??? Hmmm, the lady doth contradict too much.

Why are you hung up on the error range of the extent when you can see it is fairly well constrained? And besides, confidence is very high that we are losing the multi-year (thicker ice). So why concentrate on the seasonal variation and the extent in your posts especially when you ‘suggest’ to be looking at long term???

The notion of circular inference that which your words seem wrought in comes to mind.

What does the fact that we don’t know everything have to do with the very high confidence in the loss of multi-year thicker Arctic ice?

And lastly, you stated I am making up words, well, actually I wrote/write words. Technically I did not make up those words. they are from the English lexicon, someone else made them up. I did however form some words into a sentence, that being: “Now here’s where you say, ‘well then we don’t know anything’, right?” which was my way of saying that that you would (and have) use(d) inference (or outright distraction) as a red herring distraction to avoid addressing the main point of multi-year ice loss by talking about ice extent, rather than ice thickness, a contextual mistake you seem determined to repeat over and over and over.

Inference, in your case, is the root of all argument, but it is not reasonable or good logic presentation. I disdain the method of politic which you seem to bath in on a regular basis in the shrewd inferences of distraction and slight of text, id est, ‘dead chicken waving’.

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Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:59 AM

887. netdr #786

“The ocean wave is a poor analogy since each wave is independent of the next and all are driven by well known simple interactions that even ancient people could use to predict the phenomenon approximately.

A better analogy is if each wave in a time period had a positive feedback and tended to cause a larger or more waves in the next period. This could set in motion the events which cause fewer or weaker waves in the next time period. This is perturbed with natural events which can cause extra waves such as storms. The proportions of each are unknown and feed back upon each other so they are chaotic”

I disagree.

If you want to look at the big picture, the overall heat balance, this can be largely (not completely) decoupled from the weather. Increasing CO2 still drives accumulation of heat regardless of how circulation distributes this.

So whilst we cannot predict with certainty, only probability, the exact consequences, we can understand there there will be significant consequences.

In the same way that we know the high tide will wash away our sandcastle, but not predict the time of the wave which overtops it.

And if you think waves are predictable, perhaps you should tell Neil Kinnock (ancient UK election reference for those to whom it’s meaningless)

Comment by VeryTallGuy — 24 Apr 2010 @ 3:09 AM

888. Is AMSU-AU broken? Nearly 3 weeks ago, on my blog, I pointed out that AMSU-AU was showing a remarkable effect of every temperature since 11 January being higher than the temperature of the same date every year since the record began in the 2nd half of 1998. Since then, only one date has failed that test (by a very small margin), and the latest numbers are still well above the previous record year, 2005. GISS has only reported temps to March, and these are on the high side but not dramatically so.

Surely Spencer hasn’t become an alarmist? :)

Comment by Philip Machanick — 24 Apr 2010 @ 3:31 AM

889. BPL: I just don’t think humans are chimpanzees

CFU (849): Nobody said we were.

BPL: YOU did! In so many words! Go back and read it again!

CFU: We are genus Pan. We’re not Pan Paniscus.

BPL: No, we are genus Homo. Crack a textbook on primatology, please.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 24 Apr 2010 @ 4:18 AM

890. And, Richard, do you think that the removal of ice doesn’t cause the land to move?

What melts ice?

Warming, do you reckon?

Now where is your outrage when many dittos proclaim that the AGW mitigation efforts will collapse the economy?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Apr 2010 @ 4:29 AM

891. Guys,

I still lack references for the claim that GCMs predicted an expanded range of cyclones before Catarina showed up off Brazil in 2004. Can anyone direct me to something from the literature?

I now have refs for both predictions and confirming observations for 16 of the 17 items. When I have them all I’ll post them on my web site.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 24 Apr 2010 @ 4:30 AM

892. “848
Didactylos says:
23 April 2010 at 11:27 AM

CFU:…”

Do you want to try again with a coherent complaint?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Apr 2010 @ 4:31 AM

893. Some ordinary people [informal survey] now think GW is humorous. This is a really bad sign.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 24 Apr 2010 @ 4:54 AM

894. “BPL: No, we are genus Homo. Crack a textbook on primatology, please.”

How short your memory when it goes against you:

“651
Completely Fed Up says:
21 April 2010 at 1:46 PM

“We don’t even share a genus with chimpanzees, let alone a species or subspecies. (Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus versus Homo sapiens.)”

Although taxonomically, there’s no reason apart from hubris to have Homo rather than Pan as our genus.”

Pointing out that we have given ourselves the taxonomy of Homo is not any form of counter to the proposition that we have no reason to do so taxonomically.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:09 AM

895. “882
Barton Paul Levenson says:
24 April 2010 at 4:18 AM

BPL: I just don’t think humans are chimpanzees

CFU (849): Nobody said we were.

BPL: YOU did! In so many words! Go back and read it again!”

Study taxonomy and english, BPL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo : Pan Paniscus.

Chimpanzee: Pan Troglodytes

Chimp is not Pan.

Chimp is Pan Troglodytes.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:12 AM

896. “I don’t think there was any “input of energy” in the Earth”.

Let’s chalk up Geology as Gilles’ list of “things he knows nothing about”.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:14 AM

897. “Didn’t someone say Spencer is a creationist too?”

Yes, Spencer himself.

He’s said that the bible has more scientific rigour in Genesis than current science does.

I don’t have a problem with him believing God created things, nor with him believing anything.

But when he says that, he’s abandoning science. He should either avoid that realm entirely for comment (religion is a private matter) or refuse to call himself a scientist in this matter and aver his opinion is as a christian and not as a scientist.

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:18 AM

898. So Weisman has discovered the ultimate AGW regulator? Guess we don’t have to worry any more. Phew!

Comment by Walter Manny — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:18 AM

899. CFU:

Enough other people have now explained why your rush to judgement was wrong. If you still can’t figure out why, then clearly you aren’t paying attention (which was the very root of my complaint).

But you will ignore this, as you ignore the substance of everything, and respond with some weird half-formed thought. However, when you do so, do not expect a reply.

Comment by Didactylos — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:18 AM

900. Ike, your charm is more effective than your bristles at making people eager to learn. I realize that just because I’m on your side doesn’t mean you want to be on mine. But do try to play to the audience who may mistake your charming acerbity for something less educationally useful.

This named topic — not the overarching issue, but this particular thread here — is about the CRU 2nd (of three) reports. There will be a 3rd one soon. We’re way off topic, I thanked Gavin for tolerating it.
Ok? I don’t mean you’re off your topic.

I didn’t say “21 years” — someone did who read Bob Grumbine’s site, and needed a bit more help. Focus on who asks, and what the reader needs.

On your other points, yes, of course; they all bear repeating, but not so loud everywhere that the details aren’t understood. Please don’t jump on new people here who are willing to ask and learn details.

People do need help to understand why the statistics is done as it is, why particular timespans or numbers of data points are needed to do the calculations.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:18 AM

901. > AMSU
Philip, I don’t know of course, but I see some reports on how it’s checked.
Here’s one from a few months ago: http://www.cawcr.gov.au/staff/pxs/wmoda5/Oral/Tsyrulnikov.pdf

It might suggest someone to ask.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:21 AM

902. Gilles says: I don’t speak about gross estimates of the equilibrium temperatures, I’m speaking about spontaneous fluctuations of a fraction of degree. Where are the ENSO, the PDO, or the AMO, in BPL’s calculations ?

But you will agree that we do know how to calculate equilibrium temperatures with some skill, even for exotic atmospheres like Titan.

Re the internal oscillatory modes, these emerge as energy moves around within the climate system. You mentioned nonlinear oscillations in an earlier post; check out the late Barry Saltzmann’s work in Dynamical Paleoclimatology.

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:38 AM

903. Pan or Homo?
It can be and has been argued that only one genus is justified, pick your name.

Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:42 AM

904. #879 John, you may be confident, OK that’s your opinion. But confidence is, in part, based in the accuracy of instruments you use. And you still haven’t resolved the difference between accuracy and confidence. How can you say the ice area/extent has increased say 50,000 sq. km., when the accuracy of your system is say 5%, or 500,000 sq. km. If I presented that to government auditors, I would be laughed off the podium, unless I gave a list of qualifiers presenting the change in true perspective.

I will agree the last few uptick years in Arctic sea ice are only a short term trend, but we only have about 30 years of reasonably accurate data on sea ice. So the decline from 1979-2007, and recent uptick might just be part of a cycle. So I would not suggest betting the farm, on a ice free Arctic sea. I would suggest talking to someone knowledgeable in Metrology.

#853 Barton
Barton, I understand all that, but remember one thing, albedo’s are not constant. Take snow cover as a simple case.The albedo can change by a factor of 2 depending on the terrain and composition of the snow, assuming say a clear sky. Adding clouds and particulates of varying degree, you can have a significant variation. Since most of the earth’s surface is water, water can have a even larger variations. So while the physical laws are great, those parameters, like albedos, are more then a little problem. And that’s just one parametric value.

Comment by J. Bob — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:51 AM

905. but look at the ice data for 24 April 2010 v. say 24 April 1979 at Cryosphere Today ??

Comment by Bill — 24 Apr 2010 @ 11:43 AM

906. http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=04&fd=24&fy=1979&sm=04&sd=24&sy=2010
How do we explain this?

Comment by Bill — 24 Apr 2010 @ 12:02 PM

907. CFU wrote: “We are genus Pan…”

BPL: “No, we are genus Homo …”

May I suggest that using E-Prime might clarify this discussion?

Comment by SecularAnimist — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:19 PM

908. Some ordinary people [informal survey] now think GW is humorous. This is a really bad sign.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 24 April 2010 @ 4:54 AM
——
REPLY: To all RC participants….I first learned of climate change issues at the University of Illinois/Urbana in 1974, and began working on mitigation of agricultural methane releases in 1979, so I was in this quite early. I’m one of you.

However, you MUST be very careful when communicating your fears and conclusions to the lay public! When the comedians start to weigh in (as they are presently), it is the beginning of a long slide downwards. The past winter, which saw the entire UK island blanketed in snow and ice, did immeasurable harm to your cause among the common people.

