RealClimate logo


Unforced Variations: Jan 2021

Filed under: — gavin @ 1 January 2021

According to the somewhat* arbitrary customs of our age, the 1st of January marks the beginning of a new year, a new decade and, by analogy, a new start in human affairs. So shall it be at RealClimate too**.

This month’s topics will no doubt include the summaries of the 2020 climate (due Jan 14th or so), ongoing efforts to understand and predict extreme weather in a climate context, and the shift by the weather organizations (WMO, NWS) to a new set of climate normals (i.e. moving from 1981-2010 to 1991-2020).

In the spirit of this new year, please make a renewed effort to stay vaguely on climate science topics, try to stay constructive even when you disagree, refrain from posting abuse, and don’t bother with cut-and-paste climate denial (that stuff was tedious enough when it was originally wrong, and is simply boring now). Thanks!

*completely

**Seriously, we are thinking about how to update/re-position this blog, and would welcome constructive suggestions from readers.

258 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Jan 2021”

  1. 201
    John Pollack says:

    I’m in agreement with Zebra @197 that the whole discussion of climate chaos has been chaotic. I’m giving in to my temptation to attempt some clarifying comments. Alas, chances are that I won’t clarify much, but will add to the verbiage count. Here goes, anyhow.

    I categorize the chaos discussion in three (somewhat indistinct)realms. The first, mathematical and quantum/classical chaos, involves deep concepts. Anybody with a true understanding of these probably has better stuff to do than post on this board. These concerns are very peripheral to climate science, and we’re spinning our wheels.

    Second, chaos as manifested in weather and climate modeling. This ground is well-trodden, going back to Lorenz. Various subsets of climate relationships are chaotic when modeled, including Navier-Stokes fluid dynamics relating to convection and turbulence, various energy exchanges with delayed feedbacks including ocean/atmosphere coupling, plus albedo and temperature/water vapor feedbacks. You can get around these to a certain extent with statistics, but you can never be sure that you won’t encounter an outlier event. With all of these elements of chaotic relationships, the entirety of the climate system is certainly chaotic when modeled.

    Third and finally, the stuff that I think might make for an interesting discussion, chaotic behavior in real-world climate systems. The real world is a lot more complex than the models, and certainly manifests chaotic behavior on many scales, both spatial and temporal. My biggest takeaway from this is that climate systems aren’t linear, and exclusively linear thinking applied to them will go awry at some point. When you’re dealing with a chaotic system, the clod of dirt that you kick down the road may circle back next week to whack you in the back of the head. This aspect of climate reality is not given any consideration whatsoever by the doubters and denialists, who insist rigidly on linear thinking. Much of the time, they don’t even seem to be aware of their assumption of linearity as the only possible behavior of the climate system. Recent examples include insistence on a linear correlation between CO2 concentration and mean global surface temperature on an annualized basis, assumed tight coupling between AGW and snow storms, or lack thereof, SSTs and hurricanes, and innumerable other sideshows. (I refer to these as “sideshows” not because hurricanes or snowstorms are unimportant, but because you CANNOT achieve a real understanding if you start with an implicit or explicit assumption that these phenomena must be somehow linearly related to AGW.) It also precludes a serious discussion of acceleration of AGW as manifested in an observed time series. You can’t measure acceleration on a fractal surface, because you don’t know what scale to smooth on.

  2. 202
    zebra says:

    John Pollack #201,

    John, very well written, very clear. I agree with almost everything but I think you miss one important point there at the end.

    We are perturbing the system. We are increasing the total system energy.

    So I go back to the double pendulum, where results are not chaotic for small initial displacements, but become more so as we increase the initial height of the masses. My conceptualization of the climate system has always been that there is indeed still a predictable relationship for many characteristics, in some yet-to-be-defined “near term”.

    It is not unreasonable to say that Arctic ice will gradually diminish, or that there will be more rapidly intensifying hurricanes, or any of the other proposed changes for which we can provide a causal narrative based in physics. That’s because the climate system is still a reasonable approximation of how the various metrics were coupled in (say) 1950-1980.

    But of course, as I described in the previous post, as interactions and teleconnections move away from what they were in that baseline state, you can have e.g. a year where the circulation patterns change so much that so much energy intrudes on the Arctic that the ocean ice melts in the winter. And then of course the period of maximum insolation sees water not ice, and you are very quickly in a cycle where a totally new state may be achieved.

    That’s the distinction I would make; the Denialists aren’t wrong because of statistics, but because of physics.

  3. 203
    Piotr says:

    Killian (200) Taking care of myself and choosing which conversations to continue with is my business and none of yours.

    That milk has already spilled. If you were doing what you preach – nobody would have challenged you. But you DIDN’T: you CHOOSE to quote the absurd and undeserved attack of Al Bundy on Nigel, and you publicly PRAISED IT as “ not just fair, but necessary

    So, when you are saying “I am not cheering [Al Bundy’s] post nor gloating ” BUT THEN you praise his hitting Nigel below the belt as “ not just more fair, but necessary“, then your DECLARATIONS are meaningless, when undercut by your ACTIONS.

    I am not judging you, but your are a phony, who can’t admit of being wrong even to himself, and who tries to appear more noble than he is. See? I put the disclaimer: “I am not judging you”, so I don’t need to defend my opinion. A.k.a. “ I have already clearly stated [that I am not judging you]. And it is no business of yours“.

