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Somebody read the comments…

Filed under: — gavin @ 28 July 2020

This post is just to highlight an interesting paper that’s just been published that analyzed the comment threads here and at WUWT.

In it, the authors analyze how the commenters interact, argue and attempt to persuade, mostly, to be fair, unsuccessfully. It may be that seeing how academics analyse the arguments, some commenters might want to modify their approach… who knows?

The comment threads they looked at (I think) are from five posts from Feb to April 2019, including The best case for worst case scenarios, Nenana Ice Classic 2019, First successful model simulation of the past 3 million years and a couple of open threads.

References

  1. C.W. van Eck, B.C. Mulder, and A. Dewulf, "Online Climate Change Polarization: Interactional Framing Analysis of Climate Change Blog Comments", Science Communication, vol. 42, pp. 454-480, 2020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547020942228

82 Responses to “Somebody read the comments…”

  1. 51
    Al Bundy says:

    I was not impressed. It reads like a high schooler trying out a new buzzword. When she gives him a failing grade he’ll exclaim, “I’ve been framed!”

  2. 52
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @52, yeah I was not bowled over either by the resaerch paper, even after sleeping on it. I thought classic psychobabble. And I did the damn subject and nearly did a degree in it.

  3. 53
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @43

    “…liberals tend to base their moral priorities on two foundations of individual welfare — harm and fairness — whereas conservatives supplement these with three additional foundations focused on protecting the in-group — in-group loyalty, authority respect and purity/sanctity…..”

    “Would have to call BS on the inclusion of those last 3 “foundations” attributed to conservatives – I have no idea what they are referring to.”

    Actually its quite correct. Suggest you google moral foundations theory. And theres empirical evidence for this stuff, and it certainly fits with my life experience.

    Polls show the majority of people do accept anthropogenic climate change, and that more should be done about it, for example pew research. Those that dont accept AGW seem to be an alliance of low IQ people, and high IQ people with vested interests in ignoring reality, and assorted people with paranoid fears about creeping socialism and who tell lies that everone on the left want to get rid of capitalism.

  4. 54

    KIA 43: Further evidence to reinforce their doubt is found in the record of continuous climate change before humans had any impact at all.

    BPL: Killed In Action absolutely refuses to understand why this meme is wrong. He thinks if climate change ever happened naturally in the past, it somehow means it can’t happen artificially now.

    “Forest fires happened naturally for millions of years, so there’s no such thing as arson.”

  5. 55

    BP 44: NYT: “A Quarter of Bangladesh Is Flooded.”

    BP: Not at all unusual,

    “Flooding is a very common phenomenon in the People’s
    Republic of Bangladesh. . .”

    BPL: You missed the phrase “A Quarter of Bangladesh.” THAT is NOT “usual.”

  6. 56

    KIA 50: (pre-industrial revolution record of temperature that does not correlate to CO2).

    BPL: And another point KIA resolutely refuses to get–CO2 is not the only thing that affects temperature, and nobody ever said it was.

  7. 57
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Mr Know Nothing @43

    For most “skeptics” or “deniers” the issue boils down to the fact that they don’t believe CC is significantly caused by humans. To a non-scientist it sounds like total BS – how can a few hundred PPM of CO2 be a catastrophe? Further evidence to reinforce their doubt is found in the record of continuous climate change before humans had any impact at all. Warming and cooling are constant throughout the history of the earth. Also, we’ve been bombarded constantly by climate and environmental doomsday claims that never occurred; as well as other types of hysterical claims about economics, politics, etc – it all just becomes background noise

    And there you have it.

    First, people’s own group identification exerts a remarkably strong influence on where they stand on political issues and, once they have established a position, they are likely to interpret conflicting evidence with scepticism, while accepting consistent evidence uncritically.

    Mr. Know Nothing has had endless opportunities on this site to understand why the science behind AGW is robust, yet he refuses to learn. He continues to post his petty arguments as to why he has disbelief while totally ignoring thoughtful responses to his inane rationale. He continues to gleefully provide links to unreliable politically based anti-science sites accepting the information uncritically.

