Curry for dinner

This is a guess post by VTG


Judith Curry has posted a short summary(1) of her recent talk sponsored by the George Marshall Institute, attempting to put the case for adaptation rather than mitigation. In the somewhat tortured semantics of climate policy, adaptation is reducing the impact of climate change by changing infrastructure, land use and other means whereas mitigation is avoiding climate change through reducing emissions.

In my opinion the article is a breathtaking dash through personal hypocrisy, factual inaccuracy and political rhetoric.

To date, Judith Curry has argued strongly and consistently for scientists to avoid advocacy(2). Being sponsored by the George Marshall Institute, with its history of anti-science advocacy is arguably in direct contradiction to this, and the article itself is clear advocacy for not following mitigation policies. Hypocrisy is a strong charge, but is impossible to avoid here.

Worse yet, Prof Curry gets her facts wrong, claiming that global temperatures have not risen since 1998(3). This is untrue; both the surface temperature indexes from NASA and the Met office in fact show a rising trend since 1998. Those familiar with the climate debate will also, of course, recognise 1998 as a famously record-breaking hot year. In using it as her start point, Prof Curry is engaging in egregious cherry picking – using only the data which suits her case. In the context of a piece intended for general public rather than scientific experts, it’s very hard to interpret this as a statement made in good faith. Prof Curry has previously reacted strongly against being labelled a disinformer, but a clearer example of disinformation could not be wished for.

As part of her focus on the easy messaging of the “hiatus”, where surface temperatures have risen less steeply for the last few years, rhetorical tricks follow. Prof Curry claims that CO2 is expected to dominate on decadal timescales, and that there is a vigorous scientific debate on the anthropogenic nature of late 20th century warming. Neither is true. Anthropogenic warming was never claimed to overwhelm natural variation on short timescales, and there is a strong scientific consensus on the anthropogenic source of 20th century warming. Both these false claims are, however, excellent means to give a misleading impression of uncertainty.

For me, though, the worst part of the article is its shortsighted vision and moral bankruptcy. Impacts are waved away as a late 21st century concern and better adapted to regionally. By the late 21st century it will, of course, already be too late to avoid damaging change. And morally, those regions most affected are the same regions least able to adapt, the poorest countries condemned to radical change by actions benefiting the richest countries on earth. This is a shameless call to narrow self-interest.

It’s worth remembering what scale of impacts we’re talking about. Under the “business as usual” no mitigation pathway RCP8.5, global temperatures are forecast to rise between 2.5 to 7.8 degrees from preindustrial (4). Even the midpoint of this range would be genuinely catastrophic; the top end would be a cataclysm for the Earth’s ability to support a human civilisation and current biodiversity.

Professor Curry advocates unwise policy based on false claims and bankrupt morals. Reducing carbon emissions is technically feasible, economically viable and has an unanswerable moral case. World leaders should follow the scientific consensus reported by the scientists of the IPCC in its recent AR5 report, not the isolated few voices sponsored by politically motivated disinformation campaigns.

In summary:

Refs:
(1) http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/

(2)

climate scientists should avoid advocacy related to public policy related to climate science research findings.

http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/22/rethinking-climate-advocacy/

(3)

At the heart of the recent scientific debate on climate change is the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming – the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased.

– This is simply false. Of the two main surface temperature indices (Hadcrut4, GISS) both show a positive trend 1998-2013. Of the satellite series which measure tropospheric temperature, UAH shows positive and RSS negative
– As well as being false, this is transparent attempt to cherry pick a record-breaking hot year and walk down the up escalator

(4) AR5 WG3 Table SPM1

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152 Responses to Curry for dinner

  1. I can only think denierville pays better!

  2. The irony is that switching to a clean energy system would now cost us no growth at all. Solar panels are falling by 18% in cost per annum, wind by 5% and batteries by 15%. Clean electricity is already cheaper than fossil fuelled electricity in many places, and solar power is cheaper than retail electricity in much of the world between latitudes 45 N and S. Switching to renewables would not hurt our economies at all; in fact, the new technologies and the ongoing slump in the cost of renewable energy might cause a burst of new growth. After all, it was cheap oil from 1945 to 1972 which underpinned a massive growth in global output, employment and living standards, and drew millions out of poverty. Renewables could easily, as so many new technologies have, lead to a burst in employment, incomes and productivity, and if they keep on falling in cost, a sustained global move into prosperity.

    The climate change denialists are still fighting yesterday’s battles, when renewable energy was much more expensive than fossil fuelled energy (ignoring of course the externalities of air pollution and global warming) This is no longer true; what’s more, if you add the externalities back (as you should) renewables are far cheaper than fossil fuels.

    We have reached a climate change aha! moment, when not only is it blindingly obvious to all (except those in the pay of coal and oil interests) that something must be done about CO2 emissions, and NOW, but also that the cost of switching is zero and might actually be negative.

  3. metzomagic says:

    Well stated, VTG. But careful, or you’ll have ATTP looking over his shoulder 🙂

  4. Joshua says:

    Juith has said previously that writing op-eds was a form of advocacy she felt was inappropriate…

    times change, eh?

  5. In fairness, she also said that she needed to step up her activism. So the concept of activism became a dimmer instead of an on/off switch. I can’t recall why. I’ll enquire.

  6. Joshua says:

    ==> “In fairness, she also said that she needed to step up her activism. ”

    After first saying that writing op-eds was inappropriate advocacy, she wrote an op-ed with an explanation that she had decided to step-up her advocacy.

    There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s mind – presumably because of an increased concern about an issue…but it seems to me that Judith has shifted criteria in a very fundamental way

    curryja | August 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    […]

    I prefer not to expend too much energy on trying to get publicity from the MSM (I turned down a TV interview yesterday evening with CBS; turned down a WSJ op-ed opportunity last week), but rather to change the dialogue in more thoughtful ways in that second tier below the MSM (blogs, other scientists, etc). Lets face it, I am not as good at getting media attention as Hansen and Muller are, and frankly I don’t really want to go there in terms of actively courting media attention.

    I’ll add, that Mosher had an opinion on the subject in the past also:

    Steven Mosher | August 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    Joshua.
    I propose that people stop trying to due science by press release and editorial.

    times change, eh?

  7. Joshua says:

    More on shifting perspectives:

    Posted on February 27, 2012
    by Judith Curry

    […]

    The significance of this is as a “second opinion” and a reasonably well argued perspective, as pointed out in the latest WSJ op-ed (as opposed to appeal to consensus). Lindzen’s perspective is not implausible, as the IPCC perspective is not implausible (in the sense that neither is falsifiable at this point). IMO both the IPCC and Lindzen are overconfident in the assessment of their perspectives; classic “competing certainties”, which means the uncertainty monster is lurking.

    Again, shifting views can be entirely consistent with a scientific process along with accumulating evidence, but I wonder if Judith would still criticize Lindzen for being “overconfident” and engaging in “competing certainties?”

    Methinks that Mr. Monster has become much more skittish in recent months – only making an appearance when the people talking are more concerned than Judith about recent ACO2 emissions.

  8. verytallguy says:

    Willard,

    I didn’t like dropping the h-bomb. So if Judith did say she’d changed her mind on this, I’d be interested in a reference.

    Joshua,

    Judith somewhere put up some guidelines for responsible advocacy. The cherryypicking of data to suit your case was not amongst them. Ah google is our friend, here we go…

    here is a reminder of guidelines for responsible advocacy from the AAAS:
    ■Limit science advocacy to your area(s) of expertise and be clear when you are presenting a personal opinion not based on your formal expertise or professional experience;
    ■Present information clearly and avoid making exaggerated claims;
    ■Be aware of any conflicts of interest – for example, financial interests that you or members of your family have or affiliations with advocacy organizations – and make them clear
    ■Point out the weakness and limitations of your argument, including data that conflict with your recommendations;
    Present all relevant scientific data, not just that which supports a particular policy outcome;
    ■Be aware of the impact your advocacy can have on science; and
    ■Make clear when you are speaking as an individual scientist as opposed to acting as a representative of a scientific organization

    my emphasis.

  9. Joshua says:

    There’s also this, VTG:

    curryja | August 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    I was invited to write a muller/best related op-ed, not by NYT but one of approx the same impact factor. I decided not to, writing an op-ed is a political act, and I don’t really want to go there, particularly over this issue.