People scare easily, and generally, they can be trusted to do the correct thing when given sober advice and the tools of democracy. Look at the amazing popularity of smoking bans in the USA and Europe for example, these are generating some real, measurable public health gains.

There is no easy/quick substitute to fossil carbon fuel, the energy density of most alternatives is far too low, and in general, the population is not prepared for drastic measures. Nuclear energy is decades away from being a contributor, especially in the USA, where we have no coherent plan to manage high-level radioactive waste.

Perhaps the biggest problem I foresee is the emergence of China to the world stage, they consider past carbon to be a legacy issue and demand their turn in order to build their society and advance. I don’t necessarily agree, but it is an understandable viewpoint.

In conclusion….tone down the panic, we yet have time to work on this through new, developing technologies (efficient lighting, smart grid etc.). Don’t make stupid claims about dying polar bears etc., because when they are shown to be wrong, the public will NOT forget easily! Work tirelessly to police your own science, my fellow scientists and I are quite embarrassed about the sloppiness and carelessness of data treatment by Dr. Jones of the CRU, inclusion of non-peer reviewed grey literature in AR4, and other mistakes.

The world is worth saving, embrace your skeptical critics and find common ground.

Comment by CRS — 24 Apr 2010 @ 1:47 PM

909. Ike Solem: “The comment that “Bob Grumbine’s analysis shows that internal variability stops influencing trends at about 21 years” is some serious nonsense right there”

Sorry, poor choice of words. The 21 years specifically relates to trend lengths of 21 years, and perhaps “dominating” would have been better than “influencing”.

The point of this discussion was that Simon Abingdon felt that the choice of 30 years to define climate was “arbitrary” (his word, not mine).

My point is that while the exact number 30 may be arbitrary, there is nothing arbitrary about the fact it has to be a reasonably long number.

Grumbine’s analysis looked at trends of various lengths in the temperature series, and concluded that at trends of 21 years or longer, the proportion of variance that is due to the internal variability of the system reaches a point where it no longer dominates the trend. In other words, for the temperature series, if you want to look at trends that reflect long term changes – such as the warming trends of the last 150 years – then you need to use a trend length of at least 21 years.

So the number 30, which was arbitrarily chosen by WMO (and applies to all climatic data, not just temperature), is borne out as being a good choice by applying statistical techniques that were not available when WMO made that choice (and long before there was any suggestion of global warming).

It’s kind of annoying to have to spell this out in so much detail when it has been gone through over and over again.

I still want to hear from Simon Abingdon why he believes that 30 is not a good choice, and that 1 year trends would be just as good for determining climate. Well, Simon?

Comment by CTG — 24 Apr 2010 @ 3:00 PM

910. Judith Curry endorsed this as a fair summary of what she meant by ‘corruption’ — http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/comment-page-2/#comment-3141

Given that she’s criticizing the process — not individuals.
I suggested there and at Stoat focusing on the process.

It’d be strange if everyone concerned couldn’t agree to work on, or at least talk about, the process. At least everyone who wants it to work.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Apr 2010 @ 3:48 PM

911. Chris #876

“Roy Spencer has not proven anything. His argument concerning climate changes brought about internally is simply not convincing. There is no mechanism, and “the system is complex” is not an acceptable answer. ”

Again why is the idea that a signal or long term pattern can emerge from what is initially a totally chaotic system surprising or implausible?  There are countless examples in nature of this.  And really to me it’s a very weak signal that we are even talking about.  If you would have told me 5 years ago that the measured average yearly worldwide surface temperature has only changed less then one degree over the course of 100 years I would have been surprised it was so stable!  If I took a group of  people and put them in a room and raised or lowered the temperature by 1 degree I doubt most of them would detect a change.   How this minute change has supposedly already caused an endless list worldwide problems me seems like a severe exaggeration.

The theory of anthropogenic CO2 forcing seems like an unneeded and awkward attempt at defining the cause of problem that really doesn’t seem like much of a problem and doesn’t seem to require a definable cause.  If this is true it means that a whole lot of people have wasted a whole lot of time and most importantly a whole lot of the publics money.  This is not a joke.  If you guys want to separate people from their money and their freedom you’re gonna need to bring your A game.  What I have seen so far, especially that steaming pile of dung of an IPCC report is not even close.

Comment by Sam — 24 Apr 2010 @ 5:07 PM

912. Gilles N°885, what is it you are talking about,I can’t follow, and I’m pretty sure I am not the only one. Your digression about the Icelandic volcano looks like a heap of horse manure to me.

Comment by François — 24 Apr 2010 @ 5:38 PM

913. Sam, what you do believe about the world, how you know what you believe, and what sources you rely on for what you believe?

Do you believe scientists in general “want to separate people from their money and their freedom” on other issues, in school or other parts of life?

Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Apr 2010 @ 6:07 PM

914. Sam (911) — As I am confident that other regulars here will offer suggestions of what you might read to begin learning about climate, I’ll simple recommend the book I first read, climatologist W.F. Ruddiman’s popular “Plows, Plagues and Petroleum”. My favorite comment about the book is from an attorney. “At last, a book about climate that I can understand!”

Comment by David B. Benson — 24 Apr 2010 @ 6:12 PM

915. For Sam — I just quoted this over at Stoat’s blog, but it’s a good question I think. Can you say how you read this?

“In our constitutional democracy an informed public must be able to judge the performance of those they elect. This requires a triangle comprised of political institutions, the community of experts, and a responsible public, all of whom are well informed. How will the public become informed about energy policy, for example? Studies tell us the public strongly supports energy independence, new sustainable sources, and incentives for energy efficiency. But fewer than half of those interviewed could name a renewable energy source or a fossil fuel, raising the question of how firm the public’s views are. Studies show, however, that people make judgments based primarily on their values, belief systems, world views, and emotions. Facts play a much more minor role. This gap cannot be bridged by loading the public with facts, or trying to make the public more science literate. How should scientists deal with this awkward reality?”

Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Apr 2010 @ 6:29 PM

916. Sam wrote: “How this minute change has supposedly already caused an endless list worldwide problems me seems like a severe exaggeration. The theory of anthropogenic CO2 forcing seems like an unneeded and awkward attempt at defining the cause of problem that really doesn’t seem like much of a problem and doesn’t seem to require a definable cause.”

If you wish to remedy your ignorance and get a clue about the actual science of anthropogenic climate change, this site is a great place for you to read up on it and ask questions.

If you want to slavishly regurgitate inane, ludicrous conspiracy theories spoon-fed to you by the phony “conservative” media about a vast world-wide hoax perpetrated by thousands of scientists scheming to take away “your money and your freedom”, and to aggressively maintain your willful ignorance, not so much.

Comment by SecularAnimist — 24 Apr 2010 @ 6:34 PM

917. Gee, Sam, you sure seem to be passionate about your point of view. However, you haven’t brought any interesting scientific evidence to the table to defend it, from what I can see. And no one of import is acknowledging your brilliant observations about chaotic systems. Such a shame.

Did you know that Washo the chimp could use sign language to call her keepers a pile of green dung when she was unhappy with them?

Comment by SteveP — 24 Apr 2010 @ 6:56 PM

918. #911

How this minute change has supposedly already caused an endless list worldwide problems me seems like a severe exaggeration.

[My italics]. ‘Science = common sense’

is a false equation. If it had been correct the ancients would have been able to understand the world and they utterly failed. What your ‘common sense’ (i.e pre-scientific) intuition overlooks is that this warming has been communicated to the top layer of the oceans and that that requires an enormous amount of energy. Please look at the data for the top 700 m of water here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling.htm

As a a simple excercise I suggest that you work out the cost of doing that with electricity at current prices. After that you could try to find data for the ice which has melted and add that to your calculation. Just one consequence of that warming is the rapid dying of the world’s coral.

It may not be common sense, but the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere increases roughly exponentially with absolute temperature It can thus be shown that the few degrees warming which accompany a retreating ice sheet is also accompanied by a large increase in the world’s rainfall i.e. a big change in climate; another effect which may not be obvious until you learn the science.
Of course there was also the change in geography caused by the rise in sea level.

The same graph totally contradicts your other ‘common sense’ conclusion which is that the climate looks stable. There is no easy way to get rid of all that additional energy. It is going up relentlessly.

Comment by Geoff Wexler — 24 Apr 2010 @ 7:01 PM

919. Sam,
Gee, I don’t know how to break this to you, but there is more to science than whether it surprises you. You would probably be surprised to know that the speed of light is constant in all reference frames regardless of motion or that the vacuum can exert a force on an object. See, Sam, there’s this thing called evidence–and you and your buddy Roy don’t have any.

A couple of tips:

1)Energy is conserved. When you see temperature in a VERY LARGE system like the climate rising even just a wee bit over an extended period of time, it says that very large amounts of energy are being added. “It just happened,” is the excuse of a teenager, not a scientific theory.
2)There is no “theory of anthropogenic CO2 forcing”. There is the consensus model of Earth’s climate and an unfortunate and inevitable consequence of that theory is that when humans add a powerful greenhouse gas to the atmosphere they will warm the planet. This has been known and accepted for 114 years.
3)Your surprise or lack thereof can be explained a whole lot more by your ignorance than by any characteristic of the climate system.
4)Come back when you grow up.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Apr 2010 @ 7:13 PM

920. Re 877 Ike Solem says:
…””internal variability stops influencing trends at about 21 years” is some serious nonsense right there – particularly since orbital precession is an example of “internal variability” (in Earth orbital parameters) that influences climate trends on a timescale of thousands of years.”

Since the effects of climate on the Earth’s tilt and orbit are quite minor …

(at least outside of butterfly effects that might be realized over ? years (many many millions? – a shift in climate might cause a change in celestial mechanical ‘weather’ (redistribution of mass affects the tidal torques …) but not as much a change in celestial mechanical ‘climate’),

… I think it’s better not to identify those as part of internal variability with respect to climate.