    The openly stated political desire of the left to destroy capitalism and replace it with some kind of socialist utopia also causes people to have great doubt about the motives behind doomsday claims of AGW.

    Furthermore, Mr. Know Nothing frames the issue “politically”. No doubt what “group” Mr. Know Nothing associates with. And of course he unquestionably accepts that the desire of the “left” is to destroy capitalism while most advocates for action on climate and those posting here at RC have no such desires.

    So, there is little if any “moral” aspect to denial of AGW – people simply do not believe the theory, and if they think it may be real, they think we’ll come up with a solution.

    The moral failing of Mr. Know Nothing. The total disregard of future generations by refusing to put the effort into understanding the truth behind the science.

    If there is a moral component to it at all, it is the argument that stopping use of FFs would cause great harm to many people around the world.

    Then Mr. Know Nothing proclaims moral superiority with a falsehood. Another moral failing.

  8. 58
    Radge Havers says:

    Not sure you need much analysis to observe how climate conversations devolve or for that matter why. It’s been pretty well covered here over the years. Thought interrupting, denialist propaganda gives certain types of folks permission to dig in and troll perpetually. It’s most likely a larger problem than can be fixed in some blogs.

    Either way, ‘framing’ is just a way to talk about well known practices of communication, which some people stubbornly refuse to think about for some reason. Maybe it sounds like just more work, is too meta, or lacks the pleasing and self gratifying mystery of endless blethering.

    Whatever.

  9. 59
    Mal Adapted says:

    Billy Pilgrim:

    BP: How, then, does the article’s title lead to what we see written just beneath it??

    “The country’s latest calamity illustrates a striking inequity of our time: The people least responsible for climate change are among those most hurt by its consequences.”

    BP: Of course, the people least responsible for climate change ARE among those most hurt by its consequences. I’m not questioning that. What bothers me is how the author has spun a recent tragedy to fit that narrative.

    Thanks for your substantive response to Kevin’s query. Here’s one way the title of the NYC article leads to the subtitle. From the abstract of the PNAS paper you cited:

    By 2100, even under a greenhouse gas emission mitigation scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 4.5), the subsidence could double the projected sea-level rise, making it reach 85 to 140 cm across the delta.

    AFAICT, the narrative of the NYT article is that by raising sea levels about as fast as the surface of the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna delta is subsiding, climate change is hurting people who are among those least responsible for it, even if it isn’t the sole cause of their tragedy.

    BP:

    NYT: “Bangladesh is already witnessing a pattern of more severe and more frequent river flooding than in the past along the mighty Brahmaputra River..”

    BP: Really? Not according to the most recent study,

    Here’s what the NYT article claimed:

    It is the latest calamity to strike the delta nation of 165 million people. Only two months ago, a cyclone pummeled the country’s southwest. Along the coast, a rising sea has swallowed entire villages. And while it’s too soon to ascertain what role climate change has played in these latest floods, Bangladesh is already witnessing a pattern of more severe and more frequent river flooding than in the past along the mighty Brahmaputra River, scientists say, and that is projected to worsen in the years ahead as climate change intensifies the rains.

    That pattern may or may not emerge from the noisy data for that river delta to date: I do wish the reporter had linked to those scientists who say it has. Nonetheless, more frequent and severe delta flooding is an expected consequence of AGW ceteris paribus, establishing a prior that confirmation will eventually appear. [BTW: a “Science Times” NYT article yesterday, How to Think Like an Epidemiologist, nicely summarizes Bayesian reasoning IMHO.]

    What I wish to say, however, is that we can be genuinely skeptical toward journalistic elision of scientific equivocation, but unequivocally agree that AGW is tragic: a moral fact. Journalism is rhetorical art, distinct from science. We shouldn’t be surprised that professional journalists, who subsist largely by selling readership to advertisers, are adept at “spinning”: that is, crafting suasive narratives of human tragedy, and inviting us to judge their dramatis personae by our cultural norms. By reporting on how AGW is already taking a tragic toll among those least responsible for it, the NYT article is clearly intended to elicit moral urgency for GHG abatement. The previously named professional lukewarmists may call that alarmism. Less cognitively-motivated thinkers might call it moral clarity, and behave accordingly.