  10. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    W/r/t your emphasis…

    That highlighted excerpt really points to the key issue, IMO, w/r/t to Judith’s recent advocacy.

    I think that discussion about “integrity” and how to deal with “uncertainty” is valuable, and I respect Judith for addressing those arguments.

    When I discussed with her once, David Rose’s failure to uphold the principle expressed in the bullet you emphasized, she said that she felt it was understandable as a balance against what she felt was inappropriate attention to uncertainty on the part of the “consensus” (paraphrasing)…

    What?

    I originally came to Climate Etc. because I heard Judith on the radio discussing biasing influences on scientists and I thought the discussion was interesting. It didn’t take me long, however, to be disappointed in her approach. The problem, IMO, is that she is quite resistant to examining whether she applies evaluative criteria even-handedly.

  11. Joshua says:

    Apologies…I am not always sufficiently careful with my comments.

    I want to make it clear that I don’t think that Judith is a “hypocrite” and I’m not questioning her “motives.”

    I see some of her arguments as not meeting criteria that I think are important as evaluative tools.

    But we all do that at times (I know that I certainly do), so singling someone out in a personal sense seems to me to be more identity politics. I try to limit my criticisms to her arguments and to not extend them to her personally. I slipped a bit in my language there….

    Everyone is resistant to examining whether they apply evaluative criteria even-handedly. That does not, however, lesson my criticism of her arguments – at least those which display an inconsistency in applying evaluative criteria,.

  12. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    I too would not label Judith as a hypocrite.

    However, her behaviour in consistently criticising others for advocacy then writing an op-ed for the George Marshall institute advocating adaptation over mitigation is hypocritical. In fact, it’s breathtaking.

    I really don’t think there’s any wiggle room here. It’s important to be civil, yes, but also to be honest.

  13. WebHubTelescope says:

    Talking about Strong Aromas and Very Tall Guys, I noticed that the skeptics that get on my nerves share last names with some former NBA basketball players

    Judy “Dell” Curry — shooting guard
    Tony “Slick” Watts — point guard
    Bob “Wayman” Tisdale — small forward
    Rob “Pervis” Ellison — power forward

    throw in Peter “Marvin” Webster or Ed “Connie” Hawkins at center, and David “Tiny” Archibald at 6th man and you have a balanced lineup, but mediocre at best.

    U can call me Spud

    File under too obscure

  14. anoilman says:

    Joshua:

    I question Judith Curry’s motives. She makes money from oil and gas contracts. Case closed.

  15. verytallguy says:

    AOM

    I question Judith Curry’s motives. She makes money from oil and gas contracts. Case closed.

    I really strongly disagree with you!

    JCs motives are unknowable. I could guess noble motives which might drive her behaviour, or base motives such as you suggest.

    Blaming her motives implies you have a weak argument. What’s wrong with her arguments?

  16. Joshua says:

    Phil (Wally/Caldwell) Jones

    ( I’m a Sixers fan)

  17. BBD says:

    Well, VTG, you can see why I no longer comment at JC’s.

    And there’s more in the pipeline:

    curryja

    Stay tuned for a new climate sensitivity paper by nic [Lewis] and myself, coming next week

    Ho-hum.

  18. Joshua says:

    I’m not arguing for civility. I think civility is not particularly important. Sticks and stones and all that…

    I’m arguing for valid reasoning. If i don’t actually know someone, i think the bar for calling them a hypocrite must necessarily be high.

    As for someone’s arguments, the evidence is more clear. Hypocritical or inconsistent…whichever word you choose, it seems to me that either, clearly, apply in this case.

  19. WebHubTelescope says:

    No fair, Joshua. Jones not a skeptic.

    Better yet, how about Willis “Reed” Eschenbach at center ?

  20. Joshua says:

    WHT –

    I fugured by including hawkins you weren’t limiting the roster to “skeptics.”

  21. Joshua says:

    And have you seen pictures of Willis? Back up point guard.

  22. verytallguy says:

    BBD,

    I won’t be making a habit of it

  23. Joshua says:

    Tony (Kwame) Brown

  24. FWIW, there are more elegant ways to pointing out Judy’s double standards. There may even be a pattern. It starts with a double standard, followed by special pleading, closed by some kind of display of power.

    I am biased: style matters to me.

    What we write under our names on the Internet might stay on the Internet for ever and ever.

  25. Joshua says:

    If we extend to hockey, there’s Steve (Steve McIntyre) McIntyre. But i hate hockey (please don’t tell Willard)*

    * except for overtime games in the playoffs…

  26. WebHubTelescope says:

    Curry likes Hawkins, see link on her blog, because he apparently provides some of that “Adult Supervision” that she wants to see. As I recall Hawkins is middle-of-the-road on this stuff. Probably poor choice on my part, canceling out Joshua’s Phil Jones pick.

    I do like Tony “Downtown Freddie” Brown, with the Hail Mary shots from Medieval territory.

  27. WebHubTelescope says:

    The Joel Pett cartoon is a billboard for the “No Regrets” policy.

    What if ___ is not true? Then you still have ___ . No regrets either outcome.

  28. WebHubTelescope says:

    Oh no, Dell Curry just posted her paper co-authored with Nic “Reggie” Lewis ( or should that be “Rashard” Lewis?) on climate sensitivity.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/24/lewis-and-curry-climate-sensitivity-uncertainty/

    Air ball.

  29. anoilman says:

    verytallguy: 🙂

    Which one? There are so many mistakes and so many contradictions. It boils down to one consistent pattern, “I can do what I want to defend what I feel like, and never you mind all the mistakes.”

    All Judith Curry does is spread FUD, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. In my eyes, she has no other purpose.

  30. WHT,
    Yes, I’ve just had a quick read of the paper. Just seems to be Otto et al. (2013) with a newer ocean heat uptake analysis (Loeb) that produces a smaller system heat uptake rate and hence reduces the median ECS. The large uncertainties, however, means that the ranges are broadly consistent with the IPCC ranges. It also doesn’t mention Cowtan & Way or the inhomogeneity issue pointed out by Shindell and Schmidt. Also, I think, doesn’t mention the possibility that the feedbacks could be non-linear, or – of course – the impact of slow feedbacks.

    So, nothing really surprising. It could be lower than we think, but probably/maybe not. Plus, FWIW, if your 5 – 95% interval for the ECS includes 1 degree, that always makes me think that the method is clearly an underestimate.

  31. anoilman says:

    WebHubTelescope: Seriously… What percentage of scientists spend their time blogging and bragging about their own publications?

    The purpose of bringing your own papers to the public is to inflate their value. And lets not forget that Joe public can’t read scientific journals. They can’t even understand it.

    Willard is right, consistency is important.

  32. BBD says:

    And off it goes again. Sensitivity must be very low because it is possible – with some effort – to come up with a very low result. But we must ignore absolutely everything else.

    Ho-hum again.

  33. BBD says:

    ATTP

    Plus, FWIW, if your 5 – 95% interval for the ECS includes 1 degree, that always makes me think that the method is clearly an underestimate.

    Yes.

  34. I note also that Kevin O’Neill has wound up Steve McIntyre enough that he is going to have to spend a number of posts attacking a 16 year old paper because a bunch of other people have been defending it again. As far as I’ve seen most sensible people are saying “Who cares, it was published 16 years ago and many other studies since then have produced comparable results using a range of different proxies and methods.” Steve, I assume, is standing up for research integrity rather than simply behaving like a spoiled child.

  35. Joseph says:

    I think almost everyone here would like to see you do a post on the new Curry paper. If for no other reason than to stimulate a discussion.

  36. Tom Curtis says:

    Anders, BBD, I remind you that the IPCC states that it is extremely unlikely (0-5%) that ECS is less than 1 C. Ergo, there 5% confidence bound is also at 1 C. It is not the lower bound that makes the paper an underestimate. In fact the evidence is very good about lower bounds, but has difficulty setting a clear upper bound. Lewis evades that issue by using a Jeffrey’s (only look under the lamp post) prior, or simply by significantly underestimating uncertainty. In any event, the low estimates are underestimates primarily by cutting of the upper range of uncertainty which is much less well constrained. The IPCC’s take on that is that it is very unlikely (0-10%) greater than 6 C per doubling of CO2.

