ECS > 2K again

I’ve been away at a meeting where there talks from 9am till about 6pm and then various evening activities. I then came back to work and spent yesterday marking undergraduate research presentations. So, I haven’t had a chance to post anything. Interestingly, some of the student presentations were about climate change. Strangely, noone concluded with “and I discovered it was all a big scam” and some even some said things – without even a hint of irony – that would be regarded by some as rather alarmist.

Since there’s been some recent interest in whether or not the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) was probably greater than 2pC, I thought I might briefly highlight a new paper. It’s by Johansen et al. and is called Equilibrium climate sensitivity in light of observations over the warming hiatus and has already been discussed in some detail in this Carbon Brief post.

I haven’t had a chance to go through it in fine detail, but it is essentially an energy balance approach that also incorporates other factors (like ENSO and other internal variability) to estimate ECS. The table below compares the model trends with the observed trends, and also shows how the different factors contribute to the trends.

Table 1 from Johansen et al. (2015)

Table 1 from Johansen et al. (2015)


Figure 3 from Johansen et al. (2015)

Figure 3 from Johansen et al. (2015)

The interesting figure is the one on the right, which shows how the range for ECS changes with time. Essentially, as we consider longer time intervals and more data, the upper limit comes down, the range is reduced, but the lower limit (of the 90% confidence interval) remains around 2oC. They also manage to constrain the Effective Vertical Diffusion (EVD) which is important for determing ocean heat up take.

However, one should still be a little careful. The paper itself ends with

Finally, although we find that the inclusion of observations over the hiatus period contributes to a more constrained estimate of ECS, the degree to which this was due to the hiatus per se, as opposed to the accumulation of more data in general, is unclear. In addition, we also find that the PDF of ECS shifts back and forth as observations accumulate. This indicates that unforced natural variability plays a key role for the estimate of the PDF of ECS (ref. 15). ….. Further, limitations and uncertainties in the structural relationships in geophysical models as well in statistical models hamper any observationally based estimate of ECS, implying that all empirical estimates of ECS should be interpreted with some care.

I’ll finish post by linking to the slides from Bjorn Stevens talk at Ringberg (H/T to MarkB) and to the letter he’s released pointing out that his recent aerosol forcing paper doesn’t immediately imply a significant reduction in ECS. Anyway, that’s enough from me. Hope everyone has a nice Easter break, if you’re having one. If not, have a nice weekend 🙂

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71 Responses to ECS > 2K again

  1. Roger Jones says:

    Yessss! (my reaction to the quote) I just have to get some contractual obligations out of the way, then I can get to finalising the papers on why those supposed unforced variations are important. Terrified of being gazumped, so I do value these brief precis of the latest on this. Thanks ATTP

    Trouble is, as a researcher I have to do the paid stuff first and the important stuff second. (Nah, I lie. The paid stuff is important too, but it’s local, not global). ‘Tis frustrating though, because it takes years to do what should take months.

  2. Roger,
    No problem, glad it helps 🙂

  3. BBD says:

    I still have a serious conceptual issue with all methodologies that use and are sensitive to the recent slowdown in the rate of surface warming.

    It seems to me that rather than constraining sensitivity, they are simply being distorted by the effects of a transient increase in the rate of ocean heat uptake which probably doesn’t have any significant effect on ECS and possibly not even TCR.

  4. JCH says:

    But Nic Lewis!?

    I read all those Ringberg presentations, and Nic Lewis mowed down the consensus stooges. Read Nic Lewis; forget the rest.

    Well, I did like Sutton-Hawkins. It’s like Playboy – good pictures.

    BBD – as 2015, now at around .777C, continues its breakout into former Koldie territory, look for observation-based estimates of low climate sensitivity to reply upon fewer and fewer observations, and more on slight of hand, the two-step sidestep, etc.

  5. Steven Mosher says:

    I could only read the SI. Need to snag a copy somewhere
    They did some interesting sensitivity studies
    Wondering if their code is available
    .

  6. The high effective vertical diffusion for heat is what drives many skeptics crazy. I have mentioned that vertical eddy diffusion is documented as ~ 1 cm^2/sec which places it close to thermal conductivity of copper, and then claim that I think water has the thermal conductivity of copper and am therefore nuts.

    What they don’t realize is that diffusion can be at the micro molecular level or that it can be at a more macro level, such as that caused by turbulence and eddies. So this weird skeptic theory that makes the rounds that infrared heat cannot penetrate the ocean’s surface more than a micron is based on a passe notion — that diffusion is purely a microscopic characteristic, and since diffusion is very small for still water, that it can’t be a significant effect.

    Yet if one realizes that heat from infrared radiation will quickly move below the surface thanks to eddies, it won’t have a chance to immediately evaporate from the skin layer.

    BTW, #WHUT do you know, but apparently this skeptical “skin” theory got its start from a Fred Singer white paper.

  7. One quibble that I have is that they shouldn’t have used an SST proxy for ENSO as this has the recursive regression problem that skeptics like to point out. Simply use an ENSO index like SOI and this won’t show the problem. And while they do that, I suggest that they use the LOD proxy to capture the multidecadal variations.

