## Subverting democracy?

I thought I would briefly discuss this Nature comment called Climate policy: Democracy is not an inconvenience. I initially read it and tweeted it, thinking “yes, democracy is important and not an inconvenience”. I then read it again and thought, “hold on, is this a massive strawman?”

The main premise seems to be based on:

Researchers are increasingly concerned that no one is listening to their diagnosis of the dangers of human-induced climate change and its long-lasting consequences, despite the robust scientific consensus. As governments continue to fail to take appropriate political action, democracy begins to look to some like an inconvenient form of governance. There is a tendency to want to take decisions out of the hands of politicians and the public, and, given the ‘exceptional circumstances’, put the decisions into the hands of scientists themselves.

Really? I realise that there are extreme elements everywhere, but I don’t think I’ve seen any scientists actually argue that we should subvert democracy. I’ve certainly seen people suggest that our democracies are not suited to solving this type of global problem, but this – as far as I can tell – is typically said in the context of democracy being the worst form of government, apart from all others. Also, it is often in reference to the influence of the media, vested interests, and short-term political thinking, rather than an argument against democracy itself.

In fact, what I think most scientists are frustrated with (me, certainly) is a sense that we have all this evidence, it is very strong, and yet it appears to be largely being ignored or dismissed. I think most scientists recognise that the evidence alone doesn’t tell us what should be done, and that there are other important factors that will – and should – influence decision making. The argument is more to do with robust, evidence-based policy-making, not an implicit suggestion that we should undermine democracy and put the decisions into the hands of scientists themselves. Not only would putting decision making into the hands of scientists be an exceptionally poor idea (I should know, I am one and work with many others), but I’d also like to see an example of someone making this argument, because I really can’t think of one.

Maybe the most ironic thing about this article is that it almost seems to be doing what it is criticising others for apparently doing. It is essentially trying to delegitimise some by suggesting that their concerns are an attempt to subvert democracy. Well, as far as I’m concerned, free speech and the right to criticise policy makers is a fundamental part of our modern democracies. Suggesting that something that is fundamentally democratic is an attempt to undermine democracy, seems rather confused; maybe intentionally. Of course, we live in democracies where such arguments are allowed, even if they don’t make much sense.

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### 189 Responses to Subverting democracy?

1. Sam taylor says:

If we’re willing to think of economists as scientists then quite a lot of policy making decisions seem to have been thrown their way. Which is kind of ironic when one compares the theoretical underpinning of most economic models with GCMs.

As to whether democracy can deal with climate change, I’m unsure whether any political system could deal with climate change, as to my mind it’s a problem that humans are very poorly equipped to deal with, and ultimately all political systems are human constructs. The whole thing is a whopping great collective action problem, the biggest we’ve ever come across. If we’re actually capable to sacrifice and cooperate on the scale that seems required is yet to be demonstrated.

2. T-rev says:

>ATTP: but I don’t think I’ve seen any scientists actually argue that we should subvert democracy

Jurgen Randers has.

3. T-rev,
Okay, I found this. He seems to be arguing for a price on carbon (which seems sensible) and longer time between elections. Seems to be more an argument for changes, rather than an argument for something that we wouldn’t recognise as democracy. I’ll grant you that he is arguing for some fairly serious changes, though, so maybe it is at least one example.

Sam,
I hadn’t thought of economists in that sense. I agree with this

As to whether democracy can deal with climate change, I’m unsure whether any political system could deal with climate change, as to my mind it’s a problem that humans are very poorly equipped to deal with, and ultimately all political systems are human constructs.

which is why I think most criticisms of our democracies is not really an argument for some kind of authoritarian alternative. Climate change does seem to have the worst possible timescale; short enough that we may eventually notice, but long enough that we’ll mostly ignore it for the moment.

Having said that, there are hints that some are taking this more seriously than was the case a few years ago, so maybe we are moving in some kind of sensible direction.

4. Sam taylor says:

Yes, I don’t see any reason to criticise democracy. Besides, as far as I can tell China is something of a technocracy (lots of their politburo are trained scientists as opposed to lawyers, I think?) and they’re hardly a nation to aspire to as far as greenhouse emissions go. But if a democracy appears to be unawarely choosing suicide, what are the people who perceive this to do? Especially if their loudest warnings are ignored?

I think t rev is right on with randers. I recall seeing a talk by Dennis meadows (another limits to growth author) in which he argues that democracy is not capable of dealing with these crises. Unfortunately, enlightened benevolent dictators appear in short supply.

5. Unfortunately, enlightened benevolent dictators appear in short supply.

Indeed, or they don’t remain enlightened or benevolent for very long.

6. Great thread started by Kate, who’s a marvel:

PS: Nature’s CSS does not work on Chrome.

7. It was that thread that made me consider writing this post.

8. ichiloe says:

As a sociologist I’m disappointed to see it when sociologists get science wrong.That’s a shoe that fits both feet, but still no excuse.

9. MikeH says:

Nico Stehr, the author of that strawman was a signatory to the Hartwell Paper, one of the precursors to the Ecomodernist Manifesto.

I don’t know whether it is linked but Michael Shellenberger from BTI has been going even more beserk than usual on twitter as a result of this letter from a number of scientists to Obama calling for a RICO tobacco industry style investigation of companies that fund climate science denial.

What appears to upset the EMs is scientists pointing out how grave the climate crisis is. That is not their preferred narrative. They are much more comfortable with Matt Ridley and Bjorn Lomborg’s argument – that climate is an issue that does not need any change to business as usual in either economics or politics.

10. MikeH,

They are much more comfortable with Matt Ridley and Bjorn Lomborg’s argument

Given that the EcoModernism meeting in London yesterday, had a panel of 5 that included Ridley and Patterson, would seem consistent with what you’re suggesting.

11. Andrew Dodds says:

Interestingly..

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/02/british-public-thinks-wind-power-subsidies-are-14-times-higher-than-reality

That suggests that at least two thirds of the UK public support wind power in the UK,

Followed by:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/18/tories-end-onshore-windfarm-subsidies-2016

So we have a government elected by c. 24% of the electorate attacking wind power, which is supported by c. 68%. So yes, I’m concerned about democracy being subverted..

12. BBD says:

Before it get’s wheeled out again, Clive Hamilton did not call for the suspension of democracy.

Let’s face it, if you take a particular fairly large group of people (such as scientists) you will always be able to find an example of someone making a particular crackpot argument. That doesn’t mean they are representative of the wider group, or even of a substantial minority within that group. I’ve seen plenty of scientists saying we should take action on climate change, I’ve seen some express frustration with lack of government action, but I’ve never seen any claim that they should be the ones making policy decisions or that it’s necessary or desirable to override the democratic process.

When it comes to dealing with issues such as climate change, or any large scale problem, then democracy can be either a hinderance or a help. It depends on which way public opinion is facing. There is never any guarantee that a governments of any kind will be inclined to do the right thing but at least in a democracy there are mechanisms for people to try to persuade them that action is necessary. After all, it was public opinion which forced our government to change its policy on refugees (albeit from once which was completely pathetic to one which was merely inadequate).

Meanwhile, in kind of related if you stretch the point a bit news, the UN is meeting to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals which will replace the Millennium Development Goals, with the aim of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/sep/25/global-goals-summit-dignitaries-convene-for-a-day-to-define-the-world

I’m looking forward to the likes of Pielke, Ridley, Montford and other “skeptics” who have expressed such concern for the poor when criticising climate policy voicing their support, writing enthusiastic blog posts etc.

15. bill shockley says:

We don’t need a scientist to make the decisions, we just need democracy.

Democracy is a farce in America and England.

As Andrew Dodds points out, the people in England know what’s good for them but they can’t get what they want.

Hansen says China is a technocracy and they know what the deal is with climate and economy, so he had hopes that they could be the catalyst for carbon taxes around the world (if the biggest consuming economies put a tax on carbon, enforcing it at their borders, that would stimulate exporting countries to do the same, to keep the tax revenues for themselves), but unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be happening. I think Hansen may be naive about what really motivates the power elite in any country.

Chomsky, for most of his career has critiqued the system of power in America… how it’s a democracy in name only. How the power elite manipulate opinion in the press and indoctrinate citizens beginning in grade school (Manufacturing Consent).

American foreign policy has been centered around acquiring and/or controlling the resources of other sovereign nations and deterring democracy in those nations. (Deterring Democracy, for example).

Chomsky notes, from studying declassified documents,
There’s been a very consistent U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, at least since the Second World War, whose primary concern has been to ensure that the energy reserves of the Middle East remain firmly under American control.
The State Department noted in 1945 that these reserves constitute “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.

Every American president since WWII would be indictable if the Nuremburg principles were applied. Every American president since WWII would be indictable if the Nuremburg principles were applied.

16. Phil says:

With regard to democracy; a TV program that made a great impression on me was a Channel 4 documentary on capital punishment (this is in the UK) back in 1990’s (I think). There has, for a long time, been a discrepancy between public and political opinion on the death penalty. This program took a sample of the public, carefully chosen to match both the UK demographic (age, sex, politics etc) and the currently held proportion of people in favour of the death penalty. The sample was then exposed to the arguments pro- and anti- DP, and at the end of the program the sample had indeed shifted their view to one that matched the opinion of politicians.

The point, of course, is that what is perceived as “politicians being out of touch” *may* simply be “politicians being better informed”; after all politicians have select committees, lobby groups, researchers and scientific advisors- all of whose job is to gather information and evidence so that a representative can make informed policy decisions. Of course, that has the potential to make a politician drift from the pledges he made to get elected and so they risk rejection at the next election, unless the electorate has made the same journey. It seems inconceivable to ask politicians to ignore knowledge they have acquired, just to retain the confidence of those that elected them. So perhaps for some politicians (Inhofe?), remaining in willful ignorance is an attractive option.

AFAICS the only solution to this problem is a strong media (free from vested interests) prepared to tackle explaining issues like Climate Change to a wider audience, so that the public do indeed gain understanding of why they and their representatives views may have diverged.

17. Phil,
The death penalty is a good example. I think in South Africa they don’t have it and that is not popular with some. However, my understanding is that given the history, the government regards human rights as very important (as should we all) and sees the death penalty as inconsistent with that position.

AFAICS the only solution to this problem is a strong media (free from vested interests) prepared to tackle explaining issues like Climate Change to a wider audience, so that the public do indeed gain understanding of why they and their representatives views may have diverged.

Agreed, I don’t think the media – in general – does a good job of presenting an unbalanced view of things like climate change.

18. Andrew Dodds says:

bill shockley –

Well, the US isn’t saintly, but it is better than the USSR/Russia or China. An interesting moral comparison would be with the British Empire. Again, hardly saintly, but it’s not like the people who accepted our enlightened rule (nb. acceptance mandatory) were entirely nice to one another beforehand.

I do think that the idea of some overarching master plan is overblown. Such a plan would have placed real strategic interests ahead of relatively short term commercial interests – for example, the post WW2 goal in central and southern American should have been to build up the countries and turn them into stable pro-western democracies, if the US was acting strategically. Backing right wing dictators, undermining democracy and fostering revolution has not done the US any long term favors.

Likewise the treatment of Russia after the fall of communism – almost deliberate humiliation, economic destruction and general abuse – there is a huge case of ‘What were you thinking?’. A change to gain a powerful ally with vast natural resources thrown away.

I think the problem is almost a fundamental childishness. That we, in first world countries that have had 70 years of peace on our home soil, can do what we like and the consequences will never come home – or if anything really goes wrong then the adults will sort it out. And that childishness runs right to the top of politics – from the Tea party in the US, to the nonentities who lost the Labour party leadership here, to the destruction of Greece for German internal political reasons.. or the jolly wheeze of destabilizing Libya and then doing nothing to rebuild the place.. these are not the actions of serious politicians acting in the interests of their countries, or even their own commercial interests.

Think of it as driving a big modern SUV down a country road at night, in the rain. You have a comfy seat, heating and aircon, satnav, lights – every feeling of invulnerability, and that feeling of invulnerability can make you drive faster, take less care, make a phone call.. Yet all it takes is something unexpected – a big enough pothole, unexpected car coming the other way, whatever – and suddenly you are upside down in a ditch with nothing working and that carefully excluded environment coming right in at you.

19. bill shockley says:

Andrew,

Chomsky makes the same comparison as you between the British and American empires… his thesis is that power is the same wherever it materializes. He notes with surprise that some of the intellectual elite like John Stuart Mill were totally bought in on the benevolent master fantasy in India. You say the natives were not so kind to one another either… that’s fine if you’re not making excuses and exploiting the country and its inhabitants for your own gain. Britain conspired to addict the Chinese to opium, to gain trade entre with China… you probably know the historical facts better than me. I call that an overarching plan.

If America’s wasn’t an overarching plan (they said, ” …one of the greatest material prizes in world history”) then it was a consistent antisocial/psychotic mindset that persists to this day.

Well, the US isn’t saintly, but it is better than the USSR/Russia or China.

They had vastly more time to practice!

for example, the post WW2 goal in central and southern America should have been to build up the countries and turn them into stable pro-western democracies

Fast forward to today, and withdrawing from fossil fuels and building a sustainable society would represent long-term thinking. Are our bought politicians simply not saintly? It’s childish, yes, but perhaps that’s the definition of evil?

Thanks for engaging the historical analogies. It’s where I see truth the plainest.

20. Gingerbaker says:

Kind of hard to advocate subverting democracy – when we don’t actually have a democracy. We have a republic, where we vote for representatives who are supposed to represent our interests.

The problem here, of course, is that they have not been representing the interests of the people, because a thousand polls show that, overwhelmingly, the people want AGW fixed. If we had an actual democracy, we would have voted to build a carbon-free energy system decades ago.

I think what scientists have been hinting at is that a response to AGW, in a political climate where one party is anti-science and batshit crazy, may require something extraordinary – an end run by the Executive branch. Many times we have heard a call for “a WWII-type response”. I think the unspoken implication is that AGW must be officially declared a matter of National Security, so it can be unilaterally addressed by the Executive branch. Some may feel this is “subverting democracy”. Some may point out that it is actually the will of the people, and is legal by multiple precedent.

21. anoilman says:

Willard: “BRING ME MY LABCOAT OF POWER”, counters the PR hack of stupidity.

The only thing inconvenient to democracy is the monstrous money being spent to deny science. It seems silly for a government to invest in learning about the climate only to have oil companies run around lying about it in order to make more money.

Paid PR hacks aught to shut up in that argument.

22. bill shockley says:

Gingerbaker, what are the precedents you are talking about? If such a thing was possible on at the kind of scale that is needed, I would be hopeful. By some miracle Bernie Sanders could be elected and he might do something like that. I’m just doubtful a president in this country could do it.

23. Gingerbaker says:

“Gingerbaker, what are the precedents you are talking about?”

The limits of emergency Presidential powers (to respond to immediate or immanent risks to national security) is, constitutionally, a gray area but as time has gone by, the power of the Executive has increased, especially in matters of National Security. Presidents have attacked nations, mobilized troops, suspended habeus corpus, held prisoners indefinitely, used torture, denied open trial, authorized the breaking of constitutional protections against warrant-less searches, etc etc.

Presidents have used Executive Orders and directives hundreds of times, even in non emergency contexts, to set aside Congressional acts and Judicial branch decisions. All sorts of regulations and policies have been simply over-ridden. Here is a list of the Executive orders by President Bush:

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/orders/

Here is a list of those by President Obama:

http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/obama.html

The President has the inherent power to dictate policy of his Executive branch departments (like the department of Energy) at all times. With an Executive order, he could remove all subsidies to the fossil fuel industries and move them to renewables, for example. Bush even wrote at least one directive that was largely secret and unshared with Congress which ensured complete Presidential powers during a “catastrophe”.

If Bush could snap his fingers and declare himself dictator for life in the event of a “catastrophe”, one would think the President could build us the new green energy system we need as a matter of national security, especially if it was deemed “an emergency”. The U.S. military has done analyses and repeatedly stated AGW is an issue of National Security. Obama recently said it was an “immediate risk to national security”.

Interesting choice of words?

24. Phil says:

ATTP: I think some of the more technical arguments against the death penalty include the findings that (a) a jury tends to require a higher level of evidence when they know a likely sentence is the DP, hence conviction rates fall if the DP is introduced, (b) the deterrent effect is not as large as might be naively expected, because most crimes for which the DP is a plausible sentence (murder, for example) are those most likely to carried out “in the heat of the moment” when considering the consequences of conviction is not in the perpetrators mind.

Research findings like these need to be carried out by experts and for the general public the results may go against intuition or may need careful explanation to put them in context. One can, I think, see the parallels with the Climate Change “debate”. Which brings me back to the main point of my previous post; perhaps there needs to be acknowledgement or understanding amongst the general public that sometimes, just sometimes, politicians *do* know better than the people they represent – not because they’re arrogant, but because they have taken the time to examine an issue thoroughly; which is (part of) their job after all.

25. Phil,

just sometimes, politicians *do* know better than the people they represent – not because they’re arrogant, but because they have taken the time to examine an issue thoroughly; which is (part of) their job after all.

Yes, I agree that in some cases decisions are being made in an informed way, and we do have be careful of criticising politicians simply because they’ve made a decision we don’t like. In the climate science context, however, I do think there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the evidence is being ignored, or – largely – dismissed. Having said that, there are indications – I think – that things are starting to change.

26. bill shockley says:

Obama recently said it was an “immediate risk to national security”. Interesting choice of words?

Interesting, but “carbon tax” would have been more interesting. I don’t really expect anything from Obama.

Thanks for the discussion on executive orders. Exploring some links I see this short history of executive orders and explanation of what they are: what they are:

Not until 1952 were specific rules and guidelines given for what a president could or could not via executive orders. In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952) the Supreme Court invalidated Truman’s decree on steel mills, on the grounds that he was attempting to make law (a legislative function), not merely carrying out (or “executing”) existing law. Presidents since that decision have tried to cite the specific laws they are acting under, when issuing new executive orders.>

And, also, executive orders are invalid if his decrees seek to make law or else violate rights.

As you’re probably aware, James Hansen is involved in several lawsuits to get the government to protect our constitutional rights as citizens to an un-degraded environment. I think you’re right that an executive order would have a strong claim to validity.

27. russellseitz says:

BBD

28. Eli Rabett says:

As Bryson said at RR

Scientists overthrowing the current (quasi-)democratic systems of government in the world’s wealthier countries is a fantasy. But the collapse of those systems in the face of crop failures, flooding, wild fires and other climate chaos is a real risk.

Even more worrying is the conversion of the political systems to kleptocracy. How do the Kochs and the Trumps differ from the Russian oligarchs? Between them and the oil sheiks they own all the good Premier League teams. The only real difference is that the Russian oligarchs have to worry about Putin, the American ones don’t have a care in the world.

29. Vinny Burgoo says:

That’s right, Eli. It’s well-known that President Clinton took a bung from his friends the Koch brothers so they could grab control of the spandex industry and that he looked the other way when they had hundreds of accountants murdered at spandex mines and smelting plants throughout the Americas.

The Koch brothers’ big problem today is that those murders are still remembered, whereas for their Russian counterparts it’s as though their only sins were cronyism and capitalism.

I suppose we remember only what we choose to remember.

30. One of the examples in Nico Stehr’s comment is a quote from James Hansen. It appears that this was taken out of context.

31. Actually, the whole comment thread on this Klimazwiebel post is quite fascinating.

32. bill shockley says:

I really don’t get Bernie Sanders and I wonder if he isn’t another Obama. According to Chris Hedges,
Sanders has been well-received by military contractors and has voted for every bill in favor of wars abroad that costs the U.S. 1.7 trillion a year on military spending.

Abby Martin’s recent interview with Hedges

33. Kevin O'Neill says:

Bill Shockley – Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq war. Chris Hedges must have been asleep during that vote.

There are several other distinct differences between Sanders and Clinton: Politifact has a table of theirpositions.

