What a surprise …. not

To the surprise of no one, Nic Lewis has found many serious problems with the recently published Marvel et al. paper (also discussed here and here). Even less of a surprise is Andrew Montford lapping up Nic’s claims with glee. As an aside, I had intended to have a Andrew Montford is a …. post today. Not because I specifically want to encourage name calling, but because Andrew, and his regular commenters, seem to so value their right to say whatever they like on his site, that I thought I might return the favour. It might have to wait for another time, or maybe I won’t bother (the latter, I expect).

So, back to Nic Lewis’s critique of Marvel et al. Let’s be clear, critiquing other studies is an entirely reasonable thing to do. It’s probable that no single study is completely correct, or completely wrong. On the other hand, scientific research is really about gaining understanding, not simply finding things to criticise in other people’s work. Even though some of what Nic Lewis says may be valid, overall it simply comes across as the rather standard pedantic nitpics that are the hallmark of blog science. Auditing isn’t really part of the standard scientific method.

I think, however, that I’ve got a little ahead of myself, so let’s go back a step. The key issue is that we have a number of methods for estimating climate sensitivity, one of which tends to suggest that climate sensitivity may be lower than most other methods suggest. This method is the observationally-based method that Nic Lewis seems to favour. Marvel et al. was really an attempt to explain this discrepancy, rather than being some kind of independent climate sensitivity estimate. What Marvel et al. show is that the response to a change in forcing is not the same for all forcings. Observationally-based estimates typically assume that the responses are the same. If the efficacy differs for different forcings, then this will influence estimates from methods that assume that it is the same for all forcings. Marvel et al. suggest that ignoring forcing efficacy means that observationally-based estimates tend to under-estimate climate sensitivity, and that this may explain some of the discrepancy between this method and the other methods.

Does this means that there aren’t problems with Marvel et al.? Of course not, but that there might be does not change that forcing efficacy is something that should be considered when estimating climate sensitivity. Let’s bear in mind that there are also other potential issues with observationally-based methods too. Something I’ve tried to point out to Nic Lewis before, is that if he really thinks that equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is probably below 2oC, someone is eventually going to have to explain the associated physical processes. Our current understanding is that the ECS is probably greater than 2oC. Appealing to statistical technicalities is not really good enough. The goal should be to understand reality, not rigidly apply some kind of statistical method.

In a similar sense, the ratio of Nic Lewis’s best estimate for the transient climate response (TCR) to his best estimate for the ECS is about 0.85, considerably greater than what more complex models suggest. Such a large ratio would suggest that the system is almost always close to equilibrium, largely at odds with the large heat content of the oceans (unless the oceans can equilibrate very slowly for a very long time). Essentially, all of the methods have potential issues, and understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and why there are discrepancies between methods, is an important part of advancing scientific knowledge. Also, this discussion of discrepancies misses another key point; there is still quite a large overlap between the different methods. Some methods suggest that very low values are extremely unlikely, others suggest very high values are extremely unlikely, but none of them suggest that an ECS between 2oC and 3oC is very unlikely.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Climate change, Climate sensitivity, ClimateBall, Gavin Schmidt, Global warming, Science, Steven McIntyre and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

180 Responses to What a surprise …. not

  1. RickA says:

    ATTP said “What Marvel et al. show is that the response to a change in forcing is not the same for all forcings.”

    It is my understanding that Marvel shows that the response to a change in forcing [in the model] is not the same for all forcings. My edit is added in brackets.

    Is that correct? That Marvel is evaluating the model response to changes in forcing?

  2. Rick,
    Yes, it is evaluating model response. It’s my understanding that there isn’t really any other way to do this, though.

  3. BBD says:

    So, everybody – authors, reviews – is wrong, again, and only NL can see it. We are indeed fortunate to have such among us.

  4. Terry says:

    “Auditing isn’t really part of the standard scientific method.”

    Eh ?. Certainly in my own scientific/engineering 30 year career, auditing and reviewing has been a fundamental part of the process. To my way of thinking the scientific method is exactly an auditing process where ideas and theories are constantly tested, re-evaluated and re-formulated. In short, audited. Oxford dictionary definition “A systematic review or assessment of something”

  5. Terry,
    Then you’re using a non-standard meaning of the word “auditing”. Auditing typically means to go through the numbers/calculations in detail to find any errors. What you describe below is largely how it should work

    ideas and theories are constantly tested, re-evaluated and re-formulated.

    This is not what I would call auditing.

    The point I’m getting at is that simply finding something in someone else’s work that you disagree with, or regard as an error/mistake, isn’t really how one assesses a piece of research. If you think there is some issue with some research, typically you try to do it again in the way that you think is correct. That way our understanding can actually progress. In fact, that’s what should happen even if you don’t think someone else’s work has a problem.

  6. BBD says:

    Let’s look forward to Lewis’s reply to Marvel et al. in a reviewed journal then. As opposed to a contrarian blog.

  7. Andrew dodds says:

    Terry –

    How was ‘On the origin of species’ audited?

    If you are doing a practical application of science, especially if a lot of cash and/or lives depend on it, then by all means audit that application.. But the basics?

  8. BBD,

    Let’s look forward to Lewis’s reply to Marvel et al. in a reviewed journal then. As opposed to a contrarian blog.

    Indeed. I think the interesting thing here is that you really can’t simply dismiss the efficacy issue. I think it clearly has to exist. The question is how big it is, not whether or not there is any forcing efficacy. The next step is probably some kind of major analysis of a large number of models to try and estimate the effect.

  9. BBD says:

    You can’t dismiss the palaeoclimate issue either, ATTP, but that hasn’t stopped NL trying.

  10. guthrie says:

    Terry – outside your own definitions, auditing usually means having outsiders coming in and checking that you’ve filled out the correct paperwork, that your reciepts are correct, that your computer programs are properly documented in the same way that commercial companies are, and so on.
    It’s nothing to do with science and scientists critiquing each others work, but a rhetorical device used to find gaps in the actual practise of scientists. For instance, in all the global warming stuff, I have never seen or heard of any scientist writing and using computer models actually doing so according to best commercial norms. They don’t actually have the money or the time to write the kind of fully documented program that is ideal in a more commercial environment.
    Or data – a lot of climate data hasn’t been collected by a person with a proper qualification using perfectly calibrated equipment, written in ink in an official notebook and signed and dated properly. Naturally, to denialists, this means you can’t trust the data.

  11. Terry says:

    Guthrie – If you want to restrict the meaning of auditing to a purely procedural domain then I agree.
    However my understanding of auditing is similar to the definition offered by the Oxford dictionary and includes reviewing of methodology, calculation errors, assumptions etc. It is similar to what peer reviewing once was and as such is an integral part of science.

  12. Terry,
    Peer review is clearly an important part of the process. I’ve never heard anyone refer to it as an audit, but it’s certainly a check. However, scientific progress doesn’t typically involve people re-checking already published work in the same way. Once published, typically claims are tested by others doing their own work, not by simply highlighting potential errors with the other work. That’s essentially the point I’m getting at. If you think there is some issue with another person’s/group’s work you do it again yourself, you don’t simply claim it must be wrong because you’ve found some error/mistake.

  13. Auditing isn’t really part of the standard scientific method.

    Exactly!

    Appealing to statistical technicalities is not really good enough. The goal should be to understand reality

    A statistical outlier result can be an interesting beginning, but in the end what counts is understanding the climate system.

    Observationally-based estimates

    I disagree with adopting the terminology of Nic Lewis. Both his highly statistical and normal physical climate models reproduce the observations. The real difference is between a highly simplified statistical model and a spatial complex physical model.

  14. I disagree with adopting the terminology of Nic Lewis.

    Yes, I did wonder about this. There are no methods that simply use observations. All of them use models to a certain extent. You’re right that Nic Lewis’s method is essentially quite simple and it’s one reason why I find this whole issue rather odd; in any other field if you could use a simple model to get a result that was reasonably similar to that from more complex models, you’d probably argue that that adds some credibility to the complex model results, not argue that it shows that they’re wrong.

  15. guthrie says:

    Terry – the others have answered well. You have to recall though that the denialists use it as a stick to beat scientists with, both actual and rhetorical. Usually we (meaning those of us who are pro-science) avoid the term altogether because it hasn’t been used much within science and the popular meaning isn’t really applicable.

  16. HAS says:

    Marvel et al conclude “When we use single estimate experiments to estimate these efficacies … our estimates of both TCR and ECS are revised upwards compared to previous studies, improving the consistency with independent constraints.”

    Lewis concludes “I have highlighted many serious problems with the Marvel et al. study. Because of them, its results would be of little or no relevance to observational estimation of TCR and ECS even if the real climate system responded to forcings similarly to GISS-E2-R.”

    Contrary to your assertion Lewis attempts a replication and finds Marvel et al seriously wanting – to the extent to which their conclusion is wrong (as is their claim that the assumption of different forcings having similar efficacies is material).

    So I suspect dying in a ditch to hang on to Marvel et al as an advance in understanding TCR and ECS is on a par with your considering that Risbey at al showed anything about model performance when internal variability is controlled for.

    You need to read this stuff with more of an eye on the science than the politics.

  17. HAS,

    Contrary to your assertion Lewis attempts a replication and finds Marvel et al seriously wanting

    I didn’t really assert anything. I’m suggesting that there are results in Marvel et al. that are relevant to estimates of climate sensitivity that can’t simply be dismissed. When Nic has published his own paper, had it replicated, etc, maybe then he can make strong claims about Marvel et al. Until such time, it’s just blog science.

    Because of them, its results would be of little or no relevance to observational estimation of TCR and ECS even if the real climate system responded to forcings similarly to GISS-E2-R.

    Really? Given that the forcing efficacy seems to be a genuine issue, this conclusions seems overly strong.

    You need to read this stuff with more of an eye on the science than the politics.

    Possibly you should suggest this to Nic. I have no association with a Policy Foundation of any kind, Global Warming, or not.

  18. Another thing about peer review and auditing is that peer review isn’t independent. It’s typically other scientists in the same field checking a paper and giving a recommendation to a journal as to whether or not it should be published.

  19. HAS says:

    Apologies, I read your post as suggesting Lewis had only audited, not done real science and replicated.

    To be clear, can you confirm you accept that Lewis’ piece replicates Marvel et al, finds it wanting, and this is the basis for his conclusions?

  20. To be clear, can you confirm you accept that Lewis’ piece replicates Marvel et al, finds it wanting, and this is the basis for his conclusions?

    No, not really, why would you think that I had thought that? Nic’s clearly done some work, but I don’t think that the conclusions that he’s drawn are warranted. The interesting question is whether or not the forcing efficacies could be a partial explanation for the discrepancy between the different climate sensitivity estimates, not whether or not Marvel et al. only used the OHC in their etimate for ECS.

    This is also the second time that Nic has critiqued a paper on Climate Audit and suggested that it be withdrawn. The other was his critique of Marotzke & Forster (in which, IMO, his criticism was incorrect). Suggesting on a blog that a paper should be withdrawn is just silly.

