the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Dana’s Planet

Posted by Jeff Id on April 20, 2013

UPDATE: Nic Lewis left this interesting comment down below -

Actually, in Chapter 9 of AR4 WG1, dealing with observationally-constrained estimates of climate sensitivity, the IPCC only discuss medians and modes. Not a mean in sight! And it refers to the mode as the “best estimate”. Nor does Figure 9.20 (where the estimated PDFs for climate sensitivity from Forest 2006 and other studies are shown, labelled EQUILIBRIUM climate sensitivity) mark the means. And Forest 2006 itself only reported the mode.

So I’m not being either misleading on any count, or misrepresenting anything. But Dana is both misrepresenting my study and being misleading. What a surprise.

 

Skeptical Science has another silly post up which attempts to pick at the edges of Nic Lewis’s climate sensitivity paper.  They titled the critique “Climate Sensitivity Single Study Syndrome, Nic Lewis Edition”  We all know that Skeptical Science is filled with those who are certain that oil money is brown and corrupts minds, while government money is green and makes scientists infallible.  I normally ignore the site but WUWT pointed me to it and sometimes SS is a bit of fun:

It’s most important not to fall into the trap of thinking that any single study will overturn a vast body of scientific evidence, derived from many different sources of data (or as Andrew Revkin calls this, single-study syndrome).

It isn’t the quote which caught my attention but Dana’s ankle-biting point here forgets much more important quotes from much smarter people.

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”– Albert Einstein

Nic’s study found a best probability climate sensitivity of 1.6C/doubling CO2, now there should be nothing inherently wrong with that number but the know-nothings at Skeptical Science realize that it falls below their preferred sky-is-falling-so-we-need-to-empower-the-UN-and-stop-capitalism goals.     In other words, 1.6C would mean that there is no immediate doom on which to base their already ridiculously self-destructive political intent on.  Shame that eh?  So we get a bunch of emotion from their crowd.

Unfortunately for Dana (and the rest of the crowd there), there is a large body of evidence which has been piling up against these high climate sensitivity models.   MMH10 for instance, showed that the mean of the primary climate models is running statistically outside of observation, Lucia has done a number of posts to that effect.   Recently Roy Spencer put up a post showing the same problem.

From Dr. Roy Spencer, experiment vs observation:

CMIP5-global-LT-vs-UAH-and-RSS[1]

This is one of my favorite plots from MMH10, which shows the same thing as Dr. Spencer with a bit of added stats.

MMH10 also has this plot:

Then there is this one from Chad Herman that incorporates surface temperature measurements:

tas-trends-20c3m-a1b-global[1]

Although surface temperatures are closer to the models than lower troposphere, again and again, the shotgun of government funded model simulations runs high against observation.  It is only in politicized forms of science where actual observations that contradict theory are rubbed out.  You would think the models would move instead.  Chucking unloved temperature proxies out in paleoclimate is another great example of theory trumping observation.

Anyway, there is hardly only one avenue of data which supports Nic’s lower sensitivity as Dana’s article implies.   The claim is so off the wall that it leaves one wondering why they would pull the wool over their readers eyes.  What caught my attention though was just how hard Dana was working away at Nic’s ankle bone.  I’m taking the whole paragraph this time, because it is that funny:

Even though Lewis refers specifically to “equilibrium climate sensitivity,” The methodology used by Lewis is also not even necessarily an estimate of equilibrium sensitivity, but rather of effective climate sensitivity, which is a somewhat different parameter.  The two may hypothetically be the same if all energy changes in the global climate system are accounted for (and to their credit, Forest and Lewis do include estimates of ocean heat content, including for the deep oceans), and if climate feedbacks remain constant.  However, recent research by Armour et al. (2012) suggests that the latter may not be the case.

I literally laughed out loud when I read this paragraph.  So the argument becomes first, don’t trust a single paper, then if you do trust it, don’t forget that climate sensitivity may change based on unknown and unmodeled factors which SS has just spent like 5 years telling us don’t exist. I do happen to agree that climate sensitivity is not a fixed number, so does everyone else, but Nic was estimating equilibrium sensitivity on this planet ….today… How this potential change in future sensitivity refutes Nic’s work can only be understood on Dana’s planet but it sure sounded foreboding.