  37. Tom, that’s a fair point. I had thought the 1.5 – 4.5 degree range was the 5 – 95% range, but that is only likely.

  38. Kevin O'Neill says:

    ATTP writes: “I note also that Kevin O’Neill has wound up Steve McIntyre …”

    Hey, don’t blame (credit) me with raising the auditor’s blood pressure. Greg Laden wrote the post,
    Steve McIntyre Misrepresents Climate Research History, and I didn’t even show up until comment #68 🙂

    But from that thread it is pretty obvious that, as Sou wrote today, Hockey sticks drive deniers nuts…

  39. ds says:

    So after years of blogging about uncertainty monsters, IPCC’s overconfidence, black swans, unknown unknowns, etc., Curry coauthors a paper that

    1. assumes that all warming during the past 150 years was anthropogenic
    2. agrees that heat uptake during that period was, on average, positive
    3. accepts that solar and volcanic forcings are negligible, with small uncertainty range
    4. and estimates the ECS 5-95% range to be 1-4K

    It took her only three years to reduce the ECS uncertainty threefold, down from 0-10K!

  40. Kevin,

    Seems that Nick Stokes is having problems commenting at Steve’s:

    There’s a post at Climate Audit on Kevin O’Neill’s comments exposing aspects of the Wegman report. I would like to respond there, but am currently not able to. All my comments go to spam, and at CA, they don’t re-emerge.

    http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/climateball-at-climate-audit.html

    The word ClimateBall ™ is being used more appropriately by Nick [than] by the Auditor.

    Speaking of whom, you’ll note that he failed to link to any of your comments at Judy’s.

  41. Joseph says:

    Curry seems to be on a public relations and scientific blitzkrieg. She is speaking to policy advocacy organizations, writing opinion pieces, Two new papers within two weeks. The science can be tested and refuted,,but the public relations aspect is what bothers me.

  42. AnOilMan says:

    Willard… The video on your site is HILARIOUS!

    Now I have a overwhelming urge to watch Slapshot.

  43. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Seems that Nick Stokes is having problems commenting at Steve’s…”

    I have a problem commenting there too, but my reason is different than Nick’s. Lack of opportunity – I never go there .

    Though if he’s writing posts about something I wrote he must really be hard up for material 🙂

    As for Nick’s problem, perhaps we should start a We The People petition to get Akismet and WordPress to release Nick form their spammer prison. I realize Nick isn’t a US citizen, but this is a human rights issue. If I used twitter I’d be using the hashtag #FreeNickStokes

    #FreeNickStokes
    #FreeNickStokes
    #FreeNickStokes

  44. Rachel M says:

    Seems that Nick Stokes is having problems commenting at Steve’s …

    I’ve just suggested to Nick that he contact Akismet directly. If anyone else has a problem with their comments going to spam, then you fill in the Akismet form here:
    http://akismet.com/contact/

    And tick the option next to “I think Akismet is catching my comments by mistake”.

  45. izen says:

    Perhaps Dr Curry’s meteorology business supplying weather information to the fossil fuel will mirror her approach by adopting the motto, Fac Dubitans.

  46. BBD says:

    Willard

    🙂

    This time, no redaction!

  47. Rachel M says:

    The Slapshot striptease is good. Is this how we win climateball, Willard (assuming winning is possible)? It’s not so much about the striptease but about the comedy, I think. Comedy is a powerful way to defuse a food fight.

  48. verytallguy says:

    So, firstly it’s good that Judith is publishing results in a journal rather than writing misleading op-eds. I’ll leave others much more qualified to comment on the content of the paper.

    Secondly, as ATTP says, this doesn’t seem particularly new, it adds to the work showing that analyses of observational data can give lower estimates of sensitivity that other methods. These estimates were already taken into account in the AR5 (and earlier reports) range.

    Thirdly, I think in order to change the consensus, rather than continue to show what we already know, Judith really needs to challenge the paleo and model data too – to show a synthesis of all strands rather than plug one particular line of evidence. That would make an impact.

    Finally, and interestingly, if you plug the TCR numbers from the paper in and compare to actual temperature rise*

    the you get

    TCR %Anthro warming (GHG only)
    1.05 49%
    1.33 62%
    1.80 84%

    So her own analysis contradicts her statement that there is a “vigorous debate” about “whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes” – it turns out she actually agrees with everyone else that it has been!

    *I used HadCruT4 and extrapolated the Mauna Loa data back to 1950, and used 2010 for the endpoint for consistency with the IPCC statement
    *TCR 1.05 – 1.8 is the 17-83% range; TCR 1.33 is the midpoint

  49. BBD says:

    VTG

    You and ‘ds’ above raise a very good point about the assumption that all warming is anthropogenic. Now, JC has *another* paper coming out next week (such industry!) and I for one am very curious to see what it is about. I have a feeling she’s going to push the natural variability boat out again.

  50. verytallguy says:

    I wonder if anyone (Tom?) could help on this point

    It’s not clear to me if the table in the paper giving the “ECS” figures is “equilibrium” or”Effective” climate sensitivity, so whether theis is an apples vs oranges comparison on the IPCC range which (I think) uses “equilibrium”. I think the Lewis/Curry paper assumes they are the same? Is there an accepted relationship between the two?

    I also have to confess that I struggle to properly understand the difference

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/345.htm

    Can someone help on this point?

  51. verytallguy says:

    BBD. She promised something on Salby. Should be an entertaining read if it ever appears.

  52. VTG,
    As far as the difference between effective and equilibrium climate sensitivity, I too have become a little confused, so Tom’s input would be useful. I think, however, it relates to the deep ocean. As I understand it, you can think of the system having two timescales, one that is the time it would take the atmosphere and well-mixed layer of the ocean to equilibrate, and the other being the time it would take the entire system to equilibrate. Imagine you ran a simulation and assumed there was no energy transport to the deep ocean (i.e., the system consisted of a single box that represents the well-mixed layer and the atmosphere). Increase CO2 at 1% per year until it doubles. At the instant it has doubled, you have the TCR but you still have a planetary energy imbalance. Therefore the system will continue to warm until it reaches equilibrium, which will take decades or maybe a century. This equilibrium will, I think, be the effective climate sensitivity.

    Now consider a situation where you also include the deep ocean that accrues energy slowly. You double CO2 at 1% per year and, again, at the instant you’ve doubled it you have the TCR which will probably be similar to that above. The system will still have a planetary energy imbalance and will continue to warm, but when you reach the effective climate sensitivity determined above, the deep ocean is still not in equilibrium and is still accruing energy. This means there will still be a small planetary energy imbalance. The system will therefore continue to warm, but at a rate set by the rate at which the deep ocean is warming. This could then take hundreds or thousands of years to reach equililbrium, and it is this that is – I think – the ECS. The difference, from what I’ve seen, is typically a few tenths of a degree.

  53. Lewis and Curry have the following lengthy paragraph on, what ECS is:

    Strictly, ECS as defined here is effective climate sensitivity: ECS = F2×CO2/λ, where λ is the feedback parameter representing the net increase in energy flux to space per degree of surface warming given all feedbacks operating over the timescales involved, rather than equilibrium climate sensitivity, which requires the atmosphere–ocean system (but not ice sheets and other slow components of the climate system) to have reached a steady state. AR5 usually does not distinguish effective from equilibrium climate sensitivity, using equilibrium climate sensitivity and ECS to refer to estimates of both. However, it points out that in some climate models equilibrium climate sensitivity tends to be higher than the effective climate sensitivity (whether estimated from ΔF, ΔT and ΔQ or from other observations of transient climate change) because the feedbacks that are represented in the models (water vapour, lapse rate, albedo and clouds) vary with the climate state. The increase in model sensitivity may be linked to regional (Armour et al. 2013) and/or global (Meraner et al. 2013) rises in temperature. Moreover, even on a regional basis sensitivity may be affected by the forcing or ocean heat uptake pattern (Rose et al. 2014). These findings, which relate to specific models, depend on their latitudinal feedback patterns and cloud behaviour, which vary substantially between AOGCMs (Zelinka and Hartmann 2012). It is unclear whether they apply to the real world.

    I don’t know about errors or misleading statements in that, but I havn’t really studied the issue.

  54. Pekka,
    Unless I’m reading it wrong, that seems to be quite a good paragraph. It highlights a number of the issues with using basic energy balance models.

