Some thoughts on “Climate Change is Real, and Important”

Post by Tim Hunter (@Badgerbod on twitter)

denialYears ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
Elwood P. Dowd, adapted from the film “Harvey”

My name is Tim Hunter.  I am not a blogger, I am not a scientist, but I do have an interest in various areas of science, including climate science, and I care greatly about the environment.  As a younger man I was convinced we were headed for disaster and I was genuinely fearful that we were en route to wreak havoc in the world by blindly altering our climatic system. I was evangelical in spouting off to anyone who would listen that we were responsible for the disaster of our climate and that the world’s politicians had to do SOMETHING! I even remember taking my one-year-old firstborn out to the hills beyond Stoke so she could see and feel snow, in some idealistic belief that she may never see snow in her lifetime again. Twenty-four years later my understanding of climate science and of science in general has grown a great deal, whilst my knowledge, my “knowing”, has exponentially decreased.

I spend a lot of my time on Twitter (too much) as @badgerbod following and trying to engage with scientists and sceptics (why is there a distinction?) alike. I read blogs, papers, editorials, etc., in an attempt to find answers and generally I find more questions. However, I was startled and frankly appalled to read a piece called: “Climate Change is Real, and Important”. It was authored by a number of bloggers, some of whom are qualified in science, and only one seems to be so in climate science (that I could find). It was virulent in its response to an article by David Siegel on why he has become sceptical of the orthodox view on climate change, from a position of a “believer”. I recommend you read both of these quite long articles, but then draw your own conclusions (as David has recommended), but I want to address some things that disturbed me. Why did they? Both articles are directed at me. Not me personally, but me, the public, the unqualified, part of the teeming masses whose taxes are to pay for whatever folly or world-saving policy that is decided. I do not represent anyone but myself, and I’ve no idea whether any of my fellow unqualified-layman-but-I still-have-a-brain-and-learnt-to-read members of that great institution “the public” will agree. I will not discuss the science in any detail, since I do not have sufficient background to do so, but I may point you to those that do.

In reading the over long riposte “Climate Change is Real” to David Siegel’s article I was shocked at the tone and I really want to address three main points that vexed me.

1. In the “Climate Change is Real” article the authors start with an opinion that is an absolute position, thus excluding any opinion (or indeed evidence) that may not be so absolute. It is an opinion and nothing to do with science.

2. The authors claim the “consensus” (which I presume David Seigel and indeed I were party to) is challenged by those who have financial and other interests in the continued use of fossil fuels. So immediately they tar any scientist or open-minded layperson with the brush of supporting or being supported by the fossil fuel industry. Who are these people that are leading the public astray by doing science funded by the fossil fuel industry? I want to know, but they don’t tell me. Is it Judith Curry? Ronan Connolly? Clive Best? Or is it the popular bloggers: Anthony Watts? Tony Heller? Roger Tattersall? As far as I know all of them are still waiting for their cheque and I hope they feel predisposed to share it around when they get it. I find such statements, regarding scientists and sceptical thinkers, a typical response from the Climate Change is “real and dangerous” community but I’ve no idea who is raking in the dirty money from Exxon et al. So this is a political smear and nothing to do with science.

3. That word: Denial. The words: “Denial”, “Deny”, “Denialist” occur a dozen times within a dozen paragraphs in “Climate Change is Real”. This is propaganda, it is not science and it reads as politically motivated to sway the public not to investigate or accept any other evidence but the authors’ and to certainly not question their position lest you too be labelled. This is an abhorrent use of distasteful language in any respected profession. Science is continuously challenging the accepted and this continues in all areas of science: anthropology, physics, psychology, astrophysics, archaeology, you name it. But not by those advocates of Climate Science who have dug themselves a pit of their own making by “settling” the science at a point where we knew a fraction even of what we know today. And that ain’t much!

So what of the tone of David Siegel’s article? It is best summed up in his own words “hold strong opinions loosely”. He comes from a position of acceptance to a position of questioning to a realisation that something is maybe amiss. I’m not sure that this is a fair portrayal but read his article and draw your own conclusions.

For the riposters (it’s a made up word, but then, so is “denialist”) the tone, in my opinion, is accusatory, denigrating and intransigent. And it continues in the “twittersphere”.

What of the science? After all it is all about the science, everything above and below is semantics and opinion. As I’ve said, I’m not a scientist but to claim science is not about opinion is a fallacy. All science tries to be objective but any interpretation of a result is subjective. This is Sociology 101. This is partly why science continues to find past findings wrong. It is a journey. I had thought to write a critique of the science presented but really, that’s not my place. I’m a layman, non-scientist member of the public. What I am concerned about is the tone of the debate. And no matter what protestations to the contrary, there is a debate. To attack someone’s integrity because they dare to form an alternate view to your own after long and careful consideration, is unprofessional and unnecessary. So I’ll leave the science to those more qualified but what I do is check, I don’t take anyone’s single piece of evidence, and I question all statements, whoever has made them on whatever blog. Reading scientific papers is difficult, but I do try, and I do engage with the scientists, they are generally quite amenable to us “public” and willing to discuss. Twitter is an excellent place to start as it gives opportunities to explore links and read in more depth.

People generally prefer you not to hide behind anonymity, a problem I’ve encountered by not going under my real name. Anthony Watts, for example, has never engaged with me, as a consequence. My name is on my profile now, so hopefully that will be sufficient.

To stop myself waffling on as I am wont to do, I will finish with this: Science is sceptical. The minute it stops being sceptical it literally stops. Galileo was right (sort of, depends where you start from) about Copernican theory, but we know he was wrong. Where would we be if the universe still revolved around the sun? Is the science of the universe now settled? Of course not. Does our understanding of the universe constantly change? Yes it does. Nothing is set, question everything and be sceptical. Yet there is an increasing movement in “orthodox” climate science that dissenters must all have vested interests, that they are a danger to the public, should be banned, ignored and/or prosecuted. This is not a universal view, and I’m grateful for distinguished climate scientists such as Richard Betts and others.

If you’re like me and exploring what it’s all about, by all means get in touch, but I recommend you look for yourself at all the available data from sources such as Met Office, NOAA, NASA, DMI as well as some of the information, presentation and interpretation of the science by this site and others such as Judith Curry, Ronan Connolly, Clive Best, Ken Rice, Anthony Watts, Tony Heller, Roger Tattersall, Skeptical Science, etc. Some of the tone is confrontational and accusatory but drill through the data and draw your own conclusions. My conclusions so far are simply that no one denies climate change, no one denies the greenhouse effect, no one denies CO2 is essential to maintain that greenhouse effect, as well as all life on earth, and that no one has all the answers. But by following the money we may yet understand motive. In all things, remember the wise words of Mr Dowd.

102 thoughts on “Some thoughts on “Climate Change is Real, and Important”

  1. The more Mother Nature herself undercuts the ‘consensus’ meme, the shriller the warmunists become. Fossil fuel conspiracies should be RICOed (Sen. Whitehouse). Vervier dismissed in France. Many other recent examples.
    Warmunist desperation is born of a few irrefutable facts. In the 21st century, CO2 rose and temperatures didn’t (unless ‘adjusted’ like Karl did, who then disobeys a lawful subpoena to show his homework, including emails between the co-authors concerning the evolution of the adjustment-hint, they hid the +/- 1.7C uncertainty around the 0.1C SST adjustment). Sea level rise has not accelerated. Arctic sea ice is recovering. Greenland has stopped losing ice. Antarctica is newly found to be gaining ice. The planet is greening. Even the hoped for 2015 El Nino has not yet budged GAST off the ‘pause’, perhaps because the AMO has turned negative.
    Renewables are costly and intermittent. COP21 has already failed since Russia, China, and India won’t play. Nor will the G-77 unless given $100 billion per year, which is not going to happen.
    And skepical voices are gaining more traction. Homewood via Booker in the UK. Lamar Smith’s science oversight committee subpoenas in the US. Steyn’s book on Mann’s disgrace to the profession…

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  2. The alarmists are a mixed bunch; some who preach from a relatively high pulpit of scientific knowledge, some who preach the Gospel According to the 97% Consensus with relatively little actual scientific knowledge and others who are just outright political activists. The one thing in common they all seem to have is that they have abandoned the learning curve in favour of the comfortable position of asserting ‘settled science’. The best way I have found to counter their nonsense is to personally stay on the learning curve. Occasionally, they will get the better of you but then they will always relax smugly back into their comfy assumed seat of superiority. When you come back at them with new and conflicting information, they almost invariably become irate/defensive/abusive or simply block you! All sure signs that their position of supposed academic ‘authority’ is phoney.

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  3. I am not a practicing scientist either, though I have some background in half a dozen fields of science, including master’s degrees in both geography and Earth science. My interest in climate science extends back 60 years.

    Philosophical Beliefs

    In my opinion, philosophical beliefs play an important role in science. My philosophical position is “entity realist”. I take entities, such as “photons”, to be real. I take theories about photons not to be real. Theories are attempts to explain the behaviour of photons. Theories sometimes become dogmas defined as teachings akin to religious beliefs. Professors sometimes pose as prophets of a belief system. Thomas Kuhn wrote extensively about this phenomenon.

    Reference to entity realism: Ian Hacking and Nancy Cartwright: http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/phil_sci_lecture19.html

    From the point of view of entity realism, I find issue with the definitions of the terms “climate”, “global climate”, “climate change”, and “global climate change”. I am skeptical about that these putative entities are real.

    I am not skeptical about most entities used by atmospheric physicists and geophysicists to describe the Earth’s energy transfers via the atmosphere, the solid earth or the oceans.

    Climatic Regions

    I readily accept geographers descriptions of climatic regions as being useful. (Examples: Koppen, Thornthwaite, Trewartha). The WMO appears to claim that such theoretical constructs represent real entities (http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Climatic_classification). In my opinion some French geographers were closer to the mark in describing climate as part of the “personality” of a region in the same way that they might describe a vintage wine.

    Having lived and worked on all continents except Antarctica, I find these classification systems as useful for travel, economic analysis, teaching geography and making documentary series or chapter outlines for books, but not for scientific purpose.

    In my opinion, either “climate” nor “global climate” are real entities.

    Climate Change

    However, if I assume climate and global climate to be real entities, I ask, “What does it mean to say that these real entities are subject to change?”

    Does it mean that a marine climate can become a continental climate? Or that a Mediterranean-type climate can become a steppe-type climate or a desert?

    On the scale of millennia, such changes have taken place, such as over 20,000 years ago during the last maximum extent of continental glaciers. As recently as 5000 to 6000 years ago,,extensive areas of what is now the Sahara Desert was steppe, inhabited by cattle herders.