  21. Eli Rabett says:

    An interesting Willardian point is that the claim that different forcings have different efficiencies is equivalent to the claim that those forcings have been estimated incorrectly. Since the forcing concept is equivalent to a one dimensional model, the efficiency of all forcings in the model should be the same. The only way out would be to say that the immediate forcing should be different than the long term forcing.

  22. Eli,
    I’m not sure I agree. It’s true that a forcing is globally averaged, but a change in forcing of 1W/m^2 that is that same everywhere will produce a different response to a change in forcing of 1W/m^2 that is a 2W/m^2 change in the Northern Hemisphere (where there is more land) and 0W/m^2 in the Southern Hemisphere (where there is more ocean). At least, I think that’s right.

  23. HAS says:

    aTTP, you did follow the bit where Lewis addressed what you regard as the interesting question?

  24. you did follow the bit where Lewis addressed what you regard as the interesting question?

    You do get the point that Nic Lewis making strong claims in a blog post on Climate Audit isn’t necessarily proof that he’s right?

  25. HAS says:

    And you get the point that just because something is published in a peer review journal and makes strong claims it isn’t necessarily right either. You need to engage in the substance in either case to establish that.

    Lewis engages in the substance. Do him the courtesy of returning the favour if you want to contribute negatively about his contribution.

  26. And you get the point that just because something is published in a peer review journal and makes strong claims it isn’t necessarily right either.

    Of course. I’m not claiming that Marvel et al. is right. That would be silly.

    Lewis engages in the substance. Do him the courtesy of returning the favour if you want to contribute negatively about his contribution.

    The courtesy of what? I think writing the kind of blog posts that Nic does and suggesting that papers get withdrawn because he’s found some supposedly substantive issue is silly. If he doesn’t like me expressing that view, he could stop doing it. He doesn’t have to though.

  27. HAS says:

    So we’ve established your post incorrectly suggests Lewis only audited (didn’t replicate) and you subsequently incorrectly suggests that it doesn’t deal with your interesting question, and you now state that claiming Marvel et al is right is silly. I’m not sure there is anything much od substance left.

    So in the end your criticism comes down to saying Leiws suggesting a paper be withdrawn is silly, when in this particular case he doesn’t even make this suggestion.

    There’s very little left to say really.

  28. HAS,

    So we’ve established your post incorrectly suggests Lewis only audited (didn’t replicate) and you subsequently incorrectly suggests that it doesn’t deal with your interesting question, and you now state that claiming Marvel et al is right is silly. I’m not sure there is anything much od substance left.

    Well, we’re certainly establishing that you’re not really getting the point.

    So in the end your criticism comes down to saying Leiws suggesting a paper be withdrawn is silly, when in this particular case he doesn’t even make this suggestion.

    Yes he does.

    There’s very little left to say really.

    Suits me.

  29. Eli Rabett says:

    If position makes the forcing than you no longer have a one dimensional model, which is the whole point about forcings.

  30. Eli,
    But it’s not position that makes the forcing. It’s position that determines the response. Or, are we talking at cross purposes here? The problem in a sense is that the forcings are globally averaged quantities from 3D models in which the response might depend on the spatial distribution of the forcing agent. These forcings are then used in 1D models in which the spatial distribution is typically ignored (since it’s a 1D model).

  31. metzomagic says:

    Oh joy, HAS is back. Champion Climateball™ player, well trained by coach McI. 9 points for style, quite a bit less for substance. Pfft.

  32. Models of complex dynamic systems are not things, but idealizations, metaphysical entities less reified than say, finite element models of physical objects undergoing mechanical deformation in response to stress. At that level of the philosophical game, realism in climate models can be as hard to define, and elusive, as machine intelligence,

  33. BBD says:

    And yet an increase in TSI during the summer at high North latitude can trigger a deglaciation. It’s a wonderful world.

  34. dana1981 says:

    It’s worth noting that the energy budget approach is the outlier in its climate sensitivity estimates. A variety of other methods consistently fall in the range of about 2–4.5°C ECS. A sincere skeptic would therefore expect it’s more likely that the energy budget approach is somehow biased low than that it’s the only method that arrives at the correct result.

    Shindell identified the failure to account for forcing efficacies as a shortcoming that likely biases the approach’s results low, pretty convincingly IMO. Kummer & Dessler showed that this could easily account for the discrepancy between ECS estimates the energy budget and other approaches. Marvel is the first attempt to quantify the difference in ECS estimates when forcing efficacies are accounted for. As such, it can and likely will be improved upon, but they’re clearly onto something here. It passes the sniff test as the sort of result you would expect, because it brings an outlier into general agreement with results from other approaches.

  35. Brian Dodge says:

    If lukewarm skeptics like Lewis or Curry were actually interested in observational estimates, they would be addressing the increases observed in 3-4 sigma heat waves – the kind that kill 20,000 Pakistanis, 50,000 Russians, and 70,00 Europeans – shown in this graphic – 59http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_17/dice.gif
    If one were being particularly snarky, one might point out that the most dangerous observed deviations , 2001-2011, occurred during the so-called “hiatus”. http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/NCDC_Escalator.gif
    One might also ask what someone observing the difference between the short and long trends would expect during then next “step”?

  36. PG Antioch says:

    Is there any such thing as “equilibrium” climate sensitivity in a warming world? We (somewhat arbitrarily IYAM) define ice albedo as a “forcing” rather than a feedback. In a cooling world, when it takes multiple millennia for ice sheets to form & albedo to fall, halving CO2 might stabilize temperatures long enough to form something we’d recognize as an “equilibrium” state before the ice accumulates.

    But ice sheets break up perhaps an order of magnitude more quickly than they form, maybe even faster. So albedo might fall in a few centuries, producing a positive feedback & reinforcing warming. Is that anything we’d recognize as an “equilibrium” along the way? In a warming world, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to apply “equilibrium” only to Earth system sensitivity? At least then, it takes millions of years for continents to move, for volcanoes to emit CO2 & for rock weathering to occur.

    I’m just askin’.

  37. PG,

    Is there any such thing as “equilibrium” climate sensitivity in a warming world?

    ECS is technically a model metric. You can certainly run a model to equilibrium. The idea is that it gives you an indicator of the sensitivity, not that it is some kind of real world metric.

    We (somewhat arbitrarily IYAM) define ice albedo as a “forcing” rather than a feedback.

    This is true in paleo studies, but isn’t the case in this context.

    You’re right that there are other things that could happen that could lead to further warming. I don’t think that invalidates the ECS as an indicator. If anything, it’s probably a lower limit in the sense that ECS, by definition, doesn’t include slow feedbacks.

  38. Dana,

    Marvel is the first attempt to quantify the difference in ECS estimates when forcing efficacies are accounted for. As such, it can and likely will be improved upon, but they’re clearly onto something here.

    Indeed, that’s kind of the point I was getting at. This is essentially a start and there will need to be more to try and understand how much of an effect this can have. Simply trying to dismiss every attempt to explain this discrepancy is not particularly helpful.

  39. BBD says:

    Simply trying to dismiss every attempt to explain this discrepancy is not particularly helpful.

    But may be necessary if your colours are nailed to the mast.

  40. Brian Dodge says: the increases observed in 3-4 sigma heat waves – the kind that kill 20,000 Pakistanis, 50,000 Russians, and 70,00 Europeans

    The people who find that important are most likely already convinced that climate change is real.

    There are also people who think it is great when others suffer. If you want to convince them you will have to talk about how climate change will affect them, their family, their in-groups.

    Mother Jones recently reported on an experiment that makes logically no sense if you assume everyone just wants the best for everyone. My emphasis.

    In the experiment, research subjects from upstate New York read news articles about how climate change might increase the spread of West Nile Virus, which were accompanied by the pictures of the faces of farmers who might be affected. But in one case, the people were said to be farmers in upstate New York (in other words, victims who were quite socially similar to the research subjects); in the other, they were described as farmers from either Georgia or from France (much more distant victims). The intent of the article was to raise concern about the health consequences of climate change, but when Republicans read the article about the more distant farmers, their support for action on climate change decreased, a pattern that was stronger as their Republican partisanship increased. (When Republicans read about the proximate, New York farmers, there was no boomerang effect, but they did not become more supportive of climate action either.)

  41. Joshua says:

    Interesting study, Victor.

  42. miker613 says:

    I am not following this any better than HAS. Lewis published a very detailed article, with footnotes, and data and calculations included. He sent it out for review – not by three anonymous reviewers, but by you and the entire world of climate scientists and statisticians. His conclusion was that the previous paper should be withdrawn as its methods and conclusions were wrong.
    Presumably anyone in the field who follows this stuff will see the article. Gavin has already said that he saw it and will respond – which is good. I imagine he will clue in Kate Marvel if she lives in a cave somewhere.
    Why is this any different from a preprint of a peer-reviewed article? Probably Nature is a more prestigious journal than McIntyre, but so what? Rebuttals can be published anywhere.
    Do you prefer that it takes a couple of years or more to find wrong results? I like this way better. Wave of the future, man! Review by everyone is better than review by three.

  43. miker613,

    Lewis published a very detailed article, with footnotes, and data and calculations included.

    So what? I think Marvel et al. was also very detailed, included data, references and calculations too.

    His conclusion was that the previous paper should be withdrawn as its methods and conclusions were wrong.

    So Nic Lewis believes so strongly that he hasn’t made any mistakes, or misunderstood something, that he is willing to conclude that the study he is assessing is so flawed that it should be withdrawn? No uncertainty whatsoever. Nic is absolutely convinced that he’s right? What if Marvel et al. think that he’s made a mistake and should retract his blog posts? How do we decide who’s right? It’s not difficult to make strong claims. It’s much harder to convince people that you’re right.

    Do you prefer that it takes a couple of years or more to find wrong results? I like this way better.

    So you think that if someone writes a lengthy blog post with footnotes, data and calculations and claims that they’re right and the others are wrong, that we should simply accept what they’ve said?

    Wave of the future, man! Review by everyone is better than review by three.

    So we just take a vote and the majority wins? You don’t see a problem with this?

    Are you starting to get it yet?

  44. How is a blog post different from a peer-reviewed article? A peer-reviewed article has passed peer review.

  45. BBD says:

    Exactly, Victor. Who knows what errors might lurk undetected (as yet) in NL’s blog post. That’s why I shall wait for the published reply in a reviewed journal with great interest. If none is forthcoming, that would speak eloquently about the likely quality of NL’s arguments.

  46. BBD says:

    miker

    Rebuttals can be published anywhere.

    Not if they wish to be taken seriously.