  55. verytallguy says:

    Pekka/ATTP,

    thanks. Didn’t think I understood it, and I don’t think the Lewis pararaph is consistent with ATTPs. (The lewis paragraph refers to feedbacks being different once the ocean/atmosphere has equilibrated whereas ATTP actually includes the flux needed to heat the ocean to equilibrium)

    Either way, do either of you have an insight into whether the comparison in the Lewis/Curry paper is genuinely like-for like with the AR5 range?

  56. BBD says:

    ATTP

    Had to smile. You say:

    It highlights a number of the issues with using basic energy balance models.

    And L&C say:

    It is unclear whether they [climate state-variable feedbacks] apply to the real world.

    So L&C argue that an EBM is more like the real world… ?

  57. Rob Nicholls says:

    Dr Curry co-authors a paper which suggests that equilibrium climate sensitivity could be as high as 4 degrees C, and almost simultaneously strongly implies that there’s just too much uncertainty for us to take any meaningful action, repeating her statement that “attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile.”

    A “wicked mess” seems to be quite a good description.

    I would welcome any help anyone can give with understanding Lewis and Curry’s new paper as I’m finding it difficult to follow. (I’ll read ATTP’s post(s) on one of Lewis’s previous papers again).
    My assumption is that the context in terms of the totality of the published evidence around climate sensitivity hasn’t shifted radically since AR5 (please correct me if I’m wrong).

  58. Rob Nicholls says:

    By the way, VTG, I really enjoyed your post.

  59. VTG,
    I’m not quite sure if I’m right, so the error may be mine, rather than an issue with Lewis & Curry.

    Either way, do either of you have an insight into whether the comparison in the Lewis/Curry paper is genuinely like-for like with the AR5 range?

    I’m not sure I quite follow this. I think there are a number of issues with these energy balance models that indicate that their mean/median values are probably lower limits (inhomogeneities, regional variation, internal variability, polar amplification if you use HadCRUT4, non-linearities in the forcings) so I’ve always seen them as sensible sanity checks, rather than robust methods in their own right. That energy budget estimates give values that are not wildly different to other methods (paleo, GCMs, estimate using responses to volcanoes) should really give us confidence that the IPCC range has merit. Instead they get used (by some) to argue against the IPCC range, which just seems a little odd.

    Maybe I’ll try and write a post on this if I get a chance later today.

  60. ATTP,
    My impression is that Nic Lewis has developed a lot. I do think that he tries to work very thoroughly on this kind of analysis. The approach has its fundamental limitations. Therefore we should not conclude that the results are the new truth, but they are reasonable results from a reasonable and careful analysis. (I don’t know, what’s the input of Judith in this.)

    It has been clear in several cases that Nic Lewis does not have long experience in doing science. That has resulted every now and then in errors that an experienced scientists would not be likely to make (but experienced scientists make also sometimes stupid errors). He has certainly been more willing to accept results in one direction than the other, but right now I think that his preferences show mainly in the choice of subjects to study than in, how he does research.

    (The issue of Jeffreys’ priors is one on which I have argued a lot against Nic Lewis, but this paper is not based on the work that used Jeffreys’ priors. My main complaint was on the level of principles. The prior he used might give good results, but it’s not fundamentally well justified.)

  61. My understanding is that the two ECSs are identical in a fully linear case, but there are spatial inhomogenities in the real world (and in GCM worlds). Inhomogenities are virtually certain to lead to nonlinearities as well. That’s where the two concepts start to deviate.

  62. Pekka,
    I agree, your impression is similar to mine. I don’t see a fundamental problem with this paper. It’s more to do with how strongly he interprets the results, how strongly others are likely to interpret the results, and whether or not he’s willing to step in if someone over-interprets (probably not). In a sense, it’s a pity that he doesn’t really seem to see himself as contributing to improving our understanding in the broader context but, instead, appears to see himself as someone fighting against the consensus.

  63. Rob Nicholls says:

    Just read the comments about “effective climate sensitivity” including Pekka’s quote from Lewis and Curry’s paper. My first comment above should said “effective climate sensitivity” instead of “equilibrium climate sensitivity.”

  64. verytallguy says:

    ATTP,

    sorry, I think we’re at cross purposes. I wasn’t questioning the limitations of the analysis (I don’t understand these isssues at all well enough to comment on that)

    I was asking a more fundamental point. For clarity, I’ll define
    “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity = EQCS”
    “Effective Climate Sensitivity = EFCS”

    I think what Lewis and Curry have done is calculate EFCS, and argue that the number for EQCS is not significantly different.

    They then report their range against the IPCC, who I think report EQCS. Lewis seems to argue that the IPCC in fact use EQCS and EFCS interchangeably.

    So: Is the comparison Lewis makes actually EFCS (Lewis) vs EQCS (IPPC)?
    If it is, does this difference matter, or not?

  65. Actually, I’ve just read VTG’s link in more detail and I think my interpretation may be right. For example, it says,

    In earlier assessments, the climate sensitivity was obtained from calculations made with AGCMs coupled to mixed-layer upper ocean models (referred to as mixed-layer models). In that case there is no exchange of heat with the deep ocean and a model can be integrated to a new equilibrium in a few tens of years. For a full coupled atmosphere/ocean GCM, however, the heat exchange with the deep ocean delays equilibration and several millennia, rather than several decades, are required to attain it. This difference is illustrated in Figure 9.1 where the smooth green curve illustrates the rapid approach to a new climate equilibrium in an idealised mixed-layer case while the red curve is the result of a coupled model integration and indicates the much longer time needed to attain equilibrium when there is interaction with the deep ocean.

    Admittedly, it does also say,

    The effective climate sensitivity is a measure of the strength of the feedbacks at a particular time and it may vary with forcing history and climate state.

    so this suggests that if you know the magnitude of the feedbacks at any time, then the effective sensitivity is defined as being the temperature rise to cancel out a forcing due to a doubling of CO2 plus feedbacks which – I think – does ignore the deep ocean.

  66. VTG,
    I see, yes I think you’re right. The IPCC is – I think – reporting the actual ECS, not the EFS and so the comparison isn’t quite right. From what I’ve seen, this could make a difference of a few tens of percent.

  67. From the quote I presented above, my interpretation of their view is that model based values presented in AR5 are EqCSs, while AR5 presents also EffCS values using the acronym ECS.

    I can believe that, but I haven’t checked that.

  68. I think the model values should be actual ECS. The paleo estimates presumably are too. I guess estimates using responses to volcanoes might be EffCS and the energy budget method is EffCS, so it’s quite possible that it is some kind of mixture.

  69. Paul S says:

    Model ECS values given in AR5 come from the Andrews et al. 2012 method, which uses Abrupt4xCO2 experiments to estimate a climate feedback parameter. I’m not sure any CMIP5 models have actually been run close to equilibrium in fully-coupled mode, and the slab-ocean ECS method seems to have gone out of favour.

  70. Paul S,
    Maybe you can clarify this but, as I understand it, the ECS is simply some kind of model metric that gives an indication of the sensitivity of a particular model. In some sense, what we are really interested in are the projections that the models provide, rather than their TCR/ECS specifically. I guess if they are too sensitive, then that is worth knowing but given that there are models that can match 20th century warming and still have ECS values of around 3 degrees, it’s not clear that there is much evidence to suggest that they’re too sensitive (I don’t think the Lewis & Curry work is particularly convincing in this regard).

  71. Paul S says:

    Well, yeah, they’re fundamentally idealised metrics, which mainly provide a clear means to categorise models. Things get messy when you try to project the real world on these idealised experiments.

  72. > Is this how we win climateball, Willard (assuming winning is possible)? It’s not so much about the striptease but about the comedy, I think. Comedy is a powerful way to defuse a food fight.

    In Slapshot, the striptease seems to create a distancing effect [1]:

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

    Sometimes, life is so ridiculous all one has is humor. Comte-Sponville argues that humor should be considered a virtue. I think he’s right, at least insofar as the left’s (I only use that term for pun effect here) strategy is concerned.

    Distancing is a good move against Very Serious People:

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Very_Serious_People

    It’s also very tough to be very serious. If you doubt it, try to make three comments in a row like Pekka writes. Then make three more. And three more.

    ***

    Humor also a good tactic against less serious contrarians:

    PATIENCE AND HUMOR. That’s what the climate movement needs. The patience to keep Al Gore as the leader, and humor because “having a sense of humor” is an essential part of being human.

    http://thebenshi.com/?p=1913

    It would have been easy to question Nic’s integrity because he mentioned Brecht in an earlier post at Judy’s: there may not be as leftist as Berthold was, and Nic’s clearly aligned with libertarian clap traps. But that [looks so] easy that it smells like a trap. Falling for it provokes unnecessary complications and creates a tempo that is unsustainable for the long game. Our audit never ends.

