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Unforced variations: May 2018

Filed under: — group @ 4 May 2018

This month’s (slightly delayed) open thread on climate science topics.

238 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2018”

  1. 1
    Ed Davies says:

    With regards to papers purporting to derive ECS from climate observations over the last 100 years or so, it seems to me that they are unlikely to be accurate as they won’t be able to disentangle the warming effects of CO₂, methane, etc, from the cooling effects of aerosols. This is because of the roughly exponential growth of carbon emissions and the proportionality of the (short-lived) load of aerosols to the carbon emission rate. This means that one of the uncertainties is the net anthropogenic forcing over the observed period.

    While the forcing for 2×CO₂ is pretty well known, trying to extrapolate the warming effect for it from observed warming with a less well-known forcing doesn’t seem likely to be helpful.

    Does this make sense or do the papers take it into account somehow?

  2. 2
    Russell says:

    Despite all the ink spilled in the battle to spin readers into fearing that more, less, or the same number of cyclones, hurricanes ,waterspots, and whirlwinds threaten them, publicists have left them shockingly unprepared for hedgehog sharknados

  3. 3
    Eric Swanson says:

    Since the publication of Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2007), an often repeated claim is that the warming effect of greenhouse gases is theoretically impossible. This claim is based on the assertion that AGW violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics in that thermal energy can not move from a cooler body to a warmer one. While this is true in situations involving conduction and convection, when the impacts of radiant energy transfer are considered, the accepted theory tells us otherwise. Unfortunately, this claim has added to the general lack of understanding of physics by the public and has bolstered widely repeated assertions that AGW is a hoax.

    For several months, I’ve been motivated to test this deviant physics, performing a couple of demonstrations which I think show it to be incorrect. After many rounds with many comments on Spencer’s blog, I posted my latest results for all to read on 1 May. Here’s a link to a PDF file documenting that demonstration:

    https://app.box.com/s/w6gzam9tbk9oa1h8geio1p4lnufe0yrv

  4. 4
    mike says:

    Please moderators, step in and moderate the threads or turn off the delay in posting. I don’t read comments from Victor, KIA or DDS. If I wanted to know what Fox News or the Koch Brothers et al are disseminating as science news, I would simply go directly to those sources.

    I just take a quick look most days here and find the comments are dominated by troll work and I move on.

    I approach global warming from the Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way model. The trolls are simply having a field day on this website and their function is to Get in the Way.

    I think this should be a simple evaluation as to whether a regular commenter here operates in good faith or bad faith. Bad faith is like pornography, we know it when we see it. The trolls may it difficult to have a science discussion in the comments section, that is their goal, they are achieving their goal through the complicity of the moderators.

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  5. 5
    Dan DaSilva says:

    4 mike
    Looking at opposing views has two benefits it can get you think “out of box” and/or give a heads-up on the opposition.

    I assure that I have not “colluded” with the Moderators or the Russians. (Sorry for attempted conservative humor).

    It may be of more value to keep current policy of selective “boreholing” rather complete banning of certain names.

  6. 6
    Nemesis says:

    @Killian, april unforced variations, #315

    Well, these criminal deniers are still very successful keeping a zombie “debate” alive :’D That’s all they want. It’s always the same game, anthropogenic induced climate heating, diesel fraud, insect die-off and what have you, always the same game… until:

    Game over.

    @mike, #4

    I don’t read any denier “comments” anymore at all for quite a while now. And I don’t get it, why some folks are still willing to play that funny game over and over again. Makes sense for these deniers only. As long as anybody plays that game with them, they achieved their goal.

  7. 7
    Russell says:

    Killian’s campaign to criminalize climate bores is unlikely to go viral until he turns himself in.
    The war against cliche’ isn’t doing too well either.

  8. 8
    Oldtime Lurker says:

    4 mike, “Please moderators, step in and moderate the threads or turn off the delay in posting.”

    The moderators really enjoy what’s happening or they would not keep doing what they have been doing. They must also enjoy comments like yours or they would not keep ignoring what hundreds of others have been saying for years now.

    The solution is easy Mike. Leave!

    I don’t read comments from Victor, KIA or DDS either.

    Nor do I read or heed comments made by jgnfld, Hank Roberts, Ray Ladbury, Barton Paul Levenson, Radge Havers, CCHolley, nigelj, MA Rodger , Mal Adapted, MartinJB, Eli Rabett, Russell / Russell Seitz, Mac, Jon Kirwan, nor the articles and comments made by Rahmstorf and Schmidt anymore.