After this paragraph, Dana moved on to some paleo-studies demonstrating high sensitivity from proxies which only a silly person would give the same credibility as present day measured data.    To finish it all off, Dana then humorously attacked Nic’s accuracy in claiming agreement with Aldrin et al.

One significant issue in Lewis’ paper (in his abstract, in fact) is that in trying to show that his result is not an outlier, he claims that Aldrin et al. (2012) arrived at the same most likely climate sensitivity estimate of 1.6°C, calling his result “identical to those from Aldrin et al. (2012).”  However, this is simply a misrepresentation of their paper.

This is what Nic claimed in the abstract:

Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2–2.2 K for ECS are 20 then derived (mode and median 1.6 K). The mode is identical to those from Aldrin et al.  (2012) and (using the same, HadCRUT4, observational dataset) Ring et al. (2012).

Now you would think even a math novice would recognize the “mode and median” claim and realize that they must be something different.   Unfortunately Dana did not, and proceeded to stomp around and stuck his foot firmly within a dark area.  In his defense, perhaps Dana was tired and wasn’t reading as carefully as one would expect when critiquing a peer reviewed paper.  The claim WAS all the way to the bottom of the abstract after all, and advocacy is tiring work.  Tom Curtis pointed out the error in the comments last night at 4am but the post remains uncorrected.

I think the alarmist advocate crowd is in full Gaian prayer mode that temperatures will skyrocket soon.   It is the either the data or the climate models at this point, someone must move. In the meantime, it is entertaining watching the advocates squirm.

48 Responses to “Dana’s Planet”

  1. kim2ooo said

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  2. Ian said

    Tom Curtis made the point even more clearly and bluntly regarding what Nic Lewis cited, vs. Dana N.’s criticism in a later comment:

    “Dana @22 & 23, the mode (unlike other parameters) is easilly estimated from the PDF shown in Fig 6 a. Using a pixel count, I can confirm the estimate of 1.6 C for the mode of the main analysis.

    Contrary to your main article, this is not “simply a misrepresentation” of Aldrin et al. It is misleading in that he does not point out the difference between the modal value and the central estimate commonly quoted for the IPCC, and that they are not directly comparable. However, it is not incorrect on any matter of fact. That is, the modal value of Aldrin et al is the value Lewis quotes, and he does specify that it is the modal value he is citing. Consequently, as it stands, your section on “Misrepresenting Aldrin” is more misleading than is Lewis’ citation of Aldrin.”

    • Yup. And from my experience with Nic, his nature is to be extremely focused on the accuracy of the wording. He was only about accuracy and likely didn’t consider that someone might take it differently.

      • timg56 said

        ankle biting – it’s what little attack puppies do.

        I’m curious – does Scooter’s newest gig (a columnist) mean he’s now paper trained?

  3. They are praying alright. Today, the oceans are eating global warming. As and when surface temperatures rise, the oceans suddenly would have forgotten to eat it. There are so many tails that wag their poor little CO2 dog.

  4. Edward. said

    BS hypothesizing over BS computer models about a preposterous supposition – mad and madder still.

    CAGW, always was a political scam and never a true scientific controversy – ho yes the world has warmed up since the LIA and they fixed the figures [ask Jim ex of GISS] but it is impossible to detect man’s signal amongst the noise and anyway the gentle warming has been truly beneficial – even a further 1.6 rise would be welcomed but as the world is now in a cooling phase – we’ll maybe have to wait – you never know with momma Earth.

    A GHG – CO2 is a player but rises in response to Temperatures not the other way round as the alarmists would have it.

    End of.

  5. Otter said

    ‘It’s most important not to fall into the trap of thinking that any single study will overturn a vast body of scientific evidence, derived from many different sources of data (or as Andrew Revkin calls this, single-study syndrome).’

    Does he mean, like mann’s study, which overturns hundreds of papers on the MWP?

  6. steve fitzpatrick said

    Hi Jeff,

    Yes, the rants are humorous manifestations of political desperation, but at the same time a bit sad. Imagine what all the energy expended on wild-eyed climate advocacy could accomplish if it were directed toward much more pressing problems, like the lack of access to electricity and clean water for a billion+ people.

