Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Difference Beteween Fraud and Farce, Reflux

... because I must reverse my previously stated positions on Cook et al. (2013)  (hereinafter, C13).  I realize that I can no longer in good conscience defend its design, nor its conclusions as stated.

Summary

Following are some issues that I have previously discounted, but which I now consider serious flaws.  Detailed discussion of each, along with suggestions for improvements/alternatives, are in sections below the break:
  1. AGW is inconsistently and therefore ambiguously defined across the eight endorsement categories.  As well, it is vaguely defined in several endorsement categories.
  2. The paper reports results in the abstract and body by combining dissimilar AGW definitions into consolidated endorsement buckets, and nowhere reports statistics at the higher detail level of the original eight endorsement categories.

Update 3/27/2016

Brandon Shollenberger has published a reaction to this post here.  The punchline:
So Gates, you know that part where you made a huge fool of yourself by twisting into a pretzel to criticize me on points I was completely correct about? Yeah, suck it
Which hearkens back to a comment in this article:
No consensus? Confused about what "consensus" means? Suck it Shollenberger. At least one oil company grokked it in the early 1980s. Wake up.
Nothing about this ... episode ... doesn't suck for me.  Hence "reflux" not "redux" in the title of this article.  Like slightly bad fish for dinner, it keeps coming back up.  Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.


AGW is ambiguously and/or vaguely defined

The body of the paper under section 1, Introduction, states:
We examined a large sample of the scientific literature on global CC, published over a 21 year period, in order to determine the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW).
This is consistent with findings presented by the IPCC in AR5, WGI, Chapter 10, Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional (p. 869, p. 3 of the .pdf):
Atmospheric Temperatures

More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely1 due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.
Even though C13's statement "human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW)" is specific about the amount of warming due to human activities, it is not specific about trend time periods and does not explicitly define "warming" itself.

The IPCC statement is a superior operational definition because warming is defined as global mean surface temperature (GMST) and includes an unambiguous time period (1951-2010).

Both formulations use the term "very likely", which the IPCC defines as "90-100% probability" for AR5.  It seems reasonable to assume C13 uses "very likely" the same way, but it would have been best (and not difficult) to have given a quantified definition.

That C13 more broadly considers any human activity as a putative causal mechanism whereas the AR5 definition limits it to human-caused increased GHG concentrations is not something I consider an inappropriate choice.  My argument here is only that operational definitions should be internally consistent and precise as possible, not that they should conform to some ostensibly authoritative definition given by an organization such as the IPCC.

Moving down in the body of C13, we find:
Table 2. Definitions of each level of endorsement of AGW.

Level of endorsement
Description
Example

(1) Explicit endorsement with quantification
Explicitly states that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming
'The global warming during the 20th century is caused mainly by increasing greenhouse gas concentration especially since the late 1980s'

(2) Explicit endorsement without quantification
Explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a known fact
'Emissions of a broad range of greenhouse gases of varying lifetimes contribute to global climate change'

(3) Implicit endorsement
Implies humans are causing global warming. E.g., research assumes greenhouse gas emissions cause warming without explicitly stating humans are the cause
'...carbon sequestration in soil is important for mitigating global climate change'

(4a) No position
Does not address or mention the cause of global warming
   
(4b) Uncertain     Expresses position that human's role on recent global warming is uncertain/undefined
'While the extent of human-induced global warming is inconclusive...'

(5) Implicit rejection
Implies humans have had a minimal impact on global warming without saying so explicitly E.g., proposing a natural mechanism is the main cause of global warming '...anywhere from a major portion to all of the warming of the 20th century could plausibly result from natural causes according to these results'

(6) Explicit rejection without quantification
Explicitly minimizes or rejects that humans are causing global warming
'...the global temperature record provides little support for the catastrophic view of the greenhouse effect'

(7) Explicit rejection with quantification
Explicitly states that humans are causing less than half of global warming
'The human contribution to the CO2 content in the atmosphere and the increase in temperature is negligible in comparison with other sources of carbon dioxide emission'
Here, category 1 uses the phrase, "humans are the primary cause of recent global warming", which is qualitatively different from C13's previous formulation, "human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW".

While it is arguable that the word "primary" often implies "most", in a complex system with multiple (often confounding) causal mechanisms, any single identifiable and quantifiable causal mechanism whose net percentage effect is greater than all others could be considered the primary causal mechanism.

As one point of contention in literature, which C13 attempts to address, is that human activity is not a dominant factor and/or accounts for <50% of observed warming trends over multi-decadal time periods, qualifiers such as "most" or quantified qualifiers, e.g. ">x%" seem more appropriate.


Endorsement categories 2 and 3 use the phrase "humans are causing global warming" which is even more vague than any previous definition of AGW.  Category 2 further muddies the AGW definition with the phrase, "refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a known fact", which is circular.

Categories 5-7 appear intended to be the mirror opposites of 3-1 (reverse order intended).  However, as worded they are not the exact semantic opposites of their counterparts.  Not only do these nuanced differences give more "wiggle room" for subjective interpretation by reviewers and the intended audience, it is inherently confusing due to the additional complexity.

Strictly interpreted, category 3 is not mutually exclusive with its counterpart 5.  Were I to write, as in 3, "humans are causing global warming", it would be entirely valid for me to later argue that what actually intended to convey is that "humans are causing some global warming", or more specifically that "humans are causing <50% of global warming".

Noting that category 5 uses the phrase, "humans have had a minimal impact", and category 6, "minimizes or rejects that humans are causing", compounds the dissimilar definitions of AGW, these categories raise the question, "minimal compared to what?"

Ultimately, the definition of AGW used in C13 resolves to a confusing and self-contradictory circular non-definition, which is not satisfactory.

While such ambiguities and exclusions are normal in everyday communication, a scientific study should attempt to be more rigorous if it is to produce reliable results which inspire confidence in its findings.

I argue that a design such as the following is better for its precision, consistency and simplicity relative to C13:
More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the past 30 years is very likely (90-100%) due to human activity.

Level of agreement with the above statement:
  1. Explicit endorsement with quantification
  2. Explicit endorsement without quantification
  3. Implicit endorsement without quantification
  4. a) no position, b) too uncertain to determine
  5. Implicit rejection without quantification
  6. Explicit rejection without quantification
  7. Explicit rejection with quantification
  8. Not applicable (n/a) to this study
Note that the above example does not explicitly define the term AGW itself.  This is intentional because "climate literature" includes multiple human climatic AND other environmental impacts not exclusive to GMST.  As well, some individual studies cover more than one type of impact, often in one or more differing climate/environmental domains.

E.g., numerous papers are limited to regional scope, or discuss other metrics like sea surface temperature, vertically averaged ocean temperature/heat content, ocean pH, global or continental landed ice mass change, bulk upper air temperature trends, etc.  Thus reviewers were often required to make subjective decisions about which impact category the paper MOST represented.

Such conflicts could easily have been avoided by making each impact category self-contained with its own precise definition, thus allowing any given paper to be evaluated by its endorsement of any single or multiple impact categories as appropriate.

While such a scheme might seem to be more complex and unwieldy to administer and analyze, I argue that the additional complexity is at the benefit of more flexibility which allows for more robust results with richer and more complete descriptions of the state of climate literature over time.

One problem with the endorsement categories I propose above is that the list is not exhaustive of all possibilities.  For example, a common argument in the popular debate about human impacts on the environment/climate system is that warming is NOT happening.  Arguments range from lack of statistical observational significance, sparse data, poor analysis, models programmed to produce warming as a function of some or several dubious or physically impossible anthropogenic mechanisms, outright fraudulent data manipulation or some combination.

This could be handled by adding additional categories such as, "effect is not occurring" or "the opposite effect is occurring", etc.  Another mutually inclusive way to approach exhaustion would be to pose additional questions, e.g.:
Warming surface temperature (GMST) trends over the past 30 years are very likely (90-100%) overstated in land-based observational time series.
or:
Nearly all (95-100%) increased atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1850 is virtually certain (99-100%) to be due to human activity.
It is beyond the intended scope of this note to attempt recommending a more exhaustive study design, I only give examples to illustrate how future such studies might improve over C13.

Dissimilar AGW definitions reported as consolidated statistics

The C13 abstract reads in full:
We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.
The given definition for AGW is vague: "humans are causing global warming".  In the body of the paper, under section 2, Methodology we read:
We classified each abstract according to the type of research (category) and degree of endorsement. Written criteria were provided to raters for category (table 1) and level of endorsement of AGW (table 2). Explicit endorsements were divided into non-quantified (e.g., humans are contributing to global warming without quantifying the contribution) and quantified (e.g., humans are contributing more than 50% of global warming, consistent with the 2007 IPCC statement that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations). 
Only the first endorsement category is obviously compatible with "humans are contributing more than 50% of global warming", and yet category 1 does not use the same wording when it very easily could have.  However, this is trivial critique compared to what we read about how the statistics as reported in the abstract were obtained:
To simplify the analysis, ratings were consolidated into three groups: endorsements (including implicit and explicit; categories 1–3 in table 2), no position (category 4) and rejections (including implicit and explicit; categories 5–7).
While I understand that reporting data in consolidated form tends to make for easier comprehension, I consider it actually more "difficult" to do consolidated statistical reporting than not.  In the case of the data gathered for C13, I consider doing either rather trivial.

However, in the case of how C13 inconsistently defined AGW, I consider it inappropriate for the endorsement categories to have been consolidated at all.  And more inappropriate that nowhere does C13 report statistics at the most granular level of the eight total endorsement categories.

I would consider the detailed reporting requirement even if the AGW definitions had been consistent because of the distinct qualitative difference between quantified and unquantified effects and explicit vs. implicit human causality.

Here I allow myself to note an irony -- were I to rate this paper's endorsement level solely on the content of the abstract, it would be:
(2) Explicit endorsement without quantification
Explicitly states humans are causing global warming or refers to anthropogenic global warming/climate change as a known fact
I could however just as easily rate C13 by its own definitions as ...
(4b) Uncertain     Expresses position that human's role on recent global warming is uncertain/undefined
... because the abstract ONLY says ...
Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.
... which does not clearly define what AGW means.  Why I would choose 2 over 4b has much to do with my own beliefs, NOT necessarily about what the C13 abstract actually SAYS.  I argue that how C13 was designed and executed may very well say more about what people like me already believed about AGW before reading the paper than it says about the state of what's written in climate literature itself.

As well, the C13 authors are known champions and defenders of "pro-AGW" climate literature who (rightfully so, in my opinion) advocate for policies designed to wean the world away from fossil fuels and toward less carbon-intensive alternatives.  However, I think a compelling argument can be made that it appears the way C13 was designed and executed was to quantify the authors' own opinions about what literature says rather than be a dispassionate review of literature findings.

Or more simply, that C13 was designed -- deliberately or subconsciously -- to conform to some preconceived and too-broadly defined notion of there being a literature consensus that the letter "A" should precede "GW".

Setting aside for a moment that C13 ambiguously and inconsistently defines AGW, let us return to the section of the abstract which discusses the results of the author self-ratings of their own papers:
Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.
In tabular form, those statistics resolve to:
 62.7% support AGW
 35.5% no position
  1.8% reject AGW
------
100.0% total
Yet, when one visits The Consensus Project web page hosted by Skeptical Science, the "among self-rated papers expression a position on AGW" qualifier gets dropped, viz.:
The Cook et al. (2013) 97% consensus result is robust
Why the 97 per cent consensus on climate change still gets challenged
Why we care about the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming
Richard Tol accidentally confirms the 97% global warming consensus
How we discovered the 97% scientific consensus on man-made global warming
Skeptical Science Study Finds 97% Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming in the Peer-Reviewed Literature 
I realize that, "97% of peer-reviewed climate papers taking a position (63% of all papers) endorse what we think most people mean by AGW", is rather wordy and awkward.  However, I think it represents a more honest portrayal of C13's findings.


Conclusions

I think C13 is a flawed and should not have been published in its present form.  While I would personally like to rely upon its results, I find that I cannot.  Nor can I continue to defend its methods or findings as I have done in the recent and more distant past.

Since I am effectively calling C13 a bad paper, this raises the obvious question about whether I think the journal (IOPScience, Environmental Research Letters) should retract it.  The facile answer to that question is that many "bad" papers are published and never retracted -- conventional wisdom holds that they simply don't get cited and fade into obscurity.  However, according to ERL's own statistics, C13 has already been cited 32 times, though at least two of those citations are in later works by one or more of C13's listed authors.

Given the impact on subsequent literature C13 has already achieved, I would be personally satisfied if the authors were to publish a corrigendum which did at least the following:
  1. Explicitly defined AGW and consistently used that definition across all endorsement categories.
  2. Contained data obtained by all-new ratings of papers using the modified and consistent AGW definition.  Here I include author self-ratings.
  3. Published statistics at the most granular endorsement categories in addition to whatever consolidation scheme desired by the authors.
  4. Compares the old results with the new results, again at the most granular level of endorsement level.
I would also suggest that the authors themselves do not participate in the rating process, and by extension, that none of the volunteers who previously rated abstracts for the original C13 publication be involved.  Same suggestion for author self-ratings, though perhaps not feasible due to limited response rate.

Re-rating all ~12,000 paper would be a significant amount of work, and may not be a necessary check.  Something on the order of a quarter (3,000) papers, randomly selected, seems reasonable.  It might be nearly as suitable if the re-rating process were limited to only author self-ratings, thus spreading out the workload.  Assuming a similar response rate, this would yield just over 2,000 papers.

One inherent problem with defining AGW as, say, ">x% of since y date at z% confidence level" is that C13 results already suggest that relatively few climate paper are attribution studies -- i.e., they do not explicitly quantify any human influence on any metric of climate change.  Two things may ameliorate this issue;
  1. Endorsement level of some >x% proposition could be inferred from cited references.
  2. An additional question in the author self-rating survey instrument could be to ask them whether, based on their own personal knowledge of literature, they conclude that some >x% of observed warming is due to anthropogenic causes.
The first one obviously involves some subjectivity, but I argue that it is less subjective than the original protocol which called for abstract-only ratings.  As well, it is obvious to me that the function of primary research literature is to not to "prove" a given proposition from first principles in each paper.  Hence it is to be expected that the vast majority of papers "

[Edit 3/28/2016: Incomplete thought above.  On the basis of how primary literature in any field typically works, it is to be expected that the vast majority climate of papers don't build a case for/against AGW from first principles, and certainly don't attempt to quantify the portion of observed warming due to putative anthropogenic influence.  The TL;DR here is that literature review designed to show a majority of papers endorsing an AGW position of >x% warming due to humankind since y date is therefore rather doomed to fail because it will likely need to prevail on the concept of implicit endorsement ... which is extremely subjective, fuzzy and therefore ripe for abuse by the biases of the authors and ultimate consumers.]

The second item was specifically excluded in the original C13 survey instrument:
Note: we are not asking about your personal opinion but whether each specific paper endorses or rejects (whether explicitly or implicitly) that humans cause global warming:
I understand the import of making that constraint explicit.  On the other hand, I don't consider it an inappropriate question to ask.  Not only do I think it's interesting in its own right, it might also serve as a check for bias on the part of climate researchers themselves by, say, comparing self-ratings to independent ratings by others.  I further note that C13 tabulated results by author and thus have already somewhat "backed into" a statistic of author opinion.  I again refer to this link found on the SkS website to further this argument:
Why we care about the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming 
It makes sense to me to make this a formal question on the revised survey instrument for author self-ratings since it's conceivable, if not probable, that not all of an authors' papers fit into any one given endorsement category.


