New Paper on Climate Sensitivity Supports Low (≈1C) Estimates

climate_sensitivity5

Just a quick-fire post on climate sensitivity, because that is, after all is said and done, what all this business is about.

We keep hearing from alarmists on here and elsewhere that ‘uncertainty’ in estimates of climate sensitivity means that we cannot disregard the high end estimates generated from the GCMs, meaning, effectively, that current urgent CO2 emissions reductions are justified. This is despite the fact that empirically derived observationally based estimates are generally lower than those estimates emergent from the GCMs. Climate scientists have attempted to justify the higher estimates and downplay the lower estimates, most notably a recent attempt from Marvel, Schmidt et al—which fell flat on its face here and here.

A new paper by (fairly unusually in climate science) a single author, Prof. J. Ray Bates, on climate sensitivity has just been published:

Abstract

Estimates of 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity (EqCS) derive from running global climate models (GCMs) to equilibrium. Estimates of effective climate sensitivity (EfCS) are the corresponding quantities obtained using transient GCM output or observations. The EfCS approach uses an accompanying energy balance model (EBM), the zero-dimensional model (ZDM) being standard. GCM values of EqCS and EfCS vary widely [IPCC range: (1.5, 4.5)°C] and have failed to converge over the past 35 years. Recently, attempts have been made to refine the EfCS approach by using two-zone (tropical/extratropical) EBMs. When applied using satellite radiation data, these give low and tightly-constrained EfCS values, in the neighbourhood of 1°C. These low observational EfCS/two-zone EBM values have been questioned because (a) they disagree with higher observational EfCS/ZDM values, and (b) the EfCS/two-zone EBM values given by GCMs are poorly correlated with the standard GCM sensitivity estimates. The validity of the low observational EfCS/two-zone EBM values is here explored, with focus on the limitations of the observational EfCS/ZDM approach, the disagreement between the GCM and observational radiative responses to surface temperature perturbations in the tropics, and on the modified EfCS values provided by an extended two zone EBM that includes an explicit parameterization of dynamical heat transport. The results support the low observational EfCS/two-zone EBM values, indicating that objections (a) and (b) to these values both need to be reconsidered. It is shown that in the EBM with explicit dynamical heat transport the traditional formulism of climate feedbacks can break down because of lack of additivity.

Take home message:

The central conclusion of this study is that to disregard the low values of effective climate sensitivity (≈1°C) given by observations on the grounds that they do not agree with the larger values of equilibrium, or effective, climate sensitivity given by GCMs, while the GCMs themselves do not properly represent the observed value of the tropical radiative response coefficient, is a standpoint that needs to be reconsidered.

More inconvenient peer-reviewed science for those who wish to promote the idea of a global ‘climate emergency’ supposedly based upon sound science and a >90% consensus of experts. Mind you, with the way Cook’s 97% ‘consensus’ was confected, Prof. Bates would probably be included as one of those experts—even after publishing this paper!

106 thoughts on “New Paper on Climate Sensitivity Supports Low (≈1C) Estimates

  1. This kind of research is very welcome, especially from such a credible source. This guy won a prize in 2009 from the EGU for his outstanding contributions to atmospheric science. I think research on negative feedbacks is very important, because they could help lessen the warming effect of GHGs.

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  2. Jaime, where did that graph come from? It’s interesting but it could do with updating with more recent papers such as this one. (And the y axis is a bit naughty).

    Climate sensitivity estimates appear to be in a terrifying doom spiral!

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  3. In these ongoing decades of policy panic and climate hyperbole, and of intense pressure to conform to one view about climate variation (and a pretty flaky view it is too, relying in large part on those sick jokes when it comes to forecasting climate, GCMs), it is pleasing to see such a graphic (from Stockwell) and such a paper (from Bates). The entertaining of non-conformist views is surely vital for the health of the fledgling called ‘climate science’, even if that activity should threaten the lavish funding enjoyed by the ‘establishment’. After all, what good is lots of money if it is being used to build a rotten edifice?

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  4. Barry has pointed out, the climate establishment attack dogs are onto this paper:

    It really does irk them when scientific journals dare to publish peer-reviewed science based on observations which dare to question the ‘canonical’ IPCC ECS range of 1.5-4.5C – so canonical they gave up trying to pinpoint a best estimate in the latest AR5 report.

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  5. Ah well they’re worried that if this La Nina on the way resets the temperatures on or near the pre El Nino levels, they know that some of the scientists will begin to drift off message in bigger numbers. Perhaps adaptation might be more sensible. Perhaps we should wait for a viable new energy source… Better to make it clear that dissenters will be shot, before the big battle starts.

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  6. I read the paper before commenting. Bates does something useful by comparing ZDM energy budget models (simple global averages) to two forms of tropical/extratropical models: (a) simple and (b) not simple. There is a fair bit of not too complicated math. One interesting result is to show that for most ‘reasonable’ assumptions about parameters, the (b) form collapses to the (a) form.
    Where I think this goes wrong is plugging the Lindzen and Choi (2011) observationally derived parameters for bsub1 (tropics) and bsub2 (extratropics) into Bates model (a) to derive a Lindzen and Choi like result.
    LC11 was previously severely criticized based on the derivations of those two parameters. Tropical bsub1 estimated by lagged regression relied on ad hoc three month lags. Other lags like days or weeks based on what actually happens with tropical weather clouds give parameter values resulting in higher ECS. And the assumption that extratropical bsub2 is just the Planck response is just that, an assumption. Bates points out there is wide disparity in extratropical observation of both Sw and Lw (e.g. by Ceres). That makes sense as extratropical clouds are affected by dynamic weather fronts, meridional or zonal jet stream and polar vortex, seasons, and so on. In principal, a simple average over a sufficiently long time period might suffice; Bates did not do this. Plug LC11 parameters into a mathmatically more formalized version of the LC11 conceptualization unsurprizingly gives an LC11 like result. But if those parameters have already been debunked, so is the LC11 like result.

    A shame, because simply processing the entire Ceres record for +/- 30 latitude average and +/- 30-90 latitude average (TOA radiation imbalance) would have yielded observational bsub1 and bsub2 without any reliance on LC11 whatsoever. Eschenbach has already demonstrated in several recent posts at WUWT that this is straightforward to do using R.
    BTW, I posted a reconciliation of observed physical feedbacks (water vapor, clouds) to observational EBM (e.g. Nic Lewis) at Bishop Hill earlier today. Completely separate derivations, both resulting in ECS 1.5 to 1.8. Won’t repeat here; read it there. Another way of showing LC11 and Bates16 likely incorrect.

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  7. Pingback: ECS ~1K????? | …and Then There's Physics

  8. I have to admit, having not initially read the paper, I took Bates’ EfCS to be the equivalent of TCR, taking my cue from his description “Estimates of effective climate sensitivity (EfCS) are the corresponding quantities obtained using TRANSIENT GCM output or observations”. A TCR of 1.0C isn’t a million miles away from Lewis & Curry’s estimate of 1.33C. But no, EfCS in this paper is an observationally based estimate of ECS. At 1.0C it is very low, lower than all the estimates on the graph above as far as I can see. I’ve read the paper as far as I can follow it and it does do things a little differently from LC11 as far as I can tell, using updated research from Choi et al, 2014.
    The paper is being ridiculed by all the usual suspects who I am sure will be submitting their peer-reviewed rebuttals of the paper to various prestigious scientific journals very soon. I would point out that Bates is not alone however in finding very low values of ECS.
    But whether Ristvan is correct above (ECS=1.5-1.8C) or whether Bates, Lindzen et al are correct and negative feedbacks completely overwhelm the (globally unequal) response to radiative forcing by CO2, the point is, ECS observationally based estimates are still generally less than 2C. Bates’ formulation would mean there is virtually no cause to worry about CO2 emissions, whereas an ECS of 1.5-1.8C would mean we should be concerned, but not unduly so, thereby rushing headlong into urgent climate mitigation.