    ======================= Context =============================
    Piotr @149 [acknowledged Killian’s post, but not Nigel’s, who wrote on the same subject. Nigel missed Killian’s post – not surprising since it was short, staying on the subject, and uncondescending]. Hence autoironic:

    Nigel:“ Piotr @149 I think you might have me confused with Killian, which is a bit alarming, ha ha.”

    Al Bundy, both barrels blazing: “ Get. A. Room. Cuz your dysfunctional relationship with Killian is shredding your reputation here. You’re Otherizing yourself. I no longer anticipate your posts and I often scroll right through, generating ill feelings all the way down.

    Killian: “ I am not cheering [Al Bundy’s] post nor gloating, just glad to see some small balancing occurring. I think it is not just more fair, but is necessary.

    and when asked why he called Al Bundy hack job on Nigel “ not only fair, but necessary ” our Killian replies: “ choosing which conversations to continue with is my business and none of yours.

  4. 204
    Piotr says:

    Killian (200) Taking care of myself and choosing which conversations to continue with is my business and none of yours.

    That milk is already spilled. If you were doing what you preach – we wouldn’t have this exchange. But you DIDN’T: you quoted the absurd and undeserved attack of Al Bundy on Nigel, and you publicly PRAISED IT as “ not just fair, but necessary.

    So, when you are saying “I am not cheering [Al Bundy’s] post nor gloating “, BUT THEN you praise his hitting Nigel below the belt as “ not just more fair, but necessary“, then your DECLARATIONS are meaningless, when undercut by your ACTIONS. By their fruits you shall know them.

    I am not judging you, but your are a phony, who can’t admit of being wrong even to himself, and who tries to appear more noble than he is. I put the disclaimer: “I am not judging you”, so I don’t need to defend anything I have said about you. A.k.a. “ I have already clearly stated [that I am not judging you. And what I wrote about you] is no business of yours“.

    ======================= Context =============================

    Piotr @149 [acknowledged Killian’s post, but not Nigel’s, which was on the same subject. Nigel missed Killian’s post – not surprising since it was short, staying on the subject, and uncondescending. Hence his light-hearted, auto-ironic:]

    Nigel:“ Piotr @149 I think you might have me confused with Killian, which is a bit alarming, ha ha.”

    Al Bundy, both barrels blazing: “ Get. A. Room. Cuz your dysfunctional relationship with Killian is shredding your reputation here. You’re Otherizing yourself. I no longer anticipate your posts and I often scroll right through, generating ill feelings all the way down.

    Killian: “ I am not cheering [Al Bundy’s] post nor gloating, just glad to see some small balancing occurring. I think it is not just more fair, but is necessary.

    and when asked why he called Al Bundy hack job on Nigel “ not only fair, but necessary ” our Killian replies: “ choosing which conversations to continue with is my business and none of yours.

  5. 205
    Piotr says:

    John Pollack #201
    With all of these elements of chaotic relationships, the entirety of the climate system is certainly chaotic when modeled.

    So, how do you explain:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/12/how-good-have-climate-models-been-at-truly-predicting-the-future/:

    “The fact that both classes of climate model did so well in projecting future warming should increase our confidence that current climate models are getting things right for mostly the right reasons. While there are still real uncertainties in future warming associated with climate sensitivity, we can confidently state that the rate of surface warming we are experiencing today is pretty much what past climate models projected it would be.
    Gosh, maybe we know something about climate after all!”

  6. 206

    JDS and MKIA,
    A word of advice if you don’t want your posts censored to the bore hole…. don’t use links.
    This “science” site is happy for people to just even unsupported claims, but put in a link to something they don’t like and they can use their comment policy to censor you.

    A far better approach is to just give the headlines, e.g. “Historic low temperatures sweep North India” and let people search themselves. Having said that, that is unlikely as most commenters here don’t look into things that don’t fit their preconceived ideas.

  7. 207
    Al Bundy says:

    M-Al: I still haven’t figured out why you post so much pernicious nonsense here, but I’m leaning toward sheer joy at provoking your audience and subsequently complaining of persecution. Admittedly I don’t know why I still reward you, either!

    AB: Symbiosis. He feeds you (me/us) poop and enjoys watching you (me/us) choke on it. You (me/us) enjoy describing the meals he serves.
    ______

    Piotr: I don’t think _this_ was the problem with yar argument.

    AB: Me either. I think myopic misinterpretation caused by bias is the actual problem.
    ______

    Piotr: I quote:

    AB: I think
    ______

    nigelj: Reading between the lines you ignore me because…. you dont like that I respond to Killian? Hes just a guy on the internet. Hes not the godfather of the mafia. And its like you are blaming your own incompetence…on me? Just bizarre.

    AB: I don’t ignore you. Scrolling doesn’t preclude checking to see if you’re still talking to/about Killian. To clarify:

    “What Mike said.”

    There ya go. Killian is what Killian is. You KNOW that interacting with him WILL bring grief not just to you but to your friends. I’m almost nearly close to as smart as mike so I can see that bitching at Killian is a fool’s errand and maybe maybe maybe you’ll be able to keep your word. Yep, it is hard and we all fall short when promising improvement, but after 10 or 20 times of this, that, or some other plan/promise about how you’re going to handle your relationship with Killian, I decided to slap you silly. You think that’s wrong?