  10. 60

    Billy Pilgrim, #44–

    Thanks for elaborating.

    1) I can see how the lack of context provided for the ‘25% of the country underwater’ bit can reasonably be characterized as misleading, though the story didn’t claim that the extent was unusual.

    2) On the other hand, people clearly *have* “lost everything” to flooding, as the story focused on specific individuals with specific losses, and the presumption is that they are not strange outlying cases. The story discusses the role of Covid as an exacerbating factor, true; but the idea that the losses must be uniquely attributed to only one or the other appears to be a fallacy of your construction.

    3) If point #2 falls, so does point #3, which leads us to the question of whether or not climate change is worsening flooding or not.

    4) Checking the literature, I can find some support for the notion that Bangladeshi flooding is, in fact, getting worse. For example,

    It is observed that each year’s highest flood record is being broken by the subsequent years flood and so do damages and sufferings of human being and their properties.

    That’s from this study:

    http://engineeringjournal.info/index.php/AJIRSET/article/view/37/34

    This is prospective, not retrospective (that is, observational), but still demonstrates a possible connection between Bangladeshi flooding and climate change:

    Results show that floods are likely to become more frequent in the future, and their magnitude will also become more severe.

    https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/%28ASCE%29HE.1943-5584.0001567

    (I note that that is consistent with your “yet” clause.)

    I don’t see those as terrible strong evidence, mind you, but then I don’t see your citation as very strong either, mainly because the study period–1993-2012–is way too short to detect a trend in the first place. (It doesn’t matter for their purposes, which are time delimited, but it emphatically does for ours.) So I think the claim in the story is not successfully rebutted, and I don’t accept that it is incorrect. (Although I’d like to see better evidence one way or the other to resolve the question.)

  11. 61

    #45, Al–

    Thanks!

    To clarify, when I used the word “survival” I meant to employ it to individuals, not the population. It is quite true that the lower life expectancy of the African American population is not an existential threat to the group.

  12. 62
    Mal Adapted says:

    Mr Ironically Agnosognosic Typist:

    there is little if any “moral” aspect to denial of AGW – people simply do not believe the theory, and if they think it may be real, they think we’ll come up with a solution. If there is a moral component to it at all, it is the argument that stopping use of FFs would cause great harm to many people around the world.

    More from the NYT on the economic injustice of AGW: This is Inequity at the Boiling Point.

    I agree that AGW denial isn’t complicated. An increase in extreme daily high temperatures around the world is “global warming” by simple definition. Anyone who thinks it isn’t happening is either ignorant, or simply in denial of plain facts. Anyone who doesn’t “believe” their fossil carbon emissions are causing it is either too simple to understand the evidence, or is simply in denial of their own culpability. Anyone who accepts that it’s happening and is anthropogenic, but is OK with it causing the deaths of people too poor to escape the resulting lethal heatwaves, is simply immoral. The argument that “stopping use of FFs would cause great harm to many people around the world” is unsupported by evidence, thus offering it is simply hypocritical. IOW, AGW denial by nominally literate adults is immoral. Seems pretty simple to me.

  13. 63
    Thomas et al says:

    Hi, I have said this before in many different ways here over a decade.
    Including providing insights from science/academic papers like this one is.
    It made no difference then I suspect it’ll make no difference now.
    Skimming the comments so far, looks like no one even read the Paper.

    The real issue is “communication” by scientists (and subsequently through the media). It is not the science of climate change.

    from the conclusion section (fwiw)

    Indeed, in all interaction sequences in which frame polarization was introduced, the interaction sequence also ended with frame polarization. Overall, our results demonstrate that meaning about climate change is co-constructed in interactions.

    This result is CRITICAL for future climate change communications, as groups with opposing views might only drift further apart.

    Therefore, we SUGGEST that scholars and practitioners should widen their scope on frames by developing and testing framing guidelines that seek to foster collective action on climate change (e.g., see Webster & Marshall, 2019).

    Frame polarization was frequently deployed in combination with identity and relationship and/or process framing. When users shifted to identity and relationship framing, they predominantly attributed a negative denotation to the other’s identity.