Endnote

I have publicly stated many times that I am not a formally trained scientist of any stripe and have no professional expertise in any of the topics I write about on this blog or elsewhere.  In particular, I have only very general knowledge of how to do scientific surveys, based mostly on undergraduate courses in basic statistics and business (specifically, marketing survey design).  Thus everything I have written above must be considered from the standpoint that they are the lay opinions of an avidly interested, but still an amateur pundit and blog author.  As such, I stand open to corrections and rebuttals by those with superior knowledge of how these things are supposed to work.  Those would be best received if accompanied by literature citations.

I also wish to make it clear that I my own anecdotal experience suggests that C13 is substantively correct to conclude that the majority of climate literature does indeed -- at least implicitly -- consider >50% of GMST increase since 1950 due to human causes (mostly in the form of CO2 emissions) to be essentially factual, if not a cause for concern with an appropriate call for reducing CO2 emissions by any and all reasonable means.

My main argument here rests on the principle that ALL science should ALWAYS be as dispassionately, rigorously and defensibly executed as possible.  Given how important a topic AGW is for me due to its potential to harm present and future generations of humanity -- and due to C13's high profile in the public debate -- exceptional scrutiny is something to be expected.

My hope is that Cook et al. will improve their present and future works on the basis of arguments from their critics and detractors.  I now think some points of their criticism have significant merit.


Addendum (3/23/2016 11:06 PM PDT)

I would be remiss to leave out that Brandon Shollenberger's latest e-book, and my subsequent discussions with him on his blog have been influential.  My review of the book was hasty and and too-dismissive, which I regret.  That said, I still cannot quite bring myself to endorse it either.

I think it also necessary to note how many of his arguments I have deliberately left out of my above critique of C13.  Many of his arguments use materials and communications obtained from SkS servers which the C13 authors clearly would not have wanted published.  I have read much of it, and it informs many of my above opinions even though I don't speak to them directly.

One reason why I left it out was because it's not clear to me that any or all of it was legally obtained, and I don't want the exposure.  Another reason is that some of it may be considered personally and professionally embarrassing to the authors, something which I have no desire to do.

For those reasons, I have chosen to write this note as best I could from the standpoint of someone who had no other information to go on but that which is published in C13 and the supplemental materials themselves.  Such is surely an impossibility, nevertheless it was my intent to try.


Addendum (3/25/2016 4:00 PDT)

ATTP re-posts a blog article by Peter Thorne, who was one the referees who contributed peer-review for Hansen et al. (2016), which has been poorly received by other AGW consensus bloggers.  Thorne writes:
This deliberate publicity surrounding a discussion paper (which to my knowledge is unique) led to unprecedented interest in the paper. By the time the comment period was closed there were over three times as many reviews as to the next most commented discussion paper in the journal’s history. This included many off-topic comments including a long thread on the existence of the greenhouse effect. Ironically, this was one of the better responded to comments by the authors (more later …).

Amongst the greenhouse effect deniers and other off-topic comments were unsolicited reviews from a large number of very well respected scientists expert in many fields pertinent to the paper including several colleagues who were (Coordinating) Lead Authors in the Fifth Assessment Report of IPCC or who have contributed to major works such as the annual state of the climate series. These reviews highlighted very many salient issues that the official reviewers failed to spot, and hence added substantial value.

In my view the responses from the paper author team to very many of the comments they received were inappropriate. Scientific peer review has a set of norms that you respond to the issues raised in a calm and measured manner including point-by-point responses that detail whether changes were made, what these were, and why. Instead, the authors chose to respond in many cases by writing discursive policy pieces that were too often non-responsive and often verged on playing the man and not the ball.
The parallels with C13 are not exact, but they are similar enough so as to be relevant and comparable.  Thorne continues:
It is beholden upon senior members of the community to set an exemplar of expected behaviour. They are role models and they righy or wrongly set or modify expectations of cultural norms, be that in climate science or elsewhere. My view is that the authors treated many of the reviews as a nuisance and did not provide the response that was justified to them that allowed the reviewers to fully understand how each of their review comments was dealt with. This included the public version response to my own invited review. It was not the behviour I would expect from such senior colleagues.
In comments at ATTP's, Willard responds:
I’ve read the word “nuisance” elsewhere, but where? Ah, yes, here:
The publicity was successful in drawing attention to issues that the paper highlights, notably the threat of large sea level rise. Criticism that it got too much attention seems clearly wrong. Would it have been better to keep the process and issues hidden from the public while they were being worked out? The only argument presented for that conclusion is that the publicity resulted in some irrational (bad science) comments from climate change “deniers”. Is there harm in that? On the contrary, it shows a disinterested judge or observer that all opinions are given a hearing. Yes, a few may be of low scientific quality and thus a nuisance, but the public probably wants all to be heard. When an editor cuts off such discussion after it becomes an excessive nuisance, a judge can readily verify that fact and affirm that all parties had a fair opportunity.
http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/15/C8226/2015/acpd-15-C8226-2015-supplement.pdf
Emphasis in Willard's original, yellow highlights mine.

Apropos to C13, it's not clear to me that all parties were given a fair opportunity to be heard.  Of course, the SkS public discussion fora are qualitatively different than a public journal discussion forum.

That a judge can factually verify that parties have been given a fair opportunity to be heard,  it cannot be factually determined by anyone whether critiqued parties have been appropriately responsive.

That seems the salient commonality between Thorne's critique of Hansen's public behaviour and my critique of same against the authors of C13.


Update 4/2/2016

RobH, who was one of the more active members of the SkS abstract rating team writes in comments below:
When we applied the exact same rules for SkS ratings (1, 2, & 3's vs 5, 6 & 7's) to the author self-ratings we got almost identical results.
Perhaps I misunderstand his statement.  From the publicly available data files on the SkS website, I summarized the differences in ratings applied by the SkS team vs. the author self-ratings ...


Underrate 1,035 48.5%
Correct 832 39.0%
Overrate 269 12.6%
Total 2,136 100.0%

... where "underrate" means the SkS team's abstract rating understated the AGW endorsement level vs. the author self-rating of the entire paper.  From those calculations I conclude that the results are not almost identical, and that the SkS abstract rating team tended to be conservative in their ratings, i.e., they were biased against AGW endorsement relative to the authors themselves.  This to me speaks well of the SkS team.

By far the largest "error" the SkS team made in the abstract rating phase was ranking papers as category 4 (no position/uncertain) which the authors placed in an endorsement category (1-3).  This happened on 721/2,136 papers, or 33.8% of the time.  12% of the time they rated category 3 (implicit endorsement) compared to author self-ratings of explicit endorsement (categories 1 and 2).

By contrast, the largest "overrate" frequency was for category 3 (implicit endorsement) which the authors self-rated category 4 (no position/uncertain).  That accounts for 144/2,136 papers, or 6.7%.

Following is a detailed breakdown in tabular form.  The "change" column shows the SkS rating as the first numeral, and the author self-rating as the second:


Chg Count Pct of All
2>1 54 2.5%
3>1 86 4.0%
3>2 170 8.0%

256 12.0%
4>1 75 3.5%
4>2 297 13.9%
4>3 349 16.3%
721 33.8%
5>1 1 0.0%
5>3 2 0.1%
3 0.1%
6>5 1 0.0%
Chg Count Pct of All
1>2 3 0.1%
1>3 3 0.1%
1>4 3 0.1%
1>7 1 0.0%
10 0.5%
2>3 48 2.2%
2>4 34 1.6%
2>5 1 0.0%
2>7 2 0.1%
85 4.0%
3>4 144 6.7%
3>5 4 0.2%
3>6 3 0.1%
3>7 1 0.0%
152 7.1%
4>5 14 0.7%
4>6 3 0.1%
4>7 3 0.1%
20 0.9%
5>7 2 0.1%


287 comments:

  1. To admit that you were wrong is to declare that you are wiser now than you were before (Paraphrasing Alexander Pope).

    ... The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The important thing is not to stop thinking. The existence and strength of the scientific consensus on AGW* is self-evident. One only has to look at the great lists of scientific academies that explicitly endorse this consensus. One only has to look at the telling absence of any coherent and evidentially-supported scientific counter-argument.

    Look around. The truth is that C13 is an irrelevance except to contrarians, who would have you believe that its purported flaws are sufficient to overturn the very notion that a near-unanimous scientific consensus on AGW exists.



    *It is real; it is us; it is potentially dangerous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's ... interesting ... in a Curry-eque way how so many C13 critics end up not disputing that a consensus actually exists. Shollenberger is more explicit about it (which I missed at first), my understanding is that Tol is the same but more cagey about it.

      Delete
    2. Disingenuity-surfing. Make a loud and sustained fuss about methodology and when absolutely necessary make a tiny acknowledgement of the scale of the scientific consensus. Then back to loud and sustained fussing mode. What the hell - it works.

      Delete
    3. Just so know, I've repeatedly stated my views on global warming, and anyone who is remotely familiar with them should know my actions are not shaped by anything like BBD suggests.

      In fact, I'd wager none of my critics could come close to accurately describing my views despite that I've been completely open and up front about them. You might consider the significance of that.

      Delete
    4. In fact, I'd wager none of my critics could come close to accurately describing my views despite that I've been completely open and up front about them. You might consider the significance of that.

      You aren't very good at expressing yourself clearly? That you are too egotistical to recognise your useful idiot status wrt vested interests?

      Delete
    5. BS... Then spell it out here in the clearest terms you can.

      Delete
    6. RobH, please do not call me BS. I find the connotation unfortunate, and I ask everybody not to use that to refer to me. I think I forgot to ask you and BBD that earlier on this page, but that shouldn't be taken as me not finding it unpleasant.

      As for my views, no, I am not going to explain them here when they have nothing to do with anything I've discussed. I suppose I would it here if Brandon Gates asked me to, as he and I have actually had a discussion where there were legitimate attempts to move things forward, but I'm not inclined to write out my opinions on something every time some random person jumps into a discussion to demand I do so. Especially not when they're rude about it.

      Delete
    7. I remember Anthony Wiener saying to John Boehner once, "You just gotta embrace the name, brother!" But I understand your position and will abide.

      As much as I expected regarding your position. No one can accurately state what my position on AGW is, but no, I won't bother to state what my position is.

      My question is, do you even know what your position is? I have my doubts.

      Delete
    8. Brandon S.,

      I suppose I would it here if Brandon Gates asked me to, as he and I have actually had a discussion where there were legitimate attempts to move things forward, but I'm not inclined to write out my opinions on something every time some random person jumps into a discussion to demand I do so.

      I don't have a formal comment policy, but if I did it wouldn't include "clearly state your position every time someone demands it" because

      a) it would be impossible for me to objectively enforce and
      b) because I think I learn as much from what people say (or don't say) online when they're unencumbered by rules.

      That hasn't kept me from making moderator-like requests like, "go ahead and throw punches, but it would please me if they were backed up with the weight of evidence."

      My only comment to you here is one of style. Typically, if I understand that someone isn't clear on my position, I spell it out even if I think they asked rudely.

      On a more general note, I'm somewhat dismayed that we've all wandered rather far afield the topic of the head post, but hey, a fledgling blog author can't complain too much about traffic. I might think differently if the original topic was something I absolutely LOVE to talk about.

      So to all: as you were, thanks for stopping by and saying interesting stuff.

      Delete
    9. Clarification: My comment was intended as a request rather than a demand (though it may not have come across that way). It was also a request that I have freely provided to commenters on other sites related to my own position on this issue.

      Delete
  3. I think it's interesting BBD claims this paper "is an irrelevance except to contrarians" when there is a massive PR push relying on the paper. I'll leave that between him and the Skeptical Science group though, as I'm sure they'd love to hear how the work they promote so heavily is irrelevant.

    I mostly just came by to point out I wrote a response to this post. Because I'm happy with the turn of events that led to it, I tried to keep it dispassionate and whatnot. I hope I can be forgiven for not completely managing too though.

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2016/03/a-critic-changes-his-mind/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandon S.,

      Yes, you can be forgiven for not being totally dispassionate. I'd like to move off bruised egos and discuss something else. In your latest article you wrote:

      The material from the Skeptical Science forum was definitely obtained illegally. Someone hacked into a server and stole it. It wasn't done by me though (despite Gates's apparent belief it was).

      Methinks the lady doth protest too much. From my POV, it's rather immaterial to me who stole it -- I just don't want any risk of getting sued using any of it myself. I take it from the e-book that not everything you used was obtained illegally, some of whatever that stuff I might have wished to bring forward for discussion here because it's ultimately what changed my mind.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry, but suggesting a person engaged in criminal activity is sort of a big deal. It may be immaterial to you, but given I've been threatened with lawsuits and told I'm going to be reported to the police, something you are aware of, it seems strange to say I doth protest too much for making one passing remark pointing out you suggested I'm a criminal.

      Regardless, I clearly stated I don't fault you for being worried about the risk of quoting illegally obtained material. I just explained there was no risk to you, something you could understandably not be aware of.

      Delete
    3. Being a victim of such crimes also is sort of a big deal.

      Delete
    4. Brandon S.,

      My offending comment from my original review of your e-book seems to be: "After a number of pages devoted to not-Nazis, musing about when hacking isn't and other irrelevancies, he gets to his central point:"

      Which is not an accusation of you being a thief. It's not even a suggestion of same. It IS an opinion that you devoted an inordinate amount of ink in the opening chapter to things which are irrelevant to C13 and the evidence against it.

      Rather than deal with the actual critique, you repeatedly complain that I have wrongfully accused you. Hence, the lady doth protest too much.

      Fact of the matter, I have no idea who stole the stuff, only that SkS claim someone stole something and you admit to being in receipt of materials obtained by illegal hacking, for which you have been threatened with legal action.

      I want no part of it for reasons which include not wanting the legal exposure, no matter how slight.

      Hopefully I have now made my position clear.

      Delete
    5. Being a victim of such crimes also is sort of a big deal.

      Bears repeating.

      Delete
    6. Ditto, with some caveats. One thing I wrestled with when I decided to exclude internal SkS communications from the head post was to ask myself if I would use illegally obtained industry documents despite similar ethical considerations. I rather think that I would, and this bothers me.

      Delete
    7. Brandon R. Gates, I think you should put a bit more effort into learning the facts of the situation before commenting on them. Your claim I've been threatened with legal action over the Skeptical Science forum contents has no basis in anything. I haven't been threatened over that at all, nor has anyone else because the material is in the public realm. Anyone can quote it freely without any risk of legal action.

      And no, that wasn't the offending comment. The offending comment was when you described a quote taken from the Skeptical Scienceas a "comment... lifted from some of the files Shollenberger obtained from SkS servers" The portrays me as the person who hacked into the Skeptical Science forum and released the material, which was a crime.

      I get snark is easy to resort to, but snark along with statements of fact that are completely off-base just makes it seem like you aren't interested in knowing the truth.

      Delete
    8. Are you denying that you received a letter from the UQ solicitor's office related to your possession of data related to Cook et al 2013?

      Delete
    9. By the way, while I didn't address "the actual critique" before, that was because I was trying to focus on the more substantial issues. If you really must have a response, I'd say the fact you've read my book and still don't know basic details about the background issues involved shows focusing on those background issues was an understandable choice.

      I'd also suggest you greatly misunderstood the point of the book if you think "things which are irrelevant to C13 and the evidence against it" didn't deserve attention. The subject of the book wasn't C13. C13 was certainly an important topic in the book, but the book's focus was on more than just it. The title of it should give that away.