    The climb-down will be as slow and as minimal as the advocates can get away with in the face of conflicting data, but reality will ultimately prevail over political goals. It is just going to take a long time and cost a lot of money; money which could be much better spent elsewhere. I guess another 10-15 years will be wasted before the start of the “adult conversation” that PaulK sensibly calls for. Like I said, a bit sad.

    • j ferguson said

      Steve, It is interesting that you should mention clean water. When i was in school in the ’60s, we were visited by a professor from what was then IIRC East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) who described at great length the array of schemes employed by international charitable agencies to help the country overcome its many problems. He told us the only one that actually worked and worked well was the program of the Ford Foundations – water well drilling rigs.

      Thousands of wells could be made unusable by the seasonal monsoons and being able to rapidly get them back on line actually saved lives every year. This is what the rigs did.

      The downside of this scheme (my thought) of course is that it didn’t fund grants for scientific research in the good old comfortable western world amid lots of ivy and hopes of tenure.

    • Yup. There is only one way to interpret why the alarmists won’t recognize that the problem isn’t as immediate or dramatic as they said. I am still of the opinion that warming might be very good for us. What if we could hold off the next ice age? It would save billions of people. More available land etc..

      Sad it is, but the intensity of calling for peoples deaths and actual faked psychological publications designed to demonize, discredit and marginalize those who won’t idiotically repeat the party line, is also a little scary. I mean, what is the big deal to them that warming doesn’t appear to be as bad as they thought, isn’t that a good thing according to the meme.

      • Mark T said

        I mean, what is the big deal to them that warming doesn’t appear to be as bad as they thought, isn’t that a good thing according to the meme.

        Because no warming = no control. That should have been obvious a decade (or more) ago when this all started ramping up.

        Mark

      • steve fitzpatrick said

        Jeff,

        Yes, the looniest of the bunch say (and do) some perfectly awful stuff. But I see that most who are ‘very concerned’ about global warming are motivated by a common set of honestly held goals, views, and values: a forced reduction in total wealth and consumption, a forced return to a ‘simple life in harmony with nature’, broad redistribution of wealth to make everything more ‘fair’ and most of all, a rejection of the idea that people have a moral right to the fruits of their labors. The global warming frenzy is just an opportunistic means to reach those political/philosophical ends. Were there no global warming, something else would immediately take its place. It is ultimately a political conflict about goals, priorities, and morals, as I am sure you are aware. Accuracy of ‘the science’ is a secondary issue, since reality will ultimately triumph over nonsense. The only reason to even talk about ‘the science’ is to keep the worst of it from being used to bamboozle the public into accepting draconian laws and regulations.

  7. wsutton17 said

    Shouldn’t a site based around a top10 list claiming to refute an entire school of thought see the irony in referencing the single study fallacy?

  8. Mark T said

    Interestingly, The Racehorse has yet to stop by to spread his cheerleading glee.

    Mark

  9. j ferguson said

    Ernest Rutherford: “All science is either physics or stamp collecting”

    Well we aren’t looking at physics here, so maybe Revkin is right. You cannot refute multiple stamp collections without more stamp collections; one won’t do it.

  10. Mark T said

    Well we aren’t looking at physics here, so maybe Revkin is right. You cannot refute multiple stamp collections without more stamp collections; one won’t do it.

    That statement is so full of shit I don’t even know where to begin. One is all that it takes to refute any number that are incorrect. Period. Educate yourself… stupid ain’t no way to go through life.

    Mark

    • j ferguson said

      well gosh Mark. I’ve been doing it for 70 years now. Is it too late?
      It could be that you missed my point, which was it is very hard to address a single elegant refutation to a mass of inchoate nonsense.

  11. Nic Lewis said

    Actually, in Chapter 9 of AR4 WG1, dealing with observationally-constrained estimates of climate sensitivity, the IPCC only discuss medians and modes. Not a mean in sight! And it refers to the mode as the “best estimate”. Nor does Figure 9.20 (where the estimated PDFs for climate sensitivity from Forest 2006 and other studies are shown, labelled EQUILIBRIUM climate sensitivity) mark the means. And Forest 2006 itself only reported the mode.

    So I’m not being either misleading on any count, or misrepresenting anything. But Dana is both misrepresenting my study and being misleading. What a surprise.

    • Thanks Nic. I haven’t read many of these studies but apparently neither has Skeptical Science.