    In addition, when users shifted to process framing, they frequently assigned interpretations to their ongoing interaction that the other user was solely criticizing others or that their own words were misunderstood.

    Thus, these findings suggest that if users deploy these types of identity and relationship and process framings, they are more likely to further polarize the framing DIFFERENCE. In line with this finding, frame incorporation and frame accommodation were mostly deployed in combination with ISSUE FRAMING.

    This finding suggests that if users MAINTAIN ISSUE FRAMING throughout the entire interaction sequence, they are more likely TO SOLVE the framing difference.

    These two suggestions provide a starting point for developing EFFECTIVE FRAMING GUIDELINES.
    (end quote)

    Gavin, again, gets the “message” upside down and backwards. By pointing
    the finger at others being the cause and others the one’s needing to change:

    quote: “some commenters might want to modify their approach… who knows?”

    No Gavin.

    The correct approach/question is: What are you going to do about it?

    What is every scientist going to do about it?

    ==============

    OK, well the solutions are this way – >>>>>>>>>>
    some Old Refs on FRAMING reposted again

    Prof. George Lakoff – Reason is 98% Subconscious Metaphor in Frames & CULTural Narratives
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm0R1du1GqA

    Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain – George Lakoff
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_CWBjyIERY

    George Lakoff – Lies do not matter the higher truth defines who you are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OC-aS_QyHU&feature=youtu.be&t=7m1s

    George Lakoff pt1 of 6 – Frameworks, Empathy and Sustainability
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T46bSyh0xc0

    Lakoff on IDEALIZED Families (strict father/nurturing) and learning that Government (all Institutions) operate like Families.
    Everyone knows by age 7 that George Washington is the father of the country. American politics is the psychology of families, FRAMES and individual beliefs working themselves out in the world.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCXxc_M9EmE&feature=youtu.be&t=23m39s

    Empathy is the basis for progressive politics. Adam Smith’s book, wealth of nations and the USA were founded on notions of empathy and progressive liberal ideals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCXxc_M9EmE&feature=youtu.be&t=28m6s

    George Lakoff on Trump’s MORAL challenge to Liberals and CLIMATE SCIENTISTS
    https://youtu.be/_OC-aS_QyHU?t=376

    well no, think of it this way yeah ALL
    POLITICS IS ABOUT MORALITY it’s about
    right and wrong if the politician says
    do what I say it’s because it’s right,
    not because it’s wrong. they don’t say do
    it because it’s evil right, it doesn’t
    matter
    so all right that means your notion
    of what’s right for you is what’s
    important here.
    now your VERY IDENTITY is
    defined by what’s right for you

    you want
    to think of yourself as doing right,
    all the time,
    that is the deepest part of your
    identity. it is the HIGHEST TRUTH for you

    now if you have [ THE FRAMING ]
    what I’ll call STRICT FATHER MORALITY,
    which is what Trump has and what
    the Republicans mainly have, what
    that says is that view of the world
    [ THE FRAMING ] which is a view having
    to do with DOMINATION, that view of the world
    defines WHO YOU ARE

    and it’s the HIGHER TRUTH
    so if something comes in and it
    doesn’t fit that and you happen to know
    it’s a LIE it doesn’t matter because the
    higher truth that defines your very
    IDENTITY IS MORE IMPORTANT.

    END QUOTES

    FRAMES, FRAMING, BELIEFS, HIGHER TRUTHS and IDENTITY.

    There’s a PSYCHOLOGICAL reason (that’s unstoppable) that the white protestant right wing conservative militarized gun-loving republications etc make such a big deal about “Identity Politics” being bad for “society.

    It’s a direct threat to their own personal IDENTITIES … their (religiously endowed) Higher Truths.

    So is what is need to fix Climate Change a threat to their CORE IDENTITIES

    Climate change global warming science and core solutions needs to be FRAMED in way that it is no longer a THREAT.

  14. 64
    Thomas et al says:

    “In one’s attempt to change the world and the people in it, one discovers the only thing and only person they really have control of is themself.”

    Anonymous

  15. 65
    Thomas et al says:

    And the level of control we have is nebulous!