Now, is Sanders the ideal candidate? Who is? Last I checked Gandhi isn’t likely to make any primary ballots.

34. bill shockley says:

Kevin, thanks for catching that. Googling, he was actually strongly and vocally opposed to the Iraq war, for the right reasons. Good for him,. According to Hedges, Sanders also supports Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. Maybe I need to do more fact checking on Hedges.

While a Clinton presidency would be a depressing thing, I’m being cautious not to get my hopes up for what Sanders might do.

35. Ron Graf says:

ATTP: “Really? I realize that there are extreme elements everywhere, but I don’t think I’ve seen any scientists actually argue that we should subvert democracy.”

Nature article:
“James Hansen was quoted in 2009 in The Guardian as saying: “the democratic process doesn’t quite seem to be working”1. In a special issue of the journal Environmental Politics in 2010, political scientist Mark Beeson argued too that forms of ‘good’ authoritarianism “may become not only justifiable, but essential for the survival of humanity in anything approaching a civilized form”.

I don’t think their joking. A good student of history will know that this has been an issue since the Bolshevik Revolution. One of the main benefits cited for central control is efficiency. In response British and American elite alike toasted fascism in the 1920s as Mussolini was the first to “get the trains to run on time.” Churchill’s quote you paraphrased, “…except for all the others that have been tried,” came after WWII; up to 1930 he was part of the pro-fascist crowd.

Charles and Anne Lindbergh were big supporter of fascism up until Pearl Harbor. Anne’s book “The Wave [fascism] of the Future,” (1940) was an apology for fascism as a necessary, temporary unpleasantly to establish a necessary world order.

Fascism turned out to have a unforeseen downside; Bolshevism too, about equal numbers of millions tortured and murdered. But don’t be too sure that we have seen the last of them. There will always be emergencies and alarms as a pretext to centralize power.

36. Ron,
We discussed Hansen earlier. Beeson is a political scientist. I was referring to physical scientists specifically, as that is what I assumed the Nature comment was referring to. I also don’t think that criticising our current democracy is necessarily an argument for something that wouldn’t be recognised as a democracy. In my opinion, those who associate any criticism of how our democracies are working at the moment, as an argument for some kind of authoritarian alternative, need to consider their own role in attempting to delegitimise alternative views.

37. Ron,
In fact, if you follow the link here, you should discover that the Hansen quote was taken out of context.

38. Ron Graf says:

In my opinion, those who associate any criticism of how our democracies are working at the moment, as an argument for some kind of authoritarian alternative, need to consider their own role in attempting to delegitimize alternative views.

There is a clear difference between having disagreements within democracy and having a disagreement with democracy. I think you even unwittingly made my point by inferring that my current dissent on CAGW is a problem. Dissent is not a problem to be solved by crushing or misinforming. We both agree on that I am sure. All skeptics I know are diligently and patriotically informing themselves as to the truth. I presume alarmists believe they have already found it. Nobody should be quick to censor or silence debate. Unfortunately, such behavior breaches trust and makes debate that follows that much more difficult. My alarm was learning of the MBH/Climategate affair last year. Before that I was more on board with CO2 mitigation than I am now. I think the same is true of JC and many others. The RICO 20 letter was a step back for your and my hopes of informative debate. Mutual trust in sincere motives is paramount.

39. Joshua says:

==> “I presume alarmists believe they have already found it. Nobody should be quick to censor or silence debate. ”

What is the purpose of using a polemic to describe those who are more concerned about the risks posed by ACO2 than you? Is it not to undermine their expression of their opinions?

40. Ron Graf says:

Joshua,
I am sorry for using alarmist. Do you prefer warmist, CAGW proponent, believers in the consensus? I will defend your right to wholesome civil debate and never intentionally belittle or bully. I might kid you but please take any such in good temper.

41. Speaking of Jim, here’s jim2 indirectly acknowledging Alan Longhurst’s gamesmanship:

Willard found a problem. He gets 10 Obumbles points.

http://judithcurry.com/2015/09/27/regional-anomalies-in-the-evolution-of-surface-air-temperature/#comment-733583

42. Joshua says:

==> “I am sorry for using alarmist. ”

Why did you use a polemic to describe those who are more concerned than you about the risks posed by ACO2? I don’t care if you’re sorry, I’m curious about why you would use a polemic and then say that you want to stimulate discussion from varying perspectives. It seems contradictory.

43. Ron Graf says:

I was sorry that I was misunderstood as being intentionally impolite. I had the impression (perhaps falsely) that commenters here have been around the block a few times and can pay little mind to the term “alarmist,” which expresses exactly what I perceive is the socio-emotional effect supporting the CAGW belief on tenuous evidence. But you are right. I should have the patience to voice that rather than wrap it up in a term. I will not use the term again. You have my word.

How do you feel giving up the term “denier?” It suffers the problem more in my mind more than “alarmist,” especially because it is associated with religious bigotry.

You never answered me with a one or two-word polite descriptor of the CAGW perspective.

And even though “skeptic” implies an unhealthy skepticism I will not burden you with the request to address me as a “healthy skeptic.” Skeptic is fine.

Cheers!

44. Dear contrarians,

Oh, and since we’re into labeling:

What a few years can change.

45. Joshua says:

==> “I was sorry that I was misunderstood as being intentionally impolite. ”

You used a polemic to describe those that are more concerned than you about the risks posed by ACO2. How is using a polemic anything other than intentionally impolite? It’s a fucking polemic.

And gain, I couldn’t care less about whether you’re polite. What is interesting is that on the one hand, you use a polemic to describe those that you’re engaged in discussion with, and then turn around and say that you’re interested in good faith engagement.

You can keep trying to display a lack of accountability for your actions, but it won’t work. You used a polemic. If you show accountability for using a polemic, then you can have a chance of realizing your intention of good faith exchange.

==> “…that commenters here have been around the block a few times and can pay little mind to the term “alarmist,…”

Why should I “pay little mind” to your use of a polemic to describe those that you say you’re interested in engaging with? I think that your use of a polemic shows that there’s something wrong with your approach to good faith exchange.

==> ” which expresses exactly what I perceive is the socio-emotional effect supporting the CAGW belief on tenuous evidence….”

So then you double-down, with a lame attempt at something on the order of: “I used a polemic because in my perception is that the polemic I used is accurate. But I’m interested in good faith exchange.”

It is to laugh.

==> “How do you feel giving up the term “denier?” I

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? (in this case, your use of a polemic to describe those who are more concerned than you about the risks posed by ACO2?)

==> “It suffers the problem more in my mind more than “alarmist,” especially because it is associated with religious bigotry.”

So here, after (1) arguing that the problem is mine – because I’m not hardened enough or some other lame line of reasoning, (2) justifying the use of a polemic, and (3) trying to shift the focus to my opinions about “denier,” you now go with a 4th weapon from the tired sameosameo bag of tricks – moral equivocation. A polemic is a polemic, and no moral equivocating will justify YOUR contradictory action of using of a polemic to describe those who are more concerned than you about the risks posed by ACO2 as you say that you’re interested in advancing good faith exchange.

==> “You never answered me with a one or two-word polite descriptor of the CAGW perspective.”

Use whatever term you want. I don’t care what term you decide to use. It is YOUR responsibility to decide, not mine to tell you what term I think that you should use. But when you use a polemic, understand that it seem contradictory to an intent to exchange views in good faith (as does your list of excuses, justifications, and shifting the focus).

==> “And even though “skeptic” implies an unhealthy skepticism I will not burden you with the request to address me as a “healthy skeptic.” Skeptic is fine.”

I love that. The ol’ “Of course, your use of scare quotes justifies a ‘you do it toooouuu’ response, but I won’t actually use a ‘you do it tooouuu.” response because I’m bigger than that.”

For your information, use “skeptic” and “realist” because the terms skeptic and realist are terms that people use for themselves. I put scare quotes around both to connote that I have seen skeptical “skeptics,” unskeptical “skeptics,” realistic “skeptics,” unrealistic “skeptics,” skeptical “realists,” unskeptical “realists,” realistic “reallists,” and unrealilstic “realists,” I have sometimes used SWIRLCARE (Someone Who Is Relatively Less Concerned About Recent Emissions) and SWIRMCARE (Some Who Is Relatively More Concerned About Recent Emissions), but obviously it is unwieldy terminology…

But once again, it simply won’t work for you to justify your use of a polemic by focusing on what terms I use. Whatever decisions you make about whatever terms you use, including polemics, cannot be justified on the basis of what terms I use.

46. Ron Graf says:

Willard,

Do really have wall of post Steve McIntyre grudge quotes? It seems you are on the verge of going live with a fake Steve site ala Fake Tony. Has Steve ever censored your comment that was on topic and civil?. The current topic is wondering if diverting millions of dollars in public grants to family members and foreign private philanthropies is normal for climate science and whether is is legal and is anyone going to investigate besides Steve et al.

If you wanted to build some good will I think this would be an excellent opportunity to find common ground, all..

47. Willard says:

> The current topic is […]

… a Nature editorial from a Hartwell guy about subverting democracy, RonG, an editorial that might very well be a strawman.

Thank you again for your concerns, even if your lack of civility is starting to show a bit more.

48. Ron,

I think you even unwittingly made my point by inferring that my current dissent on CAGW is a problem.

Where? I don’t remember doing that.

49. Andrew Dodds says:

Ron –

Nowadays, it’;s usually financial crises that are used as an excuse for a power grab. Far more effective than the somewhat abstract issues of global warming. Globally, the various bail outs and loan guarantees made in a few months in 2008 were of a similar magnitude to those required to fix global warming, except with zero transparency, little if any democratic oversight and dubious benefits. Really, if you are worried about democracy being subverted and your tax dollars being spirited away, you are looking in the wrong place.

I’ve never quite seen why getting rid of CO2 emissions requires some sort of dictatorship. It requires determined and sustained government action, but only in the energy sector. Trying to change behavior en masse would not be effective anyway.

Oh, and what does the ‘C’ in ‘CAGW’ actually mean, in concrete terms? You must know if you use the term…

50. Ron,

My alarm was learning of the MBH/Climategate affair last year.

The only MBH affair is – as far as I’ve seen – that concocted by people who don’t like what the original MBH paper illustrated – that temperatures today are likely higher than they been for hundreds of years, and rising faster than they’ve risen for hundreds of years. That basic result still stands and has been strengthened. Most of Climategate is a fake scandal. There was (as I understand it) one request to delete emails, which was not actually carried out. Other than that, most of the emails seem to have been taken out of context.

51. bill shockley says:

bill shockley said:
According to Hedges, Sanders also supports Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians

I think what Hedges was referring to was Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer, and Sanders defending or supporting the action. The Israel conflict appears to be a vulnerable or blind spot for Sanders, and Hedges’ attitude may derive from this… I don’t know. I think they both have work to do. Hedges on getting the facts right and Sanders being more objective. Hedges is not the only left-leaning colleague of Sanders that criticizes him on this issue.

Kevin, thanks again for catching that error of Hedges. I would not have expected something that glaring from him and I wonder how he gets away with it. These guys meet each other fairly often on panels in front of audiences. From Sept., 2014, here’s Sanders, Sawant, Klein, McKibben, Hedges… I think it really pissed off Hedges that Sanders jumped the Independent ship and signed on with the money, err, Democratic Party.

Sanders getting into it with the audience over Israel/Palestine (adjust your volume down)
at a small town hall presentation (youtube).

Hedges and Nader on Sanders, Israel, corporatism, etc.

“We’ve seen that routine before,” Nader said. “Unfortunately, Dennis Kucinich had to toe the line. He was done by April. They even kept him out of some of the debates. Yes, we have seen it before. They are done by April. And then they are forced into a loyalty oath to whoever wins the nomination. And of course, it’s invariably the corporate Democrats.”

52. Ron Graf says:

I guess I thought the topic was whether the fear that divisive issues could tempt some to attempt to silence opposing points of view with the result of threatening everyone’s right to expression (in a Democracy).

When ATTP wrote: “In my opinion, those who associate any criticism of how our democracies are working at the moment, as an argument for some kind of authoritarian alternative, need to consider their own role in attempting to delegitimise alternative views.”

I took that to mean that attempting to deliigitimise alternative points of view was itself culpable for threatening democracy by making it unworkable by those who care about solving problems. I would argue that deligitimising alternative points of view is the goal of any debate. So if you are not for that you can hardly be for democracy.

The term denier is designed to deligitimise and alternative point of view. Saying the other side is only motivated by self-interest without regard to the destruction of the common welfare is that. Saying someone is mentally ill, disrespectful of authority, cold-hearted, tribal, etc… These are all weaker arguments than the facts of the subject at hand but since we all know they cannot be dismissed they are a great diversion when one find oneself on thin ground. The more we are certain the other side is guilty the more license we give ourselves to commit the offense. The extreme result is the loss of democracy. But those culpable for its loss are not those that expressed the alternative point of view; its those who granted themselves justified dispensation from civility.

This is why Steve cautioned against the use of the term warmist even though the other side uses labels. He was more wise than I.

53. bill shockley says:

Correct link for “Sanders, Sawant, Klein, McKibben, Hedges”:

54. Ron,

I took that to mean that attempting to deliigitimise alternative points of view was itself culpable for threatening democracy by making it unworkable by those who care about solving problems. I would argue that deligitimising alternative points of view is the goal of any debate. So if you are not for that you can hardly be for democracy.

Yes, but I was referring to situations where people try to deligitimise an alternative viewpoint by claiming that that alternative is arguing for an alternative to democracy. To me that seems ironic. If you want to point out that someone else is wrong, or disagree with their view, that’s – to me, at least – a fundamental part of democracy. If you, however, simply suggest that others are arguing for an end to democracy, rather than actually addressing what they’ve really said, that just seems like an attempt to deligitimise them, rather than actually engage with them.

55. Willard says:

> He was more wise than I.

“Was” might be the operative word:

Because “warmists” […] the parties who ought to have the most interest in the structure are warmists, rather than [contrarians].

[…]

[N]one so far at warmist blogs, not even at Michael Tobis’ aptly named Only In It for the Gold […]

http://climateaudit.org/2015/09/28/shuklas-gold/

Right into a blog post on legal matters, which allegedly we ought to turn to lawyers, and not without coatracking MT’s name.

You just can’t make this up.

56. Joshua says:

==> ” I would argue that deligitimising alternative points of view is the goal of any debate. ”

The point of discussion is to share views so as to be better informed and to solve problems. One of the problems in the climate wars is that combatants look at it as win/lose (with respect to the other “side”) and so, for example, they adopt polemics to reference the other “side” in a zero sum gain, scorched earth approach.

I’m all for devil’s advocacy, but the framework where there is a “debate” taking place, where opinions are already formed and people are essentially arguing for or against their particular opinion, does not work well for a problem as complex as climate change. With climate change, “solutions” are by definition trade-offs between externalized costs and benefits that can only be understood through a probablistic window, and the discussion necessarily mixes ideological proxy battles and the difficult task of risk assessment over long time frames.

The use of polemics isn’t a problem, per se, IMO. People are adults and the hurt feelings are really nothing more than strategic self-victimization (because really, who is actually hurt in any material way by the name-calling?). The name-calling is indicative of the problem – where people can’t get out of the way of the personality politics and ideological bickering long-enough to have a conversation.

57. Joshua says:

==> “The term denier is designed to deligitimise and alternative point of view.”

What is the designed purpose of “alarmist?”

58. Joshua says:

Say, willard –

Is there some formal term for the following gambit?

Well, if I were a lesser man than I am, I could make argument X (which I’ll explain in detail) that shows that you’re a [Y] or that your argument is [Z], but since I’m a bigger man than you, I won’t actually make argument X.

59. Willard says:

Here, Joshua:

Apophasis is a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up.

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

As for the “I’m just a poor ClimateBall player” act, it’s an appeal to humility. We can detect a whiff of irony too. The ploy works within ethos, a mode of persuasion:

Ethos (plural: ethe) is an appeal to the authority or credibility of the presenter. It is how well the presenter convinces the audience that he or she is qualified to present (speak) on the particular subject. It can be done in many ways:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modes_of_persuasion#Ethos

Were it an argument, it would be an ad hominem. Do you think RonG uses it as such?

60. Joshua says:

==> “Do you think RonG use it as such?

Not directly, anyway I think it was offered more in defense than offense. .

61. anoilman says:

So… Ecomodernists are officially politically aligned with Global Warming Deniers;
http://desmog.uk/2015/09/29/breakthrough-institute-defends-ecomodernism-launch-climate-denier-owen-paterson-despite-warnings-not

Well, isn’t that special.

I bet that doesn’t surprise anyone here. The burning question is whether they get dental with this PR spree?

62. Ron Graf says:

Joshua: “The point of discussion is to share views so as to be better informed and to solve problems. One of the problems in the climate wars is that combatants look at it as win/lose (with respect to the other “side”) and so, for example, they adopt polemics to reference the other “side” in a zero sum gain, scorched earth approach.

I could not agree with you more on this and the rest of your comment above. Agreeing on the principles on which debate can begin and rules of civility is a good start. IMO part of the climate debate’s problem is that many in our society have either forgotten or never learned how to solve problems through debate. It can be done. We all have to hope it can be done because the only alternative is to go backwards to who has the biggest club. When that is the game we give who we perceive is our sides leader a big club and applaud when it is used. IMO process matters. Democracy matters. And if and when the debate questions the efficacy of democracy in balance with expedience alarm bells should go off for all concerned, regardless of which side of the debate one is on. I understand that ATTP believes that issue was brought up simply to sound those alarm bells without warrant. I disagree. IMO society can lose democracy incrementally before it loses it in a fell swoop. A large part of the lukewarmer position is the greater threat to our children’s liberties looms than to their climate. It’s a balance like all political debates. The scientific debate provides weights for the balance. So people like Steve M are looking to keep the science honest, IMO, and also try his best not to get into the political debate.

MBH was bad science. Whether past climate had swings to the same degree as the last 100 years is something we still don’t have a clue about. The proxy evidence does not have the response of a mercury thermometer to tell us that. Dendrochronology is fraught with bias and confounding influences. The fact that the IPCC put pressure on Mann to solve the “cosmetic problems” of MBH and Mann in turn put pressure on Briffa to reluctantly compromise his ethics and go along. Its all here.

63. BBD says:

MBH was bad science. Whether past climate had swings to the same degree as the last 100 years is something we still don’t have a clue about.

A false claim invalidated by fifteen years of research and numerous millennial reconstructions.

When I see this sort of thing, I switch off because (a) the person writing does not know whereof they speak and (b) they are engaging in a polemic not a debate.

64. Ron,

Democracy matters. And if and when the debate questions the efficacy of democracy in balance with expedience alarm bells should go off for all concerned, regardless of which side of the debate one is on. I understand that ATTP believes that issue was brought up simply to sound those alarm bells without warrant.

No, that isn’t what I believe. I believe that the Nature comment that this post is about is one massive strawman. The only example of a scientist supposedly suggesting subverting democracy was taken out of context. The point is that there isn’t any substantial evidence of scientists wanting to turn us into some kind of authoritarian technocracy. Writing a comment to suggest that this is what scientists want, is simply dishonest.

A large part of the lukewarmer position is the greater threat to our children’s liberties looms than to their climate.

They should be able to do this without dismissing evidence that appears inconvenient to what they would like to promote.

No it was not. It was an early piece of work using a method in a non-standard way, that had a limited number of proxies. This is not the definition of bad science. That is, typically, how science works. The amount of available data increases with time, and methods improve. That you can find reasons to criticise an early piece of work does not warrant calling it “bad science”.

65. Willard says:

How RonG succeeds in peddling in “but MBH” and “but IPCC” is a thing of beauty.

Millll-yun Years [1] to evolve into ClimateBall.

66. Joshua says:

==> “. IMO society can lose democracy incrementally before it loses it in a fell swoop.

Partisans love slippery slopes.

