Sometimes all you can do is laugh!

I see Andrew Montford has authored a new Global Warming Policy Foundation report about The Warming Consensus and its critics. Personally, I find this whole argument about the consensus tedious and childish. It exists, knowing it exists could be important, its existence doesn’t mean that the scientific view is correct, science doesn’t work via consensus, denying its existence is infantile and foolish.

So, who are the critics that Andrew’s report highlights. Well, there’s a single quote from Mike Hulme made – if I remember correctly – on a Making Science Public blog post. There’s Richard Tol’s paper, that took something like 5 submissions to 4 different journals, and which, at best, simply points out what the original paper already acknowledged (and, at worst, is simply complete and utter bollocks). There are quotes from blog posts written by a ranty PhD student from Arizona, whose views appear so absurd that I can’t bring myself to mention their name or link to their blog posts. And, last but not least, a paper co-authored by Christopher Monckton.

So, here’s my new theory of how some people hope to “win”. Write reports (and say things) that are so absurd that anyone sensible simply bursts out laughing, assumes that they’re joking, and moves on without commenting. That way, the author can then claim that noone has yet contradicted what they’ve written and, therefore, they must be right. In a similar vein, I spent some of my day discussing, with Judith Curry on Twitter, whether or not we’re virtually certain that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic. Again, what else can you do but laugh?

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279 Responses to Sometimes all you can do is laugh!

  1. Sorry for the pedantry, but there should be no apostrophe in ‘its’ on this occasion. By all means delete this comment once corrected.

  2. verytallguy says:

     I spent some of my day discussing, with Judith Curry on Twitter, whether or not we’re virtually certain that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic

    Seriously? 

    I don’t do twitter and just my opinion but if this is for real you should de – anonymise and call her out.

  3. Andrew Dodds says:

    I wish that reality could sue for libel.

  4. VTG,
    Oh, she got called out by Michael Mann, Gavin Cawley and a number of others. It didn’t go un-noticed.

  5. entropicman says:

    I have been debating Monkton’s post on BIshop Hill. It would seem to be intended as political lobbying rather than related to the science. Monkton says in his summary that he and most sceptics agree with Cook’s basic points. CO2 causes warming; humans have contributed to recent warming.

    Think of his post as political lobbying. Science is not about votes or consensus, politics is all about votes and consensus. Perhaps his aim is to seducesome politician away from the current climate change policy by giving the impression that there are fewer vote in it.

  6. entropicman says:

    Sorry, wrong sceptic! For Monkton read Montford!

  7. verytallguy says:

    Anyone interested in the facts of the anthropogenic nature of CO2 rise really needs nothing more than this

    To imply that such an unprecedented rise, exactly coincident with industrialisation, is natural is indeed risible.

  8. EM,
    I did wonder for a minute 🙂

  9. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts: ‘Personally, I find this whole argument about the consensus tedious and childish. It exists, knowing it exists could be important, its existence doesn’t mean that the scientific view is correct, science doesn’t work via consensus, denying its existence is infantile and foolish.’

    (a) Which consensus do you mean? Several are used in the climate ‘debate’. There’s also the ‘consensus without an object’ noted by Ben Pile, which, lacking an object, isn’t really a consensus at all. It’s an undefined, shape-shifting trump card that’s waved around in the hope of shutting down proper debate.

    (b) Montford’s report doesn’t deny the existence of the ‘humans are warming the globe’ consensus, or indeed any other consensus. He’s just saying that, methodologically, Cook et al was complete and utter bollocks. Which it was.

  10. BBD says:

    Vinny

    It’s an undefined, shape-shifting trump card that’s waved around in the hope of shutting down proper debate.

    Physics isn’t up for “debate”. So all this stuff about “shutting down” etc is rhetoric. What fake sceptics want is a space to insert confusion into the public discourse. That isn’t a “proper debate”, it is a misinformation campaign.

    He’s just saying that, methodologically, Cook et al was complete and utter bollocks. Which it was.

    Sez you. And you won’t find many takers for your distorted perspective on that topic either.

    And mods – please – can we not get into the Cook-is-bollocks rubbish again? Please!

  11. BBD says:

    Because fake sceptics make that argument to insert misinformation and confusion into the public debate etc etc.

    See how it’s done? Here, on this very blog?

  12. Marco says:

    OMG, is Curry still flirting with the CO2 rise maybe not being anthropogenic-idea?

  13. guthrie says:

    The other purposes of all these reports are:
    1) Give the footsoldiers sources to quote and link to and use in arguments. (Like we use Realclimate, except these reports are wrong)
    2) dominate the mediasphere – the more reports, links, blogposts, etc you have the more your side look big and important and busy, making it easier to gull media folk and people who don’t know anything. Obviously there’s major aspects of cargo cult science here too.

  14. Vinny Burgoo says:

    BBD: ‘Physics isn’t up for “debate”’

    Few of the climate consensuses are about the physics.

    ‘And mods – please – can we not get into the Cook-is-bollocks rubbish again? Please!’

    But that’s what this thread is about.

  15. Bobby says:

    Wait a sec, Curry referenced Salby as a scientist investigating CO2 rise not being anthropogenic in the tweets? What??? There are so many things wrong with that sentence. I must silence myself at this point rather than get silenced by mods later.

  16. Andy Skuce says:

    Off-topic slightly, here is the great cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, making us woner whether we should laugh or cry.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/08/1327465/-Cartoon-Capt-Kirk-vs-the-internet?detail=hide

  17. Vinny,

    Montford’s report doesn’t deny the existence of the ‘humans are warming the globe’ consensus, or indeed any other consensus. He’s just saying that, methodologically, Cook et al was complete and utter bollocks. Which it was.

    Montford’s report is embarrassingly childish, which is not wildly different from his blog, IMO. Also, what you’ve just said is similarly nonsensical. Quoting Tol, a paper co-authored by Monckton and a blog written by a ranty PhD student who seems to like throwing around accusations of fraud and biases in others (without even attempting to acknowledge his own) is not even close to showing that Cook et al. was complete and utter bollocks.

    But that’s what this thread is about.

    No, this thread is about those who keep claiming this without actually trying to show it. Noone has actually tried to redo the study to show that the result is wrong or that a large fraction of the abstracts have been incorrectly rated. Until that happens, all the attempts to discredit it are transparent attempts to claim there is no consensus without actually saying it.

    To be honest, though. I’m really tired of arguing about the consensus project. The consensus exists (we’ve caused most of the warming since 1950 and will continue to produce warming if we continue to emit CO2). This post was really just about how remarkably laughable some of what goes on in this topic is, not about the consensus project itself.

  18. Joshua says:

    ==> “Again, what else can you do but laugh?”

    I recommend going for a bacon burger and a couple of beers.

  19. BBD says:

    Vinny

    Few of the climate consensuses are about the physics.

    The Warming Consensus and its critics.

    Don’t push it.

  20. Those kids you hated to hang out with in school because of their du**-a** attitude. Some have changed. Some haven’t … now hovering around between the different stages of denial:

  21. Well, trying to post the link as an image didn’t work. So you’ve gotta klick it:

  22. Joshua says:

    Vinny –

    ==> “(a) Which consensus do you mean? ”

    Not to speak for Anders – but I would guess that maybe he’s referencing the one that Richard Tols spoke of here?

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

    In fact, I would go so far out on a limb as to say it’s bleedin’ obvious that is the “consensus” he was referring to (I’ll happily be corrected if otherwise).

    After all, that is the one that most people are referring to when they speak of the “consensus.”

    Well, except for those who seem interested, for some reason, in diminishing the implications that such a “consensus” exists. Which I must say, does seem to describe many a “skeptic.”

  23. LOL … putting the link w/o any additional html-tag whatsoever did the trick. Pity that one never really knows what the default setting on any particular blog or discussion forum would be. Sorry again for the related spam 😉

  24. Joshua,
    In a sense it’s slightly different, I think. It includes what Richard said, but also includes that virtually all papers that aim to study the impact of climate change use that humans were the dominant influence over the past half century and will continue to be the dominant influence over the coming century if we continue to increase our emissions.

  25. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    I would assume that for the vast majority of people who reference the “the consensus,” the dominance of ACO2 influence over the last century and a half would necessarily imply a continued dominant influence in the future with increasing ACO2..

    Of course – it’s always dangerous to make assumptions with “skeptics.”

    Maybe “skeptics” might argue that such a mechanistic linkage between the past and the future warming is not valid. Perhaps some version of Willis’ “homeostasis” argument that the climate system will respond to external forcing in such a way as to counteract it. But I’m not sure I’ve actually seen that argument made that asserts a different mechanism in the future from what has occurred in the last 150 years (does anyone know – or care – whether Willis accepts that ACO2 has played a dominating role in temperature increase over the past 150 years?).
    And certainly, I would think that for the “consensus” as described by Richard would consider a consistency between the mechanisms of past and future warming as a given. No?

  26. Joshua,
    Indeed, it would seem obvious that if humans dominated over the last half century that we will continue to do so if we carry on as we are. However, I’ve learned that what seems obvious to me, isn’t to everyone else 🙂

  27. jsam says:

    Cook et al is the dog’s bollocks. There, fixed it for Vinny. And then, of course, there are all the other studies confirming the consensus – including one R Tol.

  28. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, the Cook et al classifications made no sense. No further objections necessary (although they are plentiful).

    If you are tired of arguing about the Consensus Project then may I humbly suggest that you stop blogging about it, because (a) its ‘science’ isn’t settled and (b) it wasn’t science and was never intended as such.

    ===
    Disclaimer (I think I’ll add this to all my comments here in future in the hope of not being called a denier, luke warmer, shill etc. again): climate change is real, humans are causing most of it and something should be done about this.

    Plus a one-off disclaimer: I don’t like Montford’s blog. (Disclaimer’s disclaimer: But I have recently added Bishop Hill to my newsfeed and it isn’t as unhinged as it used to be. Disclaimer’s disclaimer’s disclaimer: The newsfeed doesn’t include the comments, which are probably as unhinged as ever.)

  29. That twitter exchange https://twitter.com/theresphysics/status/508901803342430208 was a laugh. It was Judith Curry: “Salby is looking at this. Unpublished at this point.” that did it for me. Does JC really not understand the annual global carbon cycle budget? Does this count as a reference in JC’s view? Boggling. And worry not, more laughs coming comparing Salby (forthcoming) with LeQuéré et al http://cdiac.ornl.gov/GCP/ Looking forward to the JC-recommended insights from the great man. *bated breath* (not really)

  30. Vinny,

    If you are tired of arguing about the Consensus Project then may I humbly suggest that you stop blogging about it, because (a) its ‘science’ isn’t settled and (b) it wasn’t science and was never intended as such.

    I’ll ignore the first part of your comment as if you want to think they made no sense, then fine. Sure, I did consider that this post would end up leading to the comments being about the consensus project, but it was really intended to suggest that arguing about it is remarkably silly. Even if the Cook et al.study doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t change that a consensus exists and is strong. In any other field, you wouldn’t need consensus projects, because you’d just ask a bunch of researchers (or read some papers, or whatever else you’d need to do to understand the level of agreement).

    Fair enough about the disclaimers. We broadly agree then 🙂

  31. BBD says:

    Vinny is peddling, ATTP.

  32. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Will someone please define ‘peddling’. Willard promised to do so a while ago but never got around to it.

    ===
    Disclaimer: climate change is real, humans are causing most of it and something should be done about this.

  33. BBD says:

    Will someone please define ‘peddling’. Willard promised to do so a while ago but never got around to it.

    Yes he did. Don’t push it, Vinny.

  34. Joshua says:

    Vinny –

    ==> “Will someone please define ‘peddling’. ”

    Don’t you think it’s bleedin’ obvious what “consensus” Anders was referring to – and that it’s the same one Richard describes with this statement?:

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

    (with the possible caveat that Anders also meant that the same mechanism of warming over the past 150 years will continue going forward with continued ACO2 emissions?)

    Failure to answer the question might just fit the definition of peddling.

  35. BBD says:

    Peddling is what you are doing by pushing the rubbish about Cook even after your host has said this:

    No, this thread is about those who keep claiming this without actually trying to show it. Noone has actually tried to redo the study to show that the result is wrong or that a large fraction of the abstracts have been incorrectly rated. Until that happens, all the attempts to discredit it are transparent attempts to claim there is no consensus without actually saying it.

  36. Steve Bloom says:

    Pushing it is what you do when your gears jam while peddling.

  37. > Willard promised to do so a while ago but never got around to it.

    I actually did, Vinny:

    Basically, it’s using someone else’s claim to peddle your own pet topic, e.g. alarmism. It’s like running with someone else’s squirrel.

    Peddling ain’t that bad, as long as it does not turn into a food fight. And when it does, a pox in all the houses.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-road-to-hell/#comment-28117

    An older instance:

    That’s a peddling trick, AT. You mention someone S and Foxgoose feels anything that involves S is relevant or something. And now that Foxgoose has the feet on the door, he can raise any concerns he wants about your person.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/years-of-living-dangerously/#comment-19412

    Hope this helps,

    w

    [NB. Edited for clarity.]

  38. dana1981 says:

    “Wotts, the Cook et al classifications made no sense.

    I would suggest that this is a remark made from a position of ignorance, because the classifications in our paper were extremely useful. Generally, people making this argument are ignoring Categories 1 and 7 (I suspect willfully ignoring them in many cases). I specifically suggested that we include those categories precisely because I knew the deniers would make the “consensus is weak” argument (one of Montford’s many dumb arguments).

    I take a bit of issue with this comment, ATTP:

    “science doesn’t work via consensus”

    I guess that depends on exactly what facet of science you’re talking about (or what you mean by “work”). But generally speaking, science does advance via consensus. Ideas are tested many times, and when the supporting evidence becomes overwhelming, an expert consensus forms that the idea in question is probably correct. In most cases, scientists then move on to investigate other unresolved questions.

    Contrarians constantly make this argument to downplay the importance of consensus. I think it’s important not to fall into that trap of undervaluing an expert consensus.

    Regarding the GWPF report, it’s nothing but a summary of the lame denier attacks on our paper, with a bunch of quote mining from our hacked private forum thrown in for bad measure. Feed Tol, Monckton, Duarte, and Schollenberger to a dog, and Montford’s report is what would come out the other end.

  39. dana1981 says:

    Oh and about Curry not being able to grasp the high school level science of the carbon cycle – all I can say is wow. She never ceases to amaze me with how little she understands about basic climate science, and she’s supposed to be a climate scientist!

  40. anoilman says:

    Judith Curry turned me into a newt.

  41. Michael Hauber says:

    I tried reading Montford’s report, but got no further than the summary. In one sentence Montford claims the ‘consensus’ is not discernable in the paper. The very next sentence he defines the ‘consensus’ based on the methodology used in the paper. After that Montford states that nearly everyone ‘including the majority of skeptics’ accepts these propositions.

    Lolwut??

  42. What’s worse is that Curry thinks Bose-Einstein statistics are involved with the creation of clouds, as revealed in her recently finished textbook .
    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/

    I pointed out this ridiculous claim on her blog comments section, suggesting that there is no evidence for B-E either in previously cited work or via any comparisons to data. In addition, the math she used to demonstrate this had the freezing nucleation rate increasing with absolute temperature — wrong direction. It should be increasing with the undercooling delta from the melting point.

    This caused her Russian co-author a few days of grief to rationalize his way out of it. He said it was all “hypothetical” and shouldn’t detract from the rest of the book. Curry couldn’t respond because she apparently knows very little physics, being only a co-author and not God — or something to that effect.

  43. Dana,

    I take a bit of issue with this comment, ATTP:

    “science doesn’t work via consensus”

    I just meant that science doesn’t require that your work is consistent with a consensus (for example, some suggest that the role of the IPCC is to define the consensus that climate scientists should be confirming, rather than the IPCC simply presenting the current consensus position) . I agree, that it does advance via consensus.

    WHT,
    I noticed Judith’s guest post. Did you just get outed by her Russian co-author, or was that an open secret?