    On the scale of centuries, does climate change? We know that temperature and precipitation fluctuate, sometimes departing substantially from mean values. We know also that temperature and precipitation revert to mean values on centennial time scales.

    The evidence is that present European climatic regions are similar to those existing during Roman times. We know that temperature and precipitation fluctuate over many different time scales. But geographers do not change climatic classifications during periods as short as a century.

    Global Climate Change

    I ask “Does Earth have a climate?” It seems obvious to me, and to generations of geographers, that Earth does not have a climate, but rather several climates arranged in loosely systematic ways across its continents, duplicated to some extent in both hemispheres.

    By contrast, physicists do not approach climate by classifying regions. Instead physicists focus on energy transfers and energy storage. The primary media for energy transfers and storage are liquid water, atmospheric gases (including water vapour) and the solid earth, including ice (a form of rock). The oceans are the main storage depots for accumulated energy.

    Some scientists have asserted that climate is cyclical, supporting their claims by reference to the alternation between warm periods (Minoan, Roman, Medieval) with intervening cold periods. Hubert Lamb, founder of the CRU at the University of East Anglia, was one of these scientists.

    In the definition of “cyclical”, I include quasi- and pseudo-cyclical changes, where these terms mean “sort of cyclical but not regular or predictable”.).

    The alternative to identifying cycles is to identify trends as monotonic change (one-directional change) up or down. Economists refer to a monotonic change as a “secular change”, from the Latin “per secula-seculorum”, “for evermore”, signifying that reversing direction is not expected.

    Inflation is described by economists as secular. Anthropogenic global warming is described as a secular climate change. Theory states that unless mankind stops doing the things that cause global warming, the direction of temperature change will be secular, trending upward.

    The Scientific Problem

    The problem for me is this. When does a “cycle” become long enough and strong enough to be considered a trend? Stock market statisticians ask this question all the time. Statisticians tell us that the stock market is a random-walk with no cycles and no trends.

    By definition cycles and trends are not random, but driven by external forces.

    For me the number one question is the relative power of natural and man-made forcing. There are various ways of posing the question.

    How do we know that temperature and precipitation are not random walks?

    Have we truly shown that natural forces are weak compared with human forces?

    How do we know that the putative secular trend toward warming is not merely the upward phase of a cycle that will eventually reverse direction?

    Even if we accept that changes in temperature and precipitation are non-random, we still have to ask whether or not a change is part of a long natuaral cycle or part of a natural trend and whether or not the trend is short, long or secular with no expectation of reversal in trend.

    Empirical Position versus Theory

    This is about as strict an empiricist position as is possible to adopt, but consistent with the philosophical stance of an entity realist. I am skeptical about the theory and this skepticism extends to the definition of entities defined by the theory, at least as those entities are presented to the public.

    (I note that most scientific papers, such as those supported by NASA, are not based on the entities that I deprecate. Which is one reason it may be said that discussions among scientists is different from statements by scientists to the public.)

    Theorists and Empiricists

    All of which leads me to your comment about extremist positions by parties to the debate about climate change.

    In ,my opinion, those who claim that humans are responsible for changing climate in an irreversible manner base their claims on theory, while skeptics tend to be more empirical, so much so that many are entity realists.

    Déjà vu (All over Again)

    The science community has been down this dead-end road less than 100 years ago in the debate about whether or not continents are mobile. They are.

    Continental convergence and divergence have been measure by GPS technology. The rate of movement averages about the rate of growth of fingernails.

    Geographers, geologist and paleologists have had the evidence for continental mobility much longer than 100 years, the most obvious being the fit between the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa. But the physicists did not have a theory, and so they rejected the empirical evidence, until the 1960’s when plate tectonics became established, Before 1960 or so it was not possible to keep a job teaching at a public university in the US if you were known publicly to hold that continents were mobile.

    In my opinion, the big gulf between the “consensus” and the skeptics is the same gulf between theorists and empiricists as it applied to continental mobility. In the US the gap seems to be greater than in the UK and Western Europe, at least among the public.

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  4. Frederick, thank you for pointing me in a direction I hadn’t fully considered or previously understood. You have given me much to digest. I will be pondering your words as I walk the dogs over the next few days

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  6. @-“How do we know that temperature and precipitation are not random walks?”

    Because they are constrained by the energy required to cause those events and cannot therefore ‘walk’ to any random value.

    @-“Have we truly shown that natural forces are weak compared with human forces?”

    Yes, both the radiative transfer equations and direct measurement confirm that the amount of energy change in W/m2 is much greater for the anthropogenic CO2 rise than any measurable change in insolation.

    @-“How do we know that the putative secular trend toward warming is not merely the upward phase of a cycle that will eventually reverse direction?”

    Because a cycle cannot create energy, it can only redistribute it. To get the observed secular trend in temperature and sea level rise requires a significant increase in the energy content of the system.

    @-“Even if we accept that changes in temperature and precipitation are non-random, we still have to ask whether or not a change is part of a long natural cycle or part of a natural trend and whether or not the trend is short, long or secular with no expectation of reversal in trend.”

    A long ‘natural’ cycle or ‘natural’ trend is not acausal. It must have a change in the energy balance to drive it. An example would be the Milankovitch cycles where the small variation in the distribution of solar energy from orbital cycles triggers the regular slow cooling and rapid melting of the ice-age cycles. Feedback process amplify that small change in the energy balance during the melt phase, giving the sharp ‘sawtooth’ pattern to the paleoclimate record.

    Entity realism has a problem with emergent properties of complex systems. As it is fundamentally reductionist it struggles with concepts that involve the cumulative or synergistic interaction of dynamic processes with many interacting ‘real entities’.

    The singular unifying real entity underlying climate change is the global energy budget. And how the atmospheric/oceanic heat engine redistributes that energy from equator to poles. In politics it is follow the money. In science it is follow the energy, thermodynamics always get the last word.
    After all, it is THE LAW!

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  7. So ATTP is irked that the only response to his (and bat poop crazy Sou’s) response to David Seigel is yours and instead of concentrating on the boring… oopse quality diatribe, you’ve focussed on the tone. LOL. I mean you’ve got to have sympathy. Here we are, weeks away from the annual meeting to decide if they’ll hold another meeting next year and nobody knows what the science really says or more importantly – nobody cares. They’ve taken the time to write all that guff and you weren’t bowled over into belief. But of course you weren’t. It wasn’t designed to persuade the questioning, it was designed to scare off anyone who dares to ask questions. If they were younger they might have added a section on how deniers are more likely to smell, have lice or a fat Mama. They’re gambling that if only they could shut sceptics up, then the bulk of people will meekly do as they’re told. Seriously? Something as big and as onerous as cutting CO2 can be achieved by making dissenters feel a bit embarrassed?

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  8. This screed by Sou, ATTP , and the usual suspects is of course going to change noone’s mind. I don’t actually understand what their motive was. It’s as if some fellow travelers actually think that SkS actually changes anyone’s mind. They are I think mistaken. Changing minds happens in thoughtful discussions, not in the world of diatribe and name calling.

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  9. DPY, I disagree – any reasonable person who is undecided on the issue, looking at the articles by David Siegel, Sou et al, Tim Hunter and the latest blog from ATTP and comparing their tone would fairly quickly be able to see who is being honest here and who isn’t. So I think such exchanges are quite useful and could change peoples’ minds.

    ATTP falsely accuses our title as being disingenuous, falsely accuses David Siegel of bad ‘tone’, and then exhibits his usual hypocrisy by saying “one should ideally talk to many more people” – the guy who bans dissenters from his blog and blocks them on twitter. Similarly at the end “Feel free to disagree through the comments” – many of those who would disagree have been banned.

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  11. @-“Have we truly shown that natural forces are weak compared with human forces?”

    Yes, both the radiative transfer equations and direct measurement confirm that the amount of energy change in W/m2 is much greater for the anthropogenic CO2 rise than any measurable change in insolation.

    Which direct measurement(s) are you referring to? Link(s)?

    “To get the observed secular trend in temperature and sea level rise requires a significant increase in the energy content of the system.”

    But the observed secular trend has declined sharply (and uniquely) during the current ‘hiatus’. How do you explain this when radiative forcing from so called ‘well mixed GHGs” has presumably increased in direct proportion to emissions?

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0107222

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  12. Izen,

    @-“Have we truly shown that natural forces are weak compared with human forces?”

    “Yes, both the radiative transfer equations and direct measurement confirm that the amount of energy change in W/m2 is much greater for the anthropogenic CO2 rise than any measurable change in insolation.”

    Which ‘direct measurements’ are you referring to? Can you provide a link or links please.

    “To get the observed secular trend in temperature and sea level rise requires a significant increase in the energy content of the system.”

    How, in this case, do you explain the sharp decline in the secular trend during the current ‘hiatus’ period when presumably radiative forcing has been adding energy to the system (or preventing its loss) at a steady or increasing rate throughout?

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0107222

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  13. @-“Which ‘direct measurements’ are you referring to? Can you provide a link or links please.”

    Here is the measured change in solar radiation, other sources for this data are available.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/25/changes-in-total-solar-irradiance/

    Here is the direct measurement of increasing Downwelling radiation from CO2.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14240.html

    Note that the solar change is about 1/10th of the energy change from rising anthro CO2.

    @-“How, in this case, do you explain the sharp decline in the secular trend during the current ‘hiatus’ period when presumably radiative forcing has been adding energy to the system (or preventing its loss) at a steady or increasing rate throughout?”

    Well I could invoke short-term ‘natural’ cycles… (grin) and ‘sharp decline rather overstates the statistical reality.
    But the surface temperature only represents about 10% of the energy involved, most of the retained energy has gone into melting ice, warming water and evaporating it. That absorbs a LOT of energy without much temperature change.

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    No pause or hiatus in the rate of energy accumulation in the sea level data.
    And while the warmest years since 1998 have all had similar high surface temperatures, it is noticeable that the coldest years over the same period show a very pronounced trend.

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  14. … For example, on the 2010 Reader Background post at Jeff Id’s Air Vent blog, the word ‘tone’ comes up three times:

    “Googling climate web sites, Real Climate was the first to get a visit, and I was turned off by the tone of the responses to comments.”

    “Read postings at RealClimate, was unimpressed with their tone and their frequent failure to actually rebut contrary arguments, and went to CA. Was impressed, both with the courtesy and the quality of the discussions.”

    “Like a lot of you I ran across some comments about global warming and ended up at RC – didn’t like the shrill defensive tone at all, got a few abusive replies to what I thought were reasonable questions and went looking for more information.”