  47. miker613 says:

    “What if Marvel et al. think that he’s made a mistake and should retract his blog posts? How do we decide who’s right? It’s not difficult to make strong claims. It’s much harder to convince people that you’re right.”
    “So we just take a vote and the majority wins?”
    Of course not. Lewis, and Marvel, and Schmidt, and other experts will work it out. Your vote and mine are irrelevant. My complaint isn’t against them, it’s against you. Let’s see if Schmidt et al come up with a good rebuttal. Let’s see if Lewis can answer that. Do you really want to wait two years for a published article, two years minus a week after the real experts have made up their own minds by reading argument and counter-argument?
    I doubt you really believe that the scientists in the field have no way of telling good work from bad, aside from whether three of their colleagues okayed it.
    Venema: “A peer-reviewed article has passed peer review.” And therefore what? Now we use ATTP’s majority rule, counting only peer-reviewed articles? No. Work that is right will be accepted on its merits, and wrong work will be rejected. Either Lewis’ work will be disproved on the web in the next month or so, or everyone will know that the earlier peer review did a bad job.
    Fascinating how both “sides” line up these things. Skeptics root for Lewis, AGW believers rejoice on seeing Marvel… Crazy. Either you personally are competent to follow the discussions and decide on the math, or you wait and see what happens. Right now, most of us have absolutely no way to even guess, though of course that won’t stop anyone: of course our own hero is the one doing good science, and the other guy is an incompetent or willfully blind.

    Out of curiosity: Both Curry and Lewis have said that they were not asked to review Marvel et al. What do you think of that? They seem to be from the world’s foremost experts in estimating sensitivity to CO2, with important peer-reviewed papers on the topic with very different results. I had thought it would be the norm to include one of them (or one of their group) in the peer review, to make the best try at finding out why there’s such a huge discrepancy. I would have thought that if you don’t do that, the peer review that did happen couldn’t have been worth much. Do you agree?
    – A simple caution: if you tell me that “clowns like that shouldn’t be included”, you are undercutting the idea that peer review is more than a joke, more than just a way for a country club to exclude members it doesn’t want, more than just a way to let partisans ignore work they don’t want to deal with.

  48. Willard says:

    > Either you personally are competent to follow the discussions and decide on the math, or you wait and see what happens.

    Yet you seem to be able to evaluate the expertise of Nic & Judy and compare it to the whole field, MikeR:

    They seem to be from the world’s foremost experts in estimating sensitivity to CO2 […]

    Why do you think so, if you can’t follow the discussions?

  49. Phil says:

    A reference as to how science normally resolves disputes such as this, would be the papers published on Homo Floresiensis. In this case the discussion was (and continues to be) done within the scientific press (so other researchers know where to look) and so the full development of the evidence and thinking is preserved. Calling for papers to be withdrawn is not helpful in this regard, and seems to misunderstand how research is done.

    I note that Gavin Schmidt has described Nic Lewis’s climateaudit article as “mostly confused” here – so clearly it is not yet resolved.

    A question; in the comments above, HAS claims that Lewis replicated Marvell et al. Perhaps I’m being naive, but wouldn’t Lewis need access to a GCM to do this? I understand that you can download fairly simple GCM’s for educational use, but would these be sufficient?

  50. Willard says:

    BTW, MikeR’s peddling something he learned less than hour ago:

    curryja | January 10, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Reply

    Nope, I was not asked to review this paper

    http://judithcurry.com/2016/01/10/appraising-marvel-et-al-implications-of-forcing-efficacies-for-climate-sensitivity-estimates/#comment-757327

    Interestingly, Judy has not answered SteveF’s second question about whether she’ll submit a comment to a journal.

    Will you ask her, MikeR? I already did. If we join our forces, we may get a response.

    Wave of the present, man!

  51. miker613 says: “Why is this any different from a preprint of a peer-reviewed article?

    Victor Venema says: “How is a blog post different from a peer-reviewed article? A peer-reviewed article has passed peer review.

    miker613 says: “And therefore what?

    And therefore there is a difference and your rhetorical question questionable. Own it.

  52. miker613 says:

    Willard, I explained why I thought they were “from the world’s foremost experts” – in your own coin: they have published major peer-reviewed articles on the topic. Doesn’t mean I think they’re bigger experts than Kate Marvel or Gavin Schmidt; I have no opinion on that. I just see that there are a fairly small number of scientists publishing on the topic, and Marvel & Schmidt et al’s work was in response to theirs. I would have thought that anyone making a list of the important experts on sensitivity would include Lewis. Doesn’t mean you need to agree with his work, but he seems to have opened up a branch of the field.

    I should ask Curry whether she’ll submit a comment? As you may have surmised, I am not as impressed by peer-reviewed journals as you are. Nor do I think that people need to make plans for their publications within a couple of hours, because I demand it, nor do I think that I can draw conclusions based on their failure to answer fast enough. That’s Climateball, Willard; you’re trying to score points instead of making them.

  53. miker613 says:

    Venema, I answered you. If you’re going to ignore my answer, don’t expect me to answer again.

  54. Joseph says:

    As you may have surmised, I am not as impressed by peer-reviewed journals as you are.

    So you think we should move scientific research from the peer reviewed journals to blogs?

  55. miker613 says:

    “So you think we should move scientific research from the peer reviewed journals to blogs?” To some extent we have already: http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2015/11/new-publication-model-for-egu-journals.html. “one barrier is the embarassment of seeing your manuscript ripped to shreds in public” (Annan)
    But yeah, I suppose that increasingly peer reviewed journals in critical subjects will just contain the aftermath of battles. The real fights will happen when papers are made public.

  56. Joseph says:

    To some extent we have already: http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2015/11/new-publication-model-for-egu-journals.html.

    In this case the paper is still peer reviewed and the journal controls public access. I was thinking in terms of publishing in the blog of your choice (as Lewis did) and expecting that to substitute for peer review.

  57. Willard says:

    > they have published major peer-reviewed articles on the topic.

    In Judy’s case, I think it’s peer-reviewed article.

    So being published in the peer-reviewed journals suffices to be counted as “from the world’s foremost experts in estimating sensitivity to CO2”. Interestingly, here’s how you describe that lichurchur:

    A simple caution: if you tell me that “clowns like that shouldn’t be included”, you are undercutting the idea that peer review is more than a joke, more than just a way for a country club to exclude members it doesn’t want, more than just a way to let partisans ignore work they don’t want to deal with.

    I’m not sure how you can have it both ways, MikeR.

  58. BBD says:

    Both Curry and Lewis have said that they were not asked to review Marvel et al. What do you think of that? They seem to be from the world’s foremost experts in estimating sensitivity to CO2, with important peer-reviewed papers on the topic with very different results.

    Actually, they really aren’t even close to being among the world’s foremost experts on this topic. Those would be the researchers who have spent a significant part of their professional careers studying sensitivity. NL is a retired banker. JC has no publishing track record on this topic that I can recall, just the one co-authorship with NL.

  59. Willard says:

    > As you may have surmised, I am not as impressed by peer-reviewed journals as you are.

    Do you have a quote substantiating your presumption about my impressiveness? Besides, I fail to see how this remark is relevant to my question. My question is related to a comment you read, in which she was answering one of SteveF’s questions, but not the other.

    Since you peddled that concern in this thread “out of curiosity,” why are you more curious about one of SteveF’s questions but not the other, since both are about peer-reviewed lichurchur?

    Peddling “out of curiosity” might not cohere very well with how you see point scoring, MikeR.

  60. Marco says:

    “Both Curry and Lewis have said that they were not asked to review Marvel et al. What do you think of that? They seem to be from the world’s foremost experts in estimating sensitivity to CO2, with important peer-reviewed papers on the topic with very different results. I had thought it would be the norm to include one of them (or one of their group) in the peer review, to make the best try at finding out why there’s such a huge discrepancy. I would have thought that if you don’t do that, the peer review that did happen couldn’t have been worth much. Do you agree?”

    Let me just say that _I_ disagree. Strongly, even. Curry has no discernable expertise on estimating sensitivity to CO2 (she has one publication with Nic Lewis, that’s it), and Nic Lewis solely has documented (peer reviewed papers) expertise on Bayesian methods to determine climate sensitivity from the observational record. Marvel et al isn’t about that topic. A good Editor would have chosen reviewers who have expertise in GCMs and climate physics.

  61. verytallguy says:

    I am not as impressed by peer-reviewed journals as you are.

    Yeah. Facts are just so damn inconvenient

  62. miker613,

    Of course not. Lewis, and Marvel, and Schmidt, and other experts will work it out. Your vote and mine are irrelevant.

    While Nic’s remains on a blog, his probably is too. While his view remains as absolute as it appears to be, it probably should remain irrelevant (IMO, at least).

    My complaint isn’t against them, it’s against you.

    Why, am I not allowed to express a view on a blog? Would seem rather hypocritical if that’s what you think.

    Do you really want to wait two years for a published article, two years minus a week after the real experts have made up their own minds by reading argument and counter-argument?

    I’ve no idea what you’re suggesting here.

    Now we use ATTP’s majority rule, counting only peer-reviewed articles?

    That wasn’t my rule. Ideally don’t make up what you think my views are.

    Work that is right will be accepted on its merits, and wrong work will be rejected. Either Lewis’ work will be disproved on the web in the next month or so, or everyone will know that the earlier peer review did a bad job.

    Or, as is much more likely, it will take a series of studies, some reasonable amount of time, and we’ll all learn something. What is likely is that our understanding in the future will be somewhat different to what it is now. It’s not really about right and wrong specifically, but about gaining understanding.

    Skeptics root for Lewis, AGW believers rejoice on seeing Marvel… Crazy.

    I’m not rejoicing for Marvel. I think it is interesting and that claiming that it has “no credibility” and should be “withdrawn” is silly.

    of course our own hero is the one doing good science, and the other guy is an incompetent or willfully blind.

    These are your words, not mine. I’ve said many many times that Nic Lewis’ work is very interesting and I think it is typically of a high standard. That, however, doesn’t somehow mean that it is somehow better than the work done by others or that it doesn’t also have caveats and issues.

    Out of curiosity: Both Curry and Lewis have said that they were not asked to review Marvel et al. What do you think of that?

    Absolutely nothing. Science isn’t adversarial. If a study is being critiqued in the literature, the author of the original study doesn’t have some kind of right to do the reviewing. If anything, they my be exactly the wrong person to do the reviewing.

    I would have thought that if you don’t do that, the peer review that did happen couldn’t have been worth much. Do you agree?

    No.

  63. Phil,

    Calling for papers to be withdrawn is not helpful in this regard, and seems to misunderstand how research is done.

    I agree and it does suggest that those arguing for this don’t understand this fairly basic point.

    I note that Gavin Schmidt has described Nic Lewis’s climateaudit article as “mostly confused” here – so clearly it is not yet resolved.

    Indeed. Be interesting to see Gavin’s response.

    A question; in the comments above, HAS claims that Lewis replicated Marvell et al. Perhaps I’m being naive, but wouldn’t Lewis need access to a GCM to do this? I understand that you can download fairly simple GCM’s for educational use, but would these be sufficient?

    I was going to respond to this claim myself. It seems that Nic has reworked some of the numbers from Marvel et als. study (essentially arguing that they got a number of things wrong). That isn’t, by itself, replication. Replication would – as you seem to be suggesting – actually trying to do it from scratch. He’s also gone to a 2005 Hansen paper to argue that the difference in the efficacies are much smaller than Marvel et al. suggest. That’s a little better, but given the age of the Hansen paper, and that it’s simply an earlier version of the same climate model (I think), this doesn’t seem very convincing. It’s clear that much more needs to be done to try and resolve this, but finding an example where the difference in the efficacies is smaller isn’t really enough.