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  9. However, I might add that I think his estimate is too low, as a substantial body of research published recently has indicated that ECS may be more likely to be around 1.5-2.5 C per CO2 doubling.

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  10. JJ, we agree on the basics. This paper does not help except in its abstract ok math comclusions.
    It does us no good to make further easily rebutted ( like here previously rebutted) parameter claims. Skeptics deserve better true science.

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  11. Noted Ristvan. A little less haste and a bit more caution when mentioning new research on these pages. To be fair, nobody here has specifically endorsed the findings of the paper. It would be interesting to see the author’s response to the online criticism of his research.

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  12. From commenter Paul_K at Bishop Hill:

    “Ultimately, the paper’s calculated effective climate sensitivity is highly dependent on their estimate of the extra-tropical flux response (b2), which carries large uncertainty because of data ambiguity and lack of full satellite coverage at high latitudes. The paper shows results for two values: 3.5 and 2.0 W/m2/deg K. Support for this choice of range is given in Section 4.2 if anyone is interested, but in my view is quite weak. The lower value – which conforms rather more closely with mainstream thinking than the higher value yields an effective climate sensitivity of ca 1.5 deg K for a doubling of CO2, which gets fairly close to ZDM estimates using historical forcing, temperature and ocean heat data.”

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  13. LOL. The all-wise Steven Mosher concludes in a comment on that thread:

    “Here is what is settled

    1. The earth has warmed
    2. co2 is a GHG
    3. man contributes to the rise in c02
    4. adding GHGs will warm the planet MORE THAN IT WOULD BE OTHERWISE

    Here is the unsettled part

    5. How much warming 1.5C to 4.5C

    But silly skeptics have wasted all their time fighting 1-4.”

    Which is strange, because the vast majority of scepticism I have encountered is focussed on debating whether AGW is significant and dangerous (of itself, and particularly in relation to natural fluctuations) – and therefore a problem, which the press and the whole alarmist CAGW IPCC bandwagon have been telling us it is for 30 odd years. Of course, Mosher chooses to artificially constrain his 5. category to the ‘canonical’ IPCC ECS range of 1.5-4.5C, with little real scientific justification for doing so.

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  14. Well-spotted, Jaime.

    The peculiar positions that some people construct for the group they label ‘skeptics’ are presumably a convenient device for not engaging with them on the core issue, or possibly a contrivance to facilitate the kind of put-downs that are the best they can manage from within their world of make-believe.

    The reality is that the alarm-raisers have essentially been relying heavily on pushing points 1 to 4 onto a generally ill-prepared political class and general public, while their critics have been trying generally in vain to get point 5 more widely discussed and examined (within and without the canons of the IPCC).

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  15. Mosher chooses to artificially constrain his 5. category to the ‘canonical’ IPCC ECS range of 1.5-4.5C, with little real scientific justification for doing so.

    What? You think there is a bigger than 33% chance of ECS lying outside 1.5-4.5C?

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  16. “Do you think there is a bigger than 33% chance of the ECS lying outside 1.5-4.5C?”

    I would think that is unlikely Ken, but the question is irrelevant. What is relevant is how observationally based estimates constrain the ‘most likely’ (and therefore more policy relevant) range and how that probability is distributed throughout that range. Current PDFs which take into account uncertainties associated with natural variability, aerosol forcings, cloud feedbacks etc, tend to produce fairly tightly constrained estimates of around 1.5C-2.0C for ECS, which tail off rapidly either side.

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  17. Jaime,

    What is relevant is how observationally based estimates constrain the ‘most likely’ (and therefore more policy relevant) range

    1. Why are they more policy relevant?

    2. Why do you get to decide this?

    Current PDFs which take into account uncertainties associated with natural variability, aerosol forcings, cloud feedbacks etc, tend to produce fairly tightly constrained estimates of around 1.5C-2.0C for ECS, which tail off rapidly either side.

    I don’t think they do include uncertainties associated with natural variability. Many who work in the field think these estimates are too low. Even so, Nic Lewis latest work suggests a 17% chance of ECS being bigger than 2.4C and a 5% chance of it exceeding 3.1C.

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  18. Jaime, John Shade, can you really doubt that “silly skeptics have wasted all their time fighting 1-4”?

    Everywhere I look when skeptics pop up they are claiming of conspiracies around temperature indices (1), debating whether CO2 really has a warming effect (some on the lines of “well it does in the labratory, but it the atmosphere that isn’t proven”) (2), doing a Salby and claiming that CO2 increases are not man-made (3) and numerous other arguments that the planet wont warm (4).

    That is not the limit of “skeptical” arguments of course. There are plenty who argue that an extra 3 degree (or whatever) would be peachy, usually in addition to 1-4. And it may be that as warming has becomes more difficult to deny, as it seems to be doing, the 1-4 type arguments will wither in favour of “it’s not so bad”. But to deny the 1-4 type arguments is to deny your own rich community history of stupidity.

    Maybe this is a good opportunity to guage opinion here. How many of you really accept that
    1. temperatures have warmed by around 0.7-1C since pre-industrial times;
    2. the temperature rise is mainly down to anthropogenic causes including increased CO2.

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  19. What is clear is that there is still a great deal of room for discussion of climate sensitivity (as in ECS), and papers like this one from Prof Bates are to be welcomed as learned contributions to that discussion. I hope, if atmospheric physics has not been poisoned out of all recognition, that it will get a thorough technical review amongst specialists.

    The political attractiveness of having high upper bounds on ECS should put us all on our guard about them for that reason alone. Laframboise’s studies of machinations within and around the IPCC provide more reasons for taking a sanguine view of their agitations, including their ‘vote-based confidence levels’ for this or that. On the technical side, the severe limitations of GCMs, and the modest amount of historical data we have, provide reasons enough for wanting more discussion.

    So, I foresee great scope for our humble blog here to continue to: draw attention to new works such as that by Prof Bates; poke fun at the pretensions and escapades of CO2 alarmers in political or technical arenas; and give calmer voices such as that of Prof Lindzen more attention than they generally get in the mainstream media – or possibly even in the world of science. Oh, and, as the fancy takes, refute/play about with/ignore trolls on the way.

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  20. Jaime,

    Ken, you are asking me why the ‘most likely’ estimates are more policy relevant?

    No, I’m asking you why you think they’re the ‘most likely’.

    Really? You are asking me why I personally get to decide this? Really?

    You seem so certain, so yes I was asking you this.

    Why did you link to the Huber paper? As far as I can see the results of that are consistent with the IPCC range.

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  21. John Shade,

    I hope, if atmospheric physics has not been poisoned out of all recognition, that it will get a thorough technical review amongst specialists.

    The reviews of it so far have not been complimentary. Does that mean that atmospheric physics has been “poisoned out of all recognition” or that it is a bad paper?