    They have nothing to offer of value except once in a blue moon. Life’s too short to be waiting so long. Like hundreds of others looking for some wisdom here I left for greener fields.

    Find a better place where genuine intelligent and mature discussions can be had without the small minded bullshit. Read the scholarly papers and catch the best giving lectures on youtube. Join a community group or get involved in local politics. Write to your government and representatives about the issues you care about. Be the change you’re looking for instead!

    There’s no need to be stuck wasting your time in a dead end. The better options are endless. Make a wiser decision! :-)

  9. 9
    nigelj says:

    My take on website moderation. Banning all sceptical or ‘denialist’ opinion is censorship. But its not censorship to ban spamming, mindless repetition, politicisation of the science, incoherent garbage, and people who make huge controversial claims with no real evidence.

    Its not censorship to ban this sort of garbage, and it would delete about 75% of comments by the resident climate denialist trolls on this website.

    The goal is quality discussion.

    Making rebuttals is tedious, however if certain types of specific claims are left unanswered, some people will believe them.

  10. 10

    Ed 1: Google “analysis of variance.”

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Carrie says:

    Talanoa Dialogue for Climate Ambition #Talanoa4Ambition
    Inputs https://talanoadialogue.com/view-inputs

    Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of

    inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories,

    build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good.

    The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through

    storytelling. During the process, participants build trust and advance knowledge through

    empathy and understanding.

    Blaming others and making critical observations are inconsistent with building mutual trust

    and respect, and therefore inconsistent with the Talanoa concept. Talanoa fosters stability

    and inclusiveness in dialogue by creating a safe space that embraces mutual respect for a

    platform for decision making for a greater good.

    https://talanoadialogue.com

    ?

  13. 13
    Killian says:

    #6 Nemesis said @Killian, april unforced variations, #315

    Well, these criminal deniers are still very successful keeping a zombie “debate” alive :’D That’s all they want. It’s always the same game, anthropogenic induced climate heating, diesel fraud, insect die-off and what have you, always the same game… until:

    Game over.

    @mike, #4

    I don’t read any denier “comments” anymore at all for quite a while now. And I don’t get it, why some folks are still willing to play that funny game over and over again. Makes sense for these deniers only. As long as anybody plays that game with them, they achieved their goal.

    Indeed. No attacks from the PG because it’s the PG keeping all this going. No post count, no word counts for their own spamming of the site into a Denial Mill.

    Hypocrisy much, eh?

    And the admin(s), warns off people dedicating themselves to these issues yet not a word to either the trolls nor their feeders.

    Even here, those of us challenging the dominant paradigm are more reviled than liars, criminals, and enablers.

    Life is fractal.

  14. 14
    MA Rodger says:

    The start of 2018 was worrying times for Arctic sea ice with the high Arctic experiencing an exceptional warm period (for the time of year) in late February, as shown in this NSIDC map for 22nd-26th Feb.
    And now 2018 is at it again, breaking daily record maximums within DMI’s 80N reanalysis and so warmer than all previous years back to 1958. I scale DMI 80N May 5th at 266.9K (-6.25ºC). In terms of the arrival of summer warmth, 2018 probably will cool back towards the climatology in coming days but the size of this warm wobble can be considered as being half-a-week ahead of all previous maximums (ie all previous warm wobbles) and a week ahead of the maximums seen in the last decade. In terms of averages, that puts it 2½ weeks ahead of the average over the last decade and 3½ weeks ahead of the full record average.

  15. 15
    Christopher Hogan says:

    Heat energy always moves from a colder body to a hotter one. And vice-versa. It’s that the *net* flow of heat is from the hotter to the colder.

    If you see someone arguing that the greenhouse effect violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics, they invariably leave out the word “net”. So when your garden-variety denialist makes that argument, there’s no sophisticated science behind it. It’s just failure to grasp that heat energy always flows in all directions, and the law, such as it is, addresses the net flow of energy.

    Take a coffee cup at 100c, surrounded by empty space at 0c. It will cool at a give rate. Surround it with space at 99.99999…c. The cup will still cool (2nd law), but at a vastly slower rate. Because of the flow of heat from the colder to the hotter object.