    • HaroldW said

      Dana has tweaked his column to remove the least defensible error, but has retained the majority of them: “Lewis’s claimed value of 1.6°C appears nowhere in the paper itself. Rather, Lewis apparently ignored the authors’ reported findings in favor of the mode he estimated from graphs in the paper. This misrepresentation both gives a false sense of agreements between the reported senstivity estimates as well as hides the mainstream values reported by the authors of Aldrin et al. These issues are discussed in detail at The Way Things Break along with the relevant figures from the paper.”

      Tom Curtis is trying to keep Dana reasonably honest in the comments. Good luck to him.

      I took a peek at the linked “thingsbreak” post, not a place I have visited often. It is amusing to see that the final comment there discusses the mode vs. mean, as well as pointing out a couple of likely reasons why earlier sensitivities were likely high: excessively negative aerosol effects, and underestimated black carbon effects. Of course, the aerosol conclusion is from a single study (viz., AR5) so will be ignored by SkS.

  12. [...] Click here to read the full article _____________________________________________ [...]

  13. Anonymous said

    For years the alarmist crowd have been praying for a major volcano, as that would have meant that their predictions could never be tested. As it is they have very little explanation for the weakness in their predictions

  14. [...] Dana’s Planet (The Air Vent) [...]

  15. Thanks for keeping an eye on SKS so the rest of us won’t have to.

  16. omanuel said

    Jeff, I have limited internet access today, but I would like to go ahead and summarize AGW pathology. I will post references [3-5] later tonight.

    https://orach24463.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/fear-and-loathing-of-humans-the-pathology-behind-the-climate-change-movement/

    AGW is world leaders futile response to this reality:

    1. A growing world population
    2. A limited supply of fossil fuels
    3. Science advisers trained for sixty-seven years to hide the only energy source that can allow society to thrive – the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 & 9 Aug 1945.

    That source of energy made our elements, powers the cosmos, the Sun, and sustains our lives [1,2].

    Nuclear radiation is dangerous, but life originated and evolved in the presence of short-lived isotopes

    a.) From the Solar System’s birth – 5 Gyr ago [3],
    b.) Still present as life started about 3.5 Gyr ago [4],
    c.) And more were produced by natural, self-sustaining nuclear reactors on Earth until about 2 Gyr [5].
    d.) Hiroshima and Nagasaki were exposed to extremely high levels of radioactivity on 6-9 Aug 1945. Both are thriving cities today.

    Conclusion: Fear and loathing of the energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki sixty-seven years ago have left world leaders with two choices:

    1. Reduce world population
    2. Use nuclear energy wisely

    With kind regards,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    [1] ”Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal 19, 123-150 (2012): http://redshift.vif.com/Journa

    [2] “Yes, the Sun is a pulsar,” Nature (submitted 12 Dec 2012): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/106408

  17. Carrick said

    I think Tom Curtis either betrays the limits of his understanding of empirical science when he makes the clearly errant claim that it is “misleading in that [Nic Lewis] does not point out the difference between the modal value and the central estimate commonly quoted for the IPCC, and that they are not directly comparable. ”

    Mode is the commonly used metric. Nic has done the comparison as exactly correct as one could imagine.

    It’s a bit unfortunate that this nonsense has been allowed to stand, though by comparison to Dana, it’s biblical truth.

    Just a small reality check. Whatever the shape of the curve is, that the reconstructions are producing, it isn’t shaped like a hockey stick.

    Actually i think the follow up story Major PAGES 2k Network Paper Confirms the Hockey Stick was even MORE hilariously wrong.

    While I agree the proxies are converging (this may be partly explainable by the large overlap in proxies though as well as similarities in methodology), first of all this in no way resembles a hockey stick.

    Secondly, you compare MBH 1998 (which is a true hockey stick) to the newer reconstructions, MBH is completely disconfirmed by newer reconstructions.

    Perhaps misuse or overuse of “confirm” suggests a bit of confirmation bias on Dana’s part?

    • Carrick said

      I really need to write a previewer. I meant to strike this entire sentence “Just a small reality check. Whatever the shape of the curve is, that the reconstructions are producing, it isn’t shaped like a hockey stick.”

      It’s out of order with the change in topic, sorry.