    If you’re not familiar with that thread, do have a look at it, or read the paper I wrote about it.

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  15. Izen,

    I guessed you would cite the Feldman study, the only one of its kind, which supposedly shows a slight increase in radiative forcing from CO2 as measured at 2 locations over a 10 year period – during clear sky conditions. Alas, the most that can be said is that the study tentatively confirms the expected line by line spectral IR radiative forcing due to CO2 – as measured in the atmosphere rather than the lab. What it does NOT confirm is the theoretical amplification of the Greenhouse Effect due to concurrent increases in water vapour – upon which rests the entire scientific edifice of proposed ‘dangerous’ man-made global warming. Therefore citing this study, as you do, as confirmation that anthropogenic climate forcings outweigh natural (solar) climate forcings, is not convincing. I quote:

    “@-“Have we truly shown that natural forces are weak compared with human forces?”

    Yes, both the radiative transfer equations and direct measurement confirm that the amount of energy change in W/m2 is much greater for the anthropogenic CO2 rise than any measurable change in insolation.”

    For context on this, see
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/new-result-shows-co2-has-almost-no-effect-on-temperature/
    https://okulaer.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-enhanced-greenhouse-effect-that-wasnt/

    “. . . . . most of the retained energy has gone into melting ice, warming water and evaporating it. That absorbs a LOT of energy without much temperature change.”

    Melting what ice? Not continental Antarctica, according to NASA, which has seen net gains since 1991, nor Antarctic sea ice which has expanded considerably. Warming and evaporating water? Humidity in all levels of the troposphere has actually declined since 1948 according to radiosonde measurements:

    The accuracy of measurements of ocean heat content, especially below 700m, are debatable.

    Finally, Willis at WUWT is well known for his dogged insistence that there is no link between solar activity and climate, especially over the 11 year solar cycle. The claim that ‘TSI varies so little therefore it cannot be the Sun which drives climate change’ is a familiar one, which reasoning many studies suggest is flawed. Here is one such study:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140818095204.htm

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  16. Ah, tone.

    What’s the tone on this:

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others are pursuing a political agenda and a PR campaign, not scientific inquiry. There’s a tremendous amount of trickery going on under the surface.”

    Or, for more extreme examples from the comments here:

    Ristvan: “The more Mother Nature herself undercuts the ‘consensus’ meme, the shriller the warmunists become.”

    Jaime: “The alarmists are a mixed bunch”

    TinyCO2: “…bat poop crazy Sou…”

    dpy6629: “This screed by Sou, ATTP , and the usual suspects…”

    Motes? Beams?

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  17. @-“Alas, the most that can be said is that the study tentatively confirms the expected line by line spectral IR radiative forcing due to CO2 – as measured in the atmosphere rather than the lab.”

    That is sufficient to show that the increase per decade of the extra effect from CO2 is still greater than any measured change in insolation.
    The measured change of which is negative…

    Water vapour feedbacks are just the icing on the cake. (grin)

    @-“Melting what ice? Not continental Antarctica, according to NASA, which has seen net gains since 1991, nor Antarctic sea ice which has expanded considerably.”

    At this stage in the glacial cycle we should be seeing growing ice mass as has been the case given the large accumulation of land ice in the 7000 years since the Holocene maximum. But all measurements of land ice show a negative mass balance at present. The exception is the recent Zwally et al paper. But that does pose the problem of closing the water balance. We know how much extra volume the oceans have gained. There are only three sources for this gain. Thermal expansion.
    Melting land ice.
    Draining land aquifers.
    If as the new Zwally paper claims, Antarctica is still gaining ice (at a slower rate) then more must be coming from the other sources.

    @-“Warming and evaporating water? Humidity in all levels of the troposphere has actually declined since 1948 according to radiosonde measurements:”

    Those are not radiosonde measurements. They are the output of reanalysis models. There are no radiosonde humidity measurements before the satellite era that are considered consistent enough to be credible. Various attempts to create a synthetic past record have more to do with work on GCMs than any intention to reflect reality.

    Actual measurements with modern sensors do show a positive trend, at least below the level of Everest.
    http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/06/05/water-vapor-trends-part-two/
    But what goes up can come down. The evaporation does not have to result in higher humidity if it rains out again just as fast. That would show up as higher rainfall totals and larger sea level short-term variations.

    @-“The claim that ‘TSI varies so little therefore it cannot be the Sun which drives climate change’ is a familiar one, which reasoning many studies suggest is flawed.”

    In that case you have found the explanation for the ‘Sharp decline’ in the second derivative of global warming. The recent quiet sun, although the total reduction in output is smaller than 20 years of increasing CO2 in terms of W/m2, must be explanation for the ‘pause’!

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  18. Paul, Perhaps you are right, but its hard to put oneself in the shoes of an outsider, at least for me it is. What I guess is surprising is that Rice would coauthor something with OBrien, whose every other sentence at her blog involves name calling or a personal slur. Rice admits OBrien wrote most of it. That itself would go to credibility.

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  19. BTW, I just checked the Hargreaves reference in the OBrien et al piece in the climate model section and it says nothing like what the HotWopperette claims. So much for science.

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  20. DY,

    BTW, I just checked the Hargreaves reference in the OBrien et al piece in the climate model section and it says nothing like what the HotWopperette claims. So much for science.

    Yes, it does.

    The skill of the model forecast of the global temperature trend according to Eq. 1 is then 0.56, which is substantially greater than zero, indicating that the prediction was skillful.

    Of course, you’ll probably find some reason to deny this, and respond by saying something about “turbulence”.

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  21. Izen,

    “If as the new Zwally paper claims, Antarctica is still gaining ice (at a slower rate) then more must be coming from the other sources.”

    Exactly. So this leaves the possibility that scientists have seriously underestimated melting from Greenland and other glaciers, or that they have overestimated trends in global SLR . . . . or the thermal expansion coefficient of seawater is greater than physicists calculate!

    “Those are not radiosonde measurements. They are the output of reanalysis models.”

    Actually, it’s an NCEP reanalysis of actual data.

    “Balloon-borne radiosonde measurements are the basis of the NCEP reanalysis atmospheric humidity data that are available for the entire globe at each of the standard pressure heights from 1,000 to 300 hPa. The data are continuous from 1948 to the present. . . . . The reanalysis “data” are actually the output of a global weather forecasting model operated in a mode that continuously assimilates observed data from the worldwide network of meteorological observations. In the case of humidity, all the observed upper-air input data are from radiosondes. . . . . . The model interpolates meteorologically coherent values of q, RH, and
    T into those grid boxes where there are no actual measurements.”

    http://www.klimatupplysningen.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/paltridgearkingpook.pdf

    Not ideal, obviously, but similar techniques are used for global surface temp data and I don’t see the climate science establishment saying “they are not temperature measurments”.

    Whatever the caveats involved, the radiosonde reanalysed data show a declining trend in RH from 1948 particularly in the middle and upper tropospheric layers, which is inconsistent with climate models which suggest that RH in these layers should be relatively constant – thereby allowing for the water vapour feedbacks necessary to amplify the greenhouse effect. NASA’s NVAP satellite data also shows wv in upper layers of troposphere also unexpectedly declining from 1995 onwards (data from 2001 still not available apparently).

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  22. @-JAMIE
    ” So this leaves the possibility that scientists have seriously underestimated melting from Greenland and other glaciers, or that they have overestimated trends in global SLR . . . . or the thermal expansion coefficient of seawater is greater than physicists calculate!”

    The measurements of mass loss (GRACE method) and elevation changes (Zwally’s laser altimeter method) from melting Greenland are rather better constrained than for the Antarctic continent.

    The increase in sea level rise is also better constrained than Antarctic mass balance. No amount of fiddling with tide gauge data, isostatic rebound adjustments or satellite altimeter ‘corrections’ are going to make much of a difference to that.

    And obviously the thermal expansion of seawater is a highly constrained parameter!

    You CAN make up the difference with the uncertainty in land Aquifer depletion. I am not sure that such a scale of human depletion of land aquifers is a less threatening prospect than a slower rate of ice melt than previously estimated. It takes a LOT longer to refill a land aquifer than snow out and refreeze a few mm of sea level. And human agriculture is probably MORE dependent on aquifer sources than on melting ice-caps.

    @-“Actually, it’s an NCEP reanalysis of actual data.
    “Balloon-borne radiosonde measurements are the basis of the NCEP reanalysis atmospheric humidity data that are available for the entire globe at each of the standard pressure heights from 1,000 to 300 hPa.”

    Yes, its the Paltridge et al work. It is an outlier compared to all satellite observations (which it does not use) and is not considered reliable as a representation of the real world. Even by Paltridge.
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-009-0117-x

    @-“Not ideal, obviously, but similar techniques are used for global surface temp data and I don’t see the climate science establishment saying “they are not temperature measurments”.”

    Depends how hard you look? It seems to be widely recognised in the literature that reanalysis products are unsuitable for estimating long-term trends because changes in instrumentation, number of observations and coverage can distort the result.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00309.1

    @-“NASA’s NVAP satellite data also shows wv in upper layers of troposphere also unexpectedly declining from 1995 onwards (data from 2001 still not available apparently).”

    The NASA NVAP data is partly satellite, and partly radiosonde data combined. I think it stops in 2001 because the satellites used (TIROS and SSM/I) were replaced with the newer SSM/T2 series. Nvap has this to say about the dataset.
    “Many time dependent biases exist in the heritage NVAP dataset due to algorithm changes and the addition/subtraction of instruments (shown above). Use of consistent algorithms through time should remove these. Many new sources of data have been added since the last phase of NVAP. Many existing data sources have been reanalyzed themselves, producing more stable, climate quality sources of TPW.”

    The updated version can be found here-
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052094/abstract
    It also cautions;
    “The results of Figures 1 and 4 have not been subjected to detailed global or regional trend analyses, which will be a topic for a forthcoming paper. Such analyses must account for the changes in satellite sampling discussed in the auxiliary material. Therefore, at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.”

    I am sure we can both play dueling science links, but if you are trying to claim that observational data indicate an absence of a water vapour feedback I don’t think there is strong or credible basis for that. Most of the satellite datasets do indicate a positive trend, but with spatial complexity. Part of the problem is that the precise and seasonally changing distribution of tropospheric free humidity, the water vapour that makes it above the cloud layer, is at, or just beyond, the limit of our observational techniques.

    To be honest I don’t see much milage in disputing science neither of us is really familiar with as a career field of study. I joined this discussion in the hope of exploring the epistemology of entity realism and other aspects of how we know what we know. Rather than the esoterica of the established physics.