Comment by Patrick 027 — 24 Apr 2010 @ 7:29 PM

921. Gilles@884, That’s all very nice, except we weren’t talking about the sun, were we? We were talking “global” temperature, and last time I looked at a globe, it was a model of Earth, my home planet, though perhaps not yours.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Apr 2010 @ 7:35 PM

922. Titus @874 says, “Spencer’s book is explicitly talking about ‘climate scientists’.”

Well, except the conclusions of the IPCC have been endorsed by physicists, geophysicists, chemists, statisticans, national scientific academies… Not one major professional or honorific organization of scientists dissents. So, he is addressing the entire scientific community, but then given his endorsement of Intelligent Design, that is not an unaccustomed position for him.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Apr 2010 @ 7:40 PM

923. Sorry if it has been brought up before, but with respect to the committe´s finding of the “regrettable neglect” in failing to show in the reports the uncertainties concerning the divergence problem from the published papers:

Looking at the MBH99 Hockey stick from GRL:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/millennium-camera.pdf

compared to the presentation in the IPCC TAR-report´s “Summary for policymakers,

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/pdf/WG1_TAR-FRONT.pdf

they look almost exactly the same to me. Am I missing something, or is there no significant difference?

And besides, the divergence problem is anything but hidden in the relevant Chapter 2 of the TAR-report. Could it be that there were very little to even this moderate critique from the otherwise generous Oxburgh report?

Comment by Christoffer Bugge Harder — 24 Apr 2010 @ 8:47 PM

924. Re Sam 911 –

“Again why is the idea that a signal or long term pattern can emerge from what is initially a totally chaotic system surprising or implausible?”

1. We know there are places that are rainforests and deserts and coral reefs – to some extent this places limits on how much climate has changed recently. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; there are paleoclimatic studies. The climate system has some heat capacity and it requires some radiative imbalance to add or remove heat in total.

2. Why should it be surprising that additional CO2 would cause climate change? The optical properties can be measured in the lab and the effects in the atmosphere are varifiable from satellites; combine this with the established relationships of photon emission and temperature, and an actual understanding (as opposed to some magical concept) of how convection works, and it is obvious that adding CO2 should cause some surface+tropospheric warming. There are feedbacks – they are not known precisely but they are known at least in part, so that a climate sensitivity around 3 K/doubling CO2 or equivalent forcing and efficacy, give or take ~ 1 K, seems a reasonable expectation. Far from unneeded and awkard, it necessarily follows from established physics and observations.

3. “If I took a group of people and put them in a room and raised or lowered the temperature by 1 degree I doubt most of them would detect a change.” 1 degree F or C ? Are any of them near the freezing point with ice cubes in ice water? Are some of these people located where the warming is concentrated? The feedbacks are not distributed evenly; their is an expected pattern of warming that fits the observations; a pattern of warming from uneven feedbacks will cause changes in winds and latent heating; weather patterns shift. The range between the last ice age and recent times is only about 6 deg C or so in the global average.

4.”If you guys want to separate people from their money and their freedom”
What about the money and freedom of people who are contributing less than the average per capita CO2(eq) emissions? What about the people who live where the effects will be worse than average? What about people in the future? Regulating such pollution can protect rights. Would you want your neighbor dumping his/her dog’s you-know-what in your yard? Would you allow your neighbor the freedom and economic benefit of that option? A market works best generally if the costs and benifits of an action are realized by the those who make the decision to take that action; therefore proper regulation is good for the total wealth of all people. At least some of the people who try to defend the ‘free market’ from proposed climate policies clearly have poor understanding of economics.

“you’re gonna need to bring your A game.”

Done.

“What I have seen so far, especially that steaming pile of dung of an IPCC report is not even close.”

If you want steaming piles of dung, look at what the contrarians have. To the extent that they have anything true, it isn’t anything not included the mainstream science. They take a picture of a mountain, point at the corner of the picture where there is no sky, and proclaim that the mountain does not exist. They implicitly assume uncertainty can only work in one direction and shift the burden of proof away from their extradinary claims back to what has already been established. They take facts out of context and cherry-pick data, and they construct arguments that strain logic and expel Occam’s razor (why try a strained alternative explanation to substitute an explanation that is, scientifically, convenient), and sometimes they just make stuff up.

Comment by Patrick 027 — 24 Apr 2010 @ 8:53 PM

925. Ray Ladbury @922 you say:

“Not one major professional or honorific organization of scientists dissents”.

So what? Where would we be today if everybody adopted this attitude. Certainly not science as I understand it.

And how did ‘Intelligent Design’ creep in? And again, so what? Some of the most influential scientists in all our history have had all manner of personal beliefs. Good on them; it appears to improve perspective.

And how did the IPCC creep in? Let’s stay on subject and we may get somewhere.

What do you think of the content of his published work? You now have an opportunity to question it through the scientific process.

Comment by Titus — 24 Apr 2010 @ 9:23 PM

926. Why do you guys seem to equate my not agreeing with your theories about climate to me not knowing anything about climate or science?  You are beginning to sound like broken records.

Specifically the primary reason why I am not convinced by the theory of AGW is that the estimates of climate sensitivity seem to be well… Estimates!  To me this is the elephant in the room and without a real value for it all your dire predictions are hard to take seriously.  Without feedbacks CO2 concentration doubling simply cant cause much warming.  So if climate sensitivity is low or near zero then we dont have much to fear, correct? I have looked at what I think is every way it has been estimated and each method has a huge range and most seem to be based on historical data that could have very limited precision to be kind.  The “consensus” estimate is 3 degrees….. Consensus?! Is this like a beauty pageant where judges get to vote on the value of a constant??  My stubborn refusal to be convinced by AGW theory does not stem from not understanding enough about it. I think the opposite is true — although I harbor no illusions that most of y’all will strongly disagree with me.

Comment by Sam — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:29 PM

Comment by Edward Greisch — 24 Apr 2010 @ 10:53 PM

928. CFU @ 851:

It doesn’t have to pay for the research, it just has to pay TOWARD research.

And the 880M doesn’t come from my taxes, so it’s not costing me any tax money.

Springer is a =publishing= house. That 880 million euros figure is what Springer, the publishing house, collected in total sales, from all of its PUBLISHING activities.

Unless you can find some line item in Springer’s books which says that they are kicking back the money to researchers, it’s you that’s sadly mistaken.

Comment by FurryCatHerder — 24 Apr 2010 @ 11:22 PM

929. You know, Leonardo da Vinci was an extremely intelligent, extremely focussed, extremely logical, extremely observant mind.

But if you read his notebooks, he was also wrong an awful lot. Wrong on optics, wrong on the circulation of the blood, and on and on. Sometimes, “not even wrong.”

Not his fault; he didn’t have nearly as many of “the shoulders of giants” to stand on as we (or even as Newton, who uttered the quote about “giants.”)

Even in the 16th century, it wasn’t really enough to look around with the eyes of common sense and reason closely–not even if you were really, really good at those things, as Leonardo undoubtedly was.

Today, it’s much more futile. You have to learn the basics, as many here have pointed out, and build context from there. That’s why papers so often start with a survey of the literature–context.

Comment by Kevin McKinney — 24 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 PM

930. #904 J. Bob

I did not present my confidence but you overlooked that. The methods of measuring the thickness are many, including freeboard measurements from direct observations, satellites and sonar above on and below the ice. The combined assessments yield high confidence, as stated by Walt from NSIDC.

The fact that you choose to ignore facts in context invalidates your opinion on the matter since you are obviously not examining the evidence in context of the overarching and related science and observations on the matter. You are cherry picking the perspective to fit a preconceived agenda of ‘we don’t know’. Pathetic on all levels.

If you actually work for a government and do not present the relevant context of what is happening with global warming then you should be fired.

Since I know you don’t know the relevant context, you should be fired.

No person whose responsibility it is to report to government on this issue should ignore the relevant context. Any who do should be fired.

Any politician who ignores the relevant context should be exposed for such ignorance and should not be re-elected.

It’s simple, if it is your responsibility to present facts in evidence and relevant context and you don’t, then you don’t belong in any such position of responsibility.

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Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:05 AM

931. “But you will agree that we do know how to calculate equilibrium temperatures with some skill, even for exotic atmospheres like Titan.”
Of course, if “some skill” means within an accuracy of 10°C or so. I’m speaking of fluctuations in the observed range (a few tenths of degrees) during the observed timespan (a few decades) : you cannot easily dismiss that a natural cycle could produce that , or at less contribute significantly to it. Why do you think that even the IPCC estimate of climate sensitivity has still an inaccuracy of more a factor 2 ? Why do you think that Judy Curry issued : ” I think the confidence levels in the IPCC are too high and uncertainties have been inadequately characterized: much of what is in the IPCC WG2 report (impacts), the 20th century external climate forcings, the historical surface temperature record prior to 1960, attribution of the 20th century climate variations (including the role of the multidecadal ocean oscillations)”??

Multidecadal ocean oscillations ? what the hell is she speaking about ? does she ignore radiative balance and cosine law ???
Ray ladbury : although I must admit that I am much more sensitive to my local temperature than to the global one (the fact that Arctic was 5°C warmer this winter, being “only” – 15 °C instead of – 20 °C didn’t heat a lot my house for instance) , I am really speaking about global temperature.

Comment by Gilles — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:51 AM

932. 911 Sam: We know about something like 2 dozen civilizations that have already crashed in the past due to much smaller climate changes than the one that we have already made [1.4 degrees in 2 centuries]. We know that we are causing it because we measured the optical properties of gasses. Oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to infrared. Carbon dioxide is opaque to infrared. We know that Venus has a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere and the temperature on Venus is over 800 degrees. There is no life on Venus. Carbon dioxide [CO2] is definitely the cause of global warming. We have measured the CO2 every day for many years. Satellites and ground stations measure the temperature all over the world. The world average may be doing something different than what the temperature is doing where you are. We are not depending on one data source, but many. They all agree. CO2 is the problem and it doesn’t take a big change to disrupt civilization.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:52 AM

933. RL:”1)Energy is conserved. When you see temperature in a VERY LARGE system like the climate rising even just a wee bit over an extended period of time, it says that very large amounts of energy are being added.”