    On a clarity level, once again the distinction between ECS and effective ECS is muddled. Unless the ECS values of all the other GHGs are placed alongside the CO2 ECS, people will not get a real sense of matching to observational data. That is the gaping hole that fudsters such as Nic Lewis like to feed off of.

  8. One quibble that I have is that they shouldn’t have used an SST proxy for ENSO as this has the recursive regression problem that skeptics like to point out.

    I have no idea what the best predictor for ENSO for this study would be, but we should never, ever under any circumstance change the way we do science because of the “skeptics”. The unreasonable will complain no matter what scientists do. Scientists should simply do the best possible science they can.

  9. Steven Mosher says:

    “I still have a serious conceptual issue with all methodologies that use and are sensitive to the recent slowdown in the rate of surface warming.”

    interesting concern.

    1. using all the data, gives you larger delta F and Delta T, so your estimate is better constrained.
    2 . The sensitivity ( which is minor )runs counter to what I would have thought: see Aldrin (2012) and Lewis Curry(2014). extending the data beyond 2000 increases the estimate.

    There are serious conceptual issues with all methodologies.

  10. Steven,
    What do you mean by “minor”? To me, the main issues with the EBM method is that it’s hard to properly include the influence of internal variability and – as this RealClimate post suggests – there might be a time dependence that EBM’s won’t capture since they don’t consider the full interval over which CO2 doubles.

    There are serious conceptual issues with all methodologies.

    Yes, kind of always true.

  11. BBD says:

    Steven M

    The authors calculate ECS using data from 1765 – 2011 and get a most likely value of 2.5C. Then they start removing data one decade at a time. Stopping at 2001 elevates the most likely value from 2.5C to 2.8C.

    That’s what I am talking about.

  12. MMM says:

    Interesting paper. I do share concerns about over-confidence regarding climate sensitivity derived from analyses based on simplistic energy balance models. Note while the 2 degree bound made your headline, their upper 90 percent bound was only 3.2 degrees, which is pretty low! They did do a sensitivity analysis taking out ENSO, which, like most of the sensitivity analyses they discuss, increased the upper tail but didn’t do much to the lower tail.

    Their decomposition analysis is interesting, but given that the median of the model trend in the 2002-2011 period falls outside the 90 percent confidence interval of their observed trend, that doesn’t give too much confidence in their explanation of the so-called hiatus.

    -MMM

    ps. they report the mode of the climate sensitivity pdf, but not the median – what’s up with that? Personally, I think the mode of a smooth distribution is pretty useless, and certainly less informative than the median, or even the mean. (modes are more relevant for discrete distributions, where you might care about the most likely single outcome)

  13. Steven Mosher says:

    “One quibble that I have is that they shouldn’t have used an SST proxy for ENSO as this has the recursive regression problem that skeptics like to point out. Simply use an ENSO index like SOI and this won’t show the problem.”

    Skeptics are not alone in pointing this out.

  14. Steven Mosher says:

    “The authors calculate ECS using data from 1765 – 2011 and get a most likely value of 2.5C. Then they start removing data one decade at a time. Stopping at 2001 elevates the most likely value from 2.5C to 2.8C.

    That’s what I am talking about.”

    #############

    ah I thought you were talking categorically. Still, perhaps I’m just quibbling with the definition of minor. 2.5 to 2.8 seems borderline mousenuts to me.

  15. Steven Mosher says:

    “What do you mean by “minor”? To me, the main issues with the EBM method is that it’s hard to properly include the influence of internal variability and ..

    Minor: My personal definition. Let’s take a belief. I think that the Probability that ECS <= 3C is
    at least 51%. Minor means this belief doesn't change in light of the new infomation. So I see a bunch of studies showing
    ECS less than 3C.. Meh..ho hum. None of them are convincing enough for me to make a major change in a core belief.. In other words.. I'm not micro managing that 51%. If the EMB approaches didnt have issues (they do).. then I might adjust that 3C belief.. But I see nothing in the new lower ECS studies that would make me ratchet that 3C number down. If I had a more brittle belief, nothing would be minor.

    Minor: If I start to see papers where people reference a result and argue that their prior work needs revision in light of the result. Example: If somebody in Paleo ( say ) said,
    Hey Steve I used your data and I think I better update my 2006 study cause my conclusions no longer hold. Then I'd say.. Hmm I guess the result wasnt minor.. it caused a change in behavior.

    I have a tendency to operationalize definitions.

  16. Steven,
    Thanks, I see. I thought you meant CS was minor, rather than the impact of some new information is minor.

  17. BBD says:

    Steven M

    Not really OT if discussing ECS / S_ff. If the exceptionally rapid increase in modern GHG forcing (relative to palaeoclimate forcing changes) entrains positive feedbacks from eg. albedo, soil, ocean, CO2/CH4 from permafrost melt etc. then ECS / S_ff will be pushed up, perhaps even above 3C. This is why I’m not so sanguine about the under-bet these days.

  18. Steven Mosher says:

    good point.

    I would hope that paper get’s some time on SkS

  19. Steven Mosher says:

    “Steven,
    Thanks, I see. I thought you meant CS was minor, rather than the impact of some new information is minor.

    No sweat, a while ago I caused Brandons head to explode by saying a 20% change was mousenuts.. technically interesting but nothing that would cause other people to go redo their
    calculations.. it might nudge beliefs but not be a major disruption in the force. Having specialized in molehills I’m slowly coming to the realization that they are not all mountains.