  44. ligne says:

    “I noticed Judith’s guest post. Did you just get outed by her Russian co-author, or was that an open secret?”

    after saying “WHT aka [name]”, he then repeatedly says “WHT and [name]” (emphasis mine). maybe he doesn’t know what “aka” means?

    that said, i loved his “Bose had trouble getting published, ergo i am Galileo”.

  45. I’ve also just noticed this

    This initiated a substantial discussion, which took much time of busy people.

    Shame, having to engage in a discussion with someone who’s criticised your book. Life would certainly be much easier if that was not allowed.

  46. AT,
    Of course it’s an open secret who I am. My gravatar handle link points to my blog, which has my university E-mail account at the bottom.

    The minions at CE did a Pee-wee dance over “discovering” who I was through another route, and then when I pointed out that this was no great feat, the dim-witted Carrick said “You are assuming we cared enough to look.”.

    How can you do anything but laugh ?

  47. WHT,
    I’d looked at your site and hadn’t noticed that. Maybe I should add my email address to this site and see how long it takes people to work it out 🙂

  48. AT, You would be surprised at what people think about you if you remain semi-anonymous. The aforementioned Carick said he always thought I was a high-school student. What a low blow !

    But then when Joshua called him on that, Carrick said he knew of the occasional pretentious high school student from attending science fairs. Whew! That made me feel better.

    Alas poor Carrick, I barely know him, but a man of infinite jest.

  49. WHT,
    I’ve had similar. The last one was “pretentious PhD student”, I think. Most of my PhD students are brighter than me, so I took that as a compliment 🙂

  50. I misspoke, I meant to say precocious instead of pretentious

    Carrick restated

    “To clarify, there are high school students who publish peer reviewed scientific research. There are even people who received their Ph.D. while still a teenager (I know somebody who just missed the cutoff).”

    Perhaps you should recruit grad students from Carrick’s neighborhood?

  51. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Willard, so you did. A senior moment.

    So ‘peddling’ is monomaniacs using the slightest excuse to hijack a discussion. Guilty, m’lud. Many, many times guilty. Not in this thread, though. Or not yet.

  52. Kevin O'Neill says:

    WHT – my meager understanding is that B-E statistics applies to identical bosons; given ortho and para water have different integer spins would they still be considered identical for the purposes of B-E statistics?

  53. Another illustration of peddling, Vinny:

    ­

    [Vaughan]: Well, predicting is hard, especially future’s anomalies.

    [MattStat]: Yeah, this is a bummer. But how do you think that people –

    [Don Don]: Hey guys, you talking Doritos?

    [MattStat]: Come on, Don Don. Don’t do this again.

    [Don Don]: I just thought maybe you were having the old Doritos discussion.

    [Vaughan]: Dude, for the last time: we’ll tell you if we ever have a conversation about Doritos.

    [Don Don]: You promise?

    [MattStat]: Of course, Don Don. We know how you love Doritos.

    [Vaughan]: Yeah, man. Everyone knows.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/40263311176

  54. The current Curry blog posting is an example of going down the rabbit hole of “not even wrong” arguments

    Her idea of applying the full Bose-Einstein statistics treatment on water is so unusual an argument that I panicked and incorrectly blurted out that a water molecule doesn’t have integer spin. In retrospect, I should have said that it was irrelevant.

    My opinion on not even wrong arguments, which I have expounded on before, is that it is more difficult to unravel someone’s oddball ideas than to follow a logical argument. Trying to deconstruct the flawed premise to figure out what the original intent is almost impossible, and it essentially amounts to attempting to read the other person’s mind.

    So when you try to “unwind” an argument such as Curry’s Bose-Enstein assumption, you end up going down Alice’s rabbit-hole, and with any assertion that you make in trying to make sense of it, it could get projected back on to you as if it were your failure.

    I am reminded of AT’s recent excursion at Bishop Hill
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/i-think-i-need-another-break/

    Replace the subject “chaos” with “statistical mechanics” and the outcome is the same. You get in trouble trying to unwind crazy arguments.

  55. BBD says:

    Ah, Web. Wisdom as ever. It was you who recently observed how well Cap fitted in at JC’s.

  56. Arthur Smith says:

    Khvorostyanov seems very confused about something – Bose-Einstein statistics cannot be a solution to incomplete characterization of the energy landscape at cold temperatures which seems to be the real problem he quotes:
    “However, Boltzmann statistics requires a condition DFcr >> kT. Thus, we come to a dead end: calculations of nucleation become impossible below Tlim with Boltzmann statistics although many cirrus clouds may form at these T (especially in the tropics), polar stratospheric clouds, playing important role in ozone depletion, noctilucent and mesospheric clouds form at even lower T (see Chapter 4 in the book).

    So, we have a situation when clouds form at very cold temperatures, but we cannot calculate crystal nucleation rate at these T because of inapplicability of the Boltzmann statistics and cannot simulate these clouds. This situation is not characteristic of only our work, but is a common problem for many researchers who try to deal with low T.”

    Boltzmann and Bose-Einstein will give you identical statistics for water at temperatures anywhere above milli-kelvin; it is not the statistics that is the problem here.

  57. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Arthur Smith writes: “Boltzmann and Bose-Einstein will give you identical statistics for water at temperatures anywhere above milli-kelvin; it is not the statistics that is the problem here.”

    My initial reaction was that C&K’s notion of “low temperature” wasn’t exactly a theoretical physicist’s notion of low temperature. -100ºC is pretty cold if I have to step out into it, but is still 173K.

  58. Kevin, Yes, that could be the case as I think there is a spin of zero and a spin of one involved.

    But again, I think it is as Arthur Smith says, a huge straw-man/red-herring and a mistake for Curry and co-author to have made in assuming that adopting B-E statistics would have made any difference.

    They shouldn’t have gone there, and now are trying to walk it back.

    This just in from Curry:


    curryja | September 9, 2014 at 10:34 am |

    Uh, ‘huge straw man argument’? Two paragraphs, that are not referred to further in the text?
    Yours is the straw man argument, that this somehow mattered to the book.

    She published it, now she has to deal with the repercussions. Somebody that Googles or DuckDuckGos “Bose-Einstein statistics”+freezing+nucleation will see her reference at the top of the list, and the poor researcher will descend into the rabbit hole that she has laid out for them.

  59. Right Kevin, I back extrapolated the classical nucleation theory (CNT) curves from Curry’s Figure 8.2 and the exponent never drops below about 3 and that occurs close to absolute zero. At -100C it is around 6, and exp(6) ~ 400 >> 1, which means that Bose-Einstein probably wouldn’t apply based on her own arguments.

  60. anoilman says:

    WHT, Anders… There are plenty of examples in the Denial community for listening to people who have no education or knowledge about what they are talking about. Maybe this inexplicable belief system is what confuses people.

    Anthony Watts… High School
    WIllis Eschenbach… Massage Certificate!? http://www.desmogblog.com/willis-eschenbach

    Actually I can’t seem to figure out the educations of most of the folks over there. But obviously Judith Curry is in with good good company. (I hope here contract work with oil and gas are going well.)

    Lomborg is an environmental scientist.. oh no.. Make that Political scientist who studied game theory.

    In my opinion, people willing to misplace their trust in folks working with WUWT so carelessly probably go to hair salons to get advice on the economy. (Thus causing the great collapse of 2008.)

    Surely they’d never go to weird lawyers to give them key advice. (Never mind.)
    http://www.desmogblog.com/affidavits-michael-mann-libel-suit-reveal-astonishing-facts-about-tim-ball-associate-john-o-sullivan

  61. But but but … maybe they are really high density clouds! lol.

    I’m glad people are starting to see the comedy aspect to all this. Now back to the seemingly intractable problem of the fossil fuel carbon derived global energy imbalance, there was another stunning bit of arxiv out last night, (Zn – NQR) indicating that the mobile metallic (and thus superconducting) quasiparticles in the cuprates may result from the reversion of Cu2+ Cu2+ lattice in the parent compound to Cu+ Cu+ + 2h which effectively creates a cuprate expanded metal intercalated with oxygen. They’ve worked this out pretty much to the specific orbital level.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1922

    I suspect we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg on this.

    I’m glad to see the Europeans getting involved, but I don’t think classical metallurgy is the metallurgy program of choice when creating the metallurgy program and institute. The images of the bismuth metal crystals are pretty cool though, that alone should get the plebes interested.

    http://www.esf.org/fileadmin/Public_documents/Publications/metallurgy_europe.pdf

  62. This discussion on the book of Curry and Khvorstyanov is betting totally ridiculous.

    The point WHUT made is really minor for the book as a whole. I have no idea of the quality of the book on its main part, but what I can say is that the quality cannot be judged from two chapters that are clearly indicated as speculative in the book itself.

  63. Pekka,

    This discussion on the book of Curry and Khvorstyanov is betting totally ridiculous.

    I don’t have any views one way or the other, but I see no reason why people can’t comment on it. It doesn’t seem as though anything that’s been said has been incorrect, so I fail to see how it’s ridiculous.

  64. Sorry, maybe that should be a 2e. No matter, laugh all you want. I just glanced at it last night, maybe I can spend some more time on it today. The radiological states of electron solvated water are interesting, though, if anyone cares to try and take a deeper look at that kind of stuff. I don’t have any of the references on hand, as my interest in that was many years to decades ago.

  65. Authors always seem to save the outlandish and/or possibly cutting edge stuff for the last chapter of the book, thankfully, and the classes are usually over by the time you get anywhere near that.

  66. If Web could respond to Vasily, that would be nice.

    ClimateBall ™ – cards speak.

  67. They can comment, but perhaps everyone should know that WHUT made the statement very strongly and made a much worse technical errors in that first comment. He wrote on the same point to Amazon, but either took it later off or the comment was removed by Amazon as hostile while void of real content.

    There has been a lengthy discussion that has involved real physical arguments on issues presented in those two short chapters. Little has been written on the book otherwise, which is perhaps natural as forming a real opinion on a 780 p. monograph about a specialized subject is likely to take some time.

    Whatever views people have about Judith Curry, the book should be judged based on its real merits, not based on finding an error in two chapters that are among the least significant for the rest of book.

  68. Tom Curtis says:

    Pekka, quantum mechanics is a closed book to me, so I make no claims about credibility – but if invoking B-E statistics is as jaw dropping a move as indicated by WHT and Arthur Smith, then the critical judgement of the authors is called into severe question. That being the case, the rest of the book may be letter perfect, but we cannot know that it is any good from an assumption that the authors know their subject other than by rote learning. With a gaffe that large, we would surely find another textbook (and should if setting texts, lest the gaffe ridden paragraphs gain undue authority from the rest of the book).

    In Curry’s case, while I do not know whether on not invoking B-E statistics for cloud nucleation is a mistake, I know she has made plenty of a magnitude similar to that claimed for it by WHT.

  69. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Pekka writes: “…two chapters that are clearly indicated as speculative in the book itself.”

    Pekka – I could not find anything in the text that indicates the chapters are speculative. Which sentence(s) are your referring to?

  70. Kevin,

    For a person reading books like that the whole style of the chapters indicates that clearly. it’s not necessary to include explicit statements on that.

    More specifically one of the chapters tells:

    However. in some cases, when \sigma_{vw} is small (e.g.. at very low temperatures or in the presence of strong surfactants or other pollutants that decrease surface tension), then \Delta F = \sigma_{vw}^3 may become comparable to or smaller than kT. Then, all of the previous derivations should be repeated using the Bose—Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules instead of the Boltzmann statistics.

    That includes in some cases .. may become. No claim is made that such conditions do really occur.

    That excerpt contains also the only really clear error, when it refers to the integer spin of the H2O molecule. Not that H2O were not a boson, it is (contrary to WHUT’s original error), but in implying that that it matters that it is a boson. When the reference to the boson nature of the H2O molecule is taken off, no real error remains. Questionable speculation perhaps, but no real error that has been brought up.

    There are excitations that obey B-E statistics. Something of that may influence also issues discussed in the book, but the fact that H2O is a boson is unrelated to that.

  71. Joshua says:

    ==> “Whatever views people have about Judith Curry, the book should be judged based on its real merits, not based on finding an error in two chapters that are among the least significant for the rest of book.”

    Perhaps – but what about the drama-queening because WHT criticized the book (irrespective of the merits of the criticism) and wrote a negative review?

    Pretty amusing coming from Judith and her “denizens” – given their constant hand-wringing about being victims when their criticisms of the scientific output of others are rejected.

    It’s interesting to me that with all the over-the-top criticism offered at Climate Etc. on a daily basis – you would find this occasion of criticism to be noteworthy.

    Here’s what i think: This is same ol’ same ol.’ it’s eggheads trying to prove that they’re smarter than other eggheads and It’s hypocrisy and victim-card playing and tribalism.

  72. Joshua says:

    Pekka –

    ==> “That includes in some cases .. may become. No claim is made that such conditions do really occur.”

    Does it state outright that there is no evidence that such conditions really do occur?

    If not, are you really defending a statement of “in some cases…X…might occur” without an explicit explanation that it is only hypothetical conjecture? That would seem to me to be a basic failure to exercise basic scientific principles – in a manner that you seem to often criticize.

  73. Tom,

    All vibrational modes follow B-E statistics. Many kinds of vibrational modes may be present in the phenomena considered in the book. Whether B-E statistics is really useful in any real case is far from obvious, but the book only notes that it might be possible, and discusses that possibility very briefly in two places.

  74. Joshua,

    I would say that the book indicates clearly that there’s no evidence that such conditions do occur, but it opens up the possibility that they might occur. That’s all.

  75. Joshua,

    It’s genuinely impossible for me to understand the behavior of WHUT in the early stages of this episode.

  76. Joshua says:

    ==> “I would say that the book indicates clearly that there’s no evidence that such conditions do occur, but it opens up the possibility that they might occur. That’s all.”

    Ok. If that’s the case it would seem appropriate to me.,

    ==> “It’s genuinely impossible for me to understand the behavior of WHUT in the early stages of this episode.”

    I think it is understandable within the framework of how these arguments and debates play out. I can’t think of any aspect of his behavior that was remotely unusual, as it is seen regularly coming from any variety of commenters in an of many websites.

    What I find interesting is the selectivity, and side-choosing, in the reaction. People completely reverse their views on principles. Suddenly strong criticism of scientific output becomes, in the eyes of “skeptics,” “hijacking” and a “distraction.” The symmetry of these kinds of developments is really quite remarkable, and IMO, goes to show that often times what’s being argued here is not really about the science but about personalities and allegiances.

  77. verytallguy says:

    Oh great, post match analysis of a “Quantum of Supersaturation” has moved here from Judy’s

    I suppose it’s even on topic as laughing does seem like the best response to the whole thing, but even better, take it back there?

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/#comment-626126.

    Calling Willard. Kudos to Pekka.

  78. Joshua says:

    VTG. Bingo.

  79. Steve Bloom says:

    “That includes in some cases .. may become. No claim is made that such conditions do really occur.”

    This is a textbook, Pekka. Some speculation is fine, but it needs clearer delineation.

  80. jsam says:

    I use donotlink when referring to WFTUWT. I now also use it with Judith. VTG’s reference turns into http://www.donotlink.com/bk9o. Remember to wash your hands. 🙂

  81. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Pekka, the opening clauses in the selection you quote (“However, in some cases”) is nothing more than a big “IF”

    I parse it as:
    If delta F < or = kT, then all of the previous Boltzmann derivations should be repeated using the Bose—Einstein statistics.

    It's not even given as an option; simply If A, then B; much less listed as possible or speculative.

  82. Steve,

    Haven’t you ever read this kind of books. It’s totally normal to have chapters that speculate on possible new directions for research. The way those chapters are written does not differ from, how it’s commonly done. These chapters do not specify any actual situation, where they should be applied, Neither do they contain nearly enough to make direct application possible. I don’t think that it’s possible to misunderstand their role. That’s possible only for a person, who is looking actively for details that he can claim as errors. That’s likely to require bad will.