  16. 16
    Dan DaSilva says:

    If you want to change hearts minds lead by example, reduce your carbon footprint to a negative value. If you did this you would win this fight. I would suggest something along the lines of the 14th century Native Americans without wood burning and meat eating. Store all waste products underground and keep your physical exercise low.

    It would not take a large number of people to grab the attention of the news media, maybe only a few million. The effect would be a force multiplier that would sweep the world. Please do not take this as satire, I believe that it would be effective.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  17. 17

    DDS 16: If you want to change hearts minds lead by example, reduce your carbon footprint to a negative value. If you did this you would win this fight. I would suggest something along the lines of the 14th century Native Americans without wood burning and meat eating. Store all waste products underground and keep your physical exercise low.

    BPL: No true Scotsman…

  18. 18
  19. 19
    David Stoeckl says:

    I have been hiking, following deer trails and generally wandering around the second growth woodland of SE Pennsylvania for over 50 years, and I’ve made some observations that may, or may not, have anything to do with increased CO2 and a warming climate. I realize that anecdote is not data.

    First, 30 years ago I had to work to see a Pileated Woodpecker. Now I see one, or several, every time I leave the house. Pileated Woodpeckers feed on large, sick insect ridden trees, and might serve as a proxy for forest health.

    Second, the past decade or two, I’ve much more frequently encountered tangles of deadfalls and standing deadwood. Many places I’ve gone for years are a mess, and there haven’t been any intense storms to explain this. Though I will admit to the possibility of confirmation bias. I attended a lecture on forest ecology and global warming many years ago entitled “How fast can trees run”.

    To the more scientifically informed, my question is this. Has anyone done any work on the effect of increased CO2 on tree growth (weaker wood?). And is there anything in the literature on forest health in the Northeast? Thank you for your time.

  20. 20
    Ray Ladbury says:

    DDS: “xample, reduce your carbon footprint to a negative value. If you did this you would win this fight. I would suggest something along the lines of the 14th century Native Americans without wood burning and meat eating. Store all waste products underground and keep your physical exercise low. ”

    Dan, Thank you for your ignorant, dumbass opinion. However, I think I will go with trying to promote a 21st century energy economy based on renewables, rather than a 19th century economy based on coal.

    Do you really think straw man arguments are clever?

  21. 21
    Omega Centauri says:

    Dan at 16.
    That comment really belongs on the other comment list.

    I think that would simply provide a strawman for the opposition. See, you gotta all become cave men and cavewomen.

    Of course one can become net carbon negative, without being a purist, i.e. you can tradeoff the good against the bad. But, accounting then becomes tricky. For example, if I help someone else go solar, can I claim some or all of the carbon credits for my personal CO2 account?

  22. 22
    Killian says:

    #16 Dan DaSilva said If you want to change hearts minds lead by example, reduce your carbon footprint to a negative value. If you did this you would win this fight.

    Not quite. Individuals doing this will achieve little overall because it is non-systemic and virtually impossible within the current paradigm. However, if the goal is to do this within a community, whether existing or trying to grow it around you, then, yes, that is what I have advocated since 2011. It is what Transition has been doing. And ecovillages. All for a long time.

    So, yeah, we know. We are. Things are changing. I think they would change faster with Regenerative Community Incubators, though.

  23. 23
    JRClark says:

    16 Dan DaSilva says: “Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.”

    Yes. You are not thinking straight. Your ideas are stupid, illogical, not evidence based and are not grounded in real world where people live.

    Though it’s possible that someone could take these stupid mythical ideas and make a successful new age religion out of it. People are often really stupid and gullible. No matter what their life circumstances, job or education level might be.

  24. 24
    JRClark says:

    The mechanism or IT system for CO2 readings at Mauna Loa appears to be broken for several weeks now. It’s now showing massive variations in CO2 of 4ppm across 1 to 2 weeks (408-412) with multiple gaps for daily figures. https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html

    This latest data point is illogical, based on known science. Yes?
    Week beginning on April 29, 2018: 409.71 ppm against
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 409.02 ppm

    Unless CO2 suddenly has become not well mixed anymore for some unknown reason they must have some serious technical issues going on there.

    Could anyone point me to where I can cross check CO2 readings and their recent changes from other monitoring stations which provide up-to-date outputs? I have tried searching online and have gone to several sites but cannot find any recent readings for this year. thanks

  25. 25
    nigelj says:

    Oldtime Lurker @8, complains about small minded bullshit, then insults almost everyone. Contradiction much?