  20. BBD says:

    Having specialized in molehills I’m slowly coming to the realization that they are not all mountains.

    I’m sure Michael Mann will be delighted to hear this.

  21. Tom Curtis says:

    Steven Mosher, I have asked you this twice before. Perhaps this time you will answer. In this case I refer you to the approximation to an AR4 PDF of ECS from Rogelj et al (2014):

    They approximate it as a log normal distribution with generating values of μ = 0.775 and σ = 0.67 with an offset of 0.3551 (effectively an assumption that the probability that ECS is less than or equal to 0.3551 is zero). This does not generate a perfect replication of stated AR5 values, with the probability that ECS < 1 being too low (3.5% rather than the 5% stated), and of it being over 6 C being too high (92% rather than the 90% stated), but matches the central values well. The discrepancy is unavoidable in that the PDF of ECS is not precisely log normal in form. Never-the-less, it is lose enough an approximation.

    With this PDF, the modal value of the ECS is 1.74 C, the mean value is 3.07 C, and the median value is 2.53 C. That median value is fairly robust. In my own attempt to approximate the PDF of the AR5 ECS, I found a median of 2.7 C (I cannot quote other values as I have lost the spread sheet, but could calculate the median from a graphic I retain).

    The upshot is that I, and anybody else who accepts the IPCC as their guide to climate science, accepts that the median value of the ECS is less than 3. You consider yourself a luke warmer because you think that "… the Probability that ECS <= 3C is at least 51%". I follow the IPCC and consequently think it is closer to 55 than to 50% (Rogelj approximation: 61.6%; my approximation: 57.3%).

    With that background, what is it exactly that distinguishes "luke warmers"? From your definition, it appears to be somebody who thinks the IPCC gives too much credence to low estimates of ECS (allowing a greater than 0 probability of ECS < 1, ECS of 3 or less having a probability of 55% or more of occurring). Cynically, it appears as a simple branding position in which you essentially accept the IPCC position, but say you are luke warmers to justify not accepting IPCC temperature projections. I am sure there is more to it than that; that you at least (and Nic Lewis) are not indulging in such a cynical excercise. But what is it that makes luke warmers luke warmers, and luke warmerism a distinct, more conservative position than that of the IPCC?

  22. Steven Mosher says:

    “Cynically, it appears as a simple branding position in which you essentially accept the IPCC position,”
    Yes.

    “but say you are luke warmers to justify not accepting IPCC temperature projections.”

    No.

  23. Steven Mosher says:

    “I’m sure Michael Mann will be delighted to hear this.’

    I would hesitate to personalize things,but others are welcomed to do whatever they like.

  24. Steven Mosher says:

    “With that background, what is it exactly that distinguishes “luke warmers”?”

    nothing very much that I can see which is exactly how and why I picked the values I did.
    I did add a couple other things when people asked me what the “brand” stood for.

    A) the science position on ECS is essentially the IPPC position, however, framed differently.
    I kinda laughed when people finally figured this out, usually after arguing that I was
    somehow wrong. errr.
    B) a commitment to open science.
    C) a steadfast refusal to establish an agreed upon policy recommendation.

    Tom Fuller has asked me a bunch of times to write a policy book. I don’t do policy. I have opinions, I believe they are probably stupid, except perhaps on PM25. The reluctance to say stuff about policy has lead people to conclude that I support delay. Bad conclusion.

    On projections, orginally Lukewarmer was tied to a warming projection of 1.7C century
    so we were a bit below the mean of models ( that average something like 3.2C doubling)

    sorry I didnt see your questions before. Thanks for calling it to my attention.

  25. BBD says:

    I would hesitate to personalize things,but others are welcomed to do whatever they like.

    From your book about an email theft framed by ‘sceptics’ as Climategate – The CRUTape Letters (p31):

    Unlike an oil company which can change over time into a wind or solar power company, [Phil] Jones has no such option. He is his science. The same goes for Mann. He is his hockey stick.

    That would seem to personalise things somewhat, would it not?

    And at p. 180, emphasis added:

    While some are checking the statute books regarding the different treatment of hackers versus whistleblowers, and others are checking conspiracy laws regarding damaging careers through perversion of the peer review process and suborning editors to exclude unpopular opinions, we would like to say what we think the real crime is in Climategate.

    The criminals are not limited to the Team, the climate scientists and paleoclimatologists whose emails and files were leaked to the public.

    […]

    And the crime is malpractice. Deliberate and conscious malpractice. And since they arrogated the power unto themselves to diagnose the disease and prescribe a cure, they might also be charged with practicing medicine without a license.

    I think you personalised a very great deal over the years, Steven.

  26. BBD says:

    What does Steven M say about lukewarmers in his book?

    The defining characteristics of a “Lukewarmer” have emerged over time and can best be described as follows. “Lukewarmers”, like “alarmists” and “warmers” believe that man’s activity of adding GHGs to the atmosphere will indeed warm the planet. However, they tend to attribute the warming seen to date to a variety of sources: GHGs, land use changes, Urban Heat Island, and natural variability. With regard to policy, the “Lukewarmers” takes the position that actions should be taken based on the certainty of the science. Perhaps most notably, the “Lukewarmers” focus much of their effort on getting access to scientific data and methods.