  16. 66
    Thomas et al says:

    Sorry to belabour the point, but every where one might look, you can find the exact same stories inforamtion stats research being told to you

    – reinforcing what is wrong and why it’s wrong, and why people react to agw/cc “frames” aka evidence based peer-reviewed and OBJECTIVE science the bway they do

    – how this disinformation is spread and why it is spread –

    – just read Sourcewatch but there’s no need to get all emotional or ideological about that either.

    Policy Forum Social Science

    TITLE: The science of fake news

    by David M. J. Lazer et al, 2018

    The rise of fake news highlights the erosion of long-standing institutional bulwarks against misinformation in the internet age. Concern over the problem is global.

    The Historical Setting

    Journalistic norms of objectivity and balance arose as a backlash among journalists against the widespread use of propaganda in World War I (particularly their own role in propagating it) and the rise of corporate public relations in the 1920s. Local and national oligopolies created by the dominant 20th century technologies of information distribution (print and broadcast) sustained these norms. The internet has lowered the cost of entry to new competitors—many of which have rejected those norms—and undermined the business models of traditional news sources that had enjoyed high levels of public trust and credibility. General trust in the mass media collapsed to historic lows in 2016, especially on the political right, with 51% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans expressing “a fair amount” or “a great deal” of trust in mass media as a news source (2).

    The United States has undergone a parallel geo- and sociopolitical evolution. Geographic polarization of partisan preferences has dramatically increased over the past 40 years, reducing opportunities for cross-cutting political interaction. Homogeneous social networks, in turn, reduce tolerance for alternative views, amplify attitudinal polarization, boost the likelihood of accepting ideologically compatible news, and increase closure to new information. Dislike of the “other side” (affective polarization) has also risen. These trends have created a context in which fake news can attract a mass audience.

    https://science-sciencemag-org.access.library.unisa.edu.au/content/359/6380/1094

    thousands of science papers say the same thing, address the same issues, offer up similar solutions and related resources.

    so let’s keep bashing our heads together and against brick walls forever anyway?

    One definition for insanity is doing the SAME THINGS over and over again and still expecting a different result/outcome.

  17. 67

    KIA, #50 (I think), Mal, #62–

    Yes. Denial of climate change at this point involves a component of willed ignorance, IMO.

    And I agree with Mal about the hypocrisy of most folks arguing the harm of FF mitigation to the impoverished in the world, noting further to Mal’s points that it seems to be relatively rare for those making the argument to care about said impoverishment in any other context.

    However, I must also remark on this bit:

    The openly stated political desire of the left to destroy capitalism and replace it with some kind of socialist utopia also causes people to have great doubt about the motives behind doomsday claims of AGW.

    That’s a pretty extreme example of the fallacy of composition, as well. Most so-called ‘leftists’ in this country are probably in fact political moderates in the context of most advanced nations, few adhere to anything like the classic definition. (Even Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a “democratic socialist”, doesn’t actually advocate for government control of the means of production.)

    And I’m not aware of any politician who claims to be bringing “Utopia” by any description.

    Most progressives just want to see 1) true equality before the law for everybody; and 2) a modern social safety net such as that enjoyed by everybody else in the ‘developed world’, and increasingly beyond it as well.

    KIA’s assertion does remain popular among a good many conservative types, of course. IMO, that, too, is a matter of willful ignorance: it isn’t hard to understand the distinction I drew above. But too many find it ‘inconvenient’, as the term ‘socialist’ retains some efficacy as a political bludgeon. Ceasing to believe in the framing oneself might reduce the vigor with which the bludgeon could be wielded, even if technically it might improve accuracy.

  18. 68
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    Mal Adapted #59

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
    I liked your comments about journalism and agree with most everything. My main reservation is getting further OT: why the abrupt acceleration seen in sea level rise projections, starting about now?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise

    What is so special about the present time period compared to, say, 2010 or 2030?

  19. 69
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    Kevin, #60

    “1) I can see how the lack of context provided for the ‘25% of the country underwater’ bit can reasonably be characterized as misleading, though the story didn’t claim that the extent was unusual.“

    The claim was implicit. The 25% flooding extent was deemed newsworthy, enough so to be presented in the story’s title – leading readers to believe something very unusual had happened.