      Delete
    10. RobH, that letter had nothing to do with the Skeptical Science forum's content.

      Delete
    11. But you were sent a letter from their solicitor for essentially the same type of activity, namely, devising a method to access materials that the owners clearly did not want accessed and then distributing that information on the internet against their will.

      Delete
    12. That isn't true, but even if it were, it would not change that Brandon Gates was wrong to say I was sent a letter threatening legal action due to my possession of the Skeptical Science forum contents. Please don't try to divert the discussion with red herrings.

      If you want to talk about what I have and have not done, we can, but we should do so somewhere where it is appropriate.

      Delete
    13. He would be correct to state that you were sent a letter threatening legal action due to your possession of SkS research materials. (You're using "forum contents" to wriggle your way out of the fact that BG was essentially correct.)

      Face it, B. You broke the law. You're just not worth the legal fees involved to do anything about it.

      Delete
    14. RobH, nobody is trying to wriggle out of anything. I am trying to keep the discussion on the topic that was actually being discussed rather than let you divert it into a bunch of claims and accusations you cannot possibly support. For instance, your claim:

      Face it, B. You broke the law. You're just not worth the legal fees involved to do anything about it.

      Is complete nonsense. I never broke any law, and the reason the University of Queensland never took any action against me is they know that. But as much as I might like to highlight how you're making things up, none of this affects Brandon Gates's portrayal of possessing the forum contents as being remotely problematic. Whether or not you care about basic factual accuracy, I do. I suspect Gates does too.

      Delete
    15. "I never broke any law, and the reason theUniversity of Queensland never took any action against me is they know that."

      I have direct knowledge that is definitely not the case, B. This is a fantasy of your own creation.

      Delete
    16. RobH, you can claim to have direct knowledge that what I say isn't true, but seeing as nobody here is a mind-reader, it won't mean much. There are no secrets about what I did. There are also no secrets about what the laws for this sort of thing are. Anyone can look at these things and see if what I did was remotely illegal.

      If you want to tell people the University of Queensland looked at the facts of the situation, decided I committed a crime, sent me a threatening letter then decided to not do anything else, ever again, to the point it wouldn't even continue any communication... well, okay. I'd rather think it wouldn't behave in such a silly manner, but I guess I can't know that it did not.

      What I can say, however, is if we take the University of Queensland's letter to me at face value, it broke the law when it refused to engage in any sort of dialogue regarding what material I had that was confidential. If I obtained confidential material and the university refused to identify which material was confidential so that I would know what not to release, the university is completely liable as it made no genuine effort to prevent the dissemination of confidential material.

      I'd like to think the university simply realized it had been mistaken in what it said to me, but if it genuinely continues to believe what it said in that letter, then it behaved in a manner which it must know was illegal.

      Delete
    17. Brandon S.,

      Your claim I've been threatened with legal action over the Skeptical Science forum contents has no basis in anything.

      Then perhaps you should make that more clear in your e-book (p. 17):

      ------------------

      I saw in my logs could easily have changed the numbers like I did and seen what happened. I went beyond this, and using a tiny bit of computer programming knowledge, I wrote a program to do that for me.

      The program was simple. It started with the number 1, visiting:

      http://www.sksforum.org/thread.php?t=1

      And copied the URL of the site it was redirected to. It then increased that value by 1 and repeated the process:

      http://www.sksforum.org/thread.php?t=2
      http://www.sksforum.org/thread.php?t=3
      http://www.sksforum.org/thread.php?t=4

      I made sure to have the program wait a little while before sending each new request so it wouldn't put any undue burden on the server, as I didn't want to disrupt anyone's ability to use the site, but that's all it did.

      That's almost the entire story of how I "hacked" into a server. After I created that list, I visited the links I found. Some went to password protected sites. Others didn't. A couple of the links went to material the Skeptical Science group didn't want people to see. When I went to them, they called it hacking. John Cook even got his university, the University of Queensland, to confirm this claim:

      Furthermore, The University of Queensland has conducted a forensic investigation and it appears the site where the IP was housed has been hacked and that this is a matter that requires referral to US law enforcement agencies.

      ------------------

      I haven't been threatened over that at all ...

      The URL "http://www.sksforum.org/thread.php?t=1" contains the abbreviation "sks" for "SkepticalScience", followed by the word "forum". You then include a portion of a letter from U. of Queensland threatening legal action.

      The offending comment was when you described a quote taken from the Skeptical Scienceas a "comment... lifted from some of the files Shollenberger obtained from SkS servers"

      Perhaps it would be a good idea to invoke the Willis Rule of directly quoting comments with which one disagrees so as to avoid undue confusion.

      The portrays me as the person who hacked into the Skeptical Science forum and released the material, which was a crime.

      Sure, one sense of the word "lifted" is "stole". Prior paragraph of the same article says:

      Dredging around someone's web server looking for unprotected directories that a reasonable person would clearly understand was meant to contain private information is one way to be a large pain in the arse.

      Try reading (and quoting) fuller context, and having thicker skin.

      Delete
    18. Brandon S.,

      Whether or not you care about basic factual accuracy, I do. I suspect Gates does too.

      I do, however in some cases the effort of getting factual accuracy isn't worth the benefits of having it. In this case, what would be most relevant to me is the legal status of the materials themselves, not who allegedly stole them or not. I don't know whether you're a thief or not, and don't really care.

      Delete
    19. "I'd like to think the university simply realized it had been mistaken in what it said to me..."

      And... you would be thinking wrong on that count.

      Delete
    20. Brandon R. Gates, you say I should perhaps be more clear, yet you seem to have complettely ignored the entire part of the book which explains what those links are. For instance:

      I quickly realized each number following the p was an index value assigned to a specific link posted in the Skeptical Science forum. For whatever reason, whenever a link was posted to their forum, the forum's software processed the link into something like what you saw above. The result is if someone wanted to link to Google, their link wouldn't be:
      http://www.google.com
      But instead, it'd be something like:
      http:www.sksforum.org/thread.php?t=14499&p=113
      Where the number 113 had been assigned to Google's home page.


      There were quite a few more paragraphs talking about this, and even the text you quote says I:

      copied the URL of the site it was redirected to.

      Which clearly indicates the links are redirection links so your discussion of how the URLs listed contain "sks" and "forum" are meaningless. It also makes your remark:

      Try reading (and quoting) fuller context, and having thicker skin.

      Funny. As for thicker skin, the fact I think the fact I respond to you at all given the attitude you've shown, much less that happen to I respond civilly, shows my skin is plenty thick. Moron.

      Delete
    21. Oh, and I apologize for any bad typing in that comment. I'm still recovering from having nearly choked to death on the stupidity of your latest post. By which I mean after twenty minutes of uncontrollable laughter, I'm starting to hold it down to just some sporadic chuckling.

      Delete
    22. Nervous laughter rarely escalates to that level, but in your case it makes perfect sense.

      Delete
    23. Brandon S.,

      Which clearly indicates the links are redirection links so your discussion of how the URLs listed contain "sks" and "forum" are meaningless.

      Sorry yes, I had forgotten that bit. Thanks for the clarification. You may have explained this elsewhere, but is it true that the private SkS forum comments posted on your website were NOT obtained from your URL iteration script?

      Moron.

      Wanker.

      Delete
  4. BS

    The only reason that consensus papers like C13 ever got written is because industry liars and witless contrarians keep claiming that there is no strong scientific consensus on AGW. This goes right back to the American Petroleum Institute memo of 1998.

    The actual reality of the consensus is everywhere evident, as I wrote above. One only has to look around. It's impossible to deny it and be sane - or at least, honest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BBD,

      While I was putting this article together (a several day ordeal, which included completely losing an entire near-final draft) I was telling my brother about some of the things I'd read in the leaked SkS internal forum discussions. "That's not science," he said. The arguable corner-cutting in C13 pales in comparison to the cynical manipulations of public opinion evidenced in leaked fossil-fuel documents. No question.

      I thought to again bring that up in this article in defense of Cook (2013), but it struck me as a moral equivalence argument I should not be making. They're calling the paper science, and its results robust. That's a high bar in my book, and it should stand scrutiny.

      Delete
    2. Brandon

      As I know you know, the problem here is focus. Contrarians want to focus on C13 and use it as a proxy for pushing the classic '98 meme. Arguing about C13 is a great way of distracting attention from the obvious near-unanimity amongst Earth System sciences that global warming is real, is us and is potentially dangerous.

      But hey, the only losing move etc.

      Delete
    3. No squirrel too small to chase. This was a difficult note for me to write, not just because it felt like taking my eye off the ball. I don't like going to the mattresses on the basis of assuming eyes were dotted and tees crossed only to later find out they weren't. Speaking of losing moves, it gets me wrong-footed.

      Delete
    4. I actually think the latest post here on the oil companies is incredibly wrong, and I think blaming "industry liars" for anything is a foolish move that shows a very poor understanding of why the public doesn't call for any strong action to combat global warming.

      So... yeah. You guys can suggest I'm a criminal, insane and/or a liar, but I can assure you that approach to discussions won't convince anybody. Neither will constantly promoting bad papers, which is what gets done in the consensus debate. And was done with Michael Mann's hockey stick. Those have been the most famous papers in the global warming debate, and they're inexcusably bad.

      You can fault contrarians for focusing on things like these all you want, but the reality is they're the things that get advertised the most as supporting the case for global warming. That's why they get focused on.

      Delete
    5. I actually think the latest post here on the oil companies is incredibly wrong, and I think blaming "industry liars" for anything is a foolish move that shows a very poor understanding of why the public doesn't call for any strong action to combat global warming.

      Incredibly wrong? That's an interesting view, BS. An illuminating one too. As is your interesting view that two decades of concerted lying by vested interest has had no negative effect on the science and public policy debate. Thank you for sharing that.

      And was done with Michael Mann's hockey stick. Those have been the most famous papers in the global warming debate, and they're inexcusably bad.

      And thank you for confirming that you are simply repeating denialist canards for all you are worth. And for confirming that you are pushing some sort of agenda which involves peddling misinformation about climate science. Not that this wasn't already glaringly obvious.

      Delete
    6. Tsk. Surely you know, BBD, that MBH98 is the only NH paleo temperature reconstruction in literature.

      Delete
    7. Brandon S.,

      I actually think the latest post here on the oil companies is incredibly wrong ...

      I would be pleased if you'd trot over to the post itself and describe in comments there which part of it is wrong. Whether it's "incredibly" wrong or right will have to be left to the individual to decide.

      Delete
    8. Brandon R. Gates, your snarky response about MBH (which isn't actually MBH98) conveniently manages to ignore the reason I brought it up - the popularity of the work. Even if other work in a field is good (in this case it isn't), that the most heavily promoted work is garbage is something which should trouble people.

      As for the post I criticized, I don't think I'd care to write a comment on it given how much material there is. As I've stated though, I am considering writing a post addressing it.

      Delete
    9. B. Shollenberger

      the reason I brought it up - the popularity of the work. Even if other work in a field is good (in this case it isn't), that the most heavily promoted work is garbage is something which should trouble people.

      'Garbage'? MBH98/99 were groundbreaking studies, so subsequent methodological advances have been made, but that does not make these papers junk science. Nor has nearly two decades of millennial climate reconstruction substantially altered the conclusion of MBH99:

      Although NH reconstructions prior to about AD 1400 exhibit expanded uncertainties, several important conclusions are still possible. While warmth early in the millennium approaches mean 20th century levels, the late 20th century still appears anomalous: the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium. More widespread high-resolution data which can resolve millennial-scale variability are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached with regard to the spatial and temporal details of climate change in the past millennium and beyond.

      That's a very long way from 'garbage'.

      Delete
    10. BBD, I get you may choose to continue to defend MBH despite the fact even Michael Mann acknowledges its results for the northern hemisphere were entirely dependent upon a small number of trees from one section of North America. I have no intention of rehashing it here.

      I wrote an eBook specifically to cover the various issues regarding MBH (my first one, in fact). I've made a free copy of it available like I did for my latest one. I can post a link to it if anyone wants. They can see the case laid out in a clear and organized manner, and if they want, they can write a response to it. They could even just ask me questions about it if they wanted. I'm easy to get a hold of, and I'm always happy to help explain things.

      But what I'm not going to do is waste anybody's time having a pointless discussion with you when we both know you won't make any substantive response to the criticisms I've laid out.

      Delete
    11. Since the topic of me responding to that post was brought up in this fork, I'll post a link here in addition to over there. I think this post does a good job of explaining why the post claiming Exxon lied is way off-base, but in case people disagree, I did include a clear and direct method of showing I'm wrong.

      http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2016/03/nefariousness-unproven/

      Delete
    12. B. Shollenberger

      But what I'm not going to do is waste anybody's time having a pointless discussion with you when we both know you won't make any substantive response to the criticisms I've laid out.

      When you show that the current understanding of millennial climate change is wrong and the conclusion of MBH99 is necessarily invalid, then you will have something substantive that we can discuss. I don't think you can do that.

      Delete
    13. BBD... I always find these claims (like BS is making) as completely bizarre. Somehow, according to BS, MBH managed to produce results in 1998/99 that have been replicated and confirmed some three dozen times now. And they did that using only a few trees from North America. In the intervening 16 years there have been exactly zero papers that have shown anything other than what MBH98/99 concluded.

      I'd say this is beyond prescient. Mann must be freaking Nostradamus!

      Delete
    14. BBD, RobH, if you two wish to ignore clear and indisputable problems with a paper whose results were once used as the figurehead for the global warming movement, you can. It'd be better for us all if we just agreed not to talk to one another about this topic then.

      But making these empty sort of comments like you guys are making won't contribute anything to the discussion. All they'll do is make things seem more petty and pointless as you preach to the choir.

      Delete
    15. But making these empty sort of comments

      When you show that the current understanding of millennial climate change is wrong and the conclusion of MBH99 is necessarily invalid, then you will have something substantive that we can discuss.

      But making these empty sort of comments like you guys are making won't contribute anything to the discussion. All they'll do is make things seem more petty and pointless as you preach to the choir.

      I have a sermon. You do not.

      Delete
    16. Writing "books" about research that has repeatedly been proven to be correct is about as empty an activity as you can get, B.

      Can you name any early research into any scientific topic that had NO problems? Brandon, you've got your undies in a knot over something that is fundamental feature of the scientific method. It would be one thing if MBH had made errors that gave them results that lead to an inaccurate conclusion. But those guys knew they were doing new research, and they appropriately and carefully qualified their language to reflect that fact.

      And ultimately they were correct in their conclusions!

      Delete
    17. RoH, BBD, you both are full of it on the topic of MBH. If you wish to discuss any of the accusations or claims I made about it in a substantial manner, I'd be happy to create a post on my site for such. I'll even let you write the body of the post if you'd like.

      But unless you're actually going to address what people say on the issue, there's no point in writing these comments. All you're doing is wasting space on this page. That's all I have to say about this. Anyone who questions or disputes what I've said about MBH is welcome to have a discussion with me, but anyone who just wants to post contentless comments like yours is going to be met with silence.

      Delete
    18. "...you both are full of it on the topic of MBH."

      The fact remains, there are no millennial reconstructions that contradict MBH conclusions.

      Delete
    19. but anyone who just wants to post contentless comments like yours is going to be met with silence.

      Because you have no answer to the facts. As both RobH and I have repeatedly pointed out, no millennial reconstructions contradict the conclusion of MBH99.