    ClimateBall ™ — Patience and humor

  73. anoilman says:

    Willard: They have no sense of humor that we are aware of. Case in point… they still crack jokes about Al Gore;
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/08/05/global-warming-deniers-grow-more-desperate-day

    By the way… Al Gore’s TED talk is hilarious… Possibly because he has a sense of humor?
    “Thank you for those words of encouragement. I say that because frankly I needed them. Put yourself in my shoes. I flew on Air Force 2 for eight years. Now I have to take off my shoes to get on an airplane.”

  74. You might like the conversation that ends with this comment, OilMan:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/98385467069

    Picking up low-hanging veggies seems easier than low-hanging fruits.

    I hope I got your position right in the comments that precede that one, Very Tall:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/#comment-632764

    This is the last move for now. Cap’n never gives up the rope-a-dope.

  75. verytallguy says:

    Willard,

    you were close enough that I felt no need to intervene. I’ve commented there now although you may have lost me at the veggies.

    I may suggest a further guest post on the logic for mitigation. I think it’s solid but you have the degree in argumentation, and may be able to see the holes.

    I’m currently undecided as to whether you’re the Vincent Kompany or Eric Cantona for the team. Eric’s the poet and creative type, and creates the winning moves, but I’d rather have Vincent watching my back. I think I’m right in saying that Eric has more league titles, but Vincent is catching up.

    Do you think French sardines or Belgian beer would go better with your veggies?

  76. Sardines, Very Tall. Sardines. Beer is liquid sugar.

    The veggies were there because me and Cap’n have a thing going on about sugar. I also thought that veggies were the lowest hanging fruits there are. Think peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.

    😉

    Here’s my model, btw:

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

    Between Kompany and Cantona, I’d pick Kompany, for that’s my favorite position. Zinédine is of course my favorite player, fancifully physical.

    You can email me your draft if you want.

  77. verytallguy says:

    Beer is for thirst. Water is for washing up.

    I’ve never seen Zinedine play. I think perhaps the headbutt was reminiscent of some climateball moves I’ve observed. I missed Kompany last night, tho we won 7-0 anyway. Mangala looks like the next generation and was my man of the match.

    I’ll think about the draft. Maybe spending time doing things other than the climate wars would be better for me.

  78. vtg,

    Maybe spending time doing things other than the climate wars would be better for me.

    You and me both 🙂

  79. Other things like this, Very Tall:

    It’s coffee and tea for me.

  80. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Willard, I need clarification:

    Carrick writes at ClimateAudit (regarding the use of ‘fraud’) “That term was used by Kevin O’Neill, who I think has since retracted it.”

    Obviously referring to my comment at Nick Stoke’s.

    SteveM interjects at 9:09pm: “do you have a link to O’Neill’s retraction?”

    More than two hours earlier I posted a comment at ClimateAudit – a comment that SteveM is holding in moderation – in which I quote myself; the very same quote for which SteveM is asking Carrick to provide a link!

    Is this a formalized Climateball move? It reminds me of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal , but ‘chutzpah’ probaly covers it just as well 🙂

  81. Rachel M says:

    Just found your comment in spam, Kevin.

  82. Curry said,

    “However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile….Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct…”

    But if climate model projections are correct and attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions turn out to be futile, then it’s over for humanity and most of mammalian life within a couple of centuries. That is, she denies or forgets what this paper

    “An adaptability limit to climate change
    due to heat stress”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552.full.pdf+html

    says or implies about a very possible nightmarish future.

    The wet-bulb limit talked about further below is 35 degrees C or 95 degrees F, which according to the below is a 170-196 degrees F heat index. This limit would within hours kill any warm-blooded land animal (like us) that needs to perspire to avoid dying from overheating. This limit, according to the online heat index calculator below, can be achieved with a thermometer temperature of 105 degrees F with 75% relative humidity.

    At the National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, one can enter data for this online heat index calculator:

    “Meteorological Conversions and Calculations Heat Index Calculator”
    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/heatindex.shtml

    This is what the authors said:

    “The Health Effects of Hotter Days and Nights”
    http://www.gaia-movement-usa.org/?q=node/46

    Quote: “”Most people are more familiar with the heat index, or the feels-like temperature they see on the weather report. The wet-bulb temperatures we are talking about would have a feels-like, or heat-index, temperature of between 170 to 196 degrees Fahrenheit,” Huber said.

    “Researchers find future temperatures could exceed livable limits”
    http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100504HuberLimits.html

    Quote: “”The wet-bulb limit is basically the point at which one would overheat even if they were naked in the shade, soaking wet and standing in front of a large fan,” Sherwood said. “Although we are very unlikely to reach such temperatures this century, they could happen in the next.””

    This means that for warm blooded animals like us, such wet bulb temperatures imply an evaporative cooling rate too slow to avoid death from overheating. That is, it becomes physically impossible to survive via evaporation.

    During that super El Nino year, in the summer of 1998, while on a porch across the street from a beach on the Gulf side in Florida, I personally experienced something disturbingly close to this, something I’ve never experienced before or since while living in Florida all my life (save one year): The heat and humidity combination was so high, even a fan blowing on my skin felt like a blow dryer blowing highly heated air all over me – before or since, I felt relief from the fan. I was in such distress from the heat and humidity, I actually felt afraid that if there was no air conditioning to go back into, I might have needed medical attention within a short time.

    People like Curry seem to be in such a state of denial regarding the nightmare that might actually occur on this planet within a couple of centuries or so, with most all mammalian life in the inner regions of the planet killed off (almost all of Africa a dead continent with respect to mammalian life, the pinnacle of evolution), and the possibility of a nuclear war over what land with a survivable climate is left. (For example, India is a nuclear power – at least some of those [by then] billions of people are not [by then] going to try to move north to survive? The nuclear powers to their north will be just fine with that?)

    Side Question: Why hasn’t someone created a climate history graph of the global average temperature in terms of the wet bulb temperature or heat index? That is, why isn’t there one that takes into consideration that the more moisture there is in the atmosphere, the more heat energy it takes to reach a given dry bulb temperature? (For example, it takes more heat energy to reach 90 degrees F in Florida than it does in Arizona.) As I point out above, whether 105 degrees F is just dandy or is just deadly depends entirely on the moisture content of the air. (I can see some future denier say “Aha! No more global warming!” when via the ever increasing moisture content of the air, there is continuing warming as measured not by the dry bulb temperature but by the wet bulb temperature.)

  83. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Perhaps I’ll have to contact akismet.

  84. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    TCR %Anthro warming (GHG only)
    1.05 49%
    1.33 62%
    1.80 84%

    So her own analysis contradicts her statement that there is a “vigorous debate” about “whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes” – it turns out she actually agrees with everyone else that it has been!

    Thanks for that. I didn’t know how to work out the math – but I asked for the answer from Judith and her “denizens” in one of her threads –

    “I would appreciate it if someone could tell me what sensitivity figure would equate to 50% of warming over the past 5 or 6 decades if projected to a centennial scale.

    Would the resulting number be included in Nic Lewis’ 90% CI that goes up to 3.0°C per doubling?”

    Crickets.

    So Judith said she would be “fooling [her]self” to think that ACO2 “dominates” (corrected from “influences”) on decadal or centennial scales..even when the paper she was in the process of getting published indicates that ACO2 dominated climate on a decadal scale over the past 6 decades or so.

    It seems clear to me that in public appearances, Judith has made a number of statements that don’t live up to scientific scrutiny.

    That, to me, is the kind of ‘advocacy” that should be avoided.

    That is, assuming your math is correct.

  85. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    I’m *insulted* by your inference that my maths may not be perfect 😉

    I’m however *relieved* that ATTPs ascribing of 0.9 TCR to 50:50 is essentially the same result

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/lewis-and-curry/#comment-32279

    For due diligence and audit:

    dT(anthro) = (TCR/ln2)*ln(Ci/Cf)

    This neglects other anthro influences.

    dT = change in temperature for a change in CO2
    TCR = TCR
    Ci=initial CO2
    Cf = final CO2

    1950 CO2 = 309ppm*
    2010 CO2 = 390ppm

    *2010 CO2 is from Mauna Loa data – the Keeling curve. 1950 is extrapolated back from the Keeling curve which only starts in 1958, so that number will be slightly wrong. Others here would be able to tell you better how to get more definitive CO2 numbers pre 1958.