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  23. Ken Rice, otherwise called ATTP, your piece with the Whopperette does indeed obscure the complexity of the conclusions of Hargreaves paper, which do not lend themselves to the 1 line propagandist summary. Here is the conclusion in full. Readers can judge for themselves what the strengths and very real weaknesses of models are. Read particularly carefully the first two sentence.

    CONCLUSION
    In the first section, it was argued that it is impossible to assess the skill (in the conventional sense) of current climate forecasts. Analysis of the Hansen forecast of 1988 does, however, give reasons to be hopeful that predictions from current climate models are skillful, at least in terms of the globally averaged temperature trend. Uncertainty in climate modeling and climate model predictions was considered, highlighting the importance of using the Bayesian framework to progress from model confidence to probabilistic predictions. The second section summarized the way uncertainty was treated in the last IPCC report, highlighting the difficulty of quantifying model confidence, but finding evidence to suggest that the ensemble of IPCC models provides a useful basis for a probabilistic calculation. One challenge for those studying uncertainty is the ongoing incorporation of additional poorly understood feedbacks in the models which provide more sources of uncertainty to be investigated. In the third section, we discussed recent work on attempts to improve confidence in the models, by further constraining the multimodel ensemble and investigating links between past and future climate changes. In order to be meaningful, estimates of climate change must include uncertainty estimates. At present, it seems that direct use of the CMIP ensemble may be the best route to follow and research is required to develop methods for understanding the behavior of the ensemble of models in a more coherent way. Bayesian predictions of future change will be obtained by combining all lines of evidence: the multimodel ensembles run for past, present, future and transient experiments; additional expert opinion; data from the present day, historical record, and paleoclimates. Although small steps have been made toward this goal,51,52 more serious attempts analyzing a broader range of variables than climate sensitivity should be a high priority.

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  24. Hi Izen,

    “Yes, its the Paltridge et al work. It is an outlier compared to all satellite observations (which it does not use) and is not considered reliable as a representation of the real world. Even by Paltridge.”

    That’s not actually what Partridge says:

    “It is of course possible that the observed humidity trends from the NCEP data are simply the result of problems with the instrumentation and operation of the global radiosonde network from which the data are derived. The potential for such problems needs to be examined in detail in an effort rather similar to the effort now devoted to abstracting real surface temperature trends from the face-value data from individual stations of the international meteorological networks. . . . .
    In the meantime, it is important that the trends of water vapor shown by the NCEP data for the middle and upper troposphere should not be “written off” simply on the basis that they are not supported by climate models—or indeed on the basis that they are not supported by the few relevant satellite measurements. There are still many problems associated with satellite retrieval of the humidity information pertaining to a particular level of the atmosphere – particularly in the upper troposphere.”

    What appears to have happened is that the data has indeed been “written off” by the climate science community – for whatever reason – and furthermore, the effort that has gone into the analysis of global temperature data is not reflected in the equally critical (perhaps more so) effort to establish a robust global atmospheric humidity dataset(s). So we are left rather in the dark when it comes to identifying whether there has indeed been the predicted positive water vapour feedback from accumulating carbon dioxide – though you will note that there is still very little evidence for the tropical mid-tropospheric hotspot; rather more evidence to suggest that it is in fact not there.

    “To be honest I don’t see much milage in disputing science neither of us is really familiar with as a career field of study. I joined this discussion in the hope of exploring the epistemology of entity realism and other aspects of how we know what we know. Rather than the esoterica of the established physics.”

    But that is the point. I joined this discussion because you made a rather sweeping claim about anthro influences on climate outweighing natural influences. But the basis for that claim is not robustly supported by observations or indeed by a rather shaky scientific theory. In reality, temperatures have not risen by as much as the GCMs predicted and the corollary evidence for an ‘anthropogenic fingerprint’ on global climate change (melting glaciers, melting polar regions, increasing specific humidity) is patchy at best. Even the people whose career field of study involve these particular areas of research should admit that the verdict is still out – though many often do not and the politically and environmental activist driven media machine which has propelled CAGW onto the world stage certainly does not.

    But anyway, thanks for your replies. It is at least good that we can engage reasonably (and i think productively) on this complex subject without resorting to name-calling or academic one-upmanship.

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  25. David Young (otherwise known as “turbulence man”), I knew you’d find a way to excuse your claim that

    I just checked the Hargreaves reference in the OBrien et al piece in the climate model section and it says nothing like what the HotWopperette claims. So much for science.

    Shall I repeat what we said. Here we go:

    Predictions, in the late 1980s, of future warming in response to increasing anthropogenic emissions have also been shown to have been skillful

    Shall I repeat what Hargreaves (2010) said. Here we go:

    The skill of the model forecast of the global temperature trend according to Eq. 1 is then 0.56, which is substantially greater than zero, indicating that the prediction was skillful.

    Hmm, so let’s be clear. Your claim is that the model section says nothing like what our article claimed. That may be true. However, we weren’t citing it on the basis of what it said in the model section, we were citing it on the basis of what it said about the skill of a model forecast from the late 1980s. It said that the forecast was skillful. That is all. It’s hard to see how this isn’t complicated.

    So, in a sense what you said is true in that the model section may not have said what was claimed. However, given that the paper did, and the paper is what we were citing (we said nothing of the “model section”) it’s hard to see why you’re criticism has any validity whatsoever. I’m not expecting you to accept this, of course, just pointing it out for others. BTW, do you understand the concept of “skillful”? It seems not.

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  26. OK, Rice, so you or one of your nonscientist coauthors found one thing in the paper that you pull out and reference even though its part of a much more complex reality. Did you read the conclusions in full? Such out of context single sentence quoting is a favorite propagandist trick. I seriously doubt if something so easily refuted persuades anyone. Paul Matthews may be correct, however, that in fact it causes the opposite reaction of causing more people to become skeptical.

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  27. DY,

    so you or one of your nonscientist coauthors found one thing in the paper that you pull out and reference even though its part of a much more complex reality.

    Of course it’s part of a more complex reality. We were responding to a claim that Climate models are not yet skillful. Doing so requires showing that they are skillful, which is all that we were trying to illustrate. This isn’t complicated.

    Did you read the conclusions in full? Such out of context single sentence quoting is a favorite propagandist trick.

    I’ll explain again. It was a response to a claim that Climate models are not yet skillful. Finding examples of them being skillful is entirely in context. Again, not complicated.

    I seriously doubt if something so easily refuted persuades anyone.

    I assume you’re claiming to have refuted our illustration that climate models are skillful, which is odd, given that you haven’t. Again, that section of the article was a response to a claim that Climate models are not yet skillful. Responding to that only requires illustrating that they are. We were not suggesting anything other than climates models are skillful. If the strongest criticism you can find is that we did in fact show what we claim to have shown, that’s all a bit weak.

    I note that you have still to withdraw your statement that

    I just checked the Hargreaves reference in the OBrien et al piece in the climate model section and it says nothing like what the HotWopperette claims. So much for science.

    which is clearly not true. Any reason why you seem comfortable to say something that is clearly not true, and then not withdraw when it becomes clear that it is not true?

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  28. Rice, Repeating a simplified and mostly wrong statement such as “climate models are skillful” is not going to cut it outside your “communicator” non-scientist circles. My original statement is true.

    The first sentence of the conclusion of the Hargreaves paper in fact says that it is impossible to assess the skill of climate forecasts in the traditional sense. The second sentence says that perhaps there is some hope for global average temperature anomoly and thus ECS. Of course simplified energy balance models can do the same thing.

    Then there is this bit. “Bayesian predictions of future change will be obtained by combining all lines of evidence: the multimodel ensembles run for past, present, future and transient experiments; additional expert opinion; data from the present day, historical record, and paleoclimates. Although small steps have been made toward this goal,51,52 more serious attempts analyzing a broader range of variables than climate sensitivity should be a high priority.”

    Your (or perhaps the Whopperette’s) statement that climate models are skillful is not really meaningful without further qualification which nonscientists are not likely to have the skill to do correctly.

    BTW, it is odd that people who have no real knowledge about how GCM’s work or the methods they use feel they must defend them. Specialists know better including a broad spectrum of experts I’ve dealt with on this and other matters. Professors of machine learning are simply unqualified to say anything about it.

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  29. DY,

    Rice, Repeating a simplified and mostly wrong statement such as “climate models are skillful” is not going to cut it outside your “communicator” non-scientist circles. My original statement is true.

    No, David, what we said was virtually identical to what was said in Hargreaves (2010) about the Hansen result. I must say that this has been quite useful. Your claim that your original statement is true is utterly false. In fact, I find it hard to see how this isn’t patently obvious, but I’m no longer surprised by what peple are willing to say and stand by, despite the evidence to the contrary. Well, I must say it is good to have your actual position clarified. Thanks. You fit in well here.

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  30. Rice, I quoted extensively from your reference and it does not say that “models are skillful.” It says something quite different. You can’t respond to the substance and just repeat that I’m wrong. Propagandist through and through. You are better off sticking to your own blog where you can delete inconvenient comments and control the dialogue. It suits the propagandist modus operandi more closely.

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  31. DY,
    Jesus, how difficult is this. We didn’t use Hargreaves to claim models are skillful, we simply used it to point out that the Hansen forecast had been skillful. We cited other things to show that models had been skillful in other aspects. I’ll repeat the utterly trivial point that I assumed anyone could get. The claim was that models are not skillful. There are plenty of examples of models showing skill. We pointed this out. Hargreaves showing that the Hansen forecast was skillful was one of them. Feel free to keep repeating that we mis-cited Hargreaves, when we obviously did not, but it doesn’t help your case when we said

    Predictions, in the late 1980s, of future warming in response to increasing anthropogenic emissions have also been shown to have been skillful (Hargreaves 2010)

    and Hargreaves (2010) said:

    The skill of the model forecast of the global temperature trend according to Eq. 1 is then 0.56, which is substantially greater than zero, indicating that the prediction was skillful.

    You are better off sticking to your own blog where you can delete inconvenient comments and control the dialogue. It suits the propagandist modus operandi more closely.

    This whine of yours would seem stronger if you currently weren’t sticking to something you’ve said that is simply not true. Complaining about moderation is also juvenile.

    Now, I’m probably going to stop this because it is fairly obvious now that you are incapable of acknowledging anything. That is obvious based on past interactions, so I should probaly just have left you to misrepresent our article. I’ll repeat the point though. The claim in Siegel’s article was that Climate models are not yet skillful. The section you’re strawmanning was simply pointing out examples where climate models have shown skill. This is really not complicated.