If you look at the longer term trajectory of our society, it is strongly in the direction of greater freedom of speech, greater freedom to investigate science, etc. Even in the shorter term, the balance in the trajectory is clear (women acquiring the vote, the end of poll taxes and other discriminatory practices, increased public support for openness about sexuality, etc.). It is unfortunate, IMO, that people exploit slippery slope arguments to self-victimize – which is what people are doing when the cherry-pick specific phenomena that align with their own political ideology to paint counterfactual speculation about what will happen in the future to silence them.

Of course, society can lose democracy incrementally before a fell swoop loss on a grand scale. So what is the evidence of some incremental trend?

I don’t support the RICO initiative because I think it’s basically exploitative: the chances of a conviction for a massive and deliberate attempt to deceive the public seem extremely small to me. Although there is precedent with the tobacco case, precedent that we would likely have doubted prior to the seeing the evidence that was eventually revealed, from where I sit now I think that there is an obvious defense that people were presenting the evidence that they found credible.

But the drama-queening about what the RICO initiative represents to “skeptics” ability to express their opinions is likewise exploitative.

From both sides, the exploitation is exactly what we would predict: people using fundamental principles to question the morality and ethics of those who don’t align with their own ideological orientation.

67. Joshua says:

==> “So people like Steve M are looking to keep the science honest, IMO,…”

I can’t speak to Steve’s intent, but I do know that his recent post about Klinger is in line with the actions of a partisan. So he says that what Klinger said is “completely untrue” – when Klinger spoke of something that he recalled. That isn’t a matter for someone else to make a pronouncement w/r/t “truth.” Further, Steve points out evidence where ‘skeptics” did object to Cuccinelli’s initiative, which is just fine because it helps to provide context with regard to what Klinger recalls, but then he goes further in not faithfully discussing of the widespread support for Cuccinelli which did exist in the “skeptic” community.

That is a failure w/r/t good faith exchange of the sort I spoke of above. As a scientist, Steve should know better than to pronounce the “truth” in reference to what someone else recalled. He should also know better that to present a partial picture of the evidence related to Klinger’s recall is the work of a partisan, and not something consistent with the principles of scientific practice.

68. Joshua says:

And Ron –

BTW – Mr. “trying to keep the science honest” has me in automatic moderation. At this point, it seems that he’s only posting my comments pending an individual review and a decision as to whether to include an in-line editorial response before posting.

Of course, it’s his blog and he holds the moderation hammer, so all’s fair for him to treat guests into his home in whatever way he wants to…but I’ve rarely posted there before and when I’ve done so, I haven’t done anything that I can see why moderation would be justified. It seems that Steve is not interested in un-moderated responses from me because they’re not in line with his own personal views.

69. Vinny Burgoo says:

Lovelock.

70. Vinny,
?

71. Michael 2 says:

“Well, as far as I’m concerned, free speech and the right to criticise policy makers is a fundamental part of our modern democracies.”

I am trying to remember when that was true in your nation or mine. Perhaps you could remind me. The UK (*) has less freedom of speech than the United States, and in the U.S. only certain kinds of speech are free and it changes unpredictably as to what is approved.

“In 2012, a student was imprisoned for 56 days (*) for making racist comments on Twitter. Also in 2012, a 20-year-old man was sentenced to 240 hours’ community service for writing on his Facebook page: All [British] soldiers should die and go to hell.”
Quoted from https://reason.com/archives/2015/04/26/the-slow-death-of-free-speech-in-britain

the United States doesn’t (yet) have the equivalent of an ASBO – anti social behavior order of which speech offenses are included in a long list of forbidden behaviors including “rudeness”.

“A 13-year-old forbidden to use the word ‘grass’ as a term of abuse in order to threaten people.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-social_behaviour_order

Maybe I will try to discover in what context “grass” is threatening to anyone.

72. Vinny Burgoo says:

Lovelock, 2010: ‘Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.’

Other prominent figures have said similar things, but no doubt none of them are true Scotsmen.

73. Joshua says:

Vinny –

What do you suppose that Lovelock meant? Which instances was he talking about when he spoke of democracy being put on hold for the time being?

74. Ron Graf says:

@BBD: I am very curious at which are your most convincing proxy reconstructions that demonstrate the static past claim. Finding a proxy that does not have 20th century divergence problems would be nice. Lukewarmers are more interested than anyone to see evidence. It seems to me the recently published Ocean2K study was unnecessarily held for a few years until they could create a palatable explanation and presentation. Their press release does not accurately reflect their paper’s facts. And their paper’s most important evidence is hidden in the supplementary material. Here is my summarizing comment on this.

@ATTP re MBH: “It was an early piece of work using a method in a non-standard way…”

MBH was hailed, embraced and showcased. It was made the cover jacket of TAR. I stared in a major motion picture. It was garbage. If a retired geologist had not been suspicious (skeptical) and gotten a hold a its data somehow it would still be your showcase. If I had invested heavily into the concern for global warming at 2003 I would be angry with Mann not protect him as my spiritual guide (not that I am saying he is your’s).

Re: The CAGW threatens democracy “strawman.” I think you misunderstood me while I was misunderstanding you. Way too complicated. Bottom line is lukewarmer point of view sees democracy always under threat. Ben Franklin famously said “You have your republic; it’s now yours to lose.” Thomas Jefferson predicted revolutions would be needed to preserve it. James Madison fought for a bill of rights in the US Constitution against those who strongly felt it unnecessary. Although it is true that wealth and tech provides freedoms I remember having a much free-er childhood. Most young people are not even taught that security is sacrificed for liberty. Authority expansion is an encroachment on liberty. The American left applauds Pres. Obama for throwing off the shackles of the constitution. They may not like it when a president of a different party follows precedent.

@Joshua re: SteveM: It was pointed out that Klinger’s mind could not be read about his honest recall but the slightest cell phone check would have provided contrary facts to his public pronouncement. Re: CA pre-moderation. If you have a good comment that he does not let out of moderation you can post it here and we can discuss. I will defend your comment’s rights if it’s honest and insightful. BTW, I thank our host for taking me off the list and allowing me to comment freely lately. I hope I answered everyone.

75. Joshua says:

Ron –

==> “@Joshua re: SteveM: It was pointed out that Klinger’s mind could not be read about his honest recall but the slightest cell phone check would have provided contrary facts to his public pronouncement.”

Sure. But as I tried to say in a comment that’s held up in moderation, Klinger didn’t make a statement of fact, only one of his recall. I won’t defend his lack of due diligence, but to the extent that any of this is important, what’s relevant is whether or not it’s true that many of the same “skeptics” who are concerned about the free speech implications of the RICO initiative are being selective in their concern. That Klinger’s recall may not have been completely accurate in that there were some “skeptics” who criticized Cuccinelli’s is of some importance, but it doesn’t speak to the entirely of the issue in play.

76. anoilman says:

Ron Graf, MBH98 was spot on, and still is. All future work in the field is well well within error margins. There are no known flaws. But the work has been repeated with multiple different techniques and different data sets. No concerns any note to date.

77. Marco says:

“If a retired geologist had not been suspicious (skeptical) and gotten a hold a its data somehow it would still be your showcase.”

This is what is garbage. There had already been numerous other reconstructions since 2001, including at least one from Mann himself.

“It seems to me the recently published Ocean2K study was unnecessarily held for a few years until they could create a palatable explanation and presentation”

This is what we call conspiracy ideation. Assuming motive without even the slightest and tiniest evidence other than one’s own imagination (with a little help from McIntyre, of course – I must say he is really good at the dog whistle).

78. Ron,
I’ll add something about the Lovelock quote. As Eli points out there is a genuine concern that we may be forced into that kind of situation. If you consider the emissions reductions that would be required, if we wait long enough, the rate of emission reduction would be so drastic that it’s hard to see how we could achieve that without some kind of central oversight. So, if we really do want to minimise the chance that we’ll be forced into a situation where we put demoracy on hold, it would seem safer to start slow (and manageable) emissions reductions now, than to wait a few more decades and then have to undertake drastic reductions.

79. Ron,

MBH was hailed, embraced and showcased. It was made the cover jacket of TAR. I stared in a major motion picture. It was garbage.

Firstly, none of this really matters. MBH is a paper, how it was used is not a paper. Also, the basic result still stands. Noone has been mis-informed by how it has been used. It also was not garbage.

Way too complicated. Bottom line is lukewarmer point of view sees democracy always under threat.

Fine, then why don’t they consider the possibility that climate disruption could – itself – be a threat to democracy? Being concerned about threats to democracy seems fine, but ignoring a potential threat seems rather disindenuous.

80. Andrew Dodds says:

Ron –

Again, how is action on global warming a threat to democracy?

For example, would a program to replace fossil fueled electricity generation with nuclear power be a threat to democracy? And if so, how? Did the US interstate highway program – a similar huge federal project in the US – somehow destroy democracy?

81. BBD says:

RonG

@BBD: I am very curious at which are your most convincing proxy reconstructions that demonstrate the static past claim.

Where did a make a ‘static past claim’?

But if I were a lukewarmer I *would* want a flat handle on my hockey stick. I would *not* want a global, synchronous MWP as warm as or warmer than the present. Have you ever actually thought about this in any detail?

Finding a proxy that does not have 20th century divergence problems would be nice.

We don’t need proxies to reconstruct C20th temperatures. We have the instrumental record for that.

Lukewarmers are more interested than anyone to see evidence.

Lukewarmers *always* deny palaeoclimate evidence as it is incompatible with low climate sensitivity. Just think about deglaciation under orbital forcing for a moment.

It seems to me the recently published Ocean2K study was unnecessarily held for a few years until they could create a palatable explanation and presentation.

It seems to me that this is rubbish, and paranoid, conspiratorial rubbish at that.

82. Sam taylor says:

Has anyone yet made the point that democracy might very well be subverted by a 2C or more increase in global average temperature? Given the wrenching changes that seem likely to occur if such a barrier is breached, democracy as we know it might not exactly function very well. However, currently democracy doesn’t really seem up to stopping climate change either, and in a few nations (notably America) the state of their body politic is just appalling. The US system is in an absolutely dreadful state these days and is completely incapable of making anything other than piecemeal reform as it’s so riven by partisan gridlock. I’d go so far as to argue it’s probably broken beyond repair these days. It’s no wonder that no other country on the planet copies their system.

I mean, ultimately the purpose of democracy is to produce good governance. If it fails to do so, what’s so great about it?

83. Sam,

Has anyone yet made the point that democracy might very well be subverted by a 2C or more increase in global average temperature? Given the wrenching changes that seem likely to occur if such a barrier is breached, democracy as we know it might not exactly function very well.

That’s kind of the point I was making in this comment and what Eli was getting at in this post.

84. Sam taylor says:

Ah, I skimmed most of the thread but missed that. Cheers.

85. BBD says:

If denial is indeed fundamentally driven by fear it is hardly surprising there’s so much of it about.

86. Joshua says:

Ron –

Given that Anders doesn’t usually complain if I make comments that reference stuff that happens at other blogs, and assuming that if I keep it to a minimum here, he won’t object (in which case, of course, I’ll understand a deletion)….

Not that I think there’s much more to discuss…but as for McIntyre’s openness…here two comments that apparently he thinks don’t deserve seeing the light of day over at his blog:

Joshua
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 2:22 PM | Permalink
==> “Steve: Puh-leeze… It appears that Klinger made these allegations without any due diligence to verify whether the allegations were true and that Klinger’s false allegations were made recklessly”.

Klinger did not say that “no ‘skeptics’” criticized Cuccinelli. In such a case, it might be appropriate to say that his statement was “completely untrue.” In such a case, the implication would have been that he investigated the matter and was making a statement of fact. By he clearly delineated his “allegations,” as opinion based on recall.

It seems entirely appropriate to view his comment in context, as a indication that he believes that the predominating reaction among “skeptics” was in support of Cuccinelli – and as such, that is also an opinion that is worthy of evaluating the veracity.

The discussion of interest here, it seems to me, is not to selectively cull a few counterexamples. What is more interesting is to assess whether or not many, or some, or any “outraged” “skeptics” are drama-queening and exploiting the RICO initiative in ways that display a double-standard w/r/t any free speech implications. If the implication of hypocrisy among “skeptics” is counter to the evidence, bring it on as a way of elevating the discussion.

—-

Joshua
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 11:03 AM | Permalink
Obligated? No. Just as Judith wouldn’t be “obligated” to correct the opinions she expresses to account for conflicting evidence.

The discussion might be well-served if Klinger amended his statement to account for the evidence that Steve offers, just as the discussion might be advanced if Steve amended his post to include discussion of the widespread support for Cuccinelli among the “skeptic” community. So the question is whether people’s goal is to advance discussion or to advocate for a position/deligitimize alternative viewpoints.

Of course, any amendments by either of them wouldn’t alter the course of discussion about climate change to any meaningful degree.

Now if you see Klinger’s update…you’ll see that within the full context, indeed, just how unproductive is Steve’s outrage, outrage I say. In fact, Klinger amended his statement in in exactly the manner I suggested could be productive. Will McIntyre follow suit? You make the call.

http://mason.gmu.edu/~bklinger/ricoDebate.html

87. Michael 2 says:

Sam taylor says: (September 30, 2015 at 11:36 am) “I mean, ultimately the purpose of democracy is to produce good governance. If it fails to do so, what’s so great about it?”

The purpose of democracy is to be accepted by most of the people. That is what is great about it. As Churchill is reported to have said, democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.

My father once told me a benevolent dictatorship is the best form of government and I concur in theory. Seems to be Singapore is the only example of such a thing right now.

So if the majority want a movie star for President, well then give them what they want as otherwise you’ll have resistance, rebellion, maybe even revolution.

The only thing that can subvert democracy IS democracy; even the Soviet Union had elections. Perhaps you and others are conflating democracy with liberty. They are very different things. A dicator can easily decree liberty, more than exists in the United States; and a democracy can decide upon total socialism while still being a democracy.

88. Michael 2 says:

Sam taylor says: “It’s no wonder that no other country on the planet copies their system.”

Or looking at it the other direction, I am delighted that the United States has not copied the system of any other nation but chose carefully a system that works remarkably well for a geographically large nation with a culturally diversified population.

The United States is a republic, not a democracy.

89. Sam taylor says:

Erm, republics can be democracies. The two are not mutually exclusive. Unless you’re in the DRC.

And the American political system is plainly dreadful! Look at all the crazy people in positions of power! Snowballs in the senate! It barely seems capable of deep structural reform, hell it can’t even manage to overhaul the tax system, which is probably one if the most Byzantine and poorly designed in the world. Combined with a system which clearly cannot function adequately with so little bipartisan cooperation (cf the insane spectacle of the government shutdown the other year). It’s locked into a self reinforcing death spiral, and doesn’t seem like it’s going to pull out any time soon.

90. Michael 2 says:

Sam taylor writes “Erm, republics can be democracies. The two are not mutually exclusive.”

Inasmuch as neither term is rigorously defined, either can be many things. However, I treat a republic as a confederacy of little democracies. Washington State can choose to legalize marijuana while its neighbor Idaho does not; a thing impossible in a “democracy” where one size fits all.

“And the American political system is plainly dreadful!”

I’m with Churchill on this one; it’s the worst — except for all the others!

“Look at all the crazy people in positions of power!”

I am not equipped to make that diagnosis and I think neither are you. But it is a democracy that makes this possible. If you have a specific example in mind perhaps we can discuss it.

“Snowballs in the senate!”

Rather clever in my opinion. The fact that you remember this and select it from all other examples suggests its effectiveness.

The same game can be played with a hotball rather than a snowball:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/03/30/setting-the-record-straight-the-real-story-of-a-pivotal-climate-change-hearing/

“It barely seems capable of deep structural reform”

The structure is democracy. Reform citizens and government is reformed.

“it can’t even manage to overhaul the tax system, which is probably one if the most Byzantine and poorly designed in the world.”

It was carefully designed to do pretty much exactly what it does.

“Combined with a system which clearly cannot function adequately with so little bipartisan cooperation”

That is its most valued feature.

91. Ron Graf says:

@Joshua: “Klinger didn’t make a statement of fact, only one of his recall.”
In a generic legal defense I suppose you are correct. To people knowledgeable he was making a point that sounded like something likely true (that he knew was false) but he knew the public at large would not know that, so he went with it.
” That Klinger’s recall may not have been completely accurate in that there were some“skeptics” who criticized Cuccinelli’s is of some importance, but it doesn’t speak to the entirely of the issue in play.
I suppose in your mind every skeptic should have condemned Cuccinelli’s investigation of Mann using state of VA funds to make a dishonest claim masquerade as science. I agree this was not the correct way to go unless possibly had Briffa turned him in, wanting out of the scam. Or, there was some direct quid pro quo. Otherwise, it was the responsibility of the peer review process and the academic establishment to police itself. As Steve M knew, the IPCC’s Folland, and others, had been in on it all along and were actually applying pressure on Mann to fix “the problems. “

@Marco: re the conspiracy ideation meme, there is a full spectrum of climate skeptics, in degree of skepticism, in areas of skepticism and with all sorts of diverse position s on other scientific and political issues. The “your side must be mental” argument actually reveals a lack of factual points and the ability to articulate them.
ATTP: ” If you consider the emissions reductions that would be required, if we wait long enough, the rate of emission reduction would be so drastic that it’s hard to see how we could achieve that without some kind of central oversight.
The old “you can pay me know, or you can pay me later” argument. I will grant that emergencies are the historic pretext for usurping power from the individual. In actual emergencies resources can be reallocated as necessary under existing government with the ready consent of the public. America was divided 60/40 against helping England in WWII until Pearl Harbor. America was woefully unprepared, never having the political will until the danger was at the shore. But, on a dime the whole country united. All resources possible were devoted to the effort to succeed. We have the tools today to deal with climate change, never mind the unimaginable tech tools our grandchildren will have. Yet, tech tools make individual control temptingly simple (see G. Orwell). So is the wiser to surrender liberty early and often to avoid a later mega threat? Evidence matters for that choice.
”MBH is a paper, how it was used is not a paper.”
The pattern is very apparent to an observer becoming educated in the climate debate that both sides have a truth problem. The political vitriol has made it so divisive that perceived unfair play by the other side seems justification to do the same unfair play without apology. Both sides believe they are saving the planet from ruin. They’re not paid shills. Just take my word on it. BTW, both sides have conspiracy ideation; it’s natural (see Merchants of Doubt).
So, how the paper is used is a major point. The IPCC facts were used by Roger Pielke, Jr. in his testimony before congress. But since IPCC summaries typically spin presentation based on a different perception of the same facts Congressman Grijalva thought Pielke was lying or worse, being paid to lie by big oil. It turned out to be conspiracy ideation but there were no apologies to any of the 7 targets of federal investigation after nothing was found. There was a repeat of the same liberal lawmaker disbelief this summer when Judith Curry testified. (But she had already been freshly investigated, luckily.)
What I have noticed from my getting involved this year is that papers that support the cause, the “consensus,” often do not match their press release claims in any fashion. The first paper debate I followed as Marotzke and Forster (2015). Whether or not the central equation used was circular as Nic Lewis and skeptics claimed, the press release: “Skeptics who still doubt anthropogenic climate change have now been stripped of one of their last-ditch arguments.” was not even close to true. What they meant was that the IPCC models should have been programmed for more natural variability, and the fact that they are near the 95% invalidity mark to their probability densities does not invalidate them yet. We may be in a natural cold spell that is offsetting the lion’s share of the warming. I could even agree with that possibility because it is supported by slight 20th century signal of 20-year cycles. BTW, Mann supports this notion as of 2015. In 1998, however, there was no thought of a natural warm spell as a possibility. I point this out just to remind us that skeptics in 1998 were pointing out the plausible explanation of variability, which is exactly what MBH98 could have been motivated to quash.
Karl et al (2015): “There is was never a pause.” Not entirely correct. “Correcting the past SST still is not enough to get the models out of the woods.” Luckily Kevin Trenberth announced, “A jump is imminent.”
NASA: “July 2015 was the warmest month on record.” Truth: NASA measures such things by anomaly, not gross temperature. July is always the warmest month. Last July was the 3rd, 4th or 5th hottest month anomaly. But there is tremendous pressure to pound a message.
Ocean2k: “Today, the Earth is warming about 20 times faster than it cooled during the past 1,800 years…This study truly highlights the profound effects we are having on our climate today.”
Truth: The news release claims the instrumental record (blade) is alarming evidence of AGW by comparing its 20X slope to the smoothed 2K reconstruction, when it fact the study shows, with its higher resolution data portion, 20th century-like slopes could have been commonplace. Yet, ironically, the study’s own 20th century proxies show a limp blade, diverging without explanation from the instrumental record, reopening (unaddressed) questions about the validity of either the proxies or the instrumental record.
BBD: “We don’t need proxies to reconstruct C20th temperatures. We have the instrumental record for that.”
As I pointed out not being able to validate a proxy to a known instrumental period on a reproducible basis is essential for scientific method.
@Anoilman, Science is a method, not a result. Whether MBH98/99 were plausibly accurate enough for government work or a “untried method” is not material to the disregard of scientific controls and tests before MBH and peers certified results. Even Mann won’t claim MBH98 has “no concerns any note to date.”
Personally, I am suspending opinion about paleoclimate pending better methods and data. BBD, your point about low natural variability alleviating concern of high climate sensitivity is relevant. Validity would depend upon more factors in the dynamic. As you know, there are complicated feedbacks among numerous forcings, among them Solar, variable activity cycles and orbital geologic trend on insolation, cloud dynamics, including seeding from cosmic rays, ocean current dynamics on all time scales, albedo of land use as well as ice, the later having a strong feedback effect, aerosols, both natural volcanic and anthropogenic emissions as well as potential nuclear exchange or cosmic collision event, and finally GHGs and their residence time in the atmosphere. Climate is the result of the integral of all these forcings and their inter-feedback relational dynamics. But your side often repeats: “It’s just physics,” as the name of this blog site implies, for example. I noticed today the Jagadish Shuklas organization’s symposium slides are only half physics the other half is population studies, fossil fuel studies, wealth studies, culpability studies, personal attacks on rivals, bonding. They are not just geophysicists. They are activists in every sense. His letter to President Obama as 20 scientists belies the obvious contradiction when the second signer on the letter holds no degree in hard science.
That’s enough. Democracy stands for one more day.

