## Polar Bears and Arctic sea ice

Jeff Harvey, who is an occasional commenter here, is lead author of a recent paper on [i]nternet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy. The paper itself is open access, and if you would like to read some posts about it, Bart Verheggen (one of the authors) has a one, as does Dana in the Guardian.

Essentially, they looked at a large number of blogs, that they categorised as either denying, or accepting, anthropogenic global warming (AGW). They then analysed how these blogs covered certain topics. When it came to Arctic sea ice, those categorised as denying AGW tended to interpret short-term variability as indicating some kind of recovery. When it came to polar bears, those categorised as denying AGW tended to primarily use a single source (Dr Susan Crockford) who – based on their lack of peer-reviewed publications about polar bears – would appear to have undertaken little original research.

This isn’t a huge surprise, but it is interesting to see it documented. Even though it isn’t really a surprise, I do still find it remarkable that so many will promote the contrary claims of someone who appears to have little in the way of actual expertise.

The comment/conclusion in the paper that I found interesting was

We believe that it is imperative for more scientists to venture beyond the confines of their labs and lecture halls to directly engage with the public and policymakers, as well as more strongly confronting and resisting the well-funded and organized network of AGW denial.

I realise that some will probably whine about well-funded but I mostly agree with the idea that it would be good for more scientists to engage publicly and to, more specifically, directly counter misinformation. Partly, the more voices the better, and partly because it would probably be good for more to recognise that many are not engaging in good faith. It’s a little frustrating when some who have never interacted with those who are dismissive of AGW, think they know of some simple way to resolve these disputes; for example, just being nicer is not going to do it (which doesn’t mean don’t be nice, it just means that it’s unlikely to have much impact).

As you might expect, the response to this paper has been somewhat predictable. In an example of extreme ClimateballTM, Tom Fuller has used this paper to suggest that climate scientists harass women (yes, I realise I probably shouldn’t promote it, but it is also been promoted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation so it probably is worth mentioning).

What makes Tom’s post particularly bizarre is that he includes a quote from me about Roger Pielke Jr. When it comes to Roger Pielke Jr, I’m normally being criticised for supposedly attacking him. In this case, however, I’m quoted as saying something positive, which is then used to imply that climate scientists are more restrained when criticising men, than they are when criticising women. Firstly, saying something positive about a man, does not imply less restraint when criticising women. Secondly, I’m not a climate scientists, so my quote has no relevance anyway. Thirdly, there are many reasons why one might not say something positive about Roger Pielke Jr; being worried that it might be used to suggest that climate scientists harass women, wasn’t one that had ever crossed my mind.

Furthermore, Tom Fuller’s post claims that the Harvey et al. paper flat out lies about Dr Crockford’s publication record. The paper claimed that Crockford has neither conducted any original research nor published any articles in the peer-reviewed literature on polar bears. As far as I can tell, this is true (I certainly can’t find any peer-reviewed papers about polar bears on which Dr Crockford is an author, and peer-reviewed papers is the main way in which one presents original research). When challenged, Tom Fuller highlighted a comment posted on a journal’s website about a paper on polar bears. When I say comment I don’t mean something submitted to the journal for review and, possibly, publication, I mean something akin to a blog comment (i.e., written into comment box on a website).

This is getting rather long, so I should probably wrap up. In my view, if someone regards themselves as some kind of world-leading expert, then they really should aim to get their work published in a peer-reviewed journal. It’s not that difficult, given some of the rubbish that gets through. Also, if you’re running a blog that purports to be presenting scientific information about a topic, ideally don’t base everything on one source, especially if that source is someone who has never published a peer-reviewed paper on the topic. Of course, if your goal is to promote a particular agenda, then maybe basing everything on a single source who says what you want to hear is precisely what you should do – feature, rather than bug?

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### 720 Responses to Polar Bears and Arctic sea ice

1. Gender bias is an interesting and worthwhile question to raise, though in this case, it has likely been raised in bad faith as a tactic to distract from the truth of the Harvey study. This is an argument that cannot be won. The tactics of the denialist industry are quite effective at jamming up communication and understanding of the science. That is the goal in this case I think, but it is wrapped in questions about gender bias. I don’t read Hayhoe very much at all and I don’t know if it is because of her frank and open Christianity or if there is something gender-related going on for me in reading her thoughts and attempts to communicate. I think it the Christianity thing because I almost always find time to read anything from Elizabeth Kolbert.

I guess it’s a shame that so many of us are so constrained by accuracy and/or good faith in our communications. Those constraints reduce our effectiveness with influencing the electorate, public policy, etc. and lead to internecine squabbles in the “good faith” science communication community. (and also reduce cash flow to our coffers from the Koch brothers)

I recognize and am drawn to your sincerity with these posts, ATTP, but I wonder if we are just becoming homo hamsterus running on the communication problem wheel, do you follow?

2. BBD says:

WTF? Tom jumps the shark polar bear.

3. small,

I recognize and am drawn to your sincerity with these posts, ATTP, but I wonder if we are just becoming homo hamsterus running on the communication problem wheel, do you follow?

I don’t know that I do follow, but if you mean that we’re simply going in circles, then yes, that does appear to be the case.

BBD,
You seem surprised?

4. JCH says:
5. JCH,
Yes, I did notice that one.

6. JCH says:

I’m trying to remember. When a female blog scientist engineered the blood dripping hatchet job [Snip. -W] of Karl and Peterson, was anybody on their side upset?

7. verytallguy says:

JCH (and others),

a suggestion that even (especially) if others are doing it, casual use of the r word may be extremely ill – advised.

8. JCH says:

It’s a fight. I always have my Tu Quoques loaded and holstered up.

9. Joshua says:

Anders –

Just skimmed the comment thread over at Tom’s. Ugh.

I have to say, it seems to me that the paper that started this dust up is likely to add nothing of value to the public debate about climate change. I’m a bit disappointed that you seem to be positively impressed by it.

IMO, there is a basic, problematic aspect with an publication that personalizes the dynamics of the climate wars. Focusing on Susan as a target seems rather pointless to me. Predictably, it will create yet another node (sub-routine?) of tit for tat and what I call “personality politics,” where people like Tom or David Young get in their standard zingers at Mike (or now Bart). The well-worn sub-node (sub-sub routine?) of arguing about Susan’s lack of authorship of peer reviewed articles seems to me, likewise, to be predictably sub-optimal.

10. Joshua says:

Further –

Let Tom show some actual evidence of (1) a discrepancy between how criticism on the area of climate science is leveled at males and females, respectively and (2) that the patterns of discrepancy are different across the “skeptic” and “realist” climate divide.

Why would anyone bother to respond to his extrapolation from an anecdotal sampling (as if his conclusions shouldn’t be subject to due diligence against his own partisan orientation) with an expectation of a fruitful outcome w/r/t the validity of his assertions?

11. Marco says:

I noted the same thing on Bart Verheggen’s English blog regarding Tom’s misrepresentation of those “comments”. He even called them “extensive”.

Note that Tom Fuller has been upset with similar studies before, but then never made the misogyny-accusation, or its counterpart: misandry. Best example: Anderegg et al, which he claimed to be a blacklist, and which pointed out that most of those signing petitions and open letters that minimized the impact of AGW happened to be non-climate scientists or climate scientists with a very limited publication record. Not a peep out of Tom about misandry on that one, even though there were extremely few women on that supposed ‘blacklist’!

12. Willard says:

> It’s a fight.

No R-word, please. Next comments with them won’t be edited. They’ll be trashed, as per AT’s favored solution on the matter.

13. verytallguy says:

Thank you Willard

14. Yes, going in circles no matter how much effort we put in. like hamster on the wheel, but no exercise benefit.

15. BBD says:

BBD,
You seem surprised?

One doesn’t hear so much from Tom, these days, so it was more that he popped out of the woodwork with this than the actual content.

16. Joshua says:

… he popped out of the woodwork

More like pooped out of the woodwork, I’d say.

17. BBD says:

Poo-jokes from Joshua? Truly, these are the end times.

🙂

18. Steven Mosher says:

meh.

The paper has lewandowsky. I predict without reading

1. No substantive release of data and methods.
2. A personal attack of some sort
3. A sketchy content analysis.
4. Fodder for the climate wars

… pause give me a minute
…..
……
….

FFS

ok.. that was pretty much a waste of time.

Agree with Joshua:

“I have to say, it seems to me that the paper that started this dust up is likely to add nothing of value to the public debate about climate change. I’m a bit disappointed that you seem to be positively impressed by it.”

19. Bob Loblaw says:

“Focusing on Susan as a target…”

Um, no. The paper didn’t focus on Susan Crockford. The paper focused on blogs, and the fact that so may of the contrarian blogs relied on one source was the blogs’ choice, not the paper’s choice. The paper just followed where the observation (primarily one source used) led them. The paper’s analysis dd not start with Susan Crockford – it ended with it. Her name doesn’t show up until page 3 of the PDF.

You could write the paper leaving her name out of it, but then the reader can’t assess that “expert’s” credentials. The credibility of that one source is a legitimate line of inquiry.

…and having read the list of Crockford’s publications posted over at SkS by one of her fans, my opinion is that there was nothing in that list of publications that supports claiming she’s a polar bear expert in any way, shape, or form.

Desmog.ca has a posting on this paper, and they interviewed Ian Stirling, who is one of the authors of the paper. I’ve met Ian Stirling, and her really, really, really is a polar bear expert. Stirling’s assessment, as stated in the desmog.ca article, is:

“Real polar bear researcher Stirling, who spent more than four decades studying polar bears and publishing over 150 papers and five books on the topic, says Crockford has “zero” authority on the subject.”

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/11/30/polar-bears-chosen-bizarre-symbol-deny-climate-change-scientists-say

The claim that Crockford is an expert is a classic example of denialism’s use of Fake Experts.

20. Bob Loblaw says:

Steven Mosher says:

“meh.

The paper has lewandowsky. I predict without reading

1. No substantive release of data and methods.
2. A personal attack of some sort

…and Mosher’s comment managed to get the personal attack in before step 2. Quite impressive.

21. Bob Loblaw says:

This posting software has a real tendency to miss closing italics tags… The quote stops after the “…”.

22. BBD says:

Um, no. The paper didn’t focus on Susan Crockford. The paper focused on blogs, and the fact that so may of the contrarian blogs relied on one source was the blogs’ choice, not the paper’s choice. The paper just followed where the observation (primarily one source used) led them. The paper’s analysis dd not start with Susan Crockford – it ended with it. Her name doesn’t show up until page 3 of the PDF.

Fair comment.

This posting software has a real tendency to miss closing italics tags… The quote stops after the “…”.

This commenting software has reproduced my html errors with absolute fidelity over the years I’ve been posting here 😉

23. BBD says:

Steven

4. Fodder for the climate wars

Contrarians attack what they don’t like. So what should we do? STFU and let them get away with it?

24. Bob Loblaw says:

“This commenting software has reproduced my html errors with absolute fidelity over the years I’ve been posting here”

In this case looking at the source code for the page shows that there is in fact a closing italics meta tag just where I thought I’d put it, immediately followed by an opening italics meta tag that made the rest of the comment end up italicized. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t an html error that I did…

Whatever the posting code does to automatically interpret html links and insert images and everything else it does seems to be rather sensitive to just where closing tags are placed.

25. Willard says:

> This posting software has a real tendency to miss closing italics tags

You wrote

<i>

twice, Bob. The trailing / was missing.

The i is deprecated, I believe, and has been replaced with em.

26. BBD says:

Rovers on Mars and we still have to type the wretched html tags in manually. It’s enough to have me reaching for the green ink.

27. Willard says:

One is free, the other less free, BBD.

You *could* write in [Markdown][1] and everyone would understand. You’d still have to use some kind of syntax. Unless you’re Moshpit, in which case go straight for #ClimateBall slam poetry.

A simple policy could be to write one and only one plain paragraph.

When I comment at places where I can’t edit, I try to write in an editor first.

28. Ragnaar says:

Susan Crockford wrote some books. The relevant number might be just one though. The others not being on point.

“She is a zoologist with a Ph.D. and specialties in evolutionary theory, archaeozoology, paleoecology, and forensic taxonomy.”

With the above quote, peer reviewed papers are mentioned and I didn’t find any that she authored.

With the recent topic of communication, she seems to have done it. Obtained a status where recognized scientists are writing papers about her.

Harvey as highlighted, tells paper writing scientists to respond to Crockford and others. And some may see that as the referee saying, Hit the other team. You aren’t here to dance with them. (For example, an American football game.)

I have a look at WUWT on a regular basis. Crockford is a vital cog in the WUWT machine that has a product that some use. The goal seems to be to takeout the Crockford cog.

I haven’t really looked at Crockford. But, she seems an independent willing to state her opinions. This independence does resonate at WUWT but also with others. Perhaps even with the independent voters. I think she also tells a story of life. Of the resilience of the polar bears. The Rocky’s of the North. He won.

29. Magma says:

I’ve had an on-line run-in or two with both Crockford and Curry. I don’t believe I’ve any harsher on them than I have been on Spencer, Lomborg, Christy, Lindzen, Dyson, Giavever and various other contrarians too obscure to note, the large majority of them male.

Admittedly the majority of the individuals I’ve sparred with, criticized or mocked have been white males over 60, but that’s probably reflective of the population I’ve sampled rather than any particular bias on my part.

30. verytallguy says:

The goal seems to be to takeout the Crockford cog.

It’s possible, given the usual academic stakes being so small and all.

But Occam might suggest that it’s simply a useful vehicle to exemplify how unscientific contrarian blogs are.

And yeah. The story. Plucky rebel sticks it to the man. Very Hollywood. Great narrative. The devil has all the best tunes and all.

Thing is, great narratives don’t make great reality. Plucky Albion stands alone. So Brexit. Not going so great.

Guns won the West. Freedom fighters face down gubmint. So Las Vegas. Not going so great.

See the theme yet? Dig the narrative?

31. Joshua,

I have to say, it seems to me that the paper that started this dust up is likely to add nothing of value to the public debate about climate change.

I suspect this may well end up being true. However, as others have pointed out, the key result in the paper is how one subset of climate blogs promote the views of a single source, and – in particular – one who has done little to suggest that they’ve actually carried out any original research. My guess is that there will be some kind of an outcry about this paper. I’m interested to see how that will progress.

32. BBD says:

Willard

A simple policy could be to write one and only one plain paragraph.

Absolutely, and I do try to keep it concise.

33. Magma says:

@ Ragnaar: this may help: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=0&q=dog+author:%22sj+crockford%22&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

@ Joshua: Crockford is the denialist community’s main go-to person for soothing claims about the lack of risks climate change — if it even exists — pose to polar bears, and is regularly cited as an expert by American, British, and Canadian right-wing media. (I’m puzzled by an ‘expert’ who has never conducted or published research on a topic, but maybe that’s just me.) She is also on a retainer from the Heritage Institute, and is hardly a helpless babe in the woods.

At least contrarian Mitch Taylor, formerly a biologist with the Nunavut territorial government, had studied polar bears and published some papers on them.

34. Ragnaar says:

To the masses, it appears to be, reading the reactions to it. WUWT and allies did fire back.

After spending 10 minutes with this:

What it looks like is that while in the broad ballpark, her publishing do not focus polar bears. But she is a scientist that has looked at the animals in the same area. Her credentials as a scientist, look pretty good. And she’s been looking at the Arctic some of the time. At dogs and wolves.

35. Ragnaar,

To the masses, it appears to be, reading the reactions to it. WUWT and allies did fire back.

This is certainly how it is being portrayed, but it is more about how her work it utilised by a subset of climate blogs to promote a particular narrative about polar bears. A narrative that appears to be at odds with most of the published research on this topic.

But she is a scientist that has looked at the animals in the same area. Her credentials as a scientist, look pretty good. And she’s been looking at the Arctic some of the time. At dogs and wolves.

As a scientist, they are fine, but modest. Web of Science indicates 18 publications over a 20 year period (not all peer-reviewed), 218 citations and an h-index of 7. I don’t think that these kind of metrics are necessarily a good reflection of someone’s credentials, but they are at least an indicator.

I also think that if someone is going to promote themselves as an expert on a topic, some kind of peer-reviewed work is pretty essential. I guess that it’s possible that someone could actually be an expert without this, but it seems rather unlikely.

36. Just to be clear, I don’t really think that Dr Crockford’s credentials are all that relevant to the topic. This is more about the use of a single source to promote a narrative, than about that source specifically.

37. Bob Loblaw says:

Wiillard “The trailing / was missing.”

That I can believe, but seeing the source with a closing italics tag followed immediately by an italics tag without the “/” to open them again seems an odd way to “correct” someone’s bad html.

When I look at the source now that you’ve fixed it, I only see the closing tag. No idea whether that was something Firefox added to clean things up, or if it is raw server fodder.

38. Bob,
I’m not sure what the issue is. I think Willard simply fixed the html in the comment.

39. Bob Loblaw says:

ATTP: “I don’t really think that Dr Crockford’s credentials are all that relevant to the topic. “

You’re right. They aren’t. Just as the consensus isn’t relevant to the correctness of climate change science.

Except the denialists keep saying there is no consensus, so showing there is becomes relevant. And denialists keep presenting Crockford as an an expert on polar bears, so showing she isn’t becomes relevant.

40. Bob,

And denialists keep presenting Crockford as an an expert on polar bears, so showing she isn’t becomes relevant.

Indeed, which is why it seems relevant to point that Dr Crockford does indeed not have any peer-reviewed papers on polar bears (as pointed out in the Harvey et al. paper). I was more meaning that Dr Crockford’s overall scientific credentials are not all that relevant.

41. Bob Loblaw says:

“I think Willard simply fixed the html in the comment.”

I think so too, and it’s not a big issue. The scientist in me wants to know for sure if it’s something I”m doing, or something I’m fighting against…

Testing:
Line italicized
Back to normal
Line italicized too

42. Bob Loblaw says:

Hmm. Both worked. Hypothesis falsified.

43. Bob,
I see. Looks like your experiment has been successful.

44. Ragnaar says:

A mind is a terrible thing to lose and for some reason this sticks with me:

“Her comments are inconsistent with the body of scientific research on the subject. Put simply, she is speaking outside her area of expertise, like a podiatrist giving advice on open heart surgery. “ – Dana

And in the medium term, Curry is still fine. Slings and arrows. She’s still here.

We aren’t supposed to listen to Crockford as she’s a podiatrist. And the heart surgeons aren’t talking. But if they did, you should listen to them.

45. Bob Loblaw says:

I was more meaning that Dr Crockford’s overall scientific credentials are not all that relevant.

…but it fits a pattern that we often see in the False Expert scenario. Extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field presented as if it means the person is an expert on this subject.

https://xkcd.com/793/

46. Bob,

Extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field presented as if it means the person is an expert on this subject.

Indeed, and I am often surprised by the credentials of those presented as supposed world-leading experts. The cartoon is – I think – mainly meant to be mocking arrogant physicists, though 😉

47. Joshua says:

Anders –

… the key result in the paper is how one subset of climate blogs promote the views of a single source,…

In and of itself, perhaps interesting and useful.

and – in particular – one who has done little to suggest that they’ve actually carried out any original research.

IMO, in and of itself, less interesting g to me. As a non-expert, it is useful for me to read synopses of the existing research, irrespective of whether the compiler does primary research herself.

Of course, that said, I generally consider peer-reviewed meta-analyses or formal literature surveys to be more confidence inspiring than material “published” by climate war combatants at WUWT. Does anyone know whether Susan has tried to publish a peer-reviewed literature survey?

48. Steven Mosher says:

“And she’s been looking at the Arctic some of the time. At dogs and wolves.”

those are animals.
the polar bear is an icon. big difference.

look. if she published about bears and not polar bears, someone would make a case about the difference.
if she had published one about polar bears someone would make her short list an issue.
they can make the number of papers the issue.
the journal can be the issue.
and you can dog whistle about her gender or age. everything is fair game.
in the end you can probably take her
to court for whatever and some wont object.

wars over icons like polar bears and hockey sticks tend to be the dirtiest because the underlying topic is not that important. the figures involved also tend to be expendable.

49. BBD says:

In and of itself, perhaps interesting and useful.

IMO, in and of itself, less interesting g to me

Fake news is fake news. I’m always thankful that there are scientists out there prepared to invest their time in demonstrating how weak contrarian arguments are.

50. Joshua says:

Bob –

Um, no. The paper didn’t focus on Susan Crockford.

Fair enough. I should have been clearer. I didn’t mean to suggest that the paper focused on her to the exclusion of other topics. What I was going for is that when you start bringing the discussion of individual participants in the blog wars, a resulting melee of personality politics inevitably ensues. I feel like we’ve seen this countless times.

I should also add that it isn’t that I see some net harm coming about as a result, merely that it will predictably turn into sameold sameold. I suppose it is possible that a paper that analyzes the research foundation of material posted at “skeptic” – divorced of segments that personalize the discussion – might have some marginal value (at least to someone like me). But my view is that bringing in personalities pollutes that potential value with personality politics.

You could write the paper leaving her name out of it, but then the reader can’t assess that “expert’s” credentials. The credibility of that one source is a legitimate line of inquiry.

Also a fair point, but perhaps the specifics of individuals involved could be handled with citations. Seems to me that if you try to bolster a more general argument with the specifics of one individual, then you are playing a weak hand.

51. Joshua says:

Steven –

Agree with Joshua:

I’m curious if you also agree with regard to the complete lack of value of Tom’s contributions.

52. Joshua says:

BBD –

I’m always thankful that there are scientists out there prepared to invest their time in demonstrating how weak contrarian arguments are.

I didn’t learn anything of value from the article’s discussion of Susan.

53. Ragnaar says:

It hadn’t occurred to me wonder if Crockford knows of what she speaks?

I Googled this: population polar bears

Crockford gets hits 2, 3 and 4.
Hit 7 is a Climate Depot repost.
Hit 10 is a Daily Caller repost.

People aren’t saying a lot. They are raising the possibility of loss, but with more focus on the sea ice loss > polar bear loss. And Arctic sea ice loss is favorite contention of skeptics blunting the sequence from sea ice loss to polar bear loss.

She’s taken the field. A Cinderella story, out of nowhere (Bill Murray). So Harvey’s right. Something is wrong. Her influence is not in proportion to what it should be.

There’s is a lack of data. I looked at a few maps, and there are large unknown areas. I suppose it gets worse going back in time, though any huge changes may still be apparent.

Whether or not she knows of what she speaks, she’s obtained an audience. There seems to have been a counter to this symbolic animal and global warming.

54. Willard says:

> She’s taken the field.

The field being the contrarian matrix, not the scientific field. Which means you agree with the authors of Harvey et al, among which we can find Daphne van den Berg Jacintha Ellers, Rascha J. M. Nuijten, and Meena Balgopal.

55. BBD says:

I didn’t learn anything of value from the article’s discussion of Susan.

Nor did I, but I’m grateful to the scientists who put in the time and effort to show that fake news is fake news.

56. jacksmith4tx says:

Ragnaar,
The internet is your own personal jesus. The internet knows who you are and what you have clicked on for as long as you have been on the web. It will try to point you to what you seem to like. Try doing the same search through a VPN connection in “incognito mode” with all cookies, scripts and history turned off and you will get a different answer. I do this when I search for product reviews or whenever I research a topic that has a political dimension to it.

57. Bob Loblaw says:

“The cartoon is – I think – mainly meant to be mocking arrogant physicists, though”

…perhaps, but we do have our fair share of arrogant physicists posing as fake experts in the climate wars. That’s the link that triggered my memory of the cartoon.

58. Bob Loblaw says:

Joshua: “but perhaps the specifics of individuals involved could be handled with citations. “

Well, how about we look at how the specifics of Crockford are handled in the paper?

– on page three, there is a three paragraph discussion that starts with “Approximately 80% of the denier blogs cited here referred to one particular denier blog, Polar Bear Science, by Susan Crockford …”. The paper mentions her lack of original research, and her ties with GWPF, Heartland Institute, and the attention from certain denier blogs. The second paragraph discusses how her views are contrary to general scientific opinion. The third paragraph lumps her in with “other denier blogs” in how they play up uncertainty and ignore well-established science.

– on page four, her name comes up in a discussion of “follow the money” where they mentioned “including Crockford”. They continue with her as an example of what I have called here “fake experts”.

– her name is in Figure 2, where they did their cluster analysis of web blog citations.

– and then her name appears in the citations.

As I have said, to me this is “following the data”. The authors of the paper didn’t choose to select Crockford’s work for special attention – the denier blogs did that. The only reason she has such high visibility on her pedestal is because the denialati placed her there. You can’t present her as the lone true voice in the wilderness and then complain that people who disagree with her position are placing too much attention on her. (Well, you can, but you lose credibility with me.)

59. Willard says:

> The authors of the paper didn’t choose to select Crockford’s work for special attention

Of course they did, Bob. The title of the paper is Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy. The promotion of SusanC’s concerns in the Contrarian Matrix is the clearest case of what they study.

60. Willard says:

> Extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field

That’s clearly not the case here, as SusanC has published in zoogeography, paleoecology, archaeozoology and ostemetry:

Questioning SusanC’s expertise is unrequired for the authors’ point to stand.

61. Bob Loblaw says:

“Of course they did, Bob.”

Of course, they did not, WIllard. Her name isn’t in the title, the abstract or the first two pages. Her names shows up because other promote it.

And no, studying dogs and other critters does not make one a polar bear expert. It might help understand the writing on the subject,, but it doesn’t make her an expert.

…and if 80% of blogs cited someone who really was an expert, then questioning the expertise would still be appropriate. To not look at the question of expertise when one name appears so frequently would be to fail to follow the inquiry to its logical end. Frequently citing Einstein to the exclusion of most others is only appropriate when discussing physics (and then, only in a historical framework).

62. Ragnaar says:

“The field being the contrarian matrix, not the scientific field.”

I’ll agree for now. And it worked.

So to look at the paper again, Crockford should not have the influence she has. But she does and may get invited onto Fox News in the next 2 weeks. I have no knowledge but it would be poetic.

She’s winning from the Matrix. And I am willing to say winning with a minority but there are so many answers as to what is the size of this minority? For instance is seems over represented in Congress and and the White House.

You win with the voters. No one ever said, Now that the economists are all on our side, the voters will soon follow.

63. Ragnaar says:

Here’s my thought for the day having something to do with this conversation.

The scientists aren’t up to the job. Someone else needs to lead. They are a significant part of the problem if the problem is the lack of effective responses.

Where did they lead us with nuclear power and other hot button issues?

Assume our fracking was a climate success. I think it was with natural gas able to back up renewables and displace coal. Who led that? Big oil. Engineers.

Assume an inverse relation between how expect a person is in one area of climate science and their ability to lead. A generalist will be the better leader with their experiences with a broader range of things and people.

64. Willard says:

> And no, studying dogs and other critters does not make one a polar bear expert.

You said “non-related field.” This is false.

***

> Her name isn’t in the title, the abstract or the first two pages.

The title is, to repeat, Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy. Figure 2’s legend reads:

Principle component analysis of scores for six statements, three about Arctic ice and three about about polar bears, and citations of Susan Crockford. “Statements” refers to the cumulative number of hits for each of the three statements about Arctic ice extent and polar-bear status for the blogs included in this study. The blogs were color-coded using a cluster analysis (Manhattan distances and Ward’s clustering) that yielded two large clusters.

SusanC is the only authority contrarians cite. They have nobody else. It’d be really, really hard not to stumble upon SusanC’s name while reading the contrarian blogs this study is supposed to have studied.

In my book, a whole article on a “keystone domino” (what an awful metaphor) which just so happens to revolve around someone’s work indeed counts as special attention.

I got no problem with that.

65. Willard says:

> She’s winning from the Matrix. And I am willing to say winning with a minority but there are so many answers as to what is the size of this minority?

You’re starting to have a good explanation as to why contrarians become contrarians in the first place, Ragnaar.

Go on.

66. JCH says:

Who led that?

Actually, it was President Carter who started it. We were running out of conventional natural gas. He ordered an inventory of unconventional reserves. Once people figured out how much product was actually there, interest in research into ways to exploit it quickly followed.

For decades big oil really wanted nothing to do with it. The federal government fostered cooperative efforts between university researchers and small engineering/exploration/drilling companies. One of my neighbors was an early employee of one of the most successful early fracking companies here in Fort Worth. Very well off.

67. Joshua,

I should also add that it isn’t that I see some net harm coming about as a result, merely that it will predictably turn into sameold sameold.

Yes, probably. However, what the paper is highlighting appears to be true. I think there is value in highlighting truths, even if it does rile up some people.

Bob,

but we do have our fair share of arrogant physicists posing as fake experts in the climate wars.

Ragnaar,

The scientists aren’t up to the job. Someone else needs to lead. They are a significant part of the problem if the problem is the lack of effective responses.

This may well be true. However, from what I’ve seen, those who do regard themselves as potential leaders aren’t up to the job either.

68. Maybe we should instead focus on the BioScience paper. It struck me that data and code are not published.

69. Richard,
Based on what Bart said on his blog, I gather that it will be published.

70. @wotts
Let’s hope so.

At the moment, we only know there was a principal component analysis of six statements on a four-way classification of 182 observations; or maybe there was a four-way classification of a principal component analysis of six statements for 182 observations.

The paper is silent on the question whether sequencing (class on PCA or PCA on class) matters. Figure 2 suggests it does.

We know that the authors are confused by the words “principal” and “principle”, and that one of the authors had previous issues with the application of principal component analysis.

We know nothing about the coding of the statements or the classification of sources. We do not know whether the sources are representative, or whether the observations are independent.

71. Richard,
One might think that you would be cautious about judging something on the basis of apparent problems with previous work.

72. Okay, I’ve just realised that I’ve forgotten about Tol’s first and second law of blogs.

73. @wotts
Sure. I indeed expect that Mann now knows you need to standardize data prior to a principal component analysis. I did not see the erratum to Mann’s 1998 Nature paper, but that is probably my oversight.

74. Steven Mosher says:

dr tol is correct about the content analysis.
that said, the results comport with my reading experience.

75. In the US, professors are often still given the title Dr. In the UK, Professor is actually a title. So, it should be Prof. Tol 😉

76. angech says:

Not relevant?
“A boatload of tourists in the far eastern Russian Arctic thought they were seeing clumps of ice on the shore, before the jaw-dropping realisation that some 200 polar bears were roaming on the mountain slope.”.
Perhaps it was fake news.
Perhaps 1 litter of 200 babies was born in this area last year.
All I can think of is that if one extrapolates out 200 bears in 1 square kilometer then the number of Polar bears in the Arctic has been sadly and badly underestimated by everyone , including Dr S Crockford.

77. angech,

Climate change means ice, where polar bears are most at home, is melting earlier in the year and so polar bears have to spend longer on land, scientists say.

This might wow tourists but means the bears, more crammed together on coasts and islands, will eventually face greater competition for the little food there is on land.

78. Willard says:

> Maybe we should instead focus on the BioScience paper.

Good idea. Here’s the most important paragraph, from the section Climate-change denial and the Internet:

Although science-based and science-denier blogs may draw on similar examples, they frame their claims differently. For example, scientific blogs provide context and associated evidence, whereas denier blogs often remove context or misinterpret examples. Frame analysis reveals how communicators present messages to audiences with the intention of influencing how the content is ultimately interpreted (Nisbet 2014). The same frame can be presented in both negative and positive ways, depending on the types of evidence and claims that a writer or speaker makes (Balgopal et al. 2017). Although frame analysis sometimes focuses on the dynamic process through which ideas are developed (Vliegenthart and van Zoonen 2011), the examination of blogs requires a focus on the written communication strategies used (Druckman 2001). Most importantly, any topic can be framed in exactly the way a communicator desires if it is not presented objectively, honestly, and with context.

This explains the authors’ main result:

The two groups [contrarian and orthodox blogs] took diametrically opposite positions on the “scientific uncertainty” frame—specifically regarding the threats posed by AGW to polar bears and their Arctic-ice habitat. Scientific blogs provided convincing evidence that AGW poses a threat to both, whereas most denier blogs did not (figure 1). Science-based blogs overwhelmingly used the frame of established scientific certainties and supported arguments with the published literature affirming that warming is rapidly reducing seasonal Arctic sea-ice extent and threatening the mid- to longer-term survival of polar bears, whereas those written by deniers did not (figure 2). Science-denier blogs instead focused on the remaining uncertainties regarding the effects of AGW on Arctic ice extent, suggesting that those uncertainties cast doubt on the present and future demographic trends of polar bears.

Framing’s the main thing that the GWPF is selling.

Speaking of which, there’s a page on their website that indicates that Richie may be on their so-called “Academic Advisory Council”:

https://www.thegwpf.org/professor-richard-tol/

But Richie’s name is not on their official page:

Since when do you not sit on the GWPF’s Advisory Board, Richie?

79. Since when do you not sit on the GWPF’s Advisory Board, Richie?

I hadn’t noticed that. What happened?

80. Magma says:

if one extrapolates out 200 bears in 1 square kilometer

I… never mind.

81. @willard
Since early November.

@wotts
Stuff happened.

82. Richard,

Stuff happened.

Care to elaborate?

83. Joshua says:

Richard –

Stuff happened

Lest someone think that a non-answer, answer is characteristic of your accountability and degree of good faith in these exchanges, why don’t you describe that “stuff?”

84. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

I have trying to persuade my Wife (climate impact scientist) to take a more active role in communicating her research to a wider audience. Her last paper got a lot of media attention (outside of the UK) and she was asked to give a number of radio and TV interview. However, on most occasions she was asked questions outside her area of expertise which she wasn’t willing to answer. I think this is part of the problem for scientist, as unlike bloggers or the average climate denier they have their professional reputation to think about. Also they are often focused a specific niche area, which the media and public tend not to understand, instead expecting climate scientists to know everything about the subject.

85. Willard says:

> why don’t you describe that “stuff?”

Personal stuff ought to remain personal, in my opinion.

What’s less personal is NigelL’s Brexit red lining:

Brexit is not the economists’ favorite idea.

***

The GWPF’s website has a search tool. If you type “polar bears” in it, i.e.

https://www.thegwpf.org/?s=polar+bears

here are the first hits:

SUSAN CROCKFORD: HEALTHY POLAR BEARS, LESS THAN HEALTHY SCIENCE

SUSAN CROCKFORD: TEN GOOD REASONS NOT TO WORRY ABOUT POLAR BEARS

POLAR BEAR WEEK: TWENTY GOOD REASONS TO CELEBRATE POLAR BEAR RESILIENCE

AS POLAR BEAR NUMBERS INCREASE, GWPF CALLS FOR RE-ASSESSMENT OF ENDANGERED SPECIES STATUS

POLAR BEAR SCIENTISTS WILLFULLY BLIND TO THE FACTS’

20 REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL ON INTERNATIONAL POLAR BEAR DAY 2015

SusanC is the main researcher mentioned and cited in all these newsies.

86. Willard says:

For those who are new here, our good Lord Lawson launched the GWPF, along with BennyP.

87. verytallguy says:

I… never mind

Wise words indeed Marco

88. Personal stuff ought to remain personal, in my opinion.

Yes, obviously. No obligation to elaborate on things that may be personal.

89. verytallguy says:

BTW, having had a peek at that Cliscep comment thread, it’s quite disturbingly repugnant, even by climate ball standards . Well worth keeping a long way away from.

90. vtg,

having had a peek at that Cliscep comment thread, it’s quite disturbingly repugnant, even by climate ball standards.

Indeed. Some people still have the ability to surprise me, not in good ways mind you.

Well worth keeping a long way away from.

Yes, I should probably have tried harder to not get involved in the first place.

91. Willard says:

I’d be tempted to be involved. A pity Mr. Pile wouldn’t let me.

92. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

here are the first hits:
…TEN GOOD REASONS NOT TO WORRY…
…TWENTY GOOD REASONS TO CELEBRATE…
…20 REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL…
SusanC is the main researcher mentioned and cited in all these newsies.

I remember when 1 good reason could be convincing.
3 was a embarrassment of rhetorical riches.
5 was an unassailable fortress of facts.

GWPF “list-icles for contrarians” are clearly suffering from severe inflationary pressures.

93. Willard,
Are you actually banned from there?

94. Susan Crockford recognizes that we are in a marathon situation and need to pace ourselves. Stay cheery, we have time, things are not nearly as bad as some say. Someone suggested to me recently that maybe it is a good thing somehow that we evolved to the point where our single species can bring about a major extinction event. Extrapolate that!

95. Willard says:

Let’s just say I’m uninvited from there, AT.

***

Nothing really interesting comes up from “polar bears” in Judy’s search box, i.e.

https://judithcurry.com/?s=polar+bears

Except the first hit, Never look a polar bear in the eye, which features Zac Unger, who’s pulling a similar ClimateBall trick as SusanC:

Advocates and scientists have tied the Earth’s fate to that of the polar bear. But what happens if this lumbering giant proves more resilient than the rest of us?

https://psmag.com/social-justice/endangered-polar-bear-global-warming-climate-change-arctic-sea-ice-50450

What happens if indeed.

More interesting is searching for “site:http://judithcurry.com susan crockford.” Then we get:

The titles suffice to see the framing in action. The NOAA piece features Sierra Jim, who’s a favorite of mine. Many hits are from Sir Rud, who just looves to cite SusanC, e.g.:

The DEM opening statements show how reliant they are on ‘settled’; this opens several useful lines of political attack using ‘unsettling’ observations beyond Christy’s. Crockford on polar bears. Greening. Possible pause return. No SLR acceleration. Wettest ‘permanent drought’ ever in California. GBR in decent shape. SA blackout officially attributed to too much wind and notnenough grid inertia. US forced by law to defund UNFCCC and related IPCC and GCF because it recognized Palestine as a member state. Lots of unsettling stuff cropping up.

https://judithcurry.com/2017/03/31/deniers-lies-and-politics/

With that kind of title, you know it’s all about science.

96. Eli Rabett says:

FWIW Professor in the UK used to mean something and then they metastasized;

97. Steven Mosher says:

The beautiful thing about only being known by your nickname, is that it is very hard for others to signal disrespect toward you, or respect for that matter

take Eli. Hard to show respect by saying Mr Rabbet, or disrespect by calling him Bunnyman
hard to say Dr. Rabbet.
I have to dox him into his real name to show him respect or disrespect.

Same with Willard

That’s one advantage of being only known by your nick. You have freedom others dont.
makes you think. I suppose..

honor and honorifics

98. Eli Rabett says:

It’s more that Eli has worked very hard at not taking himself seriously which kind of clears the field

99. Willard says:

You can call me Wee Willie like Judy’s Denizens do if you please, ze Moshpit.

100. Eli Rabett says:

As to the importance of polar bears in the arctic

101. Bob Loblaw says:

Willard:
“> And no, studying dogs and other critters does not make one a polar bear expert.

You said “non-related field.” This is false.”

Yes, I did. And I stand by my interpretation. Here is a link to her list of papers, posted by someone else over at SkS:

https://skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=3959#125237

Nothing substantial on anything related to polar bears. Up to her PhD, it looks like it’s mostly dog stuff, and mostly historical. Some more recent work on other animals, but again historical. I would say it’s got more to do with geology (finding remains in geological deposits) than anything to do with biology. And even if there is a bit of biology in it, I see nothing that indicates a decent background in ecology. The issue for polar bears is habitat loss. To understand that system, you need to understand how an animal’s activities are linked to the ecology of its habitat.

If you think her background is related to polar bears, then so is mine: several summers of geological and climatological field work in arctic and sub-arctic environments, including time where polar bears were the dominant field hazard. I’ve been (unintentionally) within 50 yards of polar bears in the wild (and lived to tell the tale). That does not make me a polar bear expert. And being married to an ecologist doesn’t make me an ecologist,, either – but it does help me understand the difference.