      May I remind you that you brought the topic up in the first place? Perhaps now you have been shown to be unable to defend your contrarian droning, you won't do it again.

      Delete
    20. Perhaps B's next book will be Einstein's near criminal act related to the cosmological constant to his equations. (sarc)

      Delete
    21. Return to Newton: on the Hilarious Notion that Gravity Affects Time

      Guaranteed best seller, mark my words.

      Delete
  5. “The only reason that consensus papers like C13 ever got written is because industry liars and witless contrarians keep claiming that there is no strong scientific consensus on AGW.”

    It’s very astounding to me that any “thinking” scientist could argue for a consensus of a multifaceted broad and complex concept like AGW with words like “*It is real; it is us; it is potentially dangerous.” Anyone familiar with the plethora of opinions on AGW quickly realizes only a few doubt the possibility of any human contribution to an effect on global temperatures. However, any objective sane scientist would acknowledge that many see the possibility that the human contribution could be much less than the majority opinion and that some of that majority are uncertain about how dangerous, if not advantageous, AGW could be.

    Unfortunately, the average Jane/Joe doesn’t get beyond the 97% talking-point propaganda that C13 perpetuates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chic,

      Look on the bright side, latest polls indicate that only on the order of 65% of Americans believe that the planet is warming and we are doing it. Seems that 3% of propaganda is 35% effective.

      Delete
    2. OTOH, to the extent we can take C15 at its word (and keeping in mind I'm saying here I don't think we should ... at least not without some healthy skepticism), only 62.7% of all self-rated climate papers endorse AGW, most of those only implicitly. 35.5% take no position either way. So the endorsement papers have roughly a 1:1 relationship with public opinion.

      In another example of dubious poll reporting design, Gallup's latest doesn't include an agnostic category. Full article containing that plot here.

      I don't want to make too much out of the similarity of the numbers because what drives personal opinion is complex and takes more than just looking at a scant few metrics to suss out. That said, if Gallup's binary portrayal of public opinion is reasonably accurate (i.e., if it doesn't hide a sizable portion of AGW agnostics), I then think it's interesting that the very minority opinion of 1.8% self-rated papers rejecting AGW has such an outsized representation in public perception of reality.

      I'm fairly sure most Americans form the bulk of their opinions based on tertiary literature, not primary. As such, I'm more inclined to believe that the press is mainly responsible for giving the 2% of dissenting primary literature more due than a well-designed and dispassionate primary literature review would.

      Delete
    3. BG... But how many papers in biology take a position on evolution? C13 clearly states this is an expected result. As a issue becomes accepted fewer and fewer papers over time will take a position.

      Delete
    4. RobH,

      About as many geology papers who take an explicit, quantified position on the age of the earth. I'm just guessing of course.

      Delete
  6. It’s very astounding to me that any “thinking” scientist could argue for a consensus of a multifaceted broad and complex concept like AGW with words like “*It is real; it is us; it is potentially dangerous.”

    That's because you are in the denial game, CB.

    However, any objective sane scientist would acknowledge that many see the possibility that the human contribution could be much less than the majority opinion and that some of that majority are uncertain about how dangerous, if not advantageous, AGW could be.

    No, you see, that's the bit that thinking scientists regard as very unlikely. So betting the future on it is regarded as very stupid and very risky. Fortunately, it is a view held by almost no climate scientists, so it has zero traction in the real world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost no climate scientists? Maybe you should do a survey to find out what the views of climate scientists in the real world are, not the world inside your head.

      Delete
    2. Feel free to list climate scientists (real ones) who argue for low sensitivity.

      Delete
    3. At one point I thought to suggest that a useful literature review would be not on the ">x% of warming since y date due to human causes" question, but of climate sensitivity to CO2. I decided not because it's already been done. Knutti & Hegerl (2008) comes immediately to mind. And what is AR5 if not a literature review.

      The argument against, of course, is that neither K&H nor the IPCC randomly sample literature.

      Bottom line is that even the IPCC, the mother of all propaganda outlets if we're to believe its critics, puts the range between 1.5 and 4.5 K/2xCO2, which leaves precious room for lukewarmers to position themselves against that particular consensus, but gobs of room for dragon slayers and their sympathizers.

      Delete
  7. Brandon G -

    ==> ...my understanding is that Tol is the same but more cagey about it.

    Tol says:

    --snip--

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role."

    --snip--

    One of the many interesting aspects of these discussions about the "consensus" is the juxtaposition of Tol's "skeptical" advocacy and his apparent belief in the "almost unanimous" agreement in the relevant literature that humans play a "dominant role" in climate change over the past 150 years.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joshua,

      Thanks for that. However it occurs to me that Tol saying other literature concludes x doesn't mean he endorses x.

      Delete
    2. Brandon,

      Yes. Good point. In actuality, I have no idea whether or not he rejects what he considers to be the opinion expressed almost unanimously in the relevant literature.

      Also, it occurs to me that he speaks of humans playing a dominant role, which could be manifest via means other than or in addition to aCO2 emissions.

      Delete
    3. Joshua,

      A feature of Tol is one must often pay attention to what he's NOT saying to get the message. I've several times seen this "confirmed" when someone puts a direct question intended to get him to clarify, which he then avoids. Repeatedly. This is more of interest to me in that it's a common tactic, RT just happens to be a convenient example.

      A belated welcome to my blog. Nice to have you here.

      Delete
    4. Yes. That avoidance of clarifying is definitely characteristic of Tol's climate-o-spheric engagement. I'd say he's more than just a convenient example...because he has made that feature such a prominant component of his style and because he's a pretty high profile academic. I think that the example he provides carries more weight, in that sense, than when Joe Schmoe blog commenter does it.

      Delete
  8. Chris -

    ==> Anyone familiar with the plethora of opinions on AGW quickly realizes only a few doubt the possibility of any human contribution to an effect on global temperatures

    I think that I'm quite familiar with the plethera of opinions on AGW, and it is my impression that there are a great deal of "skeptics" who: (1) flat out argue (with certainty) that aCO2 emissions have had no meaningful impact on our climate or, (2) aCO2 emissions cannot have a meaningful impact on our climate or (3) claim that they don't doubt that aCO2 has a meaningful impact om our climate but simultaneously offer argument that are inconsistent with such an acknowledgement.

    ==> However, any objective sane scientist would acknowledge that many see the possibility that the human contribution could be much less than the majority opinion...

    IMO, that seems a bit confused and incoherent. The majority opinion allows for (and in fact, quantifies) the "possibility" that the human contribution could be minimal or at least not "catastrophic."

    Unfortunately, many "skeptics" inaccurately portray the "majority opinion" as not allowing for that possibility, a rhetorical device that lies in contrast to the type of due diligence for uncertainty that true "skeptics" value.

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    1. Welcome to Brandon's place, Joshua.

      It seems I failed to use just the right words to give every statement of mine some wiggle room. Probably should have said small % instead of few. And some instead of many.

      Parse this and see if I properly addressed your concern: Any objective sane scientist would acknowledge that some scientists familiar with the AGW debate allow for the possibility that the human contribution to global temperatures could be much less than what the majority of climate scientists think the human contribution is.

      Do I correctly assume your last sentence means you agree that the majority opinion of all climate scientists allows for the possibility that the human contribution could be minimal or not catastrophic? Or were you referring to your equally undocumented opinion that many skeptics have a mistaken view of the majority opinion of all skeptics or just the skeptics who are climate scientists?

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    2. Chic -

      Sorry for messing up your name earlier.

      Remember that the sampling you get from active online participants on climate blogs is an outlier. Even there, IMO, if you peruse the comment threads at WUWT or Climate Etc. - despite often found protestations at those sites that "hardly any 'skeptics' doubt that aCO2 emissions have a GHE - you will find quite a few comments that can fairly placed into the categories I described above. But beyond that, as you extend out into the wider segment of the public that aligns with "skepticism" about climate change, you will find a significant % who flat out reject any potential for aCO2 to affect the climate - you know, "skeptics" of the "It's all a big hoax" variety. I can dig out polling data if you'd like, but a significant % of Republicans, for example, say that they don't think that either (1) the climate us warming or (2) aCO2 emissions have played any role in any warming that has taken place. Despite the convenience of the rhetoric that it is only a small % of "skeptics" who hold such views, from what I've seen that categorization doesn't pan out in the real world.

      ==> Any objective sane scientist would acknowledge that some scientists familiar with the AGW debate allow for the possibility that the human contribution to global temperatures could be much less than what the majority of climate scientists think the human contribution is.


      I tend to stay away from making pronouncement about people's views that are contingent on their sanity (I'm not in a position to judge the sanity of people I don't know), but I have a problem with the circularity of that wording. Pretty much all scientists familiar with the AGW debate allow for the possibility that the human contribution to rising global temperatures is small. Very few rule out the possibility of a small contribution, categorically. The vast majority think that the contribution is extremely likely significant and the majority think that the contribution is very likely dominant (relative to "natural" fluctuation). So I don't know how to compare what pretty much all scientists think to what the "majority of scientists think." Do you understand my confusion?

      ==> Do I correctly assume your last sentence means you agree that the majority opinion of all climate scientists allows for the possibility that the human contribution could be minimal or not catastrophic?

      That is my impression. It seems that perhaps BBD would disagree.

      ==> Or were you referring to your equally undocumented opinion that many skeptics have a mistaken view of the majority opinion of all skeptics or just the skeptics who are climate scientists?

      I'm having trouble parsing that also.

      Are you asking if I think that many "skeptics" have a mistaken view of the majority opinion of all "skeptics?"

      or

      I think that many "skeptics" have a mistaken view of "skeptics" who are climate scientists?

      or

      I think that the "skeptics" who are climate scientists have a mistaken view of the majority opinion of all "skeptics."


      Anyway, from what I've seen, most "skeptics" and non-"skeptics" alike underestimate the % of climate experts who agree on the likely contribution of aCO2 to climate change; "Skeptics" to a greater degree than non-"skeptics."

      I'm not sure what exactly % of "skeptics" have a mistaken view of what the majority of all "skeptics" think...but I do know that I often see "skeptics" state underestimated quantification of the # of "skeptics" who flat out reject that aCO2 has any effect on the climate. My guess is that they do so because of "motivated reasoning" - which leads them to employ rhetorical devices as a sort of defense for their ideological orientation.

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    3. "That is my impression. It seems that perhaps BBD would disagree."

      So it seems. I now declare you sane.

      "I'm having trouble parsing that also."

      Never mind. I was just illustrating how difficult it is to write clearly enough that it can't be misunderstood. You confirm my opinion that there is a range of opinions about AGW. The consensus claim is delusional.

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    4. The consensus claim is delusional.

      When you understand the difference between 'very unlikely but possible' and 'very likely', you will have started to grasp why what you are arguing is nonsense.

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    5. Since it's conveniently been forgotten, here is how I defined the scientific consensus on AGW in my first comment on this thread:

      It is real; it is us; it is potentially dangerous.

      Note the 'potentially' before 'dangerous' please.

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    6. I would amend "potentially dangerous" to "highly likely to be dangerous on a business-as-usual emissions pathway." That would apply equally to the likely climate sensitivity range. If CS is ~2°C, then we have a little more time, but not a lot. If CS is ~4°C, we have very serious trouble ahead.

      No matter how you slice it, we need to bring carbon emissions down to zero as soon as possible. Let's hope CS is on the lower end and we can bring emissions down quickly.

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    7. RobH

      I take your point. I intended it to be implicit in my use of 'potentially' as a qualifier. Of course some feel that this is science crossing a line but simply stating 'dangerous if BAU' is not science blurring into public policy. It is a statement of the scientific understanding of the risks. What policy makers do - or do not do - with this information is up to them.





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    8. BBD... I think too often those in denial fail to recognize this simple fact that, the outcome is not as simple as global warming is catastrophic. How bad the future is will be directly related to our actions today.

      I know you get this.

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    9. BBD and RobH,

      Your last few comments are ideological, not scientific. You assume model predictions are accurate, then talk about if/then scenarios as scientific rather than opinion. Until the models have been verified by experimental evidence showing definitively the effect of CO2 unconflated with that of H2O and other natural factors, you are simply fortune telling. "Potentially dangerous if business as usual" completely ignores the scientific "if the model predictions are accurate" part.

      "...the outcome is not as simple as global warming is catastrophic. How bad the future is will be directly related to our actions today."

      Definitely not that simple. Because there is no definitive evidence that warming will continue, that it will be catastrophic and that our actions will have anything to do with it.

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    10. Bowdrie

      Your last few comments are ideological, not scientific. You assume model predictions are accurate, then talk about if/then scenarios as scientific rather than opinion.

      You have assumed and asserted that the scientific understanding of AGW is entirely based on models. This is both wrong and classic contrarian cant.

      Because there is no definitive evidence that warming will continue

      Of *course* it will continue if forcing continues to increase. This is physics denial, nothing less. Your whole comment is science denial from start to finish. It barely merits even this response.

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    11. Actually, I want to repeat CB's howl of denial because it is so jaw-dropping:

      Because there is no definitive evidence that warming will continue, that it will be catastrophic and that our actions will have anything to do with it.

      Chic, if you don't like the sound of the word 'denier' you have to stop saying stuff like this. Seriously now.

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    12. Bowdrie...

      - Earth has a greenhouse effect. Check.
      - CO2 has strong radiative properties. Check.
      - CO2 is the most abundant non-condensing well mixed greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Check.
      - Based on a large number of estimates of climate sensitivity, using a wide variety of testing methods, our planets sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is between 2.5°C-4.5°C. Check.
      - Humans are currently emitting around 30Gt of CO2e into the atmosphere a year. Check.
      - CO2 concentrations are rising at about 3ppm annually. Check.

      This is just the very tip of the iceberg of data that supports the position that BBD and I have just put forth. No ideology. Just scientific data.

      That overwhelming mountain of scientific data could certainly, somehow, be leading us to the wrong conclusions. But the chances of that being the case are so astronomically low as to functionally be zero.

      Houston, we clearly do have a problem.

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    13. BBD,

      Other than models, what experimental evidence definitively shows how much global temperatures will increase due to a further increase in CO2?

      Physics can be manipulated to conform to a particular hypothesis. But it lacks substance unless controlled experiments verify the hypothesis. Without that experimental evidence, you only have circumstantial evidence, such as causation by correlation arguments. All of paleoclimatology falls into the latter category.

      The same physics you claim is being denied is also used to show how "consensus" views are inadequate or at least have not been shown to be accurate. For example, to my knowledge there is no model that accurately describes the energy transfer processes at the Earth's surfaces. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      To his credit, Brandon is engaging in a scientific pursuit of the truth involving the hypotheses based on the physics underlying climate science. You, BBD, seem only interested in asserting your opinions and regurgitating "consensus" dogma. Your continual use of the denier term only confirms my suspicion that your scientific knowledge is weak.

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    14. Without that experimental evidence, you only have circumstantial evidence, such as causation by correlation arguments. All of paleoclimatology falls into the latter category.

      Since palaeoclimate behaviour provides excellent evidence that CO2 is an efficacious climate forcing it is understandable that you would flip into denialism when confronted by it. But try as you might, you cannot push it off the table. Every time you do this, the true extent of your denialism shows clearly through.

      Your continual use of the denier term only confirms my suspicion that your scientific knowledge is weak.

      It is the correct description for what you are doing, so expect to see it often. And since I'm not the one rejecting the scientific consensus on the basis of denialism, you aren't really in a position to suggest that my knowledge is 'weak'.