Sorry again and again, but even if you didn’t understand my explanation, this is still wrong, for a numbers of reasons. Energy is NOT temperature, that’s the first thing you learn in thermodynamics. Even more here because you measure a surface temperature which is not a volume integral. I gave you already examples (red giants, volcano), to show that surface temperatures can raise without input energy, or the opposites, there are plenty of similar cases : a heap of hot ashes for example has LESS energy than the cold wood that existed before since a lot has been lost during its burning. Another example : imagine a plate of copper illuminated by the sun at some distance, reaching the famous equilibrium temperature computed by BPL. Now couple it with a heat pump that cools one half of the plate and heats the other half with MORE energy since it adds the electric power used to power the pump. There is obviously an input of energy (the pump); however due to T^4 dependance of radiance, the increase of temperature of the hot part will be lower than the decrease of the cold part, and the surface average can well decrease (that is probably the case for helium-cooled infrared telescopes like Herschel (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=16) although I didn’t compute precisely its average surface temperature.

Your argument is based on the naive picture of an isothermal, constant capacity earth. Of course we can expect this a crude approximation, and not so false. But it is just not accurate enough to deal with the current variations (a few tenth of degrees in some decades). I’m surprised that a physicist like you speak of “VERY LARGE system and EXTENDED period of time. Ghosh , large with respect to WHAT ? the question of significance is much more relevant.

The funny thing is that you use this very implicit argument when saying that the warming can apparently slow or even stop during some decades because of “natural variability” – although the energy is supposed to have increased anyway ?

Comment by Gilles — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:16 AM

934. “Springer is a =publishing= house. That 880 million euros figure is what Springer, the publishing house, collected in total sales, from all of its PUBLISHING activities.”

And that doesn’t cost be anything.

None of my taxes go there.

So how is your delusion my tax problem?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:32 AM

935. “Enough other people have now explained why your rush to judgement was wrong.”

Uh, no they haven’t.

Agree or disagree?

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:46 AM

936. Part 2: if you agree, does the “sexing up” of a story by a controversial headline make the science that is in the ACTUAL STORY wrong?

Yes/No

Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:47 AM

937. CFU (895): Study taxonomy and english, BPL.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo : Pan Paniscus.
Chimpanzee: Pan Troglodytes
Chimp is not Pan.
Chimp is Pan Troglodytes.

BPL: Study primatology, CFU. Pan paniscus is the “pygmy chimpanzee.” Pan troglodytes is the regular chimpanzee. Pan is the genus for chimpanzees. They are not a species, they are a genus with two known species. Similar, Homo is not a species, but a genus. There have been half a dozen species with that genus (Homo habilis, ergaster, erectus, Neanderthalensis, flores, sapiens). Homo is the human genus. The two are very different morphologically.

[Response: This is too tedious. Chimp talk is OT. – gavin]

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 5:51 AM

938. CRS (908): my fellow scientists and I are quite embarrassed about the sloppiness and carelessness of data treatment by Dr. Jones of the CRU, inclusion of non-peer reviewed grey literature in AR4, and other mistakes.

BPL: Which “fellow scientists” would those be?

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:02 AM

939. Sam (911): The theory of anthropogenic CO2 forcing seems like an unneeded and awkward attempt at defining the cause of problem that really doesn’t seem like much of a problem and doesn’t seem to require a definable cause.

BPL: But you don’t know the first thing about radiative transfer, do you?

Sam: If this is true it means that a whole lot of people have wasted a whole lot of time and most importantly a whole lot of the publics money.

BPL: If this were true it might be true, except that the money the world spends on scientific research is trivial compared to, say, military spending, or even building fast-food joints.

Sam: This is not a joke. If you guys want to separate people from their money and their freedom you’re gonna need to bring your A game.

BPL: Yes, we’re all about separating people from their money and their freedom. By the way, Sam… one of us is standing right behind you RIGHT NOW!!!

Sam: What I have seen so far, especially that steaming pile of dung of an IPCC report is not even close.

BPL: It would help to actually study the subject.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:18 AM

940. Sam (926): Why do you guys seem to equate my not agreeing with your theories about climate to me not knowing anything about climate or science?

BPL: Because of the vast ignorance of the entire field betrayed by your every post.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:23 AM

941. Gilles (931): I’m speaking of fluctuations in the observed range (a few tenths of degrees) during the observed timespan (a few decades)

BPL: 160 years of measurements is not “a few decades.” It’s sixteen (16) decades. When people say “a few” in English they rarely mean more than ten, and usually three-six.

The temperature trend is up, very statistically significantly (p < 0.01). Something's causing it. We have a good idea as to what.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:27 AM

942. Gilles (933): the question of significance is much more relevant.

BPL: I just regressed Hadley CRU dT on year (i.e., elapsed time) for 1850-2008. The positive coefficient on the year term had Student’s t = 16.11, which is significant at the 4.4 x 10-35 level. THAT is significance, mon frere.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:32 AM

943. Gilles,
We are talking about Earth’s climate, which I hope you will agree is large–at least once you visit Earth. So, either come up with a mechanism for how the climate (surface, oceans, troposphere) can warm without energy input. Failing that, quit trolling. Your sole goal for 4 months now has been to derail discussions. I have yet to see you offer anything of worth to any discussion here.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:35 AM

944. Sam@926,
Actually, it is not your disagreement with climate science that makes us think you are ignorant, it is the fact that you have formed opinions with
1)zero knowledge of the evidence
2)a straw-man idea of the theories that is just flat wrong
3)no knowledge of how science is done
4)no knowledge of what scientific consensus is
5)noscientific training

Let’s take your example of climate sensitivity. There are about a dozen separate lines of evidence that give us climate sensitivity estimates. Do you know ANY of them? Do you know that ALL of them yield an estimate of about 3 degrees per doubling? Do you know enough about science to realize how remarkable that level of agreement is?

Now, let’s look at scientific consensus? Do you know what it is or how it is defined? It ain’t a vote. Rather it is the set of tools, theories, techniques and ideas that are so indispensible to understanding the phenomenon under study that you cannot make progress (e.g. publish in peer reviewed journals) without it. There has been consensus that CO2 is a greenhouse gas since the 1850s. There has been consensus that anthropogenic CO2 ought to warm the planet since the 1950s. You have a lot of catching up to do, Sam, before anyone with any knowledge will take your opinion seriously. Maybe start by reading up on the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:51 AM

945. Titus, First, when every major scientific organization that reviews the findings in a field agrees with them, that ought to tell you something. Second, intelligent design is not science. It can never be science. I can prove mathematically that it can never be science. The fact that Spencer seems to think that ID is a credible scientific alternative to evolution suggests some fuzziness on what constitutes the scientific method.

Now as to Spencer’s work, if we check out Jim Prall’s database of climate publications and citations, we see that Roy ranks fairly far down the list–most of the work cited has to do with the UAH temperature time series. There is not much in his record that would indicate a deep understanding of climate as a whole. We also note that he hasn’t published much of late, other than a couple of posters. And if the reason he hasn’t been publishing in journals was to work on his book–what a waste! From the exerpts I’ve read, it is excrable.

So, in sum, there isn’t much that distinguishes Roy from an average climate scientist–other than the fact that he rejects the prevailing theory of Earth’s climate and has proposed no viable alternative beyond saying “it just happens”.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 7:27 AM

946. Steven Sullivan — 20 April 2010 @ 10:36 AM

Oops, my last post was obviously written before I’d seen Curry’s post later in the thread, where she cited Montford. What a shame.”

I seem to be the only person who has read this book by Montford. Everyone else takes the view that there is no need to respond to the points in the book as “Why should we respond to every skeptic crank?” The above quote is even prepared to write Judith Curry off because she cited a book, which no one is prepared to read! My academic field is not climate science, but I have spent the last few weeks trying to get at least a reasonable overview of the key issues. I am not a denier, but the reason why the debate surrounding the hockey stick *is* important is that is has been rammed down our throats as justification for potentially dramatic policy measures which are going to cost us taxpayers and energy consumers a great deal of money in the coming years. It is also a window into the science for those of us coming from outside. The point is, if this, the most highly publicized finding, is dodgy, then it makes one question the whole way climate science is done, or at the very least, the way it is transmitted to us great unwashed through the IPCC.
To be honest, much of what is written about in Montford’s book is pretty mind boggling; it documents fairly convincingly a large number of problems with the way this body of research has been done. No doubt there is another side to the story that can be told and it would be nice to hear it so one can take a more balanced overall view. But there is little doubt that way the data was not made public (when it could easily have been), certainly not released to the ‘other’ side is shocking (in my field data must be made available, no question). I don’t think the book is brilliantly written – I have a number of problems in places. Nor do I really think that the veracity or otherwise of the hockey stick is that important for the warming debate. But even if it’s only half accurate, you cannot run a science like this!

[Response: You are right – you do not run science through criticisms in books that few people have read. Instead you write papers and submit them to the peer review process where hopefully they can be checked for validity, relevance and logical coherence before being made available to the whole community. Until that happens where are the valid issues that the community is supposed to respond to? – gavin]

Comment by Roger — 25 Apr 2010 @ 7:34 AM

947. “Energy is NOT temperature,…” Gilles — 25 April 2010 @ 1:16 AM
Are you saying that when a plate of copper is illuminated by the sun, “reaching the famous equilibrium temperature”, that temperature but not energy is being transferred by photons?

Comment by Brian Dodge — 25 Apr 2010 @ 8:14 AM

948. BPL :”The temperature trend is up, very statistically significantly (p < 0.01). Something's causing it. We have a good idea as to what."

"something" is very vague, so it cannot be nothing but true. But tell me, for instance, which "something" caused exactly the absence of solar spots during the Maunder minimum? was there a deficit of input energy, and if not, what else?

Again I do not claim that CO2 is not producing an increase of temperature. I say that it is not obvious that the observed variation cannot be due to anything but an increase of the forcing : it's incorrect to state "but it is an obvious consequence of the conservation of energy " : it is not. And definitely the amount of variation due to CO2 and to natural cycles is NOT easy to ascertain with simple calculations -although it is critical to fix the exact sensitivity to CO2.