    (p30)

    And:

    As lukewarmers, people who believe in global warming but not that it will be a catastrophe, we feel a fair bit of distance from both sides.

    (p 180)

  27. Rachel M says:

    Unlike an oil company which can change over time into a wind or solar power company, [Phil] Jones has no such option. He is his science. The same goes for Mann. He is his hockey stick.

    What do you mean by this statement, Steven? Do you think he’ll lose his job if one of his research papers turns out to have a mistake in it or if the conclusions turn out to be wrong? Most academics do more than just research. Research is supposed to be about 40% of the job, while teaching is another 40%, and administration 20%. They also tend not to lose their jobs when they make mistakes.

    On the other hand, oil companies are fairly dependent on burning oil for their existence. It’s not so easy for a business, particularly a large one, to switch products overnight. But it’s fairly easy, by comparison, for an academic in a stable job at a government-funded University, to pursue a different area of research or even just to ask new questions.

    I’m not really sure what you’re saying in the other quote BBD highlighted but it looks defamatory to me. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume I don’t understand you.

  28. It is very easy for an academic to change the field of study. I started on exchange processes, then did cloud measurements, then did stochastic modelling and radiative transfer, now work on removing non-climatic changes.

    If there were a serious contestant for global warming by greenhouse gasses, this would spur a lot of research. Beautiful basic science of the kind scientists like to do most, rather than delivering model output for yet an another applied climate impact study for cauliflower.

    Climatology is only small compared to meteorology. If during this period of research it is found that there is no global warming, the climate researchers could simply work on meteorological problems again, like I did in my past. Funding might suffer for climate impact studies, but they are mainly performed by hydrologists, biologists, geographers, etc., not by the scientists that work on the reasons for climate change.

    Being trivially wrong, of the kind displayed on WUWT every day, is very bad for your scientific career. Being wrong in an interesting way is good for your career. If you can make your colleagues think and understand things better, that is good. Like Albert Einstein who was wrong about quantum mechanics until he died.

    It is good to see that Steven Mosher seems to be capable of learning.

  29. Pingback: A juvenile tactic? | …and Then There's Physics

  30. Kevin ONeill says:

    Rachel, you’re missing the whole point; the book is for deniers. To them Michael Mann will always be the hockey stick. In their world it is obviously true and I’m sure they nod their heads in agreement when reading it.

    In the real world it’s just rhetorical nonsense.

  31. Robert Way says:

    BBD,
    I think it’d be fair to say that perspectives change and Mosher has certainly shown over the years that he’s willing to test his hypothesis and change his view on the subject if the tests do not support the initial view – alternatively I believe what constitutes a lukewarmer as a definition has been fluid as well. Many scientists could be considered lukewarmers in some respects in that they are very skeptical of highly alarmist claims.

    I’d say the word criminal is probably not one that anyone (aside from the truly far gone) would use to describe the activity discussed in climategate in a realistic manner today.

    Personally I think you’re trying to personalize this entire subject right now which detracts from a conversation that was somewhat interesting. It’s not uncommon though to find difficulty in engaging with people who have made prior comments which perhaps could be viewed as inflammatory. Taking an example from climate science – generally many scientists have not embraced the Berkeley product despite its stronger methodological basis simply because Muller said some things that offended people in the past. Then when he fell in line with the consensus view there was a whole lot of i told you so’s and mocking.

  32. TBH, I do find that Mosher seems to have both changed his views and changed how he is choosing to interact interesting and largely commendable. I think we should all be willing to adapt as our understanding changes. The only other person I’m aware of who has made such a dramatic change is BBD 🙂

    On a more serious note, this is a genuinely important topic and we should be willing to accept that some people may well have said things in the past that weren’t ideal, but who have sinced changed their views and how they might be willing to interact. I certainly can’t claim that what I’ve done in said in the past is what I would have done and said had I known then what I know now.

  33. BBD says:

    Robert

    I understand what you are saying but SM’s commentary (mainly elsewhere) is inconsistent with a wholly-revised position on his part. I find his online persona to be unconvincing in the extreme and believe him still to be an unrepentant mischief-maker with a hell of a lot to answer for.

  34. Gator says:

    If SM really has changed his views he could easily write at the very least a blog article explaining how his views have changed since his book. This would be very interesting and valuable. Instead, he leaves the book out there to drive denialism, and plays the other side claiming he’s changed but never actually recanting anything (Piltdown Mann etc.) When you’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort exploiting this issue and demonizing people, you ought to spend at least as much time and effort publicizing your new views and apologizing for your previous harmful actions.

  35. Steven Mosher says:

    “I think you personalised a very great deal over the years, Steven.”

    I would not deny that past. In this case, I would say I have not. Others may continue as they please.

  36. Steven Mosher says:

    “Perhaps most notably, the “Lukewarmers” focus much of their effort on getting access to scientific data and methods.”

    That would be the open science piece.

    havent change that since 2009.

    other beliefs of course are open to change. That’s why I defined it the way I did.

    catastrophe? subjective.

  37. Tom Curtis says:

    Steven Mosher, thank you for responding. Inevitably, of course, your answer has raise more questions.