  83. guthrie says:

    I would be disturbed by a textbook whcih doesn’t specifically say that a couple of chapters are specualive. Certainly in the good old days, textbooks specifically said what was known, unknown and mere discussion of possibilities.

  84. Pekka said:


    The point WHUT made is really minor for the book as a whole. I have no idea of the quality of the book on its main part, but what I can say is that the quality cannot be
    judged from two chapters that are clearly indicated as speculative in the book itself.

    I am not going to shell out $60 for a book without getting an idea of what is inside and the overall quality of the work. Google Books allows one to see excerpts, and these excerpts are very limited in scope. So what I did was read those excerpts and discovered these two separate sections on homogeneous condensation and nucleation rates with this half-baked Bose-Einstein theory. So based on the samples, I could only conclude that this is material for the trash can.

    If Curry didn’t want negative reviews she should have prevented Google from peaking into her book. Amazon too.

    Remember that 1 star Yelp restaurant reviews are often based on a customer ordering one dish. Nobody samples the whole menu before deciding whether the restaurant stinks. Curry crying over this is laughable. As they like to say at CE … big boy pants.

  85. Kevin,

    My above comment applies to your comment as well.

  86. Kevin O'Neill says:

    The answer to whether this is correct or not will be whether it survives, without modification, in the next printing. I suspect any reference to B-E statistics will disappear.

  87. WHUT,

    The only reason that I commented on the issue here is that I noticed that what was made clear in the discussion at Climate Etc did not prevent such comments here that I found highly misleading.

  88. jsam says: “I use donotlink when referring to WFTUWT. I now also use it with Judith. “

    In comments you do not need to use donotlink. Comments at (almost) all blogs have a ref=”NoFollow” tag attached to them automatically to discourage people from making comments to promote their webpage. Bloggers do need to take care.

  89. I haven’t really been following all of the discussion about Judith’s book. As much as I agree with Pekka that we shouldn’t simply criticise something because of who wrote it, I think Joshua’s comment pretty nicely sums up my view.

  90. anoilman says:

    WebHubTelescope: I don’t know about Bose-Einstein, but I am aware that they studied cloud formation with cosmic radiation using the Large Hadron Super Collider. (The author of that study stated that his results proved nothing related to actual cloud formation.) I would think that the denial community would be anxious to perpetuate the idea that it is actually still being studied. I also know that even the IPCC and Richard Alley say we really need to know more about clouds.

    Hmm… Those two appear to be actively studying this;
    http://tdn.academia.edu/VitalyKhvorostyanov

    And this 2012 paper is the newest on it;
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/9275/2012/acp-12-9275-2012.pdf
    No Bose-Einstein, and their work is still in simulation, so not real clue if its right, or if it correlates to real world at all. (Aren’t Richard Lindzen’s theories in that state as well?)

    Pekka: I’ve broken down and ordered a text book on Climate Science recommended by ScienceOfDoom. I’m hoping to get a good first grounder.

  91. Pekka said:


    They can comment, but perhaps everyone should know that WHUT made the statement very strongly and made a much worse technical errors in that first comment. He wrote on the same point to Amazon, but either took it later off or the comment was removed by Amazon as hostile while void of real content.

    I disagree Pekka. Someone who creates an insane argument doesn’t get to attack the person for speculating how the original misguided argument came to pass. Any error I made was based on trying to read the mind of someone that would write the gibberish in the first place.

    Gibberish = “Then, all of the previous derivations should be repeated using the Bose-Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules instead of the Boltzmann statistics.” . Pekka, maybe you can parse that because English is not your first language, but to American-trained ears , that sounds not clearly thought out — with a run-on clause that seems as if it was misplaced.

    Nothing ever crossed my radar screen that would imply that the water molecule’s bosonic nature would make any difference in this situation, and so I assumed they were delusional about the integral spin being a factor. Yes, I do admit to getting H2O=spin1 wrong, but again read the sentence and the entire context of what they were asserting. As others have said, speculation of this sort is not appropriate for a supposed textbook.

    My mistake does not make their mistake right. I wasn’t the one that published this dreck. An assertion made in a textbook is much stronger than a comment by a reviewer.

    And then just look at the wrongness of Vitaly’s response to my suggesting that Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics was adequate:

    “The Maxwell and Boltzmann statistics are substantially different (see Chapter 3). The Maxwell statistics is formulated in terms of velocities and used usually in cloud physics for evaluation of the kinetic vapor fluxes around a growing drop or crystal (Chapter 5). The Boltzmann statistics is formulated in terms of the energies and is used here for evaluation of the nucleation rates and nucleated crystal concentrations (Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11).”

    I said Maxwell-Boltzmann not Maxwell AND Boltzmann, the hyphenated name which is the official name as I learned from F. Reif’s book on Statistical and Thermal Physics. And the dude thinks I am the one that is confused?

    And it no longer is about me. Someone else with the relevant background in Bose-Einstein statistics as it applies to molecules will eventually chime in and show how they went off the rail writing these chapters.

  92. palindrom says:

    Can someone please tell me what “WHUT” refers to?

  93. palindrom,
    It refers to the person commenting as WebHubTelescope.

  94. Cloud microphysics is one of the interesting scientific problems of the atmosphere. That interest is likely to be correlated with skepticism about climate change. Taking just the case of Judith Curry. She started this collaboration long before getting in any contact with the skeptics.

    The CERN Cloud experiment was pushed by one physicist who had indicated climate change skepticism, but the actual research group is dominated by people with no known preference of such views (I happen to know something on that, because Finnish aerosol scientists have an important role in the experiment).

  95. > Calling Willard.

    I hope you noticed my textbook example of peddling, about textbooks, of course:

    Since you mention textbooks, I might as well declare that I’m against textbook teaching, unless the textbook has been written by the teacher and that it comes with the course. This goes for any textbook, including Raypierre’s.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/#comment-626147

    In my opinion, teaching by textbook is a bigger problem.

  96. Williard,

    What’s the right role for textbooks is a real and essential practical question based on my experience both as a student and as a teacher. The answer depends obviously very much on the subject, but also on the quality of the textbook and the teaching ability of the lecturer. (I skip the role of exercises in this comment.)

    It’s not uncommon at all that more of the learning comes from reading the book than from following the lectures, but most students seem to need the lectures as well. The interactions between the students is also a very important component that’s often forgotten.

  97. Pekka said:


    The only reason that I commented on the issue here is that I noticed that what was made clear in the discussion at Climate Etc did not prevent such comments here that I found highly misleading.

    So are you saying that readers of the ATTP blog are not able to think for themselves?
    And that you came here so you can put your own spin on it? To counteract any spin that I may put on the episode?

    Join the club. Anyone is free to say whatever they want, but the can of worms is now open.

    Pekka is equally amused that Curry’s equations show freezing nucleation rates which increase with increasing absolute temperature. That is a behavior that anybody with any intuition would find puzzling.
    But I bet Pekka won’t mention that here. Why is that? Because he wants to avoid conflict at all costs?

    Call the FUD truck for a meal delivery

  98. verytallguy says:

    Willard,

    That’s interesting, I hadn’t realised derailing and peddling were synonyms

    As well as synonyms we should also perhaps consider homonyms and homophones. 

    My favourite homophones are peddle and pedal.

    Pedal cycles might be one of the best ways to mitigate the CO2 emissions of the transport sector. 

    Infrastructure investment is urgently needed to support cycling; directing Infrastructure investment more generally towards a low carbon future is perhaps the single most important action we should take now to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. 

    Beat that for peddling if you can.

  99. Very Tall,

    Think of a conversation as a dance. The point is not to make all and only the right moves. The point us to have fun and celebrate life together. If the conversation turns about textbooks, why should we consider it derails anything? It would derail if it prevented people from getting on with their own program. So there’s peddling, and then there’s peddling.

    If every time we mentioned “textbook” I’d peddle in my editorial against them, it would be boring. The problem with peddling is not that it’s OT, it’s that it’s boring. Just like you observed about this episode. Mostly predictable reactions, no obvious fun.

    ***

    > The answer depends obviously very much on the subject, but also on the quality of the textbook and the teaching ability of the lecturer.

    My conjecture is that the use of a textbook indicates the quality of the lecturer. But that’s not the most important aspect. The most important aspect is that it’s basically a scam.

    Expensive books quasi-monopolistically sold to a captive market, whom does not need it, and that is deprecated the day it’s printed most of the time? Laziness is too expensive.

  100. anoilman says:

    WebHubTelescope: All of this smacks of denier land standard tactics.

    If it is so significant, why didn’t it go to peer review. There is ample evidence for contrary ideas going to review and getting vacuumed up and put to use by the Climate Change community. The most recent I know of was “Global Cooling”. (Particulates cool the surface of the planet.)

    Avoid scrutiny by going to books which are uncontrolled. (see Lomborg Defense, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg#MSTI_review)
    “The DCSD had not properly documented that The Skeptical Environmentalist was a scientific publication on which they had the right to intervene in the first place;”

    Never ever provide a clear statement of defense. Why the authors didn’t just come out and offer straight up links, or book references is beyond me. Even the Vitaly response seem to scurry about without cutting straight to the chase. Seriously… 1 decent link… or 1 decent book, and Webby/Pekka would fold.

    I still have no clue how Vitaly/Curry concluded that Bose-Einstein statics are valid. No clue. They have steadfastly refused to defend themselves.

  101. Williard,

    I can only conclude that the experience depends on the field being studied. I cannot imagine any alternative for a textbook (or something very similar) as the most important source of learning for advanced theoretical physics and several other courses I have learned during my studies.

    My teaching experience is more varied. In no case I can remember have I followed a textbook without adding some own material distributed to the students free of charge or at low cost, but in several cases a textbook has been essential as well.

  102. Joshua says:

    ==> “My conjecture is that the use of a textbook indicates the quality of the lecturer.
    But that’s not the most important aspect. The most important aspect is that it’s basically a scam.”

    Lecturing is like using a textbook. Both are poor methodological choices in the hands of some teachers. Lecturing can be a scam, also.

    Ideally, lectures and textbooks both are used as resources in support a students intrinsically-motivated learning, and that teachers focus on helping students to become intrinsically-motivated and skilled in leveraging those resources.

  103. verytallguy says:

    Joshua

    I remember being told

    “A lecture is a way of transferring the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the student without passing through the mind of either”

    Turns out the originator is unclear

    http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/08/17/lecture-minds/

  104. Joshua says:

    Great quote, VTG.

  105. ­> I cannot imagine any alternative for a textbook (or something very similar) as the most important source of learning for advanced theoretical physics and several other courses I have learned during my studies.

    Many textbooks, in which a teacher would picks to create his own shtick, with his favorite textbook examples, and his own explanations. Or, alternatively, as complementary resources available to everyone, something like a website where everything one needs is there. We’re far from that last possibility, but I see no reason all the material in textbooks shan’t be in Wikibooks or something alike.

    Most of scientific knowledge should be accessible, free, and reasonably well presented, more so when we’re talking about our formal apparatus. Ideally, all this could be integrated with agents. AUTOMATIZE ALL THE SCIENCES!

    OK, I admit this is a long shot.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against textbooks per se. They’re just not the right tool for students unless they are already tailored for the course in which they enroll. Their predicament is worse than the actual peer-review publishing system, which is also a scam.

    (See how peddling works, Vinny?)

  106. Come to think of it, I’d rather have said racket instead of scam.

  107. BBD says:

    Can we say that a racket is profiteering during distribution and a scam is holistic?

  108. GSR says:

    So Anthony is now dumping on his old pal Judy. I think Watts has become angrier and more reactionary of late. When he first saw the shaded caricature of a scientist on SkS prior to the reveals he went to press on WUWT threatening to sue Cook if the caricature turned out to be him or something along those lines. It was not a considered post at all but it was breathtakingly revealing.

  109. So Anthony is now dumping on his old pal Judy.

    The Skeptic Exclusion Principle in action?

  110. Pekka: Cloud microphysics is one of the interesting scientific problems of the atmosphere. That interest is likely to be correlated with skepticism about climate change. Taking just the case of Judith Curry. She started this collaboration long before getting in any contact with the skeptics.

    I also used to work on clouds, this is no reason to expect that I am an unreasonable person and a bad biased researcher, which is the adulterated meaning of the word “skepticism” in the climate “debate”.

    Clouds are seen as the largest single source of uncertainty in climate projects, according to the climate skeptics of the IPCC. Especially boundary layer cloud above the dark oceans. Cloud show variability on very small spatial and temporal scales and also chemistry of the aerosols on which the droplets typically builds is important. Thus this is an immensely difficult problem and one of the reasons why I do not expect that the uncertainty in the estimates of the climate sensitivity will drop soon.

    Uncertainty is no reason to become a “skeptic”, given the nonlinearity increase in the damages due to climate change as a function of the temperature changes, uncertainty increases the expected average costs of climate change and makes the case for mitigation stronger. That is the real Uncertainty Monster. Do not confuse uncertainty with “nothing will happen”, the way the following of Judith Curry does. Uncertainty goes both ways.

  111. I regret having burst out laughing over the mention of the Skeptic Exclusion Principle.

    This led me to associate the Pauli Exclusion Principle to Curry’s misuse of Bose-Einstein statistics, and thereafter it didn’t go so well for me.

    My excuse is that a really good pun impairs logical thinking.

  112. Joshua says:

    ==> “So Anthony is now dumping on his old pal Judy.”

    ?????

  113. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    He who shall not be named is Joe Duarte. See http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/cooking-stove-use-housing-associations-white-males-and-the-97

    Like John Cook, Joe is a PhD student in psychology. Unlike John, Joe seems to pay attention in class.

  114. verytallguy says:

    Oooh, what novelty Richard. Someone paying attention. Not at all the usual hyperbolic rhetoric to distract attention from the reality. Oh no. Not at all.

    Looking forward to your own attention on the 300 papers you’re going to list. #FreetheTol300

    Also, wondered if you are enjoying this – maybe you’re on of the three? Imagine the notoriety!

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/nsh/?

    Have fun stirring the pot (oh, and submitting those corrections…)

  115. OPatrick says:

    Re http://www.skepticalscience.com/nsh/ – the ‘Where’s Wally’ element is a nice touch.

  116. jsam says:

    Richard must be reassured that the veil of secrecy over GWPF is slowly evaporating. I’m sure any competent economist would have paid attention to their source of funding.

    #freethetol300

  117. Thanks for the link, Richard, Joe the marine biology laboratory intern is certainly full of comedy. His self aggrandizing is matched only by the esteemed an prestigious presenters and committee members of the planetary science hearing this morning. What else is one to do on a rainy day?

    If anyone is interested in real science that might have an effect on real breakthroughs relevant to the obvious and extreme carbon induced global planetary energy imbalance, another real clue came out again last night on the Arxiv :

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.2788

    Basically what they are positing is that the CDW order and the pseudogap are distinct. Hail Mott.

    This is a physics blog, right?

  118. Richard,
    Wow, so you’ll actually promote anything that supports your crusade against Cook et al. (2013). I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am. And if you call ranting about things that are openly acknowledged in the paper “paying attention in class”, your lectures must be a barrel of laughs.

  119. Richard,
    Oh, and it seems that your “boss’s” denial is now out in the open. You must be very proud. Personally, all I can do is laugh.

  120. verytallguy says:

    OPatrick, have you spotted Lindzen?

    jsam, yes indeed, and any competent psychology PhD student might have spotted the correlation between the political affiliations of the GWPF and it’s views on climate science.
    endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science

    i wonder if Richard thinks NASA hoaxed the moon landing? Richard?

  121. i wonder if Richard thinks NASA hoaxed the moon landing?

    I suspect Richard doesn’t think they hoaxed the Moon landing, but is still completely flummoxed by how they managed without the power of the free market.

  122. verytallguy says:

    ATTP, a sudden sense of deja vu hit me. I think this view of the moon landings actually very nicely sums up Richard’s view of economics

    All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

    We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

    It is for these reasons that we should do nothing and just wait for someone to invent an antigravity machine.

    http://www.coveredinbees.org/node/459


  123. Joshua says:
    September 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm
    ==> “So Anthony is now dumping on his old pal Judy.”