  8. 208
    Al Bundy says:

    Piotr: Al … never answered my question,

    AB: Some things are stated so bigotedly that it is wise to wait for someone less offensive to offer an opportunity to respond.
    _____________

    Killian: Moving along.

    AB: YES! And I wholeheartedly support your request/demand to limit your interactions to those you desire to interact with.

  9. 209
    Al Bundy says:

    Piotr,

    If someone (Killian) repeatedly demands that a certain individual (nigelj) leave them alone over the course of years and said individual spends those years totally rejecting said request/demand and instead incessantly harps about said someone…

    Go ahead, defend nigelj.

  10. 210
    Al Bundy says:

    and yes, nigelj is one of my top three friends here. I’m trying to fix things, and sometimes that requires lancing.

  11. 211
    Piotr says:

    zebra(202): “That’s the distinction I would make; the Denialists aren’t wrong because of statistics, but because of physics.

    I have thought that you agreed with Denialists that climate is chaotic and therefore cannot be predicted by models using physics? And the only meaningful difference was how you apply your common distrust of the climate models:

    – you to advocate for action – that we need reduce GHGs emissions more, because chaos may make things worse than models predicted

    – they to advocate for the opposite – either saying that the observed warming is a result of the chaos (it’s not us, it’s chaos), or by using chaos to “prove” the uselessness of the climate models, e.g. Monckton:

    accurate long-term prediction of the future evolution of the climate is not possible “by any method”. At present, climate forecasts even as little as six weeks ahead can be diametrically the opposite of what actually occurs, even if the forecasts are limited to a small region of the planet.” Monckton

    So if you both agree on modern climate being chaotic and therefore unpredictable – how would “physics” prove them wrong, but not you?

  12. 212
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @203, you want to know what I think? I’m not putting up with this anymore, I’m very close to stopping ALL correspondence with you permanently, and any chance of further support with your projects is already dead and buried.

  13. 213
    zebra says:

    Piotr #205, #211,

    I doubt John will waste his time to answer. You seem to have become one of the addicts here for whom quantity is the goal rather than quality, and you are playing rhetorical word games at the low level of KIA (and Monckton). I thought you had a science background, but perhaps there is some other factor impairing your reasoning.

    John said “the entirety of the climate system“.

    GMST is not the entirety of the climate system. As I explained to you previously, it is simply a proxy for (the change in) the total system energy. So, predicting that change, which results from human activity, has nothing to do with the chaotic-or-not nature of the climate system.

    And your quote from Monckton is very much the same low-level rhetoric.

    Even if the forecasts are limited to a small region of the planet.”

    Oooh, so clever, the implication that it should be easier to predict things for smaller areas when exactly the opposite is true. You guys are real geniuses at this….

  14. 214
    Al Bundy says:

    Piotr (on zebra): So if you both agree on modern climate being chaotic and therefore unpredictable – how would “physics” prove them wrong, but not you?

    AB: Conclusions matter not just in and of themselves but also to show the thought processes that led the ponderer down his/her path. “Uncertainty isn’t your friend” (zebra) is completely different than “it’s all garbage”.

    Besides, the physics (the long tail) agrees with zebra. Predictions can only be a tiny bit worse than what will actually happen but predictions can be seriously rosier than actual.

    This discussion feels like the Buzzword of the Day Show. Just swap “chaos” in for “random chance” and we can fill hours and hours with gnat-level content!

  15. 215
    John Pollack says:

    Piotr @ 205,211 Now we’re getting into what I think is the interesting part about chaos.
    Monckton and various deniers appear to believe that because the climate models – and the real world climate system they represent – are chaotic, that we have NO information about how the climate system will evolve.

    Instead, I am saying that as a consequence of chaos, manifested in a sensitive dependence on initial conditions, we lack the type of information that would allow us to make a precise forecast for a particular time, although we can still make a statistical forecast of many aspects of the system. As Zebra put it, based on physics.

    I will illustrate with a simplistic model. Before AGW, the global climate is chaotic, with two base states. C is a cold base state, with more glaciers and ice than W, a warm state. However, in C, the cold surface temperatures reduce radiation to space, and heat slowly builds in the oceans. In W, there is more radiation to space, the albedo is lower with less ice, but heat slowly is removed from the oceans. Physics (in the example) says that for long-term net zero radiation, the climate system will spend 50% of the time in C, and 50% in W. The long term average temperature will be robust, .5C + .5W. However, because of chaos, you won’t know whether a particular year would be in C, W, or a transition between the two.

    Now, let’s look at the post AGW world. The physics says that the temperature must rise, because more heat is being retained near the surface by greenhouse gases, the ice is melting, and the albedo is even lower than in W. But, what will happen to the climate state? A crucial observation is that there is a fundamental shift, and now the oceans are retaining more heat when we are in state W, rather than losing it. Therefore, the physics says that the new equilibrium state will be warmer than W. What it does not allow us to know is whether we will shift gradually to a new very warm W+ state, or abruptly to a hot H state, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Will we get to a new equilibrium through 100% W+, 50%W plus 50% H, or some other path? We don’t know. We do know that because the equilibrium has shifted, we’re in for at least W+, and will maybe reach H. My understanding is that this is part of what Zebra means by increasing total system energy.

    That’s part of the discussion about equilibrium climate sensitivity. We have an idea about where we are headed, but not the exact path, how fast, or whether there are even multiple equilibria that might exist for a hotter world. But we can bet that it’s trouble, and chaos won’t be our friend when it comes to adapting. That’s a far different viewpoint than the deniers have!