    First, given BBD has raised it, the position you state here (and in your definition of “luke warmer” in terms of climate sensivity) appears inconsistent with that in your book with Tom Fuller. Specifically, in that book you wrote:

    “The defining characteristics of a ―’Lukewarmer’ have emerged over time and can best be described as follows. ―’Lukewarmers’, like ―’alarmists’ and ―’warmers’ believe that man‘s activity of adding GHGs to the atmosphere will indeed warm the planet. However, they tend to attribute the warming seen to date to a variety of sources: GHGs, land use changes, Urban Heat Island, and natural variability. With regards to policy the ―’Lukewarmers’ take the position that actions should be taken based on the certainty of the science. Perhaps most notably, the ―’Lukewarmers’ focus much of their effort on getting access to scientific data and methods.

    This definition fits among a group of four definitions, that for “alarmist”, “warmer”, and “skeptics” who turn out to be those people who think there is no warming, or that do not believe increasing GHGs will cause warming. To take an example, Fred Singer (I believe) thinks that there has been warming, and that ECS is about 0.5 C per doubling of CO2. Ergo he is not a skeptic by your definition in the book, and is a lukewarmer by the books definition. However, he is clearly not a lukewarmer by your current definition. So the question is, have you changed your definition of “lukewarmer”? And if so, do other “lukewarmers” agree with the changed definition?

    Second, in your response you indicate a projected warming of 1.7 C a century. Under what scenario? Further, given your agreement with the IPCC climate sensitivity assessment, how do you obtain a lower pojection? Do you use the median or modal values rather than the mean values for the projection (ie, you have the same projection but report a different value)? Do you assume that TCR is much less than the IPCC values, and hence that warming will be longer lasting and reach the same levels in the (human) long term? Or do you assume BAU will automatically greatly reduce emissions?

    Finally, you say that ‘lukewarmers’ have “… a steadfast refusal to establish an agreed upon policy recommendation”. Does this mean they are steadfastly against opposing any particular policy recommendation by others, ie, that they simply do not discuss policy? Or does it mean that because they will not recommend any particular policy, they are set on a default policy of no public policy on climate change?

    As a final note, I have recently, and falsely been accused of asking a closed, loaded question (when clearly it was neither) by a person I believe was simply trying to evade my question. The form of my questions above, on the other hand could reasonably be interpreted as being closed questions. That is not my intention. I assume that you are mature enough to, if you do not think the potential answers I canvass are adequate, will simply choose your own response. My suggestions merely indicate why I think the questions are worth asking. Ie, my puzzlement rather than a constraint on your response. (Again, I would not have thought this needed to be mentioned, but recent experience has taught me otherwise.)

  38. BBD says:

    catastrophe? subjective.

    Catastrophe? Policy-dependent unless you dismiss the science and / or stop thinking at the end of this century.

  39. dhogaza says:

    Mosher:

    “I would hesitate to personalize things,but others are welcomed to do whatever they like.”

    I’m curious as to when you had your “come to Jesus” moment, and why, given that coming up with the label “Michael ‘Piltdown’ Mann” would seem to be an example of “personalizing things”.

    As would the entire book you and Fuller wrote about Climategate.

    What caused you to become a decent human being?

  40. Steven Mosher says:

    I would choose to describe the possible harms. Characterizing them as disasterous, catastrophic, or apocalyptic, is something people are free to do. I choose not to use these words. Of course, other people can take note of that and make all manner of personalizing comments and wrong conclusions.

    2100, is a year. Discount rates in my view are subjective. That view can also be attacked. At one point I believe the term sociopath was used. Again, the are many ways to personalize things and folks are free to do that. today I choose not to.

  41. dhogaza says:

    VV:

    “Being wrong in an interesting way is good for your career.”

    A great point. Even if Michael “Piltdown” Mann’s (as Mosher describes him) “hockey stick” had been refuted or whatever, the research was interesting. The first attempt at a hemispheric temperature time series extending a few centuries back in time. It would not have been a fraud.

    And, anticipating Mosher: grownups don’t accuse people of possible career-ending fraud, jokingly or not.

  42. dhogaza says:

    Robert Way, ATTP:

    no, no, no.

    “I think it’d be fair to say that perspectives change and Mosher has certainly shown over the years that he’s willing to test his hypothesis and change his view on the subject if the tests do not support the initial view ”

    Mosher has modified his views regarding the reality of AGW, perhaps.

    But AFAIK he still stands behind every accusation of dishonesty, shoddy science, and the like made in the book he wrote with Tom Fuller. Climategate still rings true with “Piltdown” Mosher.

    Perhaps I’m wrong. If so, perhaps he’ll make his change of heart regarding Phil Jones, Michael Mann, etc widely public, and renounce the book he wrote with Fuller.

  43. Steven Mosher says:

    gator

    “If SM really has changed his views he could easily write at the very least a blog article explaining how his views have changed since his book. This would be very interesting and valuable. Instead, he leaves the book out there to drive denialism, and plays the other side claiming he’s changed but never actually recanting anything (Piltdown Mann etc.) When you’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort exploiting this issue and demonizing people, you ought to spend at least as much time and effort publicizing your new views and apologizing for your previous harmful actions.”