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    Mike,something you may be interested in. “April monthly average exceeds 410 parts per million for the first time in recorded history”.

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/2018/05/02/carbon-dioxide-in-the-atmosphere-hits-record-high-monthly-average/

  27. 27
    Ed Davies says:

    BPL: “Ed 1: Google “analysis of variance.””

    But I’m not asking about statistical details in order to do my own analysis, I’m asking about my intuition/guess that two effects (anthropogenic warming caused by various sorts of carbon emissions and anthropogenic cooling caused by various emissions resulting in aerosols) track each other sufficiently closely as to be inextricable in a 150 year data series. Big emissions forcing (or large temperature feedbacks) plus large aerosol cooling could give the same observed results (in the real world or a model) as small emissions forcing (or small feedbacks) plus small aerosol cooling but result in completely different ECS. I’m asking if that’s a significant contribution to the results Dessler et al found.

  28. 28
    jgnfld says:

    @14

    Here in Newfoundland I have seen a total of ONE small iceberg so far. icebergfinder.ca sighting tweets are few and far between as well even along the north coast. Pack ice never really came down either but is melting well north as well if one looks at ice maps.

    Sad part of all this is that due to mechanical issues at the marina, our boat launching window has been kicked back till after May 19 :-(.

  29. 29
    MA Rodger says:

    Scripps Institute reported an average April 2018 MLO CO2 level of 410.31ppm, the first month with a recorded CO2 level above 410ppm “in recorded history,” which indeed it is. The NOAA April value is reported at 410.26ppm, yielding a 12-month rise on April 2017 of +1.26ppm. Thus this first 410ppm CO2 seen in probably 14 million years arrives with the incessant year-on-year AGW-driven rise rather than a big annual leap.
    The week-to-week 12-month rises over recent weeks has been increasingly running below the multi-year average of 2.25ppm with not many big-weekly-increases to compensate. (The last 10 weekly increases run 1.6ppm, 3.3ppm, 1.7ppm. 2.7ppm, 1.8ppm, 1.5ppm, 0.9ppm, 1.5ppm, 1.7ppm. 0.7ppm.) This is reflected in the 5-week & 9-week averages graphed out here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’). The ‘CO2-rise’ dip is coincident with the beginning of mild La Nina conditions beginning 8 months ago, the usual lag-period for the impact of ENSO on ΔCO2.

  30. 30
    jgnfld says:

    @16

    How does the lifestyle of a scientist whether carbon positive or negative affect the validity of his/her science?

    Be specific.

    An Arctic/Antarctic researcher, for example is always going to be a net carbon generator for the foreseeable future. Does this mean polar research is invalid somehow?

  31. 31
    Hank Roberts says:

    >> Omegacentauri asks at 21 above

    if I help someone else go solar, can I claim some or all of the carbon credits for my personal CO2 account?

    Well, if there were such a thing as a personal CO2 account, it’d likely be accounted along the same lines as the current tax:

    How Do I Claim the Solar Tax Credit? | EnergySage
    https://news.energysage.com/how-do-i-claim-the-solar-tax-credit/

    Mar 2, 2018 – If you sign a lease agreement, the third-party owner gets the solar tax credit associated with the system….

  32. 32
    MA Rodger says:

    Ed Davies @27,
    You are correct that a larger estimate for negative forcings (eg aerosols) would result in smaller net forcing and so larger ECS. But such consideration does not affect Dessler et al (2018).
    Dessler et al (2018) ‘The influence of internal variability on Earth’s energy balance framework and implications for estimating climate sensitivity’ is not calculating a real-world ECS. Rather it is using a model with a known forcing and a known ECS (=2.9ºC) to the spread of ESC that results (+/-0.5ºC) and thus the level of uncertainty you should be considering for internal variability if you used the real-world surface temperature record and the real-world calculated forcing history to calculate ECS. Such ECS calculation is what we see in the likes of Lewis & Curry (2018) ‘The impact of recent forcing and ocean heat uptake data on estimates of climate sensitivity’. The response of Lewis & Curry to Dessler et al is to suggest that the L&C(2018) estimate range of ECS (1.2ºC to 3.1ºC, 2sd) is marginally narrowed as they had calculated there being a broader spread resulting from internal variability. I’ve not read their 2018 paper but I found their 2015 paper ‘The implications for climate sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates’ rather too manufactured for my tastes.
    And these L&C studies are, of course, the sort of studies that do wrestle with the problems of inexact forcing estimates, the issue which you were asking about @1.