  16. 216
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Zebra: “That’s the distinction I would make; the Denialists aren’t wrong because of statistics, but because of physics.”

    Oh, no. They’re flat-assed wrong on statistics and probability as well. Example: Looking at local and global temperature maxima as indicators of whether climate change is wrong completely ignores extreme-value theory. Local and global maxima are among the last statistics to exhibit sensitivity to underlying variable distributions. And yet, these are precisely the statistics they cherry pick. It’s like watching a fricking New Ager attribute their magical cures to the “quantum” powers of the crystals.

  17. 217
    Piotr says:

    Piotr: “Al … never answered my question”
    Al Bundy (208): “,i> Some things are stated so bigotedly that it is wise to wait for someone less offensive to offer an opportunity to respond.”

    Huh? Where? Here is this “so bigoted” statement of mine:

    ====
    Piotr (167) “to me Nigel’s line is a part checking the attribution (people do misattribute comments on RC), and part self-deprecating irony: Nigel: “I think you might have me confused with Killian, which is a bit alarming, ha ha.”

    How did _you_ understand it, Al??? I mean, to justify your response to Nigel:
    Get. A. Room. Cuz your dysfunctional relationship with Killian is shredding your reputation here.“.
    ======
    So, help me Al, WHICH part of my question: “How did _you_ understand it, Al??? I mean, to justify your response to Nigel” ?
    have you found “stated so bigotedly” that you thought it “wise” not to answer it?

  18. 218
    nigelj says:

    piotr @217

    “Piotr (167) “to me Nigel’s line is a part checking the attribution (people do misattribute comments on RC), and part self-deprecating irony: Nigel: “I think you might have me confused with Killian, which is a bit alarming, ha ha.”

    My line was all that, and to signal I was not annoyed as such. And I agree with everything else you have said on the issue. But can we leave this whole issue and move on? I do not want to be the subject of this forum for all eternity. And my original statement seems to have generated a chaotic outcome…

  19. 219
  20. 220
    jgnfld says:

    zebra…

    I was going to make the same point about “Lord”* Monckton. I suspect he really thought he was being subtle.

    As for your point about stats well while I am much better at stats than physics, I have to say that I have almost never seen an even semi-competent stats analysis with a reasonably professional discussion in a denial paper. To my mind, denialists rely FAR more on bad stats than bad physics. (Not that they don’t assert a lot of bad physics as well.)

    —-
    *NOT according to the House of Lords

    [Response: Minor point, but titles in the UK exist and are valid regardless of whether the holder is in the House of Lords. Since ~1999 only a small number (92) of hereditary peers are in the Lords, despite there being many more Lords around. Monckton has stood for election to be part of that number, but has never been elected. – gavin]

  21. 221
    Piotr says:

    Nigel, I thought the issue was put to bed with Killian’s proud exit. Then Al came out of nowhere. Got me perplexed when upon reading my old question:
    “How did _you_ understand it, Al??? I mean, to justify your response to Nigel ?”
    he described it as “ stated so bigotedly” that it was “wise” not to answer.
    I thought I knew what this word meant. I guess not.

  22. 222
    Killian says:

    On chaos:

    I have made the observation climate is considered anywhere from non-linear to semi-chaotic to chaotic, but if we add human behavior to the mix it can only be chaotic because, even if only non-linear sans humans, it is far too complex for us to fully model. There will be errors in even the best modeling and surprises will come. It might be equivalent to a sandpile technically, but that sandpile is built in a quake zone subject to liquefaction!

    It occurs to me, though, since we keep talking about tipping points, and don’t know when they will trigger – or even know all the possible tipping points – mustn’t we, then, whether dterministic or chaotic, treat it as chaotic? Is that not the safe approach?

    In the end, because we cannot predict what we will do and due to the complexity of the Earth system, it may as well be chaotic.

    Discuss.

  23. 223
    Killian says:

    203 Piotr says:
    21 Jan 2021 at 7:12 PM

    Killian (200) Taking care of myself and choosing which conversations to continue with is my business and none of yours.

    That milk has already spilled.

    Yes, king.

    Wow.

    …undeserved attack of Al Bundy on Nigel…

    You realize that’s your opinion, right? E.g., I did not perceive it as an attack. YMMV, but, Dear Emperor, nobody cares.

    you publicly PRAISED IT

    This is not public. It is a privately held forum. You also need to look up “praised” because you are using it incorrectly here. Then, again, I think you know that and this use, like other hyperbolic language you use, is intentional. AB, historically no friend nor fan of mine, is correct about your intentions, IMO.

    as “ not just fair, but necessary

    Yes. After 5 years of radically imbalanced vitriol on these boards, balancing is *necessary* for certain people to gain objectivity WRT their responsibility for the vitriol.

    Specifically, I have, for a couple of years, tried to get nigel to see the flaws in his postings and have suggested strongly that so long as others didn’t call him out, he’d never “get” how his own posts are the source for much angry interaction here – even if unintentional.

    I think nigel is more aware of his words now. This is a good thing, not the horrible nasty attack you seem to think it is. BTW, your reasons for reacting to AB’s comments to nigel are exactly as AB said: Bias. You are radically biased against me and for nigel, so have zero objectivity. This has caused you to massively overreact to AB’s comments.