If you know something else about her scientific background that makes it “related to polar bears”, feel free to point it out.

102. Willard says:

> Here is a link to her list of papers, posted by someone else over at SkS:

I aleady cited SusanC’s publications above, Bob.

***

> If you know something else about her scientific background that makes it “related to polar bears”, feel free to point it out.

Polar bears are not a field. At best it’s a specialization in a field. That SusanC published in paleoecology, biogeography, and evolution biology is good enough for what she does, which is more commentary than science. SusanS mostly raises concerns about the interpretations of those who study polar bears. Add another layer to that and you get “interpreter of interpretations” (H/T JamesD) or “expert expertise” (Judy) – I’m just saying this to wake up Joshua.

Whether you recognize her as an expert or not is irrelevant to the authors’ argument, and also to my point, which is that contrarians take SusanC as their authority in all things polar bears. Just like the Auditor knows more about proxies than many climate scientists and NicL knows more about modulz than many even if he’s above all an accountant, so can SusanC know enough to comment on polar bears. What she says about polar bears should stand on its own merit. The authors don’t need to dispute the veracity of her claims to observe that they don’t coincide with the mainstream position.

Another reason why that line of enquiry is an invalid ad hominem is that most of her “polar bear science” are not scientific contributions, often not even scientific commentaries. Just look at the GWPF’s list above: they recycle the CAGW meme by saying that some newsies featuring polar bears are being too alarmist. She sometimes can be correct. Again, that doesn’t matter for the authors’ point that the Contrarian Matrix spins SusanC above all else.

So here again there’s a duality at work when studying SusanC’s contributions. There’s a scientific part, which I believe is thin, and there’s the political part, which I believe is thick. AT recognized that duality in his previous post. Even if she were a polar bear expert, with scientific publications in polar bear journals, her political commentaries would remain political commentaries that go against the established viewpoint.

Most of the members of GWPF’s academic advisory council have relevant scientific backgrounds: Christopher Essex, Vincent Courtillot, Freeman Dyson, William Happer, Terence Kealey, Richard Lindzen, Ross McKitrick (don’t ask), Garth Paltridge, Ian Plimer, Paul Reiter, Nir Shaviv, Philip Stott, Henrik Svensmark, Anastasios Tsonis, etc. That doesn’t mean their scientific interpretations are correct. That they could be considered authorities in their respective fields is irrelevant to most of their commentaries with political content.

The best we can say without delving into the accuracy of the scientific claims made is that the contrarian bench isn’t deep at all. We all know these names: contrarians handwave to them all the time. What the authors did with the relationship between SusanC and the Contrarian Matrix, they could do with these scientists.

There’s no need to question any expertise, at least insofar as we’re into social network analysis with an ounce of information science. Ironically, the authors of Harvey & al 2017 have little expertise in the domain in which they just published. I don’t think this implies we should dismiss what they just published. Do you?

103. Bob Loblaw says:

Wiilard:

You have presented no defence to your claim that my statement was false. Instead, you’ve evaded the issue by claiming that questioning her expertise is an ad hominem, and her statements should stand on their own and that they aren’t scientific anyway.

I”ll repeat what I said earlier:

“And denialists keep presenting Crockford as an an expert on polar bears, so showing she isn’t becomes relevant.”

It’s called questioning the credibility of the witness, and it’s not ad hominem.

104. izen says:

@-smallbluemike
“Someone suggested to me recently that maybe it is a good thing somehow that we evolved to the point where our single species can bring about a major extinction event.”

No, I suggested that asserting it was a bad thing is making a judgemnent about the morality of our competences that is unwarrented.

If we tried to use that ability to specifically engineer a major extinction you might have an argument for the morality of such an intention.
But the extinction of the post-glacial mega-fauna by human impacts was a consequence (partly?) of humans feeding their tribes.
The habitat loss that threatens many wild species at present is because of the replacement of such habitats with plants and animals that we use for food.

It is not unethical to feed people. context matters.

105. izen says:

SusanC would seem to be an example off a very effective science communicator. They have become a dominant voice and leveraged their expertise in a specific field to become the go-to authority on a much more general level in a way that Hanson and Mann attempt.

The suspicion is that this has less to do with the efficiency of the communication that would therefore deserve study and emulation by those wanting such a high level of impact on the discourse.
More to do with having a receptive audience.
(without many other options)

106. As far as Susan Crockford’s expertise goes, my own view is that one can’t preclude the possibility that someone who has never published a peer-reviewed paper on a specific topic could be an expert. However, one can certainly say something along the lines of them never having published a peer-reviewed paper on the topic and, therefore, that there is little indication that they have done original research. Hence, there is little evidence to suggest that they are an expert. Seems a bit pedantic, but that is the nature of ClimateballTM 🙂

107. izen,

SusanC would seem to be an example off a very effective science communicator.

Indeed, maybe a good example of why some who critique SciComm should be careful of stressing the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the communication.

108. Steven Mosher says:

“It’s more that Eli has worked very hard at not taking himself seriously which kind of clears the field”

yes, when self nicking self deprecation is a good tactic. And its rare that congratulatory self nicks are allowed.

you can of course be sneaky like willard. At first blush you think of nerdy guy who never gets laid, or you think of rats, or fat weathermen…had we known he was referring to Quine, his nick would never be allowed.

109. Eli,

FWIW Professor in the UK used to mean something and then they metastasized;

Yes, there is certainly an element of this. I’m not complaining mind you.

110. Steven,

That’s one advantage of being only known by your nick. You have freedom others dont.
makes you think.

Indeed. I did try that. It didn’t always work (it may be a reason people use my actual name when I comment on what I shall politely call contrarian blogs).

111. Steven Mosher says:

‘You can call me Wee Willie like Judy’s Denizens do if you please, ze Moshpit.’

I thought of that, but there is a reason why it doesnt work.

Articulating why is hard.

112. Steven Mosher says:

“Indeed. I did try that. It didn’t always work (it may be a reason people use my actual name when I comment on what I shall politely call contrarian blogs).’

When I first started on the web in forums ( not climate but politics ) I used a Acronym name

It becomes very hard for people to either disrespect or show deference.
Not impossible however.

Lets say you were only ever known as ATTP

how do I show endearment by creating a nick for you? How do I show disrespect?
Respect? I suppose I can say Dr. ATTP. How do I attack your character when you sit
behind a self nick?

If I am clever I can say Asshole, That Threatens Puppies… ok not so clever or true which gets at part of the reason that self nicking can be a good tactic.

113. Steven Mosher says:

““And denialists keep presenting Crockford as an an expert on polar bears, so showing she isn’t becomes relevant.”

Relevant to what?

It’s not relevant to the truth of her claims. I’ve never published a paper in a mathematical journal.
I think 2+2=4. What do I know?
You have never published any papers on rhetoric or logic, yet you seem to think you have standing to question willard. weird.

Referring to her lack of specific domain expertise ( always a fuzzy line drawing exercise ) is an unforced and unecessary error [Mod: I’ve redacted the end of this. If you want to write it in a slightly more suitable manner, please do.]

114. @steve mosher
Respect is independent of titles. Anonymity is fine as long as someone uses a single, consistent nickname. (Eli and Wotts are, of course, not anonymous; one is professor emeritus of chemisty, the other a professor of astrophysics.)

Lack of domain expertise is something that should restrain you, not something that can be used against someone.

The lead author of the BioScience paper, Jeff Harvey, lacks experience and expertise in social network analysis. Does that disqualify him from writing a paper using SNA? Of course not! It is peculiar to submit a paper on SNA to a journal that does not do SNA, and even more peculiar that the paper was not desk-rejected. But that does not disqualify the paper either.

The quality of the paper disqualifies it.

115. Marco says:

“It is peculiar to submit a paper on SNA to a journal that does not do SNA”

It is peculiar that Richard Tol didn’t even do the minimal work to check if he could make this claim:

And no, it’s not just the first two papers, there are several more throughout the years.

116. Richard,

Lack of domain expertise is something that should restrain you, not something that can be used against someone.

True, but then one can apply something similar to Susan Crockford. All that the paper is really doing is dividing blogs into categories and claiming to demonstrate (which seems pretty self-evident) that one category of blogs gets almost all their information about a specific topic from one source. Furthermore, that source appears to have authored no peer-reviewed publications about that topic (yes, I realise that they do mention that topic in two papers, but neither paper is actually about that specific topic) and, hence, appears to have conducted no original research in that topic. You could, therefore, argue that they are not a domain expert.

One could could argue that it is not necessarily their fault that they are regarded as a world expert on some blogs even though they are arguably not a domain expert. However, they seem quite comfortable with this and even seem to promote themselves as some kind of domain expert. There doesn’t seem to be any indication of restraint.

117. @wotts
Sure. I’m sick to the back teeth of every one being wheeled out as a world leading expert, including Susan Crawford, Shanker Singham, Swenja Surminski, John Cook, and Cameron Hepburn. Fake news.

118. Richard,
I appreciate that it can be irritating, but it might be worth distinguishing between those who really have no domain expertise, and those who do but just happen to be people you disagree with.

119. Willard says:

> You have presented no defence to your claim that my statement was false

Yes, I did. Twice. I have evidence you haven’t even read it the first time. Zoology, biology and polar bears are indeed related. Making polar bears a field won’t make that connection disappear. The XKCD commentary is not about that, but about physicists’ habit to reduce everything to oversimplistic modulz.

Relatedness is not as clear cut as you might think. I doubt you ever studied that concept. It is a similarity relation (i.e. reflexive and symmetric) but where the transitivity is problematic or undefined. It has currency in relevance logics. The connection between polar bears and SusanC’s qualifications are clear (and relevant) enough for anyone who doesn’t have the experience to entertain the same kind of admistrative barriers that prevent people all over the world to do interdisciplinary work between departmental subdivisions. Examples on demand.

That uncontrovertible point is rather dull and, more importantly, irrelevant to the authors’ claim. Their argument simply doesn’t presume anything about SusanC’s expertise, a concept I have evidence you have not studied either. In fact, their arguments would only be reinforced if SusanC was the polar bear true Galileo. Thus, showing that the ad hominem mode is irrelevant for the authors’ argument is indeed quite relevant. I have contrarians at BartV’s who are whining about that. You’re clearly not helping dispel that impression. Neither is Andrew Durocher’s tweeter feed this morning.

Sometimes I wish academic protectionism would cease and desist. Let’s get real: we’re territorial animals, the instinct is here to stay. So here’s the deal. Since you have no experience reading SusanC, take this shortcut. Read this paragraph from a page I already gave you:

The fact that polar bear biology is such a closed shop virtually guarantees that the only way any critical voices will be heard is via internet publishing, like this blog. Ask Dr. Mitch Taylor, he knows.

Under “Mitch Taylor” there’s a link. Click on it. You should reach a CBC page where we can read:

[N]ot everyone agrees polar bears are in trouble. Biologist Mitchell Taylor has studied polar bears and advised governments for more than thirty years, living in the high Arctic for much of that time.

“They’ve certainly been around through the last interglacial period,” says Taylor. “During that interglacial it was warmer than it is now: we had pine trees on Baffin Island, deciduous forests north of the Arctic Circle. Polar bears had to have survived that or we wouldn’t be seeing polar bears now,” he says.

Taylor asserts that polar bear populations “don’t appear to be declining” in any group that he is “aware of so far,” and that the science of estimating polar bear numbers has never been precise. He says that many of the current estimates are based upon a lacking methodology, admitting that some of his previous work incorporated the allegedly faulty technique as well.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/polar-bears-threatened-species-or-political-pawn-1.2753645

You may wonder how MitchT and SusanC are “colleagues.” Here could be one way:

Coming in with a lower profile and a lower monthly retainer ($750 a month) are Anthony Lupo, and Canadian “Terrestrial Animal” specialists Crockford (the dog expert from the University of Victoria) and Mitch Taylor, a contract lecturer at the Lakehead University who has argued that polar bears are in no danger from climate change. https://www.desmogblog.com/what-passes-brain-trust-heartland If you want to go ad hom mode, suit yourself. Make sure you distance yourself from H17, and all is well. See if I care. That SusanC and MitchT get less than 1K a month while Fred Singer gets 5K is indecent. This kind of hierarchical division of labor makes me suspect that the main authors of H17 let the leg work to their juniors. All women, interestingly. Always consider that poxes can be thrown in all the houses. 120. @wotts I tend to agree with 2 of the 5, disagree with 2 others, and have no knowledge about area of expertise of number 5. None of them is a world leader in anything. 121. Joshua says: Willard – I’m just saying this to wake up Joshua. ? 122. Richard, Then I’m not quite sure what your problem is. I’m not really aware of any of them being regularly wheeled out as world-leading experts, especially in the context of them being the only source when it comes to certain topics (for clarity, though, we do tend to work in environments in which we’re expected to pretend that we’re world-leading experts and pushing back against that kind of narrative is something I do largley support. Of course, there are cases where it is warranted.). 123. While waiting for the publisher to finally put the Supplementary Information on-line, I put it on my blog in the meantime: https://ourchangingclimate.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/harvey-et-al-bioscience-2017-supplementary-information.pdf 124. JCH says: In arena of “nothin’ but the truth” you can use every logical fallacy as often as you want. “Objection your honor, that was an ad hominem.” “Objection overruled sissy pants.” He who brings the most entertaining liar expert usually wins. 125. @bart Good man @wotts One is often called a world leading expert on polar bears. That’s one of topics of the paper under discussion. As to the other four, one is a leading expert on trade according to the Spectator, one on climate policy according to Universities UK, one on environmental economics according the Green Economy Coalition, and one on climate communications according to the Guardian. 126. Richard, You seem to be focusing on one aspect of this issue. There are a few additional factors to consider. Is the person who is regarded as world-leading someone who has actually published enough relevant peer-reviewed papers to be regarded as some kind of domain expert? In a number of the examples you present, the answer would be yes. In the case example being presented in this paper, the answer appears to be no. Are they the only source used by a particular outlet, or group of outlets. I don’t know the answer to that in all cases, but in the case being discussed in this paper, the answer appears to be yes. In many of the other examples you present, the answer would appear to be no. 127. Bart, Thanks. 128. Joshua says: Just read the comment thread over at Bart’s. Ugh. I think it’s an interesting thought experiment to poinder whether or how the ensuing blogospheric discussions would have unfolded if Susan’s name hadn’t been specified in the paper (and as Willard points out, polar bears was not a focus point as initiated in the article’s title). My guess is that although in one sense the ensuing discussion would be quite different, in effect it would been more or less exactly the same. 129. Joshua says: Are they the only source used by a particular outlet, or group of outlets. In a different world, it might be possible to read a good faith, on-line discussion of that aspect of the paper. 130. Joshua, My guess is that although in one sense the ensuing discussion would be quite different, in effect it would been more or less exactly the same. I think in a broad sense there is no way to write a paper critiquing something about blogs that would somehow lead to constructive discussions. Same ol’ same ol’. 131. Steven Mosher says: weird Joshua, I answered that but it didnt show up. VPN china. shit happens. i would question whether there was a complete lack. Didn’t finish reading it. Not that interested. This is an old line in the book. 132. [Mod: Okay, maybe we can move on from your personal vendettas.] 133. Joshua says: i would question whether there was a complete lack What did you find of value? 134. Steven Mosher says: Professor Tol. I thought we established that I agree with you about certain aspects of the paper. weird. 135. Willard says: > ? Expert expertise is a part of Judy’s angelology of expertise, It denotes the ability to judge expertise. For instance, here’s how she judges our Beloved Bishop’s expertise: [Our Beloved Bishop]’s expertise is more in the area of providing context and synthesis (different from […] the auditor). Synthetic expertise is also something teh Koonin seems to have. There’s also auditing expertise: There is ‘primary’ expertise, related to creating new knowledge on a topic. Then there is ‘auditing’ expertise, whereby someone can critically evaluate new knowledge, publications etc. (e.g. [the Auditor]). And finally there is ‘synthetic’ expertise, whereby someone has demonstrated ability to interpret, synthesize and assess research/knowledge in a broader context. It is synthetic expertise that is most badly needed for a complex problem such as climate change. Blog posts are a great way to establish auditing and synthetic expertise. Welcome to the 21st century In times of expertise crisis, an angelology of expertise is exactly what we need. As a synthetic expert of auditing and expert expertise, I ought to know. 136. Steven Mosher says: “What did you find of value?” huh? you claimed a complete lack of value. I would question that. I dont know how you would establish that, hence I question it. That is logically distinct from saying I found something of value. One can always find something of value. A little girl stepped in horse shit. “daddy, where’;s the pony?” you can always find the pony. heck I even imagine ponies when I read your drivel. 137. Dr Mosher: I believe we agree on the quality of the paper. But that was before the Supplementary Information was released, which reveals that missing observations were replaced by zero. My opinion of the paper has declined somewhat. 138. Willard says: > One is often called a world leading expert on polar bears. That’s one of topics of the paper under discussion. Polar bear is a topic, but a peculiar one – it’s a proxy. A proxy for what? A proxy for everything contrarians can’t deny about the Arctic. Which is almost everything. Contrarians can’t win the Arctic. So what do they do? They focus on an icon. As always. More importantly, they raise concerns about claims they read in the media. Twas the same with hockey sticks. Twas the same with the 97%. Twas the same with the paws. We can predict it will always be the same. Anyone who claims that ClimateBall is about ze Science is just not paying attention. 139. Joshua says: I read it. I found nothing of value. Hence, I said it had a complete lack of value. You read part of it, yet questioned whether there is a complete lack of value. You are not convinced that there is no value. How can you not be convinced that there is no value unless you see something that (at least might be of) value? What about it do you think might be of value? 140. Joshua says: Your comments remind me of the Republican talking head I saw on CNN last night. He said that we must respect the woman’s complaints about being a victim of sexual advances from Moore when she was 14. He said he wasn’t accusing her of lying. But he said that he supports Moore’s candidacy because Moore has only been accused. He said we should wait until her accusations had been “proven” before judging Moore (knowing, of course, that they couldn’t be “proven”). [Mod: redacted some of this.] Do you think that Tom’s post had anything of value to offer, or do you think it was a worthless piece of crap? I ask because you were his co-author, and so I’m interested to see whether you will criticize his nonsense. Don’t forget all your white-knighting for Judith. 141. Joshua, What about it do you think might be of value? What they infer seems unsurprising. The response also seems unsurprising. I do still, however, find that interesting. If what the paper presents is essentially true (there are a subset of blogs that primarily use a single source and one that appears to have done little – if any – original research) why are they so bothered by that? Why not just own it and argue that you agree with that source and that every other source is wrong? The response just seems to indicate that this is an inconvenient truth that they don’t deny, but will still aim to find reasons to challenge the publication. [Edit: I think I may have misunderstood Joshua’s context. I thought it was about the paper, not about Tom Fuller’s post. If it is the latter, it is hard to see anything of value.] 142. Steven Mosher says: “Just read the comment thread over at Bart’s. Ugh.” not going to look 143. Magma says: I really don’t think the following points should be controversial. — An individual who has not conducted independent research and published their findings in academic and/or peer-reviewed format(s) is unlikely to be a leading expert in a scientific field; — An individual who differs dramatically from the broad consensus of researchers in a scientific field AND who is not recognized by them as a peer is unlikely to be a leading expert in that field; — Climate change contrarian/denial organizations, blogs, and media columnists have very limited pickings and take what they can get. They have not hesitated to puff up the qualifications of friendly ‘experts’ beyond recognition, e.g., the ‘30,000 scientists’ of the Oregon petition, the ’49 NASA scientists against global warming’, Happer, Giaever, and assorted non-climate scientists and engineers emeriti transformed into post-retirement climate experts, and so on. This list of climate contrarians seems reasonably complete: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming and with a handful of exceptions, these are/were hardly leading lights. I am personally familiar with several of these individuals and their public positions on anthropogenic climate change are based on lazy, weak assumptions and faulty reasoning that they would not accept in their core (published) areas of research. 144. Joshua says: Anders – The response just seems to indicate that this is an inconvenient truth that they don’t deny, but will still aim to find reasons to challenge the publication. I’m not a big believer in the logic of “You know you’re over the target when you’re catching flak.” I mean sure, it can be a useful heuristic generally, but when you try to apply it to a particularly polarized context it loses value. I think of Matt Ridley’s logic. I guess in a sense it is interesting that self-labeled “skeptics” don’t engage with a critique of their skepticism (obviously, due diligence would require a uniform commitment to interrogating a variety of sources), but it is so entirely predictable that it’s interestingness is limited. 145. Joshua, I’m not a big believer in the logic of “You know you’re over the target when you’re catching flak.” Not quite what I’m suggesting. It seems patently obvious that there are a subset of blogs that rely on sources who have little in the way of actual credibility (as based on, for example, their peer-reviewed publications). Given this, one might expect them to go “so what”, except that they don’t, they find ways to fight back despite what is being highlighted almost certainly being true. 146. Joshua says: [Edit: I think I may have misunderstood Joshua’s context. I thought it was about the paper, not about Tom Fuller’s post. If it is the latter, it is hard to see anything of value.] Ha. At first I thought you misunderstood the context. Then I thought that you were saying that Tom’s post could be considered to have value, in the sense that incoming flak is an indication of being on target. I think the paper has marginal value if looked at a remove from the resulting discussion. Of course, I was pretty convinced that in general, “skeptic” blogs do not embody the due diligence of true skepticism, but it is somewhat useful as a check against my own biases to read a scientific approach to help quantify my anecdotal sampling. That said, I think that the paper is weakened to the extent that highlighting specific examples gives it a tone of what I call personality politics. As a result, I think that it has little to no net value. 147. Willard says: > An individual who differs dramatically from the broad consensus of researchers in a scientific field AND who is not recognized by them as a peer is unlikely to be a leading expert in that field; Of course. “Leading expert” is an obvious misrepresentation. If that misrepresentation gets repeated in Contrarian Matrix, it’s on them. Do they? Search and report. Here’s the thing. Polar bears ain’t a field. (Read the SI’s titles.) H17 doesn’t mention “leading expert.” At best you can raise concerns about the Heartland’s “one of the world’s foremost experts on polar bears.” Even there, there’s no KO argument there. Even with a robust theory of credentials and expertise, to “follow the credentials” is still ad hominem. The authors of H17 are simply in no position to play the “follow the credentials” that much. (My guess is that MikeM wrote that paragraph. Not that it matters. My test is simple: read it as if it was in caps lock. If that works, chances are MikeM wrote it. JeffH may compete with that, sometimes.) H17’s “giving disproportionate attention” remains unclear. I have no idea what would be to give proportionnate attention to polar bear studies. The list of the “92 papers” is in the SI. It should be easy to review the field with a ten-pager that cites every paper at least once. Should it be once and only once? Suppose one cites one paper ten times: is that disproportionate? Of the three criteria offered in Pimm & Harvey, 2000 (follow the data, the money, the credentials), none of them beats what H17 offers: follow the citations. Citing Pimm & Harvey 2000 is a clear case of self-citation. Self-citing a three-pager looks shaky to me. No need to check for the authors’ credentials or the authors’ data or the authors’ financing scheme to see it. 148. Magma says: Let’s be clear: Harvey et al. is not a scientific paper itself. It is a paper about certain distinctive features of climate skeptic blogs, and how climate scientists might deal with this in engagements with the public, media, and policymakers. As for personality politics, from early attacks directed at James Hansen to the 15+ year targeting of Michael Mann and (non-scientist) Al Gore, bitter personal attacks on individual climate scientists have been a defining characteristic of climate denial for thirty years now. 149. JeffH says: As lead author, I am going to wade in here to emphasize what the paper was about, since some of you here don’t seem to get it. Climate change denying blogs claim to be searching for the truth. The vast majority, however, are operated by people who lack the relevant expertise in areas they discuss. Polar bears operate as proxies for biodiversity in general; the simple aim is that if the threats posed by AGW can be seen as bunk, then the rest of the biotic evidence for AGW can be dismissed as well with little or no effort. We showed that AGW denying blogs which discuss polar bears and arctic ice almost completely ignore the primary scientific literature and also never quote people who have studied these animals in the field for years and who have written extensively about them. Instead, the turn to another blogger with clearly lesser credentials who by contrast says what they want to believe. This is simply a case of confirmation bias. IMHO AGW denying blogs would cite a drunk if he was dressed up in a lab coat and told them he’d lived in Churchill, Manitoba for a couple of years, provided he told his handlers that polar bears were thriving. The other important point we make is that in order to understand the prognosis for polar bears and other arctic biota, it is impotant to project. AGW deniers rarely do this; their mantra is that everything is great today eo don’t worry about tomorrow as that is impossible to predict, at least according to them. They are the merchants of doubt writ large. But relevant areas, like tipping points, critical thresholds, time lags and extinction debtis are alien terms to them. Ee know from the empirical evidence that ecological systems function non-linearly. In other words, the abundance of a species does not often decline in concert with the loss of its habitat. What happens is that a species remains in sizeable numbers until some tipping point is reached, at which point numbers plummet. This has been demonstrated numerous times in tropical biomes. Polar besrs have just not resched that tipping point yet but as their habitat literally melts beneath their feet as temperatures rise, they are approaching it with certainty. The old adage is appropriate: a man jumps off a 100 story building, looks up as he passes the 50th fllor and shouts, ‘everything is fine’, when it clearly isn’t. If AGW denying blogs are interested in science, then they need to pick up their game and learn some. I find it interesting that Richard Tol rightfully says that I lack expertise in some of the analyses, but this is why I have co authors. And that has not stopped Professor Tol from writing piapers in areas in which he has no experise either. 150. Joshua says: Jeff – since some of you here don’t seem to get it. As a thought experiment, consider the possibility that no one here didn’t understand each and every aspect of that comment you just wrote (which seemed to me to be more or less a brief synopsis of the article in question). If that were the case, then how might you approach this discussion differently with that “some of [us] here” than basically writing a synopsis of the paper? I highly doubt that anyone here is not very familiar with “denier blogs.” If a difference in viewpoint regarding your article were not attributable to such an unfamiliarity, then would you offer a different approach to sharing viewpoints? 151. Joshua says: Jeff – Here’s another point: If AGW denying blogs are interested in science, then they need to pick up their game and learn some. I have been reading what you call “AGW denying blogs” for quite a while. It is not my impression that the proprietors or their commentariats can accurately be characterized as uninterested in science. 152. quite right, Magma. Thank you. I think the conversation has maybe four poles? 1. Denialist garbage that is clearly “rent-a_scientist” product 2. Doomsayers – Wells Wallace, McPherson, Wadhams – folks who are crying wolf when their is a wolf on the horizon 3. Careful scientists who publish their studies about the wolf on the horizon, but try to stay out of the political fray 4. Correctional scientists who spend most of their time and effort slamming the the doomsayers What the 35% undecided voters out there hear is three messages 1. Things are terrible 2. BS, things are not that terrible 3. There is a lot of reason to be cheerful (Susan C’s message) How do we end up with the US under the control of a political party and president that deny and/or don’t want to do anything about global warming? Look at those three messages. Which one do you want to accept if you cannot understand the science for one reason or another? Thanks to JeffH for the pithy and succinct cliff notes. 153. Willard says: > We showed that AGW denying blogs which discuss polar bears and arctic ice almost completely ignore the primary scientific literature SusanC wouldn’t be able to blog on polar bear science without citing the primary scientific literature. To take one of the examples cited in H17, take a look at the bibliography of C14: https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/06/Arctic-Fallacy2.pdf Lots of Amstrups. Lots of Stirlings. Many Obbards. Even some Durochers. To claim that SusanC completely ignores the primary scientific lichurchur is unwinnable. *** > and also never quote people who have studied these animals in the field for years and who have written extensively about them. Here’s a recap of the article’s results from the horse’s mouth: We found a clear separation between the 45 science-based blogs and the 45 science-denier blogs. The two groups took diametrically opposite positions on the “scientific uncertainty” frame—specifically regarding the threats posed by AGW to polar bears and their Arctic-ice habitat. Scientific blogs provided convincing evidence that AGW poses a threat to both, whereas most denier blogs did not (figure 1). Science-based blogs overwhelmingly used the frame of established scientific certainties and supported arguments with the published literature affirming that warming is rapidly reducing seasonal Arctic sea-ice extent and threatening the mid- to longer-term survival of polar bears, whereas those written by deniers did not (figure 2). Science-denier blogs instead focused on the remaining uncertainties regarding the effects of AGW on Arctic ice extent, suggesting that those uncertainties cast doubt on the present and future demographic trends of polar bears. Approximately 80% of the denier blogs cited here referred to one particular denier blog, Polar Bear Science, by Susan Crockford, as their primary source of discussion and debate on the status of polar bears. No mention of quotes. Now I too am getting interested in the raw data. *** If the missing values treatment could be clarified, that’d be great. 154. verytallguy says: JeffH, Polar besrs have just not resched that tipping point yet but as their habitat literally melts beneath their feet as temperatures rise, they are approaching it with certainty It’s always good to try and learn something from these episodes. Your paper shows that denial blogs are biased, and the reaction to it shows that deniers can be really quite alarmingly unpleasant. Forgive me, but interesting as these may be, neither will come as a surprise to frequenters of the climate blogosphere. But I would be genuinely interested why you have such definite conclusions on a tipping point for polar bears. It’s a subject on which I have almost total ignorance; on the face of it, polar bears existence implies they can cope with much less ice than current, as they have presumably survived earlier Arctic warning episodes? A link to some further reading would be appreciated. 155. guthrie says: Joshua – it is very clear that the denizens of denialist blogs are very interested in parts of science which happen to support their world view and profoundly uninterested in the parts which don’t support it. They certainly aren’t interested in science as practised by scientists, nor are they interested in the actual results. Therefore to claim they are very interested requires an odd definition of science in the first place. 156. Joshua says: guthrie – I don’t share your impression. It is my impression that in general they are interested in many kinds of science, including that which is practiced by scientists, and even, at least often, science as practiced by scientists whose conclusions they disagree with. I am fairly persuaded by the social science research that shows no particular pattern of (relative) ignorance of science being associated with climate change “skepticism” (or even more interestingly, “disbelief” in evolution for that matter). 157. Willard says: > [Contrarians] certainly aren’t interested in science as practised by scientists, nor are they interested in the actual results. Try this, guthrie: https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/02/nature-unbound-vi-centennial-to-millennial-solar-cycles/ That’s just the sixth part. The guy’s a scientist, BTW. I think it’s safer to say that contrarians are interested in the results that help frame their fight for freedom favorably. The safest is to refrain from any mental attribution whatsoever. 158. verytallguy says: The guy’s a scientist, BTW. Citation required 159. Magma says: @ verytallguy From my reading of the literature (my only contacts with wild polar bears were incidental, similar to Bob Loblaw’s earlier in the thread), DNA analysis suggests polar bears experienced one or more population bottlenecks during late Pleistocene interglacials. It’s been hypothesized that the species survived periods of greatly reduced sea ice in microclimatic refuges in the high Arctic, but I don’t know whether this is supported by fossil evidence. We’re stacking the odds against a future wild polar bear population since orbitally-induced Arctic warming would have occurred at a slower rate than that caused by our current atmospheric chemistry experiment, and we’ve added many other stresses to the Arctic land and marine ecological web. 160. Joshua says: I will note that the blog post that Willard just linked bounces off an interesting a pattern. Notice the relatively low number of comments in response to Javier’s post (not to mention the lack of attacks against him for being a “coward” for posting anonymously). :-). Of course, Judith’s crib has been less of a gathering place for a while now (nobody goes there anymore, it’s too empty?). But even still, if you compare his relatively science-focused post to other recent, more political and/or climate wars, and/or culture war focused posts, (IMO) you will see something interesting about the science interest of Judith’s “denizens”: their interest in science doesn’t waiver, but immediacy of that interest (as reflected in number of comments) is moderated by the proximity of the science-topic to their ideological orientation. It has always been thus at Judith’s, even if less starkly evident in the past. I think there is an interesting question as to whether we might be able to see some more general, related patterns that diverge across the great climate blog divide. 161. verytallguy says: DNA analysis suggests polar bears experienced one or more population bottlenecks during late Pleistocene interglacials. It’s been hypothesized that the species survived periods of greatly reduced sea ice in microclimatic refuges in the high Arctic Interesting. Thanks Marco. If anyone has a link to something (not too dense, I’ve no desire to parse primary literature) on both this and the future prognosis that would be lovely. 162. verytallguy says: Joshua, I once did a little very basic due diligence on one of Javier’s ramblings. I’d describe them as science-y rather than science focused. If you get my drift. I’ve not read any of the others. 163. Joshua says: VTG – I once I emailed a researcher whose work Javier had commented on, to get some feedback on Javier’s characterization of his work. He responded that it was not even close. I asked the researcher to leave a comment, to give Javier some feedback. He said that he had found that responding to such mischaracterizations to be a complete waste of time I said I understood. 164. Joshua and VTG, I recently emailed someone to get some clarification on how what they had said was being interpreted on Climate Etc. They haven’t responded. I don’t blame them. 165. Marco says: VTG, Magma =/ Marco… 166. Willard says: > Citation required Javier outed himself once. No, I won’t tell you who he is. It’s a non-related field anyway. I’ll cite Science of Doom instead: https://scienceofdoom.com/ There are many things we can say about contrarians. The most obvious one is that they have a knack for contrarianism. 167. JCH says: That’s what makes it CargoCult Etc. Global cooling: it’s the science; bank on it; right around the next bend. 168. verytallguy says: Marco, Magma, mea culpa. Apologies. Willard, fair enough. I shouldn’t be surprised Javier has scientific credentials, but it is amazing how folk who should be able to both think analytically and write coherently are singularly unable to do either. 169. Jeff Harvey says: I will make several points. First of all Willard, Susan Crockford does not original research. She is like James Delingpole – an interpreter of interpretations. Please find among her commentaries where she discusses area-extinction models of exponential decay; tipping points; temporal lags, the extinction debt and tipping points. Crockford is not an ecologist. These vitally relevant areas are ignored by her probably because she does not understand them. If she professes to be THE authority on polar bear biology and ecology then she needs to publish her critiques in scientific journals and not on a blog. And again, if Joshua is correct why are these denier bloggers who profess an interest in science cherry picking conclusions from a scientist on the academic fringe? Why aren’t they going directly to papers by the real experts and taking their conclusions seriously? The fact is that there are hundreds of researchers working on arctic ecology and only a tiny number apparently believe that warming is not a threat to polar bears and other species that live there. By turning over every rock they can find denier blogs have stumbled over one of them – Crockford – and provided her with a megaphone. With respect to tipping points. Polar bears are habitat specialists. As such they are model organisms for studying island biogeography and area extinction models. These models have proven to be robust when it comes to predicting the loss of species in both temperate and tropical biomes. Indeed, they sometimes underestimate extinction rates because they omit other stresses like overharvesting, pollution and invasive species. Some polar bear populations have not reached critical tipping points yet and this has been seized upon by AGW deniers as proof of their resilience. By the time they do reach and pass them it will be too late. We have seen this in the case of extinctions of species in lower latitudes whose numbers remained sizeable until their habitat was lost and fragmented beyond critical thresholds. I could give you many examples. The problem is that most of those downplaying the effects of warming on biodiversity are not ecologists. Indeed, my take is that nobody here critical of our paper is. Deniers are masters of the art of focusing in the present and in downplaying future projections by exaggerating doubts and u certainties. No wonder our species is in such trouble. We seem intent on going over the cliff in order to prove that we are going over the cliff. This highlights the main reason that scientists are losing the battle for public opinion. Climate change deniers are engaged in one big love-in. Their blogs are one big echo chamber. Scientists, on the other hand, are ruthlessly self critical. To be honest, some newspapers didn’t run a story about our paper because they said what we show is obvious. In other words, they said that it’s clear that denier blogs are not remotely interested in the scientific truth and that they are master cherry pickers of very dubious sources of information. Yet here some of you are, apparently challenging that. You won’t see deniers admitting this. Not a single critic of our paper has said that Figure 2 is wrong. Instead they accuse us of and hominem smears of Susan Crockford and leave it at that. Strange that these same blogs don’t ever hesitate to lay out ad hominem smears of Mann, Lewandowsky etc al; even Crockford has made choice comments about polar bear researchers like Derocher, Stirling and Amstrup on her blog and elsewhere. Look at the smears if Katharine Hayhoe. They can dish it out but can’t take it. Finally, while many make pedantic points over our paper, the planet continues its slide to hell in a handbasket. Three weeks ago Bioscience also published an important article following up 25 years later on the World Scientists Warning to Humanity. What it showed that, aside from the Montreal Protocol, every major indicator of environmental quality has declined, many rapidly, over the past quarter of a century. We are seeing wholesale collapses in the diversity of various species groups, with an estimated loss of 50-60% of genetic diversity since 1970. I have dedicated some of my career to fighting those who are intent on destroying nature for short term profit by countering distortions of blogs and people like Crockford. We are running out of time. Despite this I am depressed when people who should be on my side try and pick holes in papers like ours in Bioscience that are simply pointing out the obvious. One of the referees also said that our analyses only say what we already know. But we still needed to show it with data. If standing up to those denying that humans and nature are on a serious collision course means that people who should be supporting me and my co- authors are joining in to criticize us, then maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and say future be damned. 170. Ragnaar says: “Anyone who claims that ClimateBall is about ze Science is just not paying attention.” Good. Science with slide rules didn’t work. Let’s try social science. More people can participate and there’s not all that high math I don’t understand to give me doubts before I speak. 171. Barry Woods says: LOL – “One of the referees also said that our analyses only say what we already know. But we still needed to show it with data.” 172. Barry, Any chance you can avoid the “LOL”s? 173. Steven Mosher says: “Now I too am getting interested in the raw data.” ya. I suspect none of the authors are experts on content analysis. The lewandowski history on data sharing is not good either. I am surprised Bart threw in him. 174. Joshua says: Jeff – Thanks for the reply: why are these denier bloggers who profess an interest in science cherry picking conclusions from a scientist on the academic fringe? I think that’s a good question – and one that might be fairly important to answer. As an observer of those blogs, and from observing (what I consider to be parallel) dynamics of polarization in a host of other areas, I don’t find an answer (which seems to me to be based on incredulity rather than compelling evidence) that it must be because they’re “not interested in science” to be very compelling. And then if I see that answer being used as a foundation for an argument about the complicated question of influencing public understanding of the science (e.g., closing the “consensus gap”) the problem gets exacerbated, IMO. That is why suggesting that I don’t “get it” w/r/t denier blogs” doesn’t work for me, and why I asked you to speculate about the possibility that I do “get it” about “denier blogs” but disagree with you about the mechanisms involved, and thus view the implications of your article differently than you. I think I do “get it” about “skeptic” blogs, but take a different perspective on them than you. I think that critiquing the brand of skepticism found at “skeptical” blogs is potentially useful, and I think that there may be value in doing so in a public manner. But I think that the manner of critique should also be subject to scrutiny. What are the goals that you hope to achieve with your manner of critique? Who is the audience for those goals? How do you evaluate the cause-and-effect of your strategy with that audience? How do you collect evidence to evaluate that cause-and-effect? How have you adjusted your approach, accordingly? One of the problems is that this convo is at least partially taking place in the context of observing responses to your paper from the “skept-o-sphere,” but that may not even be an audience of concern, really, for either of us. Your paper suggests a goal of closing the “consensus-gap.” Is the reaction in the “skept-o-sphere” even relevant towards that goal? If not, then I am wondering how you think you can mitigate the reach of the “skept-o-sphere” without effectively reaching out into the “skept-o-sphere.” If the reaction in the “skept-o-sphere” isn’t relevant, and should just be disregarded, then how else do you suppose that paper will mitigate the impact of the “skept-o-sphere?” I’m not convinced that the approach you take in your paper will achieve much in that regard. I would hope that I would be open to well-reasoned arguments, otherwise. 175. Steven Mosher says: things gets nasty when we fights over wimmens.. i cleaned that up 176. JeffH says: My final point. Our paper was about scientific transparency and integrity. Blogs denying AGW are master cherry pickers, often of rotting fruit. They also focus on a miniscule subset of topics to debunk because the sheer weight of empirical evidence would bury them. You will hardly ever find a climate change denying blog discussing piles of studies showing harmful effects of warming on soil microbes and arthropods, trophic interactions involving plants and insects, phenology, effects on an array of other terrestrial, freshwater and marine biota and ecology. Polar bears are their poster children, with the idea that if it can be convincingly shown that polar bears are doing fine, then all other areas relating to the effects of warming on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning can be dismissed. Btw Barry, glad to see you laughing your head off while our planet slides inexorably into the abyss. It is hilarious being part of a generation partaking in this, isn’t it? 177. Willard says: > Susan Crockford does not original research. I agree, and never said otherwise, e.g.: That SusanC published in paleoecology, biogeography, and evolution biology is good enough for what she does, which is more commentary than science. SusanS mostly raises concerns about the interpretations of those who study polar bears. https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/polar-bears-and-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-107389 *** > She is like James Delingpole – an interpreter of interpretations. I disagree. There’s a big difference between SusanC and JamesD. Here is how I followed my claim above : Add another layer to that and you get “interpreter of interpretations” (H/T JamesD) or “expert expertise” (Judy) – I’m just saying this to wake up Joshua. Here’s in a nutshell all you need to know about the difference between the two: http://delingpoleworld.com/tag/susan-crockford/ https://polarbearscience.com/2016/10/11/in-case-you-missed-it-writer-james-delingpole-puts-my-novel-in-context/ JamesD promotes SusanC’s work. SusanC promotes JamesD’s promotion of her work. SusanC interprets the lichurchur, JamesD at best interprets that interpretation. We could of course add another layer if we accept that scientists themselves provide interpretations. In that case, the field scientists are interpreters, SusanC provides her interpretations of these interpretations, and JamesD interprets these interpretations of interpretations. *** > If she professes to be THE authority on polar bear biology and ecology then she needs to publish her critiques in scientific journals and not on a blog If indeed, and it seems that no, she doesn’t need to publish anything in academic journals. Welcome to the Internet. SusanC has no need to profess being THE authority at all. She’s not even alone – I mentioned Mitch Taylor earlier, who’s a field scientist. It is the Contrarian Matrix that made her Queen in all polar bear stuff. This is the fact that matters here. This is what your study is establishing, Why do I have to tell you any of this? 178. JeffH says: Joshua, one of the major aims of the paper was to advise general readers not to take at face value what they read on blogs. Any blogs. Denier blogs generally exude remarkable hubris that they are correct and true arbiters of science. However, as we discussed, it doesn’t hold up when even marginally scrutinized. Unlike you, I don’t believe that most of the denier blogs we included in our analysis care much about the truth when it comes to science, at least with respect to polar bears and their habitat. Instead, they search vigorously to find someone with any credentials who says what they want to hear, blow their credentials up out of all proportion, and then go with that. In other words they enter the discussions with a pre-determined view of the science. As I said to several journalists, I honestly believe that they camouflage their political and evonomic views behind a scientific veneer. And I don’t think this is remotely controversial. Indeed, a number of people including one referee and some journalists argued that our paper is saying what they already knew. So I am genuinely surprised that some people who are critical of climate change deniers and skeptics are unhappy about what we are saying. That said, the response has been mostly positive among my peers, thanking me and the other authors for having the courage to show that blogs which habitually dismiss climate change-related threats to polar bears do not refer to the primary literature but to a blogger that disagrees with the primary litersture, and not through scientific journals but through her blog. 179. Ragnaar says: JeffH: There is an everything is fine approach that has practical weight in regards to effectiveness. Accountants do historical accounting as their bread and butter work. We look backwards and record what happened. Projections belong in another category. Risk in projecting future income and expenses is high. In practice, many accountants are hesitant to do that. If we look at SEC reporting, it is historical accounting but there is an element of projecting. And important reason for doing this is future liabilities, such as a potential billion dollar lawsuit loss for the company. So I could say accountants don’t like projecting, but are forced into doing it so as to try and firm up a balance sheet so as to not get sued for inaccurate financial statements presented to the public. But historical accounting information is the most used standard. The most used information. This is to say, projections of any kind face off against this conservative approach. One of the first things I learned at accounting school was this conservative approach. The so I say success of CPAs I think has resulted from their overall conservative approach over many decades. CPAs may not be right, especially in regards to climate solutions. But there may be this historical over projections bias across many segments of our society. 180. Steven Mosher says: “Data supporting article conclusions ordinarily should be published, preferably in an appropriate data repository, such as Dryad (www.datadryad.org), and cited; BioScience will consider justified requests for embargoes on the publication of data. Small data sets can be published as supplementary material (see below).” for content analysis this would be the corpus. since we have the main author here, perhaps he can provide the corpus. I wonder if any of the peer reviewers had expertise in this field.? or is this the first such paper the journal published? Authors “Jeffrey A. Harvey Daphne van den Berg Jacintha Ellers Remko Kampen Thomas W. Crowther Peter Roessingh Bart Verheggen Rascha J. M. Nuijten Eric Post Stephan Lewandowsky Ian Stirling Meena Balgopal Steven C. Amstrup Michael E. Mann” “Everyone listed as an author of an article must have made a substantial contribution to the manuscript. In the case of multiple-author contributions, please upload as a supplementary file a brief statement detailing the contribution of each author. 1) Authorship should be restricted to those individuals who have met each of three criteria: (a) made a significant contribution to the conception and design of the article or the analysis and interpretation of data or other scholarly effort, (b) participated in drafting the article or reviewing and/or revising it for content, and (c) approved the final version of the manuscript. 2) In the case of papers with multiple authors, the corresponding author has the responsibility for: (a) including as coauthors all those who meet the three criteria defined in part 1 of this policy and excluding those who do not; and (b) obtaining from all coauthors their agreement to be designated as such, as well as their approval of the final version of the manuscript. Of course, any person can refuse to be a coauthor if he or she elects to do so. 3) Coauthors assume full responsibility for all work submitted under their names and, as a coauthor, acknowledge that they meet each of the three criteria for authorship as defined in part 1 of this policy. 4) Honorary or courtesy authorships are inconsistent with the principles of this policy and, as such, are unacceptable.” Ah, some other documents that might be requested… Proxy wars on trivial topics get ugly fast 181. Willard says: > More people can participate and there’s not all that high math I don’t understand to give me doubts before I speak. This might explain why Tony’s, Judy’s, and AT’s are more popular than say Richard’s: https://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/ 182. Steven Mosher says: “My final point. Our paper was about scientific transparency and integrity.” Great Publish the data in a repository as the guidelines suggest Share the file about author contributions that you were required to submit. 183. Magma says: I certainly won’t try to add to Jeff Harvey’s 8:42 pm comment, but I will shift the focus off Crockford for a bit. There was a contrarianish paper on polar bears and climate change published in 2007 in Ecological Complexity: Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the “ultimate” survival control factor? The authors (in order) were Markus Dyck, Willie Soon, Rick Baydack, David Legates, Sallie Baliunas, Tim Ball, and L.O. Hancock. (I doubt Soon, Legates, and Baliunas would know a polar bear if one was nibbling off their faces.) The article drew a critical response authored by Ian Stirling, Andrew Derocher, William Gough and Karyn Rode; Gough is a climatologist, the other three are polar bear experts. The original paper, response, and reply to the response can all readily be found online. What I found interesting, without knowing the history of the original paper or the authors, is that the only two biologists (Dyck and Baydack) involved have since shifted — or moved back — to more mainstream positions in this topic. I wonder if they had thought they were getting some valuable interdisciplinary input on climate from their coauthors and later realized their mistake. It’s relevant that Baliunas, an astrophysicist and senior colleague of Willie Soon, was also publicly skeptical that CFCs were depleting the ozone layer and had a long record of working with conservative think tanks and lobby groups. Though only 64, she is apparently retired and has largely dropped off the radar in the past decade. Perhaps carrying out this sort of shoddy science-for-hire is stressful or hard on a career. 184. Steven Mosher says: “Despite this I am depressed when people who should be on my side try and pick holes in papers like ours in Bioscience that are simply pointing out the obvious. ” there are no sides in science son. You make a claim. we are duty bound to question it. You were duty bound to question it YOURSELF. That is what makes you a scientist. Not prior publications, but rather the practice of questioning and doubting your own conclusions and Showing US that you went through the rigorous process of methodological skepticism. When you dont publish your data we are left with this: you merely told a story about what you did. You havent shown us what you did or given us the tools to check your work. I dont doubt your conclusions, but you do have to show your work so that we can ensure that the data actually supports the conclusion. After all, we are trained not to simply trust our impressions. At least I was. Also, why pick a biology journal that has no experts who can assess your content analysis work? 185. Joshua says: Jeff – Thanks again. Unlike you, I don’t believe that most of the denier blogs we included in our analysis care much about the truth when it comes to science, at least with respect to polar bears and their habitat. I find it quite complex to get into the heads of others. It’s easy to draw conclusions in that regard, and easy to make mistakes in doing so. I think that the evidence bar for drawing conclusions should be extremely high. I have been accused of not “caring” much about the truth many times in climate blogs – and I know how mistaken my accusers were. I I often see the claim of seeking “truth” to be a foundation of what “skeptics” tell each other they’re doing. I don’t get the sense that they’re all involved in a conspiratorial mindset to hide the reality of what they’re doing from each other. Your conclusion doesn’t seem very plausible to me. It doesn’t strike me as being terribly consistent with human nature. People tend to believe that they are seeking the truth. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t drawing mistaken conclusions, or employing fallacious reasoning to construct their version of “truth.” Instead, they search vigorously to find someone with any credentials who says what they want to hear, blow their credentials up out of all proportion, and then go with that. In other words they enter the discussions with a pre-determined view of the science.< IMO, you are creating a dichotomy that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. I think it’s possible to be seeking “truth” and still fall into very human patterns such as “cherry-picking,” “confirmation bias,” etc. I think there is a ton of evidence regarding those as being basic influences in how humans reason, and not much (solid) evidence that shows that those attributes are disproportionately distributed across ideological boundaries (which strongly associate with views on issues such as climate change, as you know). … having the courage to show that blogs which habitually dismiss climate change-related threats to polar bears do not refer to the primary literature but to a blogger that disagrees with the primary litersture, Which, in and of itself, seems to me like a perfectly reasonable goal. To what effect that goal might have, with different audiences, and to what affect different strategies taken towards achieving that goal, with different audiences, bears some scrutiny. 186. Magma says: It seems Baliunas is not quite dead. Edited by Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Senior Fellow at the IPA, Climate Change: The Facts 2017 brings together contributions on the latest climate science from some of the world’s leading experts in the field including John Abbot, Sallie Baliunas, Paul Driessen, Tony Heller, Craig Idso, Clive James, Pat Michaels, Jo Nova, Ian Plimer, Tom Quirk, Peter Ridd, Ken Ring, Nicola Scafetta, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, and Anthony Watts. 187. Joshua says: Thanks Anders – Youre a peach! Am I mistaken, or did they move that colon? Wasn’t the original version Climate: Change the Facts? 188. verytallguy says: Joshua, Your concern for homophones is merely an effectation. I’ll get my coat. 189. Joshua, Wasn’t the original version Climate: Change the Facts? That’s what I thought too (or, at least, that’s what I thought it should be 🙂 ) 190. Barry Woods says: Sorry about the lol. Just an immediate reaction. I can see that Jeff sincerely believes everything he says.. but why this paper, why not take apart scientifically, the Crockford paper at that open review website. Like it or not the paper is now perceived by many as going after the person not their work. Crockford seemed particularly upset by an author’s comment to a journalist that her website was full of derogatory words, that the merest search of her website is not true. I also think the useage of denier and denier blogs, is perhaps going to make a number of climate scientist cringe. Katharine Hayhoe has written about how this is not helpful. She prefers dismissive. I do think many people are just perhaps not that concerned (rightly or wrongly) and denier, etc, come across as activist politicised rhetoric, IE political, and puts people’s backs up. I have a very early start tomorrow, and won’t be able to comment/respond to after midday. 191. Joshua says: VTG – what’s weird about it is that those kinds of errors jump right out and bite me when re-reading what I’ve posted. It’s as if when I’m writing my auditory control is the executive, and thus the spelling doesn’t matter. But when I read it after posting, a different part of the brain becomes the executive. Same with it’s/its, they’re/their, your/you’re, etc. 192. With thanks to Bart, the data are now on Dryad. Besides the faulty treatment of missing observations, there is perfect correlation between the six statements so that there are really only two statements. And the logic is circular: The paper assumes that those who cite Crockford are deniers, and then concludes that only deniers cite Crockford. 193. Barry, but why this paper, why not take apart scientifically, the Crockford paper at that open review website. Because that isn’t really the point of this paper. What the paper is highlighting is that a vast majority of a subset of blogs rely on a single source who seems to hold a position that is contrary to most domain experts in the field, and who also ppears to have done little original work of their own. This conclusion does not depend on taking apart any work they may have done. 194. Steven Mosher says: “I read it. I found nothing of value. Hence, I said it had a complete lack of value. You read part of it, yet questioned whether there is a complete lack of value. You are not convinced that there is no value. How can you not be convinced that there is no value unless you see something that (at least might be of) value? What about it do you think might be of value? Again huh? you make a claim that you read it. You make a claim that it had no value. I dont know how you support that assertion other than just personal testimony? Of course I can question your claim without having read it. Simply because you show no evidence for your claim other than the bare assertion. Nice try … trying to shift the burden to me. You made a claim. if the claim is only your subjective opinion… well then thank you for your opinion. I dont find your opinion convincing. Here is what you have to do. 1. List all the ways in which an article could be valuable. 2. Go through what Tom wrote and show that none of these were satisified. otherwise, I will go read it and find something valuable and then you will say, that’s not valuable or some such evasion. not the first rodeo son What you really meant to say was that what Tom wrote sucked. as for being Toms co author… This is not the first time I have not read what he wrote not my brothers keeper. white knighting? You seem to miss something. It was never about defending Judith.. think… You always did get pretty heated when attacking her. made me wonder.. was it a mother, or sister or teacher who wounded your spirit. You seem to be especially invigorated when there are female authorities involved. see what happens when the climate wars turn to trivial topics like polar bears. we get all ugly and personal. And for a while I had just assumed that we had peacefully moved on and stopped with the attacks on each other. Oh well I tried. I even agred with you here. meh 195. Richard, The paper assumes that those who cite Crockford are deniers, and then concludes that only deniers cite Crockford. According to the SI on Bart’s blog Blogs were assigned ‘science-based’ and ‘denier’ categories on the basis of their positions taken relative to those drawn by the IPCC on global warming (e.g. whether it is warming or not and the anthropogenic contribution). 196. Steven Mosher says: “With thanks to Bart, the data are now on Dryad.” whew. faith in Bart restored. Im done. 197. I’m going to call it quits for the night. Let’s remember that my original tagline was Trying to keep the discussion civil (there may have been a and sometimes failing in there too, but ignore that for the moment). 198. Joshua says: Anders doesn’t want a food fight…I’ll let it lie. 199. Eli Rabett says: Since the point has come up, when this started Eli posted the following at Bart’s ———————– As with most things climate change, if you pay attention to and understand the basic background information, you are scared witless. The ice is shrinking at times of the year when the bears need it and more. OTOH, if all you see is the part of the present, why, nothing to worry about, some of the population is shrinking, some growing and most are unsurveyed. It’s an intelligence test and the Crockford’s of the world are failing. ————————– It has been completely ignored. At some other place to be named later there are hundreds of comments debating whether a comment on a journal blog is to or not to be listed on a CV. Eli is old, but he ain’t stupid. 200. Steven Mosher says: Arrg. Read it Joshua. I would say that the value of the piece is pretty simple. It lays out a simple premise about the treatment women get at the hand of certain scientists. Doesnt do a very good job of proving the case, but It suggests a fruitful area of research. I suppose one could do a content analysis of everything Mann has written about individual scientists and see if one could find a difference between the way he talks about Judith as opposed to the way he talks about Mcintyre. other valueable thing; raises an interesting question about Crockford’s actual view on AGW versus her views on Bears. Last I looked no survey on the meaning on consenus included agreement on polar bear stuff. 201. Ragnaar says: More on societies preference of the historical over the projections. Weathercasters used to get 5 minutes of the local news. Dealing in weather history and baby steps predictions about the local weather. The formula, this presentation was tried and true based on it happening for decades at least in the Upper Midwest. Biggest fans, maybe the farmers. Then along comes projections. Which coexists with the weathercasters. Individuals look at both things now, and ask, What does this mean? What do the projectors even know about Redwood Falls Minnesota? And did they show up in the Corn Days Parade? I don’t think so. 202. Bob Loblaw says: Don’t you people have day jobs? 🙂 Mosher (responding to me): ““And denialists keep presenting Crockford as an an expert on polar bears, so showing she isn’t becomes relevant.” Relevant to what? Relevant to dismissing their claim that she is, of course. Ask the denialists why they think her “expertise” is relevant. If they want to make a point of how beautiful the emperor’s clothes are, pointing out the emperor has no clothes is entirely relevant. If someone wants to sell a “make money fast” book, and tells you the advice is great because he’s rich, showing that he’s not rich is an appropriate counter-argument. I can understand why the book-seller won’t like anyone pointing it out, though. 203. Bob Loblaw says: Willard responding to me: “> You have presented no defence to your claim that my statement was false Yes, I did. Twice. I have evidence you haven’t even read it the first time. Zoology, biology and polar bears are indeed related. Making polar bears a field won’t make that connection disappear. The XKCD commentary is not about that, but about physicists’ habit to reduce everything to oversimplistic modulz. No, you didn’t present a defence, You just re-asserted your opinion. If doing biology is enough, then the person that spends years studying fruit fly genetics is doing work “related” to polar bear studies, and is deserving of claiming the label “polar bear expert”. The person that studies bacterial growth in cow guts is doing “biology” and can claim the label “polar bear expert”. Your definition of “related” is so loose that it is essentially useless. Next time you want someone to design a suspension bridge, hire an out-of-work Blackberry electrical engineer. After all, she and the structural engineer that wanted a lot more money are working in “related” fields – they’re both “engineers”. Heck, I can claim to be a “polar bear expert” because I’ve seen several in the wild and I own a cat (which is both a mammal and has the same number of legs as a polar bear, and sharp teeth and claws, too). Now, if you were to dig into her publications, cite specific examples of what she has produced, and then explain exactly how you think that relates to polar bears, you might make an argument. I did look at the two citations that specifically mentioned polar bears. Here is what I wrote about it at Skeptical Science https://skepticalscience.com/polar-bear-science-vs-blogosphere.html#125270 On the two citations: “I perused through Matthew L’s list of Crockford’s publications. I followed the link to the two Comments posted with respect to journal papers. The first comment (on the Science paper) discussed observations of cross-breeding between brown bears and polar bears, and says nothing about climate change or future directions of polar bear habitat reductions. I can’t tell from the web page whether the comment is strictly an on-line comment or whether it appeared in print. (The paper is from 2012.) The second link (to the Current Biology paper) is also a paper about historical brown bear and polar bear hybridization, but I see no comments listed at all. Using that web page’s search tool produced no material written by Susan Crockford. The paper is from 2011.” ..and on the XKCD cartoon, I explicitly said that I was reminded of it because some of the fake “climate experts” are physicists. Take whatever meaning you want out of it, but I’ve stated why it seemed relevant to me. 204. Joshua says: Steven – So you did find value in Tom’s post. I didn’t. So the answer to my question is that you disagree with me. Not sure why that took so long. I see that as obviously a matter of opinion. It seems that you seem to think it is a matter of objective reality. Whatever. 205. Magma says: I think RT eventually gets one point partly right. There are not actually six independent statements with agree/disagree positions in the paper’s analysis, but effectively three (see below, rephrased as questions). Statements 1 & 2 and statements 4, 5 & 6 are redundant. This should have an impact on the PC analysis. 1. Is Arctic sea ice extent declining? 2. Can Arctic sea ice extent trends be forecast? 3. Are polar bears threatened by AGW? And for brevity the above questions omit picky but important details such as seasonal ice vs. multiyear ice, summer vs winter vs. average extent, declining over what time period, forecast how accurately and for how far ahead, threatened in what parts of their range, a definition of AGW, etc. 206. Ragnaar says: “…because Amstrup, Stirling, and other researchers have themselves downplayed the well-documented effects of thick spring ice conditions on polar bear population declines between 2001 and 2010. Thick spring ice conditions in 2004-2006 (which have occurred in this region about every 10 years since the 1960s with devastating results on polar bear numbers, documented by Stirling and colleagues in various papers…” – WUWT Thick ice may not be their friend. How to kill a polar bear? Thicker ice maybe. We want to model opportunities for the polar bears to grab seals with varying amounts of sea ice. She’s calling for a retraction. Then we have the David and Goliath theme to trot out. 207. Willard says: > No, you didn’t present a defence, You just re-asserted your opinion. If doing biology is enough, then the person that spends years studying fruit fly genetics is doing work “related” to polar bear studies, and is deserving of claiming the label “polar bear expert”. The person that studies bacterial growth in cow guts is doing “biology” and can claim the label “polar bear expert”. The first claim is false, the second claim also applies to Bob’s own defense (there’s no authoritative claim being made here), and the argument that follows is a caricature. On her About page, SusanC says (1) she has been a zoologist for 35 years; (2) she published work on the Holocene history of Arctic animals (3) she’s an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, BC; (4) she works work full time for a private consulting company on animal bone identification. It is a no brainer to me that this experience should be more than enough to develop the skill set required to be able to read and comment on polar bear studies. We’re not talking about fruit fly genetics or bacterial growth in cow guts. At least two senses of relatedness (relevant skill set to accomplish a task, and proximity between the domains of study) are sufficiently substantiated. While this kind of enquiry is all well and good, this does nothing to move forward what should be the ultimate objective of anyone who pretend to care about AGW – promoting the established viewpoint. If the authors of H17 are correct that SusanC gathers too much attention, why give her any attention in the first place? While this may not be a logical absurdity, it is indeed a ClimateBall ™ absurdity. What to do instead? Here’s an idea: use these episodes to teach or learn something about polar bears. As Very Tall said, it’s always good to try and learn something from these episodes. Moar science, as Javier does above. Another idea: use that episode to explain how scientists who study polar bears get their data. Enigmas. Adventuresome characters. Beautiful landscape. A sense of urgency. The story could almost write itself. A third idea: meet the contrarians concerns directly, by showing that they’re unjustified, tenuous, implausible, etc. Debate the ideas. Win. If contrarians get too much attention, it is not by giving them more attention that we will solve it. There comes a point where the ad hominem mode becomes self-defeating for a scientist. This is one of them. Scientists should leave that to ClimateBall players, or else they need to accept that they become ClimateBall players themselves. Just like SusanC is. 208. Willard says: > She’s calling for a retraction. Of course she does: https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/05/retraction-request-to-bioscience-foia-emails-document-another-harsh-criticism-of-amstrups-2007-polar-bear-model/ Another winning position wasted. Well played! 209. jsam says: 210. Steven Mosher says: err. i read her request for retraction. ya all better listen to willard 211. Marco says: In that call for a retraction she once again misrepresents her two comments on polar bear hybridization she made. She states “…two official comments, with references, on polar bear hybridization (which is how official responses to published papers are handled in these two journals)”. Well…no. In fact, there *is* an official comment to the paper in Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/336/6079/344 – and then see on the right hand side when you scroll down you find a link to the technical comment http://science.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1522.1 With a response: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/339/6127/1522.2 One may note that the technical comment is *not* from Susan Crockford. Current Biology also publishes comments, but here I cannot even find Crockford’s *online* comment anymore! So, in claiming Harvey et al misrepresents her expertise, she misrepresents her publication record. Ouch! 212. Marco, Yes, I did find that claim rather odd. I’ve certainly never come across the idea that online comments are somehow official and, as you say, one of the ones Susan Crockford claims to have made appears to no longer be available. 213. I will add, though, that I have a feeling that this could still get interesting. 214. Steven Mosher says: “hen we have the David and Goliath theme to trot out.” if what she says about her disseration and her papers is true this may be dr lews second unforced error 215. Steven, I suspect it is going to come down to how what Susan Crockford says about her papers is interpreted. I believe there are two papers that mention polar bears and that they are mentioned in the PhD thesis. Does this qualify as having published peer-reviewed papers on polar bears? I will add, though, that suggesting that online comments qualify as publications is – IMO – a hard argument to make. 216. JCH says: H. Resit Akçakaya, the scientist who criticized Amstrup 2007 study has since coauthored two studies with same scientist, including this one: Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines 217. Magma says: if what she says about her disseration and her papers is true this may be dr lews second unforced error Crockford devoted three double spaced pages (pp. 95-98) in her 2004 thesis to a summary review and side hypothesis that polar bears and other Arctic mammals’ white coats originated from the natural selection of increasingly piebald individuals. There was no original research data provided to support this. The thesis is available online and can be found almost as easily as taking a swipe at Lewandowsky. 218. Steven Mosher says: “I will add, though, that suggesting that online comments qualify as publications is – IMO – a hard argument to make.” ya that seems silly 219. Joshua says: Is it possible that we may have another endless, easily avoided, completely predictable, futile, and functionally useless climate war skirmish to rival the previous food fights? ‘Cause endless squabbling about the precise quantification of the “consensus” wasn’t enough? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? 220. Joshua says: The only thing that would make this dust up even more beautiful is if Susan sues Harvey et al. for defamation with – with lockstep support from the “Mann’s chilling free speech (just like Islamic terrorists doncha know)” crowd. 221. Eli Rabett says: The best best part of this is the pearl clutchers and idiots going after Bart bcuz they had to wait a few days for the Supplemental Material. 222. Willard says: > There was no original research data provided to support this. SusanC never claimed otherwise. She even declares “it is true that these peer-reviewed papers are not the result of field research on polar bears and most do not focus exclusively on polar bears.” The pettiness of selection committees should be reserved to selection committees. *** > The thesis is available online and can be found almost as easily as taking a swipe at Lew Sometimes swipes can be more productive than playing the armchair expert in expertise. Let’s try it. Perhaps listening to the guy without whom H17 (probly Lew) wouldn’t talk about framing might have helped: Contrarians’ ClimateBall is strategic: H17 whines that SusanC gets too much attention, and we’re into her dissertation now. You. Just. Can’t. Make. This. Up. 223. Marco says: “if what she says about her disseration and her papers is true”… I guess it will always be a matter of interpretation whether her papers and dissertation show that she understands the complexity of polar bear ecology – or any species, for that matter. Her thesis is here: http://www.ibrarian.net/navon/paper/Animal_Domestication_and_Vertebrate_Speciation__A.pdf?paperid=12830395 Pages 95-97 deal with polar bears. In my non-expert interpretation, the thesis revolves around a hypothesis for heterochronic evolution being related to thyroid hormone levels, with several examples (including polar bears) for which this hypothesis may explain the observed heterochronic evolution. At the end of the thesis some proposals are provided on how this hypothesis could potentially be tested. 224. Joshua says: I guess it will always be a matter of interpretation whether her papers and dissertation show that she understands the complexity of polar bear ecology – or any species, for that matter. That seems completely obvious to me. And citing the number of citations (or peer reviewed articles) may be “information” in that regard but (IMO} will never be dispositive (how could it be?) How many times have we all seen this exact same argument play out? What is the purpose that us bring served by continuing to engage in this dance? 225. cRR Kampen says: “The best best part of this is the pearl clutchers and idiots going after Bart bcuz they had to wait a few days for the Supplemental Material.” – Dear Eli, it ain’t best at all. We had to put that out ourselves. Can’t see why Bioscience, with all the flak it is getting for this from all sides, didn’t add the material with the article. Dryad link: http://datadryad.org/resource/doi:10.5061/dryad.v652r . 226. cRR Kampen says: ‘Statements 1 & 2 and statements 4, 5 & 6 are redundant. This should have an impact on the PC analysis.’ – Magma, don’t think so. We ‘unexpectedly and unintentionally’ found the astroturfing phenomenon, that is all. 227. Magma says: Facts, knowledge, expertise, and competence count, and cannot be brushed away as a mere appeal to authority. As for the question of whether Crockford is getting too much attention here, AGW skeptics have a very thin bench. In no particular order, and open to changes, Zoology and (maybe) ecology: Crockford & Ridley Botany: none Entomology: none Surface/tropospheric temperature: Christy & Spencer GCMs: Lindzen (maybe) Forcing and feedback and atmospheric physics: Lindzen & Curry Radiative transfer: Lindzen Paleoclimate reconstructions: McIntyre (?) Quaternary geology: multiple, some could be included ^above^ Oceanography (circulation): Curry Oceanography (chemistry and marine biology): Veizer Meteorology: multiple Alpine, Antarctic and Greenland glaciology: none Sea ice: none 228. cRR Kampen says: ‘As for the question of whether Crockford is getting too much attention here’ – I’d say yes. But something was bound to converge on her given her dominance in the city of echochambers re the polar bear welfare. 