  64. miker613 says: “Venema, I answered you. If you’re going to ignore my answer, don’t expect me to answer again.

    You answered me? Could you cite where you admit that there is a difference between a blog post and a peer reviewed article? Or whatever you see as answer?

    No problem with not answering again. I do not play games of whack-a-mole, where you keep on jumping to something new when your previous claim was found to be wrong, but you do not want to admit that and thus come up with the next squirl.

  65. Based on observation of land-sea temperature records, the effective ECS is 3C for a doubling of CO2.

  66. miker613 says:

    I thought I answered you, Victor. You claimed that peer-reviewed is better. I imagine you mean it’s way, way, better – that one pretty much pays attention to nothing else. I answered that the Marvel paper has something of an advantage that three experts okayed it, but Lewis’s response has two bigger advantages: 1) he (so far) has the last word (temporary, of course), and 2) he will shortly be peer-reviewed by every interested expert on the planet. I think that’s far better and far more important. Obviously you disagree, but you haven’t explained why. Of course, 2) hasn’t happened yet – so wait. If there is no effective response in a couple of months [Gavin already said he saw it and will respond], I for one will consider it peer-reviewed.
    I am not following this assumption – see ATTP further up – that peer-reviewed is so obviously better that nothing on a blog counts against it. Obviously a blog post by most people shouldn’t count against Marvel et al. But Lewis is different, as ATTP has acknowledged; he is an expert on the topic. His words should have the same weight wherever they appear.

  67. miker613,

    I am not following this assumption – see ATTP further up – that peer-reviewed is so obviously better that nothing on a blog counts against it.

    Well, simply because it’s on a blog. At the moment at least, this doesn’t really count for anything and can simply be ignored. Not necessarily, but reality right now is that blogs don’t count for much.

    Obviously a blog post by most people shouldn’t count against Marvel et al. But Lewis is different, as ATTP has acknowledged; he is an expert on the topic. His words should have the same weight wherever they appear.

    Ultimately noone’s words really have any intrinsic weight. The weight they carry largely depends on how others choose to receive them, not on how much weight the person saying the words wants them to have (or how much weight you, and others, want them to have).

  68. miker613 says:

    ATTP: “Why, am I not allowed to express a view on a blog? Would seem rather hypocritical if that’s what you think.” Of course you are allowed. I just think you’re being unreasonable. You are choosing sides among the experts, instead of letting them settle it.

    Marco: “Let me just say that _I_ disagree.” Fair enough. I think, though, that you might be doing the One True Scotsman thing. Same w BBD’s comment. Same with peer review in general (see VTG’s comments about “facts”).

    Willard: “I’m not sure how you can have it both ways, MikeR.” No problem, Willard, I explained that with the words “in your own coin”. You (this is collective) think of peer-reviewed literature as the gold-standard, so I pointed out that Lewis has one of the most important recent peer-reviewed papers on climate sensitivity. Doesn’t mean I accept that standard myself.
    To me it seems more that you-all are trying to find reasons (see Marco, see BBD, for more) to ignore Lewis, who is pushing an inconvenient point of view. (I’ve seen the same thing with McIntyre’s posts.) That he is in the thick of the discussion among the real experts isn’t stopping you from choosing sides.
    Doesn’t mean Lewis is right – as I’ve said, I leave that to the experts. It does mean that you are wrong either way. Science isn’t about cheerleading. It doesn’t matter who’s your favorite.

  69. miker613,

    Of course you are allowed. I just think you’re being unreasonable. You are choosing sides among the experts, instead of letting them settle it.

    This really doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. I’m also not really taking sides. Here’s a summary of the post.

    1. There are discrepancies amongst some climate sensitivity estimates.

    2. Marvel et al. highlight a possible explanation.

    3. Nic Lewis thinks that their work has many serious problems, no credibility, and should be withdrawn (but won’t be).

    4. I think Nic Lewis’s position is both silly and misses the key point that this is an interesting issue that we should be delving into more deeply, not simply trying to find reasons to dismiss studies that try to do so.

  70. Willard says:

    I like the word “squirl,” VictorV.

    In fairness, perhaps we ought to quote what NicL said:

    Marvel et al could withdraw their paper and submit a new one […] But I see very little chance of that happening.

    http://climateaudit.org/2016/01/08/appraising-marvel-et-al-implications-of-forcing-efficacies-for-climate-sensitivity-estimates/#comment-765940

    Both AT’s and MikeR’s reading might go a bit beyond a litteral reading of what NicL suggested, and ClimateBall ™ players should beware of going a bridge too far against parsomatics afficinadoes.

    Also, let’s beware that MikeR’s criticism seems to target AT’s claims against the auditing sciences and for peer-review, going so far as to suggest that auditing isn’t really part of the standard scientific method. While there is merit to the idea, I find the argument unconvincing. Science has no officially recognized method like an ISO code, it’s far from clear that we can outline the principles of a methodology we would call scientific, and it runs the risk to fall into the scienciness trap.

    However I see at least two ways to reinforce the argument. The first is to observe that NicL’s call for retraction rests itself on scienciness. It has been made before a discussion has taken place. It showcases NicL’s renowned nitpicking, and perhaps even what Richard Muller calls statistical pedantry:

    My second point is related to James’ about “embarassment”: it does not seem to affect the practicionners of auditing sciences very much. NicL gets corrected by Radford Neal on Bayes and he doubles down. His criticisms of Marotzke gets him nowhere and he moves on. His spat with the MET Office hits a brick wall, yet he remains unshaken. His only response to James criticism regarding his CS studies’ cherrypicking is that he can’t count to four, and that’s assuming NicL’s double accounting.

    NicL’s auditing solvency seems limitless.

    Is auditing scienciness more valid when auditors play home in front of a crowd full of MikeRs with no real skin in the game?

  71. miker613 says:

    ATTP: “Ultimately noone’s words really have any intrinsic weight. The weight they carry largely depends on how others choose to receive them…” Agreed. So let me suggest a possible scenario. Schmidt posts a rebuttal in a couple of weeks. Lewis posts a rebuttal to that, and so does McIntyre and a few others. Schmidt’s rebuttal only addressed two of Lewis’s six problems with the paper, and one of those two is answered by Lewis and McIntyre. Schmidt et al post a statement on realclimate that their paper has been wrongly attacked and here are the answers, and includes his two responses. He does not link to Lewis’s paper, nor to the re-rebuttal, or mention the other four issues. BBD posts the link to realclimate whenever the subject comes up in the future.
    All this happens in the next three months. After a year and a half, Lewis announces that another paper on the subject has been accepted by Nature, and the cycle starts again.
    What do you say? Would you agree with me that Lewis seems to have been right all along? Or would you say that none of it matters till that later paper appears, and therefore As Far As Is Known, the peer reviewed literature supports Marvel’s calculation of a high sensitivity?

    I ask because this is the way the field has looked to me since I started following it. Pretty much every scrape McIntyre got into looks exactly like this. I saw it enough times to give up on expecting anything else. Sorry if it doesn’t give me a high opinion of at least his corner of the field, but I think that’s someone else’s fault. The result: Marvel and Schmidt can fight it out now, or people like me will assume that they have no good answers.

  72. Willard says:

    > You (this is collective) […]

    Thank you for clarifying. You’re burdening me with thoughts I don’t have and claims I never made.

    Before you continue with your rope-a-dope, it would be nice if you explain why are you more curious about one of SteveF’s questions but not the other, since both are about peer-reviewed lichurchur.

    If you could confirm the number of articles Judy wrote on sensitivity issues and expand on your predicate being-from-the-world’s-foremost-experts, that would help clarify the concern you peddled in this thread “out of curiosity” about something you called “more than a joke.”

  73. miker613,
    Here’s the fundamental issue. In two, three, four, ….. years others will have looked at this issue. We will probably discover that it’s somewhat different to what we think today. This particular issue will be largely forgotten and noone will really care who was specifically right and who was wrong. The goal is to gain understanding, not fight over single papers.

    Pretty much every scrape McIntyre got into looks exactly like this.

    Tell me, what is our current understanding of our millenial temperature history?

    Marvel and Schmidt can fight it out now, or people like me will assume that they have no good answers.

    Entirely within your rights.

  74. MartinM says:

    You’ve got to appreciate this statement from Nic Lewis:

    Results from any single-model model study reflect the characteristics of the particular model involved, which may well behave differently from the real climate system – and from other models.

    Well, quite.

  75. Martin,
    Indeed, I found this an interesting comment too

    Estimates based on recent observations can only be of effective, not equilibrium, climate sensitivity, since the climate system has not reached equilibrium. It is unknown whether the two values differ to any extent in the real world.

  76. miker613 says: “I thought I answered you, Victor. You claimed that peer-reviewed is better. I imagine you mean it’s way, way, better – that one pretty much pays attention to nothing else.

    No I did not get into the debate whether peer review is better. I only pointed out that your question, ““Why is this any different from a preprint of a peer-reviewed article?” has an obvious answer: a peer reviewed article is peer reviewed.

    The value of peer review is a nuanced topic. The most relevant is in this context is that it helps give credibility to papers from outsiders.

    Blog posts do not gain peer review status by waiting. Maybe Gavin or Marvel will respond, but in general you should not expect scientists to even read blog posts. There is so much nonsense out there that a first filter for some credibility is important. No month (maybe even week) passes without some stupid blog post about homogenization. I will certainly not respond or even try to read them all. Let them make their ideas solid enough that a scientific journal is willing to publish it. Time and attention is a precious resource. There are so many more likely informative papers I could read in that time.

  77. Willard says:

    While trying to find back Vaughan Pratt’s struggle with the “sensitive” terminology, I stumbled upon this comment by Fred Moolten:

    The paper by Lewis doesn’t refer to “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS), but merely “climate sensitivity”. Unwary readers might infer that he was estimating ECS, but he was actually estimating “effective climate sensitivity”, using values for ocean heat uptake and negative aerosol forcing that are likely to prove too low, and disregarding the evidence for a time-varying feedback parameter that also leads effective climate sensitivity to underestimate ECS.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/nic-lewiss-prior-beliefs/#comment-27674

    Let’s hope that’s not a case of mathiness, otherwise we’d have to ask for a Grand Inquisition into sensitivity studies, or at the very least suggest that Nic retracts his paper.

  78. Willard says:

    A bit later:

    Otto et al estimated effective climate sensitivity (EFS) rather than ECS while referring to it as ECS. Their only acknowledgment that they were conflating the two was one reference (reference 13 if I recall) to the paper by Kyle Armour et al describing how EFS is likely to underestimate ECS.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/nic-lewiss-prior-beliefs/#comment-27684

    I miss Fred.

  79. Willard says:

    Vaughan’s struggle appears a bit later:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/nic-lewiss-prior-beliefs/#comment-27773

    That’s not the one I had in mind, however.

    Which reminds me of the thread where Senior visited AT’s which ended with me quoting the IPCC’s glossary for no obvious reason.