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    15. RobH,

      "This is just the very tip of the iceberg of data that supports the position that BBD and I have just put forth. No ideology. Just scientific data."

      You simply summarized the consensus ideology. Where is your data showing that a temperature gradient in the atmosphere would not exist without IR absorbing gases? While IR absorbing gases do IMO contribute to less extreme diurnal temperatures and that that would result in a warmer global average, it is questionable how much more CO2 would warm in the presence of humidity. Do you have that data? Sensitivity estimates are confounded by many factors and CO2 has not been shown experimentally to have any definitive effect. So until these questions have been resolved, the rising levels of CO2 are irrelevant.

      Your opinion of the repercussions of an overwhelming amount of scientific data is just that -- your opinion. Get back to me when you have verified the temperature increase due to CO2.

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    16. BBD,

      How is paleoclimate evidence not circumstantial?

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    17. Since when is earth system science dependent solely on the output of GCMs?

      The scientific consensus on AGW rests on the consilience of evidence, not GCM runs alone. Everybody else in the room appears to understand this, so you can stop pushing the modulz peanut now, Chic. It's been done to death by better than you.

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    18. Neither paleoclimatology or model evidence is conclusive. So there is no consilience of evidence and there won't be a consensus without it. Asserting it won't make it so.

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    19. Neither paleoclimatology or model evidence is conclusive. So there is no consilience of evidence and there won't be a consensus without it. Asserting it won't make it so.

      Add in the basic physics of the GHE and observations of GAT, OHC, ice melt, permafrost melt etc and there's more than enough for a strong scientific consensus which is why one has arisen and you are being forced to deny its validity.

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    20. Neither paleoclimatology or model evidence is conclusive. So there is no consilience of evidence and there won't be a consensus without it. Asserting it won't make it so.

      I'd also like to point out that this statement is simply false. The model evidence is strongly supportive of an ECS close to 3C and so is palaeoclimate evidence. Therefore both lines of evidence are consilient and so mutually reinforcing.

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    21. "Your opinion of the repercussions of an overwhelming amount of scientific data is just that -- your opinion. "

      No, it's not just my opinion. It is the opinion of every scientific institution on the planet. And it's also the result of the fact that I've taken the time to read several thousand paper on climate change issues.

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    22. Oh, and Bowdrie, we can actually SEE the greenhouse effect and the CO2 contribution.
      http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/curve_s.gif

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    23. Strongly supportive is an opinion and exists only in the minds of those who assert a consensus. GAT, OHC, ice melt, etc. are evidence of warming, but not evidence that CO2 causes it.

      What basic physics showing that CO2 affects global temperatures by an amount certain has been definitively measured or even accurately estimated?

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    24. "What basic physics showing that CO2 affects global temperatures by an amount certain has been definitively measured or even accurately estimated?"

      Please note the column on the far right...
      http://www.realclimate.org/images/ipcc_rad_forc_ar5.jpg

      Do you also need the research that forms the basis of the "VH" determination?

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    25. "Strongly supportive is an opinion and exists only in the minds of those who assert a consensus. GAT, OHC, ice melt, etc. are evidence of warming, but not evidence that CO2 causes it. "

      If you have another mechanism that explains everything we see, the world, and the Nobel Prize committee, eagerly awaits your research.

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    26. RobH,

      Your spectrogram showing the bite due to CO2 absorption does not tell you what affect that has on a temperature trend. You may be aware of computer models that equate differences in the absorption to a certain W/m2. However, there is no data that I am aware of that indicates how much that W/m2 translates into degrees of temperature change. AFAIK, the radiative-convective models that do that have not been verified by demonstrating what temperature change actually occurs. This is because of the other processes that confound any experimental measurements, like water vapor, convection, etc.

      "Do you also need the research that forms the basis of the "VH" determination?"

      Yes. I would like to be made aware of any definitive evidence that doesn't rely on a model simulation and that is significant enough to make a VH determination scientifically correct.

      I am working on a hypothesis that does allow explaining how sensitive temperature is to CO2 concentration. I won't be expecting a Nobel Prize because others will reach the same conclusion before I do, if they haven't already.

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    27. It's the "consilience of evidence" that shows us what is happening, Bowdrie. The spectrogram is telling you, "Yes, CO2 is a radiative gas in the atmosphere because you can see its spectral signature." When you look at that same image from 30 years ago and today, that tells you the increasing CO2 is absorbing more IR.

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    28. "I am working on a hypothesis that does allow explaining how sensitive temperature is to CO2 concentration. I won't be expecting a Nobel Prize because others will reach the same conclusion before I do, if they haven't already."

      Are you familiar with the work of Dunning and Kruger?

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    29. "When you look at that same image from 30 years ago and today, that tells you the increasing CO2 is absorbing more IR."

      Yes, but it still won't tell how much that absorption translates into a temperature change. Do you know the equation that equates a forcing with a temperature change?

      "Are you familiar with the work of Dunning and Kruger?"

      Yes. How would you rate yourself?

      Have you done any research or independent study of any science bearing on the evidence for how much, if any, of a contribution to global temperatures is due to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere?

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    30. "When you look at that same image from 30 years ago and today, that tells you the increasing CO2 is absorbing more IR."

      Yes, but it still won't tell how much that absorption translates into a temperature change. Do you know the equation that equates a forcing with a temperature change?

      "Are you familiar with the work of Dunning and Kruger?"

      Yes. How would you rate yourself?

      Have you done any research or independent study of any science bearing on the evidence for how much, if any, of a contribution to global temperatures is due to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere?

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    31. BBD,

      Chic, if you don't like the sound of the word 'denier' you have to stop saying stuff like this. Seriously now.

      Expecting "definitive evidence" of future events subjectively defined as "(potentially) catastrophic" is all but logically impossible, and warrants emphatic demolition on that basis. That said, the "if you don't like the label x, stop doing x" construction personally needles the hell out of me. Pet peeve, it having been used on me frequently over at WUWT. Shollenberger uses a similar construction in this thread:

      BBD, RobH, if you two wish to ignore clear and indisputable problems with a paper whose results were once used as the figurehead for the global warming movement, you can.

      Which is more a pure argument by assertion than the circularity of "if you don't like x, don't do x".

      I think we can do better than that. Goes for you as well, Chic.

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    32. Chic,

      Yes, but it still won't tell how much that absorption translates into a temperature change.

      Indeed. Hence my personal reticence to find out empirically.

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    33. RobH,

      Are you familiar with the work of Dunning and Kruger?

      Indeed I have. Risible garbage, that. I could do a better job of it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back.

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    34. Chic,

      To his credit, Brandon is engaging in a scientific pursuit of the truth involving the hypotheses based on the physics underlying climate science.

      As we have seen, that has its limits, and not just in my willingness to trace every literature assertion (or contrary assertion) in ANY science back to first principles. I simply don't have the ability to do all the theoretical AND experimental work to be personally satisfied any given proposition is true, false, dubiously established or inconclusive.

      Way I work that out is to liberally apply the heuristic that peer reviewed literature written by trained experts in a given field is reliable if it has been widely replicated and accepted in the scientific community.

      Being a heuristic, it's bound to be wrong in some cases, sometimes ... egregiously ... wrong. There is precedent, yes? Ptolemy's geocentrism vs. the Copernican/Keplerian/Galilean heliocentric model, Lamarckian evolution vs. Darwinian, gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium (still contentious, btw), stomach ulcers caused by stress when h. pylori infection appears to be the stronger link, etc.

      So I'm open to the prevailing wisdom on the 2nd law of thermodynamics being wrong, or that Miskolczi's ideas on self-regulating atmospheric optical thickness might have some slim chance of being substantively correct -- but here's the thing: I'm not going to give deeply serious consideration of any of those things until such time as they begin to enjoy widespread mainstream scientific endorsement.

      Reason being, I could spend the rest of my days chasing every crank idea out there trying to find the nuggets of truth in them, which I think is an abuse of the precious resource of my own time when there's so much I don't understand about better established theories which I think adequately explain the preponderance of extant evidence.

      I think you're to be commended for being skeptical and curious. But your devotion to ... fringe ... hypotheses raises my eyebrows and your suggestion that BBD, RobH et al. are not being open-minded and/or overly dismissive relative to me isn't entirely fair. I think BBD hit the nail on the head, I'm simply more patient (and willing) than he is to explore some of these things point by point with you than he is. I don't think it's true that I'm any less convinced that you're wrong about a bunch of this stuff.

      As I've said before, two main reasons for that is that the review from first principles is something I find useful, and you are exceptionally pleasant to talk to relative to most folks I've discussed/argued/fought with online on similar topics.

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    35. Thanks for the complement. Just one other thing.

      Which hypotheses am I devoted to that have already been proven wrong by experiment? Claiming an experiment or a hypothesis wrong because it doesn't fit your world view is not scientific or open minded. Furthermore, arguing by assertion and appealing to authority, which BBD and RobH are prone to do, exposes their lack of open-mindedness and scientific depth.

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    36. Chic,

      Thanks for the complement.

      You're welcome.

      Which hypotheses am I devoted to that have already been proven wrong by experiment?

      Difficult question for me to answer as written due to my established aversion to the word "proof" in the context of non-trivial empirical sciences.

      I was specifically thinking of the gravito-thermal hypothesis. I'd really like to not drag that discussion into this thread and go even further off tangent to the original topic of Cook et al. (2013).

      Claiming an experiment or a hypothesis wrong because it doesn't fit your world view is not scientific or open minded.

      Yes, I agree in principle. I should make a distinction here that I consider some worldviews better evidenced/argued than others. Who doesn't, amirite?

      Furthermore, arguing by assertion and appealing to authority, which BBD and RobH are prone to do, exposes their lack of open-mindedness and scientific depth.

      That is such a common construction among folk for whom a given empirical/theoretical proposition conflicts with some particular ideology. My knee-jerk reply is a stock answer: the implication is that truth can only be established by anti-authorities. I've taken it a step further in the context of the climate debate by saying to dragon slayers, "Oh yeah? Ok, suppose that your view becomes accepted by mainstream science, are you then going to abandon it when it becomes the new consensus?"

      Based on my past experiences with you, I feel that I owe you a more considered answer. As I'm sitting here thinking about it, it occurs to me that the subject of rational belief is quite dear to me and warrants its own article stripped of the polemics and technical specifics of the climate debate. So I'll end here, sleep on it, and take a stab at making this its own topic tomorrow.

      Regards.

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    37. Brandon G

      That said, the "if you don't like the label x, stop doing x" construction personally needles the hell out of me. Pet peeve,

      I have a pet peeve too. It is being subjected to denialist rhetoric (see CB as quoted above and the rest of it) while being told that I cannot name it by name. Deniers have had far too much success in controlling the language of the public discourse in this way. IMO it was a disastrous mistake to defer to their victim-playing rather than revile it for the monstrous false equivalence that it really is.

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    38. "Yes. How would you rate yourself?"

      Good question. On the issue of climate science I would say I have a broad but not so deep knowledge. I'm constantly astounded at the true depth of other's knowledge when I speak to real climate researchers. I'm in utter awe of how much I do not know, and of how much there is to know. I do my best to keep up with the most recent research and frequently adjust my communicated positions in order to reflect new science.

      But given all that, I believe I'm more informed on the climate issue than most of the general public, having put the energy and time into reading several thousand published research papers on the subject.

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    39. BG... "Indeed I have. Risible garbage, that. I could do a better job of it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back."

      It was actually more of a rhetorical question directed at Bowdrie. Regardless of the quality of the research, it tends to explain the over-confidence of climate "skeptics" who seem to believe they know the science of climate change better than all the experts in the world.

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    40. I think the hubris of Bowdrie, here, is that he somehow assumes that most of the scientific world is NOT acting with intrinsic skepticism already. What I find is that nearly every (if not every) researcher doing work on climate change is inherently skeptical. It's just that everyone has moved well beyond whether CO2 is the cause and is working more on the quantification and effects.

      The D-K meme seems appropriate in this case where he arrogantly assumes he understands something better than nearly the entire scientific community. I can only laugh when people like Bowdrie harrumph around about how they're working on something that's going to show the current science is all wrong.

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    41. BBD,

      IMO it was a disastrous mistake to defer to their victim-playing rather than revile it for the monstrous false equivalence that it really is.

      Point well taken.

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    42. RobH,

      Regardless of the quality of the research, it tends to explain the over-confidence of climate "skeptics" who seem to believe they know the science of climate change better than all the experts in the world.

      Much in the same way that I'm indisputably a better psychologist than Dunning & Kruger.

      What I find is that nearly every (if not every) researcher doing work on climate change is inherently skeptical.

      I don't personally know any climate scientists, but I do assume that most of them are like most other scientists I do know ... deeply skeptical, exacting, and driven to challenge existing paradigms because -- if we must make this all about money -- successfully doing that is what opens the grant floodgates.

      The D-K meme seems appropriate in this case where he arrogantly assumes he understands something better than nearly the entire scientific community.

      I think it better for me to let him handle that charge, but to also acknowledge that I read it.

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    43. RobH,

      "On the issue of climate science I would say I have a broad but not so deep knowledge."

      I would say I'm not as broad, but deeper into what I consider the crucial issue: How much of a temperature increase will result from an increase in CO2 with all other factors constant. Naturally this experiment won't happen in the atmosphere at large. Creative ways will need to be pursued in smaller systems to validate physical principles that are now assumed by the orthodoxy and may be incorrect.

      "But given all that, I believe I'm more informed on the climate issue than most of the general public, having put the energy and time into reading several thousand published research papers on the subject."

      Likewise, although I'm waaaay behind you in number of papers read.

      "It's just that everyone has moved well beyond whether CO2 is the cause and is working more on the quantification and effects."

      I must have missed the papers that prove CO2 is the cause. If its quantification is unknown, how can it be concluded as the cause?

      "The D-K meme seems appropriate in this case where he arrogantly assumes he understands something better than nearly the entire scientific community."

      Where do you find me assuming I understand better than anyone else? If you can explain something I'm not getting, please do. My whole point is that no one knows what CO2 sensitivity is. If you can show me the equations that indicate how much of temperature increase is unequivocally due to a CO2 increase, I will be grateful for being brought up to speed with you and all the other 97%.

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    44. Chic... "How much of a temperature increase will result from an increase in CO2 with all other factors constant."

      That's just climate sensitivity. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of researchers who have pretty much dedicated their careers to this issue. There is an immense amount of research on this topic. That's exactly where we get the IPCC range of 2-4.5°C for 2XCO2.

      "I must have missed the papers that prove CO2 is the cause. If its quantification is unknown, how can it be concluded as the cause?"

      The quantification is NOT unknown. In fact, it's known with a reasonably high level of confidence that the direct effect of CO2 is ~1°C for 2XCO2(e). Even the most hardened contrarians will tell you that. After that things get a little more fuzzy but the uncertainties are constrained through other areas of research.

      We know that <2°C is very unlikely because you can't get glacial-interglacial cycles with CS that low. We know that <2°C is unlikely because in the past the earth managed to get out of deep glaciation events most likely through CO2 build up, evidenced by cap carbonate deposits. That's just two examples. There are many more.

      What is less clear, and what everyone should be more concerned about, is the higher end uncertainties. Some CS research returns results that show 4, 5, 8 and even 10°C for 2XCO2. Some of those can be eliminated based on what we know of the Eemian interglacial. But there are also no natural events that have pushed the climate system as quickly as we are today. The rate of change of the composition of the atmosphere has never happened this quickly before and therefore we don't know what special surprises that might bring.