229. Willard says: > As for the question of whether [SusanC] is getting too much attention here, [contrarians] have a very thin bench. I agree about the size of the bench, and said so already. See above. I don’t think the size of the bench increases personalization. On the contrary, personalization works better when targetting institutions: Allow me to clarify. Consider the pigeonhole principle. You have pigeons and holes. If you put one pigeon per hole, either you end up with exactly one pigeon per hole (p = h), more pigeons (p > h) or more holes (p < h). Replace pigeons and holes with contrarians C and orthodox scientists O. The number of Cs is lower of Os. But see what happens when you personalize. "Orthodox polar bear scientist" becomes (say) Amstrup. "Dendro/paleo scientist" becomes MikeM. "Cognitive scientist interested in AGW" becomes Lew. See where this leads? A one-one correspondence: SusanC c. Amstrup, teh Auditor c. MikeM, Richie c. Lew. The Contrarian Matrix can even look bigger than the orthodox position with enough personalization. Take this episode. Tony's piling on. It's all over PaulM's. BartV's submerged. Very few will come out and defend H17 against the contrarian onslaught. Contrarians looking like an enormous horde while a bunch of online scientists are ratiocinating over expertise conditions. JeffH, Lew, and MikeM can now leave the ClimateBall field. Who cares about their well poisoning and us ClimateBall players wasting time defending their crap? They published a paper. Mission accomplished. *** How to break the reduction created by personalization? Simple. Variety and connections. If all people hear about are MikeM and Lew and a few other talking heads, the consensus looks smaller than it is, and the contrarian matrix looks bigger than it is. We need to hear about other people than Lew and MikeM. Nobody voted them Kings of ClimateBall. I would take most contrarians on my team before taking them. (I'd take Ragnaar and Moshpit for sure; sorry, Richie, but your circularity argument makes you look worse than Lew.) If 97% of scientists agree that AGW carries risks, should be easy to offer some variety, no? As to connections, again, look at the citations. The best way to see that SusanC’s alone behind her contrarian megaphone is to see who she cites favorably. Almost nobody. Look who cites her favorably: the Contrarian Matrix. I mean, it’s the freaking point of H17! Basic social network analysis. No, make that college-level reading comprehension skill. *** Suppose you want to continue piling on SusanC. What to do? Here’s what not to do. Amstrup went and told Motherboard that SusanC: You don’t have to read far in her material to see that it is full of unsubstantiated statements and personal attacks on scientists, using names like eco-terrorists, fraudsters, green terrorists and scammers https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/there-once-was-a-polar-bear-science-vs-the-blogosphere/#comment-38998 I doubt this is the case. Amstrup should have checked first. Another scientist who has no idea how contrarians react to that kind of thing. Some ecologist we have there. Nevertheless, consider the first part of Amstrup claim: unsubstatiated statements, personal attacks. Scratch the personal attacks. (Don’t ask why, I’m not in the mood.) We have unsubstantiated statements. WHAT UNSUBSTANTIATED STATEMENTS? This would be gold. Find some. Show they’re unsubstantiated. Two birds with one stone: SusanC’s credibility, moar science. *** Our planet slides inexorably into the abyss, and all we got is poorly performed ClimateBall by guys who should know better by now. Worse – who are paid to do so. This sucks to no end. 230. jacksmith4tx says: FiveThirtyEight weighed in on the growing Sound Science ruse to foster “agnogenesis” — the intentional manufacture of ignorance. This ignorance isn’t simply the absence of knowing something; it’s a lack of comprehension deliberately created by agents who don’t want you to know. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-easiest-way-to-dismiss-good-science-demand-sound-science/ A good review of tactics and methods used by various ‘actors’ in the War on Science. 231. H17 whines that SusanC gets too much attention, and we’re into her dissertation now. So, does it make sense to say instead? “they have no qualified experts, only a few academics with weak credentials for the topic or rent-a-scientists who lost their jobs at the tobacco institute.” Susan who? see above. 232. Willard says: > So, does it make sense to say instead? One does not simply say that your ClimateBall opponent has little credibility and expect to subdue Mordor. One has to show. Take unsubstantiated statements. Show they’re unsubstantiated. The moar Sound Science on your side, the moar credibility you gain, and the less your opponent has. Take any claim SusanC made about being interested by Sound Science. Show that she’s also keen on the CAGW framing: [T]he CBD doesn’t actually do anything to help polar bears, it just takes your money and tells more emotion-filled anecdotes about bears needing help. As far as I can see, none of the money donated goes for anything other than a bit of lobbying and more advertizing with yet more fear-mongering aimed at generating more donations. In fact, the CBD campaigned heavily for months to raise the money to run these TV ads, which are expected to spawn even more revenue – what a fabulous scam! Actually, the whole thing says more about the psychology of why appeals to emotion can be effective at parting fools from their money than it does about the so-called “plight of the polar bear.” https://polarbearscience.com/2014/06/18/center-for-biological-diversity-provides-a-public-disservice-on-polar-bear-status/ As far as shameless self-promotion is concerned, we can all bow to SusanC’s know-how. Her latest victim playing also confirms that she knows what she’s talking about when she says that “appeals to emotion can be effective at parting fools from their money.” Did I tell you she’s selling a fiction book? The cover is in the right sidebar of her website. *** Nothing in what I said above depends upon my own authority. You don’t have to trust me. All has been shown. See for yourself. 233. izen says: It is all the fault of science communication ‘experts’. At some point in the past the eco-green activist must have been advised that explaining the complex impacts of climate change on the Arctic was pointless. For general consumption a personalised story was needed with a narrative about a threatened ‘hero’. The most humanoid candidate is obviously the polar bear. A face with forward-facing eyes and a similar size and shape to humans, only bigger and stronger, it is even white! A prime candidate for Disney-anthropomorphication. The starving lone polar bear on a melting ice flow was iconified as the image of Arctic degradation. In reality it is an ambush predator with nasty habits of cannibalism and a total lack of social cooperation. Not traits that would be well-regarded in humans. But the AGW impact on the Arctic was hitched to polar bear survival for reasons of ‘effective communication’. As usual reality is more complex than that. The specificity of the diet and hunting confitions for polar bears probably do indicate a lack of resilience in the face of a changing environment. But that does not translate into a simple tale of heroic tradegy and unambiguous decline. The focus on SusanC’s qualifications is a red herring. She has enough science chops to get by and writes well. She makes a good, if not entirely convincing case that the genetic bottleneck evident in polar bear numbers was the result of INCREASING ice after the Eemian interstadial, not the minimum. For a geneticist she makes a less impressive case for that lack of genetic diversity making polar bears less resilient to change. Species, or subspecies, as the polar bear may be viewed as a recent local varient of the brown bear, can be stable with limited genetic diversity as long as the pathogens they encounter do not change. (Cheetahs) If new pathogens arrive then all bets are off. See the Tasmanian devil and the south American indigenous human population when the Spaniards brought measles and smallpox. Strength in depth. The big and obvious difference between mainstream climate science and the contrarians is that for any field of study (except economics) there is usually only ONE iconoclast that is the preferred authority for the ‘sceptical’ camp, but multiple experts for the AGW camp. When the icon of the Hockey Stick was attacked, numerous follow-up studies supported its conclusions. There were not numerous contrarians responding to each one. MM and Wegman never attempted to engage with all the confirmatory subsequent research. Sometimes the sceptics refer to mainstream climate sciencetists as ‘The Team’. It is intended to be disparaging, but highlights the fact that they are unable to muster a first elevn in opposition. It is not the skills of the individual climateball players that matters when the numbers are so asymmetrical. 234. Mircea Dochia says: Hi, First: Good post and really interesting comments thread, a very nice read, thank you ! Second: After reading all these comments and not knowing much about anything (but very firm in my opinions) I, the mediocre regular Joe, am convinced that Susan C is right and H17 has done a hatchet job on her. They should retract the paper and apologise. The fact that polar bears population is not decreasing and it still has to reach a tipping point is a huge surprise for me and all my beer friends. They would have called me ignorant and anti-science if I were to tell them something like this a while ago. Of course we didn’t read the latest published papers about this and we will never ever read them. We vaguley remember the ads with raining polar bears, the ads with polar bear dying and being endangered. It took a while to convince us that they are dying but you did… Now… they are not dying anymore…. they will die sometime in the future… Susan C is the honest deal… she was right… Do you think that any of my beer friends will give a dime on this issue anymore from now on? You can cite all the research in the world now and it will be just noise…. A politician touching the polar bear issue will be dismissed right away as not serious… You think that you are smarter than the regular mediocre Joe (i.e me and my friends), but I also think that I am smarter than you, especially after some beers, and my vote is more important because we outnumber you … Best Regards! Joe 235. @crrkampen High correlation may cause numerical problems for a PCA, but no conceptual problems. It’s just a bit silly, really, to look at the first two principal components of two variables. A PCA is a method to reduce the dimensionality of the data, in this case from 2 to 2. It reveals that the authors are either clueless or careless. Ditto for the treatment of the missing variables. One minute on Google would have warned them not to do what they did. 236. Barry Woods says: So? Green activist (not scientists?) made the Polar bear a poster child of climate change, analogy canary in coal mine with Arctic sea ice. to simplify a complex issue to the public, to make the public care about polar bears and AGW.. but perhaps the pubic never really cared very much about polar bears? (or they have polar bear fatigue now?) Jo Abbess (UK climate activist – seven years ago) ”…. I point out that when the environmentalists put out posters about Polar Bears, that the audience pretty quickly realised that the Polar Bears were being used as a “poster child” for Climate Change, and they started to mock the campaigning. Ten years ago, or even less, a poster depicting a tragic human or endangered animal was still a useful communications tool, but the potential recipients for these communications are now highly sceptical of this device, this attempt to pluck at their emotional/heart strings……” – Jo Abbess http://www.joabbess.com/2010/04/14/polar-bear-poster-child/ 237. Barry, Yes, it is possible that the polar bear as a symbol is ineffective. However, that doesn’t really change whether or not they will be negatively impacted by climate change. A key point of the paper is a suggestion that a subset of blogs tend to promote a single source who appears to hold views that are mostly at odds with the majority of relevant experts. Do you disagree with that? 238. Barry Woods says: Do I agree with that.. inconclusive. I asked Bart to publish the lists of articles analysed per blog. WUWT certainly cites Crockford.. and I’d described as being one of the 80%. Yet. WUWT also cite many other polar bear sources in many other articles, where Crockford is not mentioned. Even in Crockford’s guest post, that perhaps caused the most polarisation. The ten failed predictions ones, Multiple sources are cited. She in the article referred to her own website for further lists of references, which on reading, show multiple polar bear papers from mainstream sources including co-authors of this paper.. so let us have the articles analysed (the data) and see for ourselves.. trust but verify? 239. Barry Woods says: ‘And I’d’.. meant to be – And it is 240. Barry, I would have thought that you’d been involved in blogosphere for long enough to have some kind of view. It seems a pretty reasonable conclusion; certainly seems that there are a subset of blogs that will tend to preferentially promote the views of contrarians. 241. Willard says: > WUWT also cite many other polar bear sources in many other articles, where Crockford is not mentioned. Second time you say that without providing any example, BarryW. The first time was at Bart’s. You did not respond to my request. I doubt these “many other sources” at Tony’s are as favorably cited as SusanC. 242. I’ve just checked WUWT. If I do a “polar bear” search and ignore the most recent post (which is obviously about this recent situation) it looks like 13 out of the next 20 mention Susan Crockford. 243. Joshua says: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/15/polar-bear-attacks-on-humans-implications-of-a-changing-climate/ 9 hits for Crockford, including: Ric Haldane July 15, 2017 at 12:22 pm And with some luck, Susan Crockford will stop by with a reasonable opinion. 244. I just did a quick Google search for Breitbart and polar bears. Four of the top five hits mention Susan Crockford. 245. Steven Mosher says: “Whilst striving to promote freedom of expression wherever possible, OUP aims to avoid publishing anything that harms the reputation of an individual, business, group, or organization unless it can be proven to be true. We take all possible measures to ensure that published work is free of any text that is, or may be considered to be libellous, slanderous, or defamatory.” This would appear to be the governing rule of ethics for the journal. Nice mess Dr Lew and Mann. I find the expertise arguments funny. Looking at the journal I cannot expect any of the authors or reviewers had expertise in content analysis, PCA, or expertology. [Mod: redacted the last bit of this comment.] 246. Joshua says: Barry – Do I agree with that.. inconclusive Let’s say short of absolutely certain, how would you weigh the probabilities? Do you think it is likely accurate? Not likely to be accurate? 247. Willard says: Since BarryW can’t bring himself to do some work for a change, let’s oblige: Are bears able to swim for weeks at a time? Or are they able to walk on water? In fact, as Susan Crockford explains, there are also more plausible stories, most likely of which is the possibility that what the satellites see as open water is in fact melt ponds above solid ice. Which can at least give one pause for thought when considering the alleged death spiral of the Arctic sea ice. http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/9/3/polar-bears-walk-on-water.html Contrarian framing? Check. Deferring to SusanC? Check. 248. Bob Loblaw says: Willard: You seem to be finding it really hard to not argue against yourself. In this comment: https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/polar-bears-and-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-107329 I said: “And no, studying dogs and other critters does not make one a polar bear expert. It might help understand the writing on the subject,, but it doesn’t make her an expert.” and now, after telling me more than once that what I said in various comments is false, you’ve come back with this comment about her experience, scientific work, position as an adjunct professor, and her private work: “…this experience should be more than enough to develop the skill set required to be able to read and comment on polar bear studies.” I hate to break it to you, but “reading and commenting on polar bear studies” does not make one an expert. “Developing the skill set” is necessary, but it is not sufficient. You and I simply disagree about the extent to which her academic background applies to ecology in general and polar bears in particular. The denialati have over-hyped her background, which is all too common with so many of their “experts”. 249. Willard says: Bob, You must be new here. My first claim is here: > Extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field That’s clearly not the case here, as SusanC has published in zoogeography, paleoecology, archaeozoology and ostemetry: https://polarbearscience.com/about-2/ Questioning SusanC’s expertise is unrequired for the authors’ point to stand. You then switched to “And no, studying dogs and other critters does not make one a polar bear expert,” to which I replied: You said “non-related field.” This is false. There’s no switch there: what is not the case is false. Then you went on some detective work which reading my first link could have prevented from doing, and perhaps also asking “If you know something else about her scientific background that makes it “related to polar bears”, feel free to point it out.” I then replied that having studied in paleoecology, biogeography, and evolution biology is good enough for what she does. Perhaps I should have added that this answers your “relatedness” claim, for then you denied that I have defended the point while still ignoring my first comment: > You have presented no defence to your claim that my statement was false Yes, I did. Twice. I have evidence you haven’t even read it the first time. Zoology, biology and polar bears are indeed related. Then you went on a tangent by again denying that I presented a defense, this time with a false wedge between fact and opinion (as if the relationship between zoology, biology, and polar bears was just my opinion), and by an odious caricature about flies and cow guts. You also dismissed the formal definition of relatedness (not mine, but Barry Smith’s) as “useless” and strawmanned me by “engineering” another caricature. And now you come and tell me that I’m contradicting myself? That’s just great. Now, whether or not this relatedness (or rather the experience that goes with it) constitutes a sufficient condition for expertise (whatever you might mean both by sufficiency and expertise) is irrelevant to the point that SusanC’s studies and work are indeed related to polar bears. The claim that they’re unrelated is simply false. I don’t even need to disagree with you on her lack of expertise on doing polar bear science. Even SusanC agrees with you, up to a point: While it is true that these peer-reviewed papers are not the result of field research on polar bears and most do not focus exclusively on polar bears, they do deal with the history of polar bear habitat, the ecology and physiology of their primary prey, and the evolution of polar bears as a species (which requires a firm understanding of their zoogeography, ecology, genetics, physiology, behaviour, and life history). I don’t believe that the definition of a peer-reviewed paper on polar bears implies it be only about polar bears. These topics are all valid and important aspects of polar bear biology and cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to my zoological expertise as it pertains to this species. The citations to these papers are listed on my blog “about” page. I have never claimed expertise based on field experience. My expertise comes from an intimate knowledge of the veritable mountain of polar bear and Arctic sea ice literature that I have studied for more than a decade. To my knowledge, no one else with a background in zoology outside the rather insular circle of polar bear field researchers has bothered to take on this task, and thus no one else has been able to critically comment on recent polar bear papers and reports with reference to previous work. https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/05/retraction-request-to-bioscience-foia-emails-document-another-harsh-criticism-of-amstrups-2007-polar-bear-model/ I hope you don’t do this kind of thing where you work. Welcome to the Internet, where every micro-aggression is written forever. 250. Steven Mosher says: If all people hear about are MikeM and Lew and a few other talking heads, the consensus looks smaller than it is, and the contrarian matrix looks bigger than it is.” write that down. time for mike to hit the bench. tamsin. hayhoe. marvell. francis.. suit up. 251. Barry Woods says: Willard. I referred to WUWT as an example. You chose Bishop Hill.. the authors of the paper know which articles they analysed , they will have a list. Publish that list.. I’ve never really followed Crockford,’s story or her website, andI,ev barely read any WUWT article in the last few years. But looking at WUWT that, as I said there are a number of Crockford articles as well. But even in her articles she cites many sources.. basically it seems, if you cite Crockford, you are a denier blog 252. JeffH says: Willard, to be considered an expert in any professional scientific field requires the author to have published extensively on that field in the peer reviewed literature. If I want to be taken seriously in the study of the genetics of plant chemical defenses, having published a couple of papers in flowering phenology in the distant past and then setting up a blog in which I jump into allelochemistry won’t make the grade. I would never be seen as an expert in the field and I would not be invited to conferences as a keynote speaker – indeed as a general speaker – on the subject, I would be completely ignored. I am fascinated reading some of the comments here which clearly don’t understand our paper. One commenter above fell into the 100 story building anology trap – bears are fine today so there is absolutely nothing to worry about. I am sure that similar situations arose in the past where species like Imperial woodpeckers remained in sizeable numbers as their forest habitat was cleared until a critical threshold was reached and thoen boom! Collapse to extinction. There are many similar examples. Again, AGW deniers are like anti-environmentalists and demand 100% proof that AGW will eventually harm the bears as their ice habitat melts beneath their feet. Without this absolute proof there is no problem. I have seen this sleight of hand used to dismiss a number of other threats to the environment. The fact remains that biodiversity is in retreat at an alarming rate. We have clearly hit the target dead-on judging by the bitter response of the climate change skeptics and deniers. They are inadvertantly helping to spread the message. 253. izen says: @-Barry Woods “basically it seems, if you cite Crockford, you are a denier blog” That’s backwards. The observation is that if you are a denier blog you are MUCH more likely to cite Crockford. Any other source on polar bear research is likely only to be cited with a negative spin. What is most noticable is that Crockford’s contribution to the science of polar bear research is peripheral. As so often in these cases the aim is to influence opinions outside the scientific field, not within it. 254. Steven Mosher says: “Willard, to be considered an expert in any professional scientific field requires the author to have published extensively on that field in the peer reviewed literature.” Hmm. Definately not true in my field. 255. Steven Mosher says: “We have clearly hit the target dead-on judging by the bitter response of the climate change skeptics and deniers. They are inadvertantly helping to spread the message.” SMH. ya took a perfectly pedestrian paper and screwed it up. 256. BBD says: Steven Hmm. Definately not true in my field. Congratulations on your PhD. Or maybe not? to be considered an expert in any professional scientific field 257. izen says: @-SM “ya took a perfectly pedestrian paper and screwed it up.” If they had not ‘screwed it up’ but produced a practically perfect paper in every particular that had (inevitably) reached the same conclusion, do you think it would have avoided the level of push-back and been accepted by all concerned as a valid critique of climate discussions online ? 258. izen says: @- JeffH “I would never be seen as an expert in the field and I would not be invited to conferences as a keynote speaker – indeed as a general speaker – on the subject, I would be completely ignored.” But if you were saying the ‘right’ things for a general audience that perhaps was ideologically opposed to GM food for instance, you could get recognised as an ‘expert’ by a much larger audience than just the researchers in the field. You would also be invited as a keynote speaker to much better paid gigs than the sicience conferences. I have not bothered to check, but I would guess that while Susan Cockford cites many papers in the field of polar ecology (I notice a long campagin against polar bear population modelling) very few if any make reference to her imput into the field. Her contribution is not intended or framed to influence the scientific community working on the subject, but those outside and ignorant of the field. Published papers are intended to convince other scientists, as a result they are often opaque and obscure to a general audience. contrarian blog ‘science’ is framed to convince only those without a full understanding of the subject. They are influential OUTSIDE the mainstream science compared to their irrelevence within it. I suggest that is the identifying charateristic of climate change blog science. It is a pattern of asymmetric influence common to other disputes in the field of science, most notably vaccination, dietary health, evolution, GM…. 259. @izen “@-Barry Woods “basically it seems, if you cite Crockford, you are a denier blog” That’s backwards. The observation is that if you are a denier blog you are MUCH more likely to cite Crockford.” It’s backwards indeed, but the Supplementary Information states that that is exactly what they did, and the data released corroborates that. Citing Crockford leads to the “denier” label. It is therefore no surprise that Harvey and co find that those without the “denier” label do not cite Crockford. They found their own assumption in their constructed data. 260. cRR Kampen says: “… a practically perfect paper in every particular that had (inevitably) reached the same conclusion, do you think it would have avoided the level of push-back and been accepted by all concerned as a valid critique of climate discussions online ?” – izen, snowball in runaway hell’s climate, of course. [Mod: redacted the last bit of this comment.] 261. Richard, It’s backwards indeed, but the Supplementary Information states that that is exactly what they did, and the data released corroborates that. No, as I’ve already pointed out to you the SI does not state this. If you’re going to make claims about a paper, could you at least try to get it right. 262. @wotts The SI says: “Author’s positions in papers were scored in in same “position space” defined by binary answers to the six statements formulated in the main papers and citation of Dr. Susan Crockford as an expert.” The data show that all who cite Crockford are labelled “denier”, without exception. The code has not been released, so we cannot triple-check. 263. Richard, Except you’re confusing two things. When it comes to the categorisation of blogs, the SI says: Blogs were assigned ‘science-based’ and ‘denier’ categories on the basis of their positions taken relative to those drawn by the IPCC on global warming (e.g. whether it is warming or not and the anthropogenic contribution). So, the blog categorisation was not determined by whether or not they cited Susan Crockford. What you’re referring to is the positions of authors of papers, not the classification of the blogs. 264. Actually, as far as I can tell, the classification of the papers was not based solely on whether or not they cited Susan Crockford. 265. @wotts If so, their data release is incomplete. 266. I have little knowledge about polar bears, except the story of our youngest daughter, for some time helicopter pilot at the North Slope of Alaska, where they tracked a polar bear swimming some 500 km (300 miles) in the cold polar Ice Sea waters to reach land again. Thus anyway, they are excellent swimmers… My main remark in this discussion is that one doesn’t need to be an expert in a specific field to have a scientific opinion on the merits of a publication in that field. Take the PCA analysis: Richard Tol probably knows more about PCA’s than all the authors of the contested polar bears / blogs publication together. If he says that there are serious flaws in the PCA used in the publication, then his opinion has more weight than that of all authors together, even if he has zero expertise in polar bear counts. Take the observations: according to field observations (as far as there are), the polar bear population seems to have increased in the past decades, while Arctic sea ice decreased. Based on real world data, less sea ice means more polar bears? The only scientific conclusion is that one can’t conclude that polar bears are endangered and one need more and better polar bear counts over a longer period. Dr. Crockford did conclude the same, even when she is not an “official expert” on polar bears. You need not to be an expert in anything to see the flaw in the “endangered species” attribution to polar bears. Take the future of sea ice: my own expertise was process automation in a large chemical factory. Including the practical appliance of theoretical process models. Some of these models were helpful, some were a (costly) disaster. I have little expertise in climate models (besides a one day course at Oxford University, with some interesting insights), but I know what a model can do and what it doesn’t do, depending of the quality of the underlying (lack of) data and assumptions. So, as “expert” in models, I can assure you that any future “scenario” based on current climate models is as scientific as listening to the Oracle of Delphi or Madame Soleil’s Crystal ball. But that is where the “consensus” experts of the polar bear’s future base their expert opinion on… Do I deny that there is global warming? No. Do I deny that CO2 is part of that warming? No. Where I differ in opinion with the IPCC is the rate of warming attributable to increasing CO2. As the IPCC gives a huge range of 1.5-4.5ºC for 2xCO2, and the observed increase (including all natural variability) is around 1.5ºC, I am fully entitled to my opinion, without being labeled as a “denier” of science. Neither is WUWT a “denier” blog, as the main contributors only differ in opinion with the IPCC about the rate of warming caused by CO2. 267. Ferdinand, As the IPCC gives a huge range of 1.5-4.5ºC for 2xCO2, and the observed increase (including all natural variability) is around 1.5ºC I don’t follow this. If we held atmospheric CO2 at current levels, then surface temperatures would continue to rise and we would probably see something like another 0.5C of warming (i.e., around 1.5C overall). However, today’s levels are not 2xCO2. So, if you’re suggesting the equilibrium response to a doubling of CO2 is around 1.5C, then that would seem to be too low. I am fully entitled to my opinion, without being labeled as a “denier” of science. I largley agree with this. There are some who hold views that are at odds with science, but I largley think that individuals are entitled to do so. Neither is WUWT a “denier” blog, I disagree with this (in the sense that WUWT qualifies on the basis of what people normally mean by the term). That it sometimes promotes things that don’t dispute AGW does not change that it has regularly done so. 268. Ferdinand, So, as “expert” in models, I can assure you that any future “scenario” based on current climate models is as scientific as listening to the Oracle of Delphi or Madame Soleil’s Crystal ball. I think this is also wrong. A big part of these models is based on pretty well-understsood and tested physics. Yes, there are some important aspects that are parametrised, but even these are typically constrained by physics, or observations. They’re clearly not perfect, and there are aspects that we trust more than others, but the idea that they’re as scientific as listening to the Oracle of Delphi is simply not true. 269. cRR Kampen says: [Mod: redacted the last bit of this comment.] – sorry, then you are complicit. 270. cRR, Not really sure how you think that helps achieving anything, but each to their own. 271. Barry Woods says: So who is ‘winng’ with the publication of this paper.. sceptics “perceive” it as another attempt to smear individuals and sceptic blogs in general.. by their ‘usual suspects (Mann, Lewandowsky) and we have had a number of media articles, that get way more readers than sceptic blogs – the Guardian being just one. Yet J Harvey’s comment earlier – “This highlights the main reason that scientists are losing the battle for public opinion. Climate change deniers are engaged in one big love-in. Their blogs are one big echo chamber.” the public buy and large bare know sceptic blogs exist. I occasionally ask people I know if they have heard of say WUWT, REalclimate, Skeptical science, Climate Audit.. never a flutter of recognition.. so has this paper helped scientists to stop losing? I suspect it has entrenched positions (polarised them) and given Crockford way more attention than she has had before. The nature of the paper, like it not will be perceived by some as a personal attack, 14 against one woman (sure one to three scientists could do that job, just had a bit on consensus weight/authority to the paper and the ‘tone’ of it (yeah, I know! – ‘tone policing, tone trolling’) of “deniers”, “deniers blogs”. I think does not help the scientist case anymore, in fact amongst the public and perhaps more people that are part of the climate debate, it makes people questions people’s communications judgement in using it.. Ill leave you with this (i’m signing off from twitter and commenting for a while, my last blog post was over 3 years ago, purely personal/work life issues I can’t be bothered with this for a while.) HAYHOE: Climate denier is a good way to end the conversation. So if our goal is to label and dismiss whoever it is that we are speaking with or to, then that word will do it. What I use instead is a word I think is actually more accurate, as well as having less baggage associated with it, and that is the word dismissive. https://t.co/4e6G1WWxfH (can we agree, there is ‘baggage’?) quite a good article at Grist: http://grist.org/climate-energy/7-smarter-ways-to-talk-about-climate-change/ People are not very good at talking about climate change, not even climate activists — or so says Norwegian psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes. 1. Don’t use the word “denier” “I think the words ‘denial’ and ‘deniers’ are overused. The original psychological concept [of denial] goes back to Sigmund Freud and the discovery of the unconscious, starting with how the Viennese people were repressing their sexuality and coming [up] with diseases and symptoms due to that. Now it’s being used as a pejorative, a synonym of being ignorant, stupid, and immoral. Using it is counter-productive.” I think, that papers like this get published (and get MSM attention) sceptics are “losing”. I also think J Harvey and co with this paper are also “losing”. 272. Marco says: “My main remark in this discussion is that one doesn’t need to be an expert in a specific field to have a scientific opinion on the merits of a publication in that field.” Oh dear…this is not what it is about, Ferdinand, and you know it. It’s that one person, who does not even have any publications in that specific field (as a whole), is the one source for the whole field for a group of people. It’s not about single papers. 273. cRR Kampen says: Let me put it this way: I am, and you should be, entirely that what we have done over the past few decades has achieved… 2016, the year with most emissions ever and the largest concentration rise ever. Iow: nothing. Now, remember Einstein’s definition of insanity. Treat climate revisionism and climate revisionists as criminal. As you would treat holocaust denial or other hate speech. Take an initiative, and do it FAST, to bring climate revisionism and those who spread it – bloggers, media, lobbies, governments, corporations – to justice. But alas, “I’ve seen the future, brother: it is murder.” (Leonard Cohen). 274. cRR Kampen says: “Actually, as far as I can tell, the classification of the papers was not based solely on whether or not they cited Susan Crockford” – Of course not. We merely discovered there is no avoiding her. 275. ATTP, The theoretical ultimate increase in temperature for 2xCO2, after full equilibration, is around 1ºC, according to Modtran/Hitran, based on the radiation absorption of CO2. All the rest are alleged positive (and negative) feedbacks. Next problem: there is hardly any research on the causes of natural variability: what causes the 3-7 years ENSO variability, the PDO, NAO, and other 60-80 years oscillations, the ~1000 year climate oscillations? If you don’t know what causes these huge influences on climate, how do you know what is caused by the extra CO2? I said alleged: one of the largest factors is the influence of (human) aerosols: firstly used to “explain” the 1945-1975 cooling: you can double or halve their impact without affecting the past century’s trend, only by doubling or halving the effect of 2xCO2 including feedbacks in tandem. That also doubles or halves the future increase in temperature, as aerosol emissions are quite stable in the past decades, only moved from West to East… Have commented (#6) on that at RealClimate a long time ago: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/02/an-aerosol-tour-de-forcing/ The same for clouds: according to several models, warmer gives less clouds, in general a positive feedback, while observations show the opposite, as is logical: more evaporation from the oceans, more clouds… Here for the Arctic: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/299/5613/1725 These two points together are the main causes of the huge 1:3 range the average of different model runs show. The difference between no problem at all and a real problem… Then, models can simulate the past temperature trend, a necessary but insufficient reason for accuracy, for the wrong reasons: Models show more temperature increase in the upper troposphere than at ground level, while the opposite is observed: https://climateaudit.org/2017/11/18/reconciling-model-observation-reconciliations/ The same for model cloud predictions in the Arctic: the modeled temperature trend was right, but the reason was wrong: just the opposite cloud trends of what Science reported (but the original critique is lost on the Net)… If you have (too many) adjustment knobs, it is easy to simulate the past, but that doesn’t give you any clue about the future… About WUWT, Anthony Watts indeed frequently publishes articles which are controversional, but these articles are met with a lot of critique from several who know better, myself included… That is why WUWT is interesting and not a “denier” blog… 276. Bob Loblaw says: Willard “I hope you don’t do this kind of thing where you work. Welcome to the Internet, where every micro-aggression is written forever. Pot. Kettle. Black. I’ve said, we disagree on the merit of her scientific record, with respect to expertise in polar bears. Just because you declare something as true doesn’t mean it is. At least I’m remembering why I don’t bother reading most of the comments from a few of the regulars. 277. Ferdinand, The theoretical ultimate increase in temperature for 2xCO2, after full equilibration, is around 1ºC, according to Modtran/Hitran, based on the radiation absorption of CO2. All the rest are alleged positive (and negative) feedbacks. Most of the evidence indicates that the overall feedback response is positive and will amplify the warming. We’ve already experience about 1K of warming, have not yet doubled atmospheric CO2 and are not yet in equilibrium. The evidence that the ECS is below 2K, for example, is pretty weak. For example, it would be difficult to explain the move from a glacial to an interglacial if the ECS is close to 1K. The same for clouds: according to several models, warmer gives less clouds, in general a positive feedback, while observations show the opposite, as is logical: more evaporation from the oceans, more clouds… Here for the Arctic: More recent studies suggest that clouds have a net positive feedback effect. See, here, for example. That is why WUWT is interesting and not a “denier” blog… Interesting; yes. Not a “denier” blog; many people disagree with this. I’m not that interested in debating it. If Anthony doen’t like he people regard his blog, he can change what he promotes. If he doesn’t care, then he can carry on as he is. I don’t particularly care, either way. Here’s a key point, though, in my view. If you consider all the available evidence then it suggests that the ECS will probably lie somewhere between 1.5K (I would actually say 2K now) and about 4.5K. If you want to believe that it is probably close to 1.5K that is, obviously, your choice. I would argue, though, that that implies that you’re choosing to ignore/dismiss some of the available evidence. 278. Marco: Oh dear…this is not what it is about, Ferdinand, and you know it. It’s that one person, who does not even have any publications in that specific field (as a whole), is the one source for the whole field for a group of people. It’s not about single papers. Even if Dr. Crockford hasn’t published in the mainstream journals, which isn’t true, one should react on the contents of what she said, not her person or (lack of) publications. As she points to the contradictions between observations and the “endangered species” status, she is completely right. Indeed, sceptic blogs do use her statements, as her opinion in this case is substantiated, while the “expert opinion” in all “science based” publications is based on future scenario’s by models which don’t reflect reality that good, to say the least… 279. Ferdinand, Even if Dr. Crockford hasn’t published in the mainstream journals, which isn’t true, one should react on the contents of what she said, not her person or (lack of) publications. Except that is still largely irrelevant to the overall point being made. The key point is simply that there is a subset of blogs that rely very heavily on a single source for information about a specific topic. That source also appears to promote a view that is at odds with that of most relevant experts. You can personally agree with the view that is promoted, but that doesn’t change this point. 280. Magma says: A useful exercise in science communication or sociology would be a visual depiction (network analysis graph and/or word cloud) of mainstream and contrarian climate scientists (actual or inflated) mentioned in science blogs and mainstream media versus those in ‘skeptical’ blogs and media (Daily Mail, Fox News, Breitbart, etc.). For a relevant example, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015000369 I have *zero* doubt that the mainstream would show a much larger, richer, more varied collection of individual researchers across a wide range of disciplines, although of course Mann and Hansen would still figure prominently. On the contrarian side there would be a handful of names mentioned positively (Lindzen, Christy, Spencer, Curry), irrelevantly (Happer, Giaever, Dyson), and negatively (Mann, Hansen, various ‘targets of the month’ such as Karl). Of course the natural world rolls on, caring not at all what we think. On the other hand our ability to respond to ACC in a timely manner, and to a lesser — but still real — extent to conduct research into climate and climate change, *is* dependent on decisions and priorities set by the public, policymakers, politicians and regulators. In this case, INDIVIDUALS matter. Something on the order of a dozen or fewer individuals in each of a number of critical areas (large fossil fuel corporation CEOs; conservative billionaires with fossil fuel interests; owners of media conglomerates; conservative politicians holding power) have deliberately slowed or blocked action on GHG emissions for decades, using a similarly small number of contrarian scientists and media commenters as tools. And if those contrarian scientists who’ve shifted away from studying science to twisting it to fit their personal political, ideological or financial interests now find things getting uncomfortably hot for themselves, too bad. Taking off my scientist’s hat for a moment and speaking as a human, I do consider that these actions amount to crimes against humanity (and the other living species of this world). Will Rupert Murdoch, Charles Koch, or David Koch spend their final days behind bars? The chances are minuscule, but it would be a just fate. 281. Willard says: > to be considered an expert in any professional scientific field requires the author to have published extensively on that field in the peer reviewed literature. There’s a few bits missing here, JeffH. First, to be considered by whom? I suppose the professionals of that scientific field. True enough, although I’m sure one can find exceptions: Second, which field? The domain covered in your paper seems to have 92 papers. Overall. For comparison’s sake, there’s more than one article published on Plato per day. What you studied looks more like a tiny topic than a field. Third, how many publications is considered extensive? In your small bibliography, a few names appear more than once. No one seems to have ten papers on polar bears, at least as lead author. Fourth, how many expert researchers are there in that field? If I take 4 as a minimum for “extensive” in your bibliography, there’s Amstrup, Derocher, Regher, Rode, Stirling, and… that’s it. So according to that criteria, there are five experts in that field. Fifth, if there are five polar bear experts and they are the ones who decide who are the experts, we’re not talking about a professional scientific field, but a fishing club. I’m being generous here: fishing clubs usually have more than five members. This is a close knit, too close and small for its own good. Sixth, by your very own criteria, almost everybody who worked on polar bears in your bibliography are not even experts. Seventh, there are many kinds of expertise, and many theories of expertise. Without having to claim any expertise on expertise, I can cite the work of Harry Collins and Robert Evans. They created a hierarchy or a classification of expertise, the two ones important here are interactional expertise and contributory expertise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactional_expertise The main difference is between being able to do things and being able to talk about things. Harry Collins learned to talk particle physics, but he can’t claim being able to conduct experiments. Your criteria is stricter than Collins & Evans’ concept of contributory expertise. Being able to contribute in a field is certainly not the same as having a track record of many published contributions. Eight, claiming that one is an expert is not the same thing as being portrayed as an expert. The distinction matters here: your paper mentions HI’s blurb, not what SusanC say about herself. Which is a good thing, as in her request for retraction, she explicitly says never having claimed having field expertise on polar bears. So even she agrees with you in a way, depending on how far you are willing to push your fishing club thing. Ninth, you talking about requiring to publish. I agree that it’s an administrative requirement: professors are expected to publish, at least when they get grants to do so. What happens when they don’t? Many professors don’t publish, the vast majority of them in fact. Sure, there are a few conference papers here and there, but that doesn’t count, does it? They take less time to write than the number of hours I’ve spent in this thread alone. Does that mean that most if not all the professors in all the universities in the world are teaching courses in which they can’t claim any expertise? I hope not. Tenth, your “peer reviewed” lichurchur requirement excludes one of the most important discovery of the 20th century: Grigori Perelman proved the Poincaré conjecture by putting an article on ArXiV. According to your criteria, GrigoriP is a passable expert in geometry, and only because he published less than ten papers in secondary journals. Eleventh, nothing in what I said so far in this thread is undermined by that criteria. This note is only there to warn you of some of the consequences your expertise criteria will compel you to accept. If you can live with them, more power to you, and more power to academic protectionnism. 282. Since I don’t feel like spending my evening moderating the blog (I have to go out anyway) let me briefly try and parse what I think Willard is trying to get at. It may be pretty easy to get those within a discipline to agree on who is, or is not, a relevant expert. However, it may not be as easy to do so for those outside a discipline. For example, someone may well be capable of making an argument about their expertise that would convince some, even if those within their discipline did not agree. Also, we can’t preclude that some people do have relevant expertise even if they are short on indicators of that expertise. In other word, demonstrating that they have very few publications isn’t necessarily a watertight indicator that they have no relevant expertise. So, showing that someone has very few, if any, relevant publications may be pretty easy. Demonstrating to everyone’s satisfaction that they do not have relevant expertise may not be quite so straightforward. The point that I think Willard is trying to get at is that trying to demonstrate that Susan Crockford has no relevant expertise is a battle that you will probably lose (at least in the sense that potentially convincing arguments could be made that Susan Crockford does have relevant expertise). It’s also somewhat irrelevant to the overall point. The overall point is that there is a subset of blogs that promote the views of a single source. What is more, the views of this source appear to be at odds with the views of most experts. You could add that this source has very few – if any – relevant publications and appears to have done little – if any – original research. This could all be done without directly challenging Susan Crockford expertise. You may think that this is simply pedantry and beside the point, but I don’t think it is. If you promote something that can be easily shot down (at least to the satisfaction of some) you lose. Far better to present an argument that is robust, than one you believe to be true but that is more difficult to actually demonstrate. That, I think, is roughly what Willard is trying to suggest. Happy to be corrected if it is not. 283. Willard says: > we disagree on the merit of her scientific record, That’s not even true, Bob. We disagree on what “non-related” means, the fact that polar bears are related to SusanC’s areas of interest, and the burden of proof to establish that fact. A link to her SusanC’s About page should be good enough for anyone with a modicum of bona fide. *** > At least I’m remembering why I don’t bother reading most of the comments from a few of the regulars. Since you can’t read properly, it will indeed save time. 284. Joshua says: At least I’m remembering why I don’t bother reading most of the comments from a few of the regulars. I think that the age of the Internet might necessitate an addendum to the standard list of argumentative fallacies. I would imagine that Willard might be able identify how that fallacy is just an example of one of the standards, but given how the Internet (exponentially) increases the availability of that fallacy, I think maybe it should get a category of its own. There are a number of other Internet-aided fallacies, as well, that I think should get their own demarcation. 285. Willard says: > That, I think, is roughly what Willard is trying to suggest. Happy to be corrected if it is not. My main correction would be that it is exactly what I’m saying. I already said that SusanC’s expertise was irrelevant to H17’s main discovery. I already said that if you waste time on irrelevant ad homs, you’re poisoning everyone’s well with cheap and lousy ClimateBall. I also showed some ways this could be done cleanly and properly. Nevermind. I already said why this well poisoning bothers me: this wastes us time. By “us,” I mean AT, me, BartV, and everyone who gets burdened with defending stuff we’re not supposed to defend. That SusanC is the main authority to which contrarians defer should be obvious to anyone but those who have paid no attention to the Contrarian Matrix over the last five years. In hockey parlance, this is an open net. Y’all can’t score in an open net. And now we’re stuck with a paper that can’t even abide by the Pimm & Harvey criteria it indirectly self-cites: follow the data. Where is the data? Do the authors really think that contrarians wouldn’t ask for the data? (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ Last week I came to the conclusion that we need better ClimateBall opponents. Now I’m starting to think we deserve them. 286. @willard In 1905, Einstein was quite a loser and certainly not a recognized expert on photoelectrics, Brownian motion, special relativity or mass-energy equivalence. What matters is the power of the argument, not the power of the one who makes the argument. 287. Willard says: > I think that the age of the Internet might necessitate an addendum to the standard list of argumentative fallacies. I prefer infelicities to fallacies, Joshua, but the idea that the Internet amplified our cognitive means to brutalize one another has merit. I stumbled upon this conference yesterday on arrogance and polarization at Cardiff U via Catarina Dutilh-Novaes. There’s this interesting one about how searching the Internet makes us intellectually arrogant: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/changingattitudes/files/2017/11/Is-Searching-the-Internet-Making-us-Intellectually-Arrogant.pdf Perhaps I should spend more time on my ClimateBall project now that Webb Roberts kindly gave me the @climateball twit handle. In any event, I think conversation closures are mostly fine. We only live one life. 288. Willard says: > What matters is the power of the argument, not the power of the one who makes the argument. Yet we have evidence that contrarians defer to SusanC all the time, Richie. Fancy that. An argument by SusanC would indeed be a good idea. Do you have one in mind? 289. Willard says: Since Richie so kindly redirects our attention to the “power” of the argument (hopefully he does not wish to convey that arguments are truly independent from the human mind), here’s the first hit at Jo’s mentioning SusanC: Just a few of the speakers you’ll be watching: J. Scott Armstrong Professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania Susan Crockford Professor and polar bear scholar, the University of Victoria, BC Kevin D. Dayaratna Senior statistician and research programmer for The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis Myron Ebell Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition and led [teh Donald]’s transition team for EPA Roger Helmer Minister for the United Kingdom in the European Parliament Patrick Michaels Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute http://joannenova.com.au/2017/03/watch-the-12th-international-conference-on-climate-change-live/ An intriguing group of people. No argument in that page. Only a mention of SusanC and some lip service to her authority. I rather like this description: polar bear scholar. I hope SusanC doesn’t mind being called a polar bear scholar, and have no problem saying that SusanC is a polar bear “scholar” from now on. No scientific argument seems to have been harmed in the making of that newsie. *** Interestingly, there’s no mention of SusanC at Jo’s under the “polar bears” tag: http://joannenova.com.au/tag/polar-bears/ There’s only this SPPI story about MitchT’s (that name again) desinvitation from the Polar Bear Specialist Group. Again, no scientific argument seems to have been harmed in the making of that newsie. 290. @willard I know next to nothing about polar bears or the history of polar bear research, so don’t ask me what Dr Crockford did or did not contribute to our knowledge. 291. BBD says: An intriguing group of people. Roger Helmer still at it, I see. 292. Vinny Burgoo says: Everyone here trusts George Marshall, right? He doesn’t waffle or contradict himself unless he really needs to waffle or contradict himself and if he does need to do that then he is doing that because he is staying true to messaging the message. You can trust him. Here is George Marshall saying no to polar bears in 2008: 293. Willard says: > [D]on’t ask me what [SusanC] did or did not contribute to our knowledge. By chance I’m not asking you that, Richie. I’m just asking for a scientific argument made by SusanC about polar bears. Somewhere. Anywhere. A quote and a link would do. You can recognize what a scientific argument looks like, can’t you? 294. Marco says: “…one should react on the contents of what she said, not her person or (lack of) publications. As she points to the contradictions between observations and the “endangered species” status, she is completely right.” Again missing the point. Ferdinand. “Indeed, sceptic blogs do use her statements, as her opinion in this case is substantiated, while the “expert opinion” in all “science based” publications is based on future scenario’s…” While this, on the other hand, rather confirms the point made in Harvey et al: Claiming the scientific opinion is wrong about a species under stress, because they are *supposedly* doing well *now*. 295. Willard says: > Claiming the scientific opinion is wrong about a species under stress, because they are *supposedly* doing well *now*. Citations needed, at the very least to see how it fares regarding H17’s framing analysis. *** Contrarians are now after SarahM and JacquelineG over the tweeter. But, you know, our dynamic trio of senior researchers is doing great. Just published another paper! Let’s celebrate. 296. Marco says: “In 1905, Einstein was quite a loser…” *I* would not call someone with a permanent job at the Swiss Patent Office, while doing a PhD at ETH/University of Zürich, and with 5 publications in Annalen der Physik prior to 1905 a “loser”, but I guess Richard’s standards are a bit higher than that… 297. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says: There’s this interesting one about how searching the Internet makes us intellectually arrogant… Yes, and lazy. Internet researchers might want to keep in mind that the results of internet searches are fundamentally the algorithmic expression of corporate business models. Any useful knowledge gained through an internet search-engine is a mere by-product of the autonomous delivery of your clicks and attention to prioritized IPs. Libraries and even librarians usually have less skin in the game. You can recognize what a scientific argument looks like, can’t you? Arctic sea ice? Polar bears? If only. 298. Willard says: > Any useful knowledge gained through an internet search-engine is a mere by-product of the autonomous delivery of your clicks and attention to prioritized IPs. ClimateBall ™ is a word placement discipline. I hope citizens will start to dig social networks before Barron becomes the life-president of the Trump States of America. 299. izen says: Blogs that reject the IPCC assesment and push contrarian views may try to give their stance a scientific gloss by quoting an expert. There is usually only one. The target audience for this is not other scientists in the field, whatever and however specific (or iconic) it may be. It is to shape general opinion on the need to take action. Polar bears, and who is an expert on them is a sideshow. They eat seals which eat fish. If the arguements about the non(?)-decline of polar bears have had any effect, it is not evident in the actions of those who make policy. There are few signs of rational action at the global level in response to climate change. This is one of the few. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/12/nations-agree-ban-fishing-arctic-ocean-least-16-years Nine nations and the European Union have reached a deal to place the central Arctic Ocean (CAO) off-limits to commercial fishers for at least the next 16 years. The pact, announced yesterday, will give scientists time to understand the region’s marine ecology—and the potential impacts of climate change—before fishing becomes widespread. As the summer sea ice becomes thinner and its edge retreats northward, more sunlight is penetrating the water, increasing production of plankton, the base of the Arctic food web. These sun-fed plankton are gobbled up by Arctic cod, which in turn are hunted by animals higher up the food chain, including seals, polar bears, and humans. Some parts of the Arctic Ocean’s adjacent seas, such as the Barents Sea (off the northern coasts of Russia and Norway), saw steep increases in primary production in 2016, approaching 35% above the 2003–15 average. 300. Joshua says: Anders – Since I don’t feel like spending my evening moderating the blog (I have to go out anyway) let me briefly try and parse what I think Willard is trying to get at. FWIW, the description that follows that comment also tracks very closely with my viewpoint, Also, FWIW, I want to just make a few follow-on comments… Demonstrating to everyone’s satisfaction that they do not have relevant expertise may not be quite so straightforward. Not only not so straight forward, but often times perhaps completely impossible – because you might be dealing with an interlocutor who (at least in a given context where identity is directly and immediately at stake) will never go there. So maybe you should be careful to assess your entire audience, and then determine whether there are some elements for whom your effort might have some payoff, and then be disciplined enough to ignore the difficulty of trying to get someone there, who will never get there. It’s also somewhat irrelevant to the overall point. Yes, yes, and yes. And it seems to me that by focusing on what is largely irrelevant to the overall point, you inevitably dilute your overall point. You may think that this is simply pedantry and beside the point, but I don’t think it is. If you promote something that can be easily shot down (at least to the satisfaction of some) you lose. Far better to present an argument that is robust, than one you believe to be true but that is more difficult to actually demonstrate. It seems to me, not only because of efficiency, but also because you will inevitably dilute the strength of the more important issue at hand. 301. verytallguy says: In 1905, Einstein was quite a loser… As any fule kno, Galileo is the approved comparison for hubristic climate “sceptics”, not Einstein. Get with the programme. Amusingly there’s even a website; searching it for “Crockford” seems to show her as an NIPCC report contributor. Call me cynical, but that speaks volumes. site:www.galileomovement.com.au crockford 302. Bob Loblaw says: ” We disagree on what “non-related” means,” That too, but that’s at the crux of the question of the merit of her scientific record. Your definition of “related” is far broader than mine. Since you can’t read properly, it will indeed save time. Now you’re not even trying to be civil. 303. Bob Loblaw says: “So, showing that someone has very few, if any, relevant publications may be pretty easy.” Not to beat a dead horse, but the only argument that I have tried to make in this case is that a long list of publications where very few, if any, are relevant is not an indicator of expertise. If (A) then (B) as valid logic says nothing about (B) if (A) is not true. 304. Joshua says: Play the Ball, dammit! Yah. It really doesn’t have to be a very complicated formula, does it? 305. paulski0 says: Ferdinand Engelbeen, The same for clouds: according to several models, warmer gives less clouds, in general a positive feedback, while observations show the opposite, as is logical: more evaporation from the oceans, more clouds… Here for the Arctic: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/299/5613/1725 Actually, models generally expect markedly increased cloudiness in the Arctic due to warming (e.g. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013AGUFM.C31A0639A), even with globally decreasing cloudiness due to warming. 306. ATTP, We’ve already experience about 1K of warming, have not yet doubled atmospheric CO2 and are not yet in equilibrium. My point is that the 1 K is not only attributable to the CO2 increase, as the models have no clue what the influence of natural variability is. That may be from ocean oscillations like the PDO, which by coincidence (or not) parallels the increase in temperature between 1910-1945 and 1975-2000 and the slight cooling 1946-1975 and the “pause” 2001-2014. If CO2 + feedbacks had a high influence, its effect would be increasingly measurable. If the temperature increase is mainly natural, then the effect is superposed on the natural oscillations + natural trend and only responsible for the difference in cooling 1946-1975 and the flat temperature 2001-2014. it would be difficult to explain the move from a glacial to an interglacial if the ECS is close to 1K. I don’t see any problem: models use the overlap in temperature and CO2 increase as proof that CO2 acts as a substantial feedback to temperaure. Problem for the models is that the opposite temperature trend shows a huge lag of CO2. For the previous interglacial, the Eemian, the lag is such long that the temperature already reached a new low (and ice sheet formation a new maximum) before CO2 went down. The subsequent drop of 40 ppmv CO2 had no clear effect on temperature or ice sheet formation: Where delta Ts(corr) is the corrected temperature, according to Jouzel and 18Oatm is a reverse proxy for ice sheet formation, here already reversed and scaled. The lag of CO2 after temperature is not an artefact of the ice age – gas age difference, as CH4, also measured in the gas bubbles, follows the “uncorrected” temperature (according to Petit e.a.) near immediately. Al what can be concluded from this ice core is that the influence of a 40 ppmv CO2 drop is small and dwarfed by natural variability. As the whole time span is thousands of years, the ECS is easily reached… The only attempt to calculate the influence of the CO2 influence over that time span in two steps is from Cubasch e.a. with one of the lowest assumed sensitivities for CO2: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117705005752 More recent studies suggest that clouds have a net positive feedback effect. I have followed the explanations of Kate Marvel, but would see the real figures… E.g. the time span of more recent studies, as I have read that the solar cycle moves low clouds and rain patterns poleward with high solar activity and reverse, independent of global warming… Older observations show an increasing low cloud cover with temperature in the period 1952-1995, the period with the largest increase in temperature is within 1976-1995, thus excluding the 1998 El Niño: From “Climate Variability and Extremes during the Past 100 years”, a.o. from Luterbacher: …consistent with the finding of Norris (1999) that low-level clouds cover reported by ships increased from 1952 to 1995 not only in the global mean but also in every latitude band. From 1984 on, there is an overlap with satellite data. But with this we are far away from polar bears… 307. Willard says: > but that’s at the crux of the question of the merit of her scientific record Your “extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field” is simply false, Bob. That fact is independent from SusanC’s expertise or merit. *** > Now you’re not even trying to be civil. I don’t think your “at least I’m remembering why I don’t bother reading most of the comments from a few of the regulars” was that civil either. I also took it as a promise to ignore me. 308. Ferdinand, My point is that the 1 K is not only attributable to the CO2 increase, as the models have no clue what the influence of natural variability is. No, this is not correct. They may not know what the influence of natural variability, but they certainly have a clue. The best estimate is that all of the warming is anthropogenic. In fact, the best estimate is that it is slightly more than all. There’s also a slight inconsistency. If you want internal processes to contribute to long-term warming, you need some form of radiative response (simply heating the surface is insufficient because the heat capacity is low enough that this excess energy would be radiated into space in a short time period). However, the physical processes that can amplify internally-driven warming are the same physical processes that amplify externally-driven warming. If you’re arguing for a large internally-driven effect and a small externally-driven effect, then you have to explain how these processes respond more to internally-driven warming than to externally-driven warming. See, this post, for example. For the previous interglacial, the Eemian, the lag is such long that the temperature already reached a new low (and ice sheet formation a new maximum) before CO2 went down. The problem is that the surface temperature is largely set by energy balance. Energy coming in matches energy going out. If you’re arguing that equilibrium climate sensitivity is low, then you’re arguing that the climate is relatively insensitive to perturbations (internal, or external). Therefore, if you need a few degrees of warming to move from a glacial to an interglacial, then you would need a large perturbation to do so. That is not really consistent with our current understanding, since the radiative perturbation is estimated to similar to that due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 (to be a little clearer, the temperature change is maybe 5K and the change in radiative forcing is about 6W/m^2). As far as your graph goes, you need to bear in mind that the CO2 is not the only thing that can produce a change in radiative forcing. There’s also methane, and albedo changes. Overall, moving from a glacial to an interglacial is associated with a change in temperature and a change in forcing that is consistent with equilibrium climate sensitivity being around 3K. 309. Paulskio, For the models: From http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013AGUFM.C31A0639A : Cloud fraction increased over the sea ice and decreased over high latitude land. The increased water vapor and cloudiness over the Arctic Ocean strongly affected the downwelling longwave radiation at the surface, which also increased over time. Our analysis shows that the models produce a longwave feedback that is strongly contributing to sea ice melt. For the observations: From http://science.sciencemag.org/content/299/5613/1725 : Trends in satellite-derived cloud and surface properties for 1982 to 1999 show that the Arctic has warmed and become cloudier in spring and summer but has cooled and become less cloudy in winter. The increase in spring cloud amount radiatively balances changes in surface temperature and albedo, but during summer, fall, and winter, cloud forcing has tended toward increased cooling. Of course with clouds in summer, there is more downwelling IR, but less incoming visible, with for low clouds means more cooling, not more warming or more ice melt… 310. verytallguy says: My point is that the 1 K is not only attributable to the CO2 increase, as the models have no clue what the influence of natural variability is. indeed; it is as likely to be negative as positive. with this we are far away from polar bears. I don’t think any of this is about polar bears, do you? 311. Ferdinand, Do you appreciate that changes in clouds can produce both positive feedbacks and negative feedbacks? It mostly depends on whether these changes are at low, or high, altitude. 312. Joshua says: Willard – In any event, I think conversation closures are mostly fine. We only live one life. . I was going to say that often (perhaps most of the time?) conversations closures such as that particular one (in blog comment convos) aren’t really conversation closures (closers?). Seems to me that from a standpoint of socio-pragmatics, usually they convey a different message (e.g., scoring rhetorical points, leveling an insult). And lo and behold…. 313. I want scientist-for-rent for$200, Alex: The Answer is SusanC! Who is the polar bear scholar in residence at the Breitbart Institute of Science and Veterinary Science? ding,ding, ding