    (Senior’s pulling the same tricks with MT over Twitter as we speak, BTW.)

  80. “. Some methods suggest that very low values are extremely unlikely, others suggest very high values are extremely unlikely, but none of them suggest that an ECS between 2oC and 3oC is very unlikely.”

    Damn. you know sometimes ATTP you hit it out of the park.
    hat’s off to you for that one sentence.

  81. Marco says:

    “people like me will assume that they have no good answers.”
    miker613, any reason why Marvel et al, or any other climate scientist for that matter, would care what you think? And is it even likely you would accept their response as “good answers”, as long as Nic Lewis or Steve McIntyre have something they complain about?

  82. Marco says:

    “To me it seems more that you-all are trying to find reasons (see Marco, see BBD, for more) to ignore Lewis, ”

    Please do not misrepresent my comment, miker613.
    I gave an argument that rebuts your claim that Lewis should have been asked to review the paper because he is such a documented expert in this field: he isn’t.

    That does *not* mean he cannot have valid criticism and that he should be ignored at all cost. It means no Editor would (or should) select Nic Lewis as reviewer for a paper if he does not have clearly documented expertise in the area, which Lewis indeed doesn’t.

    It would be like asking James Hansen to review a paper on Bayesian methods to determine climate sensitivity. It may well be that Hansen has valid criticism, but he should not be highest on the list of potential reviewers, since as far as I know he has no documented expertise in this area.

  83. Marco says:

    “let me suggest a possible scenario…”

    upon which miker613 presents a scenario that the delayers or obfuscationists like so much: keep the scientists responding to criticism, regardless of the validity (and note that many cannot judge its validity – they consider the fact that someone they trust criticizes something means the criticism has merit), thus keeping the scientists from actually making progress.

  84. Steven,

    Damn. you know sometimes ATTP you hit it out of the park.
    hat’s off to you for that one sentence.

    Stopped clocks and all that 🙂

    Marco,

    miker613, any reason why Marvel et al, or any other climate scientist for that matter, would care what you think?

    Indeed, and in some sense Nic Lewis doesn’t have to care what we think. Science should be about understanding some kind of reality and, even though there might be expected standards, there aren’t any absolute rules (well, apart from ones about actual scientific misconduct). Scientists can be polite or rude, respond to criticism of ignore it, ……; at the end of the day, reality doesn’t care. The problem with judging science on the basis of the behaviour of scientists is that science isn’t a marketing exercise; something doesn’t have validity simply because the person doing the research appears honest and decent, it gains validity over time through it being reproduced, replicated, and tested by others.

  85. BBD says:

    miker

    To me it seems more that you-all are trying to find reasons (see Marco, see BBD, for more) to ignore Lewis, who is pushing an inconvenient point of view.

    Nic Lewis is providing reasons to be ignored. Publishing a ‘mostly confused’ blog science critique of M15 on a contrarian website is damaging to his credibility. Prefacing this screed with a call for the paper to be withdrawn compounds the damage. As others have pointed out, we’ve seen a pattern of damaging behaviour emerge: there was the Met Office kerfuffle, the GWPF pamphlet with Crok accusing the IPCC of conspiracy, the farce over Marotzke & Forster etc. If Nic Lewis wants to be taken seriously then he needs to dissociate himself from the contrarian claque, not embrace it, and publish his criticism of others’ work in journals.

    * * *

    Would you agree with me that Lewis seems to have been right all along?

    You have already said that you aren’t competent to make this judgement, so why are you (again) insisting that NL is ‘right’?

  86. MartinM says:

    upon which miker613 presents a scenario that the delayers or obfuscationists like so much: keep the scientists responding to criticism, regardless of the validity (and note that many cannot judge its validity – they consider the fact that someone they trust criticizes something means the criticism has merit), thus keeping the scientists from actually making progress.

    More than that, it’s a catch-22. Respond, and it’s a legitimate debate, so obviously the criticisms have merit. Don’t respond, and you have no answer, so obviously the criticisms have merit. Neat, isn’t it?

  87. BBD says:

    Neat, isn’t it?

    All very Hockey Stick Wars.

  88. Willard says:

    > Publishing a ‘mostly confused’ blog science critique of M15 on a contrarian website is damaging to his credibility. Prefacing this screed with a call for the paper to be withdrawn compounds the damage.

    This is incorrect.

    First, you need to say that it is Gavin who considers the post “mostly confused.” You won’t know why until Gavin responds. Grab the popcorn.

    Second, it’s not “a” contrarian website, it’s three: the Auditor’s, Judy’s, and Tony’s. That sure means something. But what?

    Third, Nic did not “preface” his screed with a call for retraction. It’s a counterfactual he entertained in the comment thread at the Editor’s. He tried to minimize both the call and the impact at Judy’s:

    I can’t see Marvel et al withdrawing the paper, however serious its flaws, so my encouraging them to do so would be extremely unlikley to have any effect.

    http://judithcurry.com/2016/01/10/appraising-marvel-et-al-implications-of-forcing-efficacies-for-climate-sensitivity-estimates/#comment-757311

    Brace yourselves, parsomatics is coming.

    ***

    > it’s a catch-22

    I will point out to this:

    Marvel and Schmidt can fight it out now, or people like me will assume that they have no good answers.

    And I will point to this:

    A question about future plans about a publication may not be answerable at all right now, and may take months for that kind of decision.

    That is all.

  89. BBD says:

    Willard

    This is incorrect.

    Correct, as always. NL states that M15 ‘lacks credibility’ (among other things) in his blog post and then appends the suggestion that it should be withdrawn in comments:

    Marvel et al could withdraw their paper and submit a new one, using more satisfactory methodology and providing more detail, after performing a set of simulations that showed how the GISS model responded to each type of forcing as the climate state evolved during the historical period. Preferably extended to 2012, to match the simulation results in Miller et al 2014 (which is a much higher quality paper). But I see very little chance of that happening.

    Just as you say. And yes, blog science is indeed being conducted in parallel on a trinity of contrarian blogs. How could I have missed this? Perhaps, at last, the drink is taking its toll.

  90. Willard says:

    I’d rather refer to a trifecta, BBD. The trinity is one, and one component is virtual.

  91. anoilman says:

    Marco, BBD: miker613 has already stated that he can understand any math.
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/things/#comment-32913
    miker613 says: “As usual, I’m not competent to comment on the math, ….”

    Which brings you to the most wonderful arguments. “Something’s wrong, I can’t understand it, and I don’t know why, but it must be wrong.”

    It also means that he’s happy to spread his memes, but at the same time worthless to speak to. Its like talking to your pet;

  92. MartinM says:

    This produces a pseudo-debunking, with the feeling tone and “scienciness” of a serious thoughtful analysis.

    AKA “the McIntyre”.

  93. Joshua says:

    I suspect it would be highly amusing to watch the reaction if a climate scientist (let’s say Mann? or Schmidt?) “published” a new “article” on all three of Skeptical Science, Climate Progress, and HotWhopper rather than a traditional journal.

    “Skeptics” attitudes towards peer-reviewed journals is one of the more fertile hunting areas for unintentional irony in the climate war. Notice how their opinion of the value of peer review correlates perfectly with the alignment of a study’s conclusions to the “consensus” view on climate change.

    ‘Prolly just a coincidence, of course.

  94. Willard says:

    I knew I should have trademarked “scienciness.”

  95. BBD says:

    Willard

    I’d rather refer to a trifecta, BBD. The trinity is one, and one component is virtual.

    Nailed again 😉

  96. Willard says:

    Seems that Judy can contract time. To a question that may “not be answerable at all right now” and about which it may “take months” before reaching a decision, she already responded:

    5 out of 6 (go ahead and pick which 5 you prefer)

    The choices were:

    (1) “I don’t know.”
    (2) “I haven’t considered.”
    (3) “I’m not that interested.”
    (4) “I’d rather grab some popcorn right now.”
    (5) “Maybe, I’m waiting to see what Nic can write up.”
    (6) “No.”

    It seems to me that only one answer is incompatible with the others.

    I hope everyone like popcorn as much as I do.

  97. Willard says:

  98. Willard says:

    Interlude:

    (Via Hope Jahren.)

  99. “thus keeping the scientists from actually making progress.”

    thats funny

  100. BBD says:

    Steven

    Not really.

  101. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Willard: ‘I knew I should have trademarked “scienciness.”’

    Others beat you to the coinage by a decade or more. Even Steve Bloom seems to have beaten you, although his usage appears to be self-congratulatory rather than pejorative:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/some-thoughts/#comment-37221

    (AFAICT, Ben Goldacre first used it in 2009.)

  102. Vinny Burgoo says:

    The OED doesn’t yet have ‘scienciness’ or its variants (‘scienceyness’ etc.) but it does have the very wonderful ‘scientaster’: an ‘inadequate or inferior scientist; a person with a limited or superficial understanding of science.’

    Plus ‘scientism’, of course.

    And ‘sciency’, which Goldacre did a lot to popularise (and is rewarded with a quote, from 2008).

  103. ““thus keeping the scientists from actually making progress.”

    somebody made a post on the internet.. stop the science!!!

    Lets be real. When the GAO goes into NOAA to pester scientists… THAT is an issue
    when folks publish posts, comments, papers, reports… blah blah blah..

    nobody MAKES YOU RESPOND.

    there are real victim cards.. play those..

  104. guthrie says:

    Steven, you appear not to know how politics works…

  105. Steven,
    I think the suggestion was that the intent was to keep scientists from making progress, rather than it actually keeping scientists from making progress. Most scientists do indeed simply ignore this. Others find it harder to do so.

  106. Willard says:

    Kat & Gavin are free to fight it out now. They’re free to let people like MikeR assume that they have no good answers. Just like Gavin was (and still is) free to respond to the question about his honesty.

    It’s a free world, after all.

    At least most blog posts are free.

  107. Chris says:

    guthrie, I believe Steven is talking about science and not politics. He’s right. Science is something of a juggernaut whose progress (or “progression” to use a less value-laden word) can’t really be stopped (outside of a breakdown of rational society). Of course the lives of individual scientists can be blighted and scientific knowledge misrepresented gloriously, which is rather disgraceful and repellent- but there is an external reality out there that exists independently of creepy attempts at trashing scientists and cheating the broader public of knowledge, and science will continue to pursue this since that seems to be an inherent human imperative.

  108. guthrie says:

    Chris – sure, the abstract platonic world of “Science” and even most of the “science” people do will chug along.
    But think about it another way- on what basis does the GAO turn up and audit people? Do you really believe they only do it for good honest real reasons? Or how about Canada, where the government muzzled scientists from speaking out and cut funding and destroying libraries? The goings on on the web are part of the broader propaganda plan to enable such actions and as such should be taken somewhat seriously. Of course more money and efforts goes into tv and similar media but we’ve all seen the synergy between blogs, science deniers and the media enough times.

  109. guthrie says:

    I’ve got a comment in moderation, not quite sure what word did it. Maybe ‘synergy’?

  110. guthrie,
    I don’t know what it was. I only have a few words there and I can’t see one in your comment that matches the list. It seems somewhat random at times.