    Oh, and what is this supposed to mean

    Professors of machine learning are simply unqualified to say anything about it.

    I don’t know why you think you’re in a position to decide, but why would you say this anyway?

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  32. During a twitter discussion with Ken Rice on this article https://granthaminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/carbon-dioxide-the-good-and-the-bad-the-right-and-the-wrong/ Ken highlighted that “Today’s climate models still perform poorly” and Ken supported this view. Ken went on to say that scientists do not rely on models but rather they use them as tools. This was interesting to me, so we explored what else is used to make projections for future climate aside from GCM’s. Ken explained “Paleo estimates, basic physics calculations, greenhouse effects, responses to volcanoes…” Ken pointed me to AR5 and it seems climate models are used to model past changes as well as future but using a different modeling run. Still lot’s of modelling then. But there as a general agreement that models perform poorly. So, as an observer it seems very confusing and now models are skillful, or at least the Hansen model was, is that right?
    I think in light of Clive Best’s analysis here: http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=6868 it makes perfect sense to do this: https://cliscep.com/2015/10/19/guest-post-lets-restart-the-climate-change-debate-test-the-models/

    Why waste so much money on failed models?

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  33. Tim,

    I don’t know if I specifically agreed with “today’s models perform poorly” but I’ve never claimed that they specifically perform well either. I don’t think that scientific models are generally described in that way. They’re used to gain understanding, not to design another climate (for example).

    Still lot’s of modelling then. But there as a general agreement that models perform poorly. So, as an observer it seems very confusing and now models are skillful, or at least the Hansen model was, is that right?

    No, that’s not right. The term “skillful” means that a model can tell you something that you couldn’t know otherwise. The Hansen model predicted warming based on increasing anthropogenic emissions. That prediction was skillful in that it was closer to reality than if we’d simply assumed that there’d be no warming. It wasn’t perfect and could never have been, but it was skillful.

    Why waste so much money on failed models?

    Because they haven’t, despite what you’re likely to read on a site like this.

    I think the whole “restart the debate and test the models” argument is simply ill-informed. Take for example the Hansen model. It’s already been shown to be skillful, however it’s known to have an ECS that is regarded as higher than we think is likely (i.e., it’s ECS is 4.2C). So what would we learn if we reran that model? We’d learn that it would probably predict more warming than we’ve seen. Well, that’s probably because it’s an old model with some missing physics and that suggest a higher ECS than we currently think is likely. More recent models have more physics and have been developed on the basis of the older models. Each generation of models is not a brand new model; it’s evolution, not revolution. What you really want to do is run the new models using the updated, known information. Guess what, that’s been done.

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  34. Playing devil’s advocate, how can you discern that the “skill” in the model being warming as CO2 increased isn’t a result of nature? If you ran the model under the same circumstances over another 30 year period, say 1910 to 1940 how similar would the result be? I accept models evolve to correct previous issues but it seems to me the end target is the same. If the target is to demonstrate warming with CO2 as the control knob, that’s what you’ll get. The variation in model anomalies by 2100 is HUGE with the warmer models used as propaganda to alarm the public. So I cannot have confidence as the public in what is being presented to me.

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  35. If you ran the model under the same circumstances over another 30 year period, say 1910 to 1940 how similar would the result be?

    This happens all the time. There are plenty of control runs – runs without anthropogenic forcings (see here). I don’t know if they never show warming that is similar to what we’ve experience in the last 30 years, but I think it is extremely rare if they do.

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  36. KR, On the broad points you are wrong. On a very narrow and largely irrelevant point you are right.

    1. Hargreaves argues that models are not skillful in the traditional sense, supporting Seigel’s point. You of course left out this very big point.

    2. Hargreaves claims that Hansens forecast of global temp anomaly was skillful. AR 5 seems to be having second thoughts as they lowered their forecast from the model range.

    3. What you (or perhaps your coauthors) did Is a classic propagandists trick. You find some very small point, take it out of context to “prove”something while leaving out the context that supports your opponent.

    If you want to be taken seriously you should address the broader context of the science that supports Siegel. That you didn’t and can’t even seem to get that point is a sad commentary on how big whoppers are told by activist types.

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  37. Ken Rice, This is indeed very simple. There is a very small and unimportant point you are right about but you are completely wrong on the large and important point.

    Hargreaves says it’s impossible to assess climate model skill in the traditio al sense but says Hansen’s global average temp forecast as skillful. AR5 seems to take a different tack on model temps as they lowered their forecast from the model range.

    On the broader point, Hargreaves supports Seigel and not you. what you did was to find a few papers that claim models are skillful for a few things while ignoring the broader context that undermines your argument and supports Seigel. That’s a propagandist trick through and through, something to expect from Whopperette who is not a scientist and has a reputation to maintain perhaps.

    To be taken seriously outside the advocacy community you will need to pay attention to the broader scientific truth and avoid cherry picking small things that support a biased view. That is called selection bias.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. DY,

    You said:

    BTW, I just checked the Hargreaves reference in the OBrien et al piece in the climate model section and it says nothing like what the HotWopperette claims. So much for science.

    We said

    Predictions, in the late 1980s, of future warming in response to increasing anthropogenic emissions have also been shown to have been skillful (Hargreaves 2010)

    Haregreaves (2010) said

    The skill of the model forecast of the global temperature trend according to Eq. 1 is then 0.56, which is substantially greater than zero, indicating that the prediction was skillful.

    I’m now done with this. There’s only so many times that I can point out that what you first said is not true. I suspect that I’ve done it enough times to allow whatever lurkers there may be, to make up their own minds.

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  39. Rice, So that’s it? You acknowledge no bias or cherry picking and fall back on a legalism. What I said is in fact largely true. Hargreaves largely supports Seigel and you and your propagandist coauthors found a small and largely irrelevant point to support a biased section.

    The broad and important point here is that Seigel is largely right and you are wrong as even your own references show. Wow, perhaps propagandist is too mild a term.

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  40. DY,

    You acknowledge no bias or cherry picking and fall back on a legalism.

    Ummm, neither really. What we said was correct. I don’t need to do anything other than point out that (and I’ll say it again) what we said was correct.

    What I said is in fact largely true.

    Only if “largely true” is somehow equivalent to “not true at all”.

    Oh, and maybe you should read Hargreaves (2010) with your eyes open this time. Try focusing on the words “multidecadal time scale”.

    Also, I’m still somewhat interested in why you referred to a Professor of machine learning.

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  41. Tim, You ask a good question about model agreement for the 1900-1940 warming. As I recall they show pretty much flat global temps. It would be interesting to hear what modelers say about that. I myself would guess that there are a lot of uncertainties but that GCMs don’t respond correctly to natural forcing changes or internal variability is not well modeled. Or maybe the forcings are wrong too. It’s an issue for some real science.

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  42. Rice, do I take this equivical answer to mean you acknowledge that Seigel is largely right on this point? This is your chance to show that you are not really a Whopperette wannabe yourself. And you did carefully select only the small points even though I’m willing to assume your coauthors wrote that section. What you did is what you decry at WUWT all the time. Is there an element of hypocracy involved. The reader will judge.

    Remember it is impossible to assess whether climate forcasts are skillful in the traditonal sense.

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  43. DY,

    Rice, do I take this equivical answer to mean you acknowledge that Seigel is largely right on this point?

    No, I think Siegel’s article was denialist drivel. Defending it does you no favours. Don’t let me stop you, though.

    To be clear, the statement Climate models are not yet skillful is wrong. Simple.

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  44. DY,
    Actually, I’m going to do my best to stop this now because it’s reached the bizarre phase (well, more bizarre than how it started). Let’s summarise: you said something that wasn’t true. The bit of ours you criticised is completely true. You conclude that I agree with you. Hmmm.

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  45. Rice, You do need to stop as you have simply not addressed the broad point I made. You seem to have a problem with seeing the broader points and like to fall back on trivialities. Hargreaves says that it is impossible to assess the skill of climate forecasts in the traditional sense. You never acknowledged that but just selected the bit you thought would support your predecided conclusion.

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  46. DY,

    Rice, You do need to stop as you have simply not addressed the broad point I made.

    If you have actually made a broad point, it would be the first time you’ve done so in my experience. Normally it’s “BUT TURBULENCE!!!”. I’m actually finding it quite amusing that you suddenly want to address some kind of broader point. You’ve never seemed to want to do so before.

    You seem to have a problem with seeing the broader points and like to fall back on trivialities.

    Ummm, no, I’m more than happy to see broader point. In this case, however, we were making a very simple point, which we made correctly. I’m not falling back on trivialities; I’m pointing out that what you said initially was wrong; something that you have yet to acknowledge. I’m not about to move onto your “broader point” if you can’t even acknowledge the error you made in the first place.

    Hargreaves says that it is impossible to assess the skill of climate forecasts in the traditional sense.

    Technically, on multidecadal time scales. Also, what we were addressing was the claim that Climate models are not yet skillful. A fairly straightforward and simple point, that is – as we showed – wrong.

    You never acknowledged that but just selected the bit you thought would support your predecided conclusion.

    Umm, again, no. We were addressing a very simple point, which we did. Here’s a simple thing for you to consider. If you want to criticise something, it’s best that you criticise what the others were actually doing, not what you think they were doing, or what you think they should have done. That’s called “strawmanning”.

    Anyway, you carry on defending denialist drivel and I will continue to regard my general impression of you as broadly correct (and you said I couldn’t see the broader points).

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  47. Ken, You are getting testy and that’s not good. The broader points are made by Hargreaves and in AR5. I have said it many times and you either have a reading comprehension problem or a denial problem. Simply venting your anger is not going to change any minds. I don’t have a great deal of time to repeat over and over again what has been said before.

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  48. DY,

    You are getting testy and that’s not good.

    No, not at all. In fact, I’ve no idea why you would think that. Siegel’s post really was denialist drivel. Keep up the good work defending it. I expected little else.

    I don’t have a great deal of time to repeat over and over again what has been said before.

    It’s probably easier admitting that you were initially wrong, though. And if you think you’re wasting your time, just imagine how I feel.

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  49. I don’t have a great deal of time to repeat over and over again what has been said before.

    This is quite amusing, really. My impression is that all you ever do is repeat over and over again, what you’ve said before.

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  50. Rice, Yes you are getting testy and very nasty, but that’s perhaps your MO these days. I was correct that you cherry picked the parts of Hargreaves you liked and failed to mention the more complex truth that gave support to Seigel’s statements. If you think you can obscure that truth by just ignoring it and repeating half truth. That’s the MO of a propagandist. I gave a very balanced comment above giving you your small point and making the larger point. You on the other hand, see yourself as always right, a normal MO as I said of the propagandist.