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  22. Ken,

    “No, I’m asking you why you think they’re the ‘most likely’”

    I’m confused. Which part of

    “1. Why are they more policy relevant?

    2. Why do you get to decide this?”

    did I fail to understand?

    “Why did you link to the Huber paper? As far as I can see the results of that are consistent with the IPCC range.”

    I linked to the paper because it shows a treatment of the effect of unforced natural variability upon estimates of ECS and TCR.

    “Using a probabilistic setup of a reduced complexity model and an ensemble of an Earth System Model, we showed that unforced climate variability is important in the estimation of the climate sensitivity, in particular when estimating the most likely value, and more so for the equilibrium than for the transient response. A particular emphasis was put on the role of uncertainties of upper ocean heat uptake observations by taking two different observational data sets into account.”

    What they did was constrain the Community Earth System Model with known ECS of 4.1C (very high) to observations of global temperature and two different estimates of ocean heat uptake in combination with an ocean model coupled to an atmosphere model to represent natural internal variability. This gave them an ensemble of results. If you look at Fig. 1, the effect of constraining the CESM in this manner was to reduce estimates of ‘most likely’ ECS considerably – by 1.1C in the setup where ocean heat uptake observations are deemed to be more certain.

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  23. I’m still hoping that people are going to affirm their acceptance of recent temperature rises as being anthropogenic in origin, as Jaime suggests they do. But I’m not holding out much hope even for him. Or John Shade, who on another thread said:

    I do see significant possibility of temperatures rising, and I also see significant possibility of them falling. As for CO2, it never seems to have been a big driver of global temperatures in the past, and there is not much sign of it being one now, although we might hold out hope for a bit more warming from it yet. So far, the benefits of the rising ambient levels have largely been in increasing crop yields, and greening things up in general, and these are not be scoffed at.

    A good example of someone who prefers to attack Mosher’s points 1-4 than addressing sensitivity.

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  24. “I’m still hoping that people are going to affirm their acceptance of recent temperature rises as being anthropogenic in origin, as Jaime suggests they do.”

    What are you on about Raff? Show me where I suggested this.

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  25. Jaime,
    You seem to be claiming that the tightly constrained estimates of around 1.5C-2.0C for ECS, which tail off rapidly either side, are more policy relevant and most likely. You still haven’t really explained this.

    I linked to the paper because it shows a treatment of the effect of unforced natural variability upon estimates of ECS and TCR.

    Yes, but I don’t think that the estimates that constrain ECS to probably be between 1.5 and 2C include this. If anything that Huber et al. paper is suggesting that natural variability can influence the ECS estimate. I don’t think that it is correct to conclude that it always reduces it.

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  26. Jaime, John Shade, can you really doubt that “silly skeptics have wasted all their time fighting 1-4”?

    Everywhere I look when skeptics pop up they are claiming of conspiracies around temperature indices (1), debating whether CO2 really has a warming effect (some on the lines of “well it does in the labratory, but it the atmosphere that isn’t proven”) (2), doing a Salby and claiming that CO2 increases are not man-made (3) and numerous other arguments that the planet wont warm (4).

    That is not the limit of “skeptical” arguments of course. There are plenty who argue that an extra 3 degree (or whatever) would be peachy, usually in addition to 1-4. And it may be that as warming has becomes more difficult to deny, as it seems to be doing, the 1-4 type arguments will wither in favour of “it’s not so bad”. But to deny the 1-4 type arguments is to deny your own rich community history of stupidity.

    I fully agree with all four of those. Some skeptics have indeed wasted their time on those, but I think generally (especially skeptical scientists) they accept them.

    Maybe this is a good opportunity to guage opinion here. How many of you really accept that
    1. temperatures have warmed by around 0.7-1C since pre-industrial times;
    2. the temperature rise is mainly down to anthropogenic causes including increased CO2.

    I fully accept one and somewhat accept two. I am not quite sure what to believe the anthropogenic and natural contributions are to 20th century warming, but I believe both contributed significantly. I would be happy to explain why I believe both of those points, if you like.

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  27. Ken,

    “You seem to be claiming that the tightly constrained estimates of around 1.5C-2.0C for ECS, which tail off rapidly either side, are more policy relevant and most likely. You still haven’t really explained this.”

    I’ll try to make myself clear. The IPCC does not give a best estimate (i.e. most likely) for ECS, preferring just to quote a range 1.5-4.5C. With many observationally based estimates, we get a fairly sharp peak in the probability density function. The median of that peak I would define as the ‘most likely’ estimate. It seems obvious to me that, if policy makers are looking at these more recent observationally derived estimates of climate sensitivity, they are going to conclude that the best estimate (i.e. the most likely) is probably more suitable with regards to formulating policy, particularly if the best estimate is rather tightly constrained. That’s all I was saying and of course policy makers and climate activists have generally ignored more recent lower estimates in favour of adopting a precautionary principle which encompasses the higher end of the IPCC climate sensitivity range.
    Now you may argue that we should not dismiss the higher estimates of ECS as irrelevant to policy. In which case please point to a significant cluster of recent studies (preferably, but not necessarily, based upon observations) which support higher estimates of climate sensitivity.

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  28. Jaime, What are you on about Raff? Show me where I suggested this.

    Yes, maybe that was a step too far. I assumed that someone who says something so at odds with my experience of skepticism:

    … the vast majority of scepticism I have encountered is focussed on debating whether AGW is significant and dangerous…

    would be someone who accepts the very basics (1-4 in Mosher’s list) and thinks significance/danger is what skeptics should focus on. But silly me, clearly I was wrong. All that discussion I have seen debating every possible way that warming isn’t happening, or is happening but it isn’t us, or is the sun, or that AGW contradicts some laws of thermodynamics, or is some notch filter and force X, etc ad infinitum was in fact discussing whether AGW is significant and dangerous.

    JaP: I would be happy to explain why I believe both of those points, if you like.

    No it is OK, it is those who disagree with these points who need to explain why.

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  29. Jaime,
    So, the IPCC says

    Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high
    confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence).

    and you seem to think that it’s probably between 1.5 and 2C, and that there is only a tiny chance of it being bigger than 3C.

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  30. Raff, you are confused. One can very easily debate attribution of recent – and all post industrial warming for that matter – whilst still accepting Mosher’s 1-4. One can also debate whether consensus climate science has underestimated solar forcing and misrepresented internal variability whilst happily accepting Mosher’s 1-4. One can even question just how much of the post industrial increase in CO2 is actually due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions – whilst still accepting Mosher’s 1-4. These things are not closed to debate, much as you – and people like Mosher – would wish them to be, much as you would wish to portray those who do debate them as nutters.

    Jap, I doubt you will find anyone on this blog who disputes that global temperatures have risen by about 0.7-1.0C since 1850 or thereabouts. You’ll find plenty of people who are sceptical of adjustments which have erased the current pause in global temperatures. You’ll find a few people – myself included – who are sceptical of the IPCC AR5 attribution statement and a few more who are very sceptical of claims that all post industrial warming is anthropogenic. Raff, damned if I’m going to be told I have to explain why I’m sceptical of these things when most of the time people promoting dangerous global warming can’t explain why they are NOT sceptical of these things, beyond saying ‘97% consensus’ or ‘the IPCC said so’, or ‘basic physics says so’.