It is rather strange that people admiring the huge work made by climate scientists do also believe they can prove this complicated stuff by some back-of-the-envelope computation and some rapidly made correlations posted on blogs. If it were that easy , we wouldn't need climate scientists.

"Are you saying that when a plate of copper is illuminated by the sun, “reaching the famous equilibrium temperature”, that temperature but not energy is being transferred by photons?"
I'm not saying that, i'm saying that climate is not as simple as a plate of copper.

Comment by Gilles — 25 Apr 2010 @ 8:47 AM

949. the above quote is even prepared to write Judith Curry off because she cited a book […]

I wrote Curry off because she showered us with nebulous unsubstantiated charges and morganantic advice and then left. If her academic work were that shoddy, Georgia Tech would fire her.

Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:03 AM

950. Sam #911

“Again why is the idea that a signal or long term pattern can emerge from what is initially a totally chaotic system surprising or implausible? There are countless examples in nature of this. And really to me it’s a very weak signal that we are even talking about. If you would have told me 5 years ago that the measured average yearly worldwide surface temperature has only changed less then one degree over the course of 100 years I would have been surprised it was so stable! If I took a group of people and put them in a room and raised or lowered the temperature by 1 degree I doubt most of them would detect a change. How this minute change has supposedly already caused an endless list worldwide problems me seems like a severe exaggeration. ”

So on the one hand we have a group of mathematical models of climate, based upon well-established physical principles. All of the models that are broadly consistent with what we know and have been able to deduce of the historical climate record predict substantial warming from current levels of CO2, and dangerous warming from anticipated levels of CO2. Nobody to date has been able to come up with a physical model of climate for which this is not the case. Existing temperature records exhibit a rise in average temperatures coinciding with the increase in CO2 released into the atmosphere by human activities, and this increase is in agreement with the predictions of these models regarding the influence of CO2 on climate.

So what do you offer as an alternative hypothesis? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like the following:
1. There is some unknown physical mechanism that limits the effect of atmospheric CO2 on global average temperature, such that the true effect of anticipated CO2 increases on global temperatures is negligible.
2. The observed rise in temperatures over the last century or so is due to some other unknown physical mechanism, which you speculate may have chaotic dynamics, which coincidentally has produced a rise in temperature that agrees with climate models. However, this rise in temperatures is temporary, and it is going to stop Real Soon Now, so we shouldn’t worry about it.

Comment by trrll — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:05 AM

951. #946–“the reason why the debate surrounding the hockey stick *is* important is that is has been rammed down our throats as justification for potentially dramatic policy measures which are going to cost us taxpayers and energy consumers a great deal of money in the coming years.”

Well, no, I don’t agree that it has. It “caught on” as a memorable image, no doubt, but it has never been presented as “the justification.” (Yes, I watched AIT.)

The “ramming down the throat” WRT the hockey stick has been done (or attempted) by deniers who tried to use it as a reason for not engaging the scientific evidence comprehensively. The Wegman report–which we are now finding, thanks to Deep Climate, to have been a set-up from the start (and heavily plagiaristic besides)–was treated as if it discredited the whole science.

Meanwhile, what has happened with the “hockey stick?” It’s been shown to have been essentially correct by multiple replications, now often presented together as a “spaghetti graph.”

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison_png

Comment by Kevin McKinney — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:11 AM

952. #930 John, how long and how much ice thickness data would you get hauling a “freeboard” across the Arctic? How much info has been published by US subs under the ice. Guess we will see what the new CryoStat satellite will give. Ice extent/area on the 1979-2006 average,
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

John, with all humility, the people I made those presentations to, probably had more smarts then you and me combined, and I still kept my job.

Comment by J. Bob — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:54 AM

953. BPL: I just regressed Hadley CRU dT on year (i.e., elapsed time) for 1850-2008.

you can regress it against Pluto anomaly as well…. again I’m NOT claiming that temperature is not increasing ! it is just the question of what precisely you have to prove before drawing any conclusion about what we should do. You know , I have always been disturbed by the kind of religious reasoning starting with “you don’t know why we are on Earth and how the Universe has been created” and ending with “… hence you must go the church every Sunday” !

Comment by Gilles — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:55 AM

954. Roger,
I have also not read Velikovsky. I have not read Michael Behe on Intelligent Design, nor have I bothered to delve into William Shockley’s theories about race (though I have read his original papers on semiconductors).
My question is this: Why publish your criticisms in a book? Why not air them in front of a knowledgeable audience of experts in the peer-reviewed literature? Do you honestly think that if the criticisms had merit that they would not receive a fair hearing among precisely those people who are most passionate about understanding Earth’s climate? Do you really think that even if somehow a particular community of thousands of scientists managed to wall itself off from reality that the claims could not get a fair hearing from prestiegeous independent scientific bodies like the Royal Society or the National Academies? Do you really think that professional societies would buy into faulty conclusions even when they threaten to diminish funding to the members of those very societies as we develop strategies to combat climate change? Do you really think that a paper over a dozen years old merits such focus? Do you perhaps wonder what the author is trying to draw your attention away from in asking such focus from you?

You talk about data being withheld from the “other side”. Unfortunately, from a scientific point of view, there is no other side for the simple reason that they do not publish. “It’s anything but CO2,” is not a credible scientific position. It is not a testable hypothesis. Climate science stands up quite well as science. It does so because no important conclusion is supported by only one paper or line of analysis, but rather by many independent lines of evidence. That, Sir, is precisely how you do reliable science–not by publishing screeds on line or in obscure books.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:05 AM

955. Sam wrote: “If you guys want to separate people from their money and their freedom you’re gonna need to bring your A game.”

You know something, Sam:

ExxonMobil and Koch Industries have certainly brought their “A game” to the table — an “A game” of deceit and denial and obstruction and delay which has very effectively kept lots of people like yourself misinformed about and hostile to the science of anthropogenic global warming — precisely in order to separate you from your money and your freedom.