314. ATTP:

If you want internal processes to contribute to long-term warming, you need some form of radiative response (simply heating the surface is insufficient because the heat capacity is low enough that this excess energy would be radiated into space in a short time period).

That is only the case for the ocean surface and land. The heat capacity of the deep oceans is enormous. Even with a fast equilibrium between ocean surface and in/out radiation for 1ºC warmer, it takes hundreds of years to make the deep oceans 1ºC warmer. When the surface cools the excess heat of the deep oceans again needs hundreds of years to equilibrate with the surface. A 1000-1200 years oscillation in temperature is visible all over the Holocene, where the peaks also gives peaks in civilization…

Any feedback process based on temperature will act on both natural and forced changes in the temperature. If such feedbacks result in pronounced natural temperature variations, they also imply that the climate sensitivity is high.

That depends of what initiation process is involved: An El Niño has an enormous impact on temperatures in a matter of months, just by heating the surface at the right places, but that hasn’t the slightest relation with climate sensitivity for CO2… The main problem then is what causes the El Niño in the first place? Even so, El Niño’s are from all periods as even found back in sediments of millions of years ago…

One of the main objections I have against that approach is that the models assume that 1 W/m2 from CO2 has the same effect as 1 W/m2 solar change or 1 W/m2 aerosol change (human or volcanic). Even with the small differences in efficacy by James Hansen, that is basically wrong.
1 W/m2 from CO2 is mainly troposheric and affects a fraction of a mm of sea surface, thus mainly influencing water vaporization and partly warming the rest of the mixed layer.
1 W/m2 from solar is partly stratospheric and warms the ozone layer, which moves the jet streams polewards, including clouds and rain patterns. Partly going deeper in the oceans, heating the whole mixed layer. Besides other possible and more controversial effects like cloud cover changes by cosmic rays…
That difference may make that solar changes are underestimated with up to a factor 5:
http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/StottEtAl.pdf

Let’s rest this discussion for now… The Crockford case is more interesting…

315. ATTP:

Ferdinand,
Do you appreciate that changes in clouds can produce both positive feedbacks and negative feedbacks? It mostly depends on whether these changes are at low, or high, altitude.

I do agree with that and even the season where cloud cover is changing – as is the case in the Arctic – makes a huge difference.

The question is what drives what: cloud cover that drives climate change, or reverse and positive or negative feedbacks to each other…

316. Joshua says:

Ferdinand –

The Crockford case is more interesting

In what way do you find it interesting?

317. Ferdinand,

That is only the case for the ocean surface and land. The heat capacity of the deep oceans is enormous. Even with a fast equilibrium between ocean surface and in/out radiation for 1ºC warmer, it takes hundreds of years to make the deep oceans 1ºC warmer.

But climate sensitivity refers to the surface. The heat capacity of the oceans is not relevant in this context. The point is that if you want a long-term enhancement in surface temperatures you can’t do it by simply heating the surface because the excess energy would radiate away in a short time period. Do you at least accept this?

An El Niño has an enormous impact on temperatures in a matter of months, just by heating the surface at the right places, but that hasn’t the slightest relation with climate sensitivity for CO2…

Yes, but this doesn’t change that the energy that increases surface temperatures would radiate away in a matter of months if there were no additional radiative response.

One of the main objections I have against that approach is that the models assume that 1 W/m2 from CO2 has the same effect as 1 W/m2 solar change or 1 W/m2 aerosol change (human or volcanic). Even with the small differences in efficacy by James Hansen, that is basically wrong.

I don’t think models do do this, but it’s not really wrong. If these numbers represent changes in radiative forcings then they represent how much extra energy the system is getting per square metre per second in response to some external change. Yes, the response to a change in solar forcing is not exactly the same as the response to a change in GHG forcing of the same magnitude. However, on average, the difference is not likely to be all that big.

318. Ferdinand,
Even that Stott et al. paper which argues (in 2003) that models underestimated the response to changes in solar forcing says

Even with such an enhanced climate response to solar forcing, most warming over the last 50 yr is likely to have been caused by increases in greenhouse gases. Indeed we estimate that increases in greenhouse gases were likely to have caused more warming than observed, with a significant cooling trend from the direct and indirect effects of sulfate aerosols counterbalancing the combined warming effects from greenhouse gases and changes in solar irradiance.

319. Marco:

While this, on the other hand, rather confirms the point made in Harvey et al: Claiming the scientific opinion is wrong about a species under stress, because they are *supposedly* doing well *now*.

As a practical engineer, in my working life I have been confronted with failed models, only because one little item was not known (one of the raw material suppliers swindled with one of the specifications, which had a huge impact on the pH in a later stadium of the process…), I developed a healthy scepticism about any model, until proven solid enough to be of value.

Climate models have so many partly known and even unknown factors with huge influence if wrong, that using them even as a tool for “what if” scenario’s is not warranted.
Thus if I see a steady increase in polar bear numbers over the decades, I have not the slightest incline to trust any climate model that puts them on the “endangered” list, the more that they survived warmer temperatures and no sea ice – at least in summer – at the height of the Holocene Optimum and the much higher temperatures of the previous interglacial, 5-10ºC warmer and forests growing circumpolar up to the Arctic Ocean, where now only tundra vegetation grows…

320. Bob Loblaw says:

“Your “extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field” is simply false, Bob. That fact is independent from SusanC’s expertise or merit.”

And for the third time you present your opinion as The Truth(tm).

Note that the full quote from my post with that phrase is “…but it fits a pattern that we often see in the False Expert scenario. Extensive scientific credentials in a non-related field presented as if it means the person is an expert on this subject.”

You and I disagree on “non-related”. Get used to it.

“I also took it as a promise to ignore me.”

So you don’t understand what “most of” means?

321. Ragnaar says:

“…more sunlight is penetrating the water, increasing production of plankton, the base of the Arctic food web.”

With our polar bear control variable, we could have sea ice which impacts the bears geographical situation. Or we could have their prey.

So as the plankton is bathed in more sunlight we may jump an Arctic shark and say that change flows through the tiny and numerous.

Back in the Midwest, the story is told that my neighbors can adapt, but not the corn in the fields.

This brouhaha has got me thinking about polar bears as more than an exploited symbol and gained a thin better understanding of some of the issues.

This may be a skeptic tactic. Learning something about the issue. Trying to paint a mental picture of one subset of the large system.

322. Ferdinand,

The question is what drives what: cloud cover that drives climate change, or reverse and positive or negative feedbacks to each other…

I’m not quite sure what you’re implying here, but recent studies indicate that clouds are a (maybe small) net positive feedback.

323. ATTP:

But climate sensitivity refers to the surface. The heat capacity of the oceans is not relevant in this context.

Not on short term, but it is probably relevant for the ~1000 years temperature oscillation visible all over the Holocene.
Up to about 1950, even the IPCC doesn’t assume much influence from CO2, while there was a firm increase in temperature 1910-1945. If one can show where that energy was coming from, we may have a clue what the contribution of the same source was in the next warming period 1976-2000 and what the real influence of CO2 in the same period was and why there was cooling 1946-1975 and little warming since 2000…

Yes, but this doesn’t change that the energy that increases surface temperatures would radiate away in a matter of months if there were no additional radiative response.

The increase in temperature during an El Niño needs a few years to radiate away, while only a small part of the ocean surface is involved. Other oscillations like the PDO have “wave”lengths of 6-8 decades, again influencing surface temperatures over these long periods. From where comes that energy?

Yes, the response to a change in solar forcing is not exactly the same as the response to a change in GHG forcing of the same magnitude.

In simple EBM (energy balance models), alle forcings are equal, in GCMs they use slightly different “efficacies”, not huge differences. But what if 1 W/m2 IR is mainly increasing the ocean’s skin temperature resulting in enhanced evaporation and more clouds, while 1 W/m2 solar is mainly used to warm the oceans a little bit, hardly increasing evaporation and clouds?

The remark from Stott e.a. on the effect of greenhouse gases after 1950 boils down to the effect of aerosols, which, in my informed opinion, is largely overblown…

324. Joshua says:

Ragnaar –

This may be a skeptic tactic. Learning something about the issue. Trying to paint a mental picture of one subset of the large system.

Consider an alternative to it being a “skeptic” tactic.

Maybe it is a predicable habit of reasoning for most people, particularly when they are heavily identified with the ideological implications of interpreting scientific evidence, when they are not particularly dedicated to the due diligence of a true skepticism, and when they are generally smart and knowledgeable people who are very confident in their reasoning skills (perhaps very prone to DK) and not particularly in the habit of applying the due diligence of true skepticism outside of a strictly circumscribed, non-polarized domain where most of their analytical skills were developed and practiced (such as employment as an engineer).

Generalizing from non-representative sampling is a basic human trait., as is apopphenia . At times, it is a very useful heuristic for finding your way through the world. The scientific method is a good hedge against those tendencies, but it can be difficult to apply.

325. Ferdinand,
Let’s try and focus on one thing, because I think you’re missing my point. If you start in equilibrium and increase surface temperatures by 1K, then – in the absence of any other changes – this will increase the outgoing flux by 3.2W/m^2. Let’s assume that this warming is surface/atmosphere. Total relevant mass about $5 \times 10^{18}$ kg. Heat capacity 1000 J/kg/K. So, a warming of 1K means an increase in energy of $5 \times 10^{21}$J.

The 1K increase – as I said above – increases the outgoing flux by 3.2W/m^2. If you multiple by the surface area of the planet and the number of seconds in a year you get that this would mean radiating $5 \times 10^{22}$ J into space in a year. So, the energy has increased by $5 \times 10^{21}$ J and the increase in outgoing flux means this energy would be radiated away in about a month.

So, however you increase surface temperatures (El Nino, PDO, AMO) if there isn’t some kind of radiative response in the atmosphere, this excess energy will be radiated away quickly. Hence, the only way internal processes can drive long-term warming is if there are feedback responses that act to prevent this from happening.

However, these feedback processes are the same as those that respond to externally driven warming. So, if you want to argue for a large internally-driven response you need to explain why they respond more to internally-driven warming than to externally-driven warming.

Okay, I’ve probably said more than I intended. Which bit of the above do you disagree with?

326. angech says:

Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut in a a china shop and then finding the nut was in another building and perhaps was not a nut at all.

“We have clearly hit the target dead-on judging by the bitter response of the climate change skeptics and deniers. They are inadvertantly helping to spread the message.”

As opposed to advertently helping, I guess.

Look Arctic Ice is down on all measures since satellites were “formally”” used to measure it.
The time span is short to know anything about long term trends.
If one shows CO2 increase, and then the CO2 increase shows the warming it is predicted to, then the ice will melt over the long term.
The long term result of this in thousands of years is that Polar Bears may or may not be endangered [they may or may not adapt].
Speculation on linking the two separate calamities if they eventuate is fraught with difficulty and should never have been poster childed in the first place.

327. Steven Mosher says:

dang. i leave for a few hours and Willard lays the smackdown on Jeff and Bob.

you guys realize the internet is forever?

fishing club and pigeon holes. Brilliancies

328. JCH says:

From a recent MIT dissertation:

Abstract

Future climate change depends on properties of the climate system and the external forcing factors that drive the global energy budget. Among those properties are climate sensitivity, the rate at which heat is mixed into the deep ocean, and the aerosol forcing on the planet. In this dissertation, we use the newly updated Massachusetts Institute of Technology Earth System Model (MESM) to derive the joint probability distribution function (PDF) for model parameters that represent the aforementioned climate system properties. …

In particular, we answer four main research questions: (1) How are the parameter PDFs derived using the MESM ensemble different from those using a previous version of the model?, (2) How do the estimates change when recent surface temperature and ocean heat content observations are included in the model diagnostics used to evaluate model performance?, (3) How does internal climate variability lead to uncertainty in the parameter estimates?, and (4) What impact do the changes in PDFs have on estimates of future warming, namely estimates of transient climate response (TCR)? …

When considering all of these factors, we arrive at our best estimate for the climate system properties. We estimate the 90-percent confidence interval for climate sensitivity to be 2.7 to 5.4 ◦C with a mode of 3.5 ◦C. Our estimate for Kv is 1.9 to 23.0 cm2s−1 with a mode of 4.41 cm2s−1. Faer is estimated to be between -0.4 and -0.04 Wm−2 with a mode of -0.25 Wm−2. Lastly, we estimate TCR to be between 1.4 and 2.1 ◦C with a mode of 1.8 ◦C.

329. Ragnaar says:

Joshua;

Your reply to me. I agree it lacks due diligence. A loose reconciliation then. How do polar bears fit into the broad picture? While we have experts, we each assess the situation from our own point of view taking various amounts of information beyond a four sentence expert summary.

In Climateball:
Expert says X
Find expert saying Y
Defend expert saying Y, attack expert saying X

Or:

Keep reading, and thinking. All too often though, we skeptics repeat talking points. I’ve read trace gas so often I usually stop reading at that point. CO2 lags temperature. Zzzzzzzzz.

Some of us at times keeps reading and trying to learn because of our bias. Because of a suspect view of the author we have. But even if for the wrong reasons, reading and thinking.

I think I was trying for this: Skeptics laugh at polar bear warnings. Later, they care about polar bears. So, they were defensive, then learned, then cared about them, and then cared about what their numbers indicate about the system.

330. Joshua says:

Sure Ragnaar. Makes sense to me.

331. paulski0 says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

For the models:

For the observations:
From http://science.sciencemag.org/content/299/5613/1725 :

Not sure what point you’re making by quoting those? Presumably you think there’s some notable discrepancy there but I can’t see what it is. An important thing to note is that the negative 1980-1999 Winter trend in that paper is completely unrepresentative. Winter has actually been the fastest warming season (as expected), and recent Winters have been about 3degC warmer than the late 90s. So the cloud forcing change in that season has really been positive and very large. Linearly scaling the cloud forcing – surface temperature relationship in the paper to the trend of the past three decades would indicate about a +15W/m2 decadal rate.

On the other hand Summer warming is much slower (as expected), and therefore the net negative shortwave cloud feedback remains relatively small in this season.

Another thing the paper points out is that a substantial portion of this shortwave cloud forcing change is really about a change in surface albedo due to loss of sea ice, making existing cloud levels more relevant for shortwave flux without even requiring any cloud modification. That’s more a modifier of the ice albedo feedback than a cloud feedback.

Overall these observations appear to support a huge increase in positive cloud longwave flux in response to warming in the Arctic, as expected by models. This effect dominates the net cloud feedback in Winter due to lack of shortwave input. In Spring and Autumn there appears to be more of a balance between negative shortwave and positive longwave, though again note that a big portion of the shortwave effect here is due to surface albedo, so if the interest is focusing on cloud feedback that needs to be taken into account to give probably a net positive cloud forcing change.

The observations for Summer do appear to indicate negative cloud feedback but the net annual effect would seem very likely to be positive, dominated by a very strong longwave feedback.

332. JCH referenced this paper above:

“In this dissertation, we use the newly updated Massachusetts Institute of Technology Earth System Model (MESM) to derive the joint probability distribution function (PDF) for model parameters that represent the aforementioned climate system properties. …”

That looks like it is competing with this initiative from CalTech/JPL:
Earth System Modeling 2.0: A Blueprint for Models That Learn From Observations and Targeted High-Resolution Simulations
which is really a more visionary approach in applying machine-learning concepts to climate science. IMO, that’s really the future as far as making real progress in climate research is concerned.

I did work on an ontology and knowledge-based earth system model with JPL that we are presenting as a spin-off at the AGU next week
http://contextearth.com/2017/11/25/machine-learning-and-the-climate-sciences/

333. JCH says:

The machine learned my theory! Perhaps not a good sign, but 3.5 K!

334. verytallguy says:

Ferdinand,

little warming since 2000…

this is a very odd statement. Obviously, 17 years isn’t really long enough to judge anything, but as far as it goes, the trend from 2000 to now is *higher* than the trend from 1950 to now:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2017/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2017/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2000/to:2017/trend

Can you explain what you meant?

335. Marco says:

Ferdinand, I never know what to say to convince someone who loudly proclaims to be skeptical of models…but then uncritically mentions various numbers that describe the past…but are largely based on models!

Yes, Ursus maritimus survived the HCO, when it was, globally speaking, warmer than now (well, according to *models* on how to translate certain observations into temperature, and how to properly date it). There’s a paper that indicates arctic sea ice may have been about 50% of the extent compared to 2007, something that is also reproduced by climate models – although the latter get the distribution wrong, as the observations suggest *more* ice between Canada and Siberia.
However, basing everything solely on temperature and expected sea ice extent ignores at least one factor: the model of the future that *you* use (the polar bear’s going to be fine) ignores the fact that Ursus maritimus is no longer the prime predator in the arctic region. It’s been replaced by humans. And those humans are now very much encroaching on the habitat that polar bears may use as refuge when sea ice is reduced.

Not much better than ignoring the (known to be!) poor estimates from the 1960s and using those to claim an increase in population *and* ignoring the many measures taken to decrease hunting since the 1970s (also of polar bear prey. So, perhaps polar bear numbers indeed have somewhat increased compared to the 1960s/1970s, but ignoring the important role of the strong conservational efforts made to reduce the so-called ‘harvesting’ is rather unscientific.

336. Marco says:

“Up to about 1950, even the IPCC doesn’t assume much influence from CO2, while there was a firm increase in temperature 1910-1945. If one can show where that energy was coming from, we may have a clue what the contribution of the same source was in the next warming period 1976-2000 and what the real influence of CO2 in the same period was and why there was cooling 1946-1975 and little warming since 2000…”

Gee, you’d almost think this would have been investigated by scientists. Well, of course it has been, like in these papers published 17 and 18 years ago:
http://www.nature.com/articles/21164
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/290/5499/2133

It’s also not like the IPCC reports don’t discuss these findings…

337. verytallguy,

Depends of your start and endpoint… In this case you are including the 2015-2016 super El Niño, which biases the endpoint. Wait a year or so to see what the temperatures will do…
The period 2001 (after the 2000 La Niña) to 2014, before the NE Pacific “blob” of warm water and the 2105/2016 El Niño shows hardly any increase:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2017/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2017/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001/to:2014/trend

BTW, the “Karlisation” of sea surface temperatures is at least discutable, as is the GISS dataset derived from it. Here the same years for the HadCRU4 dataset:

Both satellite datasets show flat or negative trends over the same period and both plus HadCRU4 show that the temperature is down to the same level as for the period 2001-2014. Will there be a new “plateau” at the same height or one step higher as was the case after the 1998 El Niño? That is the question…

338. Ferdinand,
There really is nothing wrong with what Karl et al. did. It was a known issue that had to be resolved. There was a known bias between ships and buoys that was actually recognised a long time ago (I forget the exact year, but someone might remind us). It wasn’t too much of an issue when ships dominated over buoys, but as more and more measurements were coming from buoys, it had to be corrected.

339. Will there be a new “plateau” at the same height or one step higher as was the case after the 1998 El Niño? That is the question…

If there is a new plateau at the same height we’ll probably have to rewrite quite a lot of basic physics, so I wouldn’t bet on it.

340. Willard says:

> Wait a year or so to see what the temperatures will do…

Three dots may not replace what you’re trying to dogwhistle, Ferdinand…

341. Dikran Marsupial says:

Ferdinand, a period of 13 years with a low trend is not at all surprising, either from a statistical or a physical perspective. There was a longer period in GISTEMP starting in 1980, with a very similar trend.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2017/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2017/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001/to:2014/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1980/to:1994/trend

To assert there has been a pause there ought to be statistically significant evidence for a change in the rate of warming, an no such evidence has been forthcoming.

https://skepticalscience.com/statisticalsignificance.html

Periods of a decade or two with little or no warming, even in the presence of long term warming, is not unexpected, and something that is seen in model output, as demonstrated by Easterling and Werner (2009?)

The satellite datasets seem more sensitive to ENSO, and so are even more likely to demonstrate an apparent “pause”, so that is also unsurprising.

342. JCH says:

Way before they were saying to wait a few years after the 15-16 El Niño I was saying to wait a few years after the 11-12 La Niña. I’m done waiting.

343. verytallguy says:

OK Ferdinand, so it seems that rather than “little warming since 2000” you are now claiming “there was a period of 13 years in the 2000-2017 period when the trend was lower than the long term”.

That’s hardly surprising. Indeed, it is *expected* that there will be short periods when during which the trend is low.

As to Hadcrut, I checked the plot I linked with Hadcrut as well as GISS. No significant difference.

What you’re doing is indistinguishable from the classic going down the up escalator. It’s rather disappointing; I recall you as a voice of sanity at Judiths.

344. paulski0 says:

Marco,

Yes, Ursus maritimus survived the HCO, when it was, globally speaking, warmer than now (well, according to *models* on how to translate certain observations into temperature, and how to properly date it)…

Disagree about “globally speaking”. In the Arctic, yes (though we’ll likely blow past that fairly shortly), but I don’t think evidence for globally greater warmth is really there.

345. Dikran Marsupial says:

Ragnar wrote:

Keep reading, and thinking. All too often though, we skeptics repeat talking points. I’ve read trace gas so often I usually stop reading at that point. CO2 lags temperature. Zzzzzzzzz.

Unfortunately, I suspect that this is the reason skeptics all too often repeat “talking points”, which is that they signal tacit approval by ignoring them, rather than confronting them (which is what scepticism would require). Ferdinand has done a great deal for skeptic blogs by being critical on the talking points related to the carbon cycle, apparently a rather thankless task. If skeptics want to make progress with the scientific argument, they need to stop repeating these talking points, which includes “no warming since [date]”, without providing solid evidence that it is meaningful or unexpected.

346. JCH says:

Because what they are actually waiting for is the return of the intensified trade winds that visited the equatorial Pacific starting in the mid 2000s: so far, a one-off event.

They’re gone. There is no sign the one-off, intensified trade winds are coming back.

If they don’t come back, you will not see the sort La Niña dominance that occurred 2006 to 2014 in a the few years after the 15-16 El Niño. You’ll just see a lot of very warm ENSO neutral, a lot of very warm El Niño, and a lot of very warm La Niña. Examples: 2014 was ENSO neutral and the warmest year in the instrument record; 2015 was an El Niño year and the warmest year in the instrument record; 2016 was both an El Niño and a La Niña year and also the warmest year in the instrument record; and, 2017 is a La Niña year and looks to be tied for the 2nd warmest year in the instrument record.

So yeah, let’s wait for more of that.

347. paulski0 says:

There really is nothing wrong with what Karl et al. did.

Also, Karl et al. didn’t even do it. It was Huang et al. that introduced the bias correction. Karl and co simply used their ERSSTv4 data, the same way GISS and others use the ERSSTv4, and now ERSSTv5 data.

348. Paul,
Good point, thanks. I’d forgotten that.

349. Joshua says:

Dikran –

To assert there has been a pause…

FWIW, it seems to me that “pause,” without a qualifier, should be avoided. “Pause,” by itself, can suggest a “pause in global warming.” It seems to me the question is whether or not there has been a statistically significant, relatively short term slowdown in the much longer trend of significant and anomalous increase in rate of warming in SATS only which must always be viewed in the context of trends in OHC.

I often read defenses of the term “denier” in the form of “we can’t let them control the use of language.” It seems to me that speaking if a “pause” w/o qualifying the term is, effectively, ceding the control of language.

350. Dikran Marsupial says:

Joshua, I’m sorry, but I think there is far too much focus on language and form, and too little on substance and meaning. If we constantly pick up on every bit of casual wording, while ignoring the central point, we will get nowhere. As we were discussing two particular instrumental datasets, it is pretty obvious what we are referring to. And please don’t bring “denier” into it, it is a recipe for derailing a discussion of a scientific issue.

351. Marco says:

“Both satellite datasets show flat or negative trends over the same period ”

No they don’t. In fact, RSS shows a bigger trend than HADCRUT since 2000.
(offsets to allow better comparison)

And to pre-empt you moving the goalposts to 1998:

352. Marco says:

Paul, thanks for the correction. But is that 1.5 degrees than really “warmer than today”? Or is “today” actually 1950, in which case the arctic is already at the same T as during the HCO?

353. JCH says:

Yes, they had plenty of time to find scientific fault with NOAA’s SST work. They found none, so Curry et al engineered a purely political attack in the halls of congress with a naive, gullible whistleblower. What’s the right word for it?

354. Marco,

Yes, Ursus maritimus survived the HCO, when it was, globally speaking, warmer than now

Not only based on models, but indicated by quite different observations, like the absence of ice over large periods above Greenland:
http://www.ngu.no/sciencepub/eng/pages/Whatsup_20_10_08.html
And several works which show that the treeline was much farther north than today.

During the Eemian, some 110,000 years ago, the treeline was even up to the Arctic Ocean and temperature proxies show 5-10ºC higher temperatures in Alaska, Canada and Siberia.
One need to be cautious with the interpretation of proxies, but physical evidence is there to support it.

Thus even without ice during long parts of the year, the polar bear does survive, probably by going back to its origins: eating everything what is eatable, like his nephew the brown bear does.

Then the past counts. I do agree that the main increase in polar bear numbers is due to the restrictions in hunting them and the same for their future. As long as their habitat is not restricted and their prey not more hunted than now, I don’t see much problems for them in the future. Their “endangered” status is only based on questionable climate models, not on habitat reduction.
It is even questionable if the Arctic coast will ever see an invasion of new people who like to live there, winters below -40ºC are not that nice, except if you have to work there, but the possible new oil/gas exploration fields are adjacent to the the old ones near Prudhoe Bay.

No need to show me what was already done in climate science, I have read most of the essence of it.
– Take solar: they use ECR = TCR, no long time effect?
– Take CO2: the use TCR as a fraction of ECR and a long tail of its warming effect.
– Take aerosols: only used as a scapegoat, as they couldn’t explain the 1946-1975 cooling otherwise with their models. But you can change the estimated influence of aerosols and CO2 in tandem between 0.5 and 2 times the “established” 3ºC/2xCO2 and still show a reasonable fit of the past century…

With such a possibility to change a few parameters, one can expect any result from the same input. I have made a comparison in an EBM (energy balance model) obtained at a course of climate models in Oxford:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/oxford.html
I should extend that to 2010, as the flat trend up to 2010 points to a lower sensitivity for CO2, or in a few years up to 2020 after the past El Niño…

355. Marco,

I never used 1998 as starting point, so you should not use 2015/2016, midst a very strong El Niño as end point, neither 2000 as starting point, midst a strong La Niña…

356. Dikran Marsupial says:

Ferdinand, as I pointed out, a period as short as that with little or no trend is unsurprising, regardless of how the end points are chosen. The uncertainty in the trend estimate is too large to draw any meaningful conclusion, and similar periods occurr in model output. This is why climatologists tend to use a 30 year period (c.f WMO guidelines).

357. Ferdinand,
To follow on from Dikran’s point, if I use the Skeptical Science Trend Calculator, then the mean trend is close to 0, but the 2 sigma uncertainty is about 0.145K/dec. Therefore you really can’t draw any strong conclusions about warming, cooling, or doing nothing.

358. Willard says:

> a reasonable fit of the past century…

Another three dots. Another tell…

359. BBD says:

During the Eemian, some 110,000 years ago, the treeline was even up to the Arctic Ocean and temperature proxies show 5-10ºC higher temperatures in Alaska, Canada and Siberia.

Reference? IIRC ~3 – 5C above Holocene summer norms is more like it but maybe I’m out of date.

360. BBD says:

“Both satellite datasets show flat or negative trends over the same period ”

UAH 6 has issues. See RSS 4 for a corrected TLT:

361. paulski0 says:

Marco,

Not sure what 1.5 degrees refers to? From what I’ve seen “Holocene Optimum” temperatures are often given relative to pre-industrial – i.e. around the past thousand years.

I think where the Arctic is concerned we need to pay particular attention to seasonality. CMIP5 mean warming above 65N in Summer under rcp4.5 reaches 3K above pre-industrial by end of century vs. 6-8K in the other seasons. The difference is even more stark for the Upper-Arctic (>80N) where Summer warms by only about 1.5K, Spring by about 6K and more than 10K in Autumn and Winter.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if current annual average Arctic temperatures are warmer than during the designated Arctic “Holocene Optimum” period, though I’m not sure data exists to determine that with much confidence. Summer temperatures may be a different matter due to insolation patterns earlier in the Holocene, and of course Summer warmth is a big factor in minimum sea ice levels.

362. Marco says:

“I never used 1998 as starting point, so you should not use 2015/2016, midst a very strong El Niño as end point, neither 2000 as starting point, midst a strong La Niña…”

Ferdinand, *you* claimed the satellite series were flat/negative since 2000. I only did the actual analysis. You know, me being a skeptic, I decided to look at the data myself. What did I find? The data contradicted your claim. So, why do you now complain about looking at the trend in that period? BTW, as I showed, taking 1998, starting in an El Nino, we still have a clearly positive trend. The data ends in October 2017, not 2015/2016.

363. Marco says:

Thanks, Paul.

364. JCH wrote “They found none, so Curry et al engineered a purely political attack in the halls of congress with a naive, gullible whistleblower. What’s the right word for it?”

Curry and her denier colleagues such as Tsonis have done more to stall progress in understanding natural climate variability than anyone else. This is the kind of stuff she promotes:

“In a complex chaotic system, there is no reason to expect that the forcings and response are easily separable from the decadal modes of natural internal variability. I think the approach of Tsonis in terms of diagnosing climate shifts in a chaotic system (synchronized spatiotemporal chaos) is generally the correct way to go in sorting this out.”

Totally misguided advise and in direct contrast to what I will present at the AGU meeting next week:
http://contextearth.com/2017/12/03/derivation-of-an-enso-model-using-laplaces-tidal-equations/

365. izen says:

@-Dikran Marsupial
“I’m sorry, but I think there is far too much focus on language and form, and too little on substance and meaning.”

(I suspect that sentence made Willard wince!)
Language and form/substance and meaning are co-dependent components of a unified act of intentional communication.
For and individual, although the translation from meaning and substance to language and form may suffer … errors in translation.

The audience for that communication only has access to the language and form.
Infering substence and meaning is audience dependent.

That is why all the dispute about the ‘expert’ in this instance is peripheral. It is the shape of the audience for those communications that is the evidence that it has been co-opted by interests inimical to mainstream climate science. The platforms on which the language and form are disseminated, (NIPCC GWPF WUWT) come to define the substance and meaning.

If SusanC had been widely cited by other Arctic research, had been influential in changing the understanding of Arctic ecology, rather than just a minor participant, then her main audience would have been mainstream science.
But with a sideline in bashing polar bear research as a proxy for opposing mainstream climate science(?), the audience has become the shrinking cohort of AGW rejectionists.

Ferdi’s language and form make it obvious that it is not intended to have any influence on the scientists or even the knowledgeably informed. Any substance and meaning it may contain, or that can be inferred from it, is directed at spreading doubt in an uninformed audience. Or virtue-signal the wilfully ignorant.

It does make one wonder why he uses the language and form for this audience where it is so ineffective and gets roundly dismantled.

Perhaps he is doing research on what arguments NOT to use on an audience that is better informed on the subject than he is.

366. Paul Pukite,

Very intersting! If right it can be tested quite fast in the next two years as it seems to predict a medium strong La Niña between now and 2020.

Any chance that other – longer – oscillations like the PDO and (N)AO are linked to tidal forces with longer periods?

367. Marco,
Indeed my fault, should have said 2001, not 2000. But as said by Dikran (who knows that I am as critical for non-substantiated skeptic stances as here for climate models), the time frame is too short to have any conclusion possible.
Better look at the big picture:
Where the cooling 1944-1975 in the models is explained away by (human) aerosols. Looks more a matter of some 60-80 year oscillation to me and therefore we need some 10-15 years more data…
Need to go back to the ocean heat / forcing by ATTP, thus no further discussion from me on temperature trends…

368. JCH says:

WEB, good luck at AGU.