  111. Andrew Dodds says:

    Chris –

    Well, some may say that the stagnation of progress, the assertion of revealed truth over evidence (i.e. ‘I’m in charge so what I say is correct’), suppression of logic and all the rest is the normal human state of affairs. You have to ask why the industrial revolution didn’t happen 2000 years earlier.

    The concept that the evidence is more important than the person citing it is a hard one for a lot of people, one that is very tricky for politicians and so always fragile.

  112. Chris says:

    Yes, you’re right Guthrie…all of those examples are repellent. But climate scientists (for example) continue to do their science even if this has been made a little more difficult in individual instances.. seems to me that political efforts to limit scientist’s efforts are (so far) limited (and we’re discounting limitations on potential scientific research that result from broader moral considerations that should represent public views on what might be unacceptable avenues to pursue). It would be nice to think that state of affairs will continue despite the continuing efforts to trash science and mislead the public about scientific understanding. The activities of some hard right politicians in the US might make us worry a little on that score…

  113. Joshua: “I suspect it would be highly amusing to watch the reaction if a climate scientist (let’s say Mann? or Schmidt?) “published” a new “article” on all three of Skeptical Science, Climate Progress, and HotWhopper rather than a traditional journal.

    Would be amusing, but is not a fair comparison.

    I just had a perfectly fine manuscript rejected and had considered to simply write a blog post about it (while submitting it to another journal). This manuscript is about homogenization. I expect that people in my field would be willing to read it, also without the additional credibility of peer review. My personal credibility is high enough. Peer review helps outsiders to be taken seriously and it helps outsiders to know which articles to take seriously. If I publish on another topic, I would need a journal to entice people to read it. In case of Gavin Schmidt I would be willing to read any climate paper, no matter where he publishes it.

    Furthermore, Skeptical Science and HotWhopper are quite accurate when it comes to science. Publishing there may not give you the added credibility of a peer reviewed journal, but it also does not give you the anti-credibility of publishing at WUWT. WUWT is a blog where the pathological misquoter Monckton or greenhouse effect denier Tim Ball publish. An author who selects WUWT to publish his ideas knows that his work is wrong, or at least that the evidence is too weak. Otherwise the author would have published his study in a scientific journal.

  114. I’ve got a comment in moderation, not quite sure what word did it. Maybe ‘Monckton’?

  115. Chris says:

    “The concept that the evidence is more important than the person citing it is a hard one for a lot of people, one that is very tricky for politicians and so always fragile.”

    Yup, unfortunately very true Andrew. However (so far) the liars, charlatans and convincing self-delusionists do tend to get found out in the end, largely because reality is truly out there and eventually intrudes in a way that is increasingly difficult to ignore. That should be all the more true in the modern era where we are more attuned to understanding the nature of causality and its evidence, even if the malign aspects of human nature that you refer to as “normal state of human affairs” are a continual spanner in the works…

    Although in any instance the rational and anti-rational arguments may seem to be participating in something of a beauty contest (this is certainly how the anti-rationalists prefer to pursue the game), reality will always (in the end) decide in favour of the scientific approach to understanding even if this may be realised rather late in the day, and after a significant amount of unnecessary unpleasantness and suffering…

  116. Willard says:

    Here would be one way to take the “only content matters” seriously:

    Numerous studies have revealed biases within the scientific communication system and across all scientific fields. For example, already prominent researchers receive disproportional credit compared to their (almost) equally qualified colleagues — because of their prominence. However, none of those studies has offered a solution as to how to decrease the incidence of these biases. In this paper I argue that by publishing anonymously, we can decrease the incidence of inaccurate heuristics in the current scientific communication system. Specific suggestions are made as to how to implement the changes.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1512.05382

  117. Chris says:

    Lots of problems with that approach and with Hanel’s paper (the intro is full of question-begging and poorly-supported assertion). A significant problem with Hanel’s approach that relates to the real word is exemplified in the fact that although one of Hanel’s long list of (somewhat odd) suggestions is:

    “Researchers should stop listing only their own publications on their official homepage(s). Rather, it is suggested that they list key readings in their subfield(s)”

    ….perusal of Hanel’s “official homepage” yields (under “Selected publications”) only Dr Hanel’s own publications….

  118. anoilman says:

    Chris says:
    January 11, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    “Yes, you’re right Guthrie…all of those examples are repellent. But climate scientists (for example) continue to do their science even if this has been made a little more difficult in individual instances..”

    I think you kinda miss the point Chris. Opposition to doing work in the various fields of science has been building, and largely from far right wing politicos. The source of opposition is often denial bloggers and the like, who have systematically misinformed their viewers, who then take all this back to their politicians.
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/11/obama-tweets-old-huffpo-piece-saying-nasa-budget-cut-by-climate-deniers/

    Canada is merely an example, and the damage here is permanent. Jobs were lost, scientists fired, or driven out.

    On the other hand people doing the work who remain funded and not unemployed are continuing to do their work as best they can.
    http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/climate-deniers-defund-nasa-climate-research

    Of course they do so at personal risk of attack and coercion from the same far right stream;
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/06/22/mark-steyns-newest-attack-on-michael-mann-and-the-hockey-stick/

    There is no doubt their denialists are doing what they can to harm normal scientific processes, and they are impacting it, as well as driving up its costs. (‘Case responding to spurious BS from internet bloggers is time consuming.)

  119. ” In case of Gavin Schmidt I would be willing to read any climate paper, no matter where he publishes it.”

    Me too. One thing I dislike is paywalls. The other thing I dislike is word limits.
    As long as Gavin or anyone else has dotted all the ts and crossed their eyes (haha)
    I am happy to read it anywhere.

    I wonder how much longer journals can exert their control

  120. Willard says:

    > Lots of problems with that approach and with Hanel’s paper (the intro is full of question-begging and poorly-supported assertion).

    At least there’s a distinction between the approach and Hanel’s paper.

    ***

    > perusal of Hanel’s “official homepage” yields (under “Selected publications”) only Dr Hanel’s own publications….

    That tu quoque makes the above distinction disappears.

    ***

    The use of tu quoques to discuss claims may be even more problematic than the problem underlined by that tu quoque, since it’s a plague in any approach.

    Parenthetical unsubstantiated remarks are problematic in any approach.

    Lots of problems with empty expressions like “lots of problems.”

  121. Hanel: “Researchers should stop listing only their own publications on their official homepage(s). Rather, it is suggested that they list key readings in their subfield(s)”

    It is not my homepage, but my blog.

    Hanel did write “listing only”. When I go to someone’s homepage, I often want to assess his/her expertise. Thus listing your articles makes a lot of sense. A personal homepage is not the place where I normally go to get a general idea of a scientific field.

  122. Willard says:

    > When I go to someone’s homepage, I often want to assess his/her expertise. […] A personal homepage is not the place where I normally go to get a general idea of a scientific field.

    Being able to give a general idea of your scientific field goes a long way to show your expertise, e.g.:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.html

    The biggest hindrance to an anonymous publication system might very well be the fact that researchers work first and foremost to get their names on papers (hence the universal practice of listing them on one’s publications’ pages) more than any of Hanel’s “suggestions […] meant, despite their explicit character, as a basis for discussion; to demonstrate that the aforementioned biases can likely be implemented [sic.] by relatively small changes within the publishing system.”

  123. VV writes: “A personal homepage is not the place where I normally go to get a general idea of a scientific field.”

    Unless that homepage happens to be James Hansen’s 🙂

  124. Marco says:

    Steven Mosher, ATTP gets it right. It is about the intent. Keep scientists busy with reacting, rather than acting. Most indeed happily ignore those attempts, others have more trouble doing so.

    And regarding your question/comment about the future of publishing: as long as the trend towards increased control by stakeholders on output remains, not much is going to change (and it may even get much worse). In Asia the rat race to publish in journals is presently quite bad, which is one major reason the predatory journals thrive so much, and why there are so many problems with fake peer reviews and paper mills: individual scientists *must* publish in ‘recognized’ journals, or they are fired. But don’t discount similar ‘incentives’ in Western countries. I work in a country that some years ago introduced a bibliometric system that determines how some % (I can’t remember how much) of the governmental funding is distributed amongst the different universities. Journals and books are divided into three classes, giving 2, 1, or no points. The universities that score most points get a larger fraction of the funding. Thus, other ways of publishing are not recommended, since you would hurt the financial situation of the university. Also private organizations want to see something visible returned, and a blog simply does not cut it.

  125. Marco says:

    As a small P.S. to miker613’s adoration of the Lewis (shamelessly plagiarized and modified from Stoat), Gavin Schmidt has gently pointed out that one criticism of Lewis is, uhm, just plain wrong:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/01/marvel-et-al-2015-part-1-reconciling-estimates-of-climate-sensitivity/#comment-640851

    MartinM (comment below Lewis’) had no problem figuring this out…

  126. Of course, the next stage of this saga will focus on the fact that

    that wasn’t explicitly stated in the paper.

  127. BBD says:

    I recommend making your own (a large, fairly heavy wok with a domed lid is ideal). Season with a blend of smoked paprika, salt, cayenne pepper and just a little fine brown sugar.

  128. BBD says:

    Speaking of surprises, I somewhat choked on my toast when I learned this morning that my favourite newspaper proprietor Rupert Murdoch is to marry Jerry Hall are getting married.

    First Lemmy, then Bowie, and now this. Not sure how many more surprises I can take in a fortnight.

  129. Hmm, but I’m not sure how happy Rupert is going to be about this 🙂

  130. BBD says:

    Good find, ATTP 🙂 Let’s hope she can talk some sense into RM. Not really very hopeful, though.

  131. Willard says:

  132. Willard,
    I must be a bit slow today, but I don’t get that.

  133. dana1981 says:

    Thanks jsam. Worth noting that Gavin Schmidt reviewed my post, so the content is accurate.

  134. Willard says:

    “Moithered” is just a beautiful word, AT. It can have mnenomic value. It can also have heuristic value, since it has a high Zipf coefficient.

    In a few years, it’ll be easy to recall that ClimateBall exchange: it was the moithered one.

  135. Nick – interesting paper in just the way that papers that have many obvious flaws to some educated writers can pass the peer-review process. This seems to be evidence for my suspicion that the current review process is not so much flawed as the process has ALWAYS been flawed, probably because of bias confirmation within a friendly, team environment. In other words, bad science is always being propagated, and only time sorts the wheat from the chaff. The problem in 2016, though, is – like the Lysenko genetics – public policy runs ahead of the time-dependent critical evaluation process. Bad science well promoted goes to the head of the funding queue.

    You make one really, really interesting point IMO: that the study attempts to fix a TCR/ECR low-value error when the predictions of the existing value already substantially exceed observation. If ever there was a comment that goes to the heart of ivory-tower academia, it is that one.

    And on that point, can you tell me why the extreme scenarios that are far above observations for the last 15 years have not been dropped, modified or at least time-shifted to the present? Is not the starting point important for the 2100 endpoint? I recognize natural variability allows some leeway here, but if natural variability is allowed to counter the extreme end-observation disconnect, does this not mean that natural variability forces are much greater than modelled, and therefore a demonstration that the models are inadequate? Outside of that, somehow we have to get from where we are to where the more extreme scenarios say we “really” are, or should be – how do we ramp it up to maintain 2100 endpoint validity if there are no scenarios that show internal accelerations that such a thing would require?