92. Joshua says:

==> “I suppose in your mind every skeptic should have condemned Cuccinelli’s investigation of Mann using state of VA funds to make a dishonest claim masquerade as science.

No.

Only those “skeptics” who are now drama-queening about the RICO initiative, or who decry the “chilling” effect of the Italian geologists case, Mann v. Steyn, or Grijalva (which of course, applies to many).

The pearl-clutching in the “skepto-sphere” these days is out of control. Thread after thread about RICO – with “skeptics” self-victimizing and getting the vapors about winding up in jail.

In the tobacco case, there was solid evidence of deliberate distortion of the science to deceive the public. And even still, it had no “chilling effect” on science. A couple of execs lost their jobs and corporations were held accountable for breaking the law.

I doubt that there’s any chance of real evidence of deliberate deception turning up here. “Skeptics” actually believe what they are arguing. And if evidence does turn up, let the chips fall where they may.

93. Joshua says:

Also –

==> “To people knowledgeable he was making a point that sounded like something likely true (that he knew was false) but he knew the public at large would not know that, so he went with it.”

Huh? He knew it was false? He knew that the public wouldn’t know that it was false, so he went with it? Please explain from where you derive your mind-reading powers, and please explain how that argument makes logical sense given his update.

Please apply some skepticism to your arguments before you throw them out there.

94. Ron Graf said on October 1, 2015 at 3:22 am,

“What I have noticed from my getting involved this year is that papers that support the cause, the “consensus,” often do not match their press release claims in any fashion. The first paper debate I followed as Marotzke and Forster (2015). Whether or not the central equation used was circular as Nic Lewis and skeptics claimed,…”

The central question was most certainly not circular as Nic Lewis and skeptics claimed. Lewis claimed that that Marotzke and Forster (2015) made a purely mathematical mistake. But I gave (an admittedly over the top) mathematical proof here
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/models-dont-over-estimate-warming/#comment-48402
on February 18, 2015 at 10:33 am under “Models don’t over-estimate warming?” with some later follow-ups such as one here
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/nic-lewiss-latest-estimates/#comment-57630
on June 11, 2015 at 9:35 am under “Nic Lewis’s latest estimates” (in which I go into much more detail on the relevant theorem of group theory and its implications while I directly addressed Nic in the comments) that it was Nic who made a purely mathematical mistake in this claim of his. I showed that the M&F construction he claimed was invalid was actually quite valid – the validity of the construction in question is implied by one of the most basic theorems in group theory, found in any introductory abstract algebra textbook. That is, we can always obtain the construction in question via composition of functions on any unary function in any group. (The set of real numbers under addition is a commutative group.)

“…the press release: “Skeptics who still doubt anthropogenic climate change have now been stripped of one of their last-ditch arguments.” was not even close to true.”

Not so. Their 62 year runs combined with Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015) and their taking into account the NMO shows that the warming underlying the apparent multidecadal oscillations of the NMO is tracking the projections of the models well.

“I could even agree with that possibility because it is supported by slight 20th century signal of 20-year cycles. BTW, Mann supports this notion as of 2015.”

No, the cycles are related to the NMO in question, which has apparent cycles of at least 50 years since the late 1800s.

The two studies I mention above take into account oscillations up to roughly 60 years in length to address underlying behavior. Look at the three graphs, especially the 30 year running mean and most especially the 60 year running mean, in my comment
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/hmmm-entering-a-cooling-phase/#comment-57068
on May 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm under “Hmmm, entering a cooling phase?” and note that this 60 year moving average clearly tracks the graph of a positively accelerated function.

The models are consistent with this, and this proves beyond all reasonable doubt that statistically they are not only close to this truth of the *underlying* warming, but on this truth.

And that’s right – *positively accelerated*. It shows that the *underlying* global warming is *still* positively accelerating even with the inclusion of the data from these last 20 years, since whatever slowdown that may have happened over these 20 years due to the negative phase of the NMO has *not* been enough to pull down this *underlying* positive acceleration. Not good news for our future.

Treating the negative parts of the multidecadal variations as “evidence” against the models is wrong, since it’s similar enough to the mathematical nonsense of treating the negative parts of the cycles in the curve given by the function h(x) = 17cos(x) + x^1.9 to be “evidence” against the *fact* that the function f(x) = x^1.9 gives the underlying positively accelerated curve that function h(x) tracks upward with and oscillates around. (I created function h with its subfunction f for purely pedagogical reasons to try to show people what seems to be going on in global average surface temperatures since the late 1800s. How the graph of the 30 year running mean compares to the graph of the 60 year running mean since the late 1800s seems to suggest enough similarities to how the graph of function h compares to the graph of function f for sufficiently low values of x.)

And for the future: I note that all this is consistent with this article
“No More ‘Hiatus’ – Human Emission to Completely Overwhelm Nature by 2030”
https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/no-more-hiatus-human-emission-to-completely-overwhelm-nature-by-2030/
that speaks of two recent studies that say that starting around 2030 or perhaps well before 2030 (when the NMO goes back into a strongly increasing phrase for the middle parts of the 21st century), the underlying global warming signal (shown clearly by that 60 year running mean) caused by increasing greenhouse gases will probably become strong enough to overwhelm all the multi-decadal natural oscillation (like the NMO) and we may not see even just a notable slowdown again *as long as* greenhouse gases keep spewing into the atmosphere at these high rates.

95. Willard says:

> To people knowledgeable he was making a point that sounded like something likely true (that he knew was false) but he knew the public at large would not know that, so he went with it.

These people are so knowledgeable they know Klinger’s knowledge base and can dispense themselves from technicalities like belief opacity.

These people are so knowledgeable there is no need to read anything else than one single sentence Klinger wrote.

So knowledgeable in fact that nobody has to remind them of the scope of the Auditor’s latest rebuttal:

To be clear – and this nuance was not recognized by all readers – I did not challenge Cuccinelli’s right to investigate financial impropriety; […]

http://climateaudit.org/2015/09/25/disinformation-from-barry-klinger-and-the-rico-20/

(Note that the word “disinformation” has been changed in the latest version of that editorial.)

To people who read the Auditor’s latest doxxing job, that nuance reveals its full-bodied flavor.

96. Willard says:

How to address one’s concerns to knowledgeable people:

Say things like “some are worried that Europe is opening its doors to potential terrorists”.

Show some footing showing a “swarm” of people shouting something about Allah.

Insert caption where we can read TERRORISTS INBOUND?.

Add the caveat that (just in case this nuance is not recognized by all listeners) that nobody’s suggesting that anyone in this swarm is a terrorist and explicitly declare that the point of this footing is to highlight “how many of these refugees are Muslims.”

From then, let knowledgeable people do their job.

97. BBD says:

RonG

As I pointed out not being able to validate a proxy to a known instrumental period on a reproducible basis is essential for scientific method.

Concerns about the late C20th dendro proxy divergence do not amount to a demonstration that dendro proxies have not been validated to the instrumental period. As for isotopic analysis of sediment cores, this argument is entirely irrelevant. Same goes for speleotherms, ice cores, pollen and insect assemblages from lake sediment cores etc.

Personally, I am suspending opinion about paleoclimate pending better methods and data.

In other words, you are blanking evidence that invalidates your argument. In doing so, you automatically concede the point.

BBD, your point about low natural variability alleviating concern of high climate sensitivity is relevant.

That wasn’t my point at all. Low natural variability does not in any way ‘alleviate’ the problem of moderate to high climate sensitivity if CO2 forcing is cranked up rapidly.

Validity would depend upon more factors in the dynamic. As you know, [… misdirective Gish Gallop removed… ]. Climate is the result of the integral of all these forcings and their inter-feedback relational dynamics. But your side often repeats: “It’s just physics,” as the name of this blog site implies, for example.

It *is* just physics – specifically greenhouse gas forcing. It works – see eg. the PETM for an excellent example of a GHG-forced hyperthermal. All this denial underlines why it is necessary to keep pointing out that it is just physics because you cannot deny physics.

98. Ron Graf says:

Sorry for the pause here. I was responding to a democracy alarm sounded after a group of 20 climate scientists and merchandisers wrote a letter to the president of the USA asking for prosecution of their opponents under a anti-racketeering law. Those that highly concerned for climate change (THCCC) apparently did not see a danger to free speech here.

Joshua:

I doubt that there’s any chance of real evidence of deliberate deception turning up here. “Skeptics” actually believe what they are arguing. And if evidence does turn up, let the chips fall where they may.

That is the point exactly. There is no way to read minds so proof of intentional deception turns on the need for incontrovertible facts to have been concealed. For example, using somebody else’s identify to obtain a credit card, selling heroin, etc… You know as well as those scientists that there is not such evidence. If giving only half the truth is a crime then the president himself is in trouble (and every lawyer, politician and salesman). Actually, Obama was dangerously reaching for plausible deniabilty on “if you like your health plan you will be able to keep it.”

Joshua, I’m not shocked that your comment didn’t come out of moderation on CA. I and a lot of others have comments on the current post there in moderation. Steve says he is trying to keep the discussion focused and I see him playing that pretty evenly. If you have a succinct comment that is pertinent and informative to the topic other than Steve is a hypocrite or the usual climateball I think there is a chance you could get in the discussion; ATTP does occasionally.

Since you shared your comment in moderation I will share mine here:

Dave Verardo: “I think your blog is at its best when you audit both sides of a technical piece.”
I believe all here agree on hearing both sides, which is why we appreciate your comments. I mean that.
As a US taxpayer I have a few funding questions:

1) Is there any NSF policies regarding looking for “double-dipping” and how that is defined and how it would affect decisions for awarding a grant or terminating one already active?

2) What is the NSF policy on using science award money for political “education” or political based research? How would that be defined? For example, on the COLA slide presentation there is one for “culpability” of what nations placed the current (assumed excessive) CO2 in the atmosphere, clearly laying groundwork for international grievance. What would happen if a money specified for weather prediction goes for programs for climate justice, or start a school in India?

3) Is it legal or within policy now for NSF to fund advancement of environmental justice? What about using funds for lobbying? Does it matter, for example, if IGES letterhead was used in the RICO letter? What if it was personal letterhead of the first signer but all the other twenty were employees of a NSF funded NPO?

4) Is there currently any guidance given, or review done, of awardees by the NSF to look for conflicts of interest? For example, is a board of directors of three, with one being the executive director and the other two personal friends, be a red flag? Can the NPO leadership be dominated by one family? What is a reasonable compensation formula for the CEO?

5) Finally, if there is a breach found what are possible consequences? Can the accused use and NSF award to fund a legal defense, countersue, sue detractors for libel? Does NSF have power to control this?

Verardo is very important as being the NSF funding agent in charge of overseeing paleoclimateolgy. He is the one that denied McIntyre’s FOIA for Mann’s data on the grounds that Mann had proprietary rights to his work product, despite public funding. Verardo said his hands were tied by the general council of the NSF on that issue. Steve et al would like to explore that further.

KeefeAndAmanda, regarding M&F15, I believe that you as well as others were barking up the wrong tree focusing on the equation. Models are inherently circular. The usefulness of models derives from the ability to make iterations of analysis of instrumental against the theoretical, equally valuable as a check of the instrument as well as the theory. As to which gets altered goes to other outside knowledge. This is Bayesian logic, which when working with an extremely faint signal against unvalidated theory that has a dozen know confounding influences, is tricky. I believe Lewis reading M&F’s conclusions, knew they were politically motivated as well as nonsensical and looked to the math, being that is his comfort zone.

BTW, the papers most ardent defender, Pekka Pirila, admitted after weeks of debate that M&F’s conclusions were not supportable by the paper. I put the link to his comment in the end of my summarizing comment on Climate Lab Book here.

Lewis’s, being a devout Bayesian, felt something was wrong in the logic. I think he would have stuck with a logical argument had he not thought that he had a mathematical checkmate. My conclusion is that M&F’s energy balance equation is essentially the same equation as Forster13’s energy balance with substituted terms.

The problem goes back to how models need to be used. Going from Forster13 to M&F there is no fresh data insight. The conclusions are an artifact of mishandling of error. One must remember that the models are based on simply tracking the overall trend of the 150-year instrumental, which itself has awful global coverage for the first 50 years and slowly get up to just poor. Add UHI, solar cycle, volcanoes, aerosols, ENSO, PDO and AMO and you have a low certainty for correct model parametrization. Taking an ensemble of models one is essentially coming back to the historical instrumental record, which they all have in common as their validation. Some of the models are so computer intensive there was only one run available to Forster. The good, bad and ugly all got mixed and this was supposed to give validation to all of them, why? Because together they meander from the instrumental record in their output 90-105 years ago as much as the models have diverged from the instrumental today. Might I remind that the last 15 years are the most accurate readings in history. And, C02 is at its highest output. It’s true that we may be having a cold spell now had it not been for CO2 masking it but that theory of high natural variability was not predicted by models or scientists, it is being explained after the fact.

Every year Trenberth prays for an imminent jump. The el nino had him voice his faith again in April: “This is the one.”. Maybe he will get this one but it has to jump like 1998. BTW, I stand corrected on my comment on possible signal of a natural 20-year oscillation. I believe its more like a 30-year half peak to trough, which is a 60-year cycle. If the last peak was the mid 1990s, the trough should be the mid 2020s. But the certainty behind a signal is weak due to lack of a causative agent. We only heard a three notes; it could be chaos. BTW, there is some paleo evidence of a 1000-yr cycle, but again no hypothesis. Even with the orbital cycles there is poor correlation except for getting an interglacial every third 41ka obliquity cycle. Remember, we are still in the Quaternary Ice Age, just paused currently. Almost all the climate factors in may last comment’s list do or could cause cooling, save GHG. Thank God for one that we can control and perhaps turn to our purposes, even if we stumbled upon it accidentally. BTW, I forgot to add lapse rate to the list. CO2 may, or may not, cause an increase in the lapse rate. If so, its a positive feedback. If the lapse rate flattens it’s a negative feedback.

But, I keep forgetting: “The science is settled.”

TBC…

99. Joshua says:

==> “Joshua, I’m not shocked that your comment didn’t come out of moderation on CA. ”

I don’t see how it’s anything other than capricious application of standards…There was nothing, IMO, which distinguished my comment from others that got posted – except perspective on the issue being discussed.

Here’s another comment in moderation, Ron – from over at Judith’s. It’s from a sub-thread where Don has repeatedly insulted me, others have assigned me guilt by association, multiple commenters have saddled with me straw men, tim makes a comment that does nothing but wave pom poms…..

I mean hey, it’s Judith’s blog and she gets to do what she wants. And I’ve certainly come to expect this, but perhaps you could explain how this isn’t merely capricious moderation…

http://judithcurry.com/2015/10/03/week-in-review-energy-and-policy-edition-15/#comment-735119

Here’s where others can pile on, but I’m not able to participate….

Joshua | October 5, 2015 at 7:07 pm |

==> “Let’s pretend that the economy of the pre-Civil War U.S. depended on Southern cotton.”

Better yet, let’s repeatedly pretend that I argued something that I didn’t argue…

==> “Have some pride in your country, little man. You will feel better about yourself.”

I have plenty o’ pride in my country. What’s interesting is that y’all feel some reflexive need to defend the undefendable. My ancestors came to this country post-slavery, but even if they had come before that I would feel no guilt, personally, about slavery or the many other twisted ways that “Judeo-Christian values’ were twisted to enslave, disenfranchise, nay, slaughter millions. No doubt, my ancestors perpetrated their own bag o’ injustices (for which I feel no personal guilt).

Nor to I have any less pride in my country because of past events. I look at this country, after having travelled and lived in quite a few other places, and see lots that are good. But that doesn’t compel me to pull the wool over my eyes and pretend that what happened didn’t happen:

People did good things in the name of GaryM’s “system of values” and they did horrible things in the name of those values. Whether they did good or bad can probably, reasonably, respectively, be partially attributed to their embodiment of those values, but their belief in those values, or lack thereof, is only a part of what wascausal for justices and injustices alike.

That isn’t unique to this country in any way, but when people selectively cull some of those events in a self-sealing manner so they can spill out their elitists hatred for some 90%? of the American population,a as GaryM likes to do, I like to point it out.

Anyway, I think this is enough of this. I’ll let y’all spill out your hatred without my involvement.

Have a nice night, Don.

Do you think it was the part where I wished Don a good night?

100. Willard says:

> I think your blog [the Auditor’s] is at its best when you audit both sides of a technical piece.

When was the last time this truly happened, RonG?

101. Magma says:

If you have a succinct comment that is pertinent and informative to the topic

An extract from Ron Graf’s 1350-word digression. If only he had taken his own advice.

102. Ron Graf says:

Josh, Yah it was the goodNIIGHT tone. 🙂 No, I would have to go over and ready the whole string but I’m guessing JC was trying to break up something before it got too far beyond climate OR etc.

Or, sometimes it’s just a random word in a long comment that triggers an auto-moderation. “Joshua” is one of those words if I recall. The comment itself I agree with you is not offensive. I rather like looking at the big picture as you can tell from my comments. We are kindred spirits that that sense. I agree there is good and bad in everyone and everyone sees there own good side. If dogs don’t like you that should give you concern, (especially if it’s your dog).

Take Shukla for example, he is a legend, a god, in his home town in India. But he’s flying there on an NSF funded expense account to help set up a school that’s partially funded by you and I. Although I disagree strongly with his using NSF awards to communicate climate justice through his symposiums, at least I know his NSF handler gives him money approvingly for that. Expatriating the funds has no legal justification, just let’s him be Santa with OPM. Wait…that is exactly what the NSF guys are doing. (They get to be heros for the cause. I’ve been doing my own investigation, more later.)