    Thank you for your suggestions.

    something like this.. ( about the umpteenth time I’ve explained why I coined the term)

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/26/week-in-review-102712/#comment-261149

  44. dhogaza says:

    Mosher:
    “That would be the open science piece.”

    Oh, yeah, the attacks on Phil Jones when 95% of the data being used was available elsewhere, where NDA agreements blocked release of some of the data, where Jones and his team stated in public they were working to get the data held private by certain governments released to the public yet were still flayed by McI, you and others for not violating the contracts, and all that is just because … “open science”.

    Mosher has always held himself up as being morally superior … he did when he labelled Mann a fraud, he does now when he proclaims himself to have moved beyond his past.

    I don’t believe it for a moment.

  45. dhogaza says:

    Mosher:

    “I would choose to describe the possible harms. Characterizing them as disasterous, catastrophic, or apocalyptic, is something people are free to do. I choose not to use these words.”

    Instead you use the term “lukewarmer”, which in itself, put forth in opposition to the mainstream evaluation of harm, denies strawmen, i.e. exactly the words you don’t use (nor do the vast majority of serious scientists or policy makers) “disasterous, catastrophic, or apocalyptic”

    The very use of the word “lukewarmer” is a strategic move to plant the notion that mainstream science is predicting “CAGW”.

    You’re boringly transparent, Mosher. Which you’ll deny with a condescending sigh …

  46. dhogaza says:

    Mosher:

    “something like this.. ( about the umpteenth time I’ve explained why I coined the term)”

    post-hoc revisionism in an attempt to salvage your reputation in a most transparent manner.

    “I could not see why people could not just admit some of the minor errors in AIT and move on.”

    RC pointed out minor errors in AIT. I’m sure many other scientists did. No one rational would expect the movie to be error-free. This is just a red-herring.

    “And at the same time PJ Meyers was slagging mcIntyre. Fair enough. But as I started thinking about the science of evolution ( covered by Myers) I thought.. Evolution survived it’s little episode with outright fraud, why can’t climate science just admit that the HS is a bit sketchy and move on?”

    Nothing about the HS is “sketchy”. And your explanation here does not, in any way, shape, or form, justify your labeling the scientist as “Mike ‘Piltdown’ Mann”. That was ugly, and it will follow you to your grave.

    “and why the “blind” defenses of what is clearly inferior methods and some rather sketchy behavior WRT to data and method sharing.”

    Good Lord. The cries were of “fraud”, and you were a cheerleader. The defenses of Mann’s “clearly inferior methods” were against such claim, and against claims that “clearly superior methods” significantly modified the conclusion, which they did not, as you well know. The difference in results was like comparing two hocky sticks in the bag of a professional player. Yes, look closely, there are differences, but they’re still hockey sticks. Neither is a baseball bat, which was essentially the claims against what the “blind defenses” were defending against.

    You know this. You knew this when you wrote those words.

    I must say, your entire post is offensive.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/26/week-in-review-102712/#comment-261149

    Of course, all of this was a gateway drug, so to speak, to Mosher and Fuller’s book about Climategate. Mosher and Fuller view themselves, of course, as being morally superior to those whose e-mails were stolen. Mosher also likes to view himself as being morally superior to outright denialists. My opinion differs …

  47. dhogaza says:

    Mosher (elsewhere):

    ” Skeptics think that AGW relies on the HS. It doesnt. But as long as Skeptics think that, nobody wants to admit even the slightest flaw in Mann or his early approaches.”

    Baloney. The papers themselves raise questions, and no one has ever suggested otherwise. Have you ever read the original paper?

  48. dhogaza says:

    For instance in that thread, Mosher further states:

    “Steven Mosher | October 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    Latimer:

    “AGW may not depend on the Hockey Stick. But ‘unprecedented’ warming does.”

    yes. “arguments from unprecedented”, are another class of weak AGW arguments that can effectively backfire on the science. I wihs people would not make weak arguments.”

    There is, of course, no solid, scientific evidence that the argument is weak. This is why Mosher is, at heart, nothing other than a garden-variety denialist, no matter what he repeatedly claims in order to support the “lukewarmer” position that we should be happy, and not worry.

  49. dhogaza says:

    And, more Mosher from that thread:

    “At this stage of the game some on both sides are overplaying their hands.
    Man contributes almost nothing: Man dunnit all. Nobody wants to come to the table.”

    Climate science does not say “Man dunnit all”. Mosher, here, defines the “lukewarmer” position – argue against a strawman.

    ” They can’t really. You could, but the extremists on both sides cant. So very simply, take your seat at the table. Take your seat. That seat looks like this: “I accept AGW. GHGs warm the planet. The question is how much? ” watch who will sit down to join you and watch who will not.”

    Which sounds good, until you understand that “the extremists” include most of climate science, which “lukewarmers” conveniently push under the “Man dunnit all” umbrella.

  50. I’ll simply repeat what I said before. I can understand why some might be annoyed by someone’s past behaviour and be unwilling to forgive and forget. I just think that this topic is sufficiently important that we should applaud/accept those few who do publicly change their views – assuming it is genuine, that is.

  51. Rachel M says:

    I didn’t realise that these were Mosher’s views from the past and that he no longer holds them. I didn’t look up his book to see when it was published and I assumed he’d leave a comment here stating that he no longer felt this way which I notice he has not.