    I am not judging you, but your are a phony, who can’t admit of being wrong even to himself, and who tries to appear more noble than he is.

    LOL… That anyone would try that line of bullshit on an INTP type is humorous.

    Dude, you have zero interest in fostering civility on these pages.

    So, yeah, I get to choose who I interact with. That you think you get to determine that, thus think you *can*, says so much.

    This is the last time I will be engaging in the he said/she said crap. I am fairly certain Al, nigel, and I have substantially moved on. i leave you to wallow in whatever pile of dung most pleases you.

    Cheers

  24. 224
    zebra says:

    John Pollack #215,

    Nicely done, John, but a lot of work just to avoid using my double-pendulum model, ;-)

    So now my question is whether your pre-AGW state actually qualifies as “chaotic”, or are the ‘natural variations’ in fact periodic or quasi-periodic… I can’t remember all the acronyms for the proposed decadal or multi-decadal variations, but obviously ENSO changes the distribution of metrics that we use to define “climate” over a shorter term.

    For the pendulum, we can easily observe that this is the case when the initial displacement is small.

    What I would emphasize in your “post-AGW” is that we can in fact make some predictions about the internal metrics on the trip to some new equilibrium… e.g., as you say, the ice will melt. That’s because physics tells us that there is no mechanism for the energy to be sequestered; it will continue as before to be redistributed from higher to lower.

    But clearly, whether it was chaotic pre-Anthropogenic Energy Increase or not, it either is now or will be with BAU.

    (Or, we could just look at the pendulum with increasing initial displacements. Just sayin’…)

  25. 225
    zebra says:

    Ray #216 and jgnfld #220,

    No problem– I’m not qualified to do really sophisticated stats, and I haven’t read any actual papers from Denialists who actually write papers. I’m going by what I see posted and reported on. (How many actual papers do they write, now that you mention it?)

    If KIA says “it was cold somewhere today” or “it was warm somewhere in the past”, “so climate change is a hoax,” I don’t think of it as statistics-separate-from-physics because it is such an elementary bit of nonsense.

    So as I’ve said in various comments, I’m biased towards thinking about how to communicate this stuff to “the public”, and the public mostly doesn’t really know what mean means, if you know what I mean. I think they are more likely to see the flaws if presented in the ‘physics context’.

  26. 226
    Mal Adapted says:

    Ray Ladbury:

    Oh, no. [Denialists are] flat-assed wrong on statistics and probability as well. Example: Looking at local and global temperature maxima as indicators of whether climate change is wrong completely ignores extreme-value theory. Local and global maxima are among the last statistics to exhibit sensitivity to underlying variable distributions. And yet, these are precisely the statistics they cherry pick. It’s like watching a fricking New Ager attribute their magical cures to the “quantum” powers of the crystals.

    Yes. The simplest definition of climate is average weather. Secular trends in mean and maximum temperatures are therefore “climate change” by definition. Some denialists argue as though statistics are all climate scientists have with which to infer causation, without reference to physics. The denialists evidently fear they’ll be held liable for the social cost of the fossil carbon they consume, from now on or even retroactively. A cherry-picked value of a relatively insensitive weather statistic is claimed to make all other salient statistics irrelevant, thus exonerating the denialist of liability for climate change. Depending on the denialist, it’s magical thinking, cynical misdirection or both.

  27. 227
    nigelj says:

    Piotr @221, I understand your reaction to ABs comments because I would have reacted the same way. No criticism of you is intended.

    The trouble is AB was not reacting to my statement about confused identities as such. He was reacting more to other history you might not be aware of. I think it has just caused confusion.

    I think his comment also has no place on this thread, he has my email address. I’m obviously not happy with what AB said. And like Killian I would prefer to just move on from the whole issue.

  28. 228
    Piotr says:

    zebra (213) says: (Re:Piotr #205, #211)
    I doubt John will waste his time to answer. You seem to have become one of the addicts here for whom quantity is the goal rather than quality, and you are playing rhetorical word games at the low level of KIA (and Monckton). I thought you had a science background, but perhaps there is some other factor impairing your reasoning.

    Hmm:
    John Pollack(215) (re: Piotr #205,#211)
    Now we’re getting into what I think is the interesting part about chaos

    zebra(213) John said “the entirety of the climate system“. GMST is not the entirety of the climate system. The entirety of the climate system(/i>“ is so nebulous term that is effectively useless. That’s why proposed him to illustrate his point on a much less vague term – your “GMST” . And I chose this specific manifestation of the climate system:

    1. because it is critically important for “climate system” – being a measure of “ the total system energy) (c) Zebra; and it is the energy that drives the system.

    2. because we have a better observational record of it than ANY OTHER characteristics of the climate system

    3. and because the original post that launched 100 posts – Alastair’s (43) – speaks of all thing about … “ global warming

    zebra (213)” And your quote from Monckton is very much the same low-level rhetoric. “Even if the forecasts are limited to a small region of the planet.”
    Oooh, so clever, the implication that it should be easier to predict things for smaller areas when exactly the opposite is true. You guys are real geniuses at this…

    No, you are the genius: my quoting Monckton as an example of denier’s fallacy
    you evidently “understood” as my … support to his claims.

    Or, a darker possibility – you _knew_ that, but do to defend you wounded pride, you decided to discredit me through the “guilt by association” with Monckton.