Willard, you have a point except the “other side” should be the paper’s authors or the letter writers, as in the current case. On occasion they do a drive-by like in the “Ocean2K handle” post.

Dr. Verardo, after slapping Mc, gave him a generous compliment in a followup remark, that CA is valuable to science. Considering that its coming from someone identified in the original post an adversary and a possibly involved party (on staff at GMU,) I think one has to admit that Steve has earned respect.

There were a couple of people in the current string from the consensus establishment, mostly trying to establish presumed innocence, which is legit. We will see if Lamar Smith’s committee investigates.

103. Joshua says:

Ron –

==> “Josh, Yah it was the goodNIIGHT tone. 🙂 No, I would have to go over and ready the whole string but I’m guessing JC was trying to break up something before it got too far beyond climate OR etc.”

Well, here’s what happens quite regularly (has been happening for a long time)…I start discussing an issue with someone. I stay on that topic – insult free. I criticize arguments being made, but don’t personalize it either towards the character, intelligence, integrity, etc., of commenters or “conservatives” in general. I also make observations about patterns in argumentation. Don, tim, and a pretty long list of others, personalize the argument. Insults. Of topic attacks. And Judith intervenes in the exchange and deletes a comment of mine that, again, responds on topic and as far as I can tell far less in violation of Judith’s stated rules for moderation than many others that remain posted both before and after.

The notion that she’s preventing climateball by intervening and deleting my comments fails to pass the smell test because: (1) She allows endless climateball exchanges to go on and on without intervening or w/o intervening against one participant to the exclusion of others and (2) if her goal is to keep the arguments from turning into climateball, she would logically delete the comments of those who play the man, not the ball.

And no, my comment wasn’t just caught by the moderation filter. All of my comments over there immediately go into moderation and Judith, using some algorithm which I certainly can’t decipher (my guess is that it’s pretty much capricious except that she invariably doesn’t allow me to respond insult-free and on topic to a long line of personalizing insults… I can see when a comment is held up in moderation. If it disappears from the thread, it is because Judith has acted deliberately to shit-can i. That subthread is a pretty typical example.

I mean it is certainly her prerogative – as I am only there to comment based on her determination….All’s fair in love and blog commenting. But it is certainly quite interesting to examine just how she moderates. And it certainly is interesting to see how some folks respond to her moderation, Steve’s moderation, Anders’ moderation, Anthony’s moderation, Lucia’s moderation, etc.

As for this:

==> “Steve says he is trying to keep the discussion focused and I see him playing that pretty evenly. If you have a succinct comment that is pertinent and informative to the topic other than Steve is a hypocrite or the usual climateball I think there is a chance you could get in the discussion;”

You do realize, I hope, that from where I sit your baseline presumption there is, how shall I say it….self-sealing. Steve plays climateball himself, and as such he can’t be an even-handed referee. Like I said, yours is a fundamentally flawed construction. At least Anders is open to the subjectivity of his moderation choices. IMO, anyone who claims some kind of purity here, for his/herself or on the behalf on his/her tribal running mates, is hoisting a flag of motivated reasoning.

104. Joshua says:

Ron –

As it turns out, Judith did post the comment after I re-posted with the following addition in the beginning:

“Perhaps you could explain why, with Don’s insults and straw-manning, and tim’s pom pom shaking,and nickels’ guilt-by-association and blah…blah…blah..you consider the following comment to be unacceptable? You know, so I’ll know for the future so
as to not violate your standards for moderation…”

With the addition of this comment on her part:

“JC COMMENT: LAST COMMENT ON THIS TOPIC”

Interesting….

105. Ron,

Pekka Pirila, admitted after weeks of debate that M&F’s conclusions were not supportable by the paper. I put the link to his comment in the end of my summarizing comment on Climate Lab Book here.

You link doesn’t work. This is Pekka’s last comment about the matter here. It does not appear consistent with what you’ve claimed. In fact, he explicitly says

The error of Nic was not to realize that M&F remove the circularity error as well as they can rather than create it.

106. Ron Graf said on October 6, 2015 at 1:20 am,

“KeefeAndAmanda, regarding M&F15, I believe that you as well as others were barking up the wrong tree focusing on the equation.”

I was not barking up the wrong tree since my argument was totally different in type than the arguments others made. Go back to my prior comment shortly above
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/subverting-democracy/#comment-63926
on October 1, 2015 at 9:18 am to see the two links I gave to my prior comments under other blog posts and study what I actually did, especially with respect to the mathematical proof I gave – you seem to have missed it. Lewis repeatedly argued with ATTP and others that Marotzke and Forster (2015) made a purely mathematical mistake – the mistake he alleges M&F made had nothing to do with physics. ATTP and the rest were arguing from the standpoint of physics. But I did not do this in my argument in those comments I linked to. My argument had nothing to do with physics – it was a purely mathematical argument against his purely mathematical argument. The core of my argument was in the form of a mathematical proof. I realized the mathematical mistake Lewis made – it was a mistake relating to the underlying group theory governing the set of all real numbers.

Essentially, Nic Lewis argued wrongly that the algebraic construction underlying the M&F regression – that is, the underlying composition of functions, was a circular logic problem and so was invalid. But I gave a mathematical proof that a certain basic theorem of groups implies the validity of a class of algebraic constructions. One member of this class is this algebraic construction underneath the M&F regression. I outlined the mapping of the variables to further explain this, so that all could see it. This construction via composition of functions can be put on every unary function in every group, including every unary function that is a regression on the reals. (Again, the real numbers form an additive group.) What this means is that this theorem of groups implies that this type of construction can be validly put on every last such regression Lewis himself has ever done on the reals. No only that, but since Lewis denies the truth of that which is implied by this basic group theorem, by modus tollens Lewis denies the truth of this basic group theorem.

(I posted my proof on the morning of Feb 18 this year. That’s the first of the two links in question. [The second link is a direct reply to Lewis at this blog that explains what I did.] That same morning, on Feb 18, Lewis posted a comment under his original post reiterating his claim of circularity. As far as I know, he stopped actively pushing his claim of circularity since then, presumably after learning of my proof. But he did not retract his claim of circularity as a problem, which is what he should have done and should do….Anyone can simply make claims rather than offer proofs. But what we do in mathematics is argue via proofs. In this light, I note that no one to my knowledge has claimed to have and has offered a mathematical proof that my proof is not such.)

107. Marco says:

@Ron Graf:
“@Marco: re the conspiracy ideation meme, there is a full spectrum of climate skeptics, in degree of skepticism, in areas of skepticism and with all sorts of diverse position s on other scientific and political issues. The “your side must be mental” argument actually reveals a lack of factual points and the ability to articulate them.”

What “factual points” did you articulate when you claimed Ocean2K was deliberately delayed because of supposedly inconvenient results?

108. Ron Graf says:

What “factual points” did you articulate when you claimed Ocean2K was deliberately delayed because of supposedly inconvenient results?

Marco, thanks. I stand corrected; I would have been better to have written:
@Marco: re the conspiracy ideation meme, there is a full spectrum of climate skeptics, in degree of skepticism, in areas of skepticism and with all sorts of diverse position s on other scientific and political issues. The “your side must be mental” argument actually reveals a lack of factual, insert [circumstantial and empirical evidence] and the ability to articulate.

KeefeAndAmanda, I do not dispute your proof, particularly since I cannot make the time to attempt to. I would repeat my final conclusion on CLB that they are different derivations of the same equation. Both equations are derived from modeling temperature against TOA imbalance and forcing, with a feedback factor.
here is and insightful comment on a commonly perceived problem with M&F.
My point was that the instrumental data provides an extremely weak signal, some would say indistinguishable from noise. And given that current physics includes an ever growing number of model parameters, as I listed in my above comments, infinite models are possible. But to find the right one it does not help to mix all together in ensemble and take the statistically regressed slope. All that does is give you the slope from your data on which you built the models in the first place. It gives you no information on which you can validate your models. And, it does not give you the proof the models are “not systematically overestimating climate sensitivity,” as M&F claim.

As Greg Goodman and others pointed out there was clear indications the models were overreacting to volcanic events. This indicates an over-parameterization for aerosol cooling. This is exactly what Nic and others suspect about the models and why Bjorn Steven’s paper earlier this year suspecting the same caused such a clamor (and maybe why he felt the need to put it down by signing a loyalty oath to the consensus). Overstated climate sensitivity can be masked by overstated counter forcing. Also, the graph in the paper, every model oscillating to its own tune, demonstrates the lack of a modeled hypothesis for a 60-year or any other non-random oscillation. I’m not saying I feel strongly that there is, or is not. As I pointed out earlier, when the consensus needed climate not to be periodic, when trend was peaking, there was that consensus. Now,17 years later, with the hindsight of a flatter trend, the consensus changed to recoup the benefits of periodicity. BTW, I think I got 21 years in my head from the moving average plotted here.
ATTP, here is the corrected link to my CLB comment:
http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2015/marotzke-forster-response/#comment-478271
Here is a link to Pekka stating what I said underneath his Scandinavian science English sentence structure: http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2015/marotzke-forster-response/#comment-478271
Pekka: Looking at the results, I have the suspicion that the CMIP5 ensemble cannot really answer the questions M&F try to figure out…
And his [Pehr Bjornbom’s CLB]comment just above that has this: The results of that calculation seem to be closer to what I would expect intuitively as α and κ have a stronger influence on temperature than in M&F.

M&F Claimed a conclusion that ocean uptake and climate resistance showed no traceable influence on climate. I don’t buy it. Do you, ATTP? Or, do you agree with Nic when he wrote in the body of his CA post: “To a physicist, the result that variations in model α and κ have almost no effect on 62-year trends is so surprising that the immediate response should be: ‘what has Marotzke done wrong’?”

109. Ron,
I think you’re completely mis-representing M&F. Also, the original claim was that they’d made some kind of trivial mistake that even an undergraduate wouldn’t make. You seem to be changing what people were saying to make it sound like their criticism was more subtle and thoughtful than it actually is.

110. Ron Graf said on October 7, 2015 at 3:55 am,

“KeefeAndAmanda, I do not dispute your proof,…”

Good, since a correct mathematical proof cannot be successfully disputed. But this means that the debate over Marotzke and Forster (2015) is over, since essentially, Lewis’ mathematical circularity claim is the foundation for the whole house of rejecting M&F. That is, this mathematical falsification of Lewis’ mathematical claim washes away the foundation and thus the whole house crashes to the ground. Don’t think so? Read on.

“Also, the graph in the paper, every model oscillating to its own tune, demonstrates the lack of a modeled hypothesis for a 60-year or any other non-random oscillation. I’m not saying I feel strongly that there is, or is not. As I pointed out earlier, when the consensus needed climate not to be periodic, when trend was peaking, there was that consensus. Now,17 years later, with the hindsight of a flatter trend, the consensus changed to recoup the benefits of periodicity.”

Whether or not models capture an apparent multidecadal cyclic behavior in the average global surface temperature is not relevant to the issue at hand, which is the long term behavior *underneath* such cyclic noise. And this holds true regardless of whether the noise is random or nonrandom. As Mann essentially communicated in his article at Real Climate on Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015), these multidecadal oscillations can be treated as noise, random or not, and there is really no need to model them if the goal is to model how fast the average global surface temperature will increase over the long term *underneath* the noise.

It’s much like that function h(x) = 17cos(x) + x^(1.9) I created for pedagogical purposes, to illustrate what seems to be going on, and it seems you did not get the point. If I put forth function f(x) = x^(1.9) as a predictive model for how fast a certain measure will increase but the data for that measure tracks the graph of function h, then does this data falsify my model f? No, it does not. It actually confirms it, since all I’m interested in is the long term behavior as to how fast this certain measure will increase – the graph of f is exactly that which the graph of h cycles about and tracks upward with. (To see this, consider those values of x for which function g(x) = 17cos(x) = 0.)

This last point above leads to the points that I made (and you did not reply to) in my comment
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/subverting-democracy/#comment-63926
on Oct 1 at 9:18 am on the graphs of the 30 year running mean and most especially the 60 year running mean, which I linked to. Again, I note that the graph of the 60 year running mean tracks a positively accelerated curve that shows no meaningful indication of those multidecadal oscillations. These properties of that 60 year running mean suggest that this multidecadal internal variability has no meaningfully traceable influence on the positively accelerated trajectory over the long term. This is consistent with the 62 year runs of M&F and what they said.

111. BBD says:

This reminds me of all the other occasions when contrarians made groundless attacks on papers they did not like. All they need do is keep on insisting that study x is wrong! (employing ever-shifting details to keep the shtick rolling) and eventually the meme is elevated to full myth status and enshrined in the blogosphere’s Temple Of Misinformation.

Engaging with the peddlers of misinformation simply allows the nonsense to become more entrenched. Not engaging concedes the field to the misinformers without a fight. Either way, pernicious meme gets elevated to pernicious myth in the end.

112. Joshua says:

Ron –

==> “This is exactly what Nic and others suspect about the models and why Bjorn Steven’s paper earlier this year suspecting the same caused such a clamor (and maybe why he felt the need to put it down by signing a loyalty oath to the consensus).”

Again, with mind-reading? Very unskeptical, my friend.

” I do not believe that my work supports these suggestions, or inferences. “

Looked o me like he was correcting the misinterpretation of his paper by “skeptics” who were misusing his work to pursue their agenda.

Exactly as he said.

Your speculation looks to me like self-sealing, evidence free, confirmation bias.

113. Marco says:

Ron Graf, that was not an answer to my question. You don’t even have circumstancial/empirical evidence.

114. Willard says:

> This is exactly what Nic and others suspect about the models […]

A quote might be nice. Speaking of suspicion, here’s James:

Nic Lewis appears to be arguing primarily on the basis that all work on climate sensitivity is wrong, except his own, and one other team who gets similar results. In reality, all research has limitations, uncertainties and assumptions built in. I certainly agree that estimates based primarily on energy balance considerations (as his are) are important and it’s a useful approach to take, but these estimates are not as unimpeachable or model-free as he claims. Rather, they are based on a highly simplified model that imperfectly represents the climate system.

http://www.climatedialogue.org/climate-sensitivity-and-transient-climate-response/#comment-901

A bit later:

I do think Nic Lewis over-states the case for the so-called “observational estimates” in a number of ways. Clearly, even these estimates rely on models of the climate system, which are so simple and linear (and thus certainly imperfect) that they may not be recognised as such.

http://www.climatedialogue.org/climate-sensitivity-and-transient-climate-response/#comment-909

Another reason for model bashing is that it’s fun and trendy.

The modulz are stoopid.

115. Ron Graf says:

ATTP wrote:

Ron,
I think you’re completely mis-representing M&F. Also, the original claim was that they’d made some kind of trivial mistake that even an undergraduate wouldn’t make. You seem to be changing what people were saying to make it sound like their criticism was more subtle and thoughtful than it actually is.

This I take as non-responsive to my question: “M&F Claimed a conclusion that ocean uptake and climate resistance showed no traceable influence on climate. I don’t buy it. Do you, ATTP?”

Technically, climate resistance is alpha plus kappa (ocean uptake) just to be clear, but it makes not difference to the point of the question. Lewis knew this was wrong. He believed the mistake was in the circularity of the analysis, proven by the term T showing up in both sides of the equation when F was substituted for the equation of which Forster used in his 2013 paper to obtain F, the exact same F values used for M&F15. Although this is circular on its face, I do not believe it was an undergraduate error. Models are inherently circular. Instrumental data is used derive models, which in turn are used to create data to evaluate against instrumental data. However, this is inherently dangerous with multiple parameter models, and conclusions must be drawn with healthy skepticism. As the joke goes, with four parameters you can model an elephant; with five you can make its trunk wiggle.

The less independent information that can be delivered to the model anlysis the more circularity it has, which thus is directly proportional to analysis uncertainty. Zero new information leads to complete circularity and absolute uncertainty.

As I commented earlier and has gone undisputed, much of the early portion of the instrumental record had very poor global coverage, including the poles, economically undeveloped continents and the oceans. In fact, it could be argued that up until the 2003 Argo project the oceans were poorly covered and had crude techniques employed for recording temperature (see Karl et al 15).

So, the data with high uncertainty, large random variability (noise) and many human alterations (corrections), is used to paramaterize models based on some known, and some poorly known physics, notably aerosols and feedbacks forcings. Each model is different, partly based on biases and partly based on the shotgun approach for evaluation. Whereas ensembles of individual model realizations provide a more certain derivatives for that model’s parameters, ensembles of multiple models gives no new information.

Not to misrepresent M&F, the following is quoted from their abstract:

Most present-generation climate models simulate an increase in global-mean surface temperature (GMST) since 1998, whereas observations suggest a warming hiatus. It is unclear to what extent this mismatch is caused by incorrect model forcing, by incorrect model response to forcing or by random factors.Here we analyse simulations and observations of
GMST from 1900 to 2012, and show that the distribution of simulated 15-year trends shows no systematic bias against the observations.

Note the motivation of the paper is to show that a 15-year hiatus can be explained within the realm of natural variability. Their data ends in 2012. It is now the fourth quarter of 2015. The hiatus continues. But never mind that; M&F are out of step now with the consensus that denies the hiatus.

In particular, M&F wanted to put down Nic Lewis’s recent claim that the models are systematically overestimating climate sensitivity, as he can see by his own empirical analysis papers based on instrumental data and known parameters. So since Nic indicts the models as a group, so M&F defends them as a group.

Using a multiple regression approach that is physically motivated by surface energy balance, we isolate the impact of radiative forcing, climate feedback and ocean heat uptake on GMST—with the regression residual interpreted as internal variability—and assess all possible 15- and 62-year trends.

Actually, they use Forster’s data from Forster 2013, whereby he used a multiple physical model matrix to find the above terms.

The differences between simulated and observed trends are dominated by random internal variability over the shorter timescale and by variations in the radiative forcings used to drive models over the longer timescale. For either trend length, spread in simulated climate feedback leaves no traceable imprint on GMST trends or, consequently, on the difference between simulations and observations.

The first sentence is perfectly logical but leaves one to assume that forcings are static, as if you believe that past centuries were static relative to each other, that there was no LIA, (or big ice age for that matter.) Forget about 1000-year cycle warming periods. But the second sentence is the part that skeptical minds really go, “huh?” Feedback is affected by forcing and forcing is affected by feedback. That’s why they call it feedback. How can something that should profoundly affect forcing not affect forcing? The answer is there is so much systematic error carried through during the analysis, which is unaccounted for, that the uncertainty is overwhelming. In other words, the analysis would be effectively circular. This is what Pekka likely knew in his heart when he wrote: “… I would expect intuitively… α and κ have a stronger influence on temperature than in M&F. ”

Paul_k has promised to put together a post soon demonstrating the maths of this.

The claim that climate models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations therefore seems to be unfounded.

This is the money sentence. M&F are saying everything seems to be accounted for, 2+2=2+2. “In your face Nic Lewis.” As I have shown, one cannot make that logical leap. Even if alpha and kappa had little influence F is adjusted forcings, which includes aerosol cooling. So overestimating aerosols, which was Lewis’s claim, was not addressed at all with M&F’s analysis.

M&F actually made a brief appearance on CLB to answer for their paper and provided the straw man argument that adding N (TOA imbalance) to the Forster13 equation had eliminated any circularity when nobody was accusing the Forster13 equation of being faulty. They promptly left before answering my question:

Do the authors agree the claim that this paper proved: “ Climatologists have been fairly correct with their predictions” as reported Science News Daily and others?

Marotzke provided a press release from the Max Plank Institute that had been requoted around the world:

Sceptics who still doubt anthropogenic climate change have now been stripped of one of their last-ditch arguments: It is true that there has been a warming hiatus and that the surface of the earth has warmed up much less rapidly since the turn of the millennium than all the relevant climate models had predicted. However, the gap between the calculated and measured warming is not due to systematic errors of the models, as the sceptics had suspected, but because there are always random fluctuations in the Earth’s climate.