    The models seem to be rooted in the 1988 time period. Even the new GISS/NOAA 2015 adjusted temperature profiles are significantly cooler than the extreme scenarios say it should be right now. How do they keep their validity?

    I’ve asked these questions in many venues without getting an answer. They seem like obvious questions to anyone who does even simple things like budgets – if I proposed a profit scenario for 2020 that was, at 2015, higher than the CFO and Board of Directors just reported, I would be greeted with stunned silence. So how does it work with the IPCC climate science crowd?

    Thanks for your work. Judith Curry regards you well, clearly. Together you provide a reference point for dispassionate analysis in this fractious debate.

  136. Willard says:

    > Ben Goldacre first used it [“scienciness”] in 2009.

    Thanks for this. Skimming through that group’s blog posts, I’m suspecting my usage is different. I hope their usage of “scienciness” can’t be called scienciness according to my understanding of it.

    In any case, that story’s fantastic:

    Here we find further parallels with conventional physics. “The universe expands exponentially with f(x)=e^x (1 light year = 671 million miles per hour).” One light year is not – if I can anally interject – 671 million miles per hour. Maybe that works because “the Pepsi Orbits” “dimensionalise exponentially”.

    This might be a useful moment to mention that the new logo is basically the same as the old one, except one of the curves has been changed a bit to look more like a smile. The Arnell agency has yet to comment on the veracity of the document, but Pepsi certainly announced a revamp in October last year, and from reading his work, Peter Arnell does quite like the word “dimensionalise”. At a recent news conference, he also compared his advert for SoBe Lifewater to the achievements of Thomas Edison in inventing cinematography.

    http://www.badscience.net/2009/03/weve-come-across-a-sticky-patch-were-going-to-have-to-work-through-it-or-get-out-and-go-our-separate-ways/#more-1036

    All this is so moitherizing.

  137. Tadaaa says:

    To the average (educated but non-science) person in the street, I do find these discussions fascinating.

    Although when the equations start flying, obviously I am struggling (an understatement, and I happily invoke “dunning kruger”).

    However, I have tried to understand the central science around AGW (actually the wiki on climate change article is a very good start) and for the avoidance of doubt wholeheartedly support the current scientific consensus, that is NOT the same thing as saying “the science is settled” – as some people seem to suggest – a classic logical fallacy, enter the Strawman.

    So I have to evaluate things, the arguments/threads/posts/blogs etc on a slightly different level, using different reference points.

    What I found, keeping the actual science out of it, is just how much the anti AGW crowd use the same techniques, the same logical fallacies (see above) of the classic conspiracy theorists
    It reaches its absolute zenith when they are presented with inconvertible data that refutes [their] position – they claim “conspiracy”.

    This particular episode seems like a classic case of intellectual “tyre kicking” – and I always end up asking myself.

    “why do these guys never do the actual science, you know put the hard yards in, they just seem to tyre kick other people’s efforts”

    It immediately raise alarm bells with me

    Then I remember, science is hard conspiracy theories and blogging are easy

    And they also seem to labour under the misconception that finding some minor error in a scientific paper somehow invalidates a whole theory – they always seem to want to find that “magic” bullet and there frustration seems to increase when none is forthcoming.

    Science, like temperatures never progresses in straight lines, but ultimately it does bends towards “truth”.

    And it seems this particular “blog paper” will ultimately be filed in the “so what” bin

  138. doug,

    Thanks for your work. Judith Curry regards you well, clearly. Together you provide a reference point for dispassionate analysis in this fractious debate.

    I think you may have posted your comment on the wrong site.

  139. Tadaa,

    And it seems this particular “blog paper” will ultimately be filed in the “so what” bin

    In some sense, I suspect that it will. On the other hand, a certain group of journalist will probably refer to these kind of posts so as to promote their various arguments about why climate change either isn’t happening, or isn’t a problem worth being concerned about.

  140. Joshua says:

    Lysenko!

  141. Joshua,
    It is a bit of a giveaway, isn’t it?

  142. BBD says:

    Doug Proctor

    Is not the starting point important for the 2100 endpoint?

    Not really…

  143. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Indeed, whenever I read a climate combatant refer to Lysenko, the first thing that comes to mind is “dispassionate analysis in this fractious debate..”

  144. Jim Eager says:

    ATTP: “I think you may have posted your comment on the wrong site.”

    Or maybe not. Perhaps Doug was deliberately trying to tweak you, ATTP.

    But Doug missed that Nick used the single year 1850 as his 19C baseline where Marvel et al used the decade 1850-1859, which Gavin admitted was not made explicit in the paper.

    What’s that they say about fools rushing in?
    Lysenkoism indeed.

  145. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Thanks, Willard. I hadn’t actually read that particular Goldacre blogpost. It’s fun.

    I’m not sure how his usage of ‘scienciness’ differs from yours, though. Perhaps you could explain the difference with reference to the quantum crankery of the current European Commissioner for Transport.

    http://www.violeta.si/2014/08/syntropy-creative-power-of-nature.html

    She says she doesn’t really understand the sciency claims made by what she has fallen in love with. Is that the difference? Do Goldacre’s sciencinessists (in which group I would include Violeta Bulc) appropriate scientific language without pretending to really understand it whereas your sciencinessists think they know what’s going on but don’t? Something else entirely?

    (Yep, the European Union’s top transport mandarin believes in perpetual motion. How quaint. Long live the EU.)

  146. anoilman says:

    I look at these exercises as pointless. There comes point where you’re going back and forth over numbers only you’re finding one might be a little low, but the other a little high, like so;
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/jan/12/nasa-study-fixes-error-in-low-contrarian-climate-sensitivity-estimates

    So yeah, its settled and the deniers are just nit picking.

  147. Tadaaa says:

    ATTP
    “In some sense, I suspect that it will. On the other hand, a certain group of journalist will probably refer to these kind of posts so as to promote their various arguments about why climate change either isn’t happening, or isn’t a problem worth being concerned about.”

    Sure – it is easy (the “hard work”, after all is done on the denier blogs) and it sells newspapers

    but I suspect when peoples “reality” of AGW starts to diverge so dramatically from the anti AGW narrative things will change (as I think it might have done in the UK recently).

    and I posted this on a blog only the other day

    “I think when history looks back at this era of science denial, 2015 will be seen as a watershed moment

    I already sense that some deniers @ wuwt are beginning to realise that unless we start to see a dramatic reduction in global average temps the game is up.

    2016 will almost certainly be in the top 3 hottest years of recorded history, the others all with the last 5 years (and a good chance it will break the 2015 record)

    The deniers have hung their hat on the satellite LT temps – which do seem to show less warming in the last 10 odd years, an anomaly which I think will be resolved in the next 5 years (after all they were shown to be wrong in the 90’s when they diverged from the rising surface temps)

    Contrary to what deniers would have people believe, satellite temperatures are notoriously tricky to get right – it is NOT a thermometer in space

    off course you won’t change the hard core deniers, they will simply have to sit in the silly corner with the anti-evolutionists and creationist (ironically often the same people!!!)”

    🙂

  148. Tadaaa says:

    whoops – double post

  149. Tadaa,
    I deleted the dupicate material.

    I think you’re right that we’ll start to see changes, either people drifting away from science enial and starting to accept more and more the reality of AGW, or that the hardcore climate deniers will simply be marginsalised to the point where they’re simply ignored by virtually everyone else.

  150. JCH says:

    El Nino is kicking in? Just updated at AVISO, 4.24mm py over Jason 2:

  151. “What I found, keeping the actual science out of it, is just how much the anti AGW crowd use the same techniques, the same logical fallacies (see above) of the classic conspiracy theorists
    It reaches its absolute zenith when they are presented with inconvertible data that refutes [their] position – they claim “conspiracy”.

    You would do better to evaluate the science.

    For example. I know some people who thought that data hiding and code hiding was sure fire evidence that climate scientists were acting like industry shill scientists.

    Or better yet.

    If you are not competent to judgement the science itself you are probably equally incompetent in analyzing texts and arguments. And if you were competent at that, it’s clear that you would not draw the conclusion you do.

    Look. If you cant judge the science then you are stuck trusting an authority— either yourself as as an authority on texts and arguments. or some scientist you trust.

    There is nothing wrong with trusting a scientist. Its a perfectly rational choice. Having read what you wrote, I’d say you are more wise just trusting the science than trusting your own abilities to judge the science by the behavior of people.

  152. Apologies – your post lead me to another blog, but my comments went to yours.

    As per the importance of the starting point: my point was that if the modellers were tasked TODAY with projecting the temps at 2100, would not the recent past inform the future? So the projections would not be the same as those made in ’88. Historical matching seems to be important to begin with, but not going forward.

    We have had a generation of experience, and yet the range of outcomes is the same as it was. Despite science being settled, the parameters going in and the mathematical relationships between them are shown as wide as they ever were. How can that be? Even if you say natural variability and uncertainty still exist, should there not be a narrowing of the role of natural variability and uncertainty in functional relationships?

    There is much discussion about uncertainty in climate science. The wide range of scenarios is the obvious result. But two or more decades of anticipated data should have reduced some of that functional uncertainty. I don’t see how the upper end models are still tenable when there are no models that suddenly ramp up (or down) through natural or forced interactions.

  153. BBD says:

    As per the importance of the starting point: my point was that if the modellers were tasked TODAY with projecting the temps at 2100, would not the recent past inform the future?

    Decadal noise fades into the background on the centennial scale, which is dominated by the forced trend. Please see my previous response.

    So the projections would not be the same as those made in ’88.

    They aren’t, Doug.

  154. Doug,

    As per the importance of the starting point: my point was that if the modellers were tasked TODAY with projecting the temps at 2100, would not the recent past inform the future? So the projections would not be the same as those made in ’88. Historical matching seems to be important to begin with, but not going forward.

    BBD has already covered this, but I’ll add some more. The point is that most models reproduce decadal variability, but getting it in phase is virtually impossible. Hence, when you produce ensembly averages, the decadal variability smooths out and the underlying long-term trend dominates. Of course, if the observations stayed outside the 95% confidence interval for a long time, we might start to reject certain models, but we haven’t really reached that stage yet and given the recent warm years, it seems unlikely.

    Also, if you select only those models that are in-phase with the variability, the model-observation match is improved. If you update the forcings, it also produce a better match between the models and observations. In essence, the model/observation mismatch is not nearly as great as some would have you believe.

  155. anoilman says:

    Douglas Proctor: There’s really not much going on over 40 years.. sometimes we think its a little higher, sometimes a little lower. Meh… time to get on with dealing with it.

    Outright wrong is just not in the cards.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/one-graph-to-rule-them-all/#comment-67567

    The take home message is don’t look at short term data. If you want to look at short term data, understand the differences between it and the climate (Foster Rahmstorf). If you don’t want to understand that, then you should consider the statistical significance of viewing short term trends in the big picture (Lewandowsky, Risbey & Oreskes).