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  31. Actually, “the IPCC said so” is as good a reason as any unqualified person (like me) can give. For unqualified people (and most “skeptics” are that) to argue against this means they they put their own limited knowledge and understanding against that of hundreds or thousands of experts. That is never a tenable argument and so they must invent conspiracies of one sort or another to hide their hubris.

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  32. Jap, I doubt you will find anyone on this blog who disputes that global temperatures have risen by about 0.7-1.0C since 1850 or thereabouts. You’ll find plenty of people who are sceptical of adjustments which have erased the current pause in global temperatures. You’ll find a few people – myself included – who are sceptical of the IPCC AR5 attribution statement and a few more who are very sceptical of claims that all post industrial warming is anthropogenic. Raff, damned if I’m going to be told I have to explain why I’m sceptical of these things when most of the time people promoting dangerous global warming can’t explain why they are NOT sceptical of these things, beyond saying ‘97% consensus’ or ‘the IPCC said so’, or ‘basic physics says so’.

    I never said I would. I think this blog is more reasonable than, say, WUWT, where people invoke conspiracies every 3 comments, and I too am skeptical of such adjustments, the AR5 attribution statement, and the industrial warming claim. As I said before, not all skeptics adhere to the nonsensical claims of someone like Tony Heller/Steve Goddard.

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  33. Raff, your blind faith in the 1000’s of experts at the UN IPCC is touching and you reveal it to be the cornerstone of your acceptance of man-made global warming as a significant problem. Alas, for that reason alone, you SHOULD question the validity of the claims made in the IPCC summaries for policy makers because they are often at odds with what the actual science reveals in their own massive reports and the process whereby the IPCC arrives at its summary conclusions is often at odds with the scientific process itself. If you have not bothered to read the large amount of literature which is critical of IPCC procedures, then you cannot claim validity for your own argument based upon an uncritical acceptance of their findings. Donna Lafromboise is not an expert either, and is self-proclaimedly not able to able to pass judgment on the actual science, but she is a very good investigative journalist who noticed, for example, that grad students were being elevated to positions of lead authors in IPCC reports. Just one among very many serious shortcomings of this UN organisation and it is by no means only scientifically untrained investigative journalists who have got the IPCC’s number; many respected scientists have also openly criticised the workings and the conclusions of this bloated organisation. I suggest you watch:

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  34. One is not required to take Donna Laframboise seriously; one is only required to take seriously what she has to say about the IPCC. Do you take seriously her findings that two thirds of 44 chapters of IPCC AR4 had at least one author (sometimes as much as 8 authors) with connections to the World Wildlife Fund? Do you take seriously the fact that one third of the chapters had at least lead author with connections to the WWF? Or do you dismiss everything she has to say out of hand simply because she has voiced an opinion that there is no real scientific consensus on global warming?

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  35. It is extremely difficult to take anyone who say there is “No ‘scientific consensus’ on global warming” seriously.

    But to what degree? I agree there’s a scientific consensus that climate change is real and that we are at least partially the cause. But to what extent are we the cause? I don’t know if there’s a consensus that >50% of the warming observed since the 19th century is anthropogenic, and I certainly haven’t seen a study that asserts that.

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  36. Jaime,
    I don’t really care what associations that the authors might, or might not, have.

    JaP,
    The IPCC range for TCR is 1 – 2.5C. Since the mid-19th century we’ve warmed by about 1K and have increased anthropogenic forcings by around 2.3W/m^2. Even at the low end of the TCR range it would suggest more than half anthropogenic.

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  37. I got half way through your video, but I don’t find DL very credible. Here is what wiki says about IPCC authors:

    Each chapter has a number of authors who are responsible for writing and editing the material. A chapter typically has two “coordinating lead authors”, ten to fifteen “lead authors”, and a somewhat larger number of “contributing authors”. The coordinating lead authors are responsible for assembling the contributions of the other authors, ensuring that they meet stylistic and formatting requirements, and reporting to the Working Group chairs. Lead authors are responsible for writing sections of chapters. Contributing authors prepare text, graphs or data for inclusion by the lead authors.

    So 20-30 authors per chapter. Yet DL doesn’t tell us that and it rather affects the weight of her criticism. And the coordinating lead author, who DL seems to think is the most important, is responsible for stylistic and formatting requirements. So now we know DL doesn’t know the basics of the IPCC that a skim of wiki tells me. You probably don’t either, which is perhaps partly why you accept her accusations at face value. You might try to show just a little scepticism.

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  38. Raff says:

    “And the coordinating lead author, who DL seems to think is the most important, is responsible for stylistic and formatting requirements.”

    The IPCC says:

    “2. COORDINATING LEAD AUTHORS
    Function:
    To take overall responsibility for coordinating major sections of a Report.
    Comment:
    Coordinating Lead Authors will be Lead Authors with the added responsibility of ensuring that major sections of the Report are completed to a high standard, are collated and delivered to the Working Group/Task Force Bureau Co-Chairs in a timely manner and conform to any overall standards of style set for the document. Coordinating Lead Authors will play a leading role in ensuring that any crosscutting scientific or technical issues which may involve several sections of a Report are addressed in a complete and coherent manner and reflect the latest information available. The skills and resources required of Coordinating Lead Authors are those required of Lead Authors with the additional organisational skills needed to coordinate a section of a Report.”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles-appendix-a-final.pdf

    Raff also says:

    “So now we know DL doesn’t know the basics of the IPCC that a skim of wiki tells me. You probably don’t either, which is perhaps partly why you accept her accusations at face value. You might try to show just a little scepticism.”

    Which you have to admit is a bit rich coming from a person who puts his/her absolute faith in the IPCC but skims Wiki to pronounce that a meticulous investigative journalist who has spent years researching procedures at the IPCC is simply wrong about coordinating lead authors.
    But thanks Raff; I was sceptical of your second-hand info from Wiki so I went straight to the source. Is that sceptical enough for you?

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  39. As usual, I have to laugh at Raff anbd ATTP, revealing their lack of scientific expertise. Why they they just refuse to admit that they want the world to revert to the stone age is beyond my understanding. The easy answer would be that they are hypocrites. I prefer to think that they are just idiots.

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  40. I hope I never have to live in a world where I have to take statements by ATTP seriously. It would be like regressing to a world where “my old man’s a dustman” becomes the statement of reality. because, dustmen…. ( the gravamen is in the dots…)

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  41. Well yes, it looks like you are right. The Coordinating lead author really is important – for coordination, completeness, standards and style. And research students can’t do that. No sir! they need a doctorate for that; according to DL and you. Got it!

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  42. JaP,
    The IPCC range for TCR is 1 – 2.5C. Since the mid-19th century we’ve warmed by about 1K and have increased anthropogenic forcings by around 2.3W/m^2. Even at the low end of the TCR range it would suggest more than half anthropogenic.

    It would, and your reasoning is very sound, assuming a rather linear climate system. However, the climate system is not linear, and if there are significant negative feedbacks to increased radiative forcing, then a significant portion of the recent warming could’ve been caused by natural variability if the corresponding variability went up with temperature. I can point you to numerous papers which can explain reasons why natural variability could’ve played large role in recent warming far better than I, if you like.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. JaP,

    However, the climate system is not linear, and if there are significant negative feedbacks to increased radiative forcing

    Hmmm, it is clearly not strictly linear. However, the non-linearity probably relates to temperature change, rather than to radiative forcing itself. Also, it is probably approximately linear for the temperature change we’ve currently experienced. If it wasn’t, then I think we’d expect all sorts of strange things to happen across the seasons, for example. It might be worth reading this post which includes comments by Isaac Held from a report the link to which you can find in the post.