M&F did say “seems to be unfounded” in their final sentence in their paper. So, I guess there is no need for them to apologize if they are proved wrong.

What do you guys think? Maybe Lewis and M&F could apologize to each other and we could all start honestly working together. Naaaaah.

116. Ron,

This I take as non-responsive to my question: “M&F Claimed a conclusion that ocean uptake and climate resistance showed no traceable influence on climate. I don’t buy it. Do you, ATTP?”

The reason was because this seems to make no sense at all. All the M&F showed was that you can explain the trends as a forced response plus some kind of internally-driven variability and that for long time periods, it was mainly forced, while for short time period, it could be pre-dominantly internal variability. I do not think that what you claim they concluded is what they actually concluded.

What do you guys think? Maybe Lewis and M&F could apologize to each other and we could all start honestly working together. Naaaaah.

You don’t need to apologise, you just need to decide to behave like an adult in the first place. Oh, and the idea that M&F have anything to apologise for is utterly bizarre. They published a paper and were then insulted by Nic Lewis and others on a blog.

117. Ron,
You’re also, I think, misunderstanding this

For either trend length, spread in simulated climate feedback leaves no traceable imprint on GMST trends or, consequently, on the difference between simulations and observations.

Essentially what M&F were doing was trying to understand the deviations between models and observations and their analysis suggests that it is mainly due to internal variability and not due the spread in alpha, kappa, and F. They’re not claiming that feedbacks aren’t important, they’re suggesting that the deviation between models and observations can be explained by internally-driven variability.

118. BBD says:

In other words, RonG, the recent slowdown in the rate of tropospheric warming can be explained as natural variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake. The consequent slight divergence between models and observations over the same period is *not* therefore attributable to systematic over-sensitivity to radiative forcing in the models.

119. Magma says:

Ron Graf slips in the worn-out and now false “the hiatus continues” talking point, linking (naturally enough) to Roy Spencer’s page with the UAH satellite-derived lower tropospheric temperature series. I hadn’t previously noticed this, but either Spencer is dumbing things down for his intended audience, is intentionally being misleading, or is confused regarding the calibration procedures used in the AMSU instruments. (For what it’s worth, I suspect it’s mostly the first with a bit of the second.)

Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer records of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs) calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch. http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

In fact the satellite PRTs are used to monitor the temperature of an on-board black-body calibration target. The measurement and calibration procedures are worth reading for anyone following the RSS and UAH temperature series and their uses and misuses.

I found it an informative exercise to compare the quantity and quality of the published research output of the RSS group (a private-sector company that does a substantial amount of work on contract to federal agencies) with that of Spencer and Christy. The comparison is not flattering to the UAH group.

Remote Sensing Systems discussion of MSU/AMSU series:
http://www.remss.com/missions/amsu

NOAA KLM Instrument User’s Guide (Apr 2014 revision)

120. Magma says:

And for the instrumental & measurement types reading, a great deal of detailed, illustrated information on the AMSU sensors can be found in this 2000 technical note from JPL.

121. Ron Graf said on October 8, 2015 at 5:35 am,

“He believed the mistake was in the circularity of the analysis, proven by the term T showing up in both sides of the equation when F was substituted for the equation of which Forster used in his 2013 paper to obtain F, the exact same F values used for M&F15. Although this is circular on its face, I do not believe it was an undergraduate error….However, this is inherently dangerous…

M&F actually made a brief appearance on CLB to answer for their paper and provided the straw man argument that adding N (TOA imbalance) to the Forster13 equation had eliminated any circularity when nobody was accusing the Forster13 equation of being faulty.”

I demonstrated that there is no circularity problem whatsoever in the analysis, that there is no error, undergraduate or otherwise, that there is no inherent danger, and that there is no faulty equation in M&F15 – the same variable on both sides of an equation is perfectly valid and can be considered totally noncircular in many mathematical contexts. If you do not agree with all this, then you do not understand my proof. You said that you did not dispute my proof, but now you dispute my proof.

Let me simplify things. That group theorem in question (in my first comment above
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/subverting-democracy/#comment-63926
on Oct 1 at 9:18 am see the second link to see a statement of that theorem if you want to know about that theorem) implies that for *any* unary mapping x -> y in *any* commutative group we can construct a binary mapping y,z -> x in this group via appropriate choices for values of z. (See the first two links in my comment above for some details.) This gives us the composition of mappings y,z -> x -> y, which gives us the composite mapping y,z -> y. This is really not circular (since the usual use of “circular” implies that there’s a problem), since the inner mapping is a binary mapping, not a unary mapping. It would be circular if the inner mapping were y -> x (unary) rather than y,z -> x (binary).

(You should be aware that we can have k-ary mappings for any natural number k. This is what I addressed in my proof.)

We can go further. We can treat the domains of y and z as subsets of the domains of variables y’ and z’. And we can then make a partial substitution in the above construction, yielding the composition of mappings y’,z’ -> x -> y, which gives us the composite mapping y’,z’ -> y. (The former composition of mappings and composite mapping are embedded in the latter via the subset relation in question.)

These constructions of composition of mappings and composite mappings can be viewed as tacitly existing on *every* unary mapping in *every* commutative group. (This includes every last unary regression on the reals.) This means that the utilization of such constructions (as in M&F15) is not a circularity problem at all.

This is just a basic application of some basic abstract algebra. In M&F15, the inner mapping was binary, not unary, which as I just explained means no circularity problem and that they did not regress a variable on itself as some claimed (this would have been the case had the inner mapping been the unary mapping posited above, but it was not). What M&F said above at CLB essentially says just that.

122. Ron Graf says:

KeefeAndAmanda, I think you are misrepresenting my comments. I appreciate that you put in a lot of work and want me to acknowledge it. I am an engineer more than a mathematician. There are plenty of the later around to give you support or criticism.

What M&F said above at CLB essentially says just that.

Where do they make your analysis? I was genuinely going to ask you in my last comment if you had ever wondered why M&F never did your homework and respond with it instead of obfuscate, misdirect and then split. They have dozens of mathematician friends at their disposal. They shouldn’t have needed to rely on your help. They are not undergrads, after all. But you see your proof at CLB? Where exactly?

My points on M&F were regarding their motivations, questionable logic, error in methods and last, but not least, political misrepresentations (exaggerations) to the world press that bore poor relationship to even the unfounded claims made within their paper. This subverts democracy. Reporting it without question or understanding subverts democracy. Any public dishonesty about it subverts democracy.

But propaganda has spun so far from reality at this point that M&F would be reprimanded by the consensus for acknowledging the hiatus. The Sierra Club President today in front of congress never heard of the pause. He only knows 97% of scientists say we’re frying.

Magma, I agree that UAH and RSS have uncertainties but not for the reasons you cite. As a matter of fact, I think they track each other fairly well, with RSS showing less warming trend overall and a more pronounced pause since 1998. The problem with them is that although they are very impartial they do not have good polar coverage and there is reason to believe the Arctic is warming more relative to the equator. The reason for the Antarctic not following suit I have seen hypothesized due to land elevation distortions to the effective radiative height or lapse rate.

Magma, if you have found specific flaws in UAH that are concealed we would all like to know.

BBD:

In other words, RonG, the recent slowdown in the rate of tropospheric warming can be explained as natural variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake. The consequent slight divergence between models and observations over the same period is *not* therefore attributable to systematic over-sensitivity to radiative forcing in the models.

I would also like to see your research on this. If you are referring to the AMO/PDO possible 60-year oscillation, I commented on that above as a possibility. But there is not much hypothesized on what could drive the period of such an oscillation. Curry has the Stadium Wave hypothesis but I don’t think you support that. ATTP, I am standing by my hunch that the Great Conjunction has a connection. Every 60 years, or every third 20-year conjunction, completes a cycle relative to vector toward the Earth.

The models just got on board with fully endorsing decadal oscillation and ENSO for CMIP5. Nothing yet on 60-years oscillation. I am sure all agree that the models already have parameters for ocean uptake.

Under the discussion section M&F write this about the divergence:

Furthermore, the period 1998–2012 stands out as the only one during which the HadCRUT4 15-year GMST trend falls entirely outside the CMIP5 ensemble (if only narrowly), suggesting that the CMIP5 models could be missing a cooling contribution from the radiative forcing during the hiatus period or that there has been an unusual enhancement of ocean heat uptake not simulated by any model.

Now add three more years to 2012 and you can see why the furor this year to “kill the pause.” The models are leaving the realm of predictive science and moving toward the Oracle of Delphi.

TBC…

123. Ron Graf says:

ATTP:“They [M&F] published a paper and were then insulted by Nic Lewis and others on a blog.”

One who supports democracy would defend objective criticism as welcome speech, realizing the antidote is an objective defense. Debate is necessary. But when public criticism is plainly refuted an apology could be in order. I am talking generally.

ATTP:

All the M&F showed was that you can explain the trends as a forced response plus some kind of internally-driven variability and that for long time periods, it was mainly forced, while for short time period, it could be pre-dominantly internal variability. I do not think that what you claim they concluded is what they actually concluded.

I agree that M&F stated your above conclusion. How do you get from that to:

The claim that climate models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations therefore seems to be unfounded.

Anyone else is also welcome to help me understand the logical chain of thought here.

124. Magma says:

Magma, if you have found specific flaws in UAH that are concealed we would all like to know.

By reviewing what, Ron? The text files of the reprocessed v.6.0beta (“by far the most extensive revision of the procedures and computer code we have ever produced in over 25 years”) lower troposphere, mid-troposphere, and lower stratosphere temperature estimate time series? The verbal description of the processing steps and the undiscussed algorithms? The “modified or entirely reworked” procedures and the unreleased “most[ly] rewritten from scratch” Fortran code?

My crystal ball is broken, so please let me know just how I or anyone else outside of Spencer & Christy’s circle can do this sort of thing, would you?

125. JCH says:

Ron Graf – wood for trees uses UAH version 5.6. The version Dr. Spencer reports each month on his blog is UAH Version 6.0, which he states is much closer to RSS.

126. Ron,

I agree that M&F stated your above conclusion. How do you get from that to:

The claim that climate models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations therefore seems to be unfounded.

Because anyone who is claiming that models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing is clearly ignoring that the model/obs discrepancy can be explained by internally-driven variability. Remember that you normally see is model ensembles, which tend to smooth out any variability in the models.

127. Marco says:

“One who supports democracy would defend objective criticism as welcome speech, realizing the antidote is an objective defense.”

What antidote do we have against subjective criticism, Ron?

128. Sorry, I missed this

My points on M&F were regarding their motivations, questionable logic, error in methods and last, but not least, political misrepresentations (exaggerations) to the world press that bore poor relationship to even the unfounded claims made within their paper. This subverts democracy. Reporting it without question or understanding subverts democracy. Any public dishonesty about it subverts democracy.

Utterly ridiculous. And you wonder why most scientists won’t go and discuss things on most climate blogs. They wrote a paper. It was reported in the media. A couple of contrarians made claims about this paper on blogs that they were not able to back up and that, in my view, were simply wrong, and you have the gall to imply that M&F are somehow responsible for subverting democracy. I’ve been trying hard to not get frustrated by comments, but it is very difficult when people say such bizarre and ridiculous things.

129. Joshua says:

=>> ” I’ve been trying hard to not get frustrated by comments, but it is very difficult when people say such bizarre and ridiculous things.”

Try looking at some commen6ts as a form of performance art. You will see that some folks are very talented, even if not particularly original.

130. Joshua,
Yes, I do realise that that is a way to look at this and am impressed by those (like yourself) who seem capable of seeing it this way (and even enjoy the whole spectacle). I, however, have some trouble with that. It’s a failing, but at least I recognise it.

131. Ron Graf said on October 9, 2015 at 12:43 am,

“I am an engineer more than a mathematician.”

This is not an excuse to reject a mathematically proved truth (see the first link in my first comment in this thread to see the proof), which is that Lewis’ claim that M&F15 made a purely mathematical mistake is itself a purely mathematical mistake.

“Where do they make your analysis?”

Whether they made my particular analysis explicitly is irrelevant – they were accused of making an algebraic mistake of circularity, and I addressed this claim by showing that what they did was perfectly valid with no algebraic mistake of circularity. But they did explicitly speak of 2 independent variables being in play rather than just 1. That is, they explicitly spoke of variables T and N – note that in the equation dF = alpha*dT + dN as used, we have fixed alpha and varying dT and dN, which means that the expression alpha*dT + dN here expresses a binary function, which a function of 2 independent variables, which are dT and dN. (As used, it is not a unary function, which is a function of 1 independent variable. That is, it is not so that only dT or dN varies, that one is held constant while the other varies – instead, they both vary.)

To see better what I’m talking about, in my most recent comment
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/subverting-democracy/#comment-64350
on Oct 8 at 4:29 pm in which I gave simplified mappings to try to illustrate the essence of my proof and to try to explain more simply how and why M&F15 is perfectly valid with no problem of circularity, replace x with dF and y with dT and z with dN. And if we wish to go with the part where I expanded the domains of the two independent variables in the inner mapping, take dT’,dN’ as variables whose domains are supersets of the domains of variables dT,dN, respectively, and then replace y’ with dT’ and z’ with dN’.

“My points on M&F were regarding their motivations, questionable logic, error in methods and last, but not least, political misrepresentations (exaggerations) to the world press that bore poor relationship to even the unfounded claims made within their paper.”

There is no questionable logic, no error in methods, and no political misrepresentation. That is, what I said above holds, which is that you have no excuse to reject the mathematically proved truth (explained here and in my prior comments, including those linked to) that there is no questionable logic and thus there is no error in methods that flows from falsely alleged questionable logic, and thus the political representation was correct, which is that it’s over for those who reject mainstream climate science on the issue of the long term warming underlying the oscillations of up to 60 years in length.

In other words, on this last point: Your constant harping about whether there is a hiatus or not is completely a straw figure. It’s not relevant to the issue of what is happening underneath such oscillations, which is that we see that the models are getting that part right per such as Marotzke and Forster (2015) (see the 62 year runs) and Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015) (see the NMO), which followed Chen and Tung (2014) and their proposed mechanism for how multidecadal oscillations in the ocean heat uptake rate explains the multidecadal oscillations in surface temperature. See again here
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/hmmm-entering-a-cooling-phase/#comment-57068
the graph of the 60 year running mean (it’s the third graph, which you have repeatedly not addressed) and which has eliminated all meaningful trace of these multidecadal oscillations (the accompanying graph of the 30 year running mean does not eliminate such, as should be expected). Please explain what it is you don’t get about the fact that this graph shows what is going on underneath all those oscillations in question, which is the fact that this graph of the long term warming of the surface since the 1800s is following the track of a positively accelerated curve (not a straight line) such that any slowdown since the late 1990s has had no effect whatsoever on this fact. (If one understands the points I made using the mathematical illustration I gave further above here
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/subverting-democracy/#comment-64286
on Oct 7 at 9:04 am, then one should appreciate that this slowdown having no such effect whatsoever is an important harbinger of the future. That is, neither the NMO since the late 1990s nor any other causal factor expressed in multidecadal oscillations is slowing down the underlying long term positively accelerating warming as shown in this graph, and that’s not good news.)

132. BBD says:

RonG

I would also like to see your research on this.

Despite ongoing increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, the Earth’s global average surface air temperature has remained more or less steady since 2001. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed to account for this slowdown in surface warming. A key component of the global hiatus that has been identified is cool eastern Pacific sea surface temperature, but it is unclear how the ocean has remained relatively cool there in spite of ongoing increases in radiative forcing. Here we show that a pronounced strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades—unprecedented in observations/reanalysis data and not captured by climate models—is sufficient to account for the cooling of the tropical Pacific and a substantial slowdown in surface warming through increased subsurface ocean heat uptake. The extra uptake has come about through increased subduction in the Pacific shallow overturning cells, enhancing heat convergence in the equatorial thermocline. At the same time, the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific, lowering sea surface temperature there, which drives further cooling in other regions. The net effect of these anomalous winds is a cooling in the 2012 global average surface air temperature of 0.1–0.2 °C, which can account for much of the hiatus in surface warming observed since 2001. This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate.

133. BBD says:

RonG

The models are leaving the realm of predictive science and moving toward the Oracle of Delphi.

Or the models do not capture the variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake and additionally have been forced incorrectly (Schmidt et al. 2014).

CMIP5 models run with updated forcings that match real-world forcing changes come into much closer agreement with observations. Factor in the effects of variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake (England et al.) and the much-hyped divergence pretty much disappears. And with it, your argument.

134. Ron Graf says:

JCH:

Ron Graf – wood for trees uses UAH version 5.6. The version Dr. Spencer reports each month on his blog is UAH Version 6.0, which he states is much closer to RSS.

Thank you, JCH. I know you have investigated this area quite a bit. I also appreciate that your comments that I have seen are intelligent, sincere and civil.

I understand your not helping make my points, the opposing view, that RSS and UAH are more compatible with each other than with GISS or HADCRUT, and, version 5.6 and version 6.0 are not significantly different in a way to slant results. Telling even just one’s sides view, if honest, does little harm to democracy. 🙂

That said, I’m willing to criticize both sides. If Dr. Spencer is hiding the code for his method of analysis, which I think you might be aware of if true, I would condemn it as I am for openness of all data in climate science, after all, we are talking about our children and posterity. By the way, I do not agree with Spencer’s religious views or endorse him advocating a political position. I think this is wrong of scientists on both sides of this debate.

ATTP:

”…They wrote a paper. It was reported in the media. A couple of contrarians made claims about this paper on blogs that they were not able to back up and that, in my view, were simply wrong, and you have the gall to imply that M&F are somehow responsible for subverting democracy. I’ve been trying hard to not get frustrated by comments, but it is very difficult when people say such bizarre and ridiculous things.”

The paper would not have been reported in the media save for the readymade Max Plank press release. This press release was run without question almost verbatim by main stream media organizations. But to be fair to the media, their work was done for them. A science reporter had already digested the paper’s abstruse jargon and interviewed the authors. And, just to be sure there were no misunderstandings, I’m sure the reporter allowed Marotzke to see the article before publication. Wait… who is the reporter? He forgot to give himself, or herself, a credit line, just initials “PH”. You don’t think…? Then again, I guess one needn’t worry about the interviewer asking the wrong questions when you do it yourself.
L
et’s compare the paper to the article to see how well Marotzke did in making sure the article was accurate. https://www.mpg.de/8925360/climate-change-global-warming-slowdown

The paper: the skeptics claim that the models (as a whole) are overestimating GHG forcing seems to be unfounded.
“PH’s” story Headline: “Global warming slowdown: No systematic errors in climate models”

PH continues… “Sceptics who still doubt anthropogenic climate change have now been stripped of one of their last-ditch arguments: It is true that there has been a warming hiatus and that the surface of the earth has warmed up much less rapidly since the turn of the millennium than all the relevant climate models had predicted. However, the gap between the calculated and measured warming is not due to systematic errors of the models, as the sceptics had suspected, but because there are always random fluctuations in the Earth’s climate.”

Why didn’t Marotzke say since 1998? But that’s a nit. The article politicizes skepticism, a represents “their” point of view as a single falsifiable point, and shifting the burden of proof. The truth is the only common denominator of skeptics is that they require requisite evidence to match the claims. That evidence in this case is models that possess predictive power. The models failed to show predictive power by systematically projecting a trend that diverged from reality from the start.

If one is allowed to validate the models after they fail by providing explanation after the fact then you have not progressed from the predictions of the Oracle. I know you are going to say, “but the paper proved the models were still within natural variability.”

Let’s go back to the paper: “Furthermore, the period 1998–2012 stands out as the only one during which the HadCRUT4 15-year GMST trend falls entirely outside the CMIP5 ensemble.”