    ?????

    I am curious too now.

    Is it possible that since Watts is trying to distance himself from way-over-the-top cranks*, and since Curry has recently introduced her crackpot Bose-Einstein statistical theory of cloud formation that she now classifies as a full-blown crank?

    Someone could be whispering in his ear to avoid the Curry.

    * such as the Sky Dragon contingent

  124. Joshua says:

    ==> “The climate campaign was founded on two fears: that global warming was an urgent threat that needed to be prevented imminently and at all costs; and second, that the world was running out of fossil fuels. Both assumptions turned out to be wrong.”

    Uncertain T. Monster is very obedient for a monster. He just disappears whenever a “skeptic” tells him to do so.

  125. Joshua,
    Also, it seems that if you’re fighting alarmism, you can say whatever you like, however ludicrous.

  126. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Dana: ‘”Wotts, the Cook et al classifications made no sense.” I would suggest that this is a remark made from a position of ignorance, because the classifications in our paper were extremely useful. Generally, people making this argument are ignoring Categories 1 and 7 (I suspect willfully ignoring them in many cases). I specifically suggested that we include those categories precisely because I knew the deniers would make the “consensus is weak” argument (one of Montford’s many dumb arguments).’

    Dana, who added Level 6? The muddle-headedness of other parts of the classification scheme could, in practice, have been minimized or bypassed by the groupthink of the raters. They could all have interpreted the imprecise wording and wonky examples in a consistent way that didn’t see any possibility for overlapping or subsumed levels. This isn’t to forgive the muddle. If something only makes sense when passed through a tribal interpretation then it’s no good. But, if you ignore Level 6, groupthink does at least open the way for some sort of consistency in the ratings.

    Level 6, though, makes the whole thing a farce. Uniquely, it includes the magnitude of global warming as a rating criterion. This means that it could legitimately have hoovered up subsets of abstracts fitting the descriptions of every other level – 1, 2, 3, 4, 4a, 5 and 7 – as well as the rejectionist half of its own level. This is so bonkers that even groupthink couldn’t have hidden it from the raters. They must have known that they were being asked to use an inconsistent ratings scheme. ‘Here are 1000 balls. We want to know how many of them are red. Your choices are: red, green, blue, black, white or small.’ Nuts.

    As far as I can tell, only fifteen abstracts were given a Level 6 rating. Did the X thousand evaluated abstracts really include so few that ‘minimized’ global warming – that said, to paraphrase Level 6’s example, that catastrophic warming was unlikely? Few recent ones, perhaps, but in the early 1990s? Perhaps there was a rater rebellion. ‘We know this category is crap, so we’re not going to use it.’ Or perhaps the old tribal instinct came into play again and when one of the good guys minimized global warming but also said something that could put him in Levels 1-3, he was put in Levels-1-3, but when, say, Richard Lindzen did the same his abstract was put in Level 6.

    Examples:

    The abstract for Lindzen’s 1993 paper _The Absence of Scientific Bias_ fitted the criteria for Level 2 (or perhaps 3) but it also said that, because of cloud feedbacks, ‘the possibility of large warming, while not disproven, is also without a meaningful scientific basis’. It was put in Level 6.

    The abstract for Hansen et al’s 1997 _The Missing Climate Forcing_ fitted Level 2 but also said that, because of cloud feedbacks, ‘global warming is only about half of that expected due to the principal forcing, greenhouse gases’. It was put in Level 2.

    Then again, Roger Pielke Jr. – not a favourite of the SkS crowd – had a 2005 abstract rated as Level 2 despite saying that ‘the significance of any connection of human-caused climate change to hurricane impacts necessarily has been and will continue to be exceedingly small’.

    So I don’t really know what was going on. Perhaps nobody did.

    (Incidentally, while looking for those examples I noticed that two all but identical abstracts for papers by Tim Flannery were given ratings. They were published a year apart in different Elsevier journals. The few differences were cosmetic only – hyphens, restructured sentences, that sort of thing. Such recycling is quite common in academia. I wonder how many other duplicates or near-duplicates there were in the Cook et al study.)

  127. BBD says:

    The sound of one man peddling. Again.

    We have been through all this bogus shite before, Vinny.

  128. Vinny,
    I fail to see the issue with 6. It’s just the reject version of 2. I can’t find an abstract for Lindzen’s paper. Here’s Hansen (1997)

    Observed climate change is consistent with radiative forcings on several time–scales for which the dominant forcings are known, ranging from the few years after a large volcanic eruption to glacial–to–interglacial changes. In the period with most detailed data, 1979 to the present, climate observations contain clear signatures of both natural and anthropogenic forcings. But in the full period since the industrial revolution began, global warming is only about half of that expected due to the principal forcing, increasing greenhouse gases. The direct radiative effect of anthropogenic aerosols contributes only little towards resolving this discrepancy. Unforced climate variability is an unlikely explanation. We argue on the basis of several lines of indirect evidence that aerosol effects on clouds have caused a large negative forcing, at least −1 Wm−2, which has substantially offset greenhouse warming. The tasks of observing this forcing and determining the microphysical mechanisms at its basis are exceptionally difficult, but they are essential for the prognosis of future climate change.

    The explicitly states that the difference between what we would have expected and what we’ve observed is anthropogenic aerosols (i.e., AGW theory is correct, but our GHG forcing is being reduced by a significant anthropogenic forcing). Seems a 2 to me.

    I don’t know which 2005 Pielke Jr paper you’re referring to, so can’t comment.

  129. Joshua says:

    => “Also, it seems that if you’re fighting alarmism, you can say whatever you like, however ludicrous.”

    You’d think that “skeptics” would be lining up to tell Benny that hardly any of them doubts that ACO2 warms the climate – but they are only saying that the magnitude of the influence is uncertain. After all, all they’re doing is arguing against the constant refrain from climate scientists that “the science is settled” (even though the evidence of climate scientists saying that is thin).

    I’m shocked that Watts didn’t have a post up lickety-split, explaining his concern that Benny’s certainty is activist in nature, and that activism is destroying the public’s trust in science.

    Shocked!

  130. verytallguy says:

    BBD,

    One might suspect if one was inclined to cynicism that nitpicking the methodology of the study enables avoidance of facing the conclusions

    This is in fact well known, a “psychological defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence”

    Also used by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, where the “person is trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of his/her situation, and begins to develop a false, preferable reality”

    The exact word is on the tip of my tongue…

  131. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, no. Half of Level 6 is the opposite of Level 2. The other half introduces a new factor. See the example. See also the Lindzen abstract. It was put in Level 6 wholly because it ‘minimized’ the scale of global warming.

    You can see the Lindzen abstract as a pop-up in the Consensus Project database:

    http://www.theconsensusproject.com/tcp.php?t=search

    Or you could search with [“absence of scientific” Lindzen]. That should find a (large and unsearchable) PDF of the full paper.

    ===
    Disclaimer for verytallguy’s benefit: climate change is real, humans are causing most of it and something should be done about this.

  132. Vinny,
    I really not following your issue. “Explicitly minimises or rejects” just – to me – means it’s not us or it mostly isn’t us. Lindzen’s abstract is

    The scientific basis for current projections of significant warming due to enhanced minor greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is reviewed. Care is taken to distinguish the issue of changes in radiative forcing at the earth’s surface from the issue of the climatic response to this forcing. With respect to the former, it is noted that the predicted forcing is, in fact, small (2 W m−2 at the surface for a doubling of CO2, or less than 1% of the absorbed solar flux). With respect to the latter, it is noted that predictions of significant warming are dependent on the presence of large positive feedbacks serving to amplify the response. The largest of these feedbacks in current models involves water vapor at upper levels in the troposphere. This feedback appears to be largely a model artifact, and evidence is presented that models may even have the wrong sign for this feedback. The possibility is examined that the response of climate to major volcanic eruptions may provide a test of the climate system’s amplification. The basis for this possibility is the fact that the response delay of the ocean-atmosphere system is proportional to the system gain.

    That would seem to be a reject abstract and to be quite explicit. I’m not sure where else I’d put it. If the feedback is non-existent, or negative, then most of the observed warming is not us.

  133. BBD says:

    Vinny

    If you accept the science, why are you devoting so much energy to contrarian bollocks? I ask since you clearly expect us to believe you, and really, we don’t. See eg. VTG, above.

    Do you perhaps think we are all stupid? Is that it? Because I for one find that insulting.

  134. I’ll grant you that the Pielke Jr rating is a little strange. However, I can certainly see plausible arguments why Lindzen should be 2 and Hansen should be 6. There is no way that we can do this exactly, so it’s clearly a judgement and – I suspect – that if it was me I’d have rated Lindzen and Hansen as was done, but rated Pielke Jr a 4. The only argument one could make is that Pielke Jr’s abstract does actually say something about AGW, but doesn’t reject it.

  135. BBD says:

    ATTP

    So what? Apart from allowing contrarians to peddle their memes, why bother discussing this any more? Does it affect anything that matters?

    Of course not. Unless you are a contrarain, of course.

  136. verytallguy says:

    Vinny,

    the nitpicking for months is tedious.

    Making the implication of lack of consensus is tendentious. 

    The underlying logic that imperfect studies are wrong is fallacious. 

    The reality, as nicely illustrated by sks current cartoons,  is consistent with the study.

  137. Marco says:

    Well, VTG, maybe we can ask Joe Duarte to #FreetheTol300 ?

  138. BBD says:

    That would have been better expressed as : “unless one is a contrarian, of course”.

    I find this incessant assault on Cook offensive. We all know it’s crap and we all know why it is being done. So why carry on playing the game?

  139. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, here’s Level 6 according to the paper.

    ‘Level of endorsement’: ‘6) Explicit rejection without quantification’

    ‘Description’: ‘Explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming

    ‘Example’: ‘. . . the global temperature record provides little support for the catastrophic view of the
    greenhouse effect’

    Ignore the level’s title and look at the rest. You can surely see from the example what is meant by ‘minimizes’ in the description. Global warming not as big as some say it is.

    Or the Lindzen abstract. It accepts greenhouse physics. It talks about emitted CO2. That places it in Level 2 or 3. But then it says that cloud feedbacks are negative and the possibility of large warming hasn’t been explained properly. This isn’t a rejection of anthropogenic warming (Level 6 Part Deux); it’s a ‘minimization’ of all warming. And that’s why it’s in Level 6.

    This proves what was meant by ‘minimizes’. As do other examples.

    (I think you swapped Lindzen and Hansen.)

  140. verytallguy says:

    Marco,

    Or perhaps solicit his views on the moon landings?

  141. Vinny Burgoo says:

    VTG, I am not implying that there’s no scientific consensus that man is causing most of the global warming (or even more than 100% of it, which seems plausible). I am saying that a particular, widely publicized, hugely applauded attempt to quantify the consensus was shit. Can you really not see the difference?

    As for tedious nitpicking, this blogpost was about a report that also said (though for other reasons) that the study is shit. I am on-topic.

  142. BBD says:

    Vinny

    that the study is shit.

    Your nit-picking is a profoundly inadequate demonstration of your claim.

  143. Joshua says:

    Speaking of laughing….

    So there’s a thread over at Judith’s were a whole subthread calling me and some others “runts” has survived Judith’s complaints about comments being “relevant”

    But what did get deleted was the following comment:

    Cap’n –

    ==> “joshua, the “review” followed a blog comment declaring a fatal issue. It is not like webster had a small issue since his cockroach approach eliminates the possibility of a “small” issue.”

    So then WHT won’t buy the book. Maybe he wasn’t going to anyway. So what we know is that possibly one less copy might be sold. I would assume that most people looking at book reviews before making a purchase would take with a grain of salt any one particular review, particularly if it turns out to be an outlier,

    Sorry – this whole sense of urgency about needing to counter on online book review seems a tad overly dramatic in my estimation – falling right in line with the the “distraction” and “hijacking” arguments.

    I’ve decided to sell my stock in big boy pants after all. Looks like no one is interested in wearing any. I’m going to start investing in pantywaists instead.</blockquote?

    Runts = relevant

    Pointing out Judith's selective calls for the wearing of big boy pants = irrelevant.

  144. > climate change is real, humans are causing most of it and something should be done about this.

    … and then that there’s a quasi-unanimous agreement on this among scientists, Vinny.

    Rinse and repeat: C13 says something I agree with, but alarmism.

  145. > I am on-topic.

    If that was the case, Vinny, everything anyone (and beyond, – why limit ourselves to real claims when we could quantify over virtual ones) consider shit would be in topic.

    We should not conflate what is predicated (e.g. “is shit”) and the subject of the predicate (e.g. C13).

    C13 ain’t connected with the GWPF’s latest political hit job.

  146. verytallguy says:

    Vinny,

    I didn’t say you were off-topic.

    What I did say was that your nit-picking was tedious. These things are not mutually exclusive.

    Your nit-picking remains tedious.

  147. Vinny,
    I tend to agree with everyone else that these types of discussions are a bit tedious. You are, however, at least doing what I’ve suggested those who criticise Cook et al. (2013) should do : rate some abstracts. However, I do think that you’re still doing what many do : redefine what the paper was trying to do. They were clearly testing the IPCC consensus position that the dominant warming influence is AGW. You’re suggesting that it was simply to test if CO2 warms. The authors have clearly stated that the consensus position was that AGW dominates. So, Lindzen’s paper is obviously suggesting that feedbacks could be negative, which clearly minimises AGW and is not consistent with the IPCC position.

    ne can argue about wording in the paper and whether or not they’ve spelled this out clearly or not, but if the authors make clear that they were testing the IPCC position and not simply whether or not CO2 causes warming. Criticising them because they didn’t rate a non-sky-dragon paper as endorsing the consensus just seems silly. There is no way – IMO – that Lindzen’s paper can be regarded as accepting the consensus.

  148. Joshua says:

    Looks like Judith is getting a touch testy about this whole textbook issue. Here’s a small sample of what she left standing after complaining about “irrelevant” comments:

    Steven Mosher | September 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    folks

    Ignore dwarf number 1

    Don Monfort | September 8, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    You mean the runt?

    Don Monfort | September 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    The nit the runt’s radar detected on this thread amounted to two words: “distraction” and “hijacking”. I am sure that if the runt had any sense of self-awareness, he would call that ironic.

    Steven Mosher | September 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    Grumpy makes an appearance

    Steven Mosher | September 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    Now that I look at it
    Moe, Larry and Shemp are all here.
    Waiting for Curly.

    Could be the name of a play

    Hoi Polloi | September 8, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    Incredible that our Josh is showing up in this thread with more gibberish. Is he a masochistic or what? Does he really enjoy making a fool of himself in front of everybody??

    pokerguy | September 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    Not surprised in the least. The man has no shame. Since Joshua doesn’t have the technical expertise, or the intellect, or the wit, or the passion, or indeed any quality of mind or spirit to make a positive contribution, he settles for blowing things up.

    I appreciate Judith’s patience and her policy of openness. But if there’s any one individual who deserves banning from C.E, it’s Joshua.

    DocMartyn | September 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
    Tamino is Hansen Bulldog
    Joshua is Anders Chiwawa

  149. verytallguy says:

    Joshua

    I have to confess that I find post-match analysis of Judith’s comment threads pretty tedious too. Or maybe I’m just grumpy today.

    Given the title, perhaps jokes are on-topic?

    Q: How many climate sceptics does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: None. It’s too early to say if the light bulb needs changing.

  150. Tom Curtis says:

    Anders, re Pielke and Landsea (2005), impacts =/= attribution. Therefore minimizing impacts =/= minimizing attribution. Pielke and Landsea acknowledge the existence of anthropogenic warming without minimizing it (ie, minimizing the contribution of anthropogenic factors to recent warming). That counts as an endorsement.