On Tsonis, I think there is a lot to his theories. Modes can synchronize, and, because the climate is quite sensitive to radiative changes, one can expect an immediate and pronounced change in the GMST when that happens. The divine winds caused a radiative change (enhanced OHU,) which was joined by radiative changes caused by La Niña dominance and a very negative PDO (all cooling) and “the paws” took place in the then defective datasets. But all that means is observationally based climate sensitivity should be high, so something is amiss with how it’s being calculated. Enter, who else, Curry et al.

One thing to look for is a possible slowdown in the loss of arctic sea ice, and perhaps even a small increase, and then listen to her crow. It’ll be the beginnings of the stadium waive, which, of course, will never come, but she will blow that BS up as big as she can for as long as she can.

369. verytallguy says:

Looks more a matter of some 60-80 year oscillation to me

Well, if it looks like it to you, that’s certainly more than convinced me!

370. BBD,

Sorry, getting old… Shouldn’t respond from memory, but look it up first… Indeed most refer to summer temperatures 3-5ºC above “current”, If “current” is 1950, then still a few ºC to go…

What I remembered was from the Northern Greenland ice core:
http://homepages.vub.ac.be/~phuybrec/pdf/NEEM_Nature_2013.pdf
8 +/- 4 ºC for temperatures which reflect most of the North Atlantic region, which of course is only partly in the Arctic. Moreover, recent research shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean was warmer, the warm water inflow towards the Arctic was blocked, leading to a colder Arctic at the Atlantic side:
http://www.leif.org/EOS/2012GL051800.pdf
Not at the Pacific side where ice in summer probably was 800 km further north and forests did grow farther north too.

371. ATTP helpfully paraphrased Willard’s main point re our paper (https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/polar-bears-and-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-107627):

“The overall point is that there is a subset of blogs that promote the views of a single source. What is more, the views of this source appear to be at odds with the views of most experts. You could add that this source has very few – if any – relevant publications and appears to have done little – if any – original research. This could all be done without directly challenging Susan Crockford expertise.”

I think that sums it up very nicely, though pointing out a lack of publications and having viewpoints that are at odds with the views of most experts is exactly what is being construed as “directly challenging Susan Crockford”. Willard even claims we engage in an ad hom argument (correct me if I’m wrong, Willard).

I would paraphrase the main point of our paper as follows:

The main thing we found was a clear distinction between blogs, where the group that accepts AGW appears to agree with peer-reviewed science, and the group that don’t accept AGW take a contrary view to peer-reviewed science (re sea ice and polar bears). The secondary point in my mind is what ATTP paraphrased, as cited just above.

Crockford’s central role re this topic in the contrarian blogosphere deserves attention in the scope of our paper, I think. OTOH, we could have emphasized her role and background less than we did, in order to prevent the distraction from the main message. I think that’s also what Willard means when he writes: “I already said that SusanC’s expertise was irrelevant to H17’s main discovery.” I take that as a constructive criticism. One might argue though that that wouldn’t have made much difference in how the article would have been received. If people strongly dislike a paper’s conclusion, it will be attacked regardless.

372. “Very intersting! If right it can be tested quite fast in the next two years as it seems to predict a medium strong La Niña between now and 2020.”

Thanks, but it will take much more than that, as there is always a possibility of a false positive. Consider what would happen if you were trying to validate a conventional SLH tidal analysis and you took measurements during a hurricane. The results wouldn’t be able to validate the model, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to discard the model either.

One of the better ways to test is to do an extensive cross-validation analysis using specific intervals as training intervals and orthogonal intervals for validation. This addresses the possibility of overfitting, as the model only uses the 3 known lunar cycles plus the annual solar cycle. And the alignment and shape of the lunar cycles are highly constrained so the model has many internal checks and balances to keep it self-consistent. Another test is to validate it against 100’s of years of ENSO proxy records.

My point is not that validating against predictions is unimportant, but there is much one can do right now to validate a model in the absence of having a controlled experiment available.

373. Joshua says:

Bart –

…. where the group that accepts AGW appears to agree with peer-reviewed science, and the group that don’t accept AGW…

Surely, you must know that whose who you characterize as not “accepting” AGW will respond that in fact, they do “accept” AGW.

I don’t know for a fact that their objections to that labeling will materially influence the likelihood of being able to implement policies to mitigate the risk of ACO2 emissions, but neither would I rule out the potential of that framing to have a negative influence. In the very least, we know that such language leads to many wasted elections sacrificed to endless squabbles in blogospheric comment threads.

So I have to wonder why you would use such terminology, when there are many other ways of framing the discussion so as to avoid, t least that particular brand of complaining.

374. Willard says:

Thanks, BartV.

Yes, I think that attacking SusanC’s expertise is indeed ad hominem. When someone tells me that I don’t have the chops to do what I do, I take it personally. Anyone should, starting with researchers. The Science Game is first and foremost a credibility race.

Contrary to a common belief, ad hominem arguments are not eo ipso invalid. For instance, if a defense lawyer can establish that the DA’s star witness was drunk and has an eye condition that prevents him to see well at night, it may undermine the faithfulness of that witness’ testimony. Ad hominem arguments are only fallacious when they’re irrelevant. So in the end it all depends upon what you wish to prove.

The ad hom in the paper lies in between these two extremes. It is not essential for the main point of H17 to stand, but since H17 also touches matters of authority, it makes sense to question SusanC’s expertise. But that’s an aside – presenting her chops and letting the readers judge it would have been enough. The main argument of H17 is more immediate than that, I believe, for authority grows with when peers favorably defer to your work. That nobody in the field defers to SusanC tells you all you need to know about her authority in the polar bear network. This follows directly from your main conclusion, which I believe stands on firm ground.

(The same argument would apply to Dick Lindzen’s work. Nobody needs to question his expertise. Applying the Look at the citations! would be enough to see where he stands. He’s a lone wolf. That doesn’t make him wrong, only that only few researchers take his contrarianism seriously enough to cite it.)

I think showing some examples to illustrate the framing you witnessed while reading the stories may have helped readers focus on your main point. It’s really important to understand that your classification rests on recognizing the FUD contrarians frame, and not the presence of SusanC’s name in the webpages. (Richie fell into that mental trap.) It just so happens that when FUD is produced, SusanC’s name is invoked. Studying how contrarians frame stories is also important because it’s what they do best. One might even argue, like George Lackoff does with the conservative meme machine, that they’re better than mainstream scientists.

One important side-effect of H17 may be that contrarians will rely less on SusanC to raise their concerns. I tried to see if PaulM would fall for “but SusanC” over the tweeter a few minutes ago. He did not:

Brace yourself, as winter is coming, and my sincere congratulations!

375. “(The same argument would apply to Dick Lindzen’s work. Nobody needs to question his expertise)”

I would retroactively question Lindzen’s expertise. The original research he was known for — that of providing a fundamental model of QBO — is arguably wrong. After ~50 years of additional data, it’s now clear that the QBO is forced by a lunar tidal effect. He may have gotten close to figuring this out, but no cigar for Lindzen.

Then you have his Iris theory, which has been debunked on RealClimate.

And the other fail was where he made a serious error wrt climate sensitivity due to GHGs (with co-author Choi)

3 strikes for Lindzen

376. Willard says:

> I would retroactively question Lindzen’s expertise.

I’m sure you would, Web. I’m sure you would.

Not sure hindsight is always 20/20, though.

377. JCH said
“On Tsonis, I think there is a lot to his theories.”

I’m not sure what Tsonis’s theory is other than his belief that certain aspects of the climate system, such as ENSO, are chaotic. That’s not a dispositive result as it doesn’t allow one to go anywhere except to find connections to other aspects that are also chaotic. That’s where his network teleconnection ideas come from. That still doesn’t settle much since suggesting teleconnections is not so much a theory as a qualitative view that spatially isolated behaviors are actually related.

The problem for Tsonis is that if all the teleconnections are related based on a common mode. Instead of individual nodes being teleconnected by a mutual interaction, they can be forced by a common mechanism, and so it only gives the appearance that they mutually interact.
The seasonal cycle is an obvious common mode. The steady increase of CO2 is also a possible common mode. Lunar gravitational forcing is an overlooked common mode.

FE said:“Any chance that other – longer – oscillations like the PDO and (N)AO are linked to tidal forces with longer periods?”

I have posts on PDO and AMO where I show that a common mode can’t be ruled out. Tidal effects have a varying latitudinal and longitudinal factor so the time series response will necessarily differ at some scales. That means that any perceived teleconnection may be just a residual of where indices such as PDO, AMO, and PDO have a common mode response due to the tidal forces.

378. izen says:

@-W
“That nobody in the field defers to SusanC tells you all you need to know about her authority in the polar bear network.”

Is that true?
I ‘strongly suggested’ that is the case in the last couple of comments I made, but couldn’t be bothered to put in the work to confirm it.

379. dikranmarsupial says:

Ferdinand, I’m glad you agree that trends over such short periods of time are too short to draw any conclusions (I thought you would). It would be progress if skeptic blogs stopped using this as a “talking point”.

Where the cooling 1944-1975 in the models is explained away by (human) aerosols. Looks more a matter of some 60-80 year oscillation to me and therefore we need some 10-15 years more data.

On longer timescales, the forcings are not constant, so one would not expect a linear warming trend. This includes aerosols. Do you have any physical evidence that aerosols do not have a radiative forcing effect?

380. Willard says:

> I ‘strongly suggested’ that is the case in the last couple of comments I made, but couldn’t be bothered to put in the work to confirm it.

Me neither. I simply assume that the authors themselves checked. I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, however. That’s one area where contrarians could be useful.

In any event, what I’ve seen so far from SusanC looks a lot like incredibilism:

http://planet3.org/2012/08/24/incredibilism/

For instance:

It’s hard to respond to critical reviews that merely express incredulity. Any kind of constructive contribution should be welcome. We all want Sound Science.

381. Marco says:

“Where the cooling 1944-1975 in the models is explained away by (human) aerosols.”

The models indeed reproduce the observed change in trend when aerosol impact (not just human aerosols) is included, and especially when indirect effects are included in the modeling.

See for example:
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024033

382. dikranmarsupial says:

3 strikes for Lindzen

“Your calculations are correct, but your physics is atrocious.”, the cosmological constant, “God does not play dice”. Three strikes for Einstein? ;o)

If a scientist never makes mistakes or suggests hypotheses/theories that turn out not to be correct, they probably aren’t working at the leading edge of their field, it also does not imply that their other hypotheses/theories are incorrect.

383. dikranmarsupial says:

Oops, messed up the last link (for “god does not play dice”) which should have been

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_variable_theory#“God_does_not_play_dice”

384. “That nobody in the field defers to SusanC tells you all you need to know about her authority in the polar bear network.”

Is that true?
I ‘strongly suggested’ that is the case in the last couple of comments I made, but couldn’t be bothered to put in the work to confirm it.

I had a quick look at Web of Science. Accoding to Susan Crockford she has two papers relevant to polar bears. The first (published in 2003) has been cited 12 times with none appearing to be about polar bears. The second (published in 2007) has been cited 24 times and two (maybe 3) seem to be about polar bears. So, arguably, very few people who do polar bear research cite Susan Crockford’s work.

385. Marco,

The effect of human induced aerosols is so uncertain, that one can assume a range of -1 to 4x without affecting the results for the 1944-1975 period. Simply by adjusting the real effect of 2xCO2, including feedbacks, in compensation.
Yes even a warming effect, if the main aerosol burden is black soot like is the case for India and parts of China.

I received a model run from the HADcm3 model years ago, with the aerosol impact according to that model on temperatures from the difference in aerol emissions, due to the reduction over the time span 1990-2000 (-40%) in most Western countries.

As most human aerosols are raining out within hours to a few days or even with dry deposit, the main effect then is at a few thousand km in the main wind direction from the main industrial sources. For Europe that is somewhere at the Finnish-Russian border (according to the model).
Here the results of the model and the temperature profiles up- and downwind the industrial sources:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/aerosols.html

If true, that means that human aerosols are good for maximum 0.1ºC cooling and near zero trend, as most aerosol emissions moved from West to East (China, India), with little change in total over the past decades. Probably reducing further in the future, as even the Chinese leaders don’t like the smog where they live in…

The warming on three islands in the Indian Ocean is higher in the NH than in the SH, while the SH has very little aerosol burden compared to the near permanent smog in India in the NH:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/india_temp.html

I haven’t updated the graphs over the past decades, should add that to my long list of “things to do” (if I had not so many other -more pleasant- things to do)…

386. Ferdinand,
Any chance we can go back to this, because we seem to have drifted into various other issues?

387. ATTP,

Indeed too many subjects all together, need some time to check out the heat capacity of the deep oceans and the relevant changes in insolation over the ice age / interglacial transition and back.
Probably for tomorrow…

388. Ferdinand,
Okay, but I don’t think that the heat capacity of the deep oceans is all that relevant to what we were discussing. We’re discussing how much of the observed warming could be internally, rather than externally, forced.

389. dikranmarsupial says:

Ferdinand, I would be very happy for an answer to my question to be deferred until the issue raised by ATTP has been properly discussed (in fact I’d prefer that) as it is a more fundamental question of the physics (and he asked first and it is his blog ;o) Science requires depth of discussion, and that is difficult to do in parallel.

390. “3 strikes for Lindzen

“Your calculations are correct, but your physics is atrocious.”, the cosmological constant, “God does not play dice”. Three strikes for Einstein? ;o)

If a scientist never makes mistakes or suggests hypotheses/theories that turn out not to be correct, they probably aren’t working at the leading edge of their field, it also does not imply that their other hypotheses/theories are incorrect.”

OK. Then a better question is when Lindzen has hit a home run. He has none as far as I am aware. Lindzen is neither a Babe Ruth nor a Tony Gwynn.

391. Willard says:

Tony Gwynn is not known for homeruns, Web.

Pasteur hit a homerun with a ball that only a very strong gust of wind kept in play. Does that make him an expert in flukes?

In Chess, experts are not masters, masters are not grandmasters, grandmasters are not supergrandmasters, supergrandmasters are not as strong as the strongest chess engine, and Stockfish bowed to an AI who learned Chess in four hours, and a day to beat Stockfish 28-0 in a 100-games match:

Alpha Zero is a more general version of AlphaGo, the program developed by DeepMind to play the board game Go. In 24 hours, Alpha Zero taught itself to play chess well enough to beat one of the best existing chess programs around.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609736/alpha-zeros-alien-chess-shows-the-power-and-the-peculiarity-of-ai/

Expertise should not be conflated with historical oneupmanship.

392. “Tony Gwynn is not known for homeruns, Web.”

My point was that Babe Ruth struck out often, and Tony Gwynn provided a complement in that he was very consistent at getting hits and avoiding strikeouts.

What route should scientists take? Should they go for the glory and publish theories that aren’t close to being verified, or should they be more careful and avoid publishing something that is not ready?

I think it was the late 1960’s when Lindzen came up with his QBO theory, and it was clearly not ready for prime-time. As far as I am concerned, the guy is a blow-hard and is more on the level of Susan Crockford, but with enough math chops to fool people.

393. “What route should scientists take? “

Interesting question, I think I’d like to be the Geoffrey Boycott of machine learning.

394. Willard says:

> What route should scientists take? Should they go for the glory and publish theories that aren’t close to being verified, or should they be more careful and avoid publishing something that is not ready?

Good questions. I think all routes, when taken together, leads to moar Sound Science. A corrolary is that contrarians win. This will have to await to a future post.

In other news, PaulM recently tried whataboutism on JacquelynG and the #MeToo tag:

It did not turn out too well for him.

395. Joshua says:

Willard –

Well, what would 2018 be w/o another “Yes, but…”

Certainly many such as “Yes, but denier” are timeless, but “Yes, but RC moderation,..” seems to be approaching the statute of limitations (haven’t seen it much lately) and surely that space must be filled.

396. Joshua says:

WHT –

As far as I am concerned, the guy is a blow-hard

I certainly can’t evaluate his science, but I always felt his essay on “Evironmentalists and Eugenicists = Same, Same” easily landed him in the blowhard category of my book. Rather remarkable that people swallow such garbage and then call themselves skeptics.

397. Lindzen’s arrogance is largely – in my view – illustrated by what he says about climate scientists. Here, for example, he says:

Although the press frequently refers to the hundreds and even thousands of participants as the world’s leading climate scientists, such a claim is misleading on several grounds. First, climate science, itself, has traditionally been a scientific backwater. There is little question that the best science students traditionally went into physics,math and, more recently, computer science. Thus, speaking of ‘thousands’ of the world’s leading climate scientists is not especially meaningful.

The link above is from 2001, but I’m pretty sure he’s said similar more recently.

398. Is this an example of bullying harassment or orneriness courtesy of Richard Lindzen?

Was Lindzen suggesting, asked Tim Yeo at this point, that scientists in the field of climate were academically inferior.
“Oh yeah,” said Lindzen. “I don’t think there’s any question that the brightest minds went into physics, math, chemistry…”

399. Sorry, didn’t see your response before posting essentially the same quote from an interview.

I think It happens in many scientific disciplines that others will cower when confronted by scientists with strong rhetorical skills. Besides Lindzen, Thomas Gold and Martin Fleischmann are good examples of BS artists. I had the privilege of being attacked by Fleischmann during a presentation years ago, and have always been interested by how they operate. No different than BS artists like Trump really.

400. Eli Rabett says:

As Rayp put it Lindzen used to be wrong in interesting ways

401. Willard says:

> Certainly many such as “Yes, but denier” are timeless, but “Yes, but RC moderation,..” seems to be approaching the statute of limitations (haven’t seen it much lately) and surely that space must be filled.

Revisiting Matthew 7 (it appears in the Auditor’s rant against the W word) may very well the audit that ends all the audits.

402. Joshua says:

Willard –

Seems to me that “whataboutism” is kissin’ cousin to Tu Quoque, which I am increasingly convinced can fairly be used to describe public discourse these days writ large.

Has accountability always been in such short supply, or is there a decreasing trend?

403. Joshua says:

I just read that Tu Quoque is a form of ad hom.

I guess it isn’t surprising that ad hom seems to be the basic building block of discourse of disagreement.

A example of the latter:
“Solids are always more dense than liquids”

“What about jesus?” — Matt 14:22

405. Joshua says:

Due to your comment, I Just went for a short stroll along Stevie-Mac’s Twitter stream. Wow. Just fascinating. He’s full on Mueller = FBI left wing conspiracy to fry Trump.

Even I wouldn’t have predicted that strong an ideological linkage to Steve’s climate change “skepticism.”

If I wanted to go with wacky conspiracy theories, (which I don’t) I would put “Climate ‘skepticism’ is a Russian hoax” as equally probable as “Global warming us a Chinese hoax.”

Fyi, relatedly, I also found Brandon’s break with Steve over Russia quite interesting. You might want to check it out. His theory to rationalize Steve’s obvious removal from reality is Brandon-worthy.

406. Willard says:

> Seems to me that “whataboutism” is kissin’ cousin to Tu Quoque, which I am increasingly convinced can fairly be used to describe public discourse these days writ large.

Indeed it is, Joshua. It’s also related to pots and kettles, glasses and stones, sides and streets, moths and beams, stones and sins.

I’ll let AT decide how far we can go with our excursus from polar bears and Arctic ice, but before that I want to show this amazing exhange between Alex Jones and Alexa:

407. BBD says:

“Who is Jeff Bezos?”

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

408. Joshua says:

Before Anders notices:

409. Willard says:

410. BBD says:

The smell of schadenfreude in the morning.

411. JCH says:

Is that real? If so, somebody needs to encourage him to “walk toward the fire.” Brietbart style. In your face, fire.

412. I would much rather go after the credentialed deniers such as Lindzen and Tsonis, than all these bit players. My explanation for Lindzen is that he built up all this mathematical complexity in the atmospheric sciences so he could lord over it and then assert that it’s way too complex for any of his colleagues to work out. As evidence, Lindzen essentially challenged their intelligence with that thinly veiled congressional taunt he wrote.

Unfortunately, as yet I don’t think any one else is willing to challenge him on his QBO theories, and that’s kind of puzzling to me.

413. Ragnaar says:

From here:

I wondered what variables go into projections of polar bear populations?

“Fishery managers still rely heavily on the Ricker model, along with variants that include factors like temperature, to estimate a “maximum sustainable yield” that fishers can take without causing fish stocks to crash. Such estimates are naive, Sugihara said, because they assume fish population is correlated to environmental factors in simple and static ways.”

And it’s explained better than I can do that, but above something like 2 variables drive the prediction. And a much different approach from the old standard approach is suggested to forecast salmon populations in a region.

Let’s give GCMs a pass and some will feel the article drives by them. But with forecasts of animal populations based upon changing temperatures and such, we may learn of the limits of the current approaches.

414. Steven Mosher says:

I believe JEG actually brought up climate change in regards to Luntz.

First time I landed in LA and drove around (1981) I had one reaction

man this is a disaster waiting to happen.

I move to seoul soon. The food is great

415. izen says:

Perhaps Frank Luntz should hope that his house DOES burn this year.
At least the financial loss would be tax-deductible.

Once the GOP Tax ‘reform’ Bill is passed, personal losses from fire and flood ‘Natural’ disasters will no longer be a deductible item.