  33. 33
    Hank Roberts says:

    Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing
    Steven C. Sherwood, Sandrine Bony & Jean-Louis Dufresne

    Nature volume 505, pages 37–42 (02 January 2014)
    doi:10.1038/nature12829

  34. 34
    nigelj says:

    If a million people in America went carbon negative good on them, and no doubt it would have some influence on other people, but I would suggest it will happen very slowly, and the effect motivating others will still be rather small. This is because the problem related to climate mitigation is most people don’t want to reduce their carbon footprint unless everyone does, because it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice yourself. And so nobody moves dramatically except a very few passionate greenies. And good on them.

    The way to counter this effect is a revenue neutral carbon tax because it places an equal force on everyone that they cant ignore. It impels people to make better choices. Of course this makes the whole thing frustratingly political. However a revenue neutral carbon tax seems like the right answer to me, or rather part of the answer.

  35. 35

    More alarm bells ringing, as the effects of ocean warming and consequent anoxification (if a neologism may be allowed) are considered, with a focus on Marine Protected Areas:

    https://tinyurl.com/BrunoEtAl2018

    Discouraging, but not shocking.

  36. 36
    JR says:

    So, are conservatives more sceptical of climate change? It depends.

    Published in Nature Climate Change, the study was a collaboration between Professor Hornsey and PhD student Emily Harris from UQ’s School of Psychology, and Associate Professor Kelly Fielding from UQ’s School of Communication and Arts.

    https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2018/05/are-conservatives-more-sceptical-of-climate-change-it-depends

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0157-2

    “I was intrigued why, of the 17 candidates who campaigned to be the Republican nominee for the 2016 United States presidential campaign, many were openly sceptical of climate science,” Professor Hornsey said.

    “We found that in approximately 75 per cent of the countries surveyed, conservatives didn’t show any more scepticism of climate change than other people. Interestingly, countries with relatively low levels of carbon emissions showed no relationship between conservatism and climate scepticism, whereas countries with high levels of emissions – including America and Australia – showed a stronger link.

    “One possible reason is that conservatives in countries with high carbon emissions have more of a vested interest in rejecting climate science, due to the fossil fuel industry’s investment in that country.”

    In addition to asking about political ideology, participants were asked about their belief in conspiracy theories. “The inspiration for this question was Donald Trump’s tweet saying that climate science was a hoax created by the Chinese to make US manufacturing uncompetitive,” Professor Hornsey said.

    Participants were asked to what extent they believed four famous conspiracies: that President John F. Kennedy was killed as part of an organised plot; that Princess Diana was murdered; that there was a group of elites conspiring to create a New World Order; and that the US government knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance and let them happen.

    “We found that the more Americans believed conspiracies generally, the more they also thought that climate change was a hoax. This relationship was not found in the vast majority of countries.” Professor Hornsey said the climate change views of non-American participants were not strongly linked with conspiratorial thinking, or their politics.

  37. 37
    mike says:

    dds at 16 trolls and then says: Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    I have a thought: moderators, would you please thin the herd a little bit?

    If a person consistently trolls here and clearly operates in bad faith, dump them. Is that hard?

    mar at 29: quite right, I think, on your CO2 number crunching.

    jrc at 24: yes, I have also been wondering what is happening at MLO.

    don’t feed the trolls, identify them, insult them occasionally, but don’t let them waste your time. Mostly ignore them.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  38. 38
    Mike Roddy says:

    I believe that it’s important that Realclimate experts comment on this summary by Hunziker:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/07/climate-change-10-year-check-up/

    [Response: Meh. A lot of strawmanning and sleight of hand. Sea ice is down, but it has not ‘disappeared in 2017’. Multi-year ice did not take ‘thousands of years’ to form (it’s ice 2-years and older). IPCC had lots of discussion of AMOC changes – it was not ignored, etc. Would you like me to go on? – gavin]

  39. 39
    Richard Creager says:

    Re: censorship in moderation
    It’s the moderators’ blog. Censor away. Edit to the interesting parts. What this lurker would love to see is a lower bar to the borehole. If there’s no interesting contribution to the topic of climate, chuck it out. Feel free to start with this.