  86. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    ==> “I’m *insulted* by your inference that my maths may not be perfect 😉 ”

    Actually, I trusted your math completely, I just figured I’d throw that in to lend a veneer of skepticism, because I don’t want to reveal that I’m warmist fanatic who will blindly accept anything that fits with my goal of starving children and destroying capitalism.

  87. anoilman says:

    Joshua: Huh? “I don’t want to reveal that I’m warmist fanatic who will blindly accept anything that fits with my goal of starving children and destroying capitalism.”

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

    Joshua… The view that we’re destroying capitalism with regulation has been trotted out many times before. Here’s some controversial issues for Free Market economics;
    Slavery (Yup… We need cheap labor)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_%28United_States%29#Founding_and_19th_century

    Child Labor (A lot of controversy from capitalists over the Cotton Mills and Factories Act)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory_Acts#Cotton_Mills_and_Factories_Act_1819

    The Great Potato Famine (Huzah! Your side won… congratulations on the food exports.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_%28Ireland%29
    (1 million Irish… not a bad haul there.)

    Regulation and carbon tax is not the end of the world, not even by Mayan standards.

    Tell me now Joshua, which factory does your child work in?

  88. Joshua says:

    Oilman –

    I don’t understand your point – which is perhaps because the only thing i care about is destroying capitalism and causing children to starve.

  89. anoilman says:

    Yes… mostly right… “starving children in the name of capitalism”. But I’m not that vile, I’m just pushing your buttons.

    I’m trying to say that there are many things we used to do that we now consider abhorrent. The free market economic argument was trotted out then as it is now. Yet, I don’t think you’ll find a lot of support to the notion of rolling back those regulations.

    Regulating a pollution that is damaging the planet is not a bad thing. Continuing to pollute, is becoming more and more abhorrent as time goes by.

    When I was a kid I would see starving people in Africa on TV. I didn’t care. (I was a kid… send my dinner to them, and all that.)

    With global warming, this will be quite a different story. We’ll see that (disaster porn) on TV and know we did it to them. We caused it. This changes things.

  90. Joshua Leberman says:

    Gutmenschen …………

  91. Quote from the OP

    “It’s worth remembering what scale of impacts we’re talking about. Under the “business as usual” no mitigation pathway RCP8.5, global temperatures are forecast to rise between 2.5 to 7.8 degrees from preindustrial (4). Even the midpoint of this range would be genuinely catastrophic; the top end would be a cataclysm for the Earth’s ability to support a human civilisation and current biodiversity.”

    RCP8.5 isn’t business as usual. It’s better to refer to it as the extreme outlier. I assume the readership is fully aware the representative concentration pathways were described to meet target forcings. The term business as usual isn’t used in the IPCC report (that I know of).

    And then there’s physics: I’ve been thinking about the Cenozoic paper you gave me. I have to confess my hair stands on end when I read about India’s collision with Asia. Based on comments from geologists I know the collision took place after 40 mm y BP. My friends worked this problem very hard when we were looking for oil in Pakistan and Myanmar.

    That Eocene temperature increase is somewhat of a mistery. But I don’t think anybody has connected the puzzle pieces properly.

    Finally, if you want to have a conuption go read the paper I just wrote

    “A New Parameter to Predict Tornado Frequency Increase as a Function of Global Warming”

  92. > RCP8.5 isn’t business as usual.

    How do you know that, Fernando? RCPs are mere Representative Concentration Pathways. They alone won’t tell you that:

    The Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) are based on selected scenarios from four modelling teams/models working on integrated assessment modelling, climate modelling, and modelling and analysis of impacts. The RCPs are not new, fully integrated scenarios (i.e., they are not a complete package of socioeconomic, emissions, and climate projections). They are consistent sets of projections of only the components of radiative forcing (the change in the balance between incoming and outgoing radiation to the atmosphere caused primarily by changes in atmospheric composition) that are meant to serve as input for climate modelling.

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/emission_scenarios.php

    If you want to claim that taking RCP8.5 to model a BAU scenario is [not the way to go], then [you could] do it the NG way:

    If one uses RCP8.5, as Prof. Dessler did, to estimate temperature change, one gets 4.7 F to 8.6 F over this century. My corresponding range, 3.2 F to 7.8 F, is lower because it is centered around the bulk of business-as-usual scenarios and it is broader because it includes the uncertainty associated with the choice of scenario. My central value, 5.4 F over the century, is near the low end of the RCP8.5 range.

    http://climatechangenationalforum.org/what-is-business-as-usual/

    As NG himself says, RCP8.5 could be considered a “slight overestimate”. But then you’d have to buy what NG sells. Are you buying?

    To sound serious is not enough, Fernando.

  93. verytallguy says:

    Fernando, 

    Thanks for reminding me I left a reference off.

    If you don’t like rcp 8.5 being labelled business as usual, take it to the met office

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-change/policy-relevant/advance

  94. aaron says:

    Thanks for the laugh.

  95. Derek says:

    If the expected TCR is around 1.5 C then we have to take into account that we have already had a warming of around 0.8 C and we are at 400ppm, so by mid century if we get to 560ppm we should expect a further 0.7 C, which does not seem too much of a problem to me. Adaptation seems the much better response. By then we should be able to deploy new nuclear energy.

  96. verytallguy says:

    Derek,

    How much further would CO2 rise under your scenario beyond mid century?

    How much further temperature rise would already be committed at mid century?

    How likely is 1.5?

  97. How likeable is 1.5 may depend upon your commitment to swim in the North Sea.

  98. anoilman says:

    Fernando Leanme: RCP 8.5 makes a lot of assumptions. But the environmental movement has been bringing fossil fuels to a stand still, so it may well be a outlier now. So lets just keep up the pressure and keep it that way.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/statoil-decision-to-shelve-oilsands-project-is-concerning-prentice-says-1.2779952

    Derek: TCR 1.5 is an extreme outlier on the bottom end.

  99. Very Tall,

    Derek provides an interesting example for what I would like to contribute to your next essay:

    [Let’s adapt] Adaptation seems the much better response.

    [Let’s go nuclear] By then we should be able to deploy new nuclear energy.

    “Let’s adapt” does not clearly follow to what Derek said beforehand, but let’s disregard that for the moment.

    Notice what could be implicit in the wording:

    [Let’s freely adapt] Adaptation seems the much better response than mitigation policies.

    [Let’s freely go nuclear] By then we should be able to deploy new nuclear energy without mitigation policies.

    Since adaptation would be more or less required, the missing argument for “let’s freely adapt” is an argument to the effect that mitigation is not required. This is the implicit argument that his numbers seem to convey. So yet again, something that looks like a scientific argument is basically a political one.

    But the most interesting part, to me, is Let’s go freely nuclear. I have no idea how we could go nuclear without regulating the industry. The state will certainly be involved. Also, I have no idea where Derek gets his confidence that nuclear deployment will arrive just-in-time without mitigation policies, regulation, or other kinds of incentive except those one could imagine coming through the adaptation golden goose.

    Perhaps we ought to outsource this just-in-time program to Wal-Mart:

    http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/2014/03/20/new-report-reveals-impact-of-just-in-time-scheduling-on-workers-families-and-businesses/

  100. BBD says:

    Fernando

    And then there’s physics: I’ve been thinking about the Cenozoic paper you gave me. I have to confess my hair stands on end when I read about India’s collision with Asia. Based on comments from geologists I know the collision took place after 40 mm y BP. My friends worked this problem very hard when we were looking for oil in Pakistan and Myanmar.

    That Eocene temperature increase is somewhat of a mistery. But I don’t think anybody has connected the puzzle pieces properly.

    The Hansen reference was from me, not ATTP.

    The approach of the Indian plate towards the Eurasian plate subducted carbonate-rich sediments from the floor of the Tethys. Try RTFR properly instead of scrabbling around for some something to hang your denial on.

    The Eocene temperature is not a ‘mystery’. You might try reading. May I remind you yet again that agnosia is simply denial in a mask.

    Now please take this back to Eli’s, where it belongs.