Want to talk about money? ExxonMobil alone rakes in over ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY IN PROFIT from the consumption of fossil fuels. Every single day that they can keep people like you confused about AGW and thereby delay the urgently needed phase-out of their products, another $100 million in profit. Coming out of your pocket. Want to talk about freedom? How about freedom FROM dependence on costly, toxic, dangerous fossil fuels? How about freedom TO harvest a vast and endless supply of FREE wind and solar energy? How about freeing individuals, communities, businesses, factories and farms from endless indentured servitude to the fossil fuel corporations by accelerating the deployment of today’s powerful and rapidly improving renewable energy and efficiency technologies, so they can harvest their own supply of free energy from the wind and sun? I would suggest to you that not only have you been misled about the scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming and climate change, you have also been misled into believing that climate science is a threat to “your money and your freedom”, when in reality it is the very same fossil fuel corporations that are misleading you that are “separating you from your money and your freedom”. And they are threatening much more than “money and freedom” by perpetuating the use of their products — they are threatening the lives and well-being of billions of human beings, and indeed the survival of modern human civilization. Comment by SecularAnimist — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:09 AM 956. CFU — Okay, so you’re perfectly content with Springer-Verlag profiting from tax-payer funded climate research, and thereby keeping the information FROM the tax-payers, and preventing the information from being disseminated? Because one of my big gripes about climate research is that it seems like a closed little club where one of the longer term objectives is encouraging the train wreck, then saying “See, we told you so!” No other set of facts explains the existing behavior — including paywalling research papers and the fact-set associated with the present thread. Comment by FurryCatHerder — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 AM 957. Cracked: World’s Saddest Internet Argument Techniques Some people are so dumb that they think they can walk around naked and argue people into believing they have clothes on. These people have made their way to the internet… Comment by Jim Galasyn — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:34 AM 958. Gavin I was wondering what you think about all the new papers that are getting publiced about the MWP not being confined to the Nothern Hemispere? Further someone sent me this book about the arcticwich makes an interesting read: http://tinyurl.com/33jwdvr Comment by Ibrahim — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:45 AM 959. Sam: Come, let’s reason together, forgetting the crap language. If climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases is very low, then climate is much _less_ stable than we think. The forcings we know add up fairly well and getting better, for current events and in the paleo work. If it wasn’t greenhouse gas feedback that caused, say, the PETM excursion, as a recent worst case — then what did? And will it come back? And where is it hiding? You’re using a “devil is in the gaps” argument. It’s a scary idea. But it’s not likely the science is wrong. Look at the research. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/lindzen-and-choi-unraveled/ Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:47 AM 960. Could the tide be turning back to the average climatologists’ opinion? Good on him then. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/mar/29/youtube-climate-change-scepticism • “Your series on climate change is by far the best scientific, non-sensational piece I’ve ever seen on the subject. It clears up a lot of things that I’d been hearing about that I now realise were purposefully leaving things out. I can only hope more people adopt your non-partisan style of reporting facts in the future.” Comment by Mike Donald — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:49 AM 961. Ray Ladbury @945: So based on what you think about a persons beliefs and what your authorized list of folks say about the content of his latest work you make your pronouncement on it as being “execrable”. Okay. I can accept that. Comment by Titus — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:53 AM 962. Sam wrote @911: “the measured average yearly worldwide surface temperature has only changed less then one degree over the course of 100 years….. If I took a group of people and put them in a room and raised or lowered the temperature by 1 degree I doubt most of them would detect a change.”</em" The increase of "less than one degree" is the average of the increase over the entire surface of the globe, which means the increase has not been uniform everywhere on that surface. There has been much less than a one degree change in the tropics, for instance. Meanwhile, the increase at the poles has been several times higher than “less than one degree,” which is why we are observing the rapid decline of Artcic sea ice, the breakup of long-stable ice shelfs in the Arctic and Antarctic, and ice mass loss in Greenland and parts of Antarctica. Your hypothetical frog…., er, people, in the room may or may not notice a “less than one degree” change in am bient temperature, but they would certainly notice a change of ~4 degrees, which is what has been observed in the Arctic and is not quite as “minute” as you make it out to be. It is this kind of oversimplification and understating of the observed changes that causes people to conclude that you do not know much climate or science. Comment by Jim Eager — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:02 AM 963. Roger … To be honest, much of what is written about in Montford’s book is pretty mind boggling; it documents fairly convincingly a large number of problems with the way this body of research has been done. No doubt there is another side to the story that can be told and it would be nice to hear it so one can take a more balanced overall view. Has it dawned on you that perhaps Montford is LYING TO YOU? Has it ever dawned on you that, for instance, the tobacco industry has lied for decades regarding the science showing the harmfulness of their product? That creationists lie about how the science of evolutionary biology is conducted, and the evidence in support of modern understanding of the subject? Why do you take a book by someone like Montford at face value? Rather than read his book and then respond that gee, no doubt there’s another story that could be told, why not steer away from such crap in the first place? Conspiracy theories are rarely right, but quite frequently argued in terms that seem reasonable to people who are ignorant of the subject under discussion. Conspiracy theorists thrive on such ignorance, i.e. the argument that “jet fuel doesn’t burn at a temperature high enough to melt structural steel and the experts aren’t telling you this in their effort to hide the conspiracy that government agencies planted explosives that brought down the WTC and that the airplane was just a diversion” depends on the reader not understanding that the temperatures found within such a structural fire easily reach temps that weaken structural steel by 50% or more, which is sufficient to cause collapse. But the original statement sounds reasonable if you’re ignorant that you don’t have to actually melt structural steel, or even come close to that temperature, to cause it to fail to bear its designed load. People like Montford likewise prey on their reader’s ignorance of climate science. Don’t be so gullible. Rather than ask for people to spoon-feed you a rebuttal, why don’t you go read enough about the subject so you can rebut him yourself? Finding lies in Montford’s book isn’t likely to be hard, I first read his blog a couple of years ago and it was chock-full of them. Haven’t looked since. Won’t bother. But it’s not like he’s a particularly skilled liar. Comment by dhogaza — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:12 AM 964. “919 Ray Ladbury says: 24 April 2010 at 7:13 PM Sam, 1)Energy is conserved. When you see temperature in a VERY LARGE system like the climate rising even just a wee bit over an extended period of time, it says that very large amounts of energy are being added. “It just happened,” is the excuse of a teenager, not a scientific theory.” That is abnsolute twaddle and if you are the scientist you say you are you must know it. Why say it then? I hope you don’t actually believe that because it would indicate a very poor understanding of cyclical processes in dynamic systems. Are you claiming that glacial cycles and the significant changes in near surface temperatures are due to very large changes in energy input to the Earths system? Twaddle! Alan Comment by Alan Millar — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:13 AM 965. #911 Sam Weak signal? Radiative forcing has increased 3.6 W/m2 since pre-industrial time. How is that amount of energy added to the climate system weak? As to the steaming pile of dung you mentioned. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about, which also may explain why you are just another anonymous poster saying it’s all BS. The A game is on the table. But you have to bring something to the table also, a brain capable of understanding the contexts. Until you can bring that to the table you won’t understand much of anything. As far as material that is a steaming pile of dung take a look at your posts. Anonymous posters, such as yourself, that don’t have the guts, honor, or integrity, to use their legal names while posting garbage such as your words without any evidence whatsoever, other than your opinion. #926 Sam Pot meet Kettle. You clearly know very little about the relevant contexts involved. You have not looked at everything obviously and certainly not in context of reality. You see estimates are helpful. What if you car had variable gas mileage somewhere between .5 mpg and 23 mpg. And you have a 10 gallon tank, and you work 80 miles away. And the mileage varies at complete random, so some days you can make it to work and others you can’t. But that is not the way that works is it. You know generally how many mpg you can rely on even though mileage may vary. Estimates are not worthless. But what you are really missing is the observations. We are losing the Arctic multi-year ice. Glacial ice mass is dropping globally and rapidly on a geological time scale. Drought events are increasing and we are getting more named storms and storm strength of those storms is edging upward and we are getting more cat 5’s. Generally your entire post is confused with what looks like misinformation. GHG’s block infrared. Adding more, blocks more. Warmer oceans evaporate more water. H2O is a GHG. It seems that what you are trying to say is even though it is happening and it is observable, it is not happening because scientists use estimates. WEIRD, to say the least. You wisely realize that those more knowledgeable than yourself will disagree with the steaming pile of dung you have presented in your posts. A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’ Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/ Sign the Petition! http://www.climatelobby.com Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:35 AM 966. Sam: What I have seen so far, especially that steaming pile of dung of an IPCC report is not even close. Ah, Sam isn’t here for the education, he’s here for hate. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:38 AM 967. “927 Edward Greisch says: 24 April 2010 at 10:53 PM 911 Sam: If you had read the rest of the comments on the “Second CRU inquiry reports”, you would have received the answer to your question. The answer is: “It only takes a small change in the global average temperature to shift the wind and therefore the rainfall enough to disrupt agriculture. If agriculture is disrupted, people starve. When there is no food, civilizations collapse. When there is no food and civilization collapses, everybody or almost everybody dies.” Just one example of the ludicrous alarmism comments that are allowed to go unchallenged on this science (fiction?) site. Even if temperatures rise as much as forecast why is it disaster nearly everywhere on the planet? It will be an overall slightly warmer and slightly wetter planet, with increased CO2 all conditions which tend to be better for most carbon based lifeforms. For instance the Sahara, the largest ‘warm’ desert on the planet will become a much greener and pleasanter place for life. Just one example, there are many others. http://www.medindia.net/news/Climate-Changes-And-Increased-Rainfall-Greening-the-Sahara-Desert-Becoming-Green-Due-to-Climate-Change-55735-1.htm Alan Comment by Alan Millar — 25 Apr 2010 @ 11:39 AM 968. 919, Ray Ladbury: 2)There is no “theory of anthropogenic CO2 forcing”. And yet, humans have been recommended to reduce anthropogenic CO2. Perhaps you meant something nuanced like “the accepted model encompasses all CO2, and the theory is that anthropogenic CO2 is the fraction of CO2 that is increasing most rapidly, and that humans can delay and reduce warming by reducing their output of CO2.” 845, Ray Ladbury: Second, intelligent design is not science. It can never be science. I can prove mathematically that it can never be science. There’s lots of empirical evidence that the living things on earth do not conform to any articulated notion of intelligent design that can stand up to evidence and measurement. The statement that ID can be proved mathematically not to be science is hubristic: other mathematicians have proved that God exists, God is omnipotent and omniscient, and therefore that living things are intelligently designed. It’s all in the assumptions, such as (a) God doesn’t throw dice vs (b) God does throw dice. Newton proved the identity of the Anti-Christ, but that doesn’t impinge on his laws of motion, which are stated without proof. Comment by Septic Matthew — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:05 PM 969. “I am not a denier, but the reason why the debate surrounding the hockey stick *is* important is that is has been rammed down our throats as justification ” By denier propoganda. Not by the IPCC. “for potentially dramatic policy measures which are going to cost us taxpayers and energy consumers a great deal of money in the coming years.” Again denier propoganda. How can you complain of the hockey stick being rammed down “our” throats when you then ram down our throats the lie that this will cost us a great deal (which by inference means more than is justified)? Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:20 PM 970. Sam asks (926): “Why do you guys seem to equate my not agreeing with your theories about climate to me not knowing anything about climate or science?” and responds himself: “..the estimates of climate sensitivity seem to be well… Estimates!” and: “The “consensus” estimate is 3 degrees….. Consensus?! Is this like a beauty pageant where judges get to vote on the value of a constant??” Do you really think, that these statements indicate you know science or climate? Sam, on estimates and consensus, read: http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf That is a review, just in case you don’t realize it. Would you want to check, if the review is a correct summation of the science, go ahead, read the original articles. Have you really understood enough? What part of climate sensitivity is obscure to you? After reading, consider whether your with the explanatory remark “My stubborn refusal to be convinced by AGW theory does not stem from not understanding enough about it.” is credible? Comment by Petro — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:29 PM 971. Alan Millar says: 25 April 2010 at 11:39 AM very much hmmmm on that Med-India news items… yes the KNMI sats see greening in the Sahel and those on the ground know why… hundreds of years old water retention and fertilizing techniques being re-introduced having led to crops that produced food for about 20 million… it started in Burkina Faso. Comment by Sekerob — 25 Apr 2010 @ 12:59 PM 972. Titus, I see you bring to the table the same talent for selective reading that your fellow denialists do. I said precisely why I think Spencer’s screed is excrable–namely, it indicts all of science, not just the field of climate science based on claims that contradict peer-reviewed research, but cannot themselves be found in peer-reviewed literature. It is an attempt merely to preach to an ideological choir who are determined to oppose science whatever it says. The real problem with this work is that it is an attempt to hoodwink the naive rather than an appeal to convert the experts. THAT is what makes it excrable. Would you have preferred if I’d called it odious? That works, too. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:19 PM 973. Alan Millar, I’m sorry, Alan, but it takes about 10^19 kJ to raise the temperature of the atmosphere–just the atmosphere–a degree C. To see a sustained rise over 30 years, we are talking a thermal mass about two orders of magnitude greater. Now, Alan, to me, anything that has 19 zeros after it is pretty big, and if it has 21 zeros, it’s kind of hard to argue that isn’t big. But, hey, maybe you are more comfortable with zeros than I am–I never saw your homework. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:29 PM 974. “968 Septic Matthew says: 25 April 2010 at 12:05 PM 919, Ray Ladbury: 2)There is no “theory of anthropogenic CO2 forcing”. And yet, humans have been recommended to reduce anthropogenic CO2″ Nothing to do with what Ray said. In fact you get it when later on your statement is about how there’s a theory of CO2 forcing and that the current change in CO2 is anthropogenic in origin. “Even if temperatures rise as much as forecast why is it disaster nearly everywhere on the planet?” Because we will have the collapse of civilisation. Look at what happened in Florida with one of the most affluent and technologically advanced countries when there was a mere tiny flood. When the Midwest Corn Belt is dead and the wide open wheat fields of the Russian plains are dead to intensive farming, you will starve, even though you live a thousand miles distant. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:43 PM 975. “That is abnsolute twaddle and if you are the scientist you say you are you must know it” Not unless you tell someone why it’s twaddle. Absent that the twaddle is all from you, millar. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:45 PM 976. “Okay, so you’re perfectly content with Springer-Verlag profiting from tax-payer funded climate research,” FCU your assertion was that Springer making money was somehow costing me tax monies. Apparently now you’re merely pissed off that someone else is making money. Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:47 PM 977. Septic Matthew, You have utterly misunderstood my entire post. There simply is no “theory of anthropogenic warming”. Instead there is a theory–a single working theory–of Earth’s climate. That humans will warm the planet if they dump CO2 into the atmosphere an inevitable corollary given that theory. Period. As to Intelligent Design, again, you misunderstand. ID posits that an almighty (for all practical purposes) designer has intervened in the natural processes governing speciation, etc. at least a few times. If this is true for any occasion, we must consider it as a possibility for every occasion. Thus, if a development is considered impossible under some theory, the proponents of that theory can merely posit GODDIDIT, and thereby save their theory. By positing a mechanism that can explain everything, they have precluded the possibility of every predicting anything. If you view each decision by the “designer” as a parameter in the theory, the number of parameters is unlimited. Thus, by any information criterion you choose, ID has zero information content, and it cannot be a scientific theory. That is not hubris. It’s merely understanding what science is. Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 1:49 PM 978. Ray (954), what do you have against books? Has there never been a valuable informative non-peer-reviewed book about science? Or are peer reviewed papers the be-all and end-all? For the record, your assertion that our ‘estimates are good’ does not refute the assertion that “climate sensitivity figures are… estimates.’ Comment by Rod B — 25 Apr 2010 @ 2:07 PM 979. SecularAnimist (955), “…endless indentured servitude to the fossil fuel corporations…” exceeds even your usual hyperbole. “Endless”? Indentured”? Servitude”? Wow! Comment by Rod B — 25 Apr 2010 @ 2:12 PM 980. Gavin: Please post a new article. This one is getting tedious, especially Gilles and Sam. Gilles and Sam could get me to stop caring and just work on the Space Elevator full time so that I could move to Mars and leave them here. Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Apr 2010 @ 2:30 PM 981. 967 Alan Millar: Here are some more “ludicrous alarmism comments” from peer reviewed literature or derived from peer reviewed literature: The book “Six Degrees” by Mark Lynas says: “If the global warming is 6 degrees centigrade, we humans go extinct.” See: http://www.marklynas.org/2007/4/23/six-steps-to-hell-summary-of-six-degrees-as-published-in-the-guardian Lynas lists several kill mechanisms, the most important being famine and methane fuel-air explosions. Other mechanisms include fire storms. The following sources say H2S bubbling out of hot oceans is the final blow at 6 degrees C warming: “Under a Green Sky” by Peter D. Ward, Ph.D., 2007. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00037A5D-A938-150E-A93883414B7F0000&sc=I100322 http://www.geosociety.org/meetings/2003/prPennStateKump.htm http://www.astrobio.net is a NASA web zine. See: http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=672 http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1535 http://www.astrobio.net/news/article2509.html http://astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2429&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0 “Climate Code Red” by David Spratt and Philip Sutton says the following: Long term warming, counting feedbacks, is at least twice the short term warming. 560 ppm CO2 gets us 6 degrees C or 10.8 degrees F. We will hit 560 ppm before mid century. Per “Climate Code Red”, we need ZERO “Kyoto gas” emissions RIGHT NOW and we also need geo-engineering because we have already gone way beyond the safe CO2 level of 300 to 325 ppm. We are already at 455 ppm equivalent and we have tripped some very big tipping points. We aren’t dead yet, but the planet needs critical intensive care if we humans are to have a chance of survival. Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Apr 2010 @ 2:33 PM 982. A more comprehensive look at Sahara “greening”: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Greening_of_the_Sahel Not sure there’s any evidence that the “Sahara will become a much greener and pleasanter place for life.” Comment by flxible — 25 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 PM 983. Sam (926) — You could actually study the last 13 decades of the instrumental record: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530 and you could actually study a recent review about climate sensitivity: http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf Both of which I linked in an earlier comment (addressed to another poster), suggesting something about your study habits, I fear. Comment by David B. Benson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 2:52 PM 984. 967 Alan Millar: Here is one more “ludicrous alarmism comment” from Gavin’s old boss, James Hansen: If we burn all of the fossil fuel, Earth will become a hot dead rock just like Venus. Climate Threat to the Planet:* Implications for Energy Policy and Intergenerational Justice Jim Hansen December 17, 2008 Bjerknes Lecture, American Geophysical Union San Francisco, California Page 22: “Climate Threat to the Planet The Venus Syndrome The Venus syndrome is the greatest threat to the planet, to humanity’s continued existence. [The temperature on Venus is over] 450 degrees C Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Apr 2010 @ 3:00 PM 985. BPL: I just regressed Hadley CRU dT on year (i.e., elapsed time) for 1850-2008. Gilles (953): you can regress it against Pluto anomaly as well…. again I’m NOT claiming that temperature is not increasing ! BPL: You said significance was the question. I showed that the increase was significant, and over a period of 159 years. If you regress it against CO2, it’s even more significant. If significance is the question, AGW theory is pretty well confirmed. Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:02 PM 986. FurryCatHerder — 25 April 2010 @ 10:19 AM Okay, so you’re perfectly content with Springer-Verlag profiting from tax-payer funded climate research, and thereby keeping the information FROM the tax-payers, and preventing the information from being disseminated? You’re really complaining about scientific publishing in general, since there’s nothing in your complaint that’s specific to climate research. However, nowadays your complaint doesn’t have so much merit. Many scientific papers are now published as “Open Access” (everything from NASA Giss for example; and in other scientific subjects, everything funded by Medical research charities and organizations like the National Institutes of Health). Everyone has access to journal tables of contents and abstracts. If you want to read a paper just send an email to the author. A surprising amount of the climate science literature, whether paywalled or not, can now be found by Googling and downloaded. Sites like “skepticalscience.com” provide links to virtually all the papers that are cited or discussed there….major journals (Nature; Science) can be bought through pretty reasonable personal subscription or found in local libraries or local Uni libraries….. I’m sure all scientists would like their publications to be freely available. That they often aren’t is due to the nature of the publishing business and has got little to do with the scientists. In fact the changes in scientific publishing (Web based; Open Access etc.) are arising in large part due to the efforts of scientists. Of course someone has to pay for scientific publishing. Nowadays, if I publish a paper on research funded by a biomedical charity, this is likely (depends on the charity) to be done under Open Access conditions. However this doesn’t mean it’s free….it means that the charity has to pay of the order of$1000 for the privilige; one might question whether that’s a good use of the charities funds.