    But such sophistry comes at a price, if you suggest that A is similar to B, then automatically trivialize B, by implying that it is no worse than A. In this case – you imply that Monckton’s manipulations are NO more dishonest than my asking John to illustrate his statement on “climate system” using the most important and best recorded metric of it (“global temperature anomaly”).

    With enemies like you, why would Monckton need friends?

  29. 229
    Piotr says:

    Killian : You realize that’s your opinion, right?

    “Opinion” suggests undocumented and unfalsifiable claim. Mine was neither – I quoted the originals AND offered falsifiable interpretation:

    ====
    a) Nigel:“ Piotr @149 I think you might have me confused with Killian, which is a bit alarming, ha ha.”

    b) Al Bundy: “Get. A. Room. Cuz your dysfunctional relationship with Killian is shredding your reputation here. You’re Otherizing yourself. I no longer anticipate your posts and I often scroll right through, generating ill feelings all the way down. ”

    c) My falsifiable interpretation: Piotr (167) “to me Nigel’s line is a part checking the attribution (people do misattribute comments on RC), and part self-deprecating irony. How did _you_ understand it, Al??? I mean, to justify your [above] response to Nigel?
    ====
    To which

    d) Kiliam described Al’s post above (“b”), as “ not only fair, but necessary”, and when asked to justify it, told me that what he answers “ is [his] business and none of [mine]

    e) Al Bundy described my question to him (in “c”) as “ stated so bigoted” as not to merit his answer.

    Three hurrahs for falsification!

  30. 230
    zebra says:

    Piotr #228,

    So are you now saying that John has convinced you that you were wrong when you said that the climate system is not chaotic?

  31. 231
    Al Bundy says:

    nigelj: The trouble is AB was not reacting to my statement about confused identities as such. He was reacting more to other history you might not be aware of. I think it has just caused confusion.

    I think his comment also has no place on this thread, he has my email address. I’m obviously not happy with what AB said. And like Killian I would prefer to just move on from the whole issue.

    AB: Yes, Nigel has it about right, but not complete. You see, I’m sick and tired of this room’s total lack of productivity. I’m not willing to participate in such a non-productive discussion anymore.

    I’m interested in ACTUALLY doing shit to ACTUALLY help save the planet in a VERY BIG fashion. I’m also interested in talking with folks who have no interest in dissing each other. This site’s commenters are interested in dissing each other and have provided little original material over years and years of my perusal.

    So, obviously, continuing here just hurts my psych, hurts my self-improvement program. Nothing like a group of nerdy white men to screw up any sort of social progress, eh?

    I’ve decided that this particular group is not my best choice. So I’ll likely post here again, but not terribly much. Good luck to all and thanks for providing me with a bit of a haven while I figured myself out.

  32. 232
    Killian says:

    Hey! Some science!

    Earth: Help me, I’m meeeeeltiiiiiing!

    Scientists led by the University found that the rate of ice loss from the Earth has increased markedly within the past three decades, from 0.8 trillion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tonnes per year by 2017.

    “The ice sheets are now following the worst-case climate warming scenarios.”
    DR THOMAS SLATER, CENTRE FOR POLAR OBSERVATION AND MODELLING

    Press Release:
    http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4756/global_ice_loss_increases_at_record_rate

    Review Article:
    https://www.the-cryosphere.net/about/news_and_press/2021-01-25_review-article-earths-ice-imbalance.html

  33. 233
    Michael Sweet says:

    Carbon brief referred to an article in Science Advances: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/4/eabc0671
    In the abstract they claim that they have developed a new method of assessing climate models and their results. They claim:

    “Our results suggest that using an unconstrained multimodel ensemble is no longer the best choice for global mean temperature projections and that the lower end of previous estimates of 21st century warming can now be excluded.”

    If this claim is correct that seems to eliminate the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5C. What do people here think about this article?

  34. 234
    Piotr says:

    zebra (230): “So are you now saying that John has convinced you that you were wrong when you said that the climate system is not chaotic?”

    Huh? Where did your read _THAT_ in my (228)??? The post was all about YOU – about YOUR contemptuous comments about me, which YOU based either on YOUR inability to understand posts you are commenting, or if you understood – on YOUR choice to deliberate misrepresenting them, to dismiss me by “guilt by association” with the deniers, i.e. with the very same people whose claims I presented as wrong/dishonest.

    I mentioned John ONLY to illustrate that your attempt to bash me using John – didn’t work out as planned:

    zebra (213) (Re: Piotr #205, #211) I doubt John will waste his time to answer. [because zebra placed me in the same bag with Monckton and KIA]”

    John (215) “(re: Piotr #205,#211) Now we’re getting into what I think is the interesting part about chaos.”

    Piotr

    ===^* My (228) showing the baselessness of zebra (213) insinuations =====

    zebra(213) “John said “the entirety of the climate system“. GMST is not the entirety of the climate system.

    Piotr( 228) “The entirety of the climate system“ is so a nebulous term that it is effectively useless. That’s why proposed to John to illustrate his point on a much less vague term – what you call “GMST” . And I chose this specific manifestation of the climate system, because:

    1. it is critically important for “climate system” – being a measure of “ the total system energy” (c) Zebra; and it is the energy that drives the system.