    Foster Rahmstorf;
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022/meta

    Lewandowsky, Risbey & Oreskes;
    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep16784

    Lastly, its good to know that scientists don’t goof around like you suggest because clearly 2015 would make the future look bleak indeed;
    http://berkeleyearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2015-Hottest-Year-BE-Press-Release-v1.0.pdf

  156. Willard says:

    > You would do better to evaluate the science [than being prompted by RHETORICS ™].

    That claim is incomplete, and a bit moitherizing. Let’s try to complete it first. Then we’ll try to unmoitherize it.

    It’s better to evaluate da science to evaluate da science. In principle, scientific claims stand on their own merits. This principle is compatible with a claim such as “keeping the actual science out of it.”

    It’s better to evaluate the bag of RHETORICS ™ qua RHETORICS ™. In principle, the bag of RHETORICS ™ should stand or fall on its own merits. This principle is less compatible with a claim such as “What I found […] is just how much the [contrarians] use the same techniques, the same logical fallacies of the classic conspiracy theorists”: after all, we all should beware that Hitler was a vegetarian.

    I doubt it’s better to evaluate da science to evaluate the bag of RHETORICS ™ more than I doubt it’s better to evaluate the bag of RHETORICS ™ to evaluate the science. One provides a better heuristic than the other. It might be harder to do science without RHETORICS ™ than to produce RHETORICS ™ void of science.

    To unmoitherize the claim that “You would do better to evaluate the science,” we’d need to clarify what “the science” means. It would be surprising to find one modern Erasmus who has read all da Science, if by that we refer to a whole scientific field. Perhaps Nic could, but Gavin (standing aside his honesty) is quite busy already with what he does.

    No scientist stands alone in front of Da Science. This contradicts the assumption that it’s possible not to be “stuck trusting an authority.” Everybody is, including scientists. That’s how humans roll. That’s why scientists look at publications’ pages of other scientists. That’s why there are names on scientific papers.

    ***

    > If you are not competent to judgement the science itself you are probably equally incompetent in analyzing texts and arguments.

    That “probably” could be tested.

    Has it been tested?

  157. Tadaaa says:

    @ ATTP — Thank you

    @ Steven Mosher — the problem with climate science is, that by its very multi-disciplinary nature, it is pretty complicated – but still directly effects every single person on the planet, so not just an academic side show, in the way that the Hadron Collider is

    and it seems to me this is what allows it to be high jacked by misinformers, political lobby groups and lazy journalists

    sure I try and evaluate the science, and claims people make – but am well aware of “dunning kruger” i.e my own limitations

    In a way that is why, to the layman the “consensus” is so important and why it is attacked so vehemently by the contrarians tying to promote a false equivalence

    “Consensus” means I don’t have to become an Oncologists to accept the tobacco/cancer risks – and that to most sane people is pretty cool

    I suppose my main point is that although imperfect “science” should be left to the scientist and done through the peer review literature – it seems to have got humanity quite far in a reasonably short space of time

  158. “and it seems to me this is what allows it to be high jacked by misinformers, political lobby groups and lazy journalists”

    do you mean misinformers like this guy
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm

    Lobby groups like the Sierra Club?

    And dont even get me started on lazy journos.

    So, yes a complicated science is easy for all sides to hi jack.

    Let me make it simple. If you are incapable of judging the science in part or in whole,
    you are better off trusting the consensus RATHER THAN your ability to decipher the
    truth by looking at Rhetorics of the two sides.

    2+2=4, because I said so.

    evaluate

  159. anoilman says:

    Steve, I don’t know what you think is some how being negotiated or altered by global warming deniers bring up crap with the public.

    We’re not learning anything exciting or drastically different or new. Its just more refined and better understood.

    Tadaaa: Climate Science data is applied engineering, not theory. If the data is wrong, we’re utterly defenseless.

    Ocean heat data is used to sink subs. We use collected XBT data to predict the temperature profile anywhere on the earth with a decent level of accuracy. This represents the bulk of the energy on the planet.
    http://news.usni.org/2014/08/27/opinion-new-era-anti-submarine-warfare

    The man we all need to thank for sleeping at night is Levitus. Here’s what Steve Mosher’s friends at the high schooler’s web site have to say about it;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/levitus/

    Here’s what Steve’s credentials are by the way (BA, English);
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2014/06/who-is-steven-mosher.html

  160. Willard says:

    > 2+2=4

    This might not be the best example of a scientific claim.

  161. Willard says:

    > ’s credentials are by the way […]

    Which way would that be, Oily One?

    Please sift through BEST’s deliverables and report.

  162. BBD says:

    Steven

    So, yes a complicated science is easy for all sides to hi jack.

    Except one side is essentially aligned with the science and its implications and the other is spewing misinformation into the public discourse all the time. Occasional errors by one side do not equate with the constant stream of misinformation emerging from the other.

    I think you are proposing a false equivalence.

  163. Tadaaa says:

    @ Steven Mosher

    “do you mean misinformers like this guy
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm

    sure crap is crap

    I am also sure some crap gets into the scientific literature – I suspect though it simply withers on the “vine of relevance” to become an interesting footnote to science historians

    that’s life – as they say

  164. Joshua says:

    ==> “If you are incapable of judging the science in part or in whole,
    you are better off trusting the consensus RATHER THAN your ability to decipher the
    truth by looking at Rhetorics of the two sides.”

    Who is trying to decipher truth by looking at rhetorics (and who is employing straw men to substitute for arguments)? Who is framing facile arguments by posing false choises?

    Patterns in how people utilize rhetorical devices to substantiate argument that can be evaluated (in other words, rhetorical devices to support facile arguments related to the discussion of climate change rather than the science of climate change itself) are information relevant to how people reason.

    Such information is not dispositive with reference to those same people’s scientific arguments, but it may be instructive as to probabilities: Someone who make facile arguments about the discussion of climate change may be indicating a characteristic of failing to control for biases, “motivation” w/r/t ideological predisposition vis a vis climate change.

    The ideological associations that are highly prevalent in discussions about climate change don’t support certain conclusions about any particular individual’s reasoning, but they do help to inform us about the confluence of biasing influences.

  165. Joshua says:

    Perhaps this would be clearer…

    Who is trying to decipher truth by looking at rhetorics (and who is employing straw men to substitute for arguments)? Who is framing facile arguments by posing false choices?

  166. Tadaaa says:

    @ BBD

    “Except one side is essentially aligned with the science and its implications and the other is spewing misinformation into the public discourse all the time. Occasional errors by one side do not equate with the constant stream of misinformation emerging from the other.”

    Quite

    I watched the very good documentary – “Merchants of Doubt” earlier last year

    and a phrase struck me “once revealed never concealed”

  167. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    So, yes a complicated science is easy for all sides to hi jack.

    Especially easy if you have stolen e-mails.

    But, hey – “it will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change” and “It’s as seamy as what happened on Wall Street”!

    Evaluate.

  168. afeman says:

    I like the word “squirl,” VictorV.

    German do have difficulty with that one:

    Let us disregard how that works in reverse.

  169. However, I am Dutch. So I pronounce the word “very” like “ferry”. (And I did not start the war.)

  170. We need a video of 10 Americans trying Ndebele, Zulu, or Xhosa …

  171. Marco says:

    Oi!

    Some English have trouble with English, too. Just listen to Benedict Cumberbatch trying to say “pengwings”, uhm, “penglings”, uhm, well, not anything like “penguins”

  172. “Especially easy if you have stolen e-mails.”

    the mails didnt tell us anything we didnt already know.. except of course for the instructions to delete mails. One could always use that “rhetoric” to judge the science.

    As I read through the mails, one thought came up over an over again.
    Shit… they engaged in all the bad rhetoric that skeptics do.
    I hope nobody is stupid enough to think that mails (or rhetoric) change the science.

    Which brings us back to the point. The OP thought he could judge the science by the rhetoric of skeptics.It would be better for him just to trust the consensus. But if you would like to disagree with that feel free.

    I’ll put it bluntly: which is better: trusting the consensus of scientists or trusting your own
    examination of rhetorics. I promise not to mention DK.

  173. “Who is trying to decipher truth by looking at rhetorics (and who is employing straw men to substitute for arguments)? Who is framing facile arguments by posing false choices?”

    Motive hunting might not be the wisest move.
    arguing through rhetorical questions is also unwise.

    If you cant understand the science, trust the consensus. That’s your best move.

  174. “sure crap is crap”

    What in the rhetoric of that piece allows you to say its crap?
    I suspect you conclude its crap because it was wrong.
    Nothing in the analysis of the rhetoric can tell you that the science was wrong.
    just like ( I argued) nothing in the mails could change the science.
    You can also believe the right thing for the wrong reason.
    ponder that.

    “I am also sure some crap gets into the scientific literature – I suspect though it simply withers on the “vine of relevance” to become an interesting footnote to science historians”

    yes. Piltdown man was 40 years in the literature. The conservatism of science cuts several ways. Lets think about that

    1. Some people use that argument to say the IPCC is being to conservative (oreskes, hansen)
    2. Some people use that argument to say that “bad” science hangs around too long in the
    canon.

    Now lets try to use “conservativeness” as a yard stick for judging some science.
    You get the same silly outcomes as trying to use rhetoric to judge it
    or
    using private emails and personal behavior to judge it.

    If you dont understand the science, you gotta trust someone. I’ll suggest again that it is pefectly rational to trust the consensus.. and also suggest that this is a more sound foundation that trust rhetorical analysis.

  175. If you dont understand the science, you gotta trust someone. I’ll suggest again that it is pefectly rational to trust the consensus

    Indeed, that’s why it would seem important when a scientific topic has particular societal relevance, that we understand what the strength of the consensus actually is.

  176. > As I read through the mails, one thought came up over an over again. […] they engaged in all the bad rhetoric that skeptics do.

    Emails would be unneeded to see that, just like nobody needs to read Judy’s emails to see her bag of RHETORICS ™. Lamar Smith doesn’t need to reach her by email to know what she would suggest him to write up:

    Rep. Smith attended the recent Congressional Hearing on Policy-Relevant Climate Issues in Context where I presented testimony. Rep. Smith’s op-ed touches on some of the main themes included in my testimony, including global temperatures have held steady over the past 15 years, there is a great amount of uncertainty associated with climate science, climate models have overestimated recent warming, Hurricane Sandy can’t be attributed to global warming.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/31/rep-lamar-smith-on-climate-change/

    Vintage 2013.

    Threatening to talk about the emails can be a way to deflect from inconvenient arguments like Jebediah’s.

    ***

    > I’ll put it bluntly: which is better: […]

    I don’t always announce to “put it bluntly,” but when I do, I follow immediately with a rhetorical question presenting a false alternative.

    Rhetorical inconsistencies like this one carry non-trivial information.

    ***

    > If you dont understand the science, you gotta trust someone.

    Nobody understands Da Science, so everybody trust someone.

    Nobody’s really a libertarian island.

  177. Pingback: Record Warmth | …and Then There's Physics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s