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  44. Raff,

    “The Coordinating lead author really is important – for coordination, completeness, standards and style. And research students can’t do that. No sir! they need a doctorate for that; according to DL and you. Got it!”

    Oh God, you just cannot admit you were wrong Raff, can you – I guess it would initiate a mental or physical breakdown or something. The clue is in the bleedin’ title: Coordinating Lead AUTHOR. In ADDITION to their responsibilities to coordinate a chapter, they also contribute to WRITING it. So no, research students shouldn’t be doing that, nor should climate activists with a conflict of interest. It is probably no coincidence that the IPCC put in place (in 2011) procedures for authors and lead authors to declare potential conflicts of interest. I have no idea whether this improved matters in AR5.

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  45. Jaime,

    So no, research students shouldn’t be doing that, nor should climate activists with a conflict of interest.

    Rubbish. There’s nothing in academia that prevents PhD students from playing active roles in these kind of activities. They regularly lead research programmes and are technically people who have already completed degrees in the relevant subject. Of course, you typically wouldn’t give it to someone who has just started a PhD but many senior PhD students are extremely capable. Also, you may hate people who you regard as activists, but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it. You can’t prevent people from carrying out professional activities just because they’ve chosen to do something with which you disagree. In fact, I cannot see how you could possible police this. If you started doing this, you could end up excluding all sorts of people because they’ve chosen to do things that others disagree with. Do you understand the implications of what you seem to be suggesting?

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  46. Ken,

    Stop trying to defend the indefensible. It is patently obvious to most rational and reasonable people that, for the type of research upon which the entire world relies upon to be reliably and accurately informed about the potential dangers of anthropogenic climate change, you do NOT employ inexperienced grad students to coordinate and author vital chapters, nor do you employ environmental activists who have a clear conflict of interest when it comes to assessing the scientific evidence for and against the possibility of dangerous global warming. If you defend this type of activity, then you are essentially saying that we should not worry about the quality of scientific input to the IPCC, nor should we be concerned about potential bias among the authors, as long as – presumably – the end justifies the means, i.e. the IPCC continues to churn out scientific ‘evidence’ for humans’ significant detrimental effect upon our climate, thereby justifying sweeping carbon reductions.

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  47. P.S. I don’t “hate activists” – though they may despise people like me. If they choose to campaign on an ‘issue’ with scant regard to logic, common sense or (very often) common decency, that’s up to them – as long as they don’t break the law. But they should NOT be authoring/coordinating IPCC reports.

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  48. Jaime,

    But they should NOT be authoring/coordinating IPCC reports.

    Think about this for a moment. You’re suggesting that someone who does something that they’re perfectly entitled to do, that is not illegal, and that is actually supported by many people (just not everyone) should not be allowed to carry out an activity that could be an important part of their career. Who gets to decide this? Who gets to decide what is allowable and what isn’t? People should of course declare interests that might put them in conflict. This, however, doesn’t mean that they should be prohibited from participating and – typically – if someone does not benefit in some financial way is often not regarded as a conflict. In my opinion, what you’re suggesting is fundamentally at odds with what people have the right to do in a free and fair society.

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  49. Ken,

    “In my opinion, what you’re suggesting is fundamentally at odds with what people have the right to do in a free and fair society.”

    Let me get this straight. You are saying that climate change activist scientists – who should be neutral – should be allowed into the very heart of the IPCC, whose output is relied upon by governments to put into place measures which many would consider to be a breach of their personal liberty and traditional freedoms and an affront to democracy – not to mention their purse/wallet!

    In my opinion, allowing such people to author IPCC reports is itself fundamentally at odds with the the standards of a free and fair society: and ne’er the twain shall meet it would seem.

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  50. Essentially, what you are saying Ken is that the rights of a few people to do what they want to do in a “free and fair society” are more important than the rights of the many millions of people struggling to earn a living/pay their energy bills etc.;people whose lives will be significantly adversely affected by carbon emissions reductions whose necessity may not be as severe and as wide-ranging as the IPCC says, because activists at the heart of this organisation over-egged the alarmist message!

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  51. It’s difficult to interpret it in any other way. You’re not surprised that’s how ‘I chose’ to interpret it; I would be very surprised if many other people did not similarly interpret it in that way.

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  52. Jaime,
    I think this pretty much gives you away.

    the rights of a few people to do what they want to do in a “free and fair society” are more important than the rights of the many millions of people struggling to earn a living/pay their energy bills etc.;people whose lives will be significantly adversely affected by carbon emissions reductions whose necessity may not be as severe and as wide-ranging as the IPCC says, because activists at the heart of this organisation over-egged the alarmist message!

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  53. No, no, you are right Jaime. The CLA is more important – because he/she does the coordination and standards and stuff as well. But not because his or her opinion is more important, unless you can find that in the IPCC policies too. He or she is one of a dozen lead authors and one of 20-30 authors. Maybe in your perfect world, the post would be held by someone more senior, but you have to persuade those people to do the job (corraling 30 academics sounds like fun, doesn’t it?) and without paying them that could be hard.

    As for not allowing ‘activists’, you object to their activism, I guess, not their opinions. I mean, DL can’t possibly expect to recruit to an IPCC authorship post one single academic who doesn’t have opinions on the subject in their chosen profession, can she? She and you want people with expertise but without opinions. You live in a make-believe world. (Presumably the same goes for expert reviewers, expertise but no opinion – would you impose that criterium to exclude Lord Monckton for example?)

    You would do better to point out flaws in the AR5 WG1 if you want to show why I shouldn’t use it as a basis for what to believe about climate change science, instead of childish ad-hominem attacks. But you can’t do that and neither can DL or her band of ‘auditors’ checking the credentials of authors. Neither can any of the other authors of Cliscep.com or many of the commenters. ATTP is one of the few who can and you all do your best not to listen to or to reject what he says – presumably because of his opinions not his expertise.

    The thing is, opinion in fields like this doesn’t exist without expertise. Without expertise (knowledge, training, experience) all there is is prejudice.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. However, the non-linearity probably relates to temperature change, rather than to radiative forcing itself.

    Precisely! The radiative forcing is rather straightforward, but it’s impacts on climate are less so. Therein lies the issue at hand, which is how the climate system (temperature, precipitation, circulation, etc.) responds to such radiative perturbings.

    Also, it is probably approximately linear for the temperature change we’ve currently experienced. If it wasn’t, then I think we’d expect all sorts of strange things to happen across the seasons, for example. It might be worth reading this post which includes comments by Isaac Held from a report the link to which you can find in the post.