  101. verytallguy says:

    Willard,

    assuming further essays may be as unwise as assuming low sensitivity.

    I had in mind tho, showing the logic stands regardless of the numbers.

  102. BBC, the Indian plate didn’t strike Asia as surmised in that paper. In other words, the author didn’t have the data to understand the collision timing.

    [Mod: disrespectful]

    Regarding the Met Office calling RCP8.5 business as usual I supposed somebody ought to send them a note and explain to them they got it wrong. Regarding this topic I noticed there are no citations from the IPCC reports. The way I worked it out the term originated later as the propaganda started rolling out.

  103. BBD says:

    FL

    BBC, the Indian plate didn’t strike Asia as surmised in that paper. In other words, the author didn’t have the data to understand the collision timing.

    Fernando. You have got one – just one – study that claims this. But even if it were correct, it makes no difference. Please try to understand the words:

    The subduction of carbonate-rich sediments beneath the Indian plate occurred as it approached the Eurasian plate during the Paleocene. This is the putative source of much of the CO2 that characterised the Eocene hothouse world. The collision of the two plates was not the source of the CO2.

    What you think you know is mostly your imagination.

    Yes, Fernando. How true.

  104. BBD says:

    It’s always amusing to see the lengths people will go to to deny the central role played by CO2 as a regulator of climate. High CO2 world = Eocene Hothouse. Low CO2 world = Plio-Pleistocene Icehouse. ~50Ma of weathering in between.

    Physical climatology runs on physics, not denial and fairy dust, so let’s have a look at the physical mechanisms operating at geological time-scales during the Cenozoic. What were the major forcing changes during the Cenozoic, Fernando? If you find yourself without a clue, you can always check Hansen & Sato (2012) on the thread at Eli’s you seem to have fled from.

    I’d prefer to continue our discussion of Cenozoic climate over there, btw.

  105. > I supposed somebody ought to send them a note and explain to them they got it wrong […]

    Go for it, Fernando.

    First producing such an explanation would be nice.

  106. verytallguy says:

    Fernando, like I said, take it to the met office. Be sure to report back.

  107. Rachel M says:

    I’ve heard it said that the fights in academia are so bitter because the stakes are so low 🙂
    You could say that climate change is a counterpoint to this (since the stakes are high) but this is not necessarily true either because the vast majority of scientists agree on the broader conclusion that we need to mitigate climate change. So there’s not so much squabbling between academics. Where climate change is concerned, the squabbling seems to be largely outside academia and on blogs.

    Willard, 🙂

  108. Very Tall,

    Agreed. I surmise that gerrymandering with lukewarm numbers is only a way to escape straightforward arguments like the one you submit. Koonin’s argument would serve as a good way to illustrate it too.

  109. anoilman says:

    Rachel M: The best example of a scholarly hissy fit was when Science of Doom came over here a few weeks back.

    Sometimes these things end in violent agreement.

  110. HR says:

    RachelM says

    “…… because the vast majority of scientists agree on the broader conclusion that we need to mitigate climate change. ”

    You seem to do the same thing that the 97% consensus paper does. You set up a broad church statement on what is the view of climate scientists in order to establish there is no controversy without realizing that you cast your net so wide that you sweep up into it the very skeptics you blame for fueling the ‘false’ debate in the first place. After all Curry does state that she supports ‘no regrets’ action. If Hansen and Curry are at opposite ends of the spectrum on mitigation policy then its not clear to me where the rest of the climate community lends its support. Maybe we need Cook to re-parse the abstracts to look for support of Carbon Tax.

  111. Rachel M says:

    HR,

    I was just trying to find a way to bring my quote into the thread because I thought it was rather funny. But I do also think that in some ways the bickering over climate sensitivity and the TCR is somewhat trivial. It’s not a question of whether the impacts of climate change are going to be bad but a question of timing. Sure, it’s important for policy makers to have this information but the significance given to it by some blog commentators seems undue in my opinion.

    If Skeptics support a carbon tax then why aren’t they arguing for one?

  112. HR says:

    Ok the quote was funny ………… but the reasoning that followed I felt was flawed.

    I wasn’t trying to say skeptics support carbon tax, plainly they probably don’t what I was arguing is that when somebody tries to close down an argument by suggesting there is broad support for one particular position then its only fair to follow that logic through to their position on other issues. Curry has a position on mitigation, ‘no regrets’, that would put her in a broad definition of a climate scientist who takes a position on mitigation therefore no need to single her out for particular criticism. If you are going to persist with the criticism of Curry then it calls into doubt the usefulness of mentioning the broad consensus of climate scientists on mitigation. If she stands outside of the broad church then we need to know what policies climate scientists do favor and where the line in the sand is that labels some as troublemakers. It just strikes me as one of the weaknesses of hunting for consensuses.

  113. Rachel M says:

    HR, sure. Except that I don’t think I’ve criticised Curry here at all. Not that I think she’s beyond criticism: none of us is.

    Anyway, I’m currently doing something very important: ice-skating with my kids so please forget I even mentioned the consensus. We don’t want a discussion about this here or now.

  114. Joshua says:

    HR –

    ==> “I wasn’t trying to say skeptics support carbon tax, plainly they probably don’t what I was arguing is that when somebody tries to close down an argument by suggesting there is broad support for one particular position then its only fair to follow that logic through to their position on other issues.”

    Interesting how you know Rachel’s motivations. Do you know her personally? Do you have evidence on which to support your conjecture, or you just flying by the seat of your pants.

    If it is the former, could you provide your evidence that allow you to draw conclusions about Rachel’s motivations?

  115. anoilman says:

    She’s ice skating with her kids… Global warming is obviously over. 🙂

  116. Rachel M says:

    It’s not ice. It’s some kind of plastic that is 97% as slippery as ice 😉

  117. Joshua says:

    Rachel –

    Stop trying to shut down the convo about ice.

  118. Rachel M says:

    Joshua,

    You know all my tricks.

  119. Steve Bloom says:

    Oh, look, now Judy’s been written up by E&E. I have to say I’m getting a little Curried out. Next thing you know she’ll be claiming to be good for your bran. Oh wait… 🙂

    Anyway, how about a hiatus in Curry threads here for the next month? And by that I mean a real hiatus, not just a slow-down.

  120. Steve Bloom says:

    That’s bra*i*n. The bran too, probably.

  121. Rachel M says:

    That E&E article is quite something. The second sentence (a quote from Judith Curry):

    “I do not pay obeisance to the consensus and I think for myself, and they [climate scientists] don’t like that,”

    What a load of bollocks.

  122. Steve Bloom says:

    It is indeed something. Judy needs a press minder.

  123. anoilman says:

    The issue with that kind of press is that she is making herself out to be some sort of leader/martyr. I wonder who falls for it?

    I think the real issue isn’t her views, its her crap load of bragging, sneering, and leering from her blog. Its a public conversation she’s having with the average person, who can’t understand the core material.

    *spooky music* “There’s an uncertainty monster! Boo!”

    Puleeze Judith Curry… grow up. Its never too late to start.

    Steve Bloom: Only Canadian scientists come with bonafide minders. They are political minders assigned to block them from speaking about Global Warming.

  124. HR says:

    Joshua says:

    “Interesting how you know Rachel’s motivations. Do you know her personally? Do you have evidence on which to support your conjecture, or you just flying by the seat of your pants.”

    Joshua it is the nature of a discussion that a person is trying to convey some meaning in a statement they make and for people to respond to that . I don’t expect to uncover some great truth about Rachel from this, just to discuss how and why people might try to use statements around consensus to gain understanding about an issue. It’s a general point about consensus not a specific point about Rachels motovation, apologies if it came across that way. My point was largely that I thought Curry actually sits inside the consensus Rachel very briefly outlined and so if that was true then what is the value of describing that consensus. I.d prefer to discuss that than who may or may not know Rachel personally. Would you like to add anything along those lines now we,ve cleared up the mis-understanding?

  125. HR,

    My point was largely that I thought Curry actually sits inside the consensus Rachel very briefly outlined and so if that was true then what is the value of describing that consensus.

    I think that in this case, the set of people who claim to sit inside the consensus and the set of people who actually sit inside the consensus are not the same. If anything, as a rough guide, anyone who says “I sit inside the consensus” probably doesn’t.

  126. Marco says:

    “The issue with that kind of press is that she is making herself out to be some sort of leader/martyr. I wonder who falls for it”

    Uhm…I can come with some suggestions, but I think we all know who will fall for it.