    Vinny Burgoo’s inconsistency is on display in this case. On the one hand he wants to reduce the consensus to one on basic physics, having no regard to attribution (ie, do there exist anthropogenic forcings); but on the other hand he wants a minimization of impacts to require a rating of 6. His whole line of argument proves yet again (and ad nauseum) that people determined to misunderstand for strategic purposes cannot be brought to understanding (or consistency).

  151. >The other half introduces a new factor.

    We could also say that the other half helps clarify what was meant by an explicit endorsement without quantification. Joe and Vinny lukewarmingly assume that one could endorse but still minimize. This is a non-trivial assumption. Nothing has been put forward to justify that this interpretation is better than the one C13 chose.

    What if I told you that if we accept Joe or Vinny’s reading we’d get more than 97%?

    Lukewarm difference.

  152. BBD says:

    Joshua

    I don’t know why you bother commenting at JC’s. I stopped when she began moderating against me while leaving vile comments by certain other commenters standing.

    Perhaps you should consider doing the same.

  153. > I didn’t say you were off-topic.

    I did. Not that this matters much to me. I like parsing C13.

  154. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    ==> “Or maybe I’m just grumpy today.”

    No. I agree. It is tedious. I just like being able to present overt evidence of Judith’s selectivity.

    But I really would like to know what’s in Judith’s head. She must have some kind of rationale that she uses as self-justification….I don’t buy the financial self-interest rationale. I don’t buy the lack of intelligence rationale, or the lack of knowledge rationale.

  155. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,  

    speculating on JCs motives is playing the man.  Move the ball forward. 

  156. It appears, from Joshua’s comment, that someone has compared Joshua to Tamino and me to Jim Hansen. If so, I’d take that as a compliment, even if it wasn’t intended 🙂

  157. BBD says:

    And DocMartyn cannot spell “chihuahua”, which pretty much disqualifies him from any serious debate.

  158. Joshua says:

    ==> “speculating on JCs motives is playing the man. Move the ball forward.”

    Damn, Please stop asking me to be consistent!!!!

  159. Steve Bloom says:

    Joshua, you might add that Judy is someone who got to the end of her career and realized that she wasn’t going to be recognized as having made an important contribution. That plus the financial motivation does the job IMO.

  160. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, if you think this discussion is tedious try searching the CP database for relevant examples. Or staring at Table 2 in Cook et al.

    I’m going to have to give up. You people aren’t going to get it. I’ll try to bow out without using the phrase ‘hysterical blindness’.

    Drat! Oh well. I won’t use it again.

    A few responses to your last comment.

    I didn’t suggest that the study was about whether CO2 warms.

    Lindzen 1993 wasn’t saying that negative cloud feedbacks would cancel all AGW. He said it would reduce it. This might be inconsistent with the IPCC’s position (current position?) but the rest of the abstract made it clear that it/he accepted the principle of anthropogenic global warming. So why is it in Level 6? Because that level had a further criterion. The magnitude of global warming. Godnose why it’s there but it is and, in his case, it was used.

    The Hansen abstract also said that negative cloud feedbacks had reduced AGW, so why wasn’t it in Level 6 too?

    Cook et al wasn’t about measuring agreement with all aspects of the IPCC’s position. Parts of it measured agreement with ‘the 2007 IPCC statement that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’. Other parts measured explicit and implicit agreement with that statement sans the quantification. The Lindzen abstract agreed with the unquantified version of the IPCC statement – it accepted the consensus in the same way that all the abstracts assigned to Levels 2 and 3 did (assuming they were properly rated).

    One last try:

    Red, blue, green, red, small, black, white, orange, purple, yellow, puce.

    Spot the odd man out.

  161. Vinny Burgoo says:

    (And it’s not the second red.)

  162. Vinny,
    No, there’s a fundamental difference between what Lindzen said and what Hansen said. Lindzen was arguing that the overall feedbacks are zero or negative (i.e., the net effect is less than that of CO2 alone). Hansen was arguing that anthropogenic aerosols are reducing the anthropogenic forcing. Hansen wasn’t talking abut feedbacks, he was talking about a reduction in anthropogenic forcing because of aerosols. Hansen explicitly said that natural variability cannot explain the difference. IMO, Lindzen is 2 and Hansen is 6. Hansen is still consistent with most of the warming probably being anthropogenic, Lindzen is not.

    Cook et al wasn’t about measuring agreement with all aspects of the IPCC’s position. Parts of it measured agreement with ‘the 2007 IPCC statement that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’. Other parts measured explicit and implicit agreement with that statement sans the quantification. The Lindzen abstract agreed with the unquantified version of the IPCC statement – it accepted the consensus in the same way that all the abstracts assigned to Levels 2 and 3 did (assuming they were properly rated).

    No, that’s your interpretation. They’ve stated over and over again that the consensus was with respect to the IPCC position. It is possible that one could argue that their explanation in the paper isn’t clear enough, but if they’ve clarified their position, you don’t really get to claim that what they were doing is different to what they’ve said. Lindzen being 2 is consistent with testing the consensus wrt the IPCC position.

  163. Steve Bloom says:

    We all knew you were being small-minded, Vinny; you didn’t need to go and prove it.

  164. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Willard: ‘What if I told you that if we accept Joe or Vinny’s reading we’d get more than 97%?’

    Irrelevant. This is about bad science (or whatever you call that type of research). It’s as irrelevant as the common defence of the rated 97% that says, ‘Ah Ha! But the self-ratings also got 97%!’

    Bad research is bad research, no matter what result it gets.

  165. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts: Aaaaargh!

    OK. Enough from me. You really aren’t going to get it.

  166. Steven Mosher says:

    [Mod: This comment has been removed by the moderator]

  167. Vinny,

    Bad research is bad research, no matter what result it gets.

    Sure, but just disagreeing with some of their ratings is not really enough.

  168. Joshua says:

    Looks like I may have started a bit of a blog war. Sorry about that, Anders.

    If you go and look – you’ll see that now if I were to comment on the current thread regarding the debate about the debate, it will be removed (Judith is even asking that I only comment on that topic on the Week in Review thread – even when I am commenting on the Week in Review thread) 🙂 – but others can comment on the debate about the debate on the current thread. Interesting.

    Anyway, VTG – I wanted to get back to this:

    ==> “speculating on JCs motives is playing the man. Move the ball forward.”

    I do want to say that w/r/t “motivations” – I assume that Judith’s motivations are to get the science right, and to be correct, to be vindicated for her views on the science. Normal motivations that apply, basically, to everyone.

    But I am still curious about how she justifies her selectivity and overtly biased approach – at times. I find it fascinating that there must be some way that she rationalizes such overt bias.

  169. Vinny,

    OK. Enough from me. You really aren’t going to get it.

    If you don’t understand the difference between a forcing and a feedback, it’s not me who’s not getting it. Think about this a little. Lindzen is arguing that doubling CO2 will produce less than 1 degree of warming. This is not consistent with the IPCC position. Hansen is suggesting that explaining our observed warming requires a reduction in the overall anthropogenic forcing (aerosols). This is consistent with the IPCC position.

  170. Steve Bloom says:

    Lindzen turns out to have devoted the latter part of his career to some pretty bad science, Vinny, yet you seem uninterested in that. Why the focus on meta-science rather than science? Avoiding something?

    BTW, I’ve never even read the Cook et al. paper as I make a habit of not doing so with studies purporting to prove the bleedin’ obvious.

  171. BBD says:

    Vinny

    You really aren’t going to get it.

    Because the comprehension error is in your head.

  172. BBD says:

    Think about it like this, Vinny. Everyone bar Mosher (who may be ignored) is trying to tell you that you are wrong. Everybody. Think, Vinny.

    On top of that big clue, you have now twice been reminded – correctly – that your nit-picking isn’t enough to support your claim that C13 is “shit” and “bad research”.

    Take the hint.

  173. Steve Bloom says:

    Anders, perhaps a larger point to make is that Hansen tries to place his work in the context of the entire climate system and Lindzen does not. For 30 years now, the latter has been about trying to poke holes while not worrying at all about inconsistencies necessarily implied by his claims. It’s a dishonest approach if one is trying to make claims about the overall climate system.

  174. BBD says:

    Joshua

    I find it fascinating that there must be some way that she rationalizes such overt bias.

    Pointless to speculate. We will probably never know. Meanwhile you are being moderated against by the blog owner. Time to call it a day, IMO. There are more rewarding venues to frequent, after all.

  175. Marco says:

    With all the broohaha about Cook et al, you wonder why people (Richard Tol, I am looking at you) didn’t go all crazy on Donna LaFramboise. You know, the woman who with her ‘team’ analyzed the references in the IPCC report, muddled up “grey literature” and “not peer-reviewed”, and came to low numbers for some chapters. One way was by declaring the prior IPCC reports “not peer reviewed”, and all books (&chapters) as “not peer reviewed” either.

    I can sympathise a little bit with the IPCC reports and peer review, knowing some of the reviewers to be not even remotely peers of those who wrote the various sections. But just declaring books and chapters not peer reviewed put a big question mark on top of my head, since I had just received reviewer comments on my book chapter…I wondered for a few moments whether I had had a nightmare, but no, my co-author had seen them, too.

  176. Steve Bloom says:

    “I assume that Judith’s motivations are to get the science right, and to be correct, to be vindicated for her views on the science. Normal motivations that apply, basically, to everyone.”

    Well. That’s very liberal of you. It does explain your ongoing mystification about these things.

  177. BBD says:

    SB

    Yes – if Lindzen were right, all that paleoclimate variability becomes inexplicable. That’s how simple it is to demonstrate that Lindzen is wrong.

  178. Joseph says:

    The Hansen abstract also said that negative cloud feedbacks had reduced AGW, so why wasn’t it in Level 6 too?

    The Hansen abstract didn’t mention any “negative feedbacks.” As Anders made clear above, he was referring to the negative forcing associated with the impact of aerosols on clouds and this view is consistent with the IPCC. The position that there are strong negative feedbacks from clouds taken by Lindzen is not consistent with the IPCC position.

  179. verytallguy says:

    The ball, Joshua, the ball.

  180. Joseph says:

    oops There were a lot of responses in the time it took me to formulate my response to Vinny. I apologize for the redundancy.

  181. WebHubTelescope says:

    VTG is on fire with the zingers. thanks.

  182. > Bad research is bad research, no matter what result it gets.

    I agree. But sometimes bad research is good enough research. Some other times, bad research is just bad until it gets better. Sometimes it’s so bad it’s good.

    The trick, as always, is to show that it’s bad in the first place.

    Take Joe’s research on C13. He claimed that one should ask scientists, while C13 did. Then Joe wondered what was C13’s point, which was stated on C13’s ABSTRACT. Then Joe both claims that C13 should be rejected because the raters were biased, but that he, the secularist libertarian, could be some corporate drone and still be right. Then Joe claims lots of things about validity and fallacies, which on his website are named the Duarte this and the Duarte that. Then he said that it was impossible to rate an ABSTRACT as a 6, and I showed him a few. Then he started to say untrue things about BartV’s research. I gave up.

    That does not mean Joe’s research won’t ever be good, or that all his points are wrong. His point about antisymmetry deserves due diligence. Anyway.

    What were you saying about the category (6), again?

  183. Looks like I may have started a bit of a blog war.

    Oh dear, is this when is starts getting (more?) childish?

  184. verytallguy says:

    Vinny

    OK. Enough from me. 

    Thank fuck for that

  185. Since Mosher has popped over, I’ll comment that Mosher appears to belong to that select group (quite a small one) whose comments on blogs appear to either be remarkably sensible or remarkably prattish. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Quite a skill.

  186. WebHubTelescope says:

    1. Is teaching from textbooks a good idea ?
    2. Should Curry have included speculative crackpot theories in her Cloud textbook ?

    Yes, but monograph.

  187. Rachel M says:

    Goodness me! What a mess this is.

  188. BBD says:

    When the Squirrel’s away…

  189. Rachel M says:

    Sometimes all you can do is laugh

    Perhaps I’ll add that anyone else who brings up the Cook paper will probably find their comment gets deleted.

  190. verytallguy says:

    Perhaps I’ll add that anyone else who brings up the Cook paper will probably find their comment gets deleted.

    Thank fuck for that again!

    Welcome back Rachel

  191. Joshua says:

    ==> “The ball, Joshua, the ball.”

    Dammit. I thought I could get away with that one! You’re good.

  192. WebHubTelescope says:

    curryja said:

    “I have been deleting a number of their posts. I encourage those of you that are interested in a foodfight to head over to the thread at An Then There’s Physics. WHUT is now over there, along with Joshua and Willard. Thankfully Pekka is also over there for adult supervision.”

    I would head to ATTP just for VTG’s jokes.

    Q: How many physicists does it take to explain how a light bulb works?
    A: Pekka

    Yes, but I kid.

  193. Rachel M says:

    Welcome back Rachel

    Thank you! I can’t seem to stay away from this place. Although waking up to more than a hundred new comments was a bit of a shock.

  194. verytallguy says:

    A man walks into a bar with his climatologist girlfriend who has a parrot on her shoulder and asks for a pint for him, a pint for the climatologist and a whisky for the parrot.

    “A whisky ?  For a parrot? Queries the barman”

    “Yeah” says the man.  “If he feels left out he’ll Pekka”

    Apologies all round and please bugger off back to Judy’s for the post mortem, food fight or whatever.

  195. BBD says:

    Buy that man a pint.

  196. Steven Mosher says:

    [Mod: About moderation, not permissible]

  197. Steve,
    Complaining about the moderation is discouraged. FWIW, my comment about your “remarkable skills” was partly intended to be complimentary. I don’t particularly like the whole “I must regard everything that someone says as stupid” theme that pervades the whole online climate debate. There are a number of people who seem perfectly capable of saying very sensible things, but who then seem to spend an equal amount of time behaving like prats. I have no real desire or interest to figure out the reason. I have yet to encounter anyone whose reason for being prattish makes any sense to me, but maybe that’s just me. Although, to be fair, I can’t claim to have never behaved like a prat myself, so maybe there’s a time and place for everything.

  198. Rachel,
    Ahh, you beat me to it. Moderate my response too if you wish.

  199. Arthur Smith says:

    Not to make the blog war worse, but I thought a little further explication of the Bose-Einstein question from the physics end might be helpful. Pekka made a comment that “All vibrational modes follow B-E statistics.” That is NOT true of the statistics of individual molecules; Bose-Einstein makes a difference to the statistics of many-particle systems, when the quantum effects associated with the indistinguishability of the particles come into play. (Same deal with the alternative quantum statistics of fermions, though it has the opposite effect of spreading out single-particle occupations rather than bunching them together). For Bose-Einstein or Fermi statistics to apply the particles must be “indistinguishable” in a quantum sense – they must have overlapping wave functions, the de Broglie wavelengths associated with their temperatures must be close to or more than the inter-particle spacing. The oldest example of something like this is what happens with helium when it becomes a superfluid (though it’s more complicated than the ideal single-particle Bose-Einstein statistics case) which is around 2 K. For water, about 5 times as heavy (and with more complicated internal degrees of freedom), anything comparable would have to start happening well under 1 K. And that’s for molecules close together in liquid or solid form – in the atmosphere as a gas the interatomic spacings would be much larger and so the applicable temperature range would be that much smaller again (with a square factor – at 10 times the average spacing of water in ice, the temperature would have to be 100 times less than the 1 K estimate).

    The treatment of occupation of a set of states like vibrational states is a simple matter that requires only Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics – same deal as with the standard models of spins in a magnetic field etc. When you have discrete quantum states with energies E_0, E_1, E_2, etc. their occupations at the individual-molecule level are simply proportional to exp(-E_i/kT). It’s only when you are dealing with the many-particle quantum exchange effects that more complicated statistics come into play.

  200. Steven Mosher says:

    weird, I wasnt complaining about moderation.
    I was merely noting that in a conversation about derailing that you deleted a comment about derailing.

    Note. Noting is not complaining.

    Note. your comment about complaining about moderation is making a note about moderation.

    When I complain, you will know it.