Things cost and have to be payed for. The funding model may evolve…but it still costs. Personally, I think the present system isn’t too bad. Paywalling allows the publishers to run a business through offsetting costs and making a profit through subscription charges (some of which the public ultimately pays for). However it’s increasingly easy for anyone to access papers that they might be interested in (see above); and of course, whether or not papers are paywalled, the information in them is disseminated….

Incidentally I don’t understand how you consider climate research can be “encouraging the train wreck”. Surely finding out what is going on (aka “science”) is part of how we avoid “train wrecks”.

Comment by chris — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:15 PM

987. #946 Roger

“the hockey stick *is* important is that is has been rammed down our throats as justification for potentially dramatic policy measures”

How can you expect to be taken seriously when you use such inflammatory and, quite frankly, offensive language?

Comment by Jerry Steffens — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:29 PM

988. Alan Millar (964): Are you claiming that glacial cycles and the significant changes in near surface temperatures are due to very large changes in energy input to the Earths system? Twaddle!

BPL: Glacial cycles are initiated by changes in Earth’s orbit and axial tilt which change the distribution of sunlight over the planet’s surface. Ice-albedo feedback materially alters the radiation balance of the Earth, and carbon dioxide release (on warming) or sequestering (on cooling) amplifies the effect, which again changes the radiation balance. So yes, very large changes in energy were involved.

Please… PLEASE… crack an introductory textbook on climatology. Dennis Hartmann’s “Global Physical Climatology” is a good one. If that’s too hard, try Ann Henderson-Sellers and John Robinson’s “Contemporary Climatology.”

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:48 PM

989. “BPL: You said significance was the question. I showed that the increase was significant, and over a period of 159 years. If you regress it against CO2, it’s even more significant. If significance is the question, AGW theory is pretty well confirmed.”

really ? so if Pluto anomaly or anything else increases with time, it proves its anthropogenic origin ?
you have a strange way of using correlations …

oh, BTW : since the climate inertia is relatively long, why should instantaneous temperature be correlated with CO2? shouldn’t it be rather the SLOPE, like for the sea level model of Rahmstorf et al? ? did you try this correlation ?

Comment by Gilles — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 PM

990. Alan (967): It will be an overall slightly warmer and slightly wetter planet, with increased CO2 all conditions which tend to be better for most carbon based lifeforms.

BPL: Bzzzzt! Wrong! Global warming causes increasing drought in continental interiors. In 1970 12% of Earth’s land surface was “severely dry” (Palmer Drought Severity Index of -3.0 or lower). In 2002 that figure was 30%, and it’s still climbing. Ask the Australians whether drought is a problem or not.

Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Apr 2010 @ 4:51 PM

991. Edward Greisch #981 and 984. “Here are some more ‘ludicrous alarmism comments’ from peer reviewed literature or derived from peer reviewed literature”

Except of course that the statements that you provide are *not* actually from the peer-reviewed literature. For example, you reference an article in the Guardian (not a peer-reviewed journal) to support the definitive statement, “If the global warming is 6 degrees centigrade, we humans go extinct.” Yet even the article you cited does not make such a definitive claim. The closest it gets is “One scientific paper investigating ‘kill mechanisms’ during the end-Permian suggests that methane hydrate explosions “could destroy terrestrial life almost entirely”. *One* paper *suggests.* Hardly sounds like a definitive consensus, does it. And there is nothing at all ludicrous about worrying that the results of destabilizing methane hydrate deposits could potentially be catastrophic, even if it is not predicted by climate models (which make no attempt to model the behavior of methane hydrates.”