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  51. BTW, This thread I think illustrates why Tim is right about the tone of Rice et al : “…the tone, in my opinion, is accusatory, denigrating and intransigent.” Perhaps this is becoming self evident. 🙂

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  52. DY,

    Yes you are getting testy and very nasty, but that’s perhaps your MO these days.

    Shall I remind you that you’ve been referring to me as a biased propagandist.

    cherry picked the parts of Hargreaves you liked and failed to mention the more complex truth that gave support to Seigel’s statements

    We correctly cited Hargreaves (2010). Your criticism of us was untrue. You have yet to acknowledge this very obvious issue. You’re also defending a piece of denialist drivel. If you don’t like that I’m pointing out that you’re defending a piece of denialist drivel, stop doing it. You are, of course, free to carry on, though. I may stop pointing it out, but that’s only because it’s getting tedious and because interacting with someone who would defend such a piece of denialist drivel is an utter waste of my time. You’ll probably fit in perfectly here, though. I imagine that the denizens here will lap up all your insights about climate models.

    Of course, it is my time to waste and that this has been a waste of time should have been obvious. I had initially thought that this would be easy. I thought “DY has said something that is obviously not true. I’ll point it out. I’m sure he’ll go – oh, yes, sorry I was wrong” (I don’t know why I thought this, but – for some reason – I did). Well, I was clearly wrong. You’ve now fallen into the category of people who, when they say something untrue, I will simply go “won’t waste my time telling them, they’ll never accept it”. You’ve done me a favour, to be quite honest.

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  53. OK, Rice, It’s becoming obvious that you are not going to discuss anything but the narrowest and legalistic of points. You still didn’t say anything about the other parts of Hargreaves. That’s pretty telling. But people can judge for themselves.

    For the record, I did acknowledge your small point in a previous comment. That’s why I say you are not being rational or reading carefully and you should acknowledge it if you want any kind of honest exchange.

    I will repeat the point: Hargreaves is not a hearty endorsement of GCM skill. It anything it supports on the whole the opposite conclusion. You will not acknowledge that and that’s why I am thinking you are a propagandist. They tend to focus on the narrow and shallow points.

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  54. “You’ll probably fit in perfectly here, though. I imagine that the denizens here will lap up all your insights about climate models.”

    True to form, ATTP gets into an argument with someone and ends up insulting an entire group of people who haven’t contributed a single word to the ongoing (and tedious – apologies to David) narrative.

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  55. Apologies to Jaime and others who have found this tedious. It is tedious and painful for me too. Getting Ken Rice to acknowledge even the simplest fact (that doesn’t fit his narrative) seems impossible so its just as well if he goes back to his own blog where he can dishonestly delete on topic and polite technical comments so as to control the narrative to his liking. I think dishonesty and hypocrisy are descriptors that come to mind.

    This exchange should prove to anyone with any objectivity that Rice’s “Climate Change is Real and Important” piece is not really science, its a political brief for a predetermined position.

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  56. The other thing to note is that the subject screed by Rice et al is written by people with very little technical knowledge in any branch of climate science or numerical simulation. The confusion Paul pointed out about boundary conditions is just the tip of the iceberg. I have refrained from getting technical here because I knew Rice didn’t have the back ground knowledge to understand much less respond. These facts I think are clearly understood by Judith Curry who laments the extreme politization of climate science. It’s shameful and discouraging.

    My recent investigation into building a new GCM with modern numerical methods has revealed just how political the current climate science establishment is. The details are privileged, but I was a little surprised and dismayed at the clear knowledge that there is a strong technical case for it, but that political “headaches” made even trying to get funding for it unattractive.

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  57. DY,

    This exchange should prove to anyone with any objectivity that Rice’s “Climate Change is Real and Important” piece is not really science, its a political brief for a predetermined position.

    A thing of beauty. Brilliant. I will simply repeat what I’ve already said. What you initially said about our article was not true. What we said in our article was true. That you can turn this into a claim that our article is a political brief for a predetermined position is absolutely fantastic. I have to commend you on how you’ve managed to construct this complex and compelling narrative. Excellent. Well done. There are many political spin doctors who would be bowing down in the face of such genius.

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  58. Ken Rice, Since you still haven’t read or perhaps understood what I said, you are unfit to judge whether it is true or not. What I said was that Hargreaves does not say what you claim it says (in toto). The point was stated by Thomas Hobbs very well:

    “and they that insist on single texts, without considering the main design, can derive no thing from them clearly; but rather by casting atomes of Scripture as dust before mens eyes, make everything more obscure than it is, an ordinary artifice of those who seek not the truth, but their own advantage.”

    Your single text is the global average temperature was skillfully predicted. You leave out the fact that in fact in the conventional sense it is impossible to assess whether climate forecasts are skillful.

    And another thing that gives it away is your coauthor list, which is basically a public relations consultant turned climate provocateur who uses the personal smear every other sentence, who you even admitted wrote most of it. You I think are the one who has constructed a reality that is not very accurate. You may be a personable chap, and you would be welcome to sample some fine wine from my cellar, but you are not I think enhancing your reputation as a scientist but this.

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  59. DY,

    Since you still haven’t read or perhaps understood what I said, you are unfit to judge whether it is true or not.

    No, I simply have to read what you said, read what we said, and read what Hargreaves (2010) said. What you said was not true. Simple. Keep this up though, while accusing me of being a propagandist. Political spin doctors will be praising your perserverence.

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  60. According to Tim earlier on this thread,

    “Ken highlighted that “Today’s climate models still perform poorly” and Ken supported this view. Ken went on to say that scientists do not rely on models but rather they use them as tools.”

    So, apparently, in another venue, Ken Rice, you have already acknowledged my basic point which is that models are simply not generally skillful, as Hargreaves when taken as a whole actually says.

    It’s pretty inarguable that GCM’s are rather poor in terms of climate forecasts, even for global average temperature, with even AR5 implicitly acknowledging it by lowering their forecast from the GCM range. The honest path would be just to acknowledge it and move on.

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  61. DY,

    So, apparently, in another venue, Ken Rice, you have already acknowledged my basic point which is that models are simply not generally skillful, as Hargreaves when taken as a whole actually says.

    Strawmanning me doesn’t do you any favours. You could try reading my response to the comment that you quote and think a little bit about the meaning of the term “skillful”. Also, extrapolating from that strawman to suggest that I agree with you is particularly poor. If you’re so desperate for me to agree with you, you could try saying something agreeable. To try and suggest that I agree with you, when I clearly do not, is absolutely bizarre.

    I’ll also quote that first few lines of the Conclusion of Hargreaves (2010):

    In the first section, it was argued that it is impossible to assess the skill (in the conventional sense) of current
    climate forecasts. Analysis of the Hansen forecast of 1988 does, however, give reasons to be hopeful that
    predictions from current climate models are skillful, at least in terms of the globally averaged temperature
    trend.

    So, somehow you’ve interpreted an argument that it is impossible to assess the skill followed by a suggestion that there are reasons to be hopeful that current climate models are skillful, as models are simply not generally skillful. And you are calling me a biased propagandist?

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  62. Rice, You are doing it again. You left out the important word in the quote so as to change its meaning

    “So, somehow you’ve interpreted an argument that it is impossible to assess the skill followed by a suggestion that there are reasons to be hopeful that current climate models are skillful [sic] (for GMST), as models are simply not generally skillful.”

    So, Yes, if you are honest enough to quote it correctly, what I said is totally consistent. Being hopeful is not the same thing as saying that they are in any case even for GMST.

    Leaving out THE key modifier so as to change the meaning of a quote Rice, is a propagandist technique, not that I would accuse of that. Harsher judgments of you are not uncommon for example Tom Fuller’s and Paul Matthews.

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  63. DY,

    Leaving out THE key modifier so as to change the meaning of a quote Rice, is a propagandist technique,

    What word did I leave out? Oh, I didn’t, it’s in the quote in my comment. I didn’t think I needed to include it again when I parsed the comment. The point I was making is that an argument that it is impossible followed by a suggestion that there is hope is not the same as they are simply generally not skillful. I thought this was obvious. Add GMST if you wish, it doesn’t change that you’ve interpreted impossible to do followed by their is hope as they aren’t (paraphrasing, of course).

    I’ll also repeat what I’ve said many times before. Our article was responding to a claim that climate models are not yet skillful. That claim did not include only GMST. Our response did not focus only on GMST. I’ve haven’t focused only on GMST. Why you’ve suddenly introduced this as crucial is somewhat beyond me. Again, it seems odd that you’re accusing me of being a biased propagandist when you appear to have misrepresented our article and Hargreaves (2010).

    not that I would accuse of that.

    What are you talking about? You’ve done exactly that.

    Harsher judgments of you are not uncommon for example Tom Fuller’s and Paul Matthews.

    Yes, but given that these are typically based on things that are not true, I don’t care about their judgements. You seem to be trying very hard to follow in their footsteps.

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  64. OK, Ken, so having led you through Hargreaves conclusion, which you now accept in full apparently, let’s talk about whether it supports the idea that in general GCM’s are or are not skillful. It seems to me that most people would conclude that they are not generally skillful (certainly in the traditional sense) even though there is hope for GMST. Hope for skill is not evidence for skill of course.

    Adding to this is what AR5 did for their multidecadal forecast. They lowered their forecast significantly from the GCM range indicating I think to most people that they regarded the GCM range as not a reliable guide, at least not completely reliable.

    Thus, at least on this point, Siegel’s simple assertion would seem to be at least partially supported by Hargreaves paper. At least on this point, I think your piece with your non-scientists polemicists such as Sou (who really is a master of insult and smear), is really just cherry picking a few things that are “hopefully” skillful, while ignoring the larger context.

    Hypocracy comes in in that you and Sou are very harsh critics of WUWT for exactly this, and they are guilty of it in some but not all cases. It is hypocritical to hold yourself to a lower standard than others. In this regard, Paul Matthews would seem to be correct. NO?

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  65. DY,
    I have no interest in discussing this with you further. Any reasonable person who read your comments would see why. Man not ball, continuously. What I have said, and what we said in our article was true. Much of what you’ve said, is not.

    Hypocracy comes in in that you and Sou are very harsh critics of WUWT for exactly this

    Nonsense. People are critical of WUWT because it spreads science denial. Suggesting that what we did is somehow comparable is utterly bizarre. Keep defending science denial, though.

    It is hypocritical to hold yourself to a lower standard than others. In this regard, Paul Matthews would seem to be correct. NO?