  18. [...] peopleneedpower http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/345-9/#comments Reblogged from The Air [...]

  19. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    It appears that when reality disagrees with the AGW Climate Alarmists they resort to typical leftists tactics of name calling and more distortions of the truth.

  20. [...] by peopleneedpower The information countering Climate Alarmism is now so overwhelming that even the mainstream media is starting to report on the inconventient truth that despite the rise in co2 emissions global temperatures have remained stable for 16 years or more now. Ihttp://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21574490-cli… In a sane world this would be good news. People can stop feeling guilty about destroying the earth from fossil fuel co2 emissions.http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/16/us-climate-slowdown-idUSBRE93F0AJ20130416 No need to commit economic suicide in the name of saving the planet.  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/23/th… “Confronted by an endless avalanche of such nonsensical drivel, it seems almost foolhardy to argue facts. There has been no increase in mean global temperature for 15 years. Drought is not increasing, nor are wildfires. Tornadoes are not increasing in frequency or intensity. Routine hurricanes such as Sandy and Katrina have been offered as evidence of climate change, but worldwide hurricane activity is near a 40-year low. Over the past 20 years, sea level has risen by about 5 centimeters an ominous trend unless you’re aware that since the end of the last Ice Age, global sea level has risen 120 meters.”  So why are the Climate Change Gurus doubling down on their fallacious and dire predictions of Climate Catastrophe from hurricanes, drought, the sea rising to swallow up New York, etc.? Could it be it is all driven by the quest for power and wealth plus a good dose of fear and loathing of humanity?http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-c… Do any of the Climate Change Guru’s leading this Apocalyptic End of the Word Quest for a “fossil free” world care that if they achieve their goals the planet will also be pretty people free? Or is a people free world the hidden agenda of the Climate Change Guru’s? In their nihilistic world view Human’s are “killing” the earth and must be expunged in a slow moving genocide to “save the planet”. Denying people access to affordable and abundent energy from fossil fuel is just one way of driving more people into poverty and an early death.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html Sickos.http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/345-9/ [...]

  21. SS will routinely quote a speculative study as proof ‘against’ the mountain of empirical evidence. Of course, that is the nature of dogmatic advocacy.

  22. Sera said

    I do not believe it, sorta…

    http://www.nature.com/news/announcement-reducing-our-irreproducibility-1.12852

  23. HaroldW said

    Nature only talks of proposed changes applying in the life sciences. It would be helpful to extend the statistical consultation (and data deposition requirement) to other articles which strongly depend on statistical results, e.g. climatic reconstructions. Actually almost all climate science articles depend strongly on statistics, because all effects are mixed together in the observations, which are also noisy. And no repeatable experiments, unless you count ice cores or tree ring histories as experiments of opportunity.

    But I don’t see any institution forcing such a step, as the NIH seems to have done in this case. In large part because there’s no objective non-repeatability criterion; drawing different conclusions from the same raw data, when the truth is unknown, is viewed simply as a difference in interpretation. But presenting results from ad hoc statistical approaches, without evaluating the methodology (cf. Mann, Foster, Marcott), is not defensible.

  24. Carrick said

    HaroldW, this all fits under the rubric “responsible conduct of research”. The NIH now requires training for all recipients of NIH funds, and many other US federal funding agencies have followed suit. My university now requires this training for researchers and students.

    Interestingly, in addition to reporting your methodology and adverse results, it also discusses the impact of research fraud on the community, and appropriate treatment of subordinates (including giving proper credit for their efforts, now that’s a fantasy).

  25. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Sera said
    April 26, 2013 at 1:32 am

    That sounds like Nature intends on talking about the issues/problems which is different than actually doing something about it. Politicians talk about issues/problems about which they have no intention or capability to do anything.

  26. Kneel said

    If you REALLY want a giggle at how far out the models are, compare absolute temps instead of anomolies. This is even funnier in light of the now desperate seeming attempts to play up the feedbacks as non-linear – if feedbacks ARE non-linear, then absolute temp being out by several degrees C is really gonna screwq with your predictions…

  27. Carrick said

    Kneel do you have a reference? I’ve been looking for a good summary.

  28. Hi there friends, its wonderful article about
    teachingand completely defined, keep it up all the time.

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