      "If you can explain something I'm not getting, please do. My whole point is that no one knows what CO2 sensitivity is."

      Here's exactly the point, Chic. You seem to be extremely confident in what you obviously don't know. As I've just been pointing out above, there is a huge amount of research on climate sensitivity, so when you say, "...no one knows what CO2 sensitivity is" you're boldly making a completely erroneous statement.

      We do not know the EXACT figure for CS but such a level of precision isn't necessary in order to understand how critical it is that we take action on carbon emissions. Scientists have managed, over the years, to constrain CS estimates enough to understand that, as Stephen Schneider used to say, "'End of the world' and 'good for us' are the two lowest probability outcomes." CS estimates are constrained enough that we know, even on the lower end probabilities, we have a very serious problem that requires action now.

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    45. Chic... "If you can show me the equations that indicate how much of temperature increase is unequivocally due to a CO2 increase, I will be grateful for being brought up to speed..."

      This is hard science, Chic. It's just not quite that simple. No one can put it all in a tiny little box and put a little ribbon on it in order to make you happy. Understanding CS is very complex.

      Start here: Do you understand the differences in TCS, ECS and earth systems CS? If this is an specific area of climate research you want to understand, are you reading the published research? You can find lots of papers on Google Scholar.

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    46. See my consolidated response below.

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  10. All these questions you've asked are answered over and over in the published scientific research. I would be here for days trying to explain it all to you.

    Long and short is, every single prestigious scientific organization on the planet which has taken on the task of evaluating climate research has, in response, come out with a position statement saying that AGW is real, it's man-made and it's "potentially dangerous." (As BBD also previously stated.)

    There are no scientific institutions that have a dissenting position.

    Thus, my question to you is this: Do you think these institutions don't understand science?

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    1. Sorry, that was meant as a response within the thread above. My bad.

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    2. Argument by assertion does not make a consensus. If you want to believe that, then you do that on faith, not on any scientifically well-established theory. There are too many questions to be resolved before anyone can be confident what temperatures will be 10, 20, 100 years from now, if ever.

      Does the opinion of a board of directors of any organization represent the views of all its members? https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/one-third-of-ams-members-dont-agree-with-climate-change-orthodoxy/

      Have you done any research or independent study of any science bearing on the evidence for how much, if any, of a contribution to global temperatures is due to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere?

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    3. You've completely sidestepped my question.

      Do you think these institutions don't understand science?

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    4. RobH,

      Institutions are composed of a wide variety of opinions. Do you think that the individuals who decided on the policy statement actually consulted with every member of the organization and included a fair representation of all their views?

      Ask me a question that doesn't include a false premise such as institutions understand science.

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    5. Okay, do you think that the majority of the memberships of these institutions disagree with their organizations statements on AGW?

      And, do you think the people who reviewed the science in order to formulate those position statements don't understand the science they reviewed?

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    6. "Do you think that the individuals who decided on the policy statement actually consulted with every member of the organization and included a fair representation of all their views?"

      And to answer your question, if the membership, or any specific member, of the organization feels the statements are grossly inaccurate they are free to resign said membership. Thus far, only a tiny fraction of members of any of these orgs has resigned as a result of the position statements.

      I would suggest that is a strong indication of agreement with the position statements.

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    7. It doesn't matter what percentage of the membership in scientific organizations disagree with policy statements. Science isn't done by committee. Some of the membership in some of the organizations likely understand enough of the deep physics to have a worthwhile opinion. But having investigated the subject for several years now, I am convinced that no one actually knows exactly what the climate sensitivity is and in particular how much CO2 has to do with it.

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    8. Chic B

      But having investigated the subject for several years now, I am convinced that no one actually knows exactly what the climate sensitivity is and in particular how much CO2 has to do with it.

      Then get something published. Otherwise, the scientific consensus will remain as it is and the mysterious rise in GAT, OHC, ice melt rate etc. will have to be revisited. Not to mention older mysteries like the PETM, that well-known coincidental alignment of a massive carbon isotope excursion, significant ocean acidification and a towering hyperthermal.

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    10. Science isn't done by committee.

      Strawman. Scientific consensus emerges from the consilience of evidence. With committees, there's always a certain amount of lag, but unless the evidence changes, the consensus will sustain and strengthen over time. Just as observed, in fact.

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    11. "Scientific consensus emerges from the consilience of evidence."

      Is this British law? I know its not in the US constitution. UN maybe?

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    13. Is this British law? I know its not in the US constitution. UN maybe?

      Ask a scientist. They will confirm what I have said:

      Scientific consensus arises from the consilience of evidence.

      Where else could it come from?

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    14. BBD,

      Where else could it come from?

      Groupthink, motivated reasoning. I find evidence of that in C13, hence I deem it topical.

      I'm not about to run wild with this notion across all sciences (the common motivation in science being to overturn previously held, and wrong, theories), but one reason I waded into the fracas at ATTP's joint over Hansen et al. (2016) is because the magnitude of policy implications seems to warrant keeping a weather eye out for overconfident conclusions on weak premises.

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    15. Groupthink, motivated reasoning. I find evidence of that in C13, hence I deem it topical.

      C13 is social science, not physical climatology. Please do not confuse the disciplines. It really doesn't help at all. As for H16, the bruising review process was concrete evidence against this 'groupthink' meme the contrarians are so fond of.



      the magnitude of policy implications seems to warrant keeping a weather eye out for overconfident conclusions on weak premises.

      Are you seriously arguing that the response to H16 *wasn't* an example of scientific vigilance for exactly this?

      I have never seen you write so incautiously or ill-advisedly, btw.

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    16. BG... "Groupthink, motivated reasoning. I find evidence of that in C13, hence I deem it topical."

      I was one of the more active raters for the C13 paper. I can tell you first hand that we discussed the possibility of our own "groupthink" affecting the quality of the ratings. It was me who suggested we get authors to also self-rate their own papers as a double check on our ratings. Even though it wasn't a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, since authors understand their own papers to a greater depth than we did just reading abstracts. But it was a very conscious effort to try to avoid exactly the problem you're considering.

      Though most people don't acknowledge this, I always felt this was a rather bold move on the part of John Cook to pick up on that suggestion and run with it. And, it made what was already a rather Herculean task, even bigger.

      Think what it would have meant if we got results that contradicted our SkS ratings? What if the author self-ratings produced only a 70% consensus relative to our 97%? We would have been required to report that. There is no one at SkS who would have held that information back. It would have told us we actually were out of touch with the mainstream science. It would have been completely embarrassing and it think would have resulted in the dissolution of the SkS website.

      Thing is, the opposite happened. When we applied the exact same rules for SkS ratings (1, 2, & 3's vs 5, 6 & 7's) to the author self-ratings we got almost identical results.

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    17. Blah! So many typos. Not enough coffee.

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    18. RobH,

      I was one of the more active raters for the C13 paper.

      I've already appreciated your contributions here, more so now that I know your level of involvement.

      I can tell you first hand that we discussed the possibility of our own "groupthink" affecting the quality of the ratings.

      That came through in the body of the published paper as well as in the private forum discussions Shollenberger published. I'd like to say more, but I'm in a bind having made a deliberate decision to not republish any of that content here. I don't think it fair to make arguments for or against methods/execution without citing evidence supporting my opinions.

      It was me who suggested we get authors to also self-rate their own papers as a double check on our ratings.

      Good call. I ran some calcs based on the "raw" data which strongly suggest the abstract rating team was conservative, IOW erred on the side of caution. One might even say your ratings were biased against consensus endorsement, not for. You speak to that further down ... I was already there well before I wrote this article, and that opinion has not changed.

      Even though it wasn't a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, since authors understand their own papers to a greater depth than we did just reading abstracts. But it was a very conscious effort to try to avoid exactly the problem you're considering.

      That does conform to my own impressions. If I was not clear about that in the head post, let this comment stand as my recognition of that.

      That said, my view is that a more "perfect" design would have not limited the team analysis to the abstract, but included the entire paper. I balance that against the effort required vs. resources available -- as you note, doing only the abstract ratings was not a trivial undertaking.

      While we're on it, I have a question about why the decision was made to NOT ask the authors their personal opinion based on the "sum total" of literature with which they're familiar. I get it that the main intent was to be a literature review, but why not also explicitly survey their personal expert opinion? I ask because C13 is commonly cited as evidence that "97% of experts agree: AGW is real and is potentially dangerous". Perhaps not in so many words, but the message is there, yet the survey instrument itself specifically instructed authors to NOT couch the level of endorsement of their own papers in terms of their own general opinion.

      The previous sentence is a significant point of discomfort for me.

      Though most people don't acknowledge this, I always felt this was a rather bold move on the part of John Cook to pick up on that suggestion and run with it.

      Acknowledged.

      When we applied the exact same rules for SkS ratings (1, 2, & 3's vs 5, 6 & 7's) to the author self-ratings we got almost identical results.

      Hmm. I disagree, but I think in SkS's favor ... eh ... I just noticed you left out category 4 (no position/uncertain). I have my own calcs on this, they're too unwieldy to post in a comment, so I'll add an update to the head post.

      Blah! So many typos. Not enough coffee.

      I can't spell for crap. Ask S(c)hollenberger.

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    19. BBD,

      C13 is social science, not physical climatology. Please do not confuse the disciplines.

      The distinction is quite clear to me, and I've often made that point in the past. I'm not inclined to recant on that bit.

      As for H16, the bruising review process was concrete evidence against this 'groupthink' meme the contrarians are so fond of.

      Recognized. The review process was itself bruisingly reviewed at ATTP's to name the example with which I'm most familiar. No argument from me that all of that is good, healthy scientific practise.

      Are you seriously arguing that the response to H16 *wasn't* an example of scientific vigilance for exactly this?

      No. Emphatically no. I'm saying the stakes are so large that exceptional scrutiny on my part is warranted for the general case -- sum of the whole -- more so because I'm presently devoting so much time to writing about AGW.

      I have never seen you write so incautiously or ill-advisedly, btw.

      I'll take that under advisement. I wrote 4 paragraphs in response which I'm going to spare you while I sit on and think about for a bit.

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    20. Brandon

      The distinction is quite clear to me, and I've often made that point in the past. I'm not inclined to recant on that bit.

      This came about because you answered my question (where else could the scientific consensus arise from but consilience of evidence?) with these words:

      Groupthink, motivated reasoning. I find evidence of that in C13, hence I deem it topical.

      Now, I read that as you conflating social science (C13) with physical climatology and stating that groupthink was responsible for some or all of the consensus regarding AGW. Have another look at the exchange and see what you think. I was - to put it mildly - horrified.

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  12. BBD,

    "I have a pet peeve too. It is being subjected to denialist rhetoric (see CB as quoted above and the rest of it) while being told that I cannot name it by name."

    You can go away anytime. You can call me denier all you want. It doesn't phase me (badge of honor?). I will continue to seek the truth while you continue with logical-fallacy obfuscatory drivel.

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    1. I will continue to seek the truth while you continue with logical-fallacy obfuscatory drivel.

      From the man who refuses to acknowledge that palaeoclimate and modelling are consilient lines of evidence that CO2 is an efficacious climate forcing.

      If you post denialist claptrap anywhere I see it, I will call it for what it is. Your sententious rhetoric about truth seeking is risible btw. Since you are clearly very keen to be taken seriously, you should drop it.

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    2. Chic... Both BBD and I are presenting what the overwhelming body of scientific research is saying. We're presenting what every prestigious scientific institution on the planet is saying.

      How can you possibly come to the conclusion that the entire field of scientific research is engaged in "logical-fallacy obfuscatory drivel"?

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    3. RobH,

      I've asked several times now with zip from you. Where is the data substantiating a temperature increase due to a specific incremental increase in atmospheric CO2? You probably know there is an equation which states that. Now where is the data that shows the equation correct?

      I can understand you saying you don't have time or some other valid excuse. But please don't ask me to take your word or the overwhelming body of scientific research for it. That is logical-fallacy obfuscatory drivel.

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    4. And off we go, down the demand for impossible standard of evidence rabbit hole. A weary old contrarian rhetorical trick. Anything to make us look away from the facts which include an enduring best estimate for ECS per doubling of about ~3C.

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    5. "I've asked several times now with zip from you."

      Then you're not listening because I've been giving you information. What you're asking for is a specific, fixed figure for climate sensitivity and the equation that proves that. That is ample evidence that you DO NOT understand even the first thing about CS.

      I've shown you that we can SEE the radiative signature of CO2. I've explained that you can see the change in that signature over time. I've shown you the most recent AR4 radiative forcing chart which clearly states that we have a "very high" level of scientific understanding of that aspect of the science.

      I'm putting the information in front of you but I can't make you understand it.

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    7. I'm consolidating responses to your three previous comments here.

      "I'm putting the information in front of you but I can't make you understand it."

      What is your objective here? Are you trying to convince me of a consensus or that CO2 sensitivity has been quantitated? Please be more specific. I'll try to be as well.

      I think there would be no consensus on climate change if specific questions were addressed to knowledgeable surveyants. Your posts here confirm that. IMO arguing consensus is religious, but if you have a specific issue with any of my statements, we can discuss them one at a time.

      On the subject of CO2 sensitivity, you claim that quantification is NOT unknown and is known with a reasonably high level of confidence. Confidence level is a statistical term that refers to experimental data. It is not a poll of how certain scientists are of their opinions.

      I asked you specifically for data that quantitates what temperature increase will result from an increase in CO2 with all other factors constant. Your answer was "that's just climate sensitivity" as if you were unaware of the distinction between general climate sensitivity for which CO2 as a proxy for all factors influencing global temperatures versus specifically the climate sensitivity that refers to the temperature increase that would result from an incremental increase in CO2. Do you understand the difference and why it is crucial to investigate the latter separately. I would appreciate you putting my objective in your own words so I know you get it.

      After claiming sensitivity known to a high level of confidence, you proceeded to explain how CS can't be less than 2 K because "the earth managed to get out of deep glaciation events most likely through CO2 build up." Most likely is a buzz word related to experimental evidence constrained by statistical analysis of data. In the thousands of papers you've read, is there one that has this data with confidence levels showing CO2 build up definitively caused warming?

      You referred to CS research with up to 10 K per doubling of CO2. I can show you papers which argue 0.1 K per doubling. This is why I say no one knows what CS is. Your response:

      "We do not know the EXACT figure for CS but such a level of precision isn't necessary in order to understand how critical it is that we take action on carbon emissions." Followed by "CS estimates are constrained enough that we know, even on the lower end probabilities, we have a very serious problem that requires action now."

      That is just wrong. CS estimates are constrained only by the assumptions of those making the assumptions and they are confounded with temperature sensitivity to CO2 vs. all the other factors involved.

      "This is hard science, Chic. It's just not quite that simple. No one can put it all in a tiny little box and put a little ribbon on it in order to make you happy. Understanding CS is very complex."

      This is where I don't understand what you think I don't know and what you are trying to get me to understand. The climate science you are describing is not hard science. Hard science is hypothesis, experiment, repeat, validate, etc. A consilience of evidence is not conclusive. Call it soft science if you want.

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    8. Hard science takes a hypothesis such as "the bite in the atmosphere's absorption spectrum where CO2 absorbs has no effect on global temperatures" and then plans experiments to prove the null hypothesis false. Elaborate models and programs have been developed which correlate the radiation difference expected from a given change in the composition of the atmosphere due to CO2. Brandon has been verifying that here on his blog. What has not been done is to show that that radiation difference actually does translate into any amount of temperature change. The reasons are obvious. The atmosphere is not easily controlled for. Spectrograms are snapshots not videos. Everyday the sun comes up and wind turns the air upside down. AFAIK, there is no climate model that describes that process correctly. Let me know if I'm wrong.