    You really are trying to descend to Paul Matthew’s level, aren’t you? You could try holding yourself to the standard that you seem to expect of others. Why would I possibly want to continue a discussion with someone who has accused me of being a hypocritical biased propagandist. I ignore others who throw such accusations around. I shall now ignore you.

    I’ll simply repeat what I’ve already said:

    1. What you said in your initial comment was not true. What we said in our article was true.

    I’ll also add:

    2. Hargreaves (2010) conclude that the Hansen prediction from the late 1980s was skillful and suggests that there is hope, when it comes to predictions about global average surface temperature, that newer models are also skillful. For some reason you’ve concluded that this means that climate models are generally not skillful. I have no reason why, since that is very obviously not what it says.

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  66. Heh, go tell Sou and willard that the models are skillful. You can probably convince them that you are not a hypocritical biased propagandist, too.
    ==============

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  67. Very good write up IMO on climate models and ‘skill’ here:

    http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateModels.htm

    “Using climate models in an experimental manner to improve our understanding of how the climate system works is a highly valuable research application. More often, however, climate models are used to predict the future state of the global climate system. Forecasts (or projections) can be made from a single model forecast, or from an ensemble of forecasts which are produced by slightly perturbing the initial conditions and/or other aspects of the model used.”

    It seems to me that GCMs are indeed skillful as a tool in helping us to understand how the climate system works and how it might (or might not) respond to different forcings. However, when used exclusively as a tool to project future climate change, their supposed ‘skill’ is debatable at best, demonstrably non-existent at worst.

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  68. Rice, I am also growing weary of pulling the broader context out of the legalistic cherry picking of unimportant statements. Even your own references paint a picture of lack of skill and at best HOPE for skill. So why does your post try to give the opposite impression?

    1. You acknowledged that Hargreaves conclusions state pretty clearly that its impossible to determine if climate forecasts are skillful in the traditional sense. That to most people would say they are generally not skillful. That’s not even getting into regional climate predictions which are generally acknowledged to be NOT skillful.

    2. Having hope for GMST skill is NOT a demonstration of skill. I pointed out an additional reason to question GCM skill even for GMST.

    3. Schmidt’s Ted talk that you also reference, is not scientifically rigorous in any sense with its “real big screen colorful fluid dynamics.” It shows nothing really. Schmidt has other more scientific output, but the Ted talk has no scientific merit by itself. But perhaps in 140 years, we will be able to do all the scales since we are 14 orders short and we have been improving 1 order per decade. That’s a forecast with negative skill. 🙂

    3. Being valuable for qualitative understanding which is what Jaime is suggesting is not skill in the traditional sense either. I know this line of pseudo scientific argumentation from CFD where its equally scorned by experts and regulators alike.

    4. You have also been generous with the insults and personal attacks. I am just trying to get you to see your blog post the way others might see it. Persuasion would dictate that one steers clear of people like Lew and Sou, who really are insulting and smear people. There are plenty of reasonable people like Nick Stokes who actually are worth talking to and don’t use inflammatory language. Noone in CFD uses such inflammatory language even though the issues are also very important to policy.

    On the whole you have ignored the broader context and insisted on single texts, an ordinary artifice of those who seek not the truth but their own advantage. I hope you feel comfortable with that impression, because you have done nothing to dispel it here I think.

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  69. Rice, I am also growing weary of pulling the broader context out of the legalistic cherry picking of unimportant statements. Even your own references paint a picture of lack of skill and at best HOPE for skill. So why does your post try to give the opposite impression?

    Young, I’m really tired of your misrepresentations. Our article gives an entirely reasonable representation. That you don’t like it or have trouble reading basic English is not my problem. I’ll also repeat what I said before. Your initial comment was not true. What we said in our article was true.

    Having hope for GMST skill is NOT a demonstration of skill. I pointed out an additional reason to question GCM skill even for GMST.

    Young, Hargreaves showed (as we said) that the Hansen forecast had skill and suggested that there was hope that newer GCMs might have skill. Somehow you’ve interpreted that as they generally do not have skill. Amazing. And you’ve the gall to call me a biased propagandist.

    Being valuable for qualitative understanding which is what Jaime is suggesting is not skill in the traditional sense either.

    Young, yes it is. It’s also exactly the context in which I’ve been using it. You’re just defining the word to suit yourself.

    You have also been generous with the insults and personal attacks. I am just trying to get you to see your blog post the way others might see it.

    Young, I genuinely do not care what you think of my blog, or of me. Quite why you think I have any interest in your view is a little bizarre. Also, the “you were mean to me, therefore I’ve been mean to you” is juvenile.

    I hope you feel comfortable with that impression, because you have done nothing to dispel it here I think.

    Young, and you’ve continue to defend science denial, doing nothing to dispel my general view of you. Keep it up, though.

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  70. OK, So what does “I shall now ignore you.” exactly mean to you Ken? Does it perhaps indicate dishonesty that you did almost immediately fail to ignore me? I am gratified that you spend so much time on my comments, but i suspect it means there is at least a strong element of truth to what I say. Otherwise, you would simply ignore me.

    Your last comment adds nothing. GCM skill is generally not very good as your own references say. No amount of repetition of “atoms of scripture cast as dust before mens eyes” can change that. Being useful for qualitative understanding is not really a very strong endorsement. Usually, numerical simulations are expected to provide quantitative information as I hope you know.

    If you have other technical content, I would be interested. However, repetition of what has already been refuted does not make it true.

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  71. OK, So what does “I shall now ignore you.” exactly mean to you Ken? Does it perhaps indicate dishonesty that you did almost immediately fail to ignore me?

    Young, I don’t always stick to my resolutions. You are helping though, so I think I shall now find it a good deal easier to ignore you.

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  72. Wait, I’m hanging. Is this a strike by the actors? Oh, well, I’ve seen enuff, ennyway.
    ==============

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  73. Most people are probably tiring of this, but I did skim Seigel’s response to the HotWhopperette’s screed. It seemed to pick out several scores of things that were either smears, political statements of opinion, or just wrong summaries of the science. They did include the quotes above from Hargreaves conclusions incidentally and took note of the nature of Schmidt’s Ted talk. It was also very direct in its clear understanding of the limitations of the SkS site. I still don’t understand why any scientist would consider it a sound source of information.

    I’m not defending everything in Seigel’s original post by any means. There are some things about solar influence that are based on very weak science. We will see if Rice becomes a serial violator of his own word and tries to come back and defend his denialist drivel smear. He seems to have not just a problem with reading Hargreaves and not cherry picking, but with honesty too. But Seigel’s response is, while perhaps guilty of getting down on the HotWhopper level in some parts, at least entertaining.

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  74. Ken Rice, You continue to exhibit hypocrisy in calling others work drivel while your own work is full of drivel and perhaps almost worse, cherry picking and false claims. You are incapable of seeing the issues with SkS for example and Sou or at least you have acknowledged my contentions about them. That’s a problem for you I think in that as Tim points out, the smearing and name calling by Sou will turn off people you might hope to convince.

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  75. David Young,
    I think I may have said this already, but I’ll say it one more time. What we said in our article was true and our citing of Hargreaves (2010) was correct. What you said in your initial comment was not true.

    while your own work is full of drivel and perhaps almost worse, cherry picking and false claims.

    You keep saying this and yet the only example seems to be Hargreaves (2010) in which you’ve essentially interpreted “we thought it was impossible to determine the skill, we’ve found one example where it is skillful, there is hope” as “generally they are not skillful”. Quite remarkable really. And you call me a biased propagandist. (Just in case you still don’t get this, “impossible to determine” is not consistent with “they are not”).

    I also don’t care what you think of SkS or Sou. If that turns people like yourself (and even Tim) off, that’s not my problem. I don’t agree with all of how they present things, but I also don’t think tone makes any difference whatsoever. It’s just an excuse used by those who like having an excuse for why they don’t want to pay attention. Also, if you think my goal is to convince the unconvinceable, then you’d be wrong. Keep on defending science denial, though. It’s a free world.

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  76. Models! What are they good for! Absolutely sumpin’!

    So give models a chance, just not the community chest.
    ============

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  77. David Young, most of us are used to Ken Rice/aTTP and his trolling by now. His earlier blog incarnation was little more than a transparent attack on Anthony Watts and an attempt to steal blog traffic by pseudo impersonation. In the commercial arena it would be called passing-off and receive the attention of lawyers.
    Such are his standards.

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  78. Michael, I know Rice has a long history of distortions, misrepresentations, and just childish behavior. Its very telling I think that he simply has ignored my valid points and just continues to repeat the out of context and largely irrelevant to the larger point about models “atom of scripture” that he claims he and Sou, his smear specialist co-author, quoted correctly. That’s pretty disappointing, but perhaps tells us something about why this entire crowd has been so ineffective. And of course, that Paul Matthews’ point about them too.

    The latest here is the claim that “impossible to determine” if they are skillful in the traditional sense, does not mean that they are not skillful. Well, most people would say I think that if its impossible to determine for example that vitamin C cures cancer, that would mean that provisionally it does not. That’s called the null hypothesis and all that. As a scientist, Rice should know that.

    When it is pointed out that Sou’s signature style is smears and juvenile name calling, he says he doesn’t care about that. I guess, politics makes strange bed fellows.

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  79. DY,
    This is getting tedious, but this is wrong

    Well, most people would say I think that if its impossible to determine for example that vitamin C cures cancer, that would mean that provisionally it does not.

    Impossible to determine means what it says on the tin; we don’t know (and even this isn’t the conclusion drawn by Hargreaeves 2010). You’re also brushing over the actual result in Hargreaves (2010) which suggested that – when it comes to GMST – that there might be actually be hope that climate models are skillful. So, again, you’ve interpreted a paper that started with a suggesting that we couldn’t determine the skill (wrt GMST) and ended with “there is hope” as “they generally do not have skill”. You’ve also completely ignored all the other examples of them having skill.

    has a long history of distortions, misrepresentations, and just childish behavior.

    This is ironic.

    Its very telling I think that he simply has ignored my valid points

    At least consider the possibility that you haven’t really made any.

    I’ll repeat, again, the main point. What we said in our article was true. What you said in your first comment was not. You have yet to actually acknowledge this. Calling me biased, hypocritical, a propagandist and now childish, does not change that the person who has said something untrue is you. Think on that for a moment. You could also consider reducing the name calling, rather than increasing it, but I don’t really care one way or the other.

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  80. Ken Rice is still just repeating the same “atoms of Scripture” and casting them as dust before men’s eyes to seek NOT the truth but his own advantage.