Then you quote James Hansen as saying, “If we burn all of the fossil fuel, Earth will become a hot dead rock just like Venus.” Yet this statement does not appear in the reference you cite. The closest he gets is this: “In my opinion, if we burn all the coal, there is a good chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse effect. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale (a.k.a. oil shale), I think it is a dead certainty.” He’s very careful to indicate that this is his personal opinion, and that it does not come from his climate models, which “blow up” before this point. Yet you’ve distorted it into a statement of certainty.

There certainly is reason to worry that there could be a “tipping point,” and pushing CO2 levels outside of their historical “safe” range is therefore dangerous, so this also is not ludicrous, but neither is it a scientific prediction or consensus–it is at most the best a guess of an experienced climate scientist.

It doesn’t seem likely that Hansen is exaggerating in stating that he holds this opinion, even if he can’t prove it. On the other hand, you are clearly exaggerating in trying to give the impression that these very serious, but uncertain scenarios are being represented as part of the current scientific consensus regarding global warming.

Here’s a modest suggestion: Before you presume to tell people what the peer-reviewed literature says, you might consider actually reading some of it.

Comment by trrll — 25 Apr 2010 @ 5:02 PM

992. #952 J. Bob

To my knowledge, they are still modeling the sonar data and trying to integrate. Read up on freeboard

Not unsurprising that you still have your job. As long as the status quo is maintained no big deal, until of course you all find out how badly you have screwed up, which won’t be too much longer in your, and their case (at least pertaining to AGW).

So where do you work, I’d like to follow the drama in real time too?

PS You are not humble, you are arrogant by definition, you constantly ignore relevance to favor your preconceived notions and rely on inappropriate contexts to support your opinion (well, that’s government isn’t it.). You seem to have a mental block on extent v. thickness. And as to them being smarter (context will get you relevance) than you and I combined, speak for yourself. And don’t worry, they won’t fire you until they get fired.

A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt

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Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Apr 2010 @ 5:07 PM

993. 987 (Jerry)

“How can you expect to be taken seriously when you use such inflammatory and, quite frankly, offensive language?”

Agreed, and I assume you will be noting that across the board regardless of the point of view of the poster. Or is it OK to be inflammatory as long as you hold the correct view? Kind of takes us back to the original topic of this thread, eh?

Comment by Walter Manny — 25 Apr 2010 @ 5:24 PM

994. #946 Roger: “…rammed down our throats…”

Tee-hee! Watch Fox News much, Roger?

Comment by Adam R. — 25 Apr 2010 @ 5:27 PM

995. Rod B., The issue is not with non-peer-reviewed books. Many popularizations are quite good (though not a substitute for the peer-reviewed literature). The problem comes when you publish a book that runs counter to accepted science, could not pass peer review and is intended for an unsophisticated lay audience. That verges on scientific misconduct.

Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Apr 2010 @ 5:47 PM

996. Alan Millar says: the Sahara, the largest ‘warm’ desert on the planet will become a much greener and pleasanter place for life.

Comment by Jim Galasyn — 25 Apr 2010 @ 6:11 PM

997. Are you claiming that glacial cycles and the significant changes in near surface temperatures are due to very large changes in energy input to the Earths system? Twaddle!

Does this make sense? Let me rephrase it?

“Are you saying that the huge energy changes involved in the melting and freezing of large ice sheets and the associated changes in sea levels are due to large energy changes in energy input?” [and output].

Lets assume that the alternative is the case i.e that this was merely an internal exchange between two energy reservoirs. We are deep in an ice age with low sea levels and a dry atmosphere. How to escape? Perhaps a giant global super El Nino might come to the rescue? If you can justify such a mechanism , while also avoiding energy entering and leaving the system I suggest that you try to get it published.

But whats wrong with the standard explanations roughly based on the Milankovitch effect amplified by positive feedbacks which cause large energy inputs into or outputs from the system?

Comment by Geoff Wexler — 25 Apr 2010 @ 7:15 PM

998. Can the intelligent minds on this sight explain the data on this website…

http://www.climate4you.com/

Go to Global Temperature, then inside this click on Global Longwave Radiation. It has numerous charts of the outgoing long wave radiation.

Under scatter graphs, which show increasing carbon dioxide Vs Outgoing Long Wave radiation, the compiler of these graphs raises the question.

“Climate models predict that when the amount of atmospheric CO2 increases the natural greenhouse effect will be enhanced, so less less radiation leaves the earth to space, thereby leading to global warming. From this decreasing OLR should be expected as the amount of atmospheric CO2 increases, in contrast to the development since the CO2-concentration passed c. 360 ppm. The diagram above thereby suggests a more complicated association, where the theoretical effect of CO2 on OLR apparently is subordinate to one or several other factors. See also Lindzen and Choi (2009), as well as the diagram below.”

Can anyone explain the graphs in a way other than what the above conclusion reaches?

Comment by Norman — 25 Apr 2010 @ 8:07 PM

999. #991 John, you might want to use more up to date info, instead of picking something two years old. Use this one
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/index.html
You know, looking at the above referenced image, it sure looks close to average, or zero anomaly. But I’ll give you credit, John, I was using a old definition, the way they used to measure thickness, manual drilling. But we will see when we get data from CryoStat.

And John, like a true “pro”, I left them smiling, and they paid me. Cheers.

Comment by J. Bob — 25 Apr 2010 @ 8:53 PM

1000. Hank Roberts:

Clearly, the fact the Koch Industries and Exxon sponsored a wildly deceptive PBS NOVA special on California energy reform is an on-topic discussion. Attempts to portray me as “bristling” or “angry” are amusing – I just asked you a simple question, which you’ve so far refused to answer – why do you think discussion of the PBS issue is “off-topic for this thread?” I suppose if I had used all capitals… but here – :) – is that better?

Another discussable topic is the fact that the U.S. media completely blacked out any discussion of the Cochabamba global climate conference – recall, this is the same media that gave quite a bit of coverage to the Heartland Conference sponsored by the usual crowd of denialist fossil fuel interests.

Sigh… Joe Bastardi won’t answer my emails anymore, either… he doesn’t want to talk about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or the basis of his “cooling Pacific ocean cycle”… what a shame. I thought he liked to talk to people?

Comment by Ike Solem — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:26 PM

1001. 990 trrll: Mark Lynas wrote his book based on peer reviewed papers. That is, Mark Lynas says he condensed many papers into a book. The Guardian published a review if Mark Lynas’s book. I know The Guardian isn’t peer reviewed, but it is where you get a brief review of the book. The book is derived from peer reviewed work.
geosociety.org is peer reviewed. On the subject of H2S as a kill mechanism, the 6 other references are derived from peer reviewed work.
Climate Code Red is derived from peer reviewed work in that the authors read peer reviewed work before writing.
I didn’t say all the direct references were peer reviewed. You have to dig through the references I gave to get to the peer reviewed papers. Digging through the books is more difficult because they don’t list their sources.

Peer reviewed publications are difficult for me to get and difficult reading. I read what is easy to get. I don’t complain about paywalls.

Jim Hansen’s opinion is in a separate comment. My opinion is that Jim Hansen is so highly respected in the climate business that Jim Hansen’s opinion is golden. I mean if it is Jim Hansen’s opinion, I am ready to believe it. It may not be gospel, but close to it. I think that Jim Hansen was the agency chief at NASA GISS where several RC people work now. Jim Hansen is now retired, I think. Jim Hansen was the NASA spokesman to Congress in 1988. That makes Jim Hansen the elder statesman of GW. Am I right, Gavin? I don’t know the correct office symbol.
Since I don’t know your email address, I emailed a copy of Dr. Hansen’s speech to RealClimate so that they can forward it to you. I doubt that they will.

Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Apr 2010 @ 9:53 PM

1002. Ike, I luv ya. Gavin tolerates our talking about everything else besides the 2nd CRU report here, so no worries.

Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Apr 2010 @ 10:17 PM

1003. BPL:” Bzzzzt! Wrong! Global warming causes increasing drought in continental interiors. In 1970 12% of Earth’s land surface was “severely dry” (Palmer Drought Severity Index of -3.0 or lower). In 2002 that figure was 30%, and it’s still climbing”

Sorry but where is your source ? and is it due to a change of precipitations or a more intensive use of water ? following IPCC, a statistically significant change in land precipitation can be hardly measured yet ;

“The observed GHCN linear trend (Figure 3.12) over the 106-year period from 1900 to 2005 is statistically insignificant, as is the CRU linear trend up to 2002 (Table 3.4b). However, the global mean land changes (Figure 3.12) are not at all linear, with an overall increase until the 1950s, a decline until the early 1990s and then a recovery. Although the global land mean is an indicator of a crucial part of the global hydrological cycle, it is difficult to interpret as it is often made up of large regional anomalies of opposite sign…Nevertheless, the discrepancies in trends are substantial, and highlight the difficulty of monitoring a variable such as precipitation that has large variability in both space and time. .”

what is the significance of the correlation with temperature and/or CO2 ?
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-3-2.html

Comment by Gilles — 26 Apr 2010 @ 12:44 AM

1004. Waaayyy back in 955 is this gem:

“How about freedom TO harvest a vast and endless supply of FREE wind and solar energy?”

Neither is a “free” source of energy, unless one is a plant in the process of photosynthesis or spreading seeds.

Once we get past the methods for energy conversion (solar cells or wind turbines), the same overhead cost of power distribution that one incurs with every electrical grid come into play.

And we will need the grid, as neither solar or wind is uniformly reliable and therefore must be made up of many nodes spread out, hopefully keeping an adequate average current available for the whole of the grid.

The good news is much of the infrastructure is in place. The bad news is it is a victim of its own successful growth over time, which means it is inefficient.

I won’t comment again on the sky is falling, we’re all gonna die as civilization collapses predictions. They are as stupid