    I agree, and I meant that it’s not linear in the sense that you simply increase radiative forcing by this much and you get a temperature response of this much with no feedbacks to amplify or reduce the warming. I don’t agree with Dr. Held (though I think your post is spot on and I wonder why skeptics pander to such irrelevant points) that the climate response is linear in the sense described above. Like AR4 (this quote I have cited before) said:

    In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

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  55. “You would do better to point out flaws in the AR5 WG1 if you want to show why I shouldn’t use it as a basis for what to believe about climate change science”

    Ah, so you now admit that there are flaws in AR5 WG1 which would bring into question your relying upon the IPCC for ‘expert’ opinion on climate change science. If you’d bothered to read my posts above, I only used DL’s findings as an example of bad practice at the IPCC and I pointed out that respected scientists have also criticised procedures and the science – and the non-scientific way in which key conclusions are arrived at. To describe DL’s analysis of the inner workings of the IPCC – or my pointing to her research as evidence of bad procedure at the IPCC – as “childish ad hominem attacks” is ludicrous in the extreme and beyond parody. Total BS. And you STILL cannot admit that you were plain wrong about CLAs. You’d rather wriggle and thrash about, contorting the truth in order to avoid backing down.

    Ken,

    OMG, I’ve ‘given myself away’ have I? Exposed my innermost motives for denying climate science. Oh gosh, I’ll never be taken seriously again. I’m devastated, I really am. I should never have put the rights of millions of British, European and American people struggling to pay ever increasing energy bills before the rights of a few climate activists and inexperienced grad students to skew scientific judgment at the IPCC in favour of promoting a hypothetical Thermageddon. That was very, very naughty of me.

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  56. JaP,

    I don’t agree with Dr. Held (though I think your post is spot on and I wonder why skeptics pander to such irrelevant points) that the climate response is linear in the sense described above.

    Then I think you’re probably going to be wrong. Clearly there is variability that means that on short timescales we wouldn’t expect the response to be linear. However, the expectation is that if we average over a sufficiently long timescales (decades) that the response will be roughly linear (I’m thinking specifically about temperature change, and changes to the hydrological cycle). That it is chaotic is not really an argument against this; that it is chaotic simply means that we can’t make accurate predictions about the climate state, not that we would expect the average response to be strongly non-linear. That we don’t – at the moment – know the feedback response accurately is also not an argument against this; it just means that we don’t know accurately what the feedback response will be, not that it won’t be roughly linear (on average).

    Okay, I should be slightly careful here, as the expectation is really that the feedback response is not exactly linear as we double CO2, but this is thought to be because of different regions warming at different rates (polar amplification, for example) than because the response is actually non-linear.

    Jaime,
    I guess you’ve heard the argument about sarcasm and wit?

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  57. Ah, so you now admit that there are flaws in AR5 WG1

    Stop being childish, again. Forget attacking the authors and find something wrong in AR5 WG1. If you are incapable of that – I am and expect you are too – then any objections you have to the technical content are just regurgitated from other people who may be no more unbiased or competent than you. Any ‘opinion’ you think you might have on it is hence just prejudice.

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  58. Then I think you’re probably going to be wrong. Clearly there is variability that means that on short timescales we wouldn’t expect the response to be linear. However, the expectation is that if we average over a sufficiently long timescales (decades) that the response will be roughly linear (I’m thinking specifically about temperature change, and changes to the hydrological cycle). That it is chaotic is not really an argument against this; that it is chaotic simply means that we can’t make accurate predictions about the climate state, not that we would expect the average response to be strongly non-linear. That we don’t – at the moment – know the feedback response accurately is also not an argument against this; it just means that we don’t know accurately what the feedback response will be, not that it won’t be roughly linear (on average).

    Okay, I should be slightly careful here, as the expectation is really that the feedback response is not exactly linear as we double CO2, but this is thought to be because of different regions warming at different rates (polar amplification, for example) than because the response is actually non-linear.

    This is all well and good, but all I meant is that I don’t think the climate system is so simple that more radiative forcing always equals this much more temperature, everywhere. If that’s what Dr. Held meant, then I don’t agree with him. If he meant something else, (like what you are saying) then I think I would agree with him. But, as I said before, it’s important to recall what AR4 said. They explain it better than I do.

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  59. JaP,
    I’m pretty sure that Isaac Held’s comments related to what we expect on average, not a claim that a change in radiative forcing will produce a precise change in temperature at all locations at any time. His blog is good if you’re looking for something that delves into the topic in some detail and does discuss a number of the issues with models.

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  60. Raff says:

    “Stop being childish, again. Forget attacking the authors and find something wrong in AR5 WG1. If you are incapable of that – I am and expect you are too – then any objections you have to the technical content are just regurgitated from other people who may be no more unbiased or competent than you. Any ‘opinion’ you think you might have on it is hence just prejudice.”

    Straight back at you Raff. You’ve bandied ad homs about on this thread and others and constantly engage in childish, barely concealed contemptuous name-calling, whilst being unable to defend your own opinions with any authority. You are also pathologically incapable of admitting that you are wrong and you constantly contradict yourself.

    When it is obvious that you are unable to morally and/or rationally justify the employment of grad students and environmental activists as authors, lead authors and coordinating lead authors of vital IPCC chapters, you resort to childish, ad hom sniping against the primary (DL) and secondary (me) messengers of this information. Then you try to switch tactics by demanding that I find fault with the science in AR5 WG1, which you say I am probably incapable of, and you are too; so basically, shut up and accept that IPCC AR5 is hunky dory and the authoritative unquestionable last word on climate science.

    There is an awful lot of science which is highly questionable in AR5 WG1. But rather than delve into the nitty-gritty details, let’s just look at the SPM shall we. It concludes that it is extremely likely that more than 50% (and probably most) of the warming since 1950 is anthropogenic. It gives a ‘likely’ range of ECS 1.5C-4.5C, but does not give a ‘best estimate’ within that range. It gives a TCR range of 1.0C-2.5C and a transient response to cumulative CO2 emissions of 0.8C-2.5C. Again, no best estimates, so they really don’t know what climate sensitivity might actually be; could be low, could be high. But because the all-singing, all-dancing climate models closely correlate with the evolution of temperature since 1950, they are able to pronounce that virtually all of the warming since then has been anthropogenic. Wow.

    But the small fly in the ointment is the Pause (which never existed and which now definitely does not exist by virtue of being erased courtesy of Karl et al feeding through into NSIDC, GISTEMP). AR5 WG1 SPM says of this Pause:

    “The long-term climate model simulations show a trend in global-mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2012 that agrees with the observed trend (very high confidence). There are, however, differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012). {9.4, Box 9.2}• The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998 to 2012 as compared to the period 1951 to 2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from natural internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that natural internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of natural internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols). {9.4, Box 9.2, 10.3, Box 10.2, 11.3}”

    So in addition to not really having a clue about the actual climate sensitivity, they don’t really have a clue about how internal climate sensitivity and/or natural reductions in radiative forcing may have contributed to the Pause. They actually admit this. What they don’t admit is that, by definition, they don’t really have a clue about how natural forcings may have CONTRIBUTED to the rise in temperatures since 1950 and overall, since 1850. But this is the ‘sound’ scientific basis upon which vital decisions about sweeping global CO2 emissions reductions are being made!

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  61. Jaime, neither DL nor you have demonstrated anything wrong with the “employment of grad students and environmental activists as authors, lead authors and coordinating lead authors of vital IPCC chapters” (nor which chapters you consider ‘vital’ – in the context of this discussion I’d say those of WG1).

    Richard Klein was mentioned as one (maybe the main) ‘offending’ grad student. His expert area is “the science and policy of adaptation to climate change” – definitely not WG1 and clearly unrelated to the basic science of CO2 etc. Your proposition is that he was ‘unqualified’ to coordinate or even write any of the chapter he was involved with. My guess is that you don’t even know without looking it up which chapter that was and whether he got the job because nobody else wanted to coordinate that chapter. It doesn’t seems to be a ‘vital’ (however you define that) chapter, but since you feel so strongly about it, show its vitality and find some errors with the chapter (or find another expert in that area who was ready and willing to take the gig but was passed up and says it is all rubbish because of Klein, etc).