    ———

    “the idea that the losses must be uniquely attributed to only one or the other appears to be a fallacy of your construction.”

    Huh? I brought up several factors that contributed to the losses, including subsidence, COVID, and heavy runoff from the Brahmaputra and other rivers. There is no doubt that AGW played a role as well. GMSL has risen 7 or 8 inches since 1900:

    https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/12/

    This has clearly made things worse for coastal communities (and communities further inland to a lesser extent), but even then, land-use has been the bigger issue WRT sea level rise in several parts of the country,

    “Man-made flood protections, not climate change, are the main culprit in sea-level rise in southwest Bangladesh, according to new research conducted for the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research.”

    “The findings of this paper demonstrate that long-term issues like global sea-level rise are certainly a threat to countries like Bangladesh. But our research demonstrates that we have a much more immediate threat on our hands, and that is one of proper land use,”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/embankments-exacerbate-sea-level-rise-in-bangladesh/

  20. 70
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @63-67, I thought that Thomas Lakers interview on Trumps moral challenge to democrats was good value. People should listen. Here it is again:

    https://youtu.be/_OC-aS_QyHU?t=376

    Mind you the psychology of repetition work both ways. Yes Trump repeats his messages and its like brainwashing. But scientists and others repeat the factual message that the world is warming etctetera and so many people do eventually get it.

    The fixed and tribal nature of world views Laker mentions is very troubling, especially when it closes out messages like climate change threats and other threats. Yes repeating these facts does struggle to convince people with an opposing world view, but its important to repeat the facts because there is a good probability it will convince just enough people to achieve a political majority. Often this is just a small core of swing voters and moderates. We don’t have to convince everyone, and never will.

    I agree framing the message correctly is important in connecting with people with an opposing world view. Like the example of calling regulations protections.

    Shouting at people certainly seldom convinces them. Feels good though sometimes :)

  21. 71
    MA Rodger says:

    Billy Pilgrim @68,
    I am not sure what particular aspect of SLR “acceleration” you are asking about (and your question likely no-more off-topic than the bulk of the rest of this thread). The Wickithing SLR page reference is not a great deal of help as that page misuses the term “acceleration” in nine-of-ten attempts.
    I wonder if you are specifically referring to the second-from-top graphic ‘Global Sea Level History & Projections’ showing the period 1800-2100 and which is a relatively recent addition to that page. This graphic struggles to graft historic SL measurements into future SL projections. (I say ‘struggles’ and I do not exaggerate – it manages to show falling SL through the period 1800-1850. I am not aware of any study that shows such a fall.) The result is not a very convincing graphic and may be the reason you ask “What is so special about the present time period compared to, say, 2010 or 2030?”

    The acceleration in SLR is however described within the Wikithing page. It states that measured SLR averaged 1.44mm/yr 1870-2004, 1.7mm/yr 1900-1999 and is ‘now’ 3.2mm/yr. (What is actually meant by ‘now’ remains unclear. The webpage cited by Wikithing does give a 3.2mm/y value but provides no end-date for the measurement period [1992->????] or mention the ‘Note 1’ attached to the graphic presented, The graphic gives SLR Jan1992-May2020 as +3.5mm/yr. These averages do show SLR with an increase-with-time over various periods.
    This increase-with-time must be the product of an acceleration.
    Generally (& these measured SLR data in Wikithing concur) SLR has trebled 1900-2000 from 1mm/yr to 3mm/yr. If that trebling were repeated as a smooth (exponential) acceleration to 9mm/yr by 2100, the resulting SLR 2000-2100 = 550mm. (The IPCC AR5 SYN project a central SLR figure roughly 30% higher for this 2000-2100 period.)

    So I see no reason for your question @68 other than a poor bit of graphing being employed on the Wikithing page you link to.

  22. 72

    #69, BP–

    Huh? I brought up several factors that contributed to the losses, including subsidence, COVID, and heavy runoff from the Brahmaputra and other rivers. There is no doubt that AGW played a role as well.

    Now I’m feeling a bit confused. So we–meaning, you, me, and the reporter involved–all agree that there are multiple factors in play, apparently.