This is projected to save the US treasury more than $2billion in ‘lost’ tax. Of course if he had a commercial orange orchard on his land, or his house is a ‘company asset’, that Would be a deductible loss. It indicates that the US administration see’s no role in protecting people from loss due to extreme climate events as they increase in the future. Given the near bankruptcy of the subsidy to insurance policies for people in high risk areas, it seems likely that will be the next to be abolished. Individuals impacted by Natural disasters will have no help from the government, but businesses are gaining increased protection. 416. ATTP, Back to physics… To start with: However, these feedback processes are the same as those that respond to externally driven warming. So, if you want to argue for a large internally-driven response you need to explain why they respond more to internally-driven warming than to externally-driven warming. That is the first point of disagreement: the reaction to external driven warming depends of the kind of warming. For solar the reaction is partly in the stratosphere and more on rain patterns (as is visible in many river discharges all over the world) than on temperature. Partly in the ocean surface: most visible gets beyond the skin and warms the upper “mixed layer” of a few meters to hundred meters, where most sea life is concentrated. UV and NIR gets absorbed in the upper fraction of a mm of the surface where it heats the skin. That gets slightly warmer (than without UV/NIR), depending of mixing speed (wind) and heat transfer speed in water. Back radiation IR from CO2, clouds, etc. of the same total energy content is completely absorbed in the upper fraction of a mm of the ocean surface. Thus only heating the skin directly. For the same energy change, that leads to opposite fluxes: more outgoing radiation, less loss of internal heat and more evaporation. That leads to more evaporation for back radiation than for visible for the same energy. More evaporation leads to more low clouds, as was observed at least until 2000 globally and beyond for the Arctic. Internal energy is not only for the skin but for the whole mixed layer – and beyond – increasing outgoing energy, but also back radiation, thus your calculation is a little one-sided, as back radiation reduces the loss of energy to space… Climate models seems to take the incoming energy from back radiation as having the same effect as for direct solar energy. A nice theoretical experiment is at Science of Doom: https://scienceofdoom.com/2011/01/06/does-back-radiation-%E2%80%9Cheat%E2%80%9D-the-ocean-%E2%80%93-part-four/ On the other hand, the real world shows about 3 times more evaporation increase in a warming world than GCM’s: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010JD013949/full The latter despite decreasing evaporation with increasing relative humidity. The real world shows more IR radiation with higher temperatures, but less incoming direct sunlight due to more evaporation/clouds… Next, if internal energy radiates fast away, any external energy should be fast absorbed over the same time period, minus the difference in feedbacks. Now it gets more interesting, as we have reasonable data for what happens over longer time periods, so we need to quantify the data. That will be for tomorrow… 417. Ferdinand, That is the first point of disagreement: the reaction to external driven warming depends of the kind of warming. For solar the reaction is partly in the stratosphere and more on rain patterns (as is visible in many river discharges all over the world) than on temperature. I hope you’re just missing the point, so let me try again. We’re talking about a process that heats the surface. If the system starts in equilibrium (energy in equals energy out) and the surface temperature goes up, then it will radiate that excess energy away quickly if there is no atmospheric radiative response that acts to reduce the outgoing flux. This would be some kind of feedback response. This is true irrespective of what process causes the surface temperature to go up. So, if you want to argue that somehow an internal/natural process has caused a substantial fraction of the observed surface warming you need to find some kind of feedback that responds to internally-driven warming, but not to externally-driven warming. There’s a paradox here because there is no real reason why the response to surface warming should (on average) depend on what causes that warming. Additionally, there’s also the paradox that arguing for a large internally-driven response implies a high climate sensitivity rather than a low. So, I don’t think anything you’ve suggested above is all that relevant. We’re talking here about the response to surface warming, not to how the surface might warm given the different possible processes that could cause it to do so. 418. Willard says: > I don’t think anything you’ve suggested above is all that relevant. Perhaps, but what about the ideas that: – polar bears are excellent swimmers… – polar bears experts based their expert opinion on stoopid modulz… – aerosol emissions are quite stable in the past decades, only moved from West to East… – more evaporation from the oceans, more clouds… – modulz oscillate between no problem at all and a real problem… – observations can show opposite cloud trends of the modulz reported in Science… – If you have (too many) adjustment knobs, it is easy to simulate the past, but that doesn’t give you any clue about the future… – Ferdinand critiques controversial articles at Tony’s, which proves that Tony’s not a denial blog… And that’s just by following the three dots in Ferdinand’s first two comments. 419. BBD says: His palaeo stuff was confused, too. 420. Ragnaar says: izen: Casualty loss deductions for homeowners are slated to go away with the new tax bills. One’s house is called a personal asset or something like that. Meaning losses incurred upon its sale are not deductible. A vacation cabin is generally a personal asset too. No deductible loss upon its sale. What’s fair? I have no idea. Under current law, a married couple can exclude up to ½ million dollars of gain upon the sale of their personal residence if they meet easy to meet conditions. What is consistent is no gain or loss on the sale of your personal residence for most people. And while destruction of one’s home is not a sale, it’s similar to it in some cases. As you said, a business owner can write the whole thing off. But the business owner owes tax on any real estate sale gain too. And I’d call this consistent. Business owners can exchange real estate with care though, and not show current taxable income. We can probably nail down the definition for consistent better than we can for fair. 421. Willard, It all boils down to: If you have (too many) adjustment knobs, it is easy to simulate the past, but that doesn’t give you any clue about the future… 422. Ferdinand, Apart from, in this case, many of these supposed adjustment knobs being constrained by physics, or by our understanding of the physical system. Not being able to model some aspects fully self-consistently doesn’t mean we don’t have any idea of how to constrain those aspects. 423. Willard says: > It all boils down to Even the fact that polar bears are great swimmers, Ferdinand? “If you have” indeed, but do you? Sometimes, all that matters is after the three dots… 424. ATTP, So, if you want to argue that somehow an internal/natural process has caused a substantial fraction of the observed surface warming you need to find some kind of feedback that responds to internally-driven warming, but not to externally-driven warming. Once the (sub)surface is warmed, the radiative response to the warm surface is the same, whatever warmed the surface. The question is what warmed the surface out of its equilibrium in the first place. Take the possible lunar/solar orbit theory for QBO and ENSO from Paul Pukite: seems plausible and shows a remarkable covariance between theory and reality. As the frequency is quite high and longer series are known which allows more possible learning and checking periods, there is a much higher chance that his model is right than for climate models where some known oscillations have a wavelength of 60-80 years and longer. BTW, lunar tides also have a small influence (a few tenths of a ppmv) on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, first noticed by C.D. Keeling himself and later by others. Even so, while cause and effect in that case may be known, the mechanism of “charging” the energy of the oceans is not clear (currents, winds, clouds, a combination?). While in general ENSO should be rather neutral, just charging and decharging energy, there are periods with more El Niño than La Niña episodes and reverse. The first kind of periods seem to warm the earth, the second slightly cool the earth or get more neutral. By coincidence (?) overlapping the PDO modes with multi-decadal periods. Further, while the current increase of CO2 above steady state gives already near 1.5 W/m2 of which 1.2 W/m2 increase since 1950, the observed warming of the oceans 0-700 m only needed about 0.4 W/m2 continuous extra input (*). The difference is from some negative feedback? That brings us to the historical changes between glacial and interglacial periods and back. The difference in W/m2 of insolation between these two periods is about the same as for 2xCO2, with one important difference for a positive feedback: ice albedo, which helps for about half the change. If we may assume that James Hansen was right in: https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2004/2004_Hansen_ha09900j.pdf For melting ice to increase the sea levels with 1 meter, you need only 12 Watt-years unbalance. As the NH Milankovitch warming was about 0.3 W and the sealevel did rise some 100 m, that gives ~4000 years to melt most land ice in the NH, but the ice albedo feedback was some 3 W/m2, thus should have shortened the land ice melting and warming of the oceans much faster plus another 2 W/m2 from GHGs, while the earth needed some 5000 years out of and 15000 years back into a glacial period. Thus more negative feedbacks (clouds in this case as a strong negative feedback) at work… In current times, land ice melting is only a small item (~2%) in heat absorption and albedo, most absorption is in the oceans. The remarkable point is that there is hardly any accelleration visible in sea level change over the past 100 years (tidal) or 30 years (satellites). Which points to a long time stable radiation imbalance, hardly influenced by increasing CO2 levels… As I have tomorrow my regular checkup (diabetes) and an unexpected trip to Southern Germany the next days (and the weather forrcasts are not ideal, to say the least, today was a snowy disaster on the roads for many countries around here. No, I don’t blame global “warming”…), I can’t react before Friday at earliest… (*) From memory, thus to be taken with a grain of salt, haven’t found the calculation back from some time ago… 425. ATTP, Not being able to model some aspects fully self-consistently doesn’t mean we don’t have any idea of how to constrain those aspects. If the endresult is about 1:3 for temperature, that is not very reassuring. The same for the hydrological cycle. The same for cloud cover. If a process model would calculate a factor 1:3 in yield for a chemical model in different runs, I would have asked the researcher to go back to his computer and first refine his model with a lot of real life 2 liter laboratory batches before implying anything in the 17-tons batches of the factory… Unfortunately we don’t have small 2 liter earths to do the necessary tests, only relative short time series of different observations, but even these are not met. 426. Ferdinand, Okay, maybe we’re getting somewhere. I’ll extend this a little. As of IPCC AR%, the best estimate for the change in anthropogenic forcing was 2.3Wm-2 – about 60% of the way to doubling atmospheric CO2 (in forcing terms). The no-feedback equilibrium sensitivity is 1.2oC. However, what is relevant is the transient response which would be about 70% of this, so about 0.8oC. So, if we’re 60% of the way to doubling atmospheric CO2 (in forcing terms) and the no-feedback transient response is 0.8oC, then the no-feedback, anthropogenically-driven warming is about 0.5oC, about half of the observed warming. Okay, so maybe the other half is internally-driven. The problem though, is that would imply no feedbacks to externally-driven warming, but somehow feedbacks respond to internally-driven warming. This seems like a paradox, and suggests that more than half of the observed warming is anthropogenic. Do you have an alternative explanation? As I have tomorrow my regular checkup (diabetes) and an unexpected trip to Southern Germany the next days (and the weather forrcasts are not ideal, to say the least, today was a snowy disaster on the roads for many countries around here. No, I don’t blame global “warming”…), I can’t react before Friday at earliest… Hope the checkup is all fine. 427. Ferdinand, Unfortunately we don’t have small 2 liter earths to do the necessary tests, only relative short time series of different observations, but even these are not met. Well, yes, but this is kind of the point. We should – in my opinion – work with the information we have. Yes, the range may be larger than we’d like, but we can’t do much about that. Also, it could even be outside the likely range, but it could be outside on either side. There’s no real reason to think it is more likely to be better than the we expect than worse than we expect. 428. Willard, I do frequently (too many times I suppose) use the … as suggestion to think further. The main case being that models are only as good as possible if the results they give do reasonably match with reality. Polar bears are proven good swimmers, which suggests that all the stories of drowning polar bears are mostly nonsens (except during a huge storm), despite the retreating ice, thus hardly influencing polar bear numbers. Further, they have survived warmer climates than current.(..) 429. Further, they have survived warmer climates than current.(..) Well, yes, but surviving does not imply that rapid changes won’t potentially have a severe impact. 430. ATTP: As of IPCC AR%, the best estimate for the change in anthropogenic forcing was 2.3Wm-2 Didn’t expect that it was already above 2 W/m2, as Modtran gives 1.5 W/m2 for 280 to 400 ppmv CO2. No problem. The problem though, is that would imply no feedbacks to externally-driven warming, but somehow feedbacks respond to internally-driven warming. The point is that feedbacks are different for incoming (solar) radiation than for outgoing (IR) radiation. Internal variability in general is ocean heat that accumulated (from solar) over a period of time and is released over another period of time. Like for an El Niño. Let’s look at the glacial – interglacial transition: At the input side, one has increasing solar and GHGs At the output side, one has negative feedbacks: warming of oceans, melting ice, more clouds and one positive: reducing ice albedo. During the opposite transition: At the input side, one has decreasing GHGs and solar At the output side, one has negative feedbacks: cooling oceans, freezing ice, less clouds and one positive: increasing ice albedo, Net effect: the cooling in a interglacial – glacial transition is about 3 times longer than the opposite, but I haven’t checked the difference in solar input over both periods. There’s no real reason to think it is more likely to be better than the we expect than worse than we expect. As more data come in, these point to a too high CO2 effect in the models… Hope the checkup is all fine. Thanks, I suppose yes, quite stable over the past 10 years with insuline injections and no other negative effects up to now… Over and out, need some sleep… 431. JCH says: SLR rates: 1900 to 1990 – ~1.2 mm/yr; Hay and Mitrovica and others 1993 – 2.2 mm/yr; rising to 2014 – 3.3 mm/yr: the increasing rate of global mean sea-level rise during 1993–2014; Xianyao Chen last 10 years – 4.24 mm/yr: AVISO last 5 years – 4.56 mm/yr: AVISO 2005 to 2015: Acceleration in the Global Mean Sea Level Rise: 2005–2015, Shuang Yi 432. Willard says: > I do frequently (too many times I suppose) use the … as suggestion to think further. Another interpretation is that it dogwhistles something you wouldn’t be able to claim more categorically. As regarding polar bear and ice: 433. Ferdinand, The point is that feedbacks are different for incoming (solar) radiation than for outgoing (IR) radiation. This is the bit I’m asking you to demonstrate, because I don’t think this is – in general – correct. Also, feedbacks typical refer to the response to warming, not the response to the actual radiation. As more data come in, these point to a too high CO2 effect in the models… I disagree. Some work might suggest this, others suggest the opposite. 434. Barry Woods says: Unintended (but forseeable really) consequences of this paper? Crockford: “Between the two stories (the attack by my colleagues and the starving polar bear hype), views at my blog have gone through the roof and one Arctic biologist speaks out on what SeaLegacy folks should have done when they saw a starving polar bear on Baffin Island this summer. polar_bear_sow_two_cubs_feeding_with_gulls_Kaktovik_USGS For the two weeks prior to the release of the Harvey paper (rounding to the nearest 100) the number of page views was 11,400 while for the two weeks since the Harvey et al. paper was released views were at 72,300 (with 14,900 views yesterday, 23,300 views the day before, and 12,500 the day before that). Prior to the Harvey et al. incident, my highest-ever one day blog view tally was 10,400 (a walrus haulout post!). Several blogs were discussing the Harvey et al. paper and its implications from the first day (29 November) and a few have contacted me to say their blog views are way up as well. Terry Corcoran at the National Post wrote a supportive column, here. So much for shutting down non-conforming opinion and criticism, especially mine. Now folks know exactly where to go for an unbiased take on polar bear issues. One reader contacted me via my ‘contact me’ page and insisted he wanted to make a cash donation to support my blogging efforts:” https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/11/bioscience-paper-and-starving-polar-bear-follow-up/ 435. Unintended (but forseeable really) consequences of this paper? Yes, possibly. 436. Marco says: LOL. Corcoran being supportive of Crockford is just another example of Harvey et al’s classifications: deniers are very likely to refer to Crockford. Oh, and her argument of popularity is duly noted…(and not in a positive way). 437. BBD says: Also possibly another example of contrarians confusing short and long term trends. 438. Willard says: Another unintended consequence is that ClimateBall players might start to follow citations: 439. Willard says: Told ya: 440. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says: Citations? Pffft. So old-school. Look – When your blog hit-count spikes, AND you get a supportive review from Terry Corcoran at the National Post, you know you have an unbiased take on polar bear issues. Besides, it is logically possible that not a single polar bear has ever met an early end due to climate change. That logical possibility ought to be enough to refute any alarmist claims to the contrary. Loss of ice is not relevant, since polar bears can swim. There are vastly more ways for polar bears to starve to death than ‘consenus’ ‘polar bear experts’ would have you believe. There is a yuge and growing amount of unbiased evidence, that wind turbines, solar panels, and environmentalists are highly toxic to ursine apex icons. Anyone who disagrees with that is shutting down non-conforming opinion and criticism, especially mine. 441. Willard says: AT found one citation by LarryG:: Arguments put forth in favor of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are frequently lacking in objectivity due to the use of imprecise terms and unwarranted extrapolations. A salient characteristic of such arguments is, moreover, the seemingly arbitrary attribution of causes to certain phenomena [Singer, 2012a]. As a result, such arguments run counter to the reasoning that is a hallmark of the scientific method. The purpose of this paper is to reason about some of those erroneous arguments in order to better inform people about pitfalls from a misuse of the scientific method in arguments about AGW. In a time when many scientists, scientific organizations, and educators have apparently been compromising their honesty and their integrity [Ball 2014a], S. Fred Singer stands out: As a rallying point for those who haven’t compromised, as a trusted source seeking the truth, and as a beacon for those who seek moral support to carry on the grand tradition of science. It is my pleasure to dedicate this essay to Fred (a scientist for all seasons), with gratitude and admiration, on his 90th birthday. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1260/0958-305X.25.6-7.1205?journalCode=eaea The list of references include – F News – Ball, 2014a and b – a HI resource – Easton 2013 – DEFRA – Einstein 1931 and 1949 – Festinger & al 1956 – Feynman, 1974 – Gould 2007 – Hospers 1967 (that one is interesting) – ICCC9. 2014 – two random cites on reasoning – Maki & Maynard 2006 on modulz – a random textbook on gravitation – Mörner, Nils-Axel. 2011a and b – NIPCC. 2013 – NIPCC. 2014 – Junior 2008 – a bunch of Singers All in all, a really good find for the Contrarian Matrix! 442. Joshua says: Oh goody. Front page of Fox: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/12/13/controversy-swirls-around-viral-video-starving-polar-bear.html Because the “You can’t prove that a particular storm was caused by AGW. ” false dichotomy isn’t enough. 443. Ragnaar says: I see it as, ‘the Science’, and the “target audience”. To apply science, one gets into the middle of the two above things. For at least a decade the consensus scientists have been trying to do that. One example is the, Warmest year ever! announcements. The skeptics see that it was about 0.1 C warmer and that the polar bears are alright. Skeptics have noted quotes about scary stories and capitalism from consensus people and have hardened their positions. Curry and lately Crockford are portrayed as the problem why the consensus people can’t reach the right. Assuming they are, which I don’t think is the case, the consensus people need to replace them with their own people that people want to listen to. Curry and Crockford to be successful need to do well in the crossfire position they occupy. No bad screw-ups. No losing their tempers. Is it about science? No. Reagan’s tax cuts were not about economics. It was the politics of our people and your people wrapped up in the flag if possible. 444. AT found one citation by LarryG:: I found another: Petitioning for a revised statement on climate change, with authors including Happer and Singer. 445. Joshua says: Ragnaar – Assuming they are, which I don’t think is the case, the consensus people need to replace them with their own people that people want to listen to. There is a lot of evidence that people select which experts to trust on the basis of those experts serving to confirm their biases. Assuming that evidence describes the actual mechanism in play, how would you suggest going about doing what you suggest? 446. Barry Woods says: off topic – not polar bears, but a Uni of Queensland paper on 7 sceptics, vs just the one inthe above paper – Crockford http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajph.12318/epdf might be interesting for discussion (more nuanced than I thought it was going to be) I’ll have to drop Jo Nova an email. I imagine she can ‘live with’ unperturbed pragmatism label 😉 447. Joshua says: The analysis shows that sceptics share a master frame that privileges individualist-libertarian-progress-social order values, which are thus likely to conflict with the values implicit in conventional climate policy remedies. Well, there’s a shocker. 448. Barry Woods says: “There is a core rationale underlying these seven stories: climate change might indeed pose a risk but climate science has not definitively resolved the cause(s), extent and direction of the problem, and therefore decision-makers should weigh options very carefully and act with restraint, with emphasis on actions that have tangible benefits. None of the seven sceptics argues from a standpoint that there is no climate problem at all. Carter (the best qualified scientist in the group) is most explicit in stating that the climate does pose challenges that require a policy response, whereas the other sceptics claim there is too much uncertainty about the nature of the climate challenge at this stage to warrant definite policy direction to be taken. This is consistent with the general sceptic discourse that acknowledges the existence of a global greenhouse mechanism, but emphasises the natural variability of the climate system. The sceptics are also unified in their observation that the science is problematic in various ways, including claims that mainstream climate science has become inherently biased and intolerant of dissenting views. Finally, all seven sceptics argue, in various ways, for restraint and caution in responding to the climate issue.” It seems a fair analysis. 449. Barry Woods says: sorry about the formatting, looked ok when I posted it. 450. Joshua says: This is consistent with the general sceptic discourse that acknowledges the existence of a global greenhouse mechanism, but emphasises the natural variability of the climate system. That statement is problematic. There is a lot of polling data which indicates that many “skeptics” believe that there is no global warming taking place. This belief suggests logical incoherence with a belief in both the GHE and belief that humans are increasing a atmospheric CO2. It is easy for politically motivated “skeptics” to hide behind the political expediency of arguing that in general “skeptics” believe in the physics of the GHE even if in general “skeptics” hold any number of beliefs that aren’t consistent with such a belief (e.g., “trace gas,” humans aren’t increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, there is no such thing as “global” warming, evidence of global warming has been fabricated, AGW is a Chinese hoax, etc.) It is entirely possible that the “skeptics” with the highest public profile say that that “skeptics” in general believe in the GHE, (and for the majority of “skeptics” who are active online to believe there is a GHE) , and still for the vast majority of “skeptics” to disbelieve that there is a GHE. I have yet to see a comprehensive analysis to quantify the belief of “skeptics” in general w/r/t the GHE, let alone a scientific attempt to quantify belief in the GHE among active online “skeptics.”. And yet, we see statements such as the one I quoted quite frequently. Just because “skeptics” make a claim about the general belief of “skeptics” in the GHE doesn’t make it true. My observation is that there are far more online “skeptics” who doubt the physics of the GHE than other “skeptics” acknowledge, because acknowledging the actual number is politically inconvenient. 451. Barry Woods says: my main interest, is their analysis of the 7 sceptics, make them look like rational human being (who may be of course wrong), do have some concerns that could be engaged with, etc.. but not ‘climate denier’ to be ignored discounted. Only been cited once.. no publicity. so nobody cares. but the whole tone/thoughtfulness of it, contrasts with the 14 author paper we’ve been discussing. They have been treated ‘fairly’, without obvious contempt 452. Barry Woods says: Hi Joshua – which polling data, which country.. The UK polling data, seems to show the public pretty much accept climate change, warming and a human contribution. ~46% thing CC partly natural/partly man made. (Cardiff stuff by Corner, DECC Wave surveys, etc) 453. Joshua says: A fair point, Barry. I was referring to data on the US population. Here’s one: http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/11/18/wsmd-ja-how-different-are-tea-party-members-views-from-those.html 454. Willard says: > sorry for the formatting. Fixed. When you copy-paste from a PDF, sometimes the lines get separated by a carriage return. Any good editor (e.g. Notepad ++) will join the lines together in one shot with CTRL-J. Thanks for the article! 455. Ragnaar says: Are you all bored? I seemed to trying get myself kicked off of WUWT. Near the top of this article: “ExxonMobil caves to climate activists” 456. Ragnaar says: Joshua: Take Apple and get past their products and put those in a Smart Nerds box. The smart nerds by themselves have nothing. It is the picking of their ideas that have value to enough people that leads to success. And this picking is mostly done by people who are not Smart Nerds. Both types of people are needed and have their strengths. The not Smart Nerds are maybe wanna be nerds or failed nerds but that have something that has value. To go after Curry and Crockford misses the target and the path to success. They deliver something that some people value. It would be like saying Apple is doomed as their CEO can’t do calculus. You ask what to do? Pick the ideas that people value. And don’t even ask the climate scientists. They are Smart Nerds and their strengths are elsewhere. Failures are things that don’t sell. I could pick nuclear power but we see that doesn’t sell. And I think bias is a part of that. Fracking for NG sold, thank you President Obama. I think carbon soil sequestration by simply turning farmland into natural prairies, would sell. Ethanol sold. LED bulbs are selling. More efficient gas furnaces sold. I think pumped hydro storage would sell. I bought mostly white shingled roofs for my home and office. More trees would sell. 457. verytallguy says: Only been cited once.. no publicity. so nobody cares. but the whole tone/thoughtfulness of it, contrasts with the 14 author paper we’ve been discussing. They have been treated ‘fairly’, without obvious contempt Ah, the “snowflake” theory of climate change denial. Here’s a suggestion: “sceptics” get the contempt they deserve. Nic Lewis publishes science and gets respect for it. The Cliscep blog where you hang out allows commenters to call people “r*** trolls”. And here you are, whining about contempt. Go figure. 458. BBD says: More wind and solar sells too, Ragnaar. 459. BBD says: Willard The list of references include – F News – Ball, 2014a and b – a HI resource [etc.] Most enlightening diligence. Thank you. 460. Steven Mosher says: sci-hub is gone! I really wanted to see how he abused Hospers 461. Barry Woods says: Joshua – the pew survey only had three survey options. human cause, natural caused and no warming. UK surveys I’ve seen have (from memory) had these options for causes. warming all natural, mainly natural, partly human-partly natural, mainly human, all human IF a those survey question with those ever got asked in America, I would be very interested in the results… Given an either or human/natural.. if you are sceptical, or lukewarm, you might feel forced to put natural cause, lest support the ‘other side’ in the very polarised by party political grounds in the USA. IF such a survey were taken, with more nuance, like the UK surveys questions. I think that may a) more closely reveal what people actually think in the USA (rather than forced into either or boxes), and b) help move the policy debate forward in the USA 462. Barry Woods says: verytallguy: the cliscep blog I ‘hang out’ at has way more comments by ATTP than I… I’m sure he does not approve of all comments there, neither do I. neither do I approve of all comments here, yet I still comment. 463. verytallguy says: the cliscep blog I ‘hang out’ at has way more comments by ATTP than I… I’m sure he does not approve of all comments there, neither do I. neither do I approve of all comments here, yet I still comment. A nice illustration as to why “sceptics” end up held in contempt, Barry. 1. Disingenuous You’re not just a commenter there, are you Barry? First hit on searching for “Woods” Thanks to Barry Woods for alerting me to this paper … https://cliscep.com/2017/11/25/how-many-philosophers-does-it-take-to-change-your-mind/ 2. Evasive You’re directly credited with providing content, and being part of the group there: https://cliscep.com/2017/01/24/message-to-katherine-hayhoe/ The reason “sceptics” are held in contempt is because they behave contemptibly. Like evading the issue of you contributing to a site where it’s entirely acceptable for another contributor to call people “r*** trolls”. Own your actions. 464. To be fair, Barry used to be listed as a contributor, but no longer is. I had assumed that that was an attempt to distance himself from the site. That may have been too generous. However, I would like to think that there is quite a difference between my site and one in which it seemed to be acceptable to regard Katharine Hayhoe as a dishonest hypocritical liar. I’m not the one to judge but I certainly use the tone of cliscep as an example of something to which I really would like this site to not descend. 465. Joshua says: Barry – Given an either or human/natural.. if you are sceptical, or lukewarm, you might feel forced to put natural cause, lest support the ‘other side’ in the very polarised by party political grounds in the USA. Sure. But that wasn’t really the point I was addressing. I was addressing the data which show that a plurality of Republicans think that there is no warming/. Now it is entirely conceivable to me that some portion of those respondents who picked “no warming” – even when given the option of choosing among “human caused,”naturally caused,” and “no warming” – might choose “no warming” and still believe that there is a GHE but are conflating “warming” with “mostly anthropogenic warming” and thus responding with “no warming,” but I’d say it is a large stretch to look at those data and conclude that most “skeptics” (in the US) believe that there is a GHE. IF such a survey were taken, with more nuance, Yes, there is ambiguity in the data – but that is part of my point. There is no ambiguity in the statement that I excerpted. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve read online “skeptics” claim that “most ‘skeptics’ don’t doubt the physics of the GHE,” or “Most ‘skeptics’ don’t doubt that it is warming and that anthropogenic ACO2 emissions play some role in that warming, we just think there is too much uncertainty about the magnitude of the contribution to that warming from emissions.” But what I find interesting about that is (1) such an assertion is quite different from what I’ve observed from reading comments in the “skept-o-sphere,” (2) those “skeptics” are making a statement in absolute certainty without actually having evidence in which to base that certainty (which, ironically, is entirely un-skeptical) and, (3) it seems that anyway, they are making that statement in a form of extrapolating from an unrepresentative sampling of online comment sections to project their own views onto a public which is probably very different in their views than that online commenting community and (4) they don’t seem to take into account the very, very many comments we see in the “skept-o-sphere” where “skeptics” say that they believe in the GHE but also make comments that reveal a logical incoherence with such a belief. I think that may a) more closely reveal what people actually think in the USA (rather than forced into either or boxes), and b) help move the policy debate forward in the USA Perhaps, but my guess is that many climate change combatants will continue to engage in rhetorical gamesmanship regardless of the nuance of the data available – just as “skeptics” engage in rhetorical gamesmanship with the data we already have – in the form that I have been describing. Where are the data that you use to confirm your belief that most “skeptics” accept the GHE? 466. Joshua says: Anders – However, I would like to think that there is quite a difference between my site and one in which it seemed to be acceptable to regard Katharine Hayhoe as a dishonest hypocritical liar. I’m not the one to judge but I certainly use the tone of cliscep as an example of something to which I really would like this site to not descend. To play devil’s advocate for a sec… I do think that there is a difference in tone between the two bogs, but I would imagine that cliscep commenters would argue that their site is full of people who are very open to engaging in respectful dialog with people who are interested in good faith discussions, even if they don’t tolerate people whose intent is to willfully lie and deceive. Also, I wonder if the link you provided makes the case. Don’t you think that some of the posts here effectively, even if not as explicitly as what you might read at cliscep, make the argument that, for example, Matt Ridley is a dishonest, hypocritical liar? 467. Don’t you think that some of the posts here effectively, even if not as explicitly as what you might read at cliscep, make the argument that, for example, Matt Ridley is a dishonest, hypocritical liar? I think there is a difference between something that may imply that, or may be interpreted in that way, and an explicit claim of that nature. 468. Joshua says: Man, that was quick! Barry – another point. My belief is that the segment of “skeptics” who participate in “skept-o-spheric” discussions on climate change likely overlap relatively closely with the political orientation that applies to most “Tea Partiers.” I say that because I observe the general tone of political comments revealed in “skeptic” blog comment sections (and I happen to believe that mostly, climate change combatants engage in the climate wars as a proxy ideological battle). And, I think that there is a lot of data that in fact, mainstream Pubz are generally closer to independents (and even Demz) in their views on climate change than they are to Tea Partiers’ views on climate change. The article I linked to above provides related evidence, but I could provide more if you’d like. IMO, in fact, as a general rule, people of the same ideological orientation as most online “skept-o-spheric” participants are those who are the most likely to flat out reject the scientific evidence presented by mainstream climate scientists in support of the view that ACO2 emissions pose a significant (but not certain) risk to society. 469. Joshua says: heh, said ‘bogs” meant to say “blogs” – one of my better typos. I think there is a difference between something that may imply that, or may be interpreted in that way, and an explicit claim of that nature. I agree – but I guess it’s reasonable to question how significant that difference is. 470. I agree – but I guess it’s reasonable to question how significant that difference is. In my view, if you’ve written something that is a fair reflection of what happened and that is then interpreted in some negative way, then that should be perfectly reasonable. In the interests of completeness, the comment I highlighted in my earlier comment has been updated. 471. Barry Woods says: ATTP. At cliscep I thought George Marshall a hypocrite liar (at v least to himself) with examples of why. I said I thought Katharine Hayhoe genuine and sincere (though wrong on some things, she corrected one of her climate slides a while back, which was not supported by science) should I just have written a WUWT article mocking her bad science? Would that be what people would prefer.. I stopped writing WUWT posts, or any blogging years ago. As I thought pointless I just can’t seem to stop commenting or tweeting though. ! New year’s resolution perhaps? Paul thanks me for an interesting link article. Well so what. I must have tweeted,emailed commented to hundreds of people interesting links/articles on all ‘sides’ of the debate over the years. I recall being told off by sceptic BTL commenters for who I talk to. I told them to get lost. I’ve been told to get lost and stfu and go and talk to my ‘environmentsl mates on occasion at sceptic blogs(including WUWT and Bishop Hill. And I’ve been piled on and banned at many a ‘climate concerned’ blog as well. Today I posted here a link to a paper that I thought might be interesting to people here.. I also emailed Jo Nova the same link (as she was named and researched in it!) Again so what. 472. Willard says: > sci-hub is gone Elsewhere. Follow the tweets. 473. Barry Woods says: Joshua if you say ‘most. And you are referring to people/public in USA. I’d tend to go along with you. When I’d say most I’d be referring to the UK, maybe Australia and the sceptics (bloggers, I know) The USA is a very different country, and a mystery to me politically. maybe we both need to be clearer. 474. At cliscep I thought George Marshall a hypocrite liar (at v least to himself) with examples of why. Personally, I think calling someone a hypocrite, or a liar, is fairly unpleasant. Especially, if those who do so then spend some of their other time complaining about tone, or about mean things that have been said about themselves, or about people they agree with. Each to their own, of course. With regards to George Marshall, did you consider that he had learned something via his various climate outreach experiences and simply changed his mind? Wouldn’t it be better if people assumed better of others, rather than assuming the worst? As I’ve already said, though, each to their own, of course. 475. Marco says: “Where are the data that you use to confirm your belief that most “skeptics” accept the GHE?” It doesn’t matter if they do, since they still have enough objections that in practice come down to “ABC” (anything but CO2). How many times haven’t I heard “CO2 is just a trace gas”? You see, a ‘skeptic’ can accept the GHE, but assign it almost exclusively to water vapor. And so one doesn’t need to consider that CO2 increase as relevant *and* at the same time one can claim to accept the GHE. An alternative, and yet sometimes simultaneous, rejection of mainstream climate science, but not directly the GHE, is the statement “CO2 is saturated” – no further warming due to increased CO2, it has done all it can already. It’s very much akin to the objections of a lot of anti-vaxxers against being called anti-vaxxers. They claim they are not against vaccines, they are just against some of the compounds in those vaccines, or that there are so many vaccines given, or that they are given at too young an age, etc., etc., etc. 476. Joshua says: Barry – maybe we both need to be clearer.. Clearer is better. But I will add that given (1) relative population sizes and (2) relative proportion of “skeptics” in each country’s population, referring to the US when talking about “skeptics”in general (w/o specification) is far more likely to be accurate. Again, that I’d why that lack of specification in that article is problematic. What data do you use to generalize about views among” skeptics” in non-US populations (e.g., that most accept the physics of a GHE)? 477. verytallguy says: Don’t you think that some of the posts here effectively, even if not as explicitly as what you might read at cliscep, make the argument that, for example, Matt Ridley is a dishonest, hypocritical liar? I think it’s perfectly possible to make the case that someone is a dishonest hypocritical liar without behaving contemptibly. https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/matt-ridley-doesnt-understand-free-speech/#comment-77365 There is a difference between making an argument and calling a name. 478. JCH says: As long as ECS is above 3 ℃, I accept the GHE. 🙄 479. Joshua says: Marco – It doesn’t matter if they do, since they still have enough objections that in practice come down to “ABC” (anything but CO2). Well, yes. I mostly agree. Views on climate change, generally don’t really reflect opinions on the science, IMO, but instead, ideological orientation. As Kahan says, stated beliefs on climate change don’t really tell about what you know, but who you are. Expecting that the arguments that average Joe makes about climate change to be scientifically coherent is not well supported by evidence. Of course, that doesn’t support generalizing about everyone. That is consistent with my larger point, that the excerpt I posted from the article Barry linked is, IMO, problematic. It makes a statement of fact that I think is not evidence-based. 480. Joshua says: As long as ECS is above 3 ℃, I accept the GHE. 🙄 Exactly. 481. Barry Woods says: That I know quite a lot. There are very few of them. When I’m referring to skeptics.. perhaps should have been clearer. I mean the bloggers,etc. Not the general public… As those UK surveys suhow most of general public believe in CC.and humans cause at least half or more of it. So ancedotal perhaps.. I’d do think the general public, beyond answering surveys,. Know very little about it all. For the person calling me disengenous. I have the exact same rights on ATTP’s blog as I do at the Cliscep blog. IE I can just add comments. I have no more WordPress access at CliScep than anyone here. 482. verytallguy says: Again so what. The “so what”, Barry, is that you whine about blogs being treated with contempt whilst being closely associated with blogs that behave contemptibly. Is that clear enough? My suggestion if “sceptics” wish to be treated with respect, is that they behave respectably. 483. verytallguy says: For the person calling me disengenous.(sic) I have the exact same rights on ATTP’s blog as I do at the Cliscep blog. IE I can just add comments. I have no more WordPress access at CliScep than anyone here. Oh my. Let’s go to the dictionary Disingenuous not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does. Here you are, pretending to be nothing more than a commenter, same as anyone else, yet there you are, credited in article after article after article. You’re being disingenous. Painfully obviously. And *still* you wonder why “sceptic” blogs are treated with contempt. 484. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says: As Kahan says, stated beliefs on climate change don’t really tell about what you know, but who you are. In another astonishing development, there are 10,000 more polar bear experts this week than there were last week. 485. Willard says: > For the person calling me disengenous. I have the exact same rights on ATTP’s blog as I do at the Cliscep blog Speaking of disingeniousness, BarryW, Very Tall’s point is not about rights, but the network in which you dwell. For instance, you retweeted PaulM’s blunder who was repeating Groundskeeper’s blunder. H17’s criteria is not circular: a contrarian is not identified by the citations, but by the narratives. Just like the article you cited favorably earlier. Can you at the very least acknowledge that you’re promoting a blunder? 486. Barry Woods says: ‘Network’ .. oh c’mon I tweet and email people on all sides.. don’t be silly.. what about your ‘network’ Willard the people that you tweet and email and are in contact with.. no different. Or is your ‘network’ more sinister than mine. And you are projecting 487. verytallguy says: Barry, I’m not talking about a network (though that is relevant) I’m talking about your name, credited in articles. Again and again and again. And you now pretending here that you’re nothing more than an average Joe there. It’s disingenuous. Disingenuous behaviour is one of the reasons “sceptic” blogs are held in contempt. Want to lose the contempt? Change the behaviour. 488. JCH says: I think this is more exact: I’ll agree that the climate is changing as long as you accept that nothing is happening. 489. Barry Woods says: I reserve my contempt for anon people with your attitude and complete lack of sense of proportion.. ‘credited’ . It’s not the Times it’s a free word press blog, with a some people that right blog posts in spare time. And a few dozen people that regularly comment.. the public don’t know it exists. So what I’m ‘credited’ .. beyond this is interesting and some people chat about it on an obscure blog on the internet… I am a still registered a guest author at WUWT, if I wanted something to get massively more attention, I’d just write it (credited) myself at WUWT.. so please . C’mon 490. Okay, let’s not less this get out of hand. I’m in favour of people mostly being able to comment here. However, maybe Barry could at least consider the point which is – I think – that you should at least acknowledge/recognise your associations. 491. BBD says: An inconvenient truth, it seems. 492. Joshua says: Barry – What evidence do you use to assess Non-US “skeptics” beliefs about the GHE? 493. Willard says: > I tweet and email people on all sides. Indeed you are, BarryW. Sometimes somewhat approvingly, like you did earlier with the analysis of contrarian frames, and like you did over the tweeter with PaulM’s and Groundskeeper blunderous argument. By that loopy logic, the article you cite approvingly would also be circular. Sometimes you tweet and email people less approvingly. Most of the times, contrarian concerns are being peddled. Almost always, contrarian frames seem to be involved. Thank you for the kind words. 494. Barry Woods says: I did just recognize my ‘associations’ – (and I’m still have a log on at WUWT) ie nothing more than some people I know.. ‘associations all sounds a bit exxonsecrets,source watch don’t you think.. what is everyone here’s “associations”.. who do you all ‘know’ – talk to – ‘associate with. c’mon verytallguy who are your ‘associates’ and everyone else here. I don’t even know your real names, and I get my ‘associations’ demanded of me. 495. Barry Woods says: ATTP – ref George.. no he hasn’t changed. he deletes everything out of hand at his blog. I suggested he actually acknowledge his past roles. as it would make his new approach much more powerful.. (and lot’s of other reasons, I’ve spoke to other people at Climate Outreach aswell) . My son has just had a tooth out, and daughter kick boxing car driving duty now. so nothing more from me today. 496. Willard says: Chill, BarryW. Do sentences, preferably coherent ones. If you could state your point clearly instead of asking rhetorical questions for the sake of an easy tu quoque, that’d be nice. 497. Joshua says: Barry – When you come back, I would appreciate an answer to my (thrice asked) question. 498. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says: Can you at the very least acknowledge that you’re promoting a blunder? Cardinal Biggles! – Bring out the soft cushions – And… the comfy chair! Or is your ‘network’ more sinister than mine[?]. what is everyone here’s “associations”.. who do you all ‘know’ – talk to – ‘associate with. Nobody expects the clannish inquisition… 499. Willard says: > I think it’s perfectly possible to make the case that someone is a dishonest hypocritical liar without behaving contemptibly. I’m sure that’s possible, however it might be easier to show that someone made an untruthful claim for an argument that appeals to a double standard. Mileage varies. 500. Barry Woods says: Joshua. I did answer it. 501. Barry Woods says: And typing on smartphone.. leaving for kick boxing now. 502. Joshua says: Barry – Sorry I missed it. That I know quite a lot. There are very few of them. When I’m referring to skeptics.. perhaps should have been clearer. I mean the bloggers,etc. Not the general public… So just to be clear, when you refer to “skeptics,” you’re actually referring to just a tiny subsection of the full quantity of people who are relatively unconcerned about the risks due to ACO2 emissions. Not those folks in the country where they are predominantly found, and not even the commenters from Non-US countries who comment on blogs, but only the people who write the posts at such blogs? And how to you evaluate whether they profess to accept the GHE, but at the American time make arguments that are logically incoherent with that professed belief? And could you link to some of those polls, which Btw, seem to be irrelevant to your views on the beliefs of “skeptics” since the “skeptics” you’re thinking of when you speak of “skeptics” is only a tiny, tiny subsegment of the general public viewpoint as assessed in polls, and is very likely a non-representative sapling of outliers. 503. Joshua says: American = same 504. Joshua says: Yikes. Sapling = sampling. 505. verytallguy says: I reserve my contempt for anon people with your attitude I’m happy to receive it. I’m surprised though, given that you earlier indicated contempt was something to avoid giving. I did just recognize my ‘associations’ Thank you. It’s a shame that you denied them to start with, but now we can move back to the point you originally made – on contempt shown to “sceptic” blogs. Let’s go via I am a still registered a guest author at WUWT And there you have it. WUWT routinely posts deliberately misleading material and the comments are routinely abusive. Yet you complain of “sceptic” blogs being treated with contempt. Motes and beams come to mind. Now, might I suggest that given that contempt is something you claim to abhor, you take a trip to your associates at Cliscep and made it clear that calling your host here a “r*** troll” is contemptible. Be sure to report back how you get on. 506. Willard says: > take a trip to your associates at Cliscep That underlines an intriguing aspect of the contrarian frame, Very Tall. Contrarians don’t have a coherent viewpoint regarding the science. They don’t have to either: there are many incompatible ways to be contra-IPCC. By contrast, the pro-IPCC position is more constrained. This epistemic independence somehow gets transferred into the realms of ethics and INTEGRITY ™. BarryW and other contrarians wash their hands over what happens at Tony’s. By contrast, they are playing all kinds of greenline tests with those who are nearer the IPCC positions. Why is that? 507. Joshua says: VTG – Just ’cause I’m not above being juvenile… “r*** troll” =? Maybe “sounds like”…? 508. verytallguy says: Joshua, you’ve lost me there. Mind, given the context, being lost is probably the best way to be. 509. I think Joshua is trying to work out what “r***” stands for. I have to admit that it took me a while to work it out too. I had to search the comments on the recent cliscep Polar Bear post, before I worked it out. 510. Joshua says: Yeah, that’s what I was going for. 511. verytallguy says: I had to search the comments on the recent cliscep Polar Bear post Nice people there, aren’t they? Incomprehensible why people show “sceptic” blogs contempt. 512. Joshua says: JCH – I’ll agree that the climate is changing as long as you accept that nothing is happening. That too. There are a million of them. I’ll agree that there is global warming as long as you agree that we can’t measure global warming. Or, I’ll believe IN the GHE as long as you agree that CO2 us a trace gas that can’t warm the climate. My favorite might be, I’ll believe that there is a GHE as long as you’ll agree that global warming has stopped (and actually, global cooling has commenced) even though we’re increasing the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere. 513. Ragnaar says: BBD: “More wind and solar sells too…” Yes. But I think it’s value plus sales. Pet rocks sold as well. Pyramid Power sold. Variable Annuities sold. Fossil fuels sold for decades. But the sales are interfered with by another message now. The value remains for many people but some people now think the value is as low as negative. I suppose this is the contest being fought. 514. BBD says: Yes. But I think it’s value plus sales. Pet rocks sold as well. Pyramid Power sold. Variable Annuities sold. I’m not sure I understand this. Can you unpack it a little? 515. Ragnaar says: BBD: One can look up home solar with the intent of possibly buying. That’s sales. There’s this and this tax break. But what should accompany this is value. If within 5 years of buying home solar, you find your electrical utility is now your enemy we’d ask, does this suggest you bought value? And then you have advocates arguing that you’ll could be a victim and protecting you. And the solar industry feels a need to protect you and the product they sold you and take it to governments and sway them to believe you did buy a valuable product. They lobby for the value of what they sold you. And value should not have to be lobbied for. It’s inherent. 516. izen says: @-Ragnaar “And value should not have to be lobbied for. It’s inherent.” Fossil fuel for cars in the UK is taxed at over 60%. Is that more than doubling the cost representative of the inherent value of the product? 517. Ragnaar says: izen: A carton of cigarettes is about$85 in Minnesota. That tax indicates the negative value of cigarettes. The UK gasoline tax is part penalty/policy and part just plain we need government revenues.

There are examples of taxing value. Real Estate taxes. A company like General Mills is assumed to have value. Paying employees well. And with a lot of tax revenues paid in from corporate taxes, employee taxes, taxes on dividends and on stock capital gains. I am aware they have real estate so there are those taxes as well. Say the whole company tanks. Its value to the state budget also tanks. And the prior value to its employees, a nice income stream, also tanks.

Now say it’s Xcel above. My electricity provider. Xcel can be hobbled a number of ways as most companies can, but they make a better legislative target than most. Because the are a public utility they get advice from the government. The successful capitalists carry a lot.

518. Ragnaar says:

Why Crockford?

“Scientists learnt long ago that elegant equations and mathematical proofs bought them nothing in the way of public approbation, so those scientists with a flair for language turned to the writer’s craft, to narrative. Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Jane Goodall: all have written movingly about their disciplines, often in books that have sold hundreds of thousands or even millions of copies.”

You have to tell a story. Goldilocks for instance. The bears were out hunting seals. The ice blew away from the shore. And Papa bear said, stay away from me, find your own food. So Mama bear said, come along children, looks like we hit the road once again. Your father is like all male bears. But remember baby bears, you’re Good Enough, you’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, other bears Like you.

519. ATTP,

Back again…

I think the essential difference between our views on natural variability and warming caused by CO2 is in the origin of the warming, not the reaction of the feedbacks once there is warming. The latter are essentially the same, whatever caused the warming. The former influences are largely different and include albedo, ice melt, seawater warming, the hydrological cycle, clouds,…

There are several indications from the past – especially the non-effect of CO2 on the prevention of cooling into a new ice age – that shows that the influence of CO2 is (far) less than the average of current climate models. An interesting simulation is here:
https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00298166/document

Where their model has a low ECS for CO2 (around 2ºC for 2xCO2, if I remember well), but in the above case CO2 doesn’t play any role, as CO2 levels hardly changed between 125 kyear and 115 kyear during the period of the simulation. One strange point: the model calculated a difference of only 0.7 K globally over that period, while the Vostok Antarctic ice core shows already 5 K difference, according to Petit e.a., or 3 K difference according to Jouzel e.a. Even if you get half of that globally, because of polar enhancement, it still is twice to 3.5 times of what the model shows…

Thus again, natural variability is clearly underestimated by the model…

520. I note that the full data set has yet to released. That data would reveal whether or not the finding is tautological, a concern you would think the authors are eager to put to rest.

521. Ferdinand,

I think the essential difference between our views on natural variability and warming caused by CO2 is in the origin of the warming. The latter are essentially the same, whatever caused the warming. The former influences are largely different and include albedo, ice melt, seawater warming, the hydrological cycle, clouds,…

Except, we are talking about what could have caused the ~1K of observed warming. My point is that – given that the feedbacks can’t know what caused the initial warming – it is inconsistent to argue that a large fraction of the observed warming could be natural. In this context, I’m using natural to mean internal, rather than external. Therefore, most of the observed warming is probably anthropogenically-driven.

522. About looking what the general public and scientists think about the influence of CO2 on climate…

In Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium, about 6 million inhabitants), there was a survey in the general public to find out what people think about CO2 and global warming. Only 30% thought it was dangerously increasing temperatures and 70% was thinking between some effect to little effect and no effect.

Indeed much depends of how the questions are posed and how you bring in scales. If you bring in at least 5 scales, you will have nuanced answers and no black-and-white which don’t offer any insight of what people really think.

About a real good insight of what scientists, directly related to climate science think, there is the 5-yearly repeated survey of Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch:

With 7 steps, a quite reasonable overview of what climate related scientists think about several items…

523. verytallguy says:

Ferdinand,

I’m intruiged that you claim albedo change and clouds as forcings.

These are normally understood as feedbacks.

524. ATTP,

I disagree: if most of the warming is in the oceans, that may be warming from 1000 years ago in the Medieval Warm Period, which is getting out now from the deep oceans. Or from solar changes, or cloud cover changes, all with quite a different direct influence and feedback on incoming sunlight, thus energy. Even if the deep oceans only changed from 4ºC to 5ºC, the current upwelling would be warmer and with the same incoming energy, the surface get warmer too.

Take the lunar orbit influence on El Niño from Paul Pukite. Tides have zero direct influence on temperature, but have an influence on ocean currents, How does that change temperatures? Diverting warmer water to different places? Something that probably happened during the LIA when the Gulf Stream was more south leaving most of Europe colder than now?

Or changing rain patterns, cloud cover? Nobody knows the exact mechanism. All we know for sure is that large quantities of seawater are warmed up by direct sunlight over some period of time and that is given back to the atmosphere in another period of time…

Important question: how much research money goes into the study of natural climate change and how much into CO2 and other GHGs?

525. BBD says:

Ferdinand

There are several indications from the past – especially the non-effect of CO2 on the prevention of cooling into a new ice age – that shows that the influence of CO2 is (far) less than the average of current climate models.

You show a single modelling study from 2006, which isn’t ‘several indications from the past’. What else did you have in mind?

526. Ferdinand,

I disagree: if most of the warming is in the oceans, that may be warming from 1000 years ago in the Medieval Warm Period, which is getting out now from the deep oceans. Or from solar changes, or cloud cover changes, all with quite a different direct influence and feedback on incoming sunlight, thus energy. Even if the deep oceans only changed from 4ºC to 5ºC, the current upwelling would be warmer and with the same incoming energy, the surface get warmer too.

Except we’re talking about the observed warming of the surface. This is only possible if there are feedbacks that sustain this warming. These feedbacks should not depend on whether the cause of the observed warming is external (anthropogenic) or internal (ocean cycles). Hence, given that the non-feedback response to the change in anthropogenic forcing is almost half of the observed warming, it’s very unlikely that the other half could be purely internal, because that would imply no feedbacks to externally-driven warming while implying that there are feedbacks to internally-driven warming. This is inconsistent/paradoxical.

Also, what do you mean by if most of the warming is in the oceans? We have observations of increasing ocean heat content, at least in the upper 2000m. So, this cannot be the source of the surface warming because it can’t both heat the surface and heat itself. Also, the deeper ocean can’t be the source, because it’s colder than the upper ocean. It can’t transfer energy to the upper ocean, because this would violate the basics of thermodynamics. Water is also largely incompressible, so even if currents could bring deep ocean water to the surface (which they can on very long timescales) this would imply swapping warm water at the surface for cold water from the deep ocean. Again, the deep ocean can’t heat the surface.

527. Marco says:

“Important question: how much research money goes into the study of natural climate change and how much into CO2 and other GHGs?”

Important question: how can climate scientists study the impact of *anthropogenic* sources on climate change if they do not study the impact of all sources?
Answer: they can’t, so they do this all the time. It’s impossible to make two separate boxes with “natural climate change” funding and “CO2 and other GHGs” funding, especially when considering that glacial to interglacial transitions (and vice versa) also include CO2 and other GHGs as ‘natural’ factors.

528. JCH says:

What they mean by studying natural climate change is they want the models to go both up and down. They’re tired of them always going up (ACO2.) They want up-and-down cycles: the AMO. Probably the best way to satisfy their itch would be to fund moving the models into the building elevators.

529. Joshua says:

Ferdinand –

Only 30% thought it was dangerously increasing temperatures and 70% was thinking between some effect to little effect and no effect.

Any chance you could provide (an English language) link? I afraid the ambiguity of the wording of your zeestatement doesn’t shed much light on the ambiguity of what we know from other polling. Does only 30% thinking CO2 is “dangerously increasing temperatures” mean to date, or dies it speak to the risk going forward? What do we know about the ideological or demographic characteristics of the sampling (other than that it was conducted in Flanders) ? What do we know about the generalizability of the findings? What do we know about the context (e.g., economic conditions when and where the study was conducted, recent weather patterns when and where it was conducted, etc., i.e., contextual factors which are often considered to influence such findings)?

If you bring in at least 5 scales, you will have nuanced answers and no black-and-white which don’t offer any insight of what people really think.

Perhaps. But sometimes adding more data doesn’t lend significant insight into what people really think. Black and white can sometimes reveal something more meaningful than data which is more “nuanced” by virtue of relatively in informative categorization. For example, knowing that a plurality or Republicans in the US respond to polling by saying that “no warming” has taken place could be important, as is the pattern whereby as respondents identify further right on a left/right scale, they are more likely to more strongly reject the “consensus” view in global warming AND believe that they don’t need to learn anything more bout global warming to formulate an opinion.

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/survey-says-2/

530. paulski0 says:

Ferdinand,

…but in the above case CO2 doesn’t play any role, as CO2 levels hardly changed between 125 kyear and 115 kyear during the period of the simulation.

Well, yes, which means the implications for the effect of CO2 are zero. The fact that a regional or global temperature change occurred without a change in CO2 is irrelevant to the effect of CO2 on temperatures. Arguing otherwise would be like arguing that throwing a tennis ball and it going a substantial distance means that hitting the ball with a racquet is likely to have little effect.

By the way, that polar amplification short-hand is really only relevant to fairly globally-coherent forced warming. Large regional shifts, particularly at the Poles, through some form of dynamic variability and/or in response to orbital insolation changes will have a very different pattern. As a nice robust example, Greenland temperatures abruptly warmed by about 2ºC from the 1910s to the 1930s. The global Land+Ocean average over that same period warmed by about 0.3ºC. That ratio actually fits quite nicely with the modelGavg/Vostok relationship.

To boil down your basic argument, it is that natural internal variability could be very large, possibly about as large as observed warming over the past 150 years. Based on that premise, you then suggest a conclusion that this means CO2 sensitivity is quite small. Even accepting the premise, the conclusion doesn’t follow. Given that you have provided no reason to think internal variability should be going up rather than down over this period, the central estimate for internal variability temperature influence is zero and, in a simple energy balance framework the derived estimate for CO2 sensitivity based on central values of all variables is unaffected. What changes is the uncertainty, and it changes in a non-linear way for low versus high cases, because the equation involves multiples. That means the long-tail probability of very high sensitivities and median best estimate sensitivity actually increases, all else being equal, with larger potential internal variability influences.

531. verytallguy says:

paulskio,

would a fair summary be that if internal variability is high, climate sensitivity is also likely high?

Because if sensitivity were low, internal variability would be damped?

532. Joshua says:

Ferdinand –

Just to put a finder point on what I was saying above (and to switch to a keyboard to hopefully windup with fewer typos), sometimes relatively un-nuanced data can give us an insight into what is most meaningful.

In this case, the specific breakdown of how people view a complex science that they don’t actually understand may not be particularly meaningful, and distinctions such as “I believe that there is a GHE” from people who also believe things that are logically incoherent with their stated belief doesn’t tell us something any more meaningful (and perhaps something less meaningful) than a more simplistic survey which shows us a broad-scale patter of believes on global warming that track very closely with ideological orientation. And along similar lines, we might (or might not) see that such a broad-scale pattern exists in some countries and not in others…which might then lead to other interesting insights.

Additionally, we might also see that sometimes, people who dismiss broad-scale data in order to appeal to more nuanced data are, effectively, doing so because they are using rather insignificant nuances to distance themselves from the implications of of what less-nuanced data reveal. If you get my drift.

533. BBD says:

vtg

would a fair summary be that if internal variability is high, climate sensitivity is also likely high?

Because if sensitivity were low, internal variability would be damped?

We’ll see what paulski0 says, but that’s always been my understanding.

534. JCH says:

All you have to do is review what the coauthor of a noted GWPF skeptic said at RealClimate:

It first needs to be emphasized that natural variability and radiatively forced warming are not competing in some no-holds barred scientific smack down as explanations for the behavior of the global mean temperature over the past century. Both certainly played a role in the evolution of the temperature trajectory over the 20th century, and significant issues remain to be resolved about their relative importance. However, the salient point, one that is oftentimes not clear in arguments about variability in the climate system, is that all else being equal, climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin. – Swanson

535. paulski0 says:

verytallguy,

would a fair summary be that if internal variability is high, climate sensitivity is also likely high?

Because if sensitivity were low, internal variability would be damped?

That’s a separate argument. At least I think it is anyway. What I’m talking about is just the basic mathematical consequences of the energy balance equation. Accounting for potential internal variability is essentially adding more uncertainty (in equal amounts in both directions) to deltaT in the energy balance equation. That means both higher and lower sensitivities become more likely at the two bounds, but the upper bound increases a bit more.