    On activists (or people with connections to env organizations I think DL complained about), Greenpeace, WWF etc need to understand AGW so they are likely to ask top academics for advice, just like GWPF does. Do the academics lose their integrity or objectivity because of those connections? You can’t object to the opinions of the academics, surely, as they would be unusual not to have opinions about what they spend their lives studying. Was it wrong to use Richard Tol for a chapter because of his GWPF links – it has to be according to your analysis, doesn’t it? Do you condemn that too?

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  62. No I think you need it more here – by the post and comment count, this is looking more and more like a dying site.

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  63. Raff says:
    22 May 16 at 8:26 pm

    No I think you need it more here – by the post and comment count, this is looking more and more like a dying site.

    Says comment #82

    Liked by 2 people

  64. And what understanding of this fabled science has ever been demonstrated by Greenpeace and FOE? Most of their employees seem to struggle with joined up handwriting. You watch them clasp biros between their dirty toes and wait for a signature.

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  65. A few comments up, RAFF asked some pertinent questions. That was on 20 May 2016, at 2:02 pm. It’s been three weeks now and I’d love to hear your answers, Jaime. Because I think RAFF has a point.

    As far as I know, copying and pasting stuff from other websites is not always a good way of supporting an argument. Verifying and presenting the facts would be a better option. You don’t seem to have done that, and neither has Donna Laframboise, who appears to be the source of the oft-repeated claim that I was a grad student when selected as IPCC lead author and coordinating lead author, at the tender ages of 24 and 28, respectively.

    While Ms Laframboise was able to trace down an online version of my CV and find some information she felt would discredit the IPCC, she failed to notice my email address and phone number, which were also on the CV.

    That’s really quite unfortunate because I would have been happy to tell her that I hadn’t even enrolled in a PhD programme yet when first selected as IPCC lead author and coordinating lead author. Thus, her claim that I was a grad student at the time is demonstrably false.

    Best wishes,
    Richard Klein

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  66. Richard,

    Thank you for making that clear. Donna Laframboise appears to have assumed that you were at least registered for a PhD before you were selected as an IPCC lead author – relatively minor error on her part which does not detract from her main message; indeed it tends to reinforce her message. It doesn’t really alter the thrust of my argument above either:

    “It is patently obvious to most rational and reasonable people that, for the type of research upon which the entire world relies upon to be reliably and accurately informed about the potential dangers of anthropogenic climate change, you do NOT employ inexperienced grad students to coordinate and author vital chapters, nor do you employ environmental activists who have a clear conflict of interest when it comes to assessing the scientific evidence for and against the possibility of dangerous global warming.”

    The IPCC has employed a number of lead and coordinating lead authors of dubious credentials and background. Your case is not unique, though exemplary in that you had not even registered for a PhD when first selected as a lead author, confounded by the fact that you previously spent time working as a Greenpeace activist in Amsterdam. It hardly inspires confidence in the IPCC, especially when, for instance, you are mentioned as coordinating lead author in AR4 WG2 Ch 18: Inter-Relationships Between Adaptation and Mitigation, which finds the following:

    “Effective climate policy aimed at reducing the risks of climate change to natural and human systems involves a portfolio of diverse adaptation and mitigation actions (very high confidence).”

    So we find a person in his 20’s who has yet to be awarded a PhD, who has been a Greenpeace activist, but who is awarded a position as a coordinating lead author on a vital IPCC Chapter which concludes with very high confidence that mitigation is required to head off the more damaging effects of man-made climate change. Or is that a misinterpretation on my part?

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  67. Jaime, if I understand correctly, you now want to have a discussion with me instead of responding to RAFF’s questions? That seems very unfair to RAFF indeed.

    You also continue to rely on copy and paste instead of fact checking. For example, I have never been a Greenpeace activist. I did a three-month internship at the international policy branch of Greenpeace as part of my advanced university course on science and policy interlinkages.

    Another minor error, you say? From what I’ve read at Ms Laframboise’s blog, there are no such things as minor errors, just blatant lies and fabrications.

    Paul, no, I have not informed Ms Laframboise of her minor errors. I’m not the one responsible for her due diligence. Besides, while my contact details are readily available online, her blog doesn’t offer comment functionality.

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  68. Richard, if you look at her blog you will see there is a contact link on the left hand side.
    Maybe you failed to notice that her contact details are readily available online?
    If you are so concerned about this as to comment here about it, you could contact her.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Paul, I’m not concerned at all; I thought I’d just provide you and others involved in this conversation with the correct information, perhaps in the idle hope that minor errors stop propagating. I’m also pleased to hear that Ms Laframboise’s blog now does offer comment functionality. This wasn’t the case when I last checked, which – admittedly – is a long time ago.

    By the way, Jaime, the chapter from which you quote was part of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. I’m really pleased to hear you consider it vital, although the statement you cite strikes me as fairly trivial. In any case, the Fourth Assessment Report was published in 2007, if I’m not mistaken. I completed my PhD in 2003.

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  70. Richard,

    “Jaime, if I understand correctly, you now want to have a discussion with me instead of responding to RAFF’s questions? That seems very unfair to RAFF indeed.”

    Excuse me? You came on here and initiated a discussion with me by suggesting I answer Raff’s questions whilst also accusing me of “copying and pasting stuff from other websites” and not “verifying and presenting the facts” on the basis that you were not even registered for a PhD when first selected to be a lead author at the IPCC. I didn’t even mention you as a specific example: I was referring to Laframboise’s video where she identified several lead authors/CLA’s as being grad students and more with affiliations to Greenpeace and WWF. That was my main point; it definitely was not “copied and pasted” by me that you specifically were a grad student at the time of your being invited to contribute to your first IPCC report. Besides your nitpicking assertion that you were not even registered for a PhD at the time – as if that was some really big deal – do you contest DL’s main finding that inexperienced students and environmental activists have significantly contributed to IPCC reports? If so, how do you defend/justify that finding?

    So you gained your PhD in 2003. Congratulations. You can confirm that you did indeed hold that PhD when you were invited to lead, coordinate and author the report I quoted above, published in 2007? When, incidentally, did you first register to study for a PhD? The statement which I cited which you consider to be “fairly trivial” is a main point taken from the Executive Summary of that chapter.

    I’m sure Raff will be flattered that a CLA author of several IPCC reports is badgering me on his behalf, but I’m sure Raff is quite capable of doing that himself.

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  71. That’s it? Just a drive by shooting then? Adios from the palpably indignant who will probably manage to get a good night’s sleep all the same.

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  72. @Jaime, “Drive by shootings” seem to be Richard Klein’s forté . I’m still waiting for him to acknowledge a Carrington error** (and a few other points that subsequently manifested themselves during the course of a conversation) when Klein decided to grace my blog with his oh-so-knowledgeable presence circa July 2011.

    Alas, notwithstanding two email commitments to the contrary, Klein chose to adopt the role – as the Kingston Trio once sang – of the man who never returned!