  201. Steven,

    When I complain, you will know it.

    Ooooh. Actually, that doesn’t really make much sense. Know it in what way? Treat that as rhetorical 🙂

  202. Windchaser says:

    Actually, that doesn’t really make much sense. Know it in what way?

    It’ll be outside the 2 sigma range of normal snarkiness? =p

    Hmmm.. I’m seeing a new research paper. We could dredge comments from climate-related boards, remove words which indicate explicit bias towards warming or cooling, and then have folks rate the comments for snarkiness. How does snarkiness vary by board? By bias towards cooling/warming?

    I kid, I kid.. mostly.

  203. Arthur,
    Vibrational modes obey B-E statistics, because each mode can have many levels of excitation: ground state, singly excited, doubly excited, …

    That’s relatively simple. That particles may have similar statistics is not quite as simple, but that is, what bosons do – at least in principle.

  204. > There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.

    That’s my niche, AT. Here’s some middle ground:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/#comment-626515

    ***

    > Yes, but I kid.

    I thought I was the kid. Some doodles:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/#comment-626515

    ***

    Two ways to insert the same comment in a thread.

  205. Rob Ellison says:

    Webbly is still making odd noises about bosons not forming condensates at room temperature and of equations that don’t behave if you don’t evaluate all of the terms. It is both superficial and malicious – either of which in my book are an indictable offence in the world of ideas.
    There is no substance at all.

    For instance – that the Bose-Einstein nucleation rate is proportional to 1/(e^50 – 1).

    The nucleation rate is reliant – inter alia – on changes in activation and critical energies.

    Which can be evaluated using the expressions found here – http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/9275/2012/acp-12-9275-2012.html – but are probably not equal to 50. The evaluation of all of the terms of the equation is the minimum required for intellectual honesty. If he ever does that – there might be some grounds for taking him at all as a competent commentator.

    There is no possibility that specialist researchers with decades of experience are not aware that crystal nucleation rates decrease with temperature increase. This is indeed shown in Figure 8.2. Webbly has over-simplified the equation and leaped to heroic conclusions.

    Boltzmann – and indeed Bose-Einstein – distributions can be viewed as purely statistical constructs in a process that might be expected to involve velocity and energy distributions. Bose-Einstein has been used – for instance – in ecology, network theory, evolution, information theory – for departures from randomness.

    ‘A Bose–Einstein condensate is therefore a quantum phenomenon characteristic of boson particles. Nevertheless, a similar type of condensation transition can occur also in off-equilibrium classical systems and in particular, complex networks. In this context, a condensation phenomenon occurs when a distribution of a large number of elements in a large number of element classes becomes degenerate, i.e. instead of having an even distribution of elements in the classes, one class (or a few classes) become occupied by a finite fraction of all the elements of the system.’ Wikipedia

    The classic ecological example of a transition state is passenger pigeons. At a certain population mortality exceeds recruitment and the pigeon population collapses.

    Ever seen pure, supercooled water nucleate?

    Cool aye? What seems not cool is the storm of trivial dissimulaton fueled by malice and resentment. One could wonder about the motivation – but frankly it is all a bit distasteful. This has been characterised as a distraction – which has brought about a collective whine on selectivity and hypocrisy. But really – the big problem is that it is just super uncool.

  206. Steven Mosher says:

    Very simply. I will say “I have got a complaint”
    otherwise, you can treat my comments as mere observations and try not to read intent into them.
    or, read the most favorable intent you can. It’s your choice.
    Its simple.

  207. Steven Mosher says:

    Plus check with willard on the advisability of saying that comments dont make sense.
    he usually is the hall monitor on that particular flaw in reasoning.

  208. Vibrational modes obey B-E statistics, because each mode can have many levels of excitation: ground state, singly excited, doubly excited, …

    Sigh. Pekka, I suggest you start again at the beginning. This should help :

    hep.ph.liv.ac.uk/~hock/Teaching/StatisticalPhysics-Part5-Handout.pdf

    We are not talking about collective excitations here, the molecular rovibrational modes you are referring to are not collective modes at the temperature and densities (pressures) relevant to water in clouds. There is no coherence among the water molecules except for possibly instantaneously among nearest neighbors. Get a grip. These are classical liquids and gases.

  209. Rachel M says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Steven. I’ve got it. Let’s move on now please 🙂

  210. Kevin O'Neill says:

    In a similar vein, I spent some of my day discussing, with Judith Curry on Twitter, whether or not we’re virtually certain that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic.

    Well, Dr Roy had a recent article asking How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural? and she’s going down to Texas later this month to meet with this stellar crew:
    At the Crossroads: Energy and Climate Policy Summit:
    Matt Ridley (“The Rational Optimist”)
    Roy Spencer (UAH)
    Judith Curry (GaTech)
    Hal Doiron (The Right Climate Stuff)
    Zong-Liang Yang (U. Texas – Austin)
    Eric Groten (Vinson & Elkins)
    Marlo Lewis (CEI)
    Mike Nasi (Jackson Walker)
    Rupert Darwall (“The Age of Global Warming”)
    Stephen Moore (Heritage)
    Marc Morano (Climate Depot)
    Mark Mills (Manhattan Inst.)
    Rob Bradley (Inst. for Energy Research)
    Peter Grossman (Butler U.)
    David Kreutzer (Heritage)
    Calvin Beisner (Cornwall Alliance)
    Kathleen Hartnett White (Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment)
    Caleb Rossiter (American University)
    H. Leighton Steward (Plants Need CO2)
    Frank Clemente (Penn State)

    Hmmmm …. looking at the list I’d say there’s a really high proportion of deniers – scratch that, pseudoskeptics – scratch that, libertarian/free market conservatives. Whocudanode? I wonder if hyperinflation is on the agenda – it should be showing up soon …. sooon ….. soooooooooon. It’s just around the corner I tell ya 🙂

  211. Joshua says:

    ==> ” I wonder if hyperinflation is on the agenda ”

    In case anyone isn’t scared:

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to appear before your subcommittee this morning to discuss the feasibility of establishing a gold standard.

    As you know, I have introduced, and other members have cosponsored, H.R. 7874, which is a comprehensive bill to place the United States on a full gold coin standard within two years of the date of its passage.

    I believe such a standard to be not only desirable and feasible, but absolutely necessary if we aim to avoid the very real possibility of hyperinflation in the near future, and economic collapse.

    From a Ron Paul speech, in 1981

    http://ron-paul.tumblr.com/post/25365125/i-believe-such-a-standard-to-be-not-only-desirable

  212. Arthur Smith said:

    “Not to make the blog war worse”

    It is actually quite clarifying. Both Arthur and Eli help quite a bit.

    The fundamentals of statistical mechanics is partially an exercise in combinatorics.

    In my ever evolving understanding, the mathematics behind the 1/(exp(-E/kT)-1) partition in B-E statistics is to amplify the combinatorics when the particles are truly exchangeable — when they are close enough and decoupled enough that exchanging the two is a valid combination and which then increases the *probability* that an energy barrier can be overcome. In other words, there are more combinations or states available which then increase the chances of escaping from jail.

    In contrast, F-D particles or tightly-coupled particles are either (1) already in separate states so cannot be interchanged or (2) need energy to interchange, so one does not get the benefit of greater combinatorics.

    The analogy (careful !) is similar to being able to make up words in 26-letter scrabble when one can put the letters in any order (B-E) versus forcing the letters to be alphabetically arranged (F-D). But of course, analogies never work, because this is quantum mechanics and anyone that says they can perceive in a physical sense how it works is not human.

    The bottom line is that the F-D = 1/(exp(-E/kT)+1) statistics are used *all the time* when dealing with electrons in partially filled solid-state energy bands. And the B-D = 1/(exp(-E/kT)-1) are used *all the time* when dealing with photon statistics in cavities. But the latter is *hardly ever used* for most *massed* particles, as the conditions for highly-proximal yet with loose-coupling are so rare. Thus you find supercooled helium, as Arthur noted, and a few others.

    That is what initially threw me regarding H2O acting as a boson and specifically obeying Bose-Einstein statistics — as the conditions for this happening would almost never theoretically or experimentally occur. In fact, I would guess that the only way that it would come up in real life is if some evil 🙂 physics professor would make it into a trick question on a final exam.

    I admit I fell for the stump-the-chump ploy on the spin issue.

    Yet, I do still want to understand how Curry and her co-author could come up with such an outlandish theory. As I have monitored the Climate Etc blog for years, I do know that Curry regulars such as Rob Ellison [Mod: Stick with the commenter’s handle, thanks] often talk about using Bose-Einstein statistics in their own crackpot theories of climate. What would be very bizarre is if Curry had actually latched on to these ideas and somehow convinced her co-author to hatch them as part of their their own theory.

    Steve Bloom mentioned above that she may be realizing that “she wasn’t going to be recognized as having made an important contribution”, and perhaps now is the chance. I noticed that the Rob Ellison apple-polishing character was trying to push the “Khvorostyanov-Curry (KC) theory” of cloud nucleation in the comments section.

    How else to understand this, but to suggest that she was looking for a revolutionary idea?
    c.f. the Stadium Wave.
    Otherwise I just don’t get it.

  213. AnOilMan says:

    Kevin O’Neill,

    When I see a gathering like that all I can hear is the banjos from Deliverance.

    They are probably getting together to trade Al Gore jokes for Memes of Mass Distortion. (Indeed Al Gore jokes are the height of intellectual engagement for those people.)

  214. Arthur Smith says:

    Pekka – you are probably confusing vibrations in small molecular systems (which have discrete levels where Bose-Einstein statistics has no relevance) with the collective excitations of larger systems (like phonons in crystals) which act very much like photons and do follow Bose-Einstein statistics at low temperatures. Bose-Einstein ONLY makes a difference when there are many indistinguishable particles at an energy (temperature) for which there are only a limited number of complete quantum states (including all degrees of freedom available to the particle – rotation, vibration, momentum), so there is a significant probability of two of them being in the identical state. There is no way this is relevant for water under any naturally forming condition on this or any other planet.

  215. I managed to find the offending section and paragraph on google books. There is not much there to work with. They refer to water as ‘particles’ neglecting the internal structure of the molecule and all of its various vibrational modes, there is n, ano mention of phonons in ice particles, and they briefly indicate that at low enough temperatures and in the presence of impurities and surfactants then the relevant energy scales indicate that all of the previous calculations must be repeated substituting B-E statistics for Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics, but then they neglect to actually perform those calculations to see where they might lead. I admit I am intrigued by the possibility of quantum soap bubbles, but since temperatures, densities and masses eliminate bosonic coherence entirely and leaves only the possibility of exotic networks of water molecules bound to some unknown lattice, the trail quickly goes cold here. It’s indeed strange they added this section.

    Nevertheless, a quick search of the literature reveals this :

    http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/0012256

    Which was published as this :

    http://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.65.031406

    and remarkably enough the researchgate link reveals the first five pages of this paper :

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/11455425_Phase_transition_analogous_to_Bose-Einstein_condensation_in_systems_of_noninteracting_surfactant_aggregates

    But unfortunately, no references, and no references in the google books presentation, so I am unable to determine if the authors were aware of the previously suggested quantum microscopic soap bubble hypothesis.

    I fear I have become lost in a blizzard of math here. This will no doubt be a problem eminently suitable for the new European Metallurgical Project, according to the brochure I have read.

  216. Kevin O'Neill says:

    AOM: “When I see a gathering like that all I can hear is the banjos from Deliverance.”

    The really obvious outlier is Zong-Liang Yang. Has he been reactionaryized by CCSM4????

  217. I don’t always hear banjos, but when I do, it’s from the third best film of all times:

  218. AnOilMan says:

    Kevin, yeah, he looks odd all right. (Usually a cursory look at a name will bring a deluge of garbage from Denier circles.) Maybe he didn’t know what he was signing up for.

  219. Eli Rabett says:

    Kevin, that list is very useful, it identifies the 3/100 that John Cook has been looking for.

  220. Rachel M says:

    Just a quick reminder to please try to refer to other commenters using their handle? You can shorten it in such a way that it remains clear who you are referring to *provided* it remains respectful. Endearing nick-names are fine, but provocative versions not ok. It’s a small thing but it makes a big difference IMO.

  221. Rachel M says:

    Sorry, WebHub. Just found your 11:44pm comment in spam. If a comment disappears like that then feel free to let us know.

  222. WHT – On first reading this line from Khvorostyanov did strike me as a bit ….. odd: “Thus, if in the future, B-E statistics will appear to be valid for nucleation at low T, the first reference will be this book.

    Hey, we don’t know how and we don’t know why – but we’ll claim fame if somebody else figures it out.

    I still think they’ve mistakenly conflated ‘low T’ in clouds with ‘low T’ in condensed matter physics. The actual temperatures are a couple hundred degrees K apart.

  223. And upon further digging into more modern literature I found this :

    Bose–Einstein-like statistics of amphiphilic self-assembly, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Volume 319, Issues 1–3, 15 April 2008, Pages 2–7

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927775707004128

    Of course, this is just a ‘modified’ version of Bose-Einstein statistics, but following this to its inevitable conclusions leads directly to the existence of ‘Demons’ (Einstein like oscillators):

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1309.5981

    and of course, the ubiquitous ‘Boogums’ :

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3677468/

    Remember, you heard it here first!


  224. Hey, we don’t know how and we don’t know why – but we’ll claim fame if somebody else figures it out.

    Kevin, The DuckDuckGo search engine already points to Curry at the top for the combined set of keywords “Bose-Einstein statistics” “Freezing” “Nucleation”.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22Bose-Einstein+statistics%22+Freezing+Nucleation

    And yes about the difference between low T and high T.

    Remember that K and Curry also claim that this theory works for both freezing nucleation AND condensation nucleation. These are in different sections, 8.3.2 and 8.2.3 as I recall.

    Obviously, both of these can’t be right because condensation into liquid is at a higher temperature than freezing into ice.

    But what the heck, they have more chances in claiming to be first as you smartly observed. Doubling down !

  225. TLE – Nematic liquid crystal boojums with handles on colloidal handlebodies

    Sounds like something your proctologist better look into ….. 🙂

  226. I thought at first it was a computer generated nonsense paper, but as Richard Feynmann said, there is still plenty of room at the bottom. Have you ever looked closely at a giant soap bubble? Clearly some emergent physics is at work here. I’m calling Dr. Bubble in the morning, he knows some kids who might have some insight into this. They’ve been working on it all summer long.

  227. Arthur,

    QM applies to vibrations equally well in large crystal and in smaller bodies. Both phonos of crystals and vibrations in small solid clusters of particles have discrete energy levels and all these vibrations follow equally B-E statistics and for the same reason. That should be clear from most derivations presented in textbooks. Further results like the resulting heat capacity may not have identical formulas, because the set of available vibrational modes is different. At some level nonlinear effects may also get important and modify the quantitative results.

    What I have meant by collective modes is essentially vibrations, because vibrations have the property that each vibrational mode can have a varying strength. In classical mechanics the strength can vary continuously, in QM the allowed strengths are discrete and equally spaced as long as linearity applies. Essentially the only thing that’s needed to derive B-E statistics (when M-B statistics would apply otherwise) is the fact the same mode can have many strengths in that way.

    When we have very small germs of crystals or very small droplets of supercooled water that are at the verge of solidifying, what happens in them may be influenced by phenomena that follow approximately B-E statistics. Approximately, because nonlinearities may be important, making a collective mode something that’s not pure vibration, but has still essential vibrational properties. What I write here is speculative, we are discussing processes that are not nearly fully understood making also speculation necessary.

    Thomas: The expression “collective mode” may be too general, but the above should tell, what I meant by that.

  228. Pekka said:

    “What I write here is speculative, we are discussing processes that are not nearly fully understood making also speculation necessary.”

    But are you going to publish it by slipping it into a barely-reviewed monograph, claim ownership if you are right, and assume that there are no consequences if you are wrong?

    Echos of the South Park Gnomes plan:

    1. Collect Underpants
    2. ?
    3. Profit

    Curry said that you are the adult supervision here. We will wait for your definitive answer.