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    9. Lot's of stuff here. I'll go one at a time...

      "Are you trying to convince me of a consensus or that CO2 sensitivity has been quantitated? Please be more specific."

      I'm telling you that CS is quantified within a range with the most likely value being right about 3°C for 2XCO2. That's been the case for well over 60 years.

      http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/images/climate_sensitivity_lg.gif

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    10. "Confidence level is a statistical term that refers to experimental data. It is not a poll of how certain scientists are of their opinions. "

      No one has stated that it is anything other than that.

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    11. "Do you understand the difference and why it is crucial to investigate the latter separately. I would appreciate you putting my objective in your own words so I know you get it."

      Do you understand that CS is merely a measure of response to radiative forcing, regardless of the source? Solar or volcanic don't have a difference CS. The differences you get are time dependent. Thus my question to you about whether you understand TCS, ECS and earth systems CS.

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    12. "You referred to CS research with up to 10 K per doubling of CO2. I can show you papers which argue 0.1 K per doubling. This is why I say no one knows what CS is."

      a) Give me a link to a paper that shows 0.1°C for CS.

      b) IF you find it, you best read it first.

      c) If you read the papers that state 10°C you will also read passages in those papers about why those researchers believe they got such high CS responses in their data.

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    13. "That is just wrong. CS estimates are constrained only by the assumptions of those making the assumptions and they are confounded with temperature sensitivity to CO2 vs. all the other factors involved. "

      No, this is not wrong, Chic. CS is constrained by empirical research where researchers can identify what is possible and what is not possible, or what is likely and what is not likely. Hence the points about glacial-interglacial cycles and deep glaciation events.

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    14. "A consilience of evidence is not conclusive."

      Evidence:
      a) You're standing in the middle of the road in the bus lane.
      b) There is a bus that travels this route numerous times per day.
      c) There are other passengers waiting nearby at the bus stop.
      d) You can hear the sound of a bus' brakes.
      e) A person on the other side of the street is screaming the word "MOVE!"
      f) A person behind you on the curb just made the comment that statistically people almost never get hit by busses.

      There is some conflicting data in this scenario. In essence, there is a level of uncertainty coming from the data. No piece of data absolutely confirms a specific outcome. But the consilience of data suggests that it's highly likely you're about to be hit by a bus and thus should probably take immediate action.

      You want us to ignore the consilience, focus on the lack of absolute certainty, and base our actions on the from the guy standing on the curb.

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    15. "Let me know if I'm wrong."

      You are deeply and profoundly wrong on so many points in that one short paragraph.

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    16. Chic Bowdrie

      After claiming sensitivity known to a high level of confidence, you proceeded to explain how CS can't be less than 2 K because "the earth managed to get out of deep glaciation events most likely through CO2 build up." Most likely is a buzz word related to experimental evidence constrained by statistical analysis of data. In the thousands of papers you've read, is there one that has this data with confidence levels showing CO2 build up definitively caused warming?

      As a useful thought experiment, let's consider the Snowball Earth conundrum. How does the climate system break out of an albedo-locked icehouse? Why aren't we still stuck in the Marinoan glaciation?

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    17. BBD,

      Good questions all, I know for sure I have more questions than answers. Frex, why did Snowball Earth happen in the first place, and what were GHG levels like before and during those episodes? I'm aware that continental configuration is one factor, but don't know many details.

      Seems one of us could make an article of it. My plate is full, and I'm feeling a bit out of my depth here. [nudge nudge]

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    19. Next question: why did Chic dodge the previous question?

      Frex, why did Snowball Earth happen in the first place, and what were GHG levels like before and during those episodes?

      See here, Brandon.

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  13. con't from Brandon R. Gates March 30, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    "Difficult question for me to answer as written due to my established aversion to the word "proof" in the context of

    non-trivial empirical sciences."

    Sorry. I should have seen that coming. Let's see if I can rephrase the question. What hypothesis am I devoted to for which the debate over it has been settled? I don't have to go farther off topic rehashing the gravito-thermal effect to point out that it is not settled nor do I consider it fringe. You may, of course.

    "I should make a distinction here that I consider some worldviews better evidenced/argued than

    others. Who doesn't, amirite?"

    That sounds a bit circular. Is this hypothesis wrong? It comes from a world view different than mine. My world view is correct. Therefore, the hypothesis must be wrong.

    "My knee-jerk reply is a stock answer: the implication is that truth can only be established by anti-authorities."

    That has to be facetious. Truth is altruistic. When a given empirical/theoretical proposition conflicts with a truth-seeker's ideology, the truth-seeker first checks his/her gut for bias and then forms a logical argument to explain the conflict. No arguments by assertion or appeals to authority or name calling.

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    1. Chic,

      Sorry. I should have seen that coming.

      I'm sorry if I come across as a pedantic pain in the arse on it, but I feel very strongly that "definitive proof" is an elusive, if not impossible, standard to achieve for sufficiently complex systems. Planetary-scale physics definitely qualifies in my book.

      Let's see if I can rephrase the question. What hypothesis am I devoted to for which the debate over it has been settled?

      Better, but now you've loaded the question with the word "settled". I probably deserve that for having used words like "fringe" and "crankish".

      A question I can answer without stumbling is: What hypothesis am I devoted to that you think wrong?

      So, gravito-thermal is the latest. Lots of things more directly related to AGW, but convection/lapse rate being a thing which minimizes radiative forcing is a biggie. CO2 "saturation" is a major one -- I'm quite confident you're flat out wrong on that one.

      I don't have to go farther off topic rehashing the gravito-thermal effect to point out that it is not settled nor do I consider it fringe. You may, of course.

      I do consider it fringe. That's not necessarily a bad thing. You and I both know I consider it crankish, which is more decidedly negative.

      That sounds a bit circular. Is this hypothesis wrong? It comes from a world view different than mine. My world view is correct. Therefore, the hypothesis must be wrong.

      A conclusion is only as good as its premises. So, IF and only IF the worldview is demonstrably correct, there's no logical problem with that construction stated in such terms of absolute certainty.

      That has to be facetious.

      It is, but it speaks to my level of frustration when I *believe* that my opposition isn't listening to reason and/or is nesting logical fallacies two- or three-deep in the space of a few sentences.

      Truth is altruistic. When a given empirical/theoretical proposition conflicts with a truth-seeker's ideology, the truth-seeker first checks his/her gut for bias and then forms a logical argument to explain the conflict. No arguments by assertion or appeals to authority or name calling.

      I think that's how it should be. What I think I know of the sum total of the human condition is that it almost *never* works that way. There's almost always some unproven postulate or assumption we *want* to believe is valid, and from which all further arguments follow. Sometimes we get lucky and the weak link turns out to be correct. I haven't used this one in a while, I'll close with it because it's relevant and one of my favs:

      A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

      ~Max Planck, Wissenschaftliche Selbstbiographie. Mit einem Bildnis und der von Max von Laue gehaltenen Traueransprache. Johann Ambrosius Barth Verlag (Leipzig 1948), p. 22, as translated in Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. F. Gaynor (New York, 1949), pp. 33–34 (as cited in T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions).

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    2. Brandon,

      "A conclusion is only as good as its premises. So, IF and only IF the worldview is demonstrably correct, there's no logical problem with that construction stated in such terms of absolute certainty."

      That's unclear. Making value judgments on a worldview is one thing, but arguments are another. A world view is like an opinion and it belongs to the individual having it. An argument is shared. Regardless of the world view or premises on which it is based, a conclusion is either right or wrong. So to seek the truth rather than just win an argument, one should try to understand the world view of the person with whom one argues.

      "It is, but it speaks to my level of frustration when I *believe* that my opposition isn't listening to reason and/or is nesting logical fallacies two- or three-deep in the space of a few sentences."

      Where does the nesting logical fallacies comes from? Note your use of the word opposition. Am I your opposition or your partner in search of the truth? We are sparring mates, not enemies.

      Nice Max Planck quote, apart from the opponent image.

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    3. Chic,

      A world view is like an opinion and it belongs to the individual having it.

      Ideally, a world view would be based on indisputable fact and bomb-proof logic. They clearly aren't. What I'm getting at there is that a good number of people I've wandered across apparently think their worldview is undeniably correct, e.g., evolution is obviously false because Genesis 1:25 (KJV) reads:

      And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

      You ever read William (Matt) Briggs? Prior to my stint at WUWT, his was my main online hangout, and he's full of arguments in that vein.

      An argument is shared. Regardless of the world view or premises on which it is based, a conclusion is either right or wrong.

      Sure. Here's the thing: I'd like to think that my world view is based on valid premises and arguments. Regardless of how well I achieve that goal (or don't), it's how I think it *should* work.

      So to seek the truth rather than just win an argument, one should try to understand the world view of the person with whom one argues.

      I agree with that -- it's what I was taught throughout my formative years.

      Where does the nesting logical fallacies comes from?

      Years of experience arguing with people, online and off. dbstealey is probably my best most recent example.

      Note your use of the word opposition. Am I your opposition or your partner in search of the truth? We are sparring mates, not enemies.

      I don't think of you as an enemy. All the others, yes, depending on context of the conversation, my current mood, etc. An online friend, but not an ally.

      I never did get to writing a full post on my thoughts about rational belief. Short version is that at some point I often make a conscious decision to believe. Not always, but often. When it comes to science, a lot of the time it comes down to me playing the odds, which is in and of itself based on a conscious belief that when consensus on a given proposition emerges it's generally more correct than not. Hard sciences, mind. Soft science papers I tend to think of as peer-reviewed op eds.

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  14. RobH,

    Part II: Consilience of the evidence.

    I thought your bus scenario was clever. Fortunately we aren't faced with a split second decision regarding climate change.

    Here's a scenario for you. Appealing to an overwhelming body of evidence is a classic example of a bandwagon logical fallacy. The overwhelming body of evidence suggests the suspect committed the murder. Never mind that the suspect was out of the country at the time.

    I don't want to ignore any evidence. It's the critical evidence that I think is being ignored.

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    1. "Appealing to an overwhelming body of evidence is a classic example of a bandwagon logical fallacy. The overwhelming body of evidence suggests the suspect committed the murder. Never mind that the suspect was out of the country at the time."

      In that situation you, again, have contradictory evidence. Right? If you have an overwhelming body of evidence showing the suspect committed the murder and only one piece of evidence saying s/he was out of the country... I think I'd be very suspicious of that single piece of evidence.

      That's not to say you ignore that evidence. But you would certainly take a much harder look at where it comes from.

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    2. "Fortunately we aren't faced with a split second decision regarding climate change."

      Are we not?

      It's my understanding that, on the normally geological scales that these processes normally operate under, we are creating a relatively instantaneous change in the earth's atmospheric composition. As mentioned before, that is where a great deal of uncertainty comes from. There are no past events that are analogous to what we face today.

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    3. "That's not to say you ignore that evidence. But you would certainly take a much harder look at where it comes from."

      Precisely. That is what I am doing. I explain this further in part III.

      "There are no past events that are analogous to what we face today."

      Not sure that is true, as we can't go back and check under the same conditions as we have today. Regardless, the hypothesis that a change in CO2 is the cause of any temperature change has not been verified. So you are proposing a shoot-first-ask=questions-later scenario.

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  15. Part III: What my hypothesis is and why its wrong.

    "You are deeply and profoundly wrong on so many points in that one short paragraph."

    That should have been "let me know HOW I'm wrong."

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    1. First off, you started with a hypothesis that was the same as the null. Thus, what you created is a double negative.

      Let's just start by going back to basic principles, Chic. Do you accept that the atmosphere of our planet has a greenhouse effect?

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    2. Testing the null hypothesis is a standard experimental procedure. What is your science background? I'm in the twilight of a 40-year career as a research scientist.

      I don't support the use of a GH analogy. I'll cut to the chase for you. The atmosphere and the surface would be warmer than a black body even without any gases that absorb radiation. I call those gases IR-active (IRAGs). Some gases are UV-visible and shortwave IR active and warm the atmosphere.

      We will never know what the temperatures would result from an IR-free atmosphere, but I would predict wide diurnal swings such as you have on the moon. The surface will heat up to higher temperatures during the day because of less efficient convection without IRAGs. The nights would be much colder without downward longwave IR and clouds. So the addition of IR-active gases to the atmosphere will moderate the daily high and low temperatures.

      An hypothetical discussion is whether or not the average global temperature would be greater or less with an atmosphere devoid of IRAGs. But that is for another day.

      The main question I'm interested in is whether further increases in CO2 will have any significant difference given the overwhelming effect of water vapor. Not only does it cool the surface during the day, it cools 24/7 by evaporation dumping the heat in the upper troposphere where additional CO2 likely facilitates more cooling. Simple models will not handle these dynamics properly. This is why I am interested in the CO2 sensitivity extricated from other forcing and feedback effects.

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    3. "I'm in the twilight of a 40-year career as a research scientist."
      That's excellent. Then you should have the skill sets to comprehend all this stuff. What disturbs me here is that you've started from a point where you completely dismiss vast swaths of scientific research accumulated over 150 years. That's NOT a very good starting point. That's not "null hypothesis." That's just belligerent rejection. Surely you would agree that you have to actually read the research first in order start to offer up potential problems in the science.

      "I don't support the use of a GH analogy."
      Yes, everyone understands that the atmosphere doesn't act like an actual greenhouse. What I'm asking is, do you accept the "greenhouse effect."

      I'll cut to the chase for you. The atmosphere and the surface would be warmer than a black body even without any gases that absorb radiation. I call those gases IR-active (IRAGs). Some gases are UV-visible and shortwave IR active and warm the atmosphere."

      That's at least a start.

      "
      The main question I'm interested in is whether further increases in CO2 will have any significant difference given the overwhelming effect of water vapor."


      Okay. I hope this is a real question instead of a method to reject what you don't want to come to terms with. I'll lean toward the former for the purposes of this conversation.

      There are several things I think you're probably missing in this question. First is, as I'm sure you're aware, is temperature dependent, thus, it is limited to acting as a feedback.

      It's also limited in it's mixing in the atmosphere since it freezes out at a relatively low altitude and latitude. CO2, conversely, is a well-mixed, non-condensing gas with a long lifetime in our atmosphere. You get similar concentrations from pole to pole and through the full column of the troposphere.

      I hope you'd also be aware that CO2 operates in a specific window that WV doesn't. So, even where WV is present you still get a radiative forcing from CO2. And then all the re-radiated IR above and outside of where WV is prevalent you still have CO2 in all its radiative bands acting on the atmosphere.

      "This is why I am interested in the CO2 sensitivity extricated from other forcing and feedback effects."

      This should be a slam dunk then since even prominent contrarian climate scientists (the few that there are) like Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen completely accept the research that shows the direct CS of CO2 is 1°C per 2XCO2.

      "Simple models will not handle these dynamics properly."

      When you make statements like this I would appreciate if you could produce links to the research that supports this. As I understand it, models do handle all these dynamics. These are just elements that are coded to and bounded to the physical processes.

      There's a good lecture by Gavin Schmidt that you should watch about this very thing. It's a well spent 12 minutes.
      https://www.ted.com/talks/gavin_schmidt_the_emergent_patterns_of_climate_change?language=en

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    4. "Not only does it cool the surface during the day, it cools 24/7 by evaporation dumping the heat in the upper troposphere where additional CO2 likely facilitates more cooling."