And, of course, by Jan 2015 it was more so.
I know there are predictions that the hiatus will end. But if it doesn’t my prediction is that the climate change movement will continue louder than ever. And, if the temperature goes down Mann et al will find tree ring confirmation that the global conveyor is slowing. They have already laid the groundwork, like a large hedge fund managing risk.

Continuing the article… “Recently, Jochem Marotzke, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, and Piers M. Forster, a professor at the University of Leeds in the UK, have impressively demonstrated this by means of a comprehensive statistical analysis. They also clearly showed that the models do not generally overestimate man-made climate change. Global warming is therefore highly likely to reach critical proportions by the end of the century – if the global community does not finally get to grips with the problem.

” They wrote a paper. It was reported in the media
Man-made climate change? Critical proportions by the end of the century? If the global community does not finally get to grips with the problem? Show where in the paper any of this is “clearly shown”.

As I mentioned earlier the models could have any number of parameters wrong that could mask climate sensitivity, most notably aerosols.

The paper does not deal with error in their calculations, yet this is basic. Because the terms plugged into the equation are not exact. And if you have an error that is systematic that could cause circularity. For example, in A = B+C, if B in the model systematically deviates in proportion to modeled A, or inversely proportion to modeled C, then C will calculate out as being insignificant, having its effects credited falsely to A or B. This is precisely what I believe Frank’s comment was saying and what Paul_k intends to demonstrate. If this corruption is absolute then the model in fact is circular. This would be an independent problem from overestimating the negative forcing of aerosols.
PH:

Jochem Marotzke and Piers M. Forster have now explained the warming pause in terms of random fluctuations arising from chaotic processes in the climate system. Even more importantly for the two researchers and their colleagues around the world: they did not find any conceptual errors in the models. Most notably, the models do not generally react too sensitively to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Where did the paper isolate CO2 from the other parameters? I missed that. Help me.
They did explain the pause by claiming unpredictable variability. But over the 62-year interval they can predict precisely the trend, well not precisely, but the models are in the ballpark of the instrumental record; that has to impress you. Wait.. How did they create and parameterize (tune) the models, I wonder?

How can anyone know if there is natural variability on the 300-year scale? We seem to have evidence of a global cooling just 300 years ago. And a warming 1000, 2000 and 3000 years ago. We are getting more confident we can explain the interglacials of the Quaternary Ice age, but the theory and the crude recordings have only a vague fit, definitely imperfect. We just discovered that Mars was much warmer in the past than modeled. But M&F and PH don’t want to cloud your thoughts. There is only steady forced climate and unknowable variability only on the 15, (or 23-yr) scale.

“The claim that climate models systematically overestimate global warming caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations is wrong,” says Jochem Marotzke. Climate sceptics often make precisely this claim, citing the warming pause as evidence. Yet they cannot deny that nine of the ten warmest years since systematic climate observations began have occurred in the new millennium and that global warming has slowed at a very high level. The sceptics also ignore the fact that ocean temperatures continue to rise as rapidly as many models have predicted.

I like how he was apt to use the word “deny.” Ocean temperatures are in fact part of HADCRUT, GISS, UAH and RISS. So he is misleading there. They are not rising with pace of the models. The “missing heat” is a “travesty,” remember Trenberth in Climategate? Also, many people are confused by the statistic of all the world record temperatures and the fact there is a pause in warming. Nobody announces that the warming is lower than expected. But people aren’t ignorant. They simply get more skeptical when they learn there has been misleading reports. That is exactly where I came into this; hearing irreconcilable facts proclaimed made me curious.

M&F’s paper does not help the models; the article concludes on sad note:

Quite apart from their role as scientists, researchers have another reason for greeting the study with mixed feelings:[What? I didn’t get that Marotzke held a position on climate change.] no all-clear signal has been sounded. Climatologists [And he speaks for all of them] have been fairly correct with their predictions [There is no debate among scientists, just deniers]. This means: if we continue as before, the Earth will continue to warm up [Nothing to do with this paper.]– with consequences [Completely unknown, good and bad] , particularly for developing countries [We need to set aside reparations now for our sins.], that we can only begin to fathom. [Not to alarm anyone into increasing funding.]

ATTP: ” Utterly ridiculous. And you wonder why most scientists won’t go and discuss things on most climate blogs. They wrote a paper…”

135. Marco says:

I wonder how UAH, RSS, GISS, HADCRUT, and the others include “ocean temperatures”, considering GISS and HADCRUT do not include any temperature measurements below at most a few meters of the upper ocean layer, while UAH and RSS have their main weight somewhere 2-3 km up in the troposphere (IIRC).

Note also that by January 2015 HADCRUT is well within the CMIP5 spread (even its uncertainty range is now in that spread at present), whereas it was slightly outside around 2012

Maybe you should stop mindreading, Ron Graf, because you are clearly not capable of doing so.

136. Ron,
I have no idea what you’re on about. Apart from some “skeptic” blogs making claims which they have failed to back up, there is no real evidence that there is anything fundamentally wrong with M&F. It is just a paper. It’s not perfect, just as any paper is not perfect. It was reported in the media. The media reports appear to be reasonable representations of the paper, although – as is usual – they rather skim over the details. However, what else are they intended to do. So, I really don’t really get what you’re going on about. Focusing on a single paper and making claims based on a few rather confused statisticians isn’t particularly convincing.

137. BBD says:

Ron G

I repeat:

CMIP5 models run with updated forcings that match recent real-world forcing changes come into much closer agreement with observations (Schmidt et al. 2014). Factor in the effects of variability in the rate of ocean heat uptake (England et al. 2014) and the much-hyped recent divergence between models and observations pretty much disappears. And with it, your argument.

138. Ron Graf says:

BBD, You can make any discrepancy disappear if you have endless ability to revise your forecast. That is not science. You are not alone in forgetting the only foolproof remedy against bias, sealed predictions (of the future). This is why Richard Feynman needed to remind us: the easiest person to fool is yourself.

Marco, does it not strike you as a problem that the IPCC’s forecast is about 40% out of the 95% range of all model scenarios? The IPCC forecast only overlaps their model’s forecast on the bottom 55%. Considering that the models were intended TO BE the forecast that is not a bolstering your point that everything is predicted all along.

That said, if there is a 60-year oscillation that has been there since the beginning of time that only came visible with global instrumental coverage AGW is likely now over 100% of warming and when the oscillation bottoms out 2020-2030 we will see an acceleration in climate response. I hope that is not the case. But if it is I would shift my feeling a bit about likely ECS, which I currently place at about 1.7 give or take 0.3C. Also, I am currently doing research that may imply a lower or higher ECS. I would go whichever direction the data leads.

ATTP, M&F15 is just another climate science paper. That is kind of my point. The typical paper is more propaganda than science, feeding an all to hungry audience. This is demonstrated by your yawns at flagrant misrepresentations.

BTW, I believe you are the one that misunderstood M&F’s conclusions. I don’t fault you too much since they IMO intentionally made it misleading. Although they did claim that natural variability dominates 15-year intervals and forcing dominates 62-year trends, that does not by itself scientifically eliminate the possibility that GHG forcing’s influence is systematically overstated by the models. And, even if you think it does the authors apparently did not. Here is the concluding paragraph to their paper:

There is recent scientific, political and public debate regarding the question of whether the GMST difference between simulations and observations during the hiatus period might be a sign of an equilibrium model response to a given radiative forcing that is systematically too strong, or, equivalently, of a simulated climate feedback at that is systematically too small (equation(2)). By contrast, we find no substantive physical or statistical connection between simulated climate feedback and simulated GMST trends over the hiatus or any other period, for either 15-or 62year trends (Figs 2 and 3 and Extended Data Fig. 4). The role of simulated climate feedback in explaining the difference between simulations and observations is hence minor or even negligible. By implication,the comparison of simulated and observed GMST trends does not permit inference about which magnitude of simulated climate feedback—ranging from 0.6 to 1.8Wm in the CMIP5 ensemble—better fits the observations. Because observed GMST trends do not allow us to distinguish between simulated climate feedbacks that vary by a factor of three, the claim that climate models systematically overestimate the GMST response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations seems to be unfounded.

Climate feedback is defined in the paper as alpha (a) in the equation a = F2/ECS where F2 is the radiative forcing of a doubling of CO2 (defined by the individual model, ranging from 2.6 to 4.3) and ECS is the equilibrium temperature change from that forcing over hundreds of years (varying by ocean uptake kappa).

M&F argue that because alpha varies from model to model by a factor of three without markedly affecting trend in T shows that climate sensitivity does not matter, and thus its systematic overstatement does not matter, and thus can not be the cause of model deviation from observed temperatures. This is either utterly absurd. Or, I am going to allow you to educate me.

139. Marco says:

“Marco, does it not strike you as a problem that the IPCC’s forecast is about 40% out of the 95% range of all model scenarios?”

Ron Graf, is that an acknowledgment that you were telling porkies earlier? Let’s first establish this, before I respond to your question, since I have little desire in yet another Gish gallop from your side.

140. Marco says:

P.S.: ATTP, good luck educating Ron Graf – his deliberate misreading (see, I can mindread, too) of what M&F write is obvious to me, and thereby in my opinion it will be impossible to change Ron’s mind.

141. Ron,

You can make any discrepancy disappear if you have endless ability to revise your forecast. That is not science.

Sorry, Ron, but this is just getting silly and if you are going to keep saying things like this, you can stay at ClimateAudit and Lucia’s. I’ll explain this one more time. Most GCMs had actual observations for anthropogenic emissions up until 2005 and had to use projections for emissions post 2005. If you discover that your model projections differed from what was observed, it is perfectly scientific to consider if the inputs to your models (the emissions, volcanoes, solar) differed from what actually happened, and to rerun the models if they did.

BTW, I believe you are the one that misunderstood M&F’s conclusions. I don’t fault you too much since they IMO intentionally made it misleading.

Okay, I hadn’t seen this until after writing the above. Now you really can go away. Please. Stay at ClimateAudit and Lucia’s where conspiratorial thinking is encouraged and where insulting the authors of papers, the results of which you don’t like, is encouraged. Seriously, save me the trouble of deleting your comments by no longer making any.

M&F argue that because alpha varies from model to model by a factor of three without markedly affecting trend in T shows that climate sensitivity does not matter, and thus its systematic overstatement does not matter, and thus can not be the cause of model deviation from observed temperatures.

Firstly, they’re pointing out that model spread is dominated by the spread in forcing and not the spread in alpha and kappa. Also, what they say at the end of the paper is

the claim that climate models systematically overestimate the GMST response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations seems to be unfounded.

In other words, the claim that models systematically overestimates the GMST response to a change in forcing is unfounded – there is no/little evidence to support this claim.

142. Ron Graf said on October 10, 2015 at 5:46 am,

“…in A = B+C, if B in the model systematically deviates in proportion to modeled A, or inversely proportion to modeled C, then C will calculate out as being insignificant, having its effects credited falsely to A or B….If this corruption is absolute then the model in fact is circular.”

But there is no corruption in the first place.

Here are two basic properties of the binary operation of a group, these two properties signifying two subsets of ordered pairs from the set of all ordered pairs of this binary function over the group (recall that a binary operation over a set is a binary function in which both input variables and the output variable denote members of the set, and recall that the reals form an additive group): (1) For one of the two input variables fixed, the other input variable and the output variable vary together, and (2) for the output variable fixed, the two input variables vary together.

These two properties are trivial facts that hold for *all* equations *under the group’s operation* in *all* groups. This means that if either property in and of itself is a corruption, then it is a corruption for all such equations, which is mathematical nonsense – it is a corruption for no such equation. By what I said in my comment
https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/subverting-democracy/#comment-64428
on October 9, 2015 at 10:14 am, I think that equation A = B + C above is a proxy for the equation dF = alpha*dT + dN or the expanded version I implied by substitution dF = alpha*dT’ + dN’. And so, since either equation is such an equation in question (it is under the operation of the additive group of the reals), this claim of corruption for the equation is mathematical nonsense. (Note: It doesn’t matter which of B and C replaces which of alpha*dT and dN – by these properties of groups, the claim of corruption is wrong either way.)

I think that those who claim circularity problems with Marotzke and Forster (2015) have discovered some basic but obscure properties of groups and wrongly think that these properties are problems. This might be because they might be confusing contexts of equations. When we limit dF and dT in dF = alpha*dT + dN to the input and output of that certain function in question (the output of the regression in question), the sets of all values of dF and dT do not cover the set of all reals, in which case neither does the set of all values of dN cover the set of all reals. But if we want to take the equation more generally in an abstract context and allow all or some of the domains of the variables to cover the whole set of the reals, to avoid confusing different contexts we can just modify the symbols dT and dN to dT’ and dN’ and use the properties of groups to get the second equation dF = alpha*dT’ + dN’ I alluded to in my prior comment such that the sets of all values of variables dT’ and dN’ cover all the reals. And note that with respect to the construction in my proof, either equation works (I explain how in my comment above I link to and the one I link to in that comment). (We can of course in addition to these changes modify dF to dF’ such that the set of all values of dF’ covers all the reals to obtain dF’ = alpha*dT’ + dN’ for the most general abstract context, but this would not be relevant to the issue and thus not relevant to the construction in my proof.)

Ron Graf said on October 11, 2015 at 4:35 am,

“BBD, You can make any discrepancy disappear if you have endless ability to revise your forecast. That is not science.”

This is a straw figure fallacy. What BBD was properly alluding to is what is called “auxiliary hypotheses” and their proper and appropriate applications in mathematics and science. Read educational articles such as this
http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/bundle
and learn. This article points out that we can use the term “assumptions” in place of “auxiliary hypotheses” when these assumptions are relevant. And I further push this point that your arguments are straw figure fallacies by noting that you again and again refuse to address that graph of the 60 year running mean that I keep calling your attention to – see my comment above for the appropriate links to see this graph if you still have not yet seen it. That you keep running away from it is very telling. I can only surmise that the reason that you keep running away from this graph is because you realize its implications – it destroys your position on M&F15, since it essentially is an expression in a certain graphical form of the conclusions of M&F15 – as well as Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015), which is that the models are getting it right with respect to the long term warming underling the multiyear and multidecadal oscillations and that this is confirmed when all the auxiliary hypotheses or relevant assumptions that were false have been are taken into account and properly modified into true statements. To see this last point amplified:

The symbolic form of what this above article essentially says is the setup (T & A) -> P, where T is the test hypotheses or target of the falsification test, P is the prediction or projection made by T, and A is the set of all auxiliary hypotheses or relevant assumptions. This last part on “auxiliary hypotheses” is important – we can falsify T only if we take the inductive step of taking A to be true, which means that all its members must be true. This means that if we find a member of A that is false, which makes A false, then the falsification test breaks down since by the rules of propositional logic we can at this point infer nothing from the results. With respect to the set of models in question (T), we found several false members of A (false assumptions on volcanic activity and ENSO, and false assumptions on multidecadal oscillations in terms of heat absorption by the oceans – these are the auxiliary hypotheses that BBD addressed) with gives us ~A, and so T (the set of models in question) has not been falsified. That is, using the symbolic notation of propositional or sentential logic, simply perform modus tollens: (A & T) -> P and ~P yields ~(A & T), which by De Morgan is equivalent to ~A v ~T. Our observations confirm ~A, which means that by the rules of propositional logic, we can infer nothing else beyond this, which includes that we cannot infer ~T at this point. When we rerun the test with the new correct assumptions in A (on volcanic activity and ENSO, and on multidecadal oscillations in terms of heat absorption by the oceans), we get (A & T) -> P and P, which means that T passes this falsification test with true P.

(Note: Some do and some do not use the terms “auxiliary hypotheses” and “ad hoc hypotheses” as synonyms. The above does not. These hypotheses above and changes to them improve the testability of the models – we get better results with the appropriate changes to the assumptions given new factual information. This process is central to how mathematics and science gets done. But if adding or making changes to assumptions does not yield better test results, then this could be ad hoc in a different and negative sense that such as this article
http://www.hu.mtu.edu/~tlockha/h3700hemp2.htm
presents.)

143. JCH says:

I like how he was apt to use the word “deny.” Ocean temperatures are in fact part of HADCRUT, GISS, UAH and RISS. So he is misleading there. They are not rising with pace of the models. The “missing heat” is a “travesty,” remember Trenberth in Climategate?

When Ron Graf makes comments like this, it is just impossible to take his long, multiple-paragraph comments seriously.

What percentage of the ocean heat content anomaly is captured by SST?

.

144. BBD says:

Thanks ATTP. Saved me the bother.

145. Ron Graf says:

First, thank you to our host for continuing to allow my daily comment. In exchange, I will redouble my efforts to be as sensitive as possible without compromising my intellectual voice.

I will respectfully revise my comment “This is not science.” To paraphrase Thomas Edison, one must learn a 1000 ways not to make a light bulb before the final discovery. What I meant by “this is not science” is that before one can credibly make the claim the science is settled is to have their results reproduce out of their own hands by skeptical peers and by predicting nature with a theory that can be broken down and be tested at every point. I should have said “hypothesizing why one’s prediction failed should not be confused with scientific validation.”

JCH, My comment you quoted was in the context of how a scientist’s comments were misleading to the less knowledgeable public, not those like yourself. Marotzke made it sound as if the models do not include the oceans, and most people know that the oceans are 70% of the surface. I am well aware that GMST does not include the temperature of the oceans below the surface and RSS and UAH are taking air temperatures well above.

We have in fact only been taking the temperature of the ocean as a whole for about 11 years with Argo buoys. And despite that claimed by Argo to being accurate to 0.01C, they hide their error bars and make hard to analyze charts. Here is a recent WUWT article that brings an Argo chart into degrees C, which shows a 0.02 per decade trend (or .2C per century). And, even that is in conflict with CERES data which suggests no warming at all. In any case, I am not aware of anyone claiming that the Argo data is validating the CMIP5 ensemble trend. That’s what I meant.

Marco, the AR5 or current IPCC forecast is not the same as the CMIP5 consensus forecast or the hindcast analyzed by M&F. I’m not sure what your point was, but my point was that the AR5 forecast should be one and the same as the CMIP5 as at least one condition to deem the models validated.

ATTP, On M&F’s concluding paragraph. Your answer was not as educating as I think you should be capable of. Please give it another go and analyze what M&F and I are saying.

KeefeAndAmanda, you continue to bring up and argument I am not making. I do not dispute math. I dispute no showing the handling of the error, which can overwhelm the math. The error first, and foremost, comes from trying to solve values correctly in a black box that has so many parameters.

146. Willard says:

RonG, please remind you what AT said about a related ClimateBall game plan:

One minute you’re suggesting that you don’t really have the expertise to understand this topic all that well and that you’re interested in understanding it more, the next you’re making strong claims about what we can and can’t do and making claims about specific bits of research. It doesn’t seem all that consistent.

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/representative-concentration-pathways/#comment-61405

Perhaps it’s time to give a rest to an exchange that has run its course and that is far away from the topic of the post.

147. Ron,

Please give it another go and analyze what M&F and I are saying.

Until such time as you can show that you’ve confirmed with M&F that what you’re saying is the same as what they’re saying, maybe you shouldn’t suggest that it is. The basic point – as I understand it – is that the forced response is given by

$\Delta T = \dfrac{F}{\alpha + \kappa},$

Hence, the forced response depends more strongly on $F$, than on $\alpha$ and $\kappa$ – which can compensate for each other – and, so, the forced variability is more dependent on variability in $F$ than on variability in $\alpha$ and $\kappa$.

This is not the same as what you said

climate sensitivity does not matter

148. Ron Graf says:

[Playing the ref – W]

ATTP, I think we have a disagreement about what the terms of the equation represent. Let us take it slow (with no scolding). I see M&F defining alpha as equal to F2/ECS where F2 is the radiative forcing of a doubling of CO2 (defined by the individual model, ranging from 2.6 to 4.3) and ECS is the equilibrium climate sensitivity.