    2. and we have a better observational record of it than of ANY OTHER characteristics of the climate system

    3. and the original post that launched 100 posts – Alastair’s (43) – speaks about … “ global warming

    zebra (213)” And your quote from Monckton is very much the same low-level rhetoric. “Even if the forecasts are limited to a small region of the planet.”
    Oooh, so clever, the implication that it should be easier to predict things for smaller areas when exactly the opposite is true. You guys are real geniuses at this…

    No, you are the genius who evidently “understood” my quoting Monckton as an example of denier’s fallacy as my … support for this fallacy.

    Or, a darker possibility – you knew better, but to defend you wounded pride, you decided to discredit me through the “guilt by association” with Monckton.
    But such a sophistry comes at a price: if you suggest that A is similar to B, then you automatically trivialize B, by implying that it is no worse than A. In this case – you imply that Monckton’s manipulations are NO more dishonest than my asking John to illustrate his statement on “climate system” using the most important and best recorded metric of it (“global temperature anomaly”).
    With enemies like you, why would Monckton need friends?
    =================

  35. 235
    Piotr says:

    Al Bundy (231) “ You see, I’m sick and tired of this room’s total lack of productivity. I’m not willing to participate in such a non-productive discussion anymore.

    So … to show your frustration with non-productive discussions, you illustrated with your posts, how to … NOT discuss productively ???

    For the discussion to be productive, the claims have to falsifiable and one has to address what the previous person said. If you say “A”, then I should address A”, PARTICULARLY if I QUOTED “A”, and NOT write about my … general opinion about you based on your posts OTHER than “A”.

    It also helps the productivity, if when asked a specific question, we … answer this question? Say:
    – me: “I understood “A” to mean “X”. How else did you understand it?”
    – productive you: “I don’t think it means “X”, because ….”

    As opposed to your actual answer: “ Some things are stated so bigotedly that it is wise to wait for someone less offensive to offer an opportunity to respond.

    ========================================================================
    For the reference – the original discussion:
    a) Nigel:“ Piotr @149 I think you might have me confused with Killian, which is a bit alarming, ha ha.”

    b) Al Bundy: “Get. A. Room. Cuz your dysfunctional relationship with Killian is shredding your reputation here. You’re Otherizing yourself. I no longer anticipate your posts and I often scroll right through, generating ill feelings all the way down. ”

    c)Piotr (167) “to me Nigel’s line is a part checking the attribution (people do misattribute comments on RC), and part self-deprecating irony. How did _you_ understand it, Al??? I mean, to justify your [above] response to Nigel?

    d) Al Bundy describes this question to him as “stated so bigotedly” as not to merit his answer and leaves the answer to Killian.

    e) Killian describes Al’s post, as “ not only fair, but necessary”, and when asked to justify it, he states that it “is his business [what he answers to] and none of yours

    Extremely productive.

  36. 236
    Killian says:

    Re 235:

    Moderator(s), please start bore holing this stuff.

  37. 237
    nigelj says:

    This is new: ” Study: Accounting for value of nature reinforces Paris climate targets. Climate-economics models (IAMs) are said to grossly underestimate costs of climate damages to natural systems, such as flood protection and healthy ecosystems….”

    https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/01/study-accounting-for-value-of-nature-reinforces-paris-climate-targets/

    (This study is very critical of the Nordhaus economic model that seemed to diminish the costs of climate change. Here’s a related link critical of the Nordaus model, that I posted ages ago:

    https://liu.se/en/news-item/liu-forskare-riktar-skarp-kritik-mot-ekonomipristagare#:~:text=David%20EinarWilliam%20Nordhaus's%20work,alternative%20indicators%20of%20well%2Dbeing.

  38. 238
    mike says:

    at N at 237: Yes, it’s interesting that Nordhaus got Nobel Prize for his work on minimizing the cost of climate change. The Nordhaus work on the cost of climate change won’t stand the test of time, but it may have slowed our progress on committing to change for a period of time by grossly underestimating the costs.

    what is the penalty phase of getting this so wrong? Is it just the eventual loss of academic standing and prestige? Boy, that must sting.

    Cheers

    Mike

  39. 239
    nigelj says:

    Regarding Piotr @235, dissecting AB’s commentary ( and a few other peoples efforts in other similar responses). This looks like a bit of a lesson in logic ( broadly speaking) and this is a useful thing, especially as at least half the climate denialists nonsense is a lack of logic. So boreholing it seems a bit excessive. Providing its not over done.

    But it appears Poitr assumed AB was using the term productive to mean “useful” and fair enough that is the usual definition. I happen to know AB meant “coming up with new ideas and engineering inventions” but who else was to know this?

    And I would have thought internet discussions dont have to be entirely focused on new ideas and inventions. ( I have nothing against new ideas – my day job is in design and AB does have a few interesting engineering idea)

    And I would have thought the most important “new idea” we need is not more technology, but how do we MOTIVATE people to support meaningful climate change mitigation? We already have plenty of good technology but not much action. Admittedly this is more of a FR thread issue.

  40. 240
    mike says:

    New research on forests and oceans suggest projections of future warming may be too conservative, with serious consequences

    http://www.climatecodered.org/2021/01/new-research-on-forests-and-oceans.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimateCodeRed+%28climate+code+red%29

    “Future warming projections come from complex climate models, which combine historic data, current observations, equations that encompass current understandings of the bio-geo-physical processes, and some assumptions about processes where direct observation or modelling is more difficult…

    Now comes the crunch: recent research indicates that the current assumptions are both too optimistic, and the future emissions will cause faster warming than the models currently project.”