    Details and links available at: A conversation with an IPCC coordinating lead author

    ** Damian Carrington had made the mistake of asserting that “The [IPCC’s Summary for Policy Makers] is discussed and then approved by all 194 countries”. Via my blog, Klein had insisted that Carrington was correct. When, in fact, the attendance records published by the IPCC clearly indicate that this is not the case.

    I had attempted to post a correction (twice, as I recall) only to find that for some unfathomable reason (at least from my perspective), comments from me at The Guardian were henceforth to be placed in “pre-moderation”! (Since my correction comment did not. evidently, pass moderation muster, in the intervening years, I haven’t wasted any more time attempting to comment at the GreenGraun.)

    Amazing, eh?!

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Excellent posts Hilary and a fascinating conversation with you, Shub, and Klein. So much ‘previous’ I’m unaware of in this long war of words (and in this particular case, an extended silence!) between the protagonists and antagonists of IPCC-led consensus climate science/policy advocation.

    5 years almost you’ve been waiting and yet Klein comes on here to berate me for not responding to some points made by Raff six weeks ago. Fascinating, as Paul also points out, that he chooses to alight here out of the blue and air a grievance over a minor discrepancy in Laframboise’s work “in the idle hope that minor errors stop propagating” but does not also go straight to the source of the error to attempt to correct it. I’m presuming this is because he thinks ‘minor errors’ at the source are, in his view, insignificant when compared with the host of “blatant lies and fabrications” present at DL’s blog.

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  74. Hi Hilary, long time no see. Great that you’ve posted a link to your blog, so everybody can see for themselves how you attempted to twist my words. If I remember correctly I was done talking with you when you decided it couldn’t possibly be true that observer organisations cannot ask for the floor during IPCC sessions. You didn’t quite call me a liar there, but the implication was clear.

    As for drive-by shootings, if the ammunition were facts, then I’d be up for a gunfight, metaphorically speaking. But your, Jaime’s and others’ superior talent in dodging bullets leaves me with little to aim for. So if you don’t mind, I’ll leave you to it. Feel free to have the last word; I look forward to our paths crossing again some other time.

    And do feel free to contact me personally if you’re ever in the mood for a genuine and snark-free conversation.

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  75. Richard says:

    “And do feel free to contact me personally if you’re ever in the mood for a genuine and snark-free conversation.”

    Which kind of exemplifies a point I was attempting to make in my ‘Unbearable Politeness’post. It seems that snark is a recurrent feature of online public conversations on climate change science/mitigation. I don’t know quite why that is, though I can hazard a few guesses. Mostly, I think it’s the presence of an online audience which invites such theatricals by both parties – though snarkiness and its pre-emptive use vary considerably among individuals. Whatever, I don’t think it makes for a ‘non-genuine’ conversation, just a rather unproductive one.

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  76. It seems that snark is a recurrent feature of online public conversations on climate change science/mitigation.

    Indeed. I have two simple views on this.

    1. If you want to have a discussion with someone (Richard Klein, for example) then you need to behave in a manner that makes it worth them discussing this with you. It seems to me that there are numerous examples (see Hilary, for example) of people complaining about others not coming back. Well, they’re perfectly entitled to not come back. Often it is claimed that this is because they’re running away, but it’s my experience that it’s normally because the snark has got to the point where further discussion would not be constructive. And, as Richard points out, because others are twisting what they’re saying.

    2. If you dislike the snark, you can always stop doing it yourself (and I don’t mean Jaime specifically, I mean those involved who complain about this). You only really have responsbility for your own behaviour. If people think that it would be better if people behaved differently, the only way to start this is to behave differently yourself. You never know what might happen if people tried this. Personally, I’m not convinced that people really want it to be different, but it might be worth a shot.

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  77. Ken, I agree in essence there is no difference between pre-emptive and combative snark. To achieve a snark free debating environment, people must make the unilateral and personal decision to simply stop being snarky, whatever the circumstances. I’m also not convinced that such a tactic will work, especially when ‘stealth snark’ tactics are often engaged and when people sometimes misinterpret the comments of others in a negative light.

    Twisting the words of one’s opponent is a different kettle of fish. You need to patiently untwist them if you think that this is what has happened – and justify your untwisting, step by step. I think it only correct that if Richard thinks Hilary did twist his words, he should demonstrate that clearly if he has not already done so, rather than just abandon the conversation – but that’s his prerogative. I’m sure there a million unfinished ‘dangling conversations’ between anthropogenic climate change sceptics and their critics across the net. In the end, people often just get bored and move on.

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  78. You need to patiently untwist them if you think that this is what has happened – and justify your untwisting, step by step.

    I disagree strongly. If someone has twisted your words, then you’re not obliged to untwist them. You might decide to do it for the benefit of those observing the exchange, but there is probably little point in doing it for any other reason. Anyone who has twisted someone else’s words is unlikely to be someone who would admit to having done so.

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  79. Of course, one is not ‘obliged’ to untwist them, but if one accuses people of twisting one’s words, publicly, on another blog, then it would only be sensible to demonstrate how exactly one’s words have been twisted. Richard asserts that his words have been twisted by Hilary and cites, as ‘evidence’, the links to the conversation which occurred in 2011. To me at least, looking in from the outside, it is not immediately obvious where Hilary might have twisted his words. I’m probably not unique in that respect. Thus the onus naturally lies upon Richard to demonstrate the validity of his claim if he wants people to take that claim seriously. If not, we can all just get bored and move on and derive no net benefit from this exchange of words.

    “Anyone who has twisted someone else’s words is unlikely to be someone who would admit to having done so.”

    That’s an unjustified value judgment. One, you assume that the words have indeed been twisted and two, you just assume that somebody who has misquoted/misinterpreted the statements of another will probably not admit to having done so, presumably because they deliberately intended to distort their opponent’s message. If you adopt that frame of mind, you might just as well give up on interacting online – and stop moaning about past perceived transgressions of the unwritten laws of polite and fair online discussion.

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  80. That’s an unjustified value judgment. One, you assume that the words have indeed been twisted and two, you just assume that somebody who has misquoted/misinterpreted the statements of another will probably not admit to having done so

    Of course it’s a value judgement. We all make judgements as to the value of these discussions all the time. The simple point is that we’re perfectly entitled to make these judgements when deciding what we should do. In my view, people can walk away from online discussions at any time and for any reason. If they’ve judged someone to have twisted their words and think that it’s unlikely that that person will acknowledge having done so, that’s a perfectly reasonable justification for stopping a discussion.

    If you adopt that frame of mind, you might just as well give up on interacting online – and stop moaning about past perceived transgressions of the unwritten laws of polite and fair online discussion.

    What frame of mind? It’s almost as if you’re suggesting that I’m not allowed to make a judgement about the value of a discussion in which I’m involved. That’s rather bizarre. I’m also not moaning (that was you, I think) and I don’t see why someone should give up interacting online just because some others don’t always behave in a reasonable fashion. There are plenty who do behave reasonably.

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  81. Thank you, Jaime, for your kind words above which, unlike those of the monotonously verbose Mr. Supercilious, indicate that you took the time to read and comprehend that which I actually wrote.

    But I must say that I found it quite amusing – albeit somewhat telling – that presumably in support of his assessment of that to which he chose not to respond (notwithstanding his twice uttered commitment to do so), Richard Klein decided to invoke a subsequent series of brief interactions which took place more than two years later!

    See: Do IPCC NGO observers have silent non-functional mics?

    Talk about self-inflation by conflation, eh?!

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