  229. WHUT,

    It’s normal to have speculative chapters in monographs of that nature.

    It’s very likely that they would not write exactly the same chapters now. It’s also likely that they didn’t give sufficient thought to those chapters before publishing the book. Writing a 780 p. monograph is a really large task. Few people (if any) can keep a uniform quality for the whole text.

    This is not an undergraduate textbook that tries to present the same material that has been presented in many books before, but better and with fewer errors. This is a monograph that contains much material that has not been presented in any book before, and that also tries make new openings for further work. Those chapters must be seen in this context. They are not good, but they do not spoil the book.

  230. Pekka,

    Those chapters must be seen in this context. They are not good, but they do not spoil the book.

    Surely that’s a judgement. Plus, if these really were what was presented on Amazon as a taster, then it’s hard to see why WHUT’s criticism isn’t reasonable. Surely the samples are meant to represent the book and if they’re poor, it would seem reasonable to point that out. The rest of the book may be fantastic, but I certainly wouldn’t buy a book if the sample sections were not.

  231. Rob Ellison says:

    [Mod: Please refer to commenters using their handle.]

    Can’t recall anyone discussing a Bose-Einstein theory of climate however. Nor do I reject climate science. It’s just that we don’t know much more than this still.

    From – http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/files/2009/10/broeckerglobalwarming75.pdf

    The ‘Camp Century cycle’ turned up strongly in 1976. How’s that for timing? And down again at the turn of the century. The residual rate of 20th century warming that might be attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gases is 0.07 degrees C/decade. Non-warming – or even cooling – seems quite likely for decades yet. It is chaotic – a wild beast as Wally tells us – and the future is therefore unpredictable. Which makes me a climate catastrophist – in the sense of Rene Thom. Or a denier in the eyes of dimwitted climate warriors.

    To return briefly to Bose-Einstein – it was suggested briefly in passing as a substitute for Boltzmann statistics in specific conditions in the context of an analytical approach to cloud nucleation – the real measure of which is empirical and numerical corroboration. [Mod: Please be respectful]

  232. [Mod: Quoted comment has been edited]

  233. Rob,
    And this,

    The ‘Camp Century cycle’ turned up strongly in 1976. How’s that for timing? And down again at the turn of the century. The residual rate of 20th century warming that might be attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gases is 0.07 degrees C/decade. Non-warming – or even cooling – seems quite likely for decades yet. It is chaotic – a wild beast as Wally tells us – and the future is therefore unpredictable. Which makes me a climate catastrophist – in the sense of Rene Thom. Or a denier in the eyes of dimwitted climate warriors.

    This is not only mostly nonsense (Century scale cycles based on what? Guesswork and just over a century’s worth of reliable temperature data?) but rather makes you whole your comment : something that has been lost in endless aggression, abuse, dishonesty and denigration from ideologically committed fools and charlatans again seem rather ironic.

    As to why I think it’s mostly nonsense. Well you can explain the variability in our warming over the 20th century as being mainly due to variations in the external forcings. Sure, there is still some internal variability, but there’s little evidence to suggest that it plays the kind of role that you’re suggesting.

  234. Rob Ellison says:

    ‘Surely that’s a judgement. Plus, if these really were what was presented on Amazon as a taster, then it’s hard to see why WHUT’s criticism isn’t reasonable. Surely the samples are meant to represent the book and if they’re poor, it would seem reasonable to point that out. The rest of the book may be fantastic, but I certainly wouldn’t buy a book if the sample sections were not.’

    The Bose-Einstein sub-sections are brief excursions – and certainly not chapters – in the context of theoretical exposition of nucleation rates using Boltzmann statistics. They are not featured at Amazon but may or may not be part of Google books preview. The real measure of this is empirical and numerical corroboration. In the context of low temperatures and high surfactant load – is a nucleation rate that uses the form of the Bose-Einstein distribution feasible. A purely statistical construct involving transition to a crystalline state. Again the measure is empirical and numerical – but they don’t go this far. To imagine that this somehow doesn’t happen because the ultralow temperatures of a Bose-Einstein condensate doesn’t happen is a fallacy of physicists. Yet another it seems from my Earth sciences background. It remains – however – very brief speculation in a much broader context.

    This is done and dusted. It is just not a significant issue. It is an example of a malicious, superficial and unsubstantiated claim based on a wider agenda. .

  235. Rob,
    To honest, I don’t really care. I don’t have any real interest in Judith’s book, one way or the other. In fact, it may well be – overall – an extremely good book. However, if people want to make comments here, I don’t really object as long as they’re not libelous and abide by the spirit of the moderation rules. I do find these kind of statements remarkable though

    This is done and dusted. It is just not a significant issue. It is an example of a malicious, superficial and unsubstantiated claim based on a wider agenda. .

    Some people seem to be absolutely certain of what’s motivating others and are absolutely certain that their view is absolutely correct and the view of others is absolutely wrong. Again, I’m not interested in taking this any further, simply making an observation. This seems quite prevalent in this particular debate. There are certain things that most would regard as being judgements, but that others regard as absolute truths. No wonder actual discussions are difficult. You can’t really have them unless you accept what the other person regards as an absolute truth.

  236. Again, I have no real interest in the topic of Judith’s book, but the whole issue seems like a typical case of ClimateBallTM. If this had been Michael Mann, John Cook, Peter Gleick,…. there would have been cries of FRAUD, FRAUD, MISCONDUCT, from the very people who are now saying it’s just a small diversion. Personally, I happen to prefer the latter to the former. I just wish those who excuse the diversion when it suits them, would do the same when it doesn’t.

  237. verytallguy says:

    ATTP, it reminds me of the himalayan glaciers. Blown out of any proportion, and only really of any interest whatever in how it reveals the nature of the debate.

    It’s your blog, but for me, this discourse fits much better with the ambience at Judy’s, plus is directly relevant to her. You do seem to be attracting people who want to whinge about climateball at Judy’s; the comments there are always toxically uncivil – do you really want your blog to become the sewer overflow? Why not just direct people back there if that’s what they want to do.

  238. vtg,

    Why not just direct people back there if that’s what they want to do.

    Yes, that’s a good idea. Can people take their sniping back to where it came from 🙂

  239. ATTP,

    Those pages are not visible as tasters at Amazon (at least I haven’t got even close to those pages). As far as I have understood from his writing WHUT was able to select freely or rather freely a single page to look at Google Books. Thus the pages have not been selected as particularly representative by the authors or the publisher.

  240. BBD says:

    Sometimes all you can do is redirect.

  241. Rob Ellison says:

    This is not only mostly nonsense (Century scale cycles based on what? Guesswork and just over a century’s worth of reliable temperature data?) but rather makes you whole your comment : something that has been lost in endless aggression, abuse, dishonesty and denigration from ideologically committed fools and charlatans again seem rather ironic.

    As to why I think it’s mostly nonsense. Well you can explain the variability in our warming over the 20th century as being mainly due to variations in the external forcings. Sure, there is still some internal variability, but there’s little evidence to suggest that it plays the kind of role that you’re suggesting.

    Camp Century cycles was a Wally Broecker usage. It is based on ice cores at the Camp Century nuclear powered research facility in Greenland. See Figure 2 in the 1975 Wally Broecker paper linked to – which was linked to in actual ironic reference to how little fundamental understanding had progressed.

    [Mod: About moderation; not permissible]

    Swanson and Tsonis (2009) suggest that decadal surface cooling and warming results from a change in energy uptake in the oceans or a change in cloud and water vapour dynamics. Both seem likely. In the simplest case the cooler or warmer water surface loses less or more of the heat gained from sunlight and so the oceans warm and cool.

    In the latter case – cloud cover seems increasingly likely to be a significant factor in the Earth’s energy dynamic. Loeb (2012) shows that large changes in the Earth’s energy balance at top of atmosphere occur with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. However, CERES commenced operation just after the 1998/2001 climate shift.

    Earlier satellite data (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP-FD) | NASA) shows a substantial step increase in cloud at the turn of the century. Pallé (2009) made photometric observations of light reflected from the Earth onto the moon from 1998. Short term changes in global reflectance is for the most part cloud changes. A climatologically significant step increase in albedo was observed at the turn of the century.

    The IPCC reports that changes ‘in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 WG1 3.4.4.1

    Really – it’s the kind of role Wally was suggesting way back when. It is the kind of role science is suggesting.

    Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

    It leaves a residual – that might be attributed to greenhouse gases – something like this.

    Still – there is nothing to suggest that the 21st century will see a repeat of the pattern of the 20th century.

    The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

    As for the near term.

    ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

    I’d suggest this for some light reading.

    http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

    Obviously – with such crazed nonsense from science denying sceptics – I have worn out my welcome. Truly – sometimes all you can do is laugh.

  242. [Mod: Refers to deleted part of comment]

  243. BBD says:

    Robert Ellison

    Camp Century cycles was a Wally Broecker usage. It is based on ice cores at the Camp Century nuclear powered research facility in Greenland.

    The NW edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet is not a proxy for global average temperature. You are doing it again despite having this pointed out to you many, many times at JC’s. Some – myself included – would call this serial misrepresentation.

  244. BBD says:

    ATTP

    We crossed. My comment is redundant.

  245. Rob Ellison says:

    verytallguy says:

    September 11, 2014 at 9:18 am

    ATTP, it reminds me of the himalayan glaciers. Blown out of any proportion, and only really of any interest whatever in how it reveals the nature of the debate.

    It’s your blog, but for me, this discourse fits much better with the ambience at Judy’s, plus is directly relevant to her. You do seem to be attracting people who want to whinge about climateball at Judy’s; the comments there are always toxically uncivil – do you really want your blog to become the sewer overflow? Why not just direct people back there if that’s what they want to do.

    Once such a civilized refuge – it was mostly lost to crazed warmists whose main focus was on insulting and berating Klimate Klown something or others – KKK at any rate.

    Of course it was blown out of proportion – all over the freakin’ interweb from a review on Amazon to cut and paste on all the usual web forums in a thinly disguised personal attack bringing in everything from reflections on a lack of professional achievement to aspersions about sources of income.

    Zilch technical substance and an excess of malicious intent – is that mistakable as anything other than ‘toxically uncivil’?

  246. BBD says:

    What VTG said.

  247. Rob Ellison says:

    BBD says:

    September 11, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Robert Ellison

    Camp Century cycles was a Wally Broecker usage. It is based on ice cores at the Camp Century nuclear powered research facility in Greenland.

    The NW edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet is not a proxy for global average temperature. You are doing it again despite having this pointed out to you many, many times at JC’s. Some – myself included – would call this serial misrepresentation.

    As an Australian hydrologist – my major focus has been on the Pacific. Now if you want to whine about Wally Broecker confusing Greenland with global variation – I will need something a little more substantial than an assertion from BBD that it is serial misrepresentation. .

    At any rate my discussion went well beyond a 1975 paper by Broecker – the one that started it all – to much more modern and broad ranging science. It needs to be taken as a whole. Broecker was an intro – a statement that the fundamental concepts had not changed much since.

    Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

    It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

    Here’s something of a wide ranging review – http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

    Sometimes it is difficult to know what the actual problem is. Mostly I come to the conclusion that this has not much to do with actual science but with memes rote learned on the interweb echo chambers and ferociously asserted.

  248. verytallguy says:

    Rob, take it to Judy’s.

  249. Steve Bloom says:

    [Mod: About moderation]

  250. BBD says:

    If the NW edge of the GIS is a reliable proxy for GAT, our hydrological friend will have no difficulty in providing ice core data from other GIS cores (eg. NGRIP, GISP2, GRIP, Dye 3) demonstrating the same quasi-periodic behaviour. He will then show that this NH regional pattern can be matched, in phase, to ice core data from Antarctica.

    If he cannot do this, he will concede that the NW edge of the GIS is not a proxy for global average temperature.

    * * *

    He might also like to consider the fundamental problem with his “it’s all natural” assertion. This requires that the climate system be moderately sensitive to radiative perturbation, including that from changes in GHG forcing. But the hydrologist asserts elsewhere that eg. CO2 forcing change has negligible effects on the centennial trend in GAT.

    Clearly, there is a serious internal contradiction in this reasoning. What is worse, it has been pointed out to him many, many times before at JC’s and yet here he is, still repeating his errors.

    Some – myself included – would call that serial misrepresentation, if not worse.

  251. Rob Ellison has a history of writing whatever scientific ideas pop into his head, no matter how ridiculous, over at Curry’s blog. What I did was collect all the times he has mentioned Bose-Einstein statistics or Bose-Einstein condensation at Climate Etc, and placed them in the following web page

    http://contextearth.com/crackpots-etc/

    As BBD says, his long-term strategy is serial misrepresentation and sowing seeds of doubt. I can’t help but wonder if this repetition of faulty science has rubbed off on Curry. In fact, Curry routinely thanks Ellison for providing his “insight” to the blog and has recently allowed him to author top-level posts !

    I guess I have something to do with drawing him over to ATTP, but it is more than that. Several days before this latest flare-up occurred, Rob Ellison along with other regular CE commenters started commenting at Real Climate. The common theme is that Judith Curry was in some way perceived to have been denigrated, and her acolytes have come out to defend her.

    A similar thing recently happened at Peak Oil Barrel, which is the follow-up to The Oil Drum blog. In this case, the hate-speech radio talk show host Michael Savage (who is banned from entering the UK, btw) made a reference to that blog. Within hours, several of Savage’s followers crashed the comments section with all sorts of nonsense.

  252. AT,

    If you ever need another moderator, my vote goes to Very Tall.

    I thought you’d pick the remark about the “you make no sense” card above. Since you haven’t, I’ll remind you (yes, I told you already) that unless you have a proof under your sleeve that something can’t make sense under any plausible interpretation, it’s better to say that you simply don’t understand. Besides, it would fit seamlessly with your overall persona.

    Don’t mind Chief, I mean Rob. He wins every thread at Judy’s. With the same comments. Over and over again. Never seen such stable chaos.

    Redirection is good. Let’s rewild climate blogs.

    ***

    Pekka,

    A 750 pages treatise is most often than not three 250 pages monographs. I don’t think reasearchers needed to review water condensation or the diffusionally growth of crystals. Something like chapters 1-6 could have made a nice textbook. How to divide the rest is unclear to me. Perhaps CNNs could be isolated, and then there would be model runs.

    One does not simply hand over 750 pages of notes printed on shiny paper to graduates and expect they’ll read them, and then read other stuff. And by reading, I mean following a soliloquy of derivation upon derivation. And if you target teachers with this breviary, then more crunchy details could have been included, like rants about alternative theories.

    As far as I am concerned, this is an antiquated mode of theory transmission. We hear about freeing data and code, but what about theories? Why the hell do we need to get piecemeal information in public spheres, but private compendiums? Take Fan’s example:

    A natural mathematical link between (microscopic; time-reversible) quantum dynamics and (macroscopic; time-irreversible) thermodynamics is provided by Onsager’s Reciprocal Relations, which in turn is macroscopically grounded in Onsager’s Regression Hypothesis — that links reversible microscopic fluctuations to irreversible macroscopic relaxation — which in turn is microscopically grounded in the quantum theory of completely positive maps of Lindblad form.

    Very regrettably, at present no single textbook provides an integrated, rigorous-yet-practical exposition these three topics. As a result, students have to put the pieces together for themselves … which is a no bad test of one’s in-depth understanding of these topics!

    Rightly did Vladimir Arnol’d observe:
    Every mathematician knows that it is impossible to understand any elementary course in thermodynamics.
    Conclusion The Khvorostyanov/Curry textbook shares with hundreds of other textbooks dealing with thermodynamics and kinetic theory, the defect that no mathematician can understand its presentation!

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/#comment-626237

    My solution is: forget textbooks, go the Azimuth way! Even mailing lists would be better.

    ***

    Fan also observes that Lars Onsager’s course is known to graduate students as “Sadistical Mechanics”. I duly submit that daily sadism should kept to ClimateBall ™. Were we to remove it from curricular activities, we might even see less of it online.