      Here all you're talking about is heat transport within the climate system. That neither adds nor subtracts any actual energy from the system. It's just heat being moved from one location to another.

      What we're talking about are changes in the composition of the atmosphere which cause the system to either accumulate or dissipate heat within the entire climate system of land, atmosphere, ice and ocean.

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    5. Here all you're talking about is heat transport within the climate system. That neither adds nor subtracts any actual energy from the system. It's just heat being moved from one location to another.

      As far as I can tell, this is one of the conceptual lacunae in CB's view of atmospheric physics. (There have been other threads...)

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    6. RobH,

      I need to know your level of scientific expertise. I may be assuming you know more than you do. Let's not waste each other's time.

      "It's also limited in it's mixing in the atmosphere since it freezes out at a relatively low altitude and latitude."

      The "freezing out" releases latent heat extracted from the ocean. This cools the surface and heats the troposphere resulting in a substantial percentage of the heat transfer process from the surface to space. It doesn't just move heat around.

      "So, even where WV is present you still get a radiative forcing from CO2. And then all the re-radiated IR above and outside of where WV is prevalent you still have CO2 in all its radiative bands acting on the atmosphere."

      Yes. And that CO2 constantly emits radiation to space. Why wouldn't more CO2 be able to emit more radiation?

      "This should be a slam dunk then since even prominent contrarian climate scientists (the few that there are) like Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen completely accept the research that shows the direct CS of CO2 is 1°C per 2XCO2."

      Spencer and Lindzen do seem to accept the standard 1 K per CO2 doubling. They concentrate on the feedback effects. I don't know of any research they have done on radiative-convective models.

      "As I understand it, models do handle all these dynamics."

      Yes, but they aren't accurate enough and that could be because all the dynamics aren't properly accounted for. Gavin Schmidt did not show or explain why the model predictions have been wrong. Therefore the conclusion about CO2 being the cause is premature.

      If you will provide your scientific credentials, I will provide further details on how the models may not properly integrate all the dynamic factors involved.

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    7. Yes. And that CO2 constantly emits radiation to space. Why wouldn't more CO2 be able to emit more radiation?

      Because adding more CO2 raises the altitude of effective emission and *decreases* efficiency of radiation to space. You seemed to stumble over this a bit last time round, IRRC.

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    8. Where are the experiments that measure this increase in AEE?

      Delete
    9. I've told you my level of scientific expertise. I have broad but not necessarily deep knowledge of climate science. I make no claims to be a climate scientist. I have taken the time to read several thousand research papers related to many climate issues. I'm in regular contact with some of the leading climate researchers, many of whom have even been to my home. I have been involved in the the climate change issue for about 10 years now. I've participated in a couple of published research papers.

      But, all of that is neither here nor there. Whether I'm a dog catcher or head of the AAAS wouldn't exactly change anything about the science. If I get something wrong I think you'll find me capable, even eager, to learn from my error.

      After I posted that last comment and then had to run out the door, I thought of Dr. Richard Alley's lecture titled "The Biggest Control Knob." I honestly think you might get a lot out of it, if you haven't seen it already. https://vimeo.com/34099316

      "The "freezing out" releases latent heat extracted from the ocean. This cools the surface and heats the troposphere resulting in a substantial percentage of the heat transfer process from the surface to space. It doesn't just move heat around."

      That clearly IS moving the heat around, Chic. That is the process of ocean-atmosphere coupling. http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/o_atm.html

      Both the ocean and the atmosphere are part of the climate system. That release of latent heat is just moving energy from the oceans to the atmosphere. That does NOT change the net radiative balance of the planet.

      "Yes. And that CO2 constantly emits radiation to space. Why wouldn't more CO2 be able to emit more radiation?"

      In addition to what BBD said, CO2 slows the re-radiation of IR to space. Think of what happens to IR when it interacts with a CO2 molecule. The IR excites the CO2 and the energy is re-radiated. Right? But it's re-radiated in all directions, not just up. Some is re-radiated back down, to the side, etc where it eventually interacts with other CO2 molecules, and so on. That absorption and re-radiation process acts to slow the rate IR is emitted to space, thus warming the planet.

      "They concentrate on the feedback effects. I don't know of any research they have done on radiative-convective models."

      Lindzen tends to be very dismissive of anything having to do with computer modeling, and I think that's probably because his primary body of research was done before the computer age. AFAIK he's not done any complex research involving computers or modeling. That said, Lindzen does accept that the direct CS of CO2 is 1°C. And that guy is as hardened a contrarian as you get.

      Spencer, on the other hand, clearly does do modeling. Satellite data is completely worthless data without modeling. And while he doesn't specifically do climate modeling, his algorithms (models) certainly would be related to radiative-convective processes. He's been very vocal in the past on the direct radiative forcing of CO2.

      "Gavin Schmidt did not show or explain why the model predictions have been wrong. Therefore the conclusion about CO2 being the cause is premature."

      This skates along the classic "skeptic" canard that this is all just flawed models, and I hope that's not what you're trying to put forth. GCM's certainly do not form the basis of our understanding of man-made climate change. We know we have a problem completely independent of climate models. As Schmidt notes, climate models just help us understand everything better. They are "instructive."

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    10. If you absolutely need a specifically credentialed climate scientist to explain these things, I would suggest watching the Richard Alley lecture. If you need information that's more detailed about a specific aspect of the science, I can certainly get in touch with someone who is a fully credentialed expert. Through them I can locate the right published research for you to check out. And then, if you need more information than that, you could always contact those authors directly.

      Delete
    11. Chic B

      Where are the experiments that measure this increase in AEE?

      If you make the atmosphere more opaque in the IR, you would 'see' less deeply into it from space (in IR, of course). So the AEE *must* rise as CO2 concentration increases. It is worrying that you seem unable to conceptualise this despite repeated explanation.

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    12. I'm not interested in conceptualizations, arguments by assertion, etc. Data, measurements, please.

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  16. "Lot's of stuff here. I'll go one at a time..."

    I moved down here to group my responses into three parts. I. Climate sensitivity. II. Consilience/Consensus. III. What my hypothesis is and why its wrong.

    Part I. "I'm telling you that CS is quantified within a range with the most likely value being right about 3°C for 2XCO2."

    Thank you for the link to Dr. Mandia's web site. I read his review including the paper summarizing the CS estimates. I didn't read any of the papers yet, because I hoped you might be familiar with at least one that showed how a "most likely" confidence limit is determined from an estimate. I found this quote from Hansen (2008) paper: "Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 425±75 ppm." Where did the CO2 go, RobH?

    "No one has stated that [confidence level] is anything other than that."

    Yet every fact you quote refers to "most likely" rather than a p value or a confidence level. How do you calculate the "most likely" CS sensitivity value?

    "Do you understand that CS is merely a measure of response to radiative forcing, regardless of the source?"

    Yes, I said that and then asked you to explain why I think it is important to independently consider the question of what temperature rise can be expected from CO2 alone. Do you understand why that is important to me? Answer in part III.

    "a) Give me a link to a paper that shows 0.1°C for CS."

    After several tries posting this part with links, I give up. I'll try one at a time.

    "CS is constrained by empirical research where researchers can identify what is possible and what is not possible, or what is likely and what is not likely."

    What criteria is used to decide what is possible and not possible, or likely and what is not likely? Depending on what criteria is chosen, one gets a different result. I'm not saying CS is zero. I simply reject your claim that CS is well-quantitated when everyone is using different methods to determine it and coming up with values all over the place. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you think CS is well-quantitated, I'm happy for you.

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    1. "Where did the CO2 go, RobH?"

      See: Silicate rock weathering processes.
      http://www.columbia.edu/~vjd1/carbon.htm

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    2. "Yet every fact you quote refers to "most likely" rather than a p value or a confidence level. How do you calculate the "most likely" CS sensitivity value?"

      Peak of the distribution curve. Or with CS, averaging out lots of CS studies and looking at the peak of the distribution.

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    3. "...important to independently consider the question of what temperature rise can be expected from CO2 alone."

      Yes. And I gave you the figure of 1°C for the direct effect of CO2 per 2XCO2, including the radiative forcing chart from AR4 indicating that researchers have a "very high" level of scientific understanding of that element of radiative forcing.

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    4. "What criteria is used to decide what is possible and not possible..."

      Physics.

      Look, all the pieces of the puzzle have to fit. You can't put forth a concept that contradicts everything else researchers currently understand and expect that it's going to be accepted. In order to have results that contradict other research a scientist must also then explain why other research may likely be wrong.

      This creates a very high bar for contrarians since with AGW there are an extremely large number of aspects of the science that are fundamentally consistent with the concept that CO2 is the biggest control knob acting on global temperature.

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    5. "I simply reject your claim that CS is well-quantitated when everyone is using different methods to determine it and coming up with values all over the place. "

      I simply don't get how you can completely make up stuff like this.

      No, CS values are NOT "all over the place." They are bounded by physics and fall into clear ranges. You don't get CS figures of 30°C. You don't get CS that are negative values. You also DO get CS figures that consistently show values that are consistent with the methods used for estimation. TCS estimates show lower estimates. Earth systems estimates show higher figures. Estimates that include methane releases show higher CS.

      Again, the IPCC 2-4.5°C range comes from a very broad range of estimates based on many methods and many published research papers.

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    6. Photosynthesis and ocean sediments are the two CO2 sinks, correct? What would cause those processes to exceed the source processes? Would temperature be more likely to cause the changes or temperature change to be caused by them?

      To my question about calculating the "most likely" CS sensitivity value, you answered:

      "Peak of the distribution curve. Or with CS, averaging out lots of CS studies and looking at the peak of the distribution."

      OK, so if I pick one of the CS papers, I will find averages from lots of individual CS studies. I'll have a look and get back to you.

      "And I gave you the figure of 1°C for the direct effect of CO2 per 2XCO2...."

      But you didn't tell me how the researchers got that value. This comes up in part III, so let's let it go for now. Suffice to say to my knowledge, there are no physical measurements showing where a doubling of CO2 causes a 1 K rise in temperature. Therefore no way to attach a p value indicating any level of statistical certainty.

      "You can't put forth a concept that contradicts everything else researchers currently understand...."

      You haven't restated my concept and until you do I can't be sure what you're talking about. What I'm questioning is your opinion that CS is well-quantitated. You are entitled to that opinion. I just have a different one.

      "I simply don't get how you can completely make up stuff like this."

      Obviously you are satisfied with the range of CS estimates. Fine. I'm not saying they are wrong, although they could be. I'm saying they aren't well-quantitated. Apparently you think they are, but you haven't explained why in scientific statistical terms.

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    7. Photosynthesis and ocean sediments are the two CO2 sinks, correct? What would cause those processes to exceed the source processes? Would temperature be more likely to cause the changes or temperature change to be caused by them?

      Over geological time, atmospheric CO2 levels are modulated by the balance between tectonic activity (release) and sequestration by biogeochemical sinks. For example, subduction of carbonate-rich marine sediments beneath a continental plate increases CO2 release. Orogenesis increases drawdown by weathering.

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    8. And what does that have to do with evidence that temperature is affected by CO2?

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    9. You asked a question and I answered it. I've already answered the question about CO2 and climate in several different ways.

      Here - again - is the quote from Hansen et al. (2008):

      The large (~14°C) Cenozoic temperature change between 50 My and the ice age at 20 ky must have been forced by changes of atmospheric composition. Alternative drives could come from outside (solar irradiance) or the Earth’s surface (continental locations). But solar brightness increased ~0.4% in the Cenozoic (41), a linear forcing change of only +1 W/m2 and of the wrong sign to contribute to the cooling trend. Climate forcing due to continental locations was < 1 W/m2, because continents 65 My ago were already close to present latitudes (Fig. S9). Opening
      or closing of oceanic gateways might affect the timing of glaciation, but it would not provide the climate forcing needed for global cooling.

      CO2 concentration, in contrast, varied from ~180 ppm in glacial times to 1500 ± 500 ppm in the early Cenozoic (42). This change is a forcing of more than 10 W/m2 (Table 1 in 15), an order of magnitude larger than other known forcings. CH4 and N2O, positively correlated with CO2 and global temperature in the period with accurate data (ice cores), likely increase the total GHG forcing, but their forcings are much smaller than that of CO2 (43, 44).


      It is very, very difficult to explain the gradual cooling of the Cenozoic unless you accept that by far the most significant forcing change was CO2. By far.

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    10. Your and Hansen's understanding is based on the acceptance of a hypothesis that CO2 drives a temperature change of 1 K per doubling and feedback amplification. The evidence is basically from two sources. Paleoclimatology which is a causation by correlation argument and radiative transfer models that do not verify experimentally how much an increase in CO2 affects temperature. That leaves major gaps in the AGW hypothesis. I am interested in nailing down exactly how much, if any, an incremental increase in CO2 will have on global temperatures. I only care about data that shows the effect is greater than the null hypothesis. I'm not interested in arguments by assertion and correlations.

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    11. "OK, so if I pick one of the CS papers, I will find averages from lots of individual CS studies. I'll have a look and get back to you."

      Ah... No. In one CS paper you're going to find the distribution curve for that method. If you look at another CS paper you'll find the distribution curve for their method. Each method and each approach is going to be a little different. It's when you take all these combined that you get a broad estimation of CS.

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    12. I'm not interested in arguments by assertion and correlations.

      Hansen isn't arguing from assertion, Chic, and nor am I. If you dispute the analysis of Cenozoic forcing change and temperature change in H08, you are going to have to provide a better model. Asserting that it is wrong isn't sufficient.

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    13. "Suffice to say to my knowledge, there are no physical measurements showing where a doubling of CO2 causes a 1 K rise in temperature."

      I'd suggest reading AR4 WG1, chapter 2.
      http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf

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    14. "I'm saying they aren't well-quantitated."

      Then you'd be required to qualify what you mean by "well-quantified."

      I'm telling you that CS estimates have remained around 3°C since the time of Svante Arrhenius. A lot of work has gone into constraining that figure and the probability distribution is constrained to that 2-4.5°C range. Below 2°C is a very low probability. Above 4.5°C is a very low probability. The most likely figure remains in that narrow range around 3°C.

      BUT... that entire range is inclusive of potentially dangerous climate change on a business-as-usual carbon emissions pathway.

      "Well-quantified" is a relative term. How qualified does it need to be to tell us to take action when currently the entire quantified range is potentially dangerous? Narrowing the range to 2.5-4.0°C will result in exactly the same conclusion.

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    15. Your and Hansen's understanding is based on the acceptance of a hypothesis that CO2 drives a temperature change of 1 K per doubling and feedback amplification. The evidence is basically from two sources. Paleoclimatology which is a causation by correlation argument and radiative transfer models that do not verify experimentally how much an increase in CO2 affects temperature. That leaves major gaps in the AGW hypothesis.

      Both palaeoclimate and modelling are independent lines of evidence that are consilient. There is also the otherwise inexplicable modern warming to account for - warming already well in excess of the no-feedbacks value for CO2 alone.

      I find the central problem with your discourse at the moment to be a tactical refusal to consider a very large body of consilient evidence on the basis of a demand for an impossible level of proof. That's got rather more to do with rhetoric and ClimateBall that with open scientific discussion.

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    16. "...based on the acceptance of a hypothesis that CO2 drives a temperature change of 1 K per doubling and feedback amplification."

      Let me get this straight.

      All you're looking for is the research that shows 1°C for the direct forcing response for CO2?

      That's all you're looking for?

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