  52. Rachel M says:

    I should add here that since I don’t read many other climate blogs especially not “Skeptic” ones, I did not realise that Mosher was once a “Skeptic” so the quotes of his in this thread are a bit of a surprise for me and I can’t help but comment on them. I also don’t know who said mean things back in 2008 so I don’t know know the history of what people have thought over the years.

    People are allowed to change their minds of course but it’s not clear to me that he has changed his mind.

    In terms of changing our minds on climate-related issues, I think BBD is the perfect exemplar:
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/communicating-uncertainty/#comment-9306
    Your place in heaven is assured, BBD 😉

  53. Rachel M says:

    And I don’t mean to imply that Mosher’s place in heaven is not assured. I’m sure it is, if you believe in heaven, which I do not. It was just a private joke to BBD who will understand what I meant (although BBD, your place is not assured if you piss in phone boxes).

    I think I should just shut-up and head out and enjoy the lovely Scottish spring sunshine before I say anything else stupid 🙂

  54. BBD says:

    Rachel

    (although BBD, your place is not assured if you piss in phone boxes).

    It was a jest, of course, but based on something quite horrible I witnessed 30 years ago on Kilburn High Road 🙂

  55. BBD says:

    Steven M

    2100, is a year.

    FFS. So is 2200 and 2300 and the impacts of AGW will continue to unfold for centuries. How much and how bad is policy-dependent. An honest analysis wouldn’t be evasive on this point.

  56. Willard says:

    > But AFAIK he still stands behind every accusation of dishonesty, shoddy science, and the like made in the book he wrote with [Groundskeeper Willie].

    “Shoddy” has been conceded by the NAS report. Even Dhogaza admitted that the D word (D for delete) was suboptimal:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/22836534127

    Perhaps it would help to remind ourselves that Groundskeeper Willie may have written most of the sentences involving criminal accusations.

    Let’s leave mock trials to the Auditor.

  57. My own skepticism is of a completely different variety. I am one of those that is skeptical that climate science is as complicated as many try to lead us to believe. And that occupies a no-man’s land . The consensus climate science thinks that complexity requires us to apply GCM simulations to make progress, while the cynical skeptic believes that the complexities of hydrodynamics precludes any kind of solution (see The Blackboard for this POV). IMO, that situation is MAD — as in mutual assured destruction. The GCMs are digging a deeper hole while the skeptics are piling on the dirt.

    IMO the reality is that any perceived complexity can be reduced by applying simple arguments.

    I only have a couple of hours a week to devote to working the first-order physics yet seeing the progress first-hand is heartening in terms of beating back the skeptics with simple arguments.

    One area that I have been studying in the past year is ENSO, and this is an easy place to make progress, especially considering the competition in climate science amounts to weak-performers such as William Gray, Richard Lindzen, Robert Carter, Judith Curry, Peter Webster, Murry Salby, and Roy Spencer. What a mess those people have created !

    If this piques your interest, go to the link on my handle or check out the Azimuth Project Forum where we have a collaborative effort going to see if we can actually predict El Ninos. This is a thread I recently started covering the progress I made in the last year :
    https://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/1608/enso-revisit

    Again, I think this is a no-man’s land zone because it is too simple for many tastes. Yet if one considers that most everyone here can only Argue-from-Authority, as GCM’s absolutely require this — after all, who can honestly say that they understand what goes on inside a GCM?

  58. matt says:

    @RW

    “simply because Muller said some things that offended people in the past. Then when he fell in line with the consensus view there was a whole lot of i told you so’s and mocking.”

    Muller gave more than he got. He made the claims that everyone else was getting it wrong due to incompetence or misconduct. It seems he made such claims before doing any real research himself. He deserves some criticism. “Fell in line” seems a weird way to put it but perhaps I am being pedantic. He did some research and drew conclusions that were consistent with those who he had previously criticised.

    @SM

    “I would hesitate to personalise things”

    Bit rich but I do appreciate your efforts at JCs in pointing out temperature adjustments are needed. Tough sell over there. Must be frustrating. Admire your persistence.

  59. dhogaza says:

    Willard:

    ““Shoddy” has been conceded by the NAS report.”

    Where is “shoddy” conceded in this summary from the NRC report, as quoted from Wikiepedia? Overconfident statement of conclusions, yes, MBH 98 and 99 as “shoddy science”, no it does not say that.

    And, of course, in the press conference North et al made it absolutely clear that “shoddy” was not the conclusion.

    “In its summary, the NRC committee noted the development of large-scale surface temperature reconstructions, especially MBH98 and MBH99, and highlighted six recent reconstructions: Huang, Pollack & Shen 2000, Mann & Jones 2003, Hegerl et al. 2006, Oerlemans 2005, Moberg et al. 2005 and Esper, Cook & Schweingruber 2002. Its main findings were; 20th century instrumentally measured warming showed in observational evidence, and can be simulated with climate models, large-scale surface temperature reconstructions “yield a generally consistent picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium”, including the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, “but the exact timing and duration of warm periods may have varied from region to region, and the magnitude and geographic extent of the warmth are uncertain.” It concluded “with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries”, justified by consistent evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies, but “Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from 900 to 1600”, and very little confidence could be assigned to hemispheric or global mean surface temperature estimates before about 900.[6]