149. Ron,
Yes, alpha is F2x/ECS. To circumvent a potentially circuitous exchange, there are a number of ways that a model could match an underlying anthropogenic trend. It could have estimated a high $\Delta F$, with a low ECS (big alpha), or it could have the same $\Delta F$ as another model with a different ECS, but also with a different kappa (since the transient response depends on both alpha and kappa). The point – I think – that M&F are making is that the model spread is more a consequence of variability in F than in alpha or kappa. This is not saying that ECS does not matter.

150. In reply to my comment on October 11, 2015 at 9:29 am, Ron Graf said on October 11, 2015 at 4:59 pm,

“KeefeAndAmanda, you continue to bring up and argument I am not making.”

I in my comment above specifically addressed your last claim of circularity, which is an argument you explicitly made. (Also in my comment above I addressed your explicit argument in reply to BBD about the models. I showed your argument to be a logical mistake in that you disallowed the use of volcanic activity, ENSO, and ocean heat absorption rates as proper auxiliary conditions that properly bring the models into much closer agreement with the data.)

“I do not dispute math.”

You say you do not dispute the math, but you continue to dispute the math with your circularity claims, including your last one that I in my above comment with a generalized argument demonstrated was mathematical nonsense.

And you *still* continue to run away from that graph of that 60 year running mean – you *still* refuse to even discuss it.

151. Ron Graf says:

ATTP, okay, let’s parse M&F’s concluding paragraph:
There is recent scientific, political and public debate regarding the question of whether the GMST difference between simulations and observations during the hiatus period might be a sign of an equilibrium model response to a given radiative forcing that is systematically too strong, [I read the skeptics are questioning if the ECS in the models might be too high since the model’s projections diverge from the observed for the last 15+ years] or, equivalently, of a simulated climate feedback at that is systematically too small (equation(2))[meaning the alpha term]. By contrast, we find no substantive physical or statistical connection between simulated climate feedback [alpha] and simulated GMST trends over the hiatus or any other period, for either 15-or 62year trends (Figs 2 and 3 and Extended Data Fig. 4). [No connection between alpha and temperature for the short term, long term, nowhere, nohow.] The role of simulated climate feedback in explaining the difference between simulations and observations is hence minor or even negligible.[Alpha has no impact] By implication,the comparison of simulated and observed GMST trends does not permit inference about which magnitude of simulated climate feedback [Alpha can’t be detected or inferred because it shows no impact] —ranging from 0.6 to 1.8Wm in the CMIP5 ensemble—better fits the observations. [Alpha ranges from .6 to 1.8 in various models that all can have similar GMST trends. That’s a variance of a factor of 3 because 3 times 0.6 equals 1.8] Because observed GMST trends do not allow us to distinguish between simulated climate feedbacks that vary by a factor of three, [Because alpha does not matter] the claim that climate models systematically overestimate the GMST response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations seems to be unfounded.”

Alpha is the reciprocal of ECS, climate sensitivity. If M&F’s analysis resulted in alpha does not matter it resulted in ECS not mattering. And, they do not hide this unless spelling it out in plain site was a bold gambit. Because everyone knows this is nonsense and thus there must be a mistake in their analysis. Nic Lewis thought it was math circularity but KeefeAndAmanda disproved that.

…and Then There’s Physics says:
October 8, 2015 at 6:23 am

Ron,
You’re also, I think, misunderstanding this

For either trend length, spread in simulated climate feedback leaves no traceable imprint on GMST trends or, consequently, on the difference between simulations and observations.

Essentially what M&F were doing was trying to understand the deviations between models and observations and their analysis suggests that it is mainly due to internal variability and not due the spread in alpha, kappa, and F. They’re not claiming that feedbacks aren’t important, they’re suggesting that the deviation between models and observations can be explained by internally-driven variability.:

If this comment makes it out of moderation and does not get deleted I will mail ATTP a Swiss watch with his name engraved on it, whichever name he chooses.

[Whining. -W]

152. Ron Graf says:

Actually alpha should have been the reciprocal of climate sensitivity. But since F2 instead of being 3.7 (the standard accepted value) it varied among models from 2.6 to 4.3 M&F plugged that value in the numerator. This had the effect of canceling out ECS to values near unity, thus nullifying climate sensitivity from their analysis. THAT I believe is the long sought circularity.

153. Ron,
As for your earlier comment, you keep saying “doesn’t matter”. It’s not that it “doesn’t matter”, it’s that variability in alpha/kappa is not a big contributor to the model spread.

As for your above comment, the is no $F_{2x}$ in the M&F analysis. They simply use F, alpha and kappa to represent the forced response. That you can estimate the ECS for a model using F2x and alpha, does not make this somehow invalid.

Since this is now the second thread in which we’ve discussed this and since this is as unlikely to achieve much (just like the previous), maybe we can call this quits. You’re of course free to go back to Lucia’s and claim to have checkmated me; saying it doesn’t make it true.

154. clivebest says:

Marotzke & Forster(2015) found that 15y trends can be masked by internal variability but that 60 year trends in global surface temperatures are dominated by underlying climate physics. However, the data still show that climate models overestimate such 60 year decadel trends after 1940.

155. Clive,
Is that your figure? If so, maybe you could explain it. Also, what I said to you on Twitter applies here too. I have little patience for people who appear to be pseudo-deniers.

156. clivebest says:

I took all CMIP5 model results and formed 60y trends depending on start year as defined in M&S. I then did the same for Hadcrtut4 data and plotted the results as shown above. The blue curve shows the trend for a simple model DT = ΛDS + AMO oscillation fitted to H4.

What is a pseudo-denier ?

157. Why did you stop in 1970? Why does Figure 3a in M&F seem to show that the forced trend + variability is consistent with the observed 62 year trends?

What is a pseudo-denier ?

Someone who seems to want to pretend that they aren’t one, while behaving as if they are. I’m not interested in discussing it further though. Take it or leave it. I don’t hugely care. Your typically behaviour on Twitter does not lead me to have any great desire to interact with you.

158. Sorry, I misread the scale. It’s 5-year increments, not 10.

159. Clive,
Also, your analysis doesn’t appear to really be relevant to M&F. They’re illustrating that the models can be represented as a forced trend plus some kind of internally-driven variability. Given this (and given the uncertainty in the observed temperature trends – which I think you’ve ignored) you can’t claim that the models over-estimate the warming – as you appear to have just done.

160. clivebest says:

It’s just that I can’t resist teasing you !

I believe their Fig3a to be too complex and confusing. I do find that you can distinguish between 60y model trends with different climate sensitivity and the data (H4). Some models are too sensitive and I believe the data already rules those out. M&S tries to rescue all CMIP5 models by arguing that even 60y trends cannot distinguish between models because of internal variability. I dissagree with that conclusion, based on my own investigation.

Physics has always been based on developing theoretical models to describe nature. These models make predictions which can then be tested by experiment. If the results of these experiments dissagree with the predictions then either the model can be updated to explain the new data or else discarded. What one can’t do is to discard the experimental data because the models can’t distinguish why they dissagree with the data.

161. Clive,

It’s just that I can’t resist teasing you !

Ahh, is that what you call it. I use a different word to describe it and what I said above still stands. Try remembering what I said to you on Twitter. I genuinely meant it. And I’ll happily point it out again, if you choose to continue as you do.

I dissagree with that conclusion, based on my own investigation.

Publish it then. That’s how this is meant to work. You might want to think about your UHI post, and your internal variability post too (where you assumed that the forced trend was CO2 only). While you promote those, I really can’t take you all that seriously and is one reason for my comment above.

Also, you really don’t need to lecture me about physics. I understand how it works and how one uses models. That you seem to think that you do need to lecture me about it, rather influences my view of you. The word “hubris” springs to mind.

162. clivebest says:

M&S identify ‘deterministic’ and ‘internal variability’ in the models through a multi-regression analysis with their known forcings as input.

$\Delta{T} = \frac{\Delta{F}}{(\alpha + \kappa)} + \epsilon$

where $\Delta{F}$ is the forcing, $\alpha$ is a climate feedback and $\kappa$ is fraction of ocean heat uptake and $\epsilon$ is random variation.

By introducing 3 unknowns rather than 2 they make the regression almost impossible to resolve. Furrthermore the assumption that all internal variability is quasi-random is likely wrong. In fact there is clear evidence of a 60y oscillation in the GMST data probably related to the AMO/PDO – see realclimate. In this sense all models are likely wrong because they fail to include such non-random variation.

163. clivebest says:

Funnily enough I have just published a paper but it cost me £500! What you guys in universities and publically funded research centres conveniently forget is that to publish a paper in say Nature costs well over £2000. Independent scientists have no institutional support, no help with typesetting or proof-reading and then if accepted by a journal then have to pay for everything out of their own pocket to get it published.

Is it any surprise we use Blogs!

164. Clive,

By introducing 3 unknowns rather than 2 they make the regression almost impossible to resolve.

Except, you can’t simply do 2 because on decadal timescales, the transient response is what’s relevant and that depends on both the feedback and the ocean diffusivity.

Furrthermore the assumption that all internal variability is quasi-random is likely wrong.

I don’t think they really made this assumption. They simply assumed that the trend was forced plus variability.

In this sense all models are likely wrong because they fail to include such non-random variation.

And as I’ve pointed out to you before, your estimation that you can divide the observed temperature into a CO2-forced component and an internal variability component is WRONG, because CO2 is NOT the only external forcing. Some of your supposed internal variability is externally forced!

165. Clive,
I rarely pay publication charges. In fact, I have almost no money to do so, so your view of institutional support is not entirely correct. Did you check this before you forked over £500?

166. clivebest says:

No it is not on that list. It is a respectable journal. However I did exaggerate the cost as it was in Euro and divided between both authors. Any researcher employed by a university department or research lab never has to pay publication charges provided the paper is relevant.

167. clive,

Any researcher employed by a university department or research lab never has to pay publication charges provided the paper is relevant.

If you’re suggesting that any university researcher can submit to any journal and simply automatically charge the page charges to their university, then you’re simply wrong. This is not how it works. There are budgets and they are finite and my budget for page charges is zero. I have access to some other funds at the level of a few hundred pounds per year, and I have only paid page charges twice in a decade. The university currently has an extra pot of money to cover Gold Open Access but I tend to object to this on principle given that it is simply giving extra money to journals so that the public can access papers, the research for which they’ve alread paid for. I simply submit all (or almost all) my papers to the ArXiv.

168. clivebest says:

“Except, you can’t simply do 2 because on decadal timescales, the transient response is what’s relevant and that depends on both the feedback and the ocean diffusivity.”

You can combine the 2 and simply call it equilibrium climate sensitivity. ECS can be measured for each model by doubling CO2 instantaneously and waiting 100y for the temperatures to be stabilised. This has actually been done and values of ECS differ in value by up to a factor of 2. This means that decadel trends also vary by a large %.

Von Neuman once said: “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

169. Clive,

You can combine the 2 and simply call it equilibrium climate sensitivity.

I don’t think you can in this context. Together they give you a sense of the transient response, not the equilibrium response. You could have combined them into a single parameter, I guess, and treated them that way, but then you’d be assessing the combined influence of feedbacks and ocean diffusivity, so I’m not sure what that would tell you.

ECS can be measured for each model by doubling CO2 instantaneously and waiting 100y for the temperatures to be stabilised.

Not if you’re trying to do it as defined.

Von Neuman once said: “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

These aren’t parameters. The feedback response is an emergent property, and the forcing timeseries is essentially an input (well the emissions are, at least). Are you actually thinking before you write a comment? Also, do you think that quoting Von Neuman really says anything other than you want to pretend to be associating with the greats? Playing this kind of quotation from big name gambit is what I expect from pseudo-skeptics, not from someone who seems to want to be taken seriously.

Now, how about you spending some time thinking about what I said earlier? Your analysis in which you seperate the temperature time series into a CO2 forced response and what you seem to think is an internal contribution, still has external forcings in what you seem to think is internal. That seems to be a rather big deal if you’re trying to suggest that you’re finding a strong AMO signal. You should probably read that RealClimate link more carefully since – IIRC – it was essentially criticising precisely what you’ve gone and done.

170. Ron Graf says:

“Ron,
As for your earlier comment, you keep saying “doesn’t matter”. It’s not that it “doesn’t matter”, it’s that variability in alpha/kappa is not a big contributor to the model spread.”

I did not say ECS or it’s reciprocal does not matter. I was saying that is what M&F were claiming as their assumption in order to make their conclusion. I showed this clearly. You have never defended what M&F wrote. You simply read their minds and give your own opinion as to what they should have meant.

“As for your above comment, the is no F_{2x} in the M&F analysis. They simply use F, alpha and kappa to represent the forced response. That you can estimate the ECS for a model using F2x and alpha, does not make this somehow invalid.”

I never said there is no F_{2x}. I said they placed it in the wrong spot. It’s a forcing and belongs in F, not alpha.

Who is “W” that chops my comments? Did you give your control panel to Willard?

171. Ron,

I did not say ECS or it’s reciprocal does not matter. I was saying that is what M&F were claiming as their assumption in order to make their conclusion.

I didn’t say you said it doesn’t matter, I’m saying that M&F have never said it doesn’t matter. You keep saying that they have. I’m saying that they haven’t. They’ve simply pointed out that the model spread depends more on variations in the ERF than on variations in alpha and kappa.

I never said there is no F_{2x}. I said they placed it in the wrong spot. It’s a forcing and belongs in F, not alpha.

It’s not in alpha. It’s simply that if you want to estimate the ECS you can do so using F_{2x} and alpha. Alpha is an emergent property of the models.

Who is “W” that chops my comments? Did you give your control panel to Willard?

Willard has access, yes. His inline comments have a point. I’ll ask him to stop here, though.

172. Ron Graf says:

Correction: F_{2x} is already in ECS. They simply needed to to a correction for each model’s F_{2x} in their ECS.

173. Ron,
As I understand it, alpha is defined according to each model’s ECS and each model’s F_{2x}. I don’t get what your issue is.

174. Marco says:

“What you guys in universities and publically funded research centres conveniently forget is that to publish a paper in say Nature costs well over £2000”

Perhaps Clive Best can show me the evidence that Nature demands people to hand over 2000 pound for a publication.

175. Willard says:

> Correction: […]

If anyone is still interested in the M&F15 debate I just called a checkmate on ATTP at ATTP’s.

176. clivebest says:

Last time I submitted a paper to nature about 2 years ago and I calculated the publication charges at over £1000 then(it was rejected which was maybe a blessing in disguise). I may be wrong but I think at that time there was also a page charge and a greyscale figure charge.

I just looked at the official costs just now and find

“There is a charge of $600 for the first colour figure and$300 for each additional colour figure. Please note that we are unable to offer to publish greyscale in print and colour online. Otherwise, there are no submission fees or page charges.”

If you look at the M&F paper I think you’ll find they have 7 colour figures in total. So I calculate that at $2400 for the figures. 177. Ron Graf says: ATTP:“Ron, As I understand it, alpha is defined according to each model’s ECS and each model’s F_{2x}. I don’t get what your issue is. Alpha is supposed to be 1/ECS normalized for F_{2x}. Instead M&F put F_{2x} in the numerator. How else could they have come up with a range of alpha of 0.6 to 1.8? The range for ECS is 2-4, which should be an alpha range to about 0.2 to 0.5. This would have a lot more effect to deltaT the time series trends. This would explain everything. Don’t you agree? How can I email you to get your address to send you the watch? 178. Ron, Alpha is supposed to be 1/ECS normalized for F_{2x}. Instead M&F put F_{2x} in the numerator. It depend on how you write alpha. Here alpha clearly has units of W/m^2/K, so to get from alpha to ECS it’s F_{2x}/alpha. So, if alpha goes from 0.6W/m^2/K to 1.8W/m^2/K, then that gives an ECS range of 6.1 to 2, assuming F_{2x} is 3.7W/m^2. However, they also point out that each model has its own F_{2x}. 179. Clive, I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make. I think many publishing houses make much higher profits (as a fraction of revenue) than is reasonable given what they actually do (very little). It’s also a highly non-competitive market (you can’t suddenly become Nature or Science). However, that doesn’t seem to change that professional academics are meant to publish their results and shouldn’t really be expected to pay themselves to do so. Maybe we should find a way to financially help independent researchers, but it’s not obvious how this would work. Personally, I tend to publish in journals that don’t have page charges and post my pre-prints on the ArXiV. 180. Marco says: Clive Best, that still means you can publish in Nature for free. It’s just a matter of not making color figures (note that NPG has this policy for essentially all its journals). I am also pretty sure M&F would not be willing to pay 2400 dollars for a publication in [insert regular climate journal]. Sometimes an academic scientist would spend money on this, knowing full well it means they can kiss going to one-two conferences goodbye. Finally, there are plenty of journals that do not charge for color figures, nor have page charges. 181. I would also be surprised if you paid for colour figures in the SI. 182. Ron Graf says: ATTP:”So, if alpha goes from 0.6W/m^2/K to 1.8W/m^2/K, then that gives an ECS range of 6.1 to 2, assuming F_{2x} is 3.7W/m^2. However, they also point out that each model has its own F_{2x}.” Climate feedback is not 1/ECS. I was relying on M&F verbiage which is not right. You analysis of the units is correct but my calculator says 3.7*0.6 = 2.2 and 3.7*1.8 = 6.7. Clearly that range for ECS is too wide. Unfortunately it is impossible to know how M&F derived alpha without seeing the data from Forster 2013 where it was diagnosed, along with F and kappa. It seems clear there was an error in method and it should have been caught way long ago. M&F’s conclusion is based on it. As I parsed for you upthread, M&F’s final paragraphs were solely about a logic chain deriving from a wide ranging alpha not producing significant correlation to trend. It is not clear if their conclusion about natural variability dominating the 15-year had to do with alpha. That conclusion is fairly obvious from slopes of the 15-year trends. Didn’t need a paper on that. Saying we can be pretty sure in 62 years was not that helpful. I hope we can both agree on that note. 183. Ron, I was relying on M&F verbiage which is not right. There is nothing much wrong with what M&F say. They say An increasing trend DF in effective radiative forcing (ERF) causes an increasing trend DT in GMST. This in turn leads to increased outgoing radiation, which in linearized form is written as alpha DT, where alpha is the climate feedback parameter. This is exactly what the feedback does. That one can estimate the ECS from this – or vice versa – does not change that. It seems clear there was an error in method and it should have been caught way long ago. No, this is not clear, however many times you repeat it. M&F’s conclusion is based on it. As I parsed for you upthread, M&F’s final paragraphs were solely about a logic chain deriving from a wide ranging alpha not producing significant correlation to trend. This is not what the final paragraph says. It simply says that the model spread is determined more by variations in F, than variations in alpha and kappa. Can we stop this as going in circles again for a second time, as it is not particularly productive. 184. Ron Graf says: I am willing to call an end to this until one of us get’s better evidence. I will thus spare us both pasting M&F’s conclusion on more time. Your quote above was not from the conclusion. But you have better things to do at this point, I’m sure. Thanks for the discussion. If Paul_K get’s his M&F post together I hope you will join (I will ask Lucia to allow you). 😉 If I submit a comment in your contact page at top will that be private for me to supply my contact info or do all the people that administer your site get access to that? 185. Ron, As I understand it, if you use the contact page it simply comes to me as an email and doesn’t get stored anywhere else. 186. bill shockley says: More depth on Bernie Sanders and 3+ parties in America from Hedges and Nader. Nader knows a lot of history and knows the American political machine. Hedges says he wouldn’t want to debate him. Previously, Nader said Sanders would not last past April in the polls, and we may be seeing the emerging truth of this prediction… Since the first debate, when the media arbitrarily declared Hillary the winner (on what basis — a bigger mouth, a willingness to lie and deceive?) and he has since lost some ground. Nader says a third party would need$billions\$ to win the election and calls this period of American society a tragedy.

The interview was originally posted on Truthdig

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