  40. 40
    Dan DaSilva says:

    Please disregard all my comments if you find that helpful. In order to prevent that from becoming common practice, I will have to “up my game”.

    31 Hank Roberts
    Do the right thing mate, even if no one notices. Like picking up public trash when no one is looking.

    20 Ray Ladbury
    Sorry, I am trying to “up my game”.

    Thanks, from “up my game” DDS

  41. 41
    nigelj says:

    Dan DaSilva says “31 Hank Roberts. Do the right thing mate, even if no one notices. Like picking up public trash when no one is looking.”

    If this isn’t stupid nasty trolling and bore hole material what is?

  42. 42
    Dan DaSilva says:

    3 Eric Swanson
    “warming effect of greenhouse gases is theoretically impossible”
    I have heard that claim and of course, it is false. You can underestimate the level of “denialist” knowledge if you like. When I read the level of understanding of amateur “denialist” on “denialist sites” it is many times very high and I only wish I had that kind of understanding. It may make you feel good believing we are dummies, so go ahead.
    Thanks, DDS

  43. 43
    JRClark says:

    Has this been mentioned here yet?

    “Understanding High-Latitude Methane in a Warming Climate”

    Climate change could spur greenhouse gas release from the Arctic. A new project will synthesize existing data to improve uncertain predictions.

    Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) launched a CH4 synthesis project with the goal of estimating contemporary budgets for CH4 in the Arctic and projecting rates of future release. This effort aims to outline the current CH4 budget and provide guidelines for monitoring future CH4 release from the northern permafrost region. The project was initiated at the International Workshop to Reconcile Northern Permafrost Region Methane Budgets held in Seattle in March 2017, and it includes a broad consortium of more than 40 scientists.

    Here we highlight what we know, as well as a selection of important knowledge gaps in our understanding of terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric environments that affect the development of Arctic CH4 budgets (Figure 1). We also summarize new work focused on improving our understanding of CH4 dynamics in this region.

    https://eos.org/project-updates/understanding-high-latitude-methane-in-a-warming-climate

    Couldn’t hurt, may even help.

  44. 44
    Killian says:

    May this article help end the scourge of so-and-so’s and their enablers so dominating this site in recent months.

    n my observations, I see science deniers engage in dichotomous thinking about truth claims. In evaluating the evidence for a hypothesis or theory, they divide the spectrum of possibilities into two unequal parts: perfect certainty and inconclusive controversy. Any bit of data that does not support a theory is misunderstood to mean that the formulation is fundamentally in doubt, regardless of the amount of supportive evidence.

    Similarly, deniers perceive the spectrum of scientific agreement as divided into two unequal parts: perfect consensus and no consensus at all. Any departure from 100 percent agreement is categorized as a lack of agreement, which is misinterpreted as indicating fundamental controversy in the field.

    There is no ‘proof’ in science
    In my view, science deniers misapply the concept of “proof.”

    Proof exists in mathematics and logic but not in science. Research builds knowledge in progressive increments. As empirical evidence accumulates, there are more and more accurate approximations of ultimate truth but no final end point to the process. Deniers exploit the distinction between proof and compelling evidence by categorizing empirically well-supported ideas as “unproven.” Such statements are technically correct but extremely misleading, because there are no proven ideas in science

    https://theconversation.com/amp/the-thinking-error-at-the-root-of-science-denial-96099

  45. 45
    Ray Ladbury says:

    DDS,
    What makes you guys dummies is that you think perusing a denialist climate blog for a couple of years makes you more of an expert than a PhD who has been studying climate for 30 years and has published hundreds of papers, advancing understanding of the field and earning the esteem of other similar experts.

    The thing is that you guys are not unique. I’ve dealt with cranks like you for decades who are “just sure” they can prove Einstein wrong if they can just find some nerd to work out the math. You just aren’t bright enough to get the jokes that you are.

  46. 46
    MA Rodger says:

    Mike Roddy @38,
    We could have fun pulling apart the rather sloppy arguments presented by Hunziker in his ’10 year check-up’ but they are not his arguments. They are a re-telling of a Kevin Surace TEDtalk from 2008. Sadly we have no sight of that 2008 talk so when, for instance, the 2018 comment on Greenland from Hunziker says “Greenland is living up to, in fact beyond, Surace’s expectations from a decade ago,” we don’t have the first idea about what is being said. Yes, by 2008 Greenland had probably contributed a total of something like 12mm to sea level rise due to AGW (this equal in volume to the described continental USA being 2 foot deep) and “nightmarishly” if Greenland entirely melted, “the big chunk of ice” would raise sea level by “over 20 foot” but the nightmare is that once the top of Greenland’s ice drops into the lower warmer altitudes, the melting process (which would last thousands years) becomes unstoppable (short of a new ice age appearing).