    The NRC committee stated that “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators”. It said “Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium”, though there were substantial uncertainties before about 1600. It added that “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium’ because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.” It noted that “Surface temperature reconstructions for periods prior to the industrial era are only one of multiple lines of evidence supporting the conclusion that climatic warming is occurring in response to human activities, and they are not the primary evidence.”[7]

    At the press conference, North said of the MBH papers that “we do roughly agree with the substance of their findings. There is a small disagreement over exactly how sure we are.”[9] All three from the NRC committee panel said it was probable, though not certain, that current warming exceeded any previous peak in the last thousand years.[3] When asked if they could quantify “less confidence” and “plausible”, Bloomfield explained that their wording reflected the panel’s scientific judgements rather than well defined statistical procedures, and “When we speak of ‘less confidence’ we’re more into a level of sort of 2 to 1 odds, which IPCC, they interpreted ‘likely’ as that level, roughly 2 to 1 odds or better.”[9][12]”

  60. dhogaza says:

    Willard:

    “Even Dhogaza admitted that the D word (D for delete) was suboptimal:”

    Of course it was stupid. As far as is known, no one acted on the suggestion. This, and your misrepresentation of the NAS report on the “hockey stick”, combined form justification for the attack job by Mosher and Fuller that did so much to feed the “climate science is a fraud” meme.

  61. dhogaza says:

    Regarding the book:

    “The Climategate scandal covered from beginning to end–from ‘Hide the Decline’ to the current day. Written by two authors who were on the scene–Steven Mosher and Tom Fuller–Climategate takes you behind that scene and shows what happened and why. For those who have heard that the emails were taken out of context–we provide that context and show it is worse when context is provided. For those who have heard that this is a tempest in a teacup–we show why it will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change. And for those who have heard that this scandal is just ‘boys being boys’–well, boy. It’s as seamy as what happened on Wall Street.”

    Now, ATTP, you might ask Mosher directly whether or not he might rewrite any of the above today.

    “Hide the Decline” – heard that one before?

    You could do worse than to ask him what his current views on “Hide the Decline” are … for starters.

  62. Rachel M says:

    I like Phil Jones. He seems nice. He’s interviewed in the Thin Ice film.

    I think it’s wise for Mosher to remain silent if he wants to make defamatory statements about scientists so let’s not ask him for his views. Accusing scientists of fraud and misconduct is defamatory and blog owners can be held liable for the comments.

  63. Tom Curtis says:

    I’m with Dhogaza with respect to “shoddy”. The term does not appear in the NAS report, it is merely Willard’s gloss on that report. And it is a poor gloss. We do not consider the Wright brothers efforts as shoddy because their engines were under powered, their planes flimsy, and their controls rudimentary. To do so would be to forget where they stand in the history of aviation – to apply standards to pioneers that develop on the basis of mature knowledge and experience in the field. Everybody including Michael Mann is certain that, with hindsight, there are things MBH98 could have done better – but we only have that hindsight because they did it first. So, the proper gloss is not “shoddy”, but pioneering.

  64. Tom, I just stole your comment to end my last post on Changing your mind.

    Calls for walks to walks to [[Canossa]] only hinder scientific progress.

  65. BBD says:

    Steven Mosher

    Redefine?

    On the contrary, they are refining what I laid out first. herding cats is tough business.

    In your book (of 2010) you wrote (with co-author Tom Fuller):

    Both of your authors consider themselves to be Lukewarmers, and we attempt to explain why at the conclusion of this book.

    Commenters here (including me) are unsure of where you stand these days. Nonsense can be avoided if you re-state bits from the book so that they accurately represent your current position:

    The defining characteristics of a “Lukewarmer” have emerged over time and can best be described as follows. “Lukewarmers”, like “alarmists” and “warmers” believe that man’s activity of adding GHGs to the atmosphere will indeed warm the planet. However, they tend to attribute the warming seen to date to a variety of sources: GHGs, land use changes, Urban Heat Island, and natural variability. With regard to policy, the “Lukewarmers” takes the position that actions should be taken based on the certainty of the science. Perhaps most notably, the “Lukewarmers” focus much of their effort on getting access to scientific data and methods.

    And:

    As lukewarmers, people who believe in global warming but not that it will be a catastrophe, we feel a fair bit of distance from both sides.

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  68. Willard says:

    > The term does not appear in the NAS report, it is merely Willard’s gloss on that report. And it is a poor gloss.

    The press release contradicted the “unprecedented” claim:

    The Research Council committee found the Mann team’s conclusion that warming in the last few decades of the 20th century was unprecedented over the last thousand years to be plausible, but it had less confidence that the warming was unprecedented prior to 1600; fewer proxies — in fewer locations — provide temperatures for periods before then. Because of larger uncertainties in temperature reconstructions for decades and individual years, and because not all proxies record temperatures for such short timescales, even less confidence can be placed in the Mann team’s conclusions about the 1990s, and 1998 in particular.

    The summary of the report states something about the “warmest” claim:

    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.

    http://www.nap.edu/read/11676/chapter/2#3

    There’s a mention of britlescone pine on p. 113, and a bit later on the same page something to the effect that “uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated.” May I also bring up the Barton Hearings?

    Maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing.

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