  253. > Allowing these rants even in part is being way over-tolerant, Anders

    [Mod: About moderation, not permissible]

  254. Willard recommends:


    My solution is: forget textbooks, go the Azimuth way! Even mailing lists would be better.

    I second that vote and suggest that other mathematicians and physicists interested in solving climate problems join us over at the Azimuth Forum. The discourse is of course very civil, as Baez knows the secret formula:
    http://azimuth.mathforge.org/

    But then again, there’s #VITSOL, which explains my interest in Why People Believe Weird Things.

  255. Pekka says : very small droplets of supercooled water that are at the verge of solidifying, what happens in them may be influenced by phenomena that follow approximately B-E statistics.

    And I have followed this idea through the literature, and shown that whatever is happening on this scale is not anything related to BEC-BCS (condensed matter physics), not Einstein like phonons, nor even BE-MB, but rather it appears to be related to modifications of BE related to nanoscopic to mesoscopic networks and lattices, which although relatively (as is less strongly) weakly bound and coupled, do appear to begin to approach the scale where one may begin to speculate about modifications to BE statistics, since MB statistics is the high temperature result of superimposed quantum fluctuations. How this applies to the macroscopic nucleation of water at relatively high temperatures I cannot say, but I can definitively say that Curry and her Russian collaborator do not own this concept and have not properly researched it enough to include it in a textbook chapter, not work it through to completion, neglect to research it, and then claim that they own it.

    Thinking it through I suspect that there could possibly be a germ of an idea of a concept that may apply to nano-scale physics, such as the inhomogeneous growth of crystals, lamallea, etc, but I do not know enough about those concepts as of yet and so I defer to the European Metallurgy Project to work it out.

    You can start here, and clearly see that it’s not as if there is no prior art on this subject, and of course, statistical mechanics is rife with published works and controversies on the subject of order and disorder and their relationships with energy and entropy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystallization_of_polymers

  256. anoilman says:

    Willard, I think you are both right and wrong. I don’t think any human really reads a text book. Its meant to contain the exact details of what you are learning. However, with things technical its often useful as a reference long after the fact. I have a lot of text books on my shelf, but really one small section is often my go to set.

    On the other hand, my books are very applied, and not of questionable origin. As Webby/Pekka harp on, without references or data to back it up, its hard to wrap your head around. If there’s no references then perhaps Judy’s book belongs in fiction, next to Harry Potter or The Skeptical Environmentalist.

    I picked up “An Introduction to Algorithms” while visiting MIT, long before it got popular. I’ve used the contents here and there. Arguably my “High Temperature Electronics” text book is controversial since Intel sued the professor in question to prevent their parts from being publicly abused. (Its useful, rather technically light, but it does reference the relevant papers.)

    I picked up this book out of interest (According to SOD, its not too deep in the math);
    http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780123285300/Global-Physical-Climatology

  257. Thomas said:


    Thinking it through I suspect that there could possibly be a germ of an idea of a concept that may apply to nano-scale physics, such as the inhomogeneous growth of crystals, lamallea, etc,

    That’s why I was initially intrigued by Curry’s theory. When I first made the criticism at CE, I blundered by saying I had expertise in crystal growth (which of course was met with jeers). Yet, that much was true as we were one of the first to experimentally identify atomic-level oscillations verifying layer-by-layer vapor-phase epitaxial growth of material such as Gallium Arsenide and Silicon/Germanium. We also did surfactant studies, as the dopants often acted to promote nucleation at step edges and thus layer-by-layer growth — even though the dopants were at very low concentrations.

    Based on that experience, I just found it incredible that Curry could broad-brush the model like she did and bone-headingly introduce B-E statistics. I tend to agree with Thomas’ assessment of what kind of models are actually needed — at the minimum some sort of molecular dynamics simulation would be the starting point. Ice is not well-ordered so a significant amount of stochastic modeling would need to be applied to get a sense of the structure as nucleation ramped up.

  258. Anyways, back to the immediate planetary crisis at hand, this whole exercise is a distraction from the real goal of incorporating Mottness at the picoscale into a coherent framework of theories, applied physics and material science so we can get on with solving the problems. The real action nowadays is in BCS-BEC transitions, quantum simulators of every kind at a variety of temperatures, deconvolution of complex data from a wide variety of spectroscopic techniques, and just plain trying to figure out what the heck is going on way down there at the bottom.

    The whole idea revolves around trying to find something that works in the optical up to the ultraviolet, which as you all know is chemistry, or even more properly, electrochemistry. To do that we need to give up on the idea that donor acceptor technology revolving around silicon substrates is the end all be all of solar energy conversion, or that lithium is the ultimate battery substrate, and start focusing on simple solutions using widely available cheap non-toxic materials. Peter P. Edwards is one guy to talk to.

    In metals right off the bat sodium comes to mind. On the other end of the mass and cost spectrum my original idea was to use the electroactive interstitial voids of bismuth iodide as a mechanism to contain and manipulate hydrogen atoms and molecules, presumably using small amounts of bismuth since it’s quite rare and expensive, coming out of neutron star cataclysms and everything.

    Laugh all you want, I’m a well established crackpot with many failed hypotheses crashed and burned. With the superconducting cuprates one has to reconcile the fact that most of the magnetic theories have already crashed and burned, and with the fact that the pairing glue appears to be associated with a high energy (multi-electron volt) charge transfer (or Mott) gap, yet the charge carriers still appear to be ordinary metallic electrons (or localized holes if you are thinking in terms of an electronic BEC) derived from the doped holes (or electrons, take your pick) In this area I put my trust in Philip Phillips and the relevant spectroscopy. Excitons are indeed high energy bosons but unfortunately they can’t carry charge, so clearly these systems contain multiple (at least two) kinds of charge carriers or quasiparticles and these entities are composites of some sort. The crucial hint appears to be in recent disentangling of the CDW order from another pseudogap mechanism, where spectral weight is removed from the low energy band at or near the Fermi level and resides as a virtual particle at the top (or alternatively the bottom) of the charge transfer or Mott gap (again, take your pick), thus giving the charged component of the composite quasiparticle gets a free ride with another pair, not subject to repulsion. So here the CDW order is a competing order where the removed spectral weight ends up when it can no longer participate in pairing and mobility and the quasiparticles localize. The magnetic orders are just dragged around with this high energy process and conspire to make things a lot easier to occur, but are not the primary glue here. High energy optical phonons can also assist in this process, but again are not the primary driver of pairing. This also explains the much higher critical temperatures as heat is really just a complex chaotic superposition of localized Einstein phonons (the demons, lol) and thus assist with the hopping of the more broadly localized polaronic component of these composite quasiparticles, up to a point. This is all fuzzy in my mind right now.

    With respect to nucleation and lamellae, there are alternative mechanisms to consider such as nanoscopic and microscopic phase separation, domain walls and the associated interfaces between the insulating and metallic domains, which makes the entire process percolative.

    So yes, there is still plenty of room at the bottom, if we can only find some way to sustain it. I apologize now for ranting here on the subject of advanced physics and planetary science.

  259. Oil Man,

    For me and for thy Wiki, a textbook is simply “a manual of instruction”. Good textbooks are those students follow to learn a language. There are plenty of good textbooks around.

    My point is about the textbook’s market:

    The textbook market does not operate in exactly the same manner as most consumer markets. First, the end consumers (students) do not select the product, and the product is not purchased by faculty or professors. Therefore, price is removed from the purchasing decision, giving the producer (publishers) disproportionate market power to set prices high.

    This fundamental difference in the market is often cited as the primary reason that prices are out of control. The term “Broken Market” first appeared in Economist James Koch’s analysis of the market commissioned by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.[4]

    This situation is exacerbated by the lack of competition in the textbook market. Consolidation in the past few decades[when?] has reduced the number of major textbook companies from around 30 to just a handful.[5] Consequently, there is less competition than there used to be, and the high cost of starting up keeps new companies from entering.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textbook

    Here’s some background where this matters:

    ***

    That students buy textbooks that are not read but serve as reference simply shows that handbooks are being sold as textbooks. There are of course lots of interesting handbooks around. And there are lots of handbook chapters that are openly available:

    http://www.sfu.ca/~jeffpell/papers/PellAsherGenerics.pdf

    To produce and maintain such resources could very well be a civic duty for academic theoricians. Computer scientists could produce and maintain freeware instead. Empirical scientists could maintain and produce data sources. Et cetera.

    The overall idea is to simulate something like the Coursera model:

    https://www.coursera.org/

    If you want to learn basic stuff, all you’d need would be to go online and learn. This would be great for the developing world. This could also be a great marketing effort for the institutions. You give a taste of what one can learn, and then you develop.

    So the model would be mixed. The common core would be public science. The R&D aspects and the arcane stuff could be private.

  260. anoilman says:

    Willard, I suppose times have changed. But I think the economics are not all that cut and dried. A friend of mine has had a best seller in Canada for 15-20 years. It gives him beer money.

    When it comes to text books, they are low volume items, and that is always expensive. In <10k quantity, digital costs about the same as print. (Digital isn't cheap when you consider the costs for graphics, layout, editing, etc. Real World printing is cheaper in that printed books are over produced and dumped.)

    I have to admit that much of this stuff is just plain 'known facts' these days, and there are plenty of open sources for information.

  261. Rob Ellison says:

    Bose-Einstein statistics relate to indistinguishable particles that condense at low temperatures. Statistical mechanics deals with regions in thermal equilibrium – particles in the region have the same statistical properties at room temp as these other indistinguishable particles – but don’t condense. That is there are a number of microstates possible and probabilities of particles being in some energy state or other can be calculated – but really we’re interested in the average state.

    God only knows where this was dredged up from as an example of a discussion of Bose-Einstein and climate. It seems not quite correct in retrospect – but close enough for government work. The conclusion seems to be that Bose-Einstein is not climatically significant.

    The discussion revolved around the IR ‘notch’ – which is an artifact of IR photon scattering. IR emission in total is related to temperature of course and a planet equilibriated to the higher CO2 levels is in principle in radiative equilibrium. A state – btw – that because of large background variability has no practical significance. Webby opined that IR photons were absorbed by greenhouse gases and emitted in other frequencies – preserving the notch. QM suggests this is not the case.

    Pekka says : very small droplets of supercooled water that are at the verge of solidifying, what happens in them may be influenced by phenomena that follow approximately B-E statistics.

    This is the crux of the issue. Can the function follow the form? Although it is still a minor aspect and not relevant to the derivation of the analytical expression for the general case of nucleation that uses the Boltzmann term.

    ‘A Bose–Einstein condensate is therefore a quantum phenomenon characteristic of boson particles. Nevertheless, a similar type of condensation transition can occur also in off-equilibrium classical systems and in particular, complex networks. In this context, a condensation phenomenon occurs when a distribution of a large number of elements in a large number of element classes becomes degenerate, i.e. instead of having an even distribution of elements in the classes, one class (or a few classes) become occupied by a finite fraction of all the elements of the system.’ Wikipedia

    Could this be a candidate.

    Boltzmann – and indeed Bose-Einstein – distributions can be viewed as purely statistical constructs. In this case in a process that might be expected to involve velocity and energy distributions. Bose-Einstein has been used – for instance – in ecology, network theory, evolution, information theory – for departures from randomness.

  262. Rob Ellis, in the instances from Wiki that you cite there is no justification on the use of the statistic based on “low T” – which is the justification K&C gave: “The only way to solve the problem now was to try another statistics, valid at low T. A possible candidate is the Bose-Einstein statistics, valid to very low T, even close to 0 K. ” Note: the text does not say ‘possible’ – the quote is from Khoryasov’s response.

    So they have a problem at “low T” and infer that B-E is valid because B-E is valid at “low T” – but there’s a world of difference between milliKelvins (where B-E would be valid) and 170K to 200K where the problem actually lies. The physical reason they give doesn’t hold water. By not explicitly stating the two separate temperatures, that where the nucleation occurs and that where B-E is valid, they’ve made it look like ‘low T’ is the same – even though they are two widely disparate values.

  263. Rob Ellison says:

    [Mod: Thanks for your input, Rob. I think this conversation has come to a conclusion now. It’s starting to get repetitive]

  264. Rob,

    Now having had one more science dense ‘rant’ – and being again in moderation – I will take my leave permanently of this odd little corner of the climate war.

    I was going to write a lengthier response, but seeing this comment just makes me think that I’d be wasting my time. I really am tired of people pontificating about the poor dialogue, while providing a perfect illustration of the issue (and, apparently, being completely unaware of that they’re doing so).

  265. afeman says:

    I’ve wondered at times how writing a textbook remotely justifies the time and effort, economically speaking. It might was well go under the sort of credit an academic gets for publishing research, and put into some sort of open publishing license. But then again, I get paid for my work.

  266. Here could be a way to pay for the textbooks, Oil Man:

    Behind the rise in seizures is a little-known cottage industry of private police-training firms that teach the techniques of “highway interdiction” to departments across the country.

    One of those firms created a private intelligence network known as Black Asphalt Electronic Networking & Notification System that enabled police nationwide to share detailed reports about American motorists — criminals and the innocent alike — including their Social Security numbers, addresses and identifying tattoos, as well as hunches about which drivers to stop.

    Many of the reports have been funneled to federal agencies and fusion centers as part of the government’s burgeoning law enforcement intelligence systems — despite warnings from state and federal authorities that the information could violate privacy and constitutional protections.

    A thriving subculture of road officers on the network now competes to see who can seize the most cash and contraband, describing their exploits in the network’s chat rooms and sharing “trophy shots” of money and drugs. Some police advocate highway interdiction as a way of raising revenue for cash-strapped municipalities.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/06/stop-and-seize/

  267. BBD says:

    Rob Ellison

    I’m not interested in yet another re-hash of your shtick. What you need to do is acknowledge the fundamental errors as pointed out above.

    Spewing out yet more reams of wrong isn’t a response. It is spamming.

  268. BBD says:

    The new theory suggests that global warming is not guaranteed

    That’s straight-up greenhouse effect denial. You are a Sky Dragon.

    Please take it back to JC’s. Nobody here is interested in the crank stuff.

  269. Eli Rabett says:

    On textbooks, Eli could refer you to his quality rants, but the point is that at a place like Ohio State with 5K students taking GChem and 10K talking calculus @ $250 and more a pop, yeah, that is real money and the war is to find ways to get the students to buy the new books.

  270. I’m sorry to keep chiming in here as most of this may be flying over some heads, but speaking of the devil (or the demons) this coincidentally came out on the Arxiv tonight :

    Bose-Einstein Condensates: a model system for particle solvation? Shahriar Shadkhoo, Robijn Bruinsma

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.3329

    We propose that impurities in Bose-Einstein condensates can serve as a minimal laboratory system to explore the effects of quantum and thermal fluctuations on solvation. Specifically, we show that the role of quantum fluctuations in the formation of solvation shells and the breakdown of linear response theory can be explored in detail.

    This isn’t going to save their hypothesis but this is how the pros approach this kind of problem. This is the kind of physics I find extremely useful in my field at least.

  271. afeman says:

    I’ve long been intrigued by Horatio’s suggestions of the classics under Eli’s rant. FWIW you no longer have to save your lunch money for the Feynman Lectures:

    http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/

  272. GregH says:

    afeman: I’ve wondered at times how writing a textbook remotely justifies the time and effort, economically speaking.

    Me too. One of my friends is a medicine professor who took over the authorship of a famous textbook. She and her husband take every other year off to read papers and revise chapters to produce the next edition. My impression is that they work 18-hour days seven days a week for the whole year dealing with various co-authors, editors, illustrators and so on. Then they go back to their regular lives, and spend most of their free time writing the off-year book of errata/updates (don’t know what that’s called) and preparing for the next edition. I hope the money is good, because they’re working themselves into an early grave. Frankly, we treat our experts very poorly in this regard.

  273. Pingback: It woz El Nino wot dunnit! | …and Then There's Physics

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