    I would have thought that even partial causation by AGW would be ample to justify the claim in the story that the troubles being experienced are indeed a “consequence” of AGW.

    Moreover, when you wrote “Covid-19, not climate change…” that’s apparently posed as an exclusive binary. So I thought that was your general position on this. Hence my statement pushing back.

    So, I presume, then, that what you calling “misleading” and “inaccurate” is really more a matter of–I guess, failing to explicitly acknowledge other relevant facts, not that the facts asserted were themselves inaccurate?

  23. 73

    BPL, #55–

    BPL: You missed the phrase “A Quarter of Bangladesh.” THAT is NOT “usual.”

    Actually, I’m bound to concede that Billy was correct on that score; apparently, though it would be highly unusual in most places, it’s considerably less so in Bangladesh during the monsoon.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floods_in_Bangladesh#Table_of_flood_damage_in_Bangladesh_(1953-1998)

  24. 74
  25. 75
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    Al Rodger #71

    Glad to see we’re both such big fans of Wikipedia (:
    Good catch, and disappointing the article so misused the word ‘acceleration’.
    ———-

    The ‘Wikithing’ graphic, showing the current trend at 3.5 mm/year, is here:
    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_decades.html

    It comes from CSIRO:
    “We’re Australia’s national science research agency. At CSIRO, we solve the greatest challenges using innovative science and technology.
    At the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), we shape the future. We do this by using science to solve real issues to unlock a better future for our community, our economy, our planet.”
    ———

    More specifically, the graphic represents the roughly 27 year satellite record, which is more accurate than estimates for earlier years; and shows almost no acceleration in trend,

    “This data has shown a more-or-less steady increase in Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) of around 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/year over that period.”

    ——-

    Moving to projections:
    In the 4th National Climate Assessment, the intermediate-low scenario for projected SLR (which includes the ‘low-likely’ range for the RCP4.5 pathway), gives a 73% likelihood of at least 50 cm SLR by 2100.

    https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/12/

    That’s about 20 inches (compared to a total of 7-8 inches over the past 120 years), and in line with the value you came up with:

    “Generally (& these measured SLR data in Wikithing concur) SLR has trebled 1900-2000 from 1mm/yr to 3mm/yr. If that trebling were repeated as a smooth (exponential) acceleration to 9mm/yr by 2100, the resulting SLR 2000-2100 = 550mm.”

    ——-

    Ok, so part of my question was answered when I took a closer look at the different pathways and projections. You were right in thinking the Wiki graphic had thrown me off!

    I’m still wondering, though, why the last 3 decades showed almost no acceleration in SLR increase, and why that is projected to change so dramatically (as mentioned, the trend may eventually triple), starting around 2020? Have we crossed a tipping point?

  26. 76

    Oops. Well, I walked into that one.

  27. 77
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    Kevin #72

    Climate change contributed to a not-unusual flooding event. The degree of suffering, however, WAS unusual, because it was amplified by the economic fallout from COVID. Not sure how that equates to an ‘exclusive binary’.

    For me, the situation in Bangladesh illustrates how COVID-19 has brought extra misery to a country that already suffers from annual floods. I would not use a near-normal flood extent as an example of climate change.

  28. 78
    MA Rodger says:

    Billy Pilgrim @75,
    You say “More specifically, the graphic … shows almost no acceleration in trend.”
    However, you do not make plain the basis for this claim that the data (graphed here) “shows almost no acceleration in trend.” And I would duspute that claim.
    Simplistically, if the two end of a data trace sit above a derived-linear-trend, it is a sign of the data potentiallly holding a positive acceleration.
    And more grown-up, SLR acceleration has been measured and written-up in the published literature. The value is given as 0.084mm/yr/yr or equivalent to an additional 2.2mm/yr over the 27 year period graphed. That is quite a lot of acceleration and certainly not “almost no acceleration in trend.”
    Thus with significant acceleration in SLR, there is no need to invoke ‘tipping points.’

  29. 79
    Susan Anderson says:

    It seems to be that the definition of “normal” Bangladesh flooding has moved up quite a bit in the last small number of years. Typhoon Amphang, even without a direct hit, made it so much worse (and also in neighboring northeast India).