  127. verytallguy says:

    HR/ATTP,

    it’s actually very hard to know where Curry sits vs the consensus. Her published work is inside. Her blogospheric writings are inconsistent and contradictory both to themselves but also to he published work.

    Witness the kerfuffle over the attribution statement – she posted in a reply to me that she equal likelihood for zero and 100% natural variability in the warming since 1950, and was certain it was less than 100% – which is bonkers.

    Yet her own paper with Nic Lewis flatly contradicts such a conclusion.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/ipcc-attribution-statements-redux-a-response-to-judith-curry/comment-page-2/#comment-589705

  128. HR says:

    …and Then There’s Physics says

    “I think that in this case, the set of people who claim to sit inside the consensus and the set of people who actually sit inside the consensus are not the same. If anything, as a rough guide, anyone who says “I sit inside the consensus” probably doesn’t.”

    Once you have somebody assuming bad faith about a person there is really nowhere to take the argument. But as I said I’m not really trying to uncover peoples motivations I’m more curious about how consensus arguments impact debates. If Curry is hoping to be accepted as part of the consensus then she’s going about it in a very unusual way.

  129. I was actually surprised by, how strongly the E&E article emphasized the criticism presented by other scientists on Judith Curry’s thinking. My impression of the article is that it was actually very critical of Judith, and based on similar arguments people have presented here criticizing her.

  130. VTG,
    I agree, I don’t really know where Judith sits wrt to the consensus. In a sense, it’s all irrelevant. Consensus studies are not really for scientists or as a mechanism to label scientists, they’re really just to illustrate to others the level of agreement. They also don’t indicate that the science is right, or that there’s agreement about everything.

  131. Joshua says:

    HR –

    ==> ” apologies if it came across that way.”

    Well, it sure did come across that way to me (obviously), and I don’t see how you could logically argue otherwise). I don’t see how your statement is true as a generalization (that discussing the prevalence of view among scientists reflects an intent to shut down discussion) let alone in this specific instance. But sure, I can’t judge your intent (maybe you just weren’t being logical) and kudos for the apology…

    ==> “I.d prefer to discuss that than who may or may not know Rachel personally.”

    I wasn’t suggesting to discuss who might or might not know her personally. I was pointing out what seemed like a notable illogic (and ungrounded assumption about Rachel’s intent) in your comment,.

    ==> Would you like to add anything along those lines now we,ve cleared up the mis-understanding?so moving on to the more substantive issue?”

    I’m not really sure we’ve cleared up any misunderstanding (as I explain above) , but moving on to the more substantive issue…

    ==> “My point was largely that I thought Curry actually sits inside the consensus Rachel very briefly outlined and so if that was true then what is the value of describing that consensus.”

    This brief outline?

    “…… because the vast majority of scientists agree on the broader conclusion that we need to mitigate climate change. ”

    I don’t see how Judith sits inside that consensus. She consistently argues that we don’t need to mitigate climate change. In fact, she argues strongly against such a conclusion. Yes, Rachel’s “consensus” there is quite broad…not sure how to determine what % of scientists agree that mitigation is needed…but Judith consistently argues that at this point, mitigation is not needed.

  132. Steve Bloom says:

    Pekka, I agree that the article was overall critical of Judy, but don’t forget that there’s no such thing as bad publicity (if, as in Judy’s case, simply becoming more famous itself has value).

  133. ATTP wrote:, “I agree, I don’t really know where Judith sits wrt to the consensus. In a sense, it’s all irrelevant. Consensus studies are not really for scientists or as a mechanism to label scientists, they’re really just to illustrate to others the level of agreement. They also don’t indicate that the science is right, or that there’s agreement about everything.”

    Could you explain more “it’s all irrelevant”?

    I ask this because in the end, the only thing that keeps the cranks and their crank ideas from taking over the world is the best tool we humans have to dig up the truth, which is the gold standard of publishing, articles published as refereed papers in legitimately scholarly, peer-review journals. That is, in the end, the only answer to crank ideas that the general public has is the sum total of what has been and what continues to be worked out over time in these journals, which includes point/counterpoint argumentation. Eventually, consensus emerges.

    Therefore, for me, moving in the direction of dismissing the consensus of all this particular type of published work is to open the door to the end of real truth – precisely what the cranks want even though they may claim and even believe otherwise.

    With respect to a consensus in a particular field, perhaps it would be best to try to try to talk about the consensus that emerges when taking the sum total of the content of said published work rather than try to talk about the consensus opinion of those who publish this work, but still….

    For an example of what happens to the truth when cranks and their crank ideas take over, read this (prepare to experience a blown mind):

    “Pseudoscience I was taught at a British creationist school”
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/sep/25/pseudoscience-creationist-schools-uk-accelerated-christian-education-ace

  134. verytallguy says:

    Steve,

    (if, as in Judy’s case, simply becoming more famous itself has value)

    as I said to AOM above, I could guess noble motives which might drive her behaviour, or base motives such as you suggest.

    Here’s what she originally said her motives were:

    (So what am I doing and why?I’m trying to get the public perception of climate science back on track so that our field can regain some respect)

    Would you case be better or worse presented if you assumed she was for real?

    http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/03/reversing-the-direction-of-the-positive-feedback-loop/

  135. BBD says:

    If Curry wants to ‘get the public perception of climate science back on track’ then why is she peddling low sensitivity nonsense, stadium wave nonsense etc? And why does she run a blog comments section full of cranks and deniers? WTF?

  136. verytallguy says:

    BBD,

    you’ll have guessed from the piece that I’m by no meas a fan of JC. The point I’m trying to make is that pointing out the problems with low sensitivity stuff, the stadium wave, the poisonous nature of her blog are all more productive to your case than claiming she’s only in it for the gold (physical as AOM claims or egotistical as SB claims).

    I agree that her modus operandii is absolutely at odds to her stated motivation.

    I disagree that base motivation follows logically from that or even if it did, that arguing motivations advances your case.

  137. BBD says:

    I didn’t claim that Curry is only in it for the gold. I *stated* that her behaviour contradicts her claimed motivation.

  138. verytallguy says:

    BBD,

    sorry, didn’t mean that you cliamed that. Others have. I agree with you.

  139. KandA,
    I probably worded it badly. What I was really meaning is that under normal circumstances you wouldn’t need to do a consensus study as most scientists would know what the level of agreement was and journalists could simply talk to some scientists to find out if they didn’t know. We do consensus studies in climate science because of those who claim that there isn’t one. So, we don’t do it for the scientists’ benefit, we do it for the benefit of the public, policy makers and the media. What I was thinking of when I mentioned with respect to Judith is that it’s plausible for a scientist (if one assesses their work) to fall both within and outside the consensus, but that doesn’t really matter if we just want to understand the overall level of understanding.

  140. verytallguy says:

    Judith continues to criticise others for advocacy and their ethics…

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/01/steyn-versus-mann-norms-of-behavior/

  141. verytallguy says:

    And the flying monkeys ( TM Greg Laden)  join in.

    I personally think that Mann in the same calibre of people as those Islamists screaming for the beheading of anyone who dares post a cartoon of Mohammed

    The level of discourse published (but, of course, not endorsed ) on the blog of a climate scientist who consistently criticises others’ ethics. 

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/01/steyn-versus-mann-norms-of-behavior/#comment-634065

  142. Unless I misunderstand the implication, I thought this one was awful. You might think that Judith would be quite keen to discourage people from making such suggestions.

  143. verytallguy says:

    I think one of the least pleasant things about Curry’s approach is that she provides a platform for hate speech (I’ve highlighted this previously on your blog)

    Here she essentially says than Mann has it coming – an invitiation to nastiness which duly follows unmoderated, obviously at arm’s length to her personally.

    To behave in this way at the same time as criticising others “norms of behaviour” is quite amazing

  144. verytallguy says:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/09/my-op-ed-in-the-wall-street-journal-is-now-online/

    In which Judith continues to advocate for delaying mitigation whilst simultaneously being an advocate against advocacy.

  145. Andrew Dodds says:

    VTG –

    Some advocates are more equal than others, you know.

  146. Funny, the scientist that doesn’t understand Bose-Einstein statistics is looking more and more the Bozo boson when it comes to making any sense at all.

  147. Pingback: Three years! | …and Then There's Physics

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