    This is good news if you like global warming, otherwise, not so much.

    Cheers

    Mike

  41. 241
    Piotr says:

    Nigel: “But it appears Piotr assumed AB was using the term productive to mean “useful”. I happen to know AB meant “coming up with new ideas and engineering inventions” but who else was to know this?

    He certainly fooled me ;-) – based on his posts directed to me …” searching for new ideas and engineering inventions” – would not have been my first guess.

    And to learn about these new ideas and inventions, he still would need to apply the same fundamental rules of a “useful” discussion: sticking to what other people said, not digressing into things they didn’t say, and supporting your opinions with falsifiable arguments.
    Without these, the discussion is unproductive in ANY sense of this word.

  42. 242
    nigelj says:

    Open access research paper: “Evaluating the scientific credentials of the supporters of public petitions denying anthropogenic climate change.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2021/01/unforced-variations-jan-2021/comment-page-5/#comments

  43. 243
    nigelj says:

    Some new research:

    “Climate of hope or doom and gloom? Testing the climate change hope vs. fear communications debate through online videos”

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-021-02975-8

    “Earth’s ice imbalance”

    https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/15/233/2021/

    Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance (1992‐2020) from calibrated radar altimetry

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020GL091216?af=R

  44. 244
    John Pollack says:

    Zebra @224 Your double pendulum is certainly a classic illustration of a chaotic system. I’m skirting it as an example because I am more of an empiricist. The theory is very strong that the climate system is chaotic.

    My background as a forecaster has me more interested in the practical consequences of the chaos. That’s how I’m taking your question about whether the pre-AGW state should be regarded as “chaotic” vs. natural variations that are periodic or quasi-periodic. I was just using a simplified example, but I’d rather talk about the real world, as we understand it. First, I will note that “quasi-periodic” is generally equivalent to chaotic. Whatever is causing the oscillation to be other than completely periodic is the chaotic component. For example, there is a periodic annual cycle forced by the Earth’s orbit. However, it doesn’t manifest exactly the same way each year, and that’s weather, a chaotic component.

    In the real world, even the pre-AGW climate state was chaotic. Of course, there were familiar cycles, such as ENSO, but they didn’t recur at strictly timed intervals, nor were they always the same intensity. Furthermore, there were chaotic variations over longer periods, such as the LIA and Medieval Climate Anomaly. It was generally nice in Europe, but caused severe drought in a lot of other places, including at least one (depending on how defined) megadrought in central and western North America. Going back further, we get severe and abrupt changes such as the Younger Dryas. Definitely chaotic.

  45. 245
    nigelj says:

    Piotr @241, agreed. This analysis of logical fallacies may be of related interest particularly page 12. It was written in respect of climate denialists, but many other people resort to the same tricks sadly.

    https://skepticalscience.com/docs/ClimateChangeInformationBriefs-MythsAndFallacies.pdf

  46. 246
    zebra says:

    John Pollack #244,

    Can’t really argue, since we agree on the concept of climate system. Perhaps we will see what Piotr thinks.

    The pendulum for me is really a visual aid for communicating to ‘the public’; the key point is the analogy with “forcing”; it goes from (what I would describe as) quasi-periodic to obviously chaotic with increasing energy.

  47. 247
    jgnfld says:

    @244…

    Yes. Chaos is often invoked by deniers/propagandists to “prove” that (1) “no one can predict the climate” and that (2) the climate can just wander to any value it wants with or without, say, greenhouse gas forcing.

    Just as in other guises, uncertainty is not the denier’s/propoagandist’s friend that they believe it is. Chaotic variables are often highly constrained to certain values. The position of a double pendulum may not be predictable with any certainty given any particular initial velocity measurement, start position, interior angle, and sufficient time, the space in which the position MUST lie is quite predictable. Further, some positions are much more likely than others over time though the specifics vary hugely by start parameters.. For example, it is rarer to find the tip of (for ease let’s assume an double pendulum with equal sub-lengths and near straight vertical release) above y=0 and much more likely to find it along an arc nearer to 2xsublength distance.

    This is easily modeled. R-bloggers had a demo some years back here:

  48. 248
  49. 249
    mike says:

    The future of the Great Barrier Reef – and other reefs around the world – will ultimately depend on how successfully we can limit ocean warming.

    This is the blunt conclusion of a new study, just published in Nature, which examines the impacts of recent coral bleaching events on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The event in 2016, for example, left just 9% of surveyed reefs untouched.

    The study finds that sea surface temperature is the biggest driver of bleaching, while local efforts to improve water quality or restrict fishing have little impact on limiting its severity.

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/coral-reef-survival-hinges-on-urgent-rapid-emissions-cuts

    We are quickly running out of time to prevent the disappearance of important global eco-assets, like coral reefs, to global warming.

    I will predict with no joy that the next major hot ENSO cycle will produce record-breaking loss of reefs.

    Mike

  50. 250
    mike says:

    Permafrost is thawing across the Arctic, releasing microbes and organic materials that have been trapped in the frozen ground for thousands of years. NOAA via Wikimedia Commons
    Thawing permafrost is full of ice-forming particles that could get into atmosphere

    https://theconversation.com/thawing-permafrost-is-full-of-ice-forming-particles-that-could-get-into-atmosphere-152736

    interesting read.