    Speaking from my direct lay observations of sea level rise Boston’s Fort Point), it is an accelerating thing. For years (my observation begins in 1980 when I moved here) it was a millimeter at a time, almost invisible, with fluctuations in tide based on springs and neaps. By the early aughts, it began to be something you could see, my neighboring Fort Point Channel overflowing the banks with regularity. Then, in the last couple of years, we’ve been having king tide flooding on fair weather days, as well as overflows that are coming quite a bit further. The city and state had to move in, and there are now berms in process and they’ve blocked the street drains that were bringing water in from behind us rather than from the channel.

    The last big flood came to the sidewalk outside the building where I live. A coincidence of spring tide and northeaster doesn’t always happen; last winter (2019) was not as bad.

    But it is silly to say that it is not accelerating. At first you see almost nothing. Then it starts to be barely noticeable. Then it looks like a little something. Then more, and more, and boom! By that time the curve is getting steeper.

  30. 80
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    MA Rodger #78

    You wrote,
    “However, you do not make plain the basis for this claim that the data (graphed here) “shows almost no acceleration in trend.” And I would duspute that claim.”

    I admit my claim was based on eyeballing the time series, but was seemingly confirmed by the line I quoted earlier,

    “This data has shown a more-or-less steady increase in Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) of around 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/year over that period.”

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_decades.html

    ********

    I can’t argue with the math you found: 0.084mm/yr/yr
    That small a value could be described as a ‘more-or-less steady increase’”, but clearly adds up.

    Thanks for your help!

  31. 81

    Billy P, #77–

    Not sure how that equates to an ‘exclusive binary’.

    That the suffering either was/was not attributable to climate change. (I think that it’s partially attributable, though as I said, I’m not very happy with the data that I’ve seen to this point.*)

    From your comment–i.e., “Climate change contributed to a not-unusual flooding event. The degree of suffering, however, WAS unusual, because it was amplified by the economic fallout from COVID.”–you would still disagree. Fair enough. (And you’ve given some supporting evidence which seems potentially credible, if far from conclusive.)

    I think we’ve given the issue a pretty good airing at this point.

    *C.f.:

    In the past, vital research was conducted for the 1988 flood mapping to support relief operations. After that, few flood mapping studies have been conducted by academic researchers related to flood issues in Bangladesh without focusing on emergency response. Relatively, cloud-free satellite images showed that during the last three weeks of September, areas of inundation were 31% to 42% of Bangladesh. The actual flooded area was more from satellite image estimates which differed from officially reported areas. Although real-time flood monitoring plays a vital role in relief operations, flood maps also play an important role in decision-making, planning, and implementing flood management options. Most of the studies have published their flood mapping results ten years after a flood event. Sometimes the flood duration is quite long, although many researchers have mapped flooding areas for a single month. Furthermore, no dissemination systems were implemented to support sharing the inundated area maps during the crisis or after publishing the research article. A number of monitoring systems have the potential for flood management in Bangladesh, however limited access to discharge data from the upstream, and lack of timely acquisition of geospatial data has an impact on the operational suitability of these systems. In many cases, model-based inundation mapping does not provide good results on plain land area. Cloudy weather also prevents optical systems to provide coherent image coverage to use for flood inundation mapping. Due to the high level of cloud contamination during the monsoon time, cloud-free Landsat images identification was difficult for flood mapping. For Bangladesh, one of the best opportunities for operational flood mapping comes from Sentinel-1 imaging as it is publically available. In Bangladesh, the agriculture sector is greatly impacted by floods, despite conventional flood management systems paying very limited attention to this sector.

    https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/11/13/1581/htm

  32. 82
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    Susan Anderson #79

    Your first hand observations are consistent with this article, which shows Boston is in big trouble:

    “The sea level around Boston, Massachusetts, has risen by 8 inches since 1950. Its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by about 1 inch every 8 years. Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.”

    https://sealevelrise.org/states/massachusetts/

    On a personal note – I’m left coaster, but lived in Boston for a few months in the early 80’s. A beautiful city and great memories!

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