    I’ll then try to explain in a way an astronomer can understand. “Qualitative understanding” is a very weak requirement and is subjective. GCM’s do indeed have qualitative features, such as GMST going up. Of course, that is predicted by simple radiative physics as Rice constantly points out or by simple energy balance models. So the real question is what do GCM’s add. One might say regional climate information. Except they are rather bad for that. How about polar amplification? Well they don’t show enough. Can they model an ice age? Well perhaps not yet. 🙂 You get the idea.

    Normally, in public policy questions, quantitative predictions are needed. Astronomy generally has no consequences for public policy, so the standard may be rather low. Asteroid orbits are loosely astronomy, but there we have real skillful quantitative information, assuming the time frames are decades and not millennia.

    So to ignore this broad picture and try to pick out some minor points that really don’t go to the broader point is a technique of propaganda, not of science. And then to double down on it here and just ignore this broader context is indeed bizarre and indicates broadly speaking a little dishonesty.

    We actually know a lot about climate from basic physics and simple models. We know it will get warmer and that its probably at least 1 degree C per 3.7 W/m2. What we don’t know is however also vast, such as whether tropical convection works the way fundamental physics says. So one might ask why do those who feel a need to advocate, choose to smear their opponents, call them names, and ignore the broad range of uncertainty especially for GCM’s? We actually have some evidence about this from the SkS forum leak and it isn’t exactly a positive endorsement. Rice’s public record so far is little better.

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  81. David Young,

    So to ignore this broad picture and try to pick out some minor points that really don’t go to the broader point is a technique of propaganda, not of science. And then to double down on it here and just ignore this broader context is indeed bizarre and indicates broadly speaking a little dishonesty.

    No, you don’t understand. I’ll explain it in a way that maybe you can understand. I’ll try to do it slowly and use small words. In a discussion, you don’t move onto something new when the person you’re dealing with won’t acknowledge their initial error. So I will repeat the point I’ve been stressing. What we said was true. What you first said was not. You’ve also played the man, rather than the ball, this entire exchange. Of course, that you would then post the above patronising, condescending comment is no surprise, but it doesn’t change that the reason I have not gone beyond this first point is because you have failed to illustrate that you are someone with whom it is possible to have an honest exchange. Defending denialist trash like Siegel’s article and WUWT doesn’t help either. Misinterpreting Hargreaves (2010) to suit your mantra, while accusing me of biased propaganda, also doesn’t help. Feel free to keep behaving like this, and wondering why sites like this are the only places you feel welcome, though.

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  82. Tim Hunter rightly feels that any debate should be inclusive – it is an ideal world though and sadly naive. That is not meant as an insult Tim. Anyone who has tried over the last 15 years to engage in a debate on climate at a number of blog sites quickly finds, as I did years ago, that warmist sites are very much less friendly than those of a sceptical nature. Yes you get abuse on both sides but it is of another order of magnitude at most warmist outlets – they are often doing religion and politics not science. I found that just trying to point out some empirical data that didn’t fit the “story”, or asking for clarification of an aspect of “the theory” would lead to the most amazing abuse – and this is science? Today even warmists who don’t express enough alarmism are subjected to threats of having their livelihood removed – Philippe Verdier is just the most recent. Although some “scientists” are involved in this it is usually the non-scientific “believers” who are the worst.

    Climate Scepticism is a fairly young blog (although setup by people with individually proven history). It quite rightly seeks to put a sceptical view forward – after all scientists should always be sceptical of the “consensus” in any science, it is often a moving target. Surely Richard Feynman’s view on how to do science is the benchmark as he states in this Caltech commencement address in the 70’s

    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

    Climate Science fails all of his “tests”, even fighting FOI requests.

    When I was a boy you could count the number of people working in climate (known as climatology) on the fingers of one hand – now we have climate science stocked with huge numbers of people who don’t do research but apply an orthodoxy they were taught at university. 95% (where have I heard that before?) of these jobs would not even exist without the cAGW scare. If it was accepted as wrong tomorrow the grants and jobs would dry up overnight – it is not an environment to help keep climate science “honest”.

    Rightly most of the sceptical sites I read, and occasionally comment on, have a low tolerance of abusive input. Most sceptical blogs eventually ban Trolls (not warmists) because they disrupt the flow of any debate – perhaps their intention, I don’t know.

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  83. Ken Rice, You really are just repeating over and over again the same small point. It is largely irrelevant to the bigger picture, which I outlined briefly. Broadly speaking GCM’s are not quantitatively skillful. You have not contradicted this broader point, perhaps because its clearly true. Has it occurred that an honest individual would just say that?

    If you have some other point to make, please do so, but just repetition of an “atom of scripture” just confirms the image you are creating here and its not of someone who is either open minded, fair, or seeking any kind of truth.

    Do you think its a little insulting to intelligent people to just repeat and repeat as if that adds something? However, repetition is another tool of the propagandist, as I think you know.

    I would suggest that you read thoughtfully Retired Dave’s comment with an open mind.

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  84. For any who are actually interested in the main issues, there is a good youtube video by none other than Shukla that is a useful antidote to some of the fog around GCM’s.

    Even such ideas as “weather is not climate” come in for some criticism.

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  85. Just to correct the record, Rice is not telling the truth about what I said about WUWT. What I said was

    “…is really just cherry picking a few things that are “hopefully” skillful, while ignoring the larger context. Hypocracy comes in in that you and Sou are very harsh critics of WUWT for exactly this, and they are guilty of it in some but not all cases.”

    Rational people would interpret that as a criticism of WUWT.

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  86. David Young,

    Ken Rice, You really are just repeating over and over again the same small point.

    What we said was true. What you said was not. Own it!

    Broadly speaking GCM’s are not quantitatively skillful.

    Rubbish. GCMs have skill. You either don’t understand what skill means, or you simply won’t accept this because it would damage your mantra of “BUT TURBULENCE”.

    You have not contradicted this broader point, perhaps because its clearly true. Has it occurred that an honest individual would just say that?

    Try reading our article. Some examples are there. There are others. Try reading Jaime Jessop’s earlier comment and follow the link. I’ll repeat again, though: I ‘m still focussing on the fact that what we said was true and what you initially said was not. You have yet to acknowledge this.

    As for defending WUWT, I was thinking of this comment. I think it’s time you owned your denial!

    Anyway, this really is genuinely tedious. You could try thinking a little harder, admitting your errors, and playing the ball more than the man. On the other hand, doing so may require acknowledging that climate models do have skill and I imagine that that is something that you are incapable of doing, whatever evidence might be placed in front of you.

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  87. The dishonesty is really very frustrating. I’ll start with the obvious ones.

    1. The comment you pointed to as my defense of WUWT doesn’t even mention WUWT. That’s the second time you have simply dishonestly asserted a falsehood, and then tried to use it to smear me as in “denial.” That’s just very dishonest and I think most people can see that.

    2. You said twice you were not going to respond any more. That was perhaps a score of responses ago. Another obvious instance of dishonesty.

    3. You have continued to deny the fact that Hargreaves supports much more clearly that climate forecasts and GCM’s don’t have much skill. In your dishonest lexicon, “It is impossible to assess if climate forecasts are skillful in the traditional sense” becomes “GCM’s are skillful.” And “There is hope for skill in predicting GMST” becomes “GCM’s are skillful.” That’s quite dishonest and not convincing to anyone I think.

    4. You simply refuse to respond to the point that simple models are in fact skillful in predicting GMST given historical data on forcings and feedbacks.

    5. You refuse to address any point beyond your “atom of scripture” which in fact actually undermines your position.

    Repetition does not constitute proof or refutation of counter claims. Its just dishonest to continue to do so as if it is definitive of anything other than your intense desire to “win” a point in a game. It is not a game, Rice, and that is where you are dishonest again. There are serious big points here and refusing to discuss them is dishonest.

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  88. Young,

    The comment you pointed to as my defense of WUWT doesn’t even mention WUWT.

    Try reading the comment you were responding positively to.

    You have continued to deny the fact that Hargreaves supports much more clearly that climate forecasts and GCM’s don’t have much skill.

    No it does not.

    You said twice you were not going to respond any more. That was perhaps a score of responses ago. Another obvious instance of dishonesty.

    I’m going to try much harder now. It is getting tedious being called dishonest by someone who has yet to acknowledge that their initial comment on this thread was not true.

    There are serious big points here and refusing to discuss them is dishonest.

    There are serious points here. That I would rather not discuss them with you, reflects more on you than on me. That you would call me dishonest as a result does to. Maybe reflect on this a little.

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  89. Young,
    I know I said I’d try to stay away, but I’m kind of interested in this.

    It is not a game, Rice, and that is where you are dishonest again. There are serious big points here and refusing to discuss them is dishonest.

    Why do you think I should discuss them with you? (and, to be clear, not discussing them with you does NOT mean I don’t discuss them with anyone) I’ve had many discussions with you. You tend to focus on the same things over and over again (resolution, turbulence, viscosity,…). You’ve yet to show that you understand the basics, which I think is important, even if you want to focus on details. You can be pretty unpleasant, as this thread indicates. I’ve looked up your publication record. Unless I’ve missed some, it’s decidely average. You rarely acknowledge anything, as this thread also indicates. You regularly play the man, rather than the ball, as this thread also indicates. So why should I discuss this with you – as you seem to think I should? You’ve given my little reason to do so, and many reasons not to. I don’t have any real interest in doing so, but I’m just interested in why you seem to think that I really should.

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  90. Can’t understand how Ken lost this one. Why didn’t he just edit David’s last post to hide the point, write a snide reply and then ban him as usual.

    Oh….. sorry……. wrong thread.

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  91. My God Rice, I don’t care if you pay attention to me or not. I just don’t like to see dishonest statements stand, especially in an area where I have a lot of experience and you have really none. I am quite content with my network of friends and collaborators which is broad and respected. Your collaborators include smear artists and propagandists and I would be ashamed if I had such collaborators.

    I will have one more long comment this weekend on the technical issues involved. I expect you to have nothing meaningful to say as your massive footprint on this thread has said nothing new or interesting and just dishonestly dodges the issue.

    Your whining about my playing the man is infantile. Have you read Andy Lacis’ comments. Andy is honest and I enjoy his comments. I am very mild by comparison. Andy has real knowledge and that’s why I’m interested in him.

    You as an ignorant outsider are incompetant to judge my contributions. I am not really a brilliant scientist, but many of my collaborators are. You might want to avoid denigrating their work. Our contributions might be interesting to those interested in uncertainty in CFD. Based on your obfuscation here, I would expect them to be uninteresting to you. 😀 So then just don’t talk to me as I will actually be glad to be rid of you. There are many many other honest scientists who are a better investment of my time.

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