    Hunziker does mention two credits provided in the 2008 Surace talk and a couple of references are made in the last couple of topics. (Elsewhere it is all “According to Surace…”.) These would allow some speculation of the basis for the 2008 Surace talk if anybody cared to look. All-in-all we have to conclude that this Hunziker item is too unreliable to be considered trustworthy.

  47. 47
    nigelj says:

    This article below has an interesting and new analysis of the reasons for climate science denialism, and busts some myths on the issue. Its research based.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2018/may/08/its-all-about-vested-interests-untangling-conspiracy-conservatism-and-climate-scepticism

    It broadly claims that denialism is driven mainly by vested interests, with politics and psychology as enabling factors. It discusses why conservatives in America are so dominant in climate denialism, and more accepting of the science in most other countries.

    I would add it has always seemed obvious to me vested interests are at the core of it, because if it was very easy to fix the climate problem few people would be in denial. It also seems like an addiction, and addicts come up with all sorts of crazy, twisted intellectual rationalisations when addicted especially if they are clever people. They make sense in their minds but we can see all the logical weaknesses.

    But its also clear that climate denialists often have small government Ayn Randian political leanings.

    Imho some things do need to be rebutted, or they will gain traction. Some of the climate denialism is eloquently written, and could persuade politicians if its not rebutted. Silence is not always golden. Of course this runs the risk of encouraging them, but they would probably still post nonsense anyway regardless.

    Don’t feed the trolls applies to the utterly obvious garbage and bullying etc.

    If nobody criticised Trump would he be more or less likely to be elected for a second term? Obvious isn’t it.

    But I think much of the denialist nonsense posted on this website is non science based political garbage (DDS) and / or repetitive spamming (Victor) so should never have been published in the first place.

  48. 48
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury says “The thing is that you guys are not unique. I’ve dealt with cranks like you for decades who are “just sure” they can prove Einstein wrong if they can just find some nerd to work out the math. You just aren’t bright enough to get the jokes that you are.”

    This is true of course, yet I think there’s more to it. I looked at this book claiming to discredit Einstein, and written by a degree qualified engineer, so not a moron. Yet I could see he had made a major mistake on page one in the introduction.

    Although this engineer had almost certainly done more maths and physics than me, he just wasn’t thinking clearly and didn’t grasp the basics of einsteins ideas. I don’t know why, but he is clearly in the crank category, and doesn’t grasp certain types of thinking processes. So the rest of the book was not worth bothering with. Perhaps he had some underlying dislike of einsten, or einsteins political views or something and was trying to discredit the science because of this.

    Human nature is so complex, and while we fit into broad categories, everyone is ultimately unique with their unique, individual response to the climate issue and other issues.

  49. 49
    Adam Lea says:

    34: I agree with you. The problem with advocating individuals to shift their liofestyles towards carbon neutral is that to do so in the wealthy countries requires giving up at least some things that those individuals find conveniuent or enjoyable. After giving up those things, the individuals see no tangible benefit to themselves, or to anyone else, but they have to pay the costs of increased inconvenience and/or giving up things they enjoy.

    It is like me a few years ago deciding to go car free (in an attempt to increas my environmental responsibility) and primarily use my bicycle for trnasport (with a 20 mile round trip to work and no public transport, not exactly trivial). I lost the convenience of the motor car and had to accept increased vulnerability, increased fatigue, the inability to do some things, and flaky public transport (culminating in two years of strike action on the local rail network),the only benefits were an increase in fitness and saving money. The traffic levels in my area didn’t change at all of course because everyone else kept driving, taking my car off the road effectively made no difference. This all ended when I was ultimately hit by a careless driver and nearly killed, thus confirming others belief that cycling is dangerous and driving is far more rational.

  50. 50
    Alf says:

    2018 May 09 – The state of the northpole after 7 weeks of the melting season….

    https://seaice.uni-bremen.de/data/amsr2/today/Arctic_AMSR2_nic.png

    Reality is truely scary!
    WTF :(