536. verytallguy says:

Thanks paulskio

537. BBD says:

Ragnaar

One can look up home solar

No idea why you narrowed ‘wind and solar’ down to domestic solar unless it was a failed attempt to make an anti-renewables argument by false equivalence.

And value should not have to be lobbied for. It’s inherent.

The inherent value in low carbon technologies like wind and solar is that they help reduce emissions of CO2.

538. ATTP,

Starting with the end:

the deeper ocean can’t be the source, because it’s colder than the upper ocean. It can’t transfer energy to the upper ocean

Of course it can’t be the main source of warming, that is always the sun. Yet it can give more or less cooling: some 5% of the ocean surface is upwelling from the deep oceans (mostly near land by off-land winds), compensated by the same amount of downwelling (mainly near the poles: denser due to temperature, saltier due to ice formation). That are enormous quantities of cold water getting to the surface and back down.
With the same amount of incoming solar energy, that influences the resulting temperature of the ocean surface. See what happens when the upwelling near South America is blocked during an El Niño, which is only a small part of the surface, but has a high influence om global temperatures.
Thus for a deep ocean that is 1 K warmer (or less cold), what effect has that on surface temperatures?

That the 0-200 m ocean surface is warming is clear, 0-700 m since the Argo floats also, 700-2000 m is more questionable (accuracy of the floats), but no problem with that. The question is what caused the warming besides CO2 and other GHGs. If the ~1000 year cycle is at work, then the deep oceans are now charging up to bring the heat back over about 1000 years…

These feedbacks should not depend on whether the cause of the observed warming is external (anthropogenic) or internal (ocean cycles).

We disagree on the effect of incoming energy (solar vs. IR), not on the reactions on a warmer surface, whatever the cause, which have essentially the same feedback(s). But that doesn’t imply that the surface does warm always in the same way, as that depends of the cause.

What as ocean currents also influence cloud cover – as is the case for an El Niño? More IR will keep the ocean skin warmer globally, which may influence evaporation and thus clouds, but not necessary in the same way as for less/more upwelling and cold/warm water spread in specific ocean zones.

539. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

The inherent value in low carbon technologies like wind and solar is that they help reduce emissions of CO2.

And the “inherent” value of fossil fuels is inflated:

Estimated subsidies are $4.9 trillion worldwide in 2013 and$5.3 trillion in 2015 (6.5% of global GDP in both years). Undercharging for global warming accounts for 22% of the subsidy in 2013, air pollution 46%, broader vehicle externalities 13%, supply costs 11%, and general consumer taxes 8%. China was the biggest subsidizer in 2013 ($1.8 trillion), followed by the United States ($0.6 trillion), and Russia, the European Union, and India (each with about \$0.3 trillion). Eliminating subsidies would have reduced global carbon emissions in 2013 by 21% and fossil fuel air pollution deaths 55%, while raising revenue of 4%, and social welfare by 2.2%, of global GDP.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X16304867

Funny how most market fundamentalists never seem to let the free-hand touch coal or oil.

What’s up with that?

540. Windchaser says:

I followed Ferdinand’s link to the Bray and Von Storch poll. Here’s the best question I could find in that poll related to broad dangers or impacts of climate change:

Figure 88, “How convinced are you that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity?”

from 1 (not at all ) … 7 (very much)

1: 2.2%
2: 3.1%
3: 3.3%
4: 5.7%
5: 13.5%
6: 26.1%
7: 46.0%

So some 8.5% voted less than middlin’, 5.7% voted for halfway between “not at all” and “very much”, and 86% for more than middlin’, somewhere between somewhat convinced and “very much”.

Almost 50% were at the highest level, saying they are very convinced that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity.

541. Ferdinand,
I’m somewhat losing track of what you’re suggesting, but I’ll try to respond to what I think you’re suggesting.

At a basic level, what determines if we gain energy (and the surface warms) or we lose energy (and the surface cools) is energy balance. If we’re gaining more energy than we’re losing, the surface warms, and if we’re losing more energy than we’re gaining, the surface cools.

However, the system is very complex and there are various circulations patterns that move energy around within the system, one of which moves energy from the surface of the ocean, into the deep ocean and then back to the surface again. This takes of order 1000 years.

So, what would happen if the deep ocean happened to get a little warmer than it would be in equilibrium? Well, this would probably slightly slow this circulation, leaving some excess energy at the surface and, hence, warming the surface. However, if this does happen, then we would be radiating more energy into space and the surface would cool back down.

However, if we’ve slightly slowed this circulation, then that might imply an effective increase in flux to the surface compared to when the deep ocean were slightly cooler. However, the timescale is so long (~1000 years) that this flux would almost certainly be very small and can’t really be associated with a large surface temperature increase.

As a rough estimate, if you wanted to sustain a 1K surface temperature increase simply via a net flux of energy to the surface, you’d need this energy flux to be of order $3 \times 10^{22}$ J/yr. This, I think, is comparable to the total energy transport due to this ocean circulation.

Another problem with this as a source of warming, is that it would imply that we should be in energy excess and should be losing energy to space (i.e., the surface has warmed above equilibrium and is being sustained by a reduction in energy flux to the deep ocean). We’re not, though. We’re in energy deficit – we’re receiving more energy than we’re radiating back into space. This doesn’t really make sense if the source of the warming is some kind of ocean circulation.

542. Marco:

Important question: how can climate scientists study the impact of *anthropogenic* sources on climate change if they do not study the impact of all sources?

They hardly do, as I want to see the first model that accurately predicts the next El Niño or La Niña, or why the fast/slow/fast/slow increase in temperatures while CO2 is increasing slightly quadratic over time…

543. Ferdinand,

They hardly do, as I want to see the first model that accurately predicts the next El Niño or La Niña,

Except, this is probably a bit like expecting to be able to predict the next roll of a die. You might not be able to do so, but it doesn’t mean you don’t understand the physics of rolling a die.

544. Willard says:

> That data would reveal whether or not the finding is tautological

No, it wouldn’t. Tautologies are not content-related. Methodology is enough to see that it’s not. First, frames. Then citations.

You’re better than this, Richie.

545. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

My wife is a climate scientist specifically climate impacts and a significant portion of her work relates to natural variability. You can’t study climate impacts without have some understanding of the variability in the system.

546. Paulskio,

The fact that a regional or global temperature change occurred without a change in CO2 is irrelevant to the effect of CO2 on temperatures.

That is only for the period 125-115 kyear BP. After that period CO2 dropped some 40 ppmv between 112 and 107 kyear BP, without a clear influence on (Antarctic/SH) temperatures (down and up) or ice sheet formation (flat and down). That is not an artefact of dating the ice-gas age difference, as CH4 follows (Petit’s) temperature drop in lockstep. Global ice sheet formation is measured in the gas phase too as the inverse of δ18O in N2O, I don’t know the rationale behind that.

I haven’t seen any model that has simulated the 112-107 kyear BP period, as that would be very interesting for the performance of the models, as that includes a relevant drop in CO2 levels, while changes in insolation are well known for the whole period.

the central estimate for internal variability temperature influence is zero

For short natural cycles, like ENSO in general yes, but even in the past 120 years we see accellerating and decellerating increases in temperature, while CO2 is growing monotonously, even slightly quadratic. During some periods El Niño episodes are dominant, in others La Niña episodes and that has a non-neutral effect on the warming speed.

Then we have much longer cycles like the Roman – MWP – current warm periods with cooler periods in between. We still may be going up as result of such a long cycle. Without detailed knowledge of what drives such cycles, how do we know what the real effect of CO2 is?

547. Ferdinand,

We still may be going up as result of such a long cycle. Without detailed knowledge of what drives such cycles, how do we know what the real effect of CO2 is?

It is extremely difficult to develop physically plausible long-timescale cycles that have any substantial magnitude. The heat capacity of the surface/atmosphere is low enough that any large perturbation should either radiate away, or recover, on a reasonably short timescale. So, can you provide a plausible scenario under-which a long-timescale (centuries) internal perturbation can drive large surface temperature perturbations?

548. Windchaser:

Almost 50% were at the highest level, saying they are very convinced that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity.

Quite convincing, until you know where that is based on:

On the question:
Climate models accurately simulate the climatic conditions for which they are calibrated.
That is how models reflect the past: the median is just slightly convinced (41.5%) and only 4.3% were at the highest level. Moreover, climate scientists involved in the IPCC are more convinced than others outside the IPCC.

Similar results for how atmospheric models perform in simulating the hydrological cycle, better for radiation, worse for clouds (only 20% say models are adequate to very adequate), neutral for precipitation,

Some better results for how ocean models perform in simulating the hydrological cycle and heat transport, much worse (average neutral) in simulating convection and turbulence.

And so on. Thus climate -and related- scientists are very convinced of the dangers of climate change, but less convinced about the performance of climate models to show those dangers…

549. Ferdinand,
Climate models can’t really show dangers. What they can do is indicate what might happen to our climate as we increase atmospheric CO2. We can then try to understand the impact of those changes. There are indications that some of these impacts might be things we’d rather avoid. Avoiding this would then require not changing atmospheric CO2 by as much as we possibly could. This would then require finding ways to reduce our emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. Alternatively, we can keep going and find out if these concerns were warranted or not. However, if we do so, the evidence also indicates that there is no easy way to go back.

550. Ragnaar says:

BBD:

I did try not to make it about wind and solar as that’s been gone over 100 times. But that didn’t work.

Home solar has many small invertors compared to fewer large ones. It in most cases is not ideally sited. It would seem more efficient to maintain a commercial facility versus 1000s of individual ones.

With farm tractors and other powered machinery, it’s diesel. Farmers don’t have to be lobbied on that one. They know what works, they know value from decades of experience. Proven diesel engines have inherent value because they reliably do the job at low cost and do that for decades. That’s inherent value.

Inherent value is suggested by others trying to glom onto it. Does home solar have others trying to to that as tax authorities glom onto to General Mills and collect revenues? Electric utilities are asked to support home solar and do everything for variable demand and rotating inertia that it doesn’t do. I don’t think anyone suggested home solar is making so much money, it needs to support and help pay for watershed improvements or other environmental concerns.

Fossil fuels can be argued to have their inherent value contaminated by CO2 emissions and other things such as a mercury content. But even subtracting these things I’d say it has value, as coal for steam powered transportation had 100 years ago.

551. verytallguy says:
December 15, 2017 at 10:59 am

Ferdinand,
I’m intruiged that you claim albedo change and clouds as forcings.
These are normally understood as feedbacks.

You are right, I completely messed that up, probably still too tired from driving 2000 km in two days…

What I wrote:

The latter are essentially the same, whatever caused the warming. The former influences are largely different and include albedo, ice melt, seawater warming, the hydrological cycle, clouds,…

Are mostly feedbacks, not forcings. Which may be quite different if the forcing is direct sunlight or IR backradiation. The only feedback which is the same, whatever caused the warming is the backradiation for outgoing IR…

552. russellseitz says:

While the difficuty of replacing the polar bear rug my grandfather brought from Alaska attests to their scarcity today, they seem to be doing well enough to eat the occcasional graduate student.

The last one we lost was a tragic reminder of an ironic conjunction: polar warming has at once greatly facilitated summer field work of all sorts at high latitudes, and, by at least locally reducing the bears access to their customary prey, increased the likelihood of Ursus marinus adding anthopologists, archaeologists and geologists to its menu on first sight.

I wonder what fraction of Watts or Ball’s commentariat have encountered one in the wild?

553. Marco says:

Ferdinand, moving the goalposts doesn’t quite work with me. You went from suggesting hardly any money is spent on natural variability to
“They hardly do, as I want to see the first model that accurately predicts the next El Niño or La Niña, or why the fast/slow/fast/slow increase in temperatures while CO2 is increasing slightly quadratic over time…”

Well, let’s take this google scholar search:
There’s a lot of papers on internal variability related to ENSO. In 2017 alone. That’s a LOT of money spent on looking at internal variability.

And that GCMs don’t model (you do know they don’t, right?) a linear increase in temperature with quadratic increase in CO2 is due to the internal variability, coded into models through our physical understanding of ocean and atmospheric processes, which you claim is so poorly studied, that causes this variability.

You can complain all you want that “the models” don’t predict ENSO variability accurately enough, but don’t use that as a proxy to claim that hardly any research is done on internal variability and other natural forcings/feedbacks. That’s just contrarian claptrap.

554. Marco,

Of course some work is done on the study of internal variability, but that is not where the big research money goes.

In the case of El Niño, most research is into the predictability on short periods, seasons, not directly related to climate change and seems to get better when there is already an onset underway. That is to predict regional weather in the next season(s) and fish quantities than anything to do with climate change research.

Longer term influences of periods with dominant El Niño or La Niña periods on climate are not that frequently researched…

555. Ferdinand,

Longer term influences of periods with dominant El Niño or La Niña periods on climate are not that frequently researched…

Except these are internal cycles and – I think – it’s very hard to see a physically plausible scenario under which these internal cycles can contribute to long-term warming, or cooling. Sometimes the reason things aren’t studied is because it doesn’t really make sense to do so. Funding research into something that is almost certainly not plausible, would seem like a poor way to spend public money.

556. BBD says:

ABC.

557. Joshua says:

Ferdinand –

Of course some work is done on the study of internal variability, but that is not where the big research money goes.

In follow on to Anders’ response, why do you suppose that is the case?

558. BBD says:

Established so far:

1/ CO2 was neither the dominant nor the only radiative forcing during the Eemian

2/ The oceans aren’t driving modern warming

3/ Nor is ENSO or other natural variability which is self-cancelling within years to decades

4/ Only a sustained forcing increase can be responsible for driving the observed centennial warming trend

5/ CO2 emissions are sufficient to have caused a forcing increase capable of driving modern warming

6/ Despite careful investigation, no other source of forcing change capable of explaining modern warming has been found

7/ Occam and we’re done

559. Marco says:

ABC, indeed. Deep, deep sigh.

ATTP: there have been several papers that have looked at ENSO variability and its contribution to the observed warming, e.g. Hoerling et al, 2008, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL035984/abstract. Also Lean & Rind (2008) and Foster & Rahmstorf (2011) have taken a look. Result: it has a very minor impact, also on the long-term (1880-2007 in Hoerling, 1950-2007 in Lean & Rind). It thus isn’t just a physical argument, but an actual data-driven conclusion: on the long-term it doesn’t do much.

560. Marco,

561. F.E. said:

“That is to predict regional weather in the next season(s) and fish quantities than anything to do with climate change research.”

The key to making sense of the interseasonal variability is to acknowledge the biennial influence. A strong biennial factor shows up in many published climate simulation results but never clearly shows up in data from ENSO and other MET measurements … except in the fisheries cycles of salmon. Why does the biennial cycle not appear in the instrumental data? Because it is modulated by the monthly lunar tidal cycles, which splits the biennial peak into numerous satellite peaks.

“Longer term influences of periods with dominant El Niño or La Niña periods on climate are not that frequently researched…”

At this week’s AGU, I spent some time talking to a University of Arizona researcher who was looking at paleo-ENSO results. He claimed that there was very little low-frequency variability in the ENSO results if multiple data sets were properly analyzed. In other words, there is very little weighting in the ENSO variability that spans multiple decades.
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/289964

So the thinking is that to find sources of multidecadal influnce on climate, you have to look elsewhere than El Nino and La Nina. ENSO is very much a reverting-to-the-mean standing wave oscillation which is likely only driven by lunisolar forcing, which has no long-term trend.

562. Marco,

Thanks for the link to the Hoerling e.a. paper.

It was quite clear:

– If you look at the 1910-1945 period in Fig. 3, the observed data give an increase of ~0.7ºC, while the model ensamble only gives ~0.2ºC. Thus the models largely underestimate the natural decadal amplitude.
– If you look at the 1946-1975 period, the observed data show a slight downward trend, while the models already start to increase.
– For the period after 1975, the models show too much warming with at the end some 0.2ºC above observations.

While it is clear from the data (and models) that land temperatures and SST are linked, where SST variability leads land temperatures variability, the models underestimate natural variability on short term up to multi-decennial periods and overestimate the effect of CO2.

Back to the drawing table…

563. Ferdinand,

While it is clear from the data (and models) that land temperatures and SST are linked, where SST variability leads land temperatures variability, the models underestimate natural variability on short term up to multi-decennial periods and overestimate the effect of CO2.

I’m constantly amazed at how certain people can be when it comes to claims about climate sensitivity being low. Why is this?

564. As we’re waiting for Harvey and co to release all their data, the PCA in Fig 2 becomes ever more mysterious. For instance, Figure 2 shows six red triangles. However, the data show that the six red papers take a total of four unique positions.

565. BBD,

1. CO2 was an important forcing during the onset of the Eemian and after temperature dropped to a new minimum, the drop of 40 ppmv CO2 should have an observable effect if CO2 is an important driver. During the onset it is difficult to separate the influences due to a large overlap between increasing insolation and increasing CO2.

2. I haven’t seen any proof for that. Models underestimate natural variability and overestimate the effect of CO2.

3. Periods of mainly El Niño or mainly La Niña have a clear effect on the speed of warming.

4. Agreed, but probably a mix of natural and GHGs.

5. If you add a lot of questionable positive feedbacks like less clouds helping in the warming, while clouds are probably a negative feedback.

6. Models recognize mainly 4 forcings: CO2+, solar, volcanic aerosols, human aerosols. With these four you can make ranges of 1.5-4.5ºC for 2xCO2, depending of what one assumes as positive feedbacks. But what did drive the ~1000 years warmer-cooler-warmer periods of the past?

7. Still a lot of work to do before we know what drives what and to what extent.

566. Ferdinand,

I haven’t seen any proof for that. Models underestimate natural variability and overestimate the effect of CO2.

You keep saying this as if it is obviously true. It is not.

567. Regarding research funding, we all know why it’s happening, and the numbers at the AGU meeting reflect it. Somebody said that the number of USGS presenters was 1/4 that of last year’s meeting (700 to less than 200). I saw many posters that had a “withdrawn” note attached. At least some of these were due to recent changes in customs/visa requirements.

Dan Rather gave a keynote and had some wise words:

Watch out, one of the posters was presented by an 11-year old grade schooler. Very impressive and the abstract was more readable than most
https://earther.com/an-enterprising-11-year-old-is-building-our-renewable-e-1821334468

568. Joshua says:

Ferdinand –

I’ve asked you a couple of questions in this thread. Maybe you’ve missed them, maybe you’ve decided to ignore them (perhaps you consider them beneath you to answer, or me to be beneath the respect extended from providing an answer), but I wanted to underline that I’ve asked questions that you haven’t answered.

I’ll ask them again. First, why do you find the Crockford situation interesting? Second, since (it seems to me that) you think that there is an unjustifiable disparity between the funding of natural versus anthropogenic forcing on climate, why do you think that disparity exists?

I ask those questions because, while from my observations you seem to engage in a sophisticated manner w/r/t discussions of technical matters (and I have written before, people complimenting your manner of engagement on technical matters), you flutter around rather unscientific conclusions on the cultural components of the larger climate wars dynamic. But maybe that isn’t the case, and my perception is more of a projection.

If you answered my questions it would help me to evaluate your thinking on matters that I feel at least somewhat more capable of understanding…which in turn might provide me some “information” for evaluating the probabilities of your technical insights.

569. Joshua says:

570. BBD says:

Ferdinand

1. CO2 was an important forcing during the onset of the Eemian and after temperature dropped to a new minimum, the drop of 40 ppmv CO2 should have an observable effect if CO2 is an important driver. During the onset it is difficult to separate the influences due to a large overlap between increasing insolation and increasing CO2.

Not if the effect of CO2 was overprinted by the albedo and CH4 feedback to the reduction in summer insolation at high N latitude.

2. I haven’t seen any proof for that. Models underestimate natural variability and overestimate the effect of CO2.

3. Periods of mainly El Niño or mainly La Niña have a clear effect on the speed of warming.

On decadal timescales, and they cancel out on multidecadal timescales. ENSO is an oscillation. Oscillations don’t drive long term trends in GAT.

4. Agreed, but probably a mix of natural and GHGs.

No evidence for natural drivers, only CO2, so disagree.

5. If you add a lot of questionable positive feedbacks like less clouds helping in the warming, while clouds are probably a negative feedback.

Evidence denial and argument from assertion.

6. Models recognize mainly 4 forcings: CO2+, solar, volcanic aerosols, human aerosols. With these four you can make ranges of 1.5-4.5ºC for 2xCO2, depending of what one assumes as positive feedbacks. But what did drive the ~1000 years warmer-cooler-warmer periods of the past?

Solar variability and volcanic aerosols seem to be generally regarded as the likely drivers. There’s no evidence for a cyclical ~1ka warming. No evidence for a Holocene Bond cycle.

7. Still a lot of work to do before we know what drives what and to what extent.

Rubbish.

571. paulski0 says:

Ferdinand,

I haven’t seen any model that has simulated the 112-107 kyear BP period, as that would be very interesting for the performance of the models, as that includes a relevant drop in CO2 levels, while changes in insolation are well known for the whole period.

You could look at this paper. They reconstruct using 14 SST proxies from various locations around the world, rather than just one location in Antarctica. Seems to fit pretty well with expectations based on greenhouse gas variability and other changes.

For short natural cycles, like ENSO in general yes, but even in the past 120 years we see accellerating and decellerating increases in temperature…

You’re missing the point. I’m not saying the effect of natural internal variability over the past hundred years is zero. I’m saying that since you have no good argument for a specific direction for internal variability over this time span it’s equally likely to be negative as positive as far as we know, and therefore your central estimate for internal variability must be zero. Hence, increasing an allowed magnitude of potential internal variability just increases the uncertainty in both directions, including allowing much greater CO2 sensitivity.

572. ATTP,

I’m constantly amazed at how certain people can be when it comes to claims about climate sensitivity being low. Why is this?

Besides that we live on a water planet, which damps large temperature swings, the fact that the model ensemble overestimates the warming after 1975 is a matter of an average too high estimate of the effect of 2xCO2. If we may assume that the models use an average 3ºC for 2xCO2, the real effect thus should be lower.

Not only in recent years: despite a huge overlap between insolation and CO2 increase during the onset of the warming from the LGM to the Holocene, there is nothing that shows any influence of the extra CO2, which should have an accelerating effect on the warming, if its effect was huge. See:

Courtesy A. Van den Berg for the graph.

The main point of disagreement between us still is that most models assume that 1 W/m2 extra from CO2 has the same effect as 1 W/m2 extra solar (directly or via cloud cover), while the direct effects and the feedbacks are quite different.

I have to stop the discussion for now, as it gets too much of my time and a lot of other work (home automation…) is waiting.
Still one unresolved question for my side is how a sustained deep ocean warming can act as a sustained warming of the surface over a ~1000 years cycle…

573. Ferdinand,

Besides that we live on a water planet, which damps large temperature swings,

No, the existence of water (the oceans) does not damp large temperature swings. The large heat capacity of the oceans does, however, mean that reaching equilibrium can take a long time.

the fact that the model ensemble overestimates the warming after 1975 is a matter of an average too high estimate of the effect of 2xCO2. If we may assume that the models use an average 3ºC for 2xCO2, the real effect thus should be lower.

No, we can’t estimate the equilibrium response based a few decades of observations. There are many reasons why the observed warming might have been below the model mean without that indicating that the models are too sensitive.

The main point of disagreement between us still is that most models assume that 1 W/m2 extra from CO2 has the same effect as 1 W/m2 extra solar (directly or via cloud cover),

I don’t think they assume that they are identical. I think there is little to suggest that we the sensitivity to solar forcing is very different to the sensitivity to anthropogenic forcings.

Still one unresolved question for my side is how a sustained deep ocean warming can act as a sustained warming of the surface over a ~1000 years cycle…

I don’t think it can, so if you think it can, I’d be keen to hear an explanation.

574. Marco says:

“I’m constantly amazed at how certain people can be when it comes to claims about climate sensitivity being low. Why is this?”

ABC, ATTP, ABC.

Anything But CO2, in case someone doesn’t know what it means.

575. paulski0 says:

Ferdinand,

…the fact that the model ensemble overestimates the warming after 1975 is a matter of an average too high estimate of the effect of 2xCO2. If we may assume that the models use an average 3ºC for 2xCO2, the real effect thus should be lower.

This is a massive about-turn. Most of this thread has been about how important you think internal variability is, yet a small difference in linear trend over 40 years (amounting to about 0.15K more warming in the model mean) is suddenly definitive evidence about the magnitude of the effect of co2. What if there’s been a -0.15K swing in internal variability influence over that time? How about a -0.3K swing?

576. Researchers at NASA JPL have speculated on one quasi-cycle in the global temperature records on the scale of 60-80 years: “Air Temperature and Anthropogenic Forcing: Insights from the Solid Earth”
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010JCLI3500.1

They have correlated this to a similar variation in the length-of-day (LOD) measure in the earth’s rotation. Now, the point to understand is that virtually all of the variations in LOD at all the different time scales are related to the interactions with the cyclic lunar gravitational pull (plus the annual solar). This includes the LOD variation due to ENSO, which has now been determined to be transitively related to monthly and fortnightly interactions of the lunar cycle with the annual solar cycle.

So if we can determine what the 60-80 year cycle maps to, then it might lead to placing some bounds on the temperature variation at the multidecadal time scale.

Of course, this will not help with the much longer time scales leading to glacial cycles, but that is really irrelevant to the near term trends.

577. Paulskio:

You could look at this paper.

I have looked at that paper, two remarks:

– According to the models (based on the efficacy estimates of James Hansen), CO2 changes over the glacial-interglacial periods have as much forcing amplitude as all natural forcings together. Which makes it very unlikely that the 40 ppmv drop at the end of the Eemian is as good as invisible and completely overwhelmed by natural variability.

– According to the models, the effect of forcings is twice as high during warm periods than during cold periods. Which is completely at odds with what is observed: during glacials: there are huge changes in temperature and ice sheet volume from Dansgaard-Oeschger events, which are still visible during the Holocene, but many times smaller in amplitude.

I’m saying that since you have no good argument for a specific direction for internal variability over this time span it’s equally likely to be negative as positive

As we were recovering from the LIA, the direction is up, not down. In how far that is the case today and will go on in the future and what the driving force behind it is, that is the million dollar question. All what we know is that there were several similar millennial oscillations over the Holocene.

578. Paulskio:

This is a massive about-turn. Most of this thread has been about how important you think internal variability is,

Not at all. all what I said is that even with zero contribution from internal variability in the period 1950-2007, models overestimate the effect of CO2, as good as they largely underestimate natural variability in the period 1910-1945 (factor 3.5). With any non-zero contribution, the CO2 effect gets lower…

What if there’s been a -0.15K swing in internal variability influence over that time? How about a -0.3K swing?

That is exactly my point: if most of the slope 1900-current ánd the variability is natural, then CO2 is only responsible for the change in slope for the period 1946-1975 and 2000-now…

579. Ferdinand,

As we were recovering from the LIA

There is no recovery from the LIA. The LIA was almost certainly forced (solar, volcanoes). Any change since then is also almost certainly due to changes in external forcings.

With any non-zero contribution, the CO2 effect gets lower…

No, because natural factors could also have had a cooling influence (as is actually expected since about 1950). The multi-model mean would likely average out any such natural factors and hence could show more warming than was observed without indicating that models over-estimates climate sensitivity.

Also, bear in mind that we have only experienced one reality. We don’t necessarily expect reality to exactly follow the multi-model mean.

580. BBD says:

Ferdinand

– According to the models, the effect of forcings is twice as high during warm periods than during cold periods. Which is completely at odds with what is observed: during glacials: there are huge changes in temperature and ice sheet volume from Dansgaard-Oeschger events, which are still visible during the Holocene, but many times smaller in amplitude.

D-O events were a glacial climate phenomenon. They do not exist in the Holocene. They were centred on the N Atlantic and show up antiphased with ~200yr lag in Antarctic cores (WAIS Divide core).

581. I wrote about Dansgaard-Oeschger events in this post.

582. verytallguy says:

Perhaps a reasonable summation of this discussion would be that Ferdinand has mistaken showing that low sensitivity is possible with showing that it is probable

583. vtg,
Yes, that would about sum it up.

584. Paul Pukite:

So if we can determine what the 60-80 year cycle maps to, then it might lead to placing some bounds on the temperature variation at the multidecadal time scale.

Interesting research item for you…

So the informed opinion of someone on the conference was that even the decadal ENSO periods result in little change in temperature over a full multi-decadal cycle. Then I have to look for longer cycles…

585. Ferdinand,

Then I have to look for longer cycles…

Why?

586. Willard says:

> while clouds are probably a negative feedback.

Probably…

587. Actually, clouds probably are not (probably not a negative feedback, that is).

588. F.E.: “So the informed opinion of someone on the conference was that even the decadal ENSO periods result in little change in temperature over a full multi-decadal cycle. Then I have to look for longer cycles…”

PDO and AMO have more of a multidecadal characteristc than ENSO. This goes into the “stadium wave” hypothesis of Curry, which is essentially a rip-off of the aforementioned research of Dickey, Marcus et al at NASA JPL. Steven Marcus has found this fascinating enough that he has continued to look at this topic as a private researcher:
“Does an Intrinsic Source Generate a Shared Low-Frequency Signature in Earth’s Climate and Rotation Rate?” — http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/EI-D-15-0014.1

The question raised by Marcus is whether this is perhaps an earth geophysical effect:

“Furthermore, the strong (4σ) correlation of LOD with the estimated NH intrinsic component is consistent with the view proffered here, one of an internally generated, core-to-climate process imprinted on both the climate and Earth’s rotational rate. While the exact mechanism is not elucidated by this study’s results, reported correlations of geomagnetic and volcanic activity with LOD offer prospects to explain observations in the context of a core-to-climate chain of causality.”

589. BBD:

D-O events were a glacial climate phenomenon. They do not exist in the Holocene.

But similar 1000-1600-2500 year cycles exist during the Holocene:
https://www.clim-past.net/3/569/2007/cp-3-569-2007.pdf

Where the 1000 and 2500 year cycles are solar induced and the 1600 year cycle probably ocean currents induced. Ocean currents could be the cause for the D.-O. events when large ice fields were present…

590. ATTP,

Clouds were discussed before and I did present a paper that showed that climate models were completely at odds with low cloud cover in the Arctic. where they are a negative feedback to increasing temperatures / ice melt / evaporation.

591. Willard says:

> Actually, clouds probably are not (probably not a negative feedback, that is).

Do you conflate “probably” with “probably…,” AT…

592. Willard says:

> Ocean currents could be the cause for the D.-O. events when large ice fields were present…

It might be a bit subtler than that…

Circum-Atlantic climate records cannot be explained exclusively by solar forcing, but require changes in ocean circulation, as suggested previously (Broecker et al., 2001; McManus et al., 1999).

https://www.clim-past.net/3/569/2007/cp-3-569-2007.pdf

As far as natural variability is concerned, if the MWP was bigger and Lamb-like, that may imply a higher sensitivity than lukewarminly presumed…

593. Ferdinand,

Clouds were discussed before and I did present a paper that showed that climate models were completely at odds with low cloud cover in the Arctic.

I do remember this, but I can’t find the comment. That is only one paper, one region, and wasn’t that paper from more than 10 years ago?

594. Steven Mosher says:

“Ferdinand,

Then I have to look for longer cycles…

Why?”

Because ABC …. anything but c02

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

ATTP this is built in the very structure of scientific explanations. When you are done explaining X
in terms of Y, there is always the caveat– to the best of our understanding, to very high degree of probability, etc etc. And there always remains a sliver of doubt, or rather an open mindedness to the mere logical possiblity that something else might explain it better or just as well with more simplicity.
Call it scientific conservativeness or humility. Once “X because of Y “is established, some will move on and build on this. A few remain and try out other approaches.. Y, Y“ etc. Time passes and more is built on X because of Y” at this point working on alternatives looks like a waste of time and talent because so much more is being done by accepting “X because of Y”
Yet the logically possibility of something ‘other than Y” remains. Maybe its unicorns.

Of course no working scientist goes out looking for unicorns once “X because of Y” is generally
accepted because the job of science is to decide When to accept “X because of Y” and Move on
to Build more science on top of “X because of Y”. Some old dinosaurs never want to move on. Kids graduate and use new tools and methods, they master “X because of Y” and they create a world the dinosaur cant compete in. So he hangs on. He exploits the conservative nature of science. he hangs on to the methodological doubt rather than pragmaticaly moving on. because he cant move on. Amatuers are also attracted to this doubt. Why? because any one can do it.
Sure sure Y explains X, but you havent Proved it. You havent ruled out every other possible explanation. maybe its part of the sun we dont understand. yada yada yada.. many theories

595. Willard says:

Of mice and polar bears:

Down in the dark musty store-rooms of the British Museum, you discover a mysterious box with a hole in the top through which a rod sticks out. The rod supports a platform which has a 1 kilogram brick on it, but the curator won’t let you fuss with the brick, otherwise something might break. For various reasons, though, people in the Museum are thinking of adding a second 1kg brick to the platform, and you’ve been hired by the Queen to figure out what will happen. Though you can’t mess with the device yourself, you notice that every once in a while a mouse jumps down onto the brick, and the platform goes down a little bit, when this happens, after which the platform returns to its original level without oscillating. From this you infer that there’s some kind of spring in the box, which is sitting in molasses or something like that, which has enough friction to damp out oscillations. Your job amounts to estimating how stiff the spring in the box is, without being allowed to take apart the box or perform any experiments on it. If the spring is very stiff, then putting another brick on the platform won’t cause the platform to sink much further. If the spring is very soft, however, the second brick will cause the platform to go down a great deal, perhaps causing something to break. The displacement of the platform is analogous to global mean temperature, and the stiffness of the spring is analogous to climate sensitivity.

Now, the unfortunate thing is that the mice are too light and come along too infrequently for you to get a good estimate of the stiffness of the spring by just watching the response of the platform to mice jumping on it. However, from looking through other dusty records elsewhere in the basement of the British Museum, you discover some notes from an earlier curator, who had also observed the box. He notes that there used to be big, heavy rats in the Museum basement, and has written down some things about what happens when the rats jump on the platform. From indirect evidence, like footprints in the dust, size of rat droppings, shed fur, plus some incomplete notes left behind by the rat catcher, you infer that the typical rat weighed a quarter kilogram. Now, the curator has left behind some notes about how much the platform drops when a rat jumps onto it from the shelf just above the platform. Unfortunately, the curator was a scholar of Old Uighur, and left behind his notations in the Old Uighur numeration system so his rivals couldn’t read it. Also unfortunately, the curator died before publishing his explanation of the Old Uighur numeration system, and that has been lost to time. Using the same Uighur wheat production records available to the curator, you estimate that his notes mean that the typical displacement is 10 centimeters per rat. From this you estimate that the stiffness of the spring is such that a 1 kilogram brick would cause a 40 centimeter displacement of the platform. Things are looking good. You get paid a handsome sum. Then, one day, to your horror, you open a journal of Uighur studies and find a lead article proving that everybody has been interpreting Uighur wheat production records wrong, and that all previous estimates of what the Uighur numbers mean were off by a factor of two. That means that while you thought the typical displacement of the platform was 10 centimeters per rat, the “natural variability” caused by rats jumping on the platform is much greater than you thought. It was actually 20 centimeters, using the new interpretation of the Uighur numbering system. Does that mean you ring up the Museum and say, “I was all wrong — the natural variability was twice what we thought, so it is unlikely that adding a new brick to the platform will cause as much effect as I told you last year!” No, of course you don’t. Since you have no new information about the weight of the rats, the correct inference is that the spring in the box is softer than you thought, so that the predicted effect of adding a brick will be precisely twice what you used to think, and more likely to break something. However, being a cautious chap, you also entertain the notion that maybe the displacement of the platform was more than you thought because the rats were actually fatter than you thought; that would imply less revision in your estimate of the stiffness of the spring, but until you get more data on rat fatness, you can’t really say.

596. Steven Mosher,

It may look like that I am an adept for “anything except CO2”, which in part is my nature to be a “sleeper”. In Dutch there is a proverb that says “no railway without sleepers”, as the Dutch word for sleeper (“dwarsligger”) has a double meaning: railway sleeper and contrarian…

Indeed I was “green” and long time member of a organic growers association when near nobody was, but question the green movement today, while near everybody is “green” – in words.

My experience is with chemical models, not climate, but over 40 years interested in climate after reading a book about the influence of the sun on our climate. While the latter is surely not the only influence, what is sure is that its influence in current models is underestimated and that of CO2 is overestimated.

I have two main problems with current models:
– Models use a similar “efficacy” for different forcings, that is 1 W/m2 from CO2 has more or less the same effect as 1 W/m2 for solar, volcanic and human aerosols. While these have quite different direct effects and quite different feedbacks.
– There is nothing in the past 800,000 years that shows a huge influence of a CO2 change, while it should deliver 50% of the change between glacial and interglacial transitions and back, according to the change in forcing.

That means, that, in my informed opinion, the influence of 1 W/m2 from more backradiation has (far) less effect than 1 W/m2 from more insolation, no matter if that is from direct solar or indirect via cloud cover, albedo, aerosols,…

597. Ferdinand,
You keep saying this, but it’s not true

My experience is with chemical models, not climate, but over 40 years interested in climate after reading a book about the influence of the sun on our climate. While the latter is surely not the only influence, what is sure is that its influence in current models is underestimated and that of CO2 is overestimated.

It is possible that model overestimate the influence of CO2 and underestimate the influence of the Sun, but it is not something that one can be sure about. For completeness, I do not think that they do (in the sense that the standard climate sensitivity range seems quite reasonable).

Bear in mind that if the influence of the Sun is actually much higher than models suggest, we would probably expect to see more variation across the solar cycle.

598. Willard,

Problem is that the brick and the mice/rats are on different platforms, each with their own springs. Thus the change in movement of one platform doesn’t tell you anything about what the other platform will do, even if a mice jumps on one and a polar bear on the other…

the solar influence is not expected to dominate climate change. But the solar variations are expected to continue to modulate both warming and cooling trends at the level of 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.18 to 0.26 Fahrenheit) over many years.

The total change in solar forcing across a solar cycle is about 0.75W/m^2. If one assumes a TCR of 1.8K, this might suggest a temperature variation of $0.75/3.7 \times 1.8 = 0.36 K$. However, the solar cycle is 11 years, and the time to equilibrate with the upper ocean is probably 4 – 5 years, so we probably wouldn’t expect the full TCR to be realised. This seems consistent with the suggestion that the level would be of order 0.1 to 0.2K. I certainly don’t see any indication that it is much bigger than this.

600. dikranmarsupial says:

Ferdinand wrote:

” Models use a similar “efficacy” for different forcings, that is 1 W/m2 from CO2 has more or less the same effect as 1 W/m2 for solar, volcanic and human aerosols. While these have quite different direct effects and quite different feedbacks.”

I don’t really see a physical reason for the feedbacks to respond in a greatly different manner to 1 W/m2 of LW radiation from the CO2 or 1W/m2 of SW from solar forcing. On a globally averaged basis, both will result in the same amount of heating of the surface, so the only difference would be in regional variations (primarily land-sea), which are already built into GCMs. How can the feedbacks differentiate between surface heating due to CO2 and surface heating due to solar forcing. I don’t think an adequate answer to that question has been given. What is the mechanism in this specific case?

601. ATTP,

The influence of the solar cycle is more in precipitation than in temperature. Precipitation needs far more energy in evaporation than just warming, The link is established in many watersheds all over the world. Unfortunately many links I had are gone over time. Here the links that I could recover where available:
– For the USA: