the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Motivated Rejection of …..

Posted by Jeff Id on August 31, 2014

You can make a whole blog (a boring one) simply for the purposes of showing false claims by political activist climate scientists.  The claim below is quoted from a Daily Mail article I ran into surfing the internet.

Dr Hawkins said: ‘There is undoubtedly some natural variability on top of the long-term downwards trend caused by the overall warming. This variability has probably contributed somewhat to the post-2000 steep declining trend, although the human-caused component still dominates

The error in his statement is that the human-caused component still dominates.

Anyone with any background in climate change science knows full well (or should) that the human component of observed warming is completely 100% unknown.   Currently, it is statistically and mathematically inseparable from natural warming.  The only thing we can do to separate human and natural warming is model the contributions mathematically and subtract.  Today, climate models have failed by over-predicting warming.   Since models have over-predicted warming by so much, all modeled differences between CO2 and natural warming effects are now nonsensical.  We don’t have a value.

Dr. Hawkins, who I have no immediate knowledge of, isn’t changing his scientific opinion based on facts though.  Unfortunately for science, the non-factual opinion is hardly unique.   Bart Verheggan, who’s blog is linked on the right, did a study which I found interesting in that it is similar to John Cook’s recent 97% debacle in that it polled climate scientists to ask their opinion on various global warming questions.

One question was:

What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
– More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosolcooling)
– Between 76% and 100%
– Between 51% and 76%
– Between 26% and 50%
– Between 0 and 25%
– Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
– There has been no warming
– Unknown due to lack of knowledge
– I do not know
– Other (please specify)

From Bart’s post:

Consistent with other research, we found that the consensus is strongest for scientists with more relevant expertise and for scientists with more peer-reviewed publications. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), agreed that anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) are the dominant driver of recent global warming.

This seems to agree with what we would expect, however there is a problem.  The conclusion that human created GHG is THE dominant factor in global warming has absolutely no numerical foundation in the science.  One wonders just what makes these scientists so certain!   Yes there are papers on the matter of attribution, but those I have read are  universally model based.   There is nothing wrong with the concept of climate models, except that the ones relied on are now known to be non-functional.    They have failed by overestimating global warming….dramatically.

As the models are known to have failed, the scientists in the survey who still claim humans are the primary cause for the very minimal warming we have observed, are acting as activists rather than scientists.  The real answer is that we just don’t know. It is possible that these people have committed themselves in the past so strongly to the cause that a change in position is personally something they cannot handle.  Being wrong isn’t much fun after all.  Being publicly wrong on your field of expertise is worse I suppose.   However, I believe that their political activism is more to blame than personal embarrassment over the failure of a climate model likely created by someone else.

Basically, because the question asked here can only be based on subjective opinion and not scientific fact, the questions of this survey are more interesting as a social study of the people involved.  I see it as a referendum on the objectivity of the scientists in the field.

In addition, Bart reports that those more published in the field are more likely to claim that warming is primarily human induced.   Were it simply a matter of personal embarrassment, wouldn’t a person with 10 publications have as much invested as one with 40?   Perhaps not, but we also have knowledge that the field prefers those who advocate for political change and those are the scientists who receive the funding and cushy jobs with lots of research assistants to allow them the time to publish lots of papers.   Claims sometimes made that are contrary to this fact are nonsense.

My reading of this aspect of his paper is therefore different.  Bart Verheggen shows that the more popular individuals, that he claims have “more relevant expertise”, are more likely to make the claim that humans contribute more than 50% of warming is caused by GHG.  A claim that is objectively unscientific.

We have a very big problem in our science when such a large fraction of the group is willing to claim an unscientific position in their field of study for unexplained reasons.

Since their belief is decidedly not evidence based, or they would certainly publish the proof, we can only conclude that it must be a faith.   In this case, the group has expressed a non-factual faith that somehow humans must be the primary cause of warming.  What drives this faith is not discussed in faith terms, and therefore must be a personal matter for each of them, driven by a wide variety of unseen truths believed but not discussed.  Perhaps a group of fuzzy math papers or perhaps some other un-vetted statement they have heard from colleagues has seeded the thought.  It is a faith, an unbreakable truth under which physical laws of reality must bend to comply.  It is the only explanation for the fact that we regularly see climate observations fly in the face of the conclusions, yet the conclusions stand unaffected.

Off topic

It is interesting to me that these same people don’t understand capitalism.   My wild guess estimate is that 95% of climate scientist experts believe in evolution, yet generally don’t support free market capitalism, when they are actually the same thing.   Each one representing a system reacting to conditions of the environment for maximum benefit.  There is no such thing as truly free market and the value being optimized in both cases is different.  Capitalism optimizing money and evolution optimizes survival but I don’t really understand how people hold polar opposite views on both matters.  It seems to me that socialists shouldn’t believe in evolution, and capitalists should.  The matter isn’t black and white and people are funny things so the evidence on which people make decisions regarding their core beliefs is beyond my understanding.  I’m off topic a bit bit it leaves me wondering.

A link between politics and faith

Still, IPCC scientists in general regularly express the most powerful central government solutions imaginable.  Discussions of limitations on environmental property rights, energy generation, transportation, speech of skeptics and even limiting reproduction are common themes in their world.  The horrific outcomes of history do not seem to moderate the general beliefs of the community that more central government control of the population,  is somehow a solution to human climate problems.

The belief in extraordinarily powerful governmental solutions to environmental concerns is also a faith they hold.   It flies in the face of any rational observation of the performance of government, but for some reason it goes hand-in-hand with the same individuals who promote the faith-based form of climate science.  It is clear from climategate emails and observations of universities across the country that socialists are the preferred employee for government organizations.  The reinforcing effects of the governmental money source on political beliefs in these institutions creates a significant political imbalance in the population of scientists.

This self-sorting of people (climate scientists in this case) who hold generally extreme views of economics and government may lead to a general tendency for faith-based science.  A claim could reasonably be made against what are often derogatorily termed religious conservatives, which in general, the climate science group openly despises. There is no governmental incentivized mechanism which funds religious conservatives into a multi-billion dollar global climate change sized industry speaking on a single topic.  We could imagine a similar conservative faith-based science being forced upon us in that case as well, but that problem isn’t government funded and therefore is not a serious threat.

Other demonstrably false faith-based claims regularly made by main stream climate scientists:

Skeptics are oil funded;Hurricanes and storms increasing;Polar bears dying out;Economic disaster;Food supply shortages;Drought or excess rain;various green energy solutions;sea ice vanishing; — the list is quite a bit longer than this but you get the idea.  These claims are all false.

The problem extends beyond that though.   It pervades the field with false papers on historic temperatures taken from proxies, Antarctic warming, sea ice futures, shrinking fish, drought and hurricanes on and on and on…  Literally false papers.

The evidence of their unstated faith is extensive.  What is also in evidence is that you cannot argue a faith on a rational level.  Like a religious argument, you are slamming into their personal defense mechanism which places walls between rational consideration and belief.

The petri dish

While it may seem unreasonable or even derrogatory for me to write the words above, this is not some ad-hominem attack on climate science but is rather my objective view of their bulk behaviors as an outsider. We have discussed before the fact that engineers and scientists in other fields get reasonably quick feedback when their ideas don’t live up to expectations.   In climate science, the feedback is over decades of time, and often well exceeds the skyrocketing careers of the individuals making their projections.   There is no feedback to the individuals for their product, so the product which looks the best for its purpose, is the product deemed best.  It is only after decades that we realize that favored climate models who’s output predicted extreme warming, failed to match observation.   Climate scientists aren’t used to being wrong.   They don’t have a history of strong negative feedback on which to alter their understanding.    Their reaction to this major failure of models has been a combination reticent correction and confused belief in future observations magically (unscientifically) coming into line.

Our reality

The combination of pressures seems to have bred a generally narcissistic and overconfident group of people who fail to observe that the rest of the technical world is not buying into their global warming doom scenarios.  Our failure to buy in is not due to lack of explanation, or technical expertise, or the implied fact that everyone but them has a self-organized but opposite political belief, but is rather due to the lack of scientific foundation these governmental organizations present in their argument.    There is simply no evidence that global warming is severe, dangerous or anything but beneficial.

Despite the wide consensus on global warming disaster in climate science, I believe a polling of the technically literate world would result in discovery that the vast majority of the scientifically literate public are highly skeptical of global warming doom.

 

 


44 Responses to “Motivated Rejection of …..”

  1. M Simon said

    I think you missed the error

    …natural variability on top of the long-term downwards trend caused by the overall warming

  2. Barry Woods said

    Ed blogs here:

    http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/

  3. omanuel said

    Humans are emotional animals blessed with slight hints of rationality. There is still no upper limit on our gullibility for emotionally packaged propaganda!

    • Jeff Id said

      It seems so. And no apparent limit on the energy put into creating emotional propaganda.

    • omanuel said

      “They (world leaders) are not at fault!”

      They are as gullible to emotional messages as the rest of us.

      That is why Unreported CHAOS & FEAR of total nuclear annihilation in late August 1945 convinced world leaders to take totalitarian control of society worldwide.

      See: Aston’s WARNING (12 December 1922) & CHAOS and FEAR (August 1945) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/CHAOS_and_FEAR_August_1945.pdf

    • omanuel said

      Our First Priority now is to get society back on track for the momentous promise in the last paragraph of Francis William Aston’s 1922 Nobel lecture [1]:

      “. . . the human race will have at its command powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction.”

      To achieve that goal, we need to eliminate the word blame from our vocabulary and avoid retaliation for sixty-nine years of well-intentioned deception of the public.

      1. Francis William Aston, “Mass spectra and isotopes,” Nobel Prize Lecture (12 December 1922): http://veksler.jinr.ru/becquerel/text/books/astonlecture.pdf or http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/c.hemistry/laureates/1922/astonlecture.pdf

    • omanuel said

      Tomorrow I will submit a paper for publication that documents sixty-nine years of deceit about the source of “Solar Energy”

      If the deception was unintentional, consensus scientists will respond to the nine pages of precise experimental measurements that disagree with the Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-filled stars.

      If the deception was intentional, consensus scientists will refuse to address nine pages of precise experimental measurements that disagree with the Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-filled stars.

    • omanuel said

      This manuscript was submitted for publication at ~6:30 am this morning. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

      An implicit self-selection process is thus now in process:

      1. If the 97% consensus community consists of real scientists, they will openly address all of the nine pages of precise experimental measurements that disagree with the Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-filled stars.

      2. If the 97% consensus community consists only of phony scientists, they will refuse to address any of the nine pages of precise experimental measurements that disagree with the Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-filled stars.

    • omanuel said

      Real Consensus Possible?

      In the last paragraph of his Nobel Lecture on 12 Dec 1922, Francis W. Aston warned runaway H-fusion could transform Earth into a star if nuclear energy were ever released from cores of atoms [1].

      In early August 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed when energy was released explosively from cores of Uranium and Plutonium atoms.

      In late August 1945, Stalin’s troops captured Japan’s atomic bomb plant at Konan, Korea. Frightened world governments apparently then agreed to unite nations under the UN and to promote pseudo-consensus science to obscure the source of energy in atomic bombs and thus save planet Earth from nuclear annihilation:

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/CHAOS_and_FEAR_August_1945.pdf

      Last month, mainstream scientists observed neutrinos for the first time from controlled hydrogen fusion in the core of the Sun [2], . . . but Science reported runaway fusion in supernova SN 2014J [3], as Aston had warned might happen to “the whole of the hydrogen on the earth” in the last sentence of his Nobel Lecture on 12 Dec 1922 [1].

      Taken together, these August 2014 reports [2, 3] may offer the basis for a new, genuine consensus on the source of solar energy if solar scientists can now agree that the solar rate of H-fusion is controlled by the rate of neutron-emission from the Sun’s pulsar core and the decay of those neutrons into fuel for H-fusion:

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

      References:

      1. Francis W. Aston, “Mass spectra and isotopes,” Nobel Lecture, (12 Dec 1922): http://veksler.jinr.ru/becquerel/text/books/aston-lecture.pdf

      2. Borexino Collaboration (~100 coauthors), ” Neutrinos from the primary proton-proton fusion process in the Sun,” Nature 512, 383-386 (28 Aug 2014): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v512/n7515/full/nature13702.html

      3. Daniel Clery, “Supernova breaks the mold,” Science 345, 993 (29 Aug 2014): http://m.sciencemag.org/content/345/6200/993.summary

  4. M Simon said

    And just to go further OT. The so called “free market” guys are just as limiting on subjects where they want control. All the same things being said about climate sceptics have been said and are being practiced against Prohibition sceptics. Climate scepticism will get you derision. Prohibition scepticism can get you killed.

    Inoperable Brain Tumor “Miracle Baby.

    • Jeff Id said

      There are limitations in all rational forms of government. This is different from the wildly draconian forms promoted by the IPCC.

      FYI, I agree that the criminalization of drug use has not been a good answer. Though there are few links I can see between free market and prohibition, that is not the purpose or topic of this blog.

      • M Simon said

        All I was pointing out is that the right is no more rational about the things it wants to control than the left is. And the right is sillier/more evil or maybe just as evil. Prohibition is socialism for criminals. Milton Friedman wrote that up. In 1972. It is on the ‘net and easily found. It is the kind of socialism the right loves. You can also look up “Baptist bootlegger coalition”.

        We in fact have two socialist parties. They apply their same socialism differently. One party likes moral socialism. The other likes economic. In the end it all merges. Because socialism doesn’t work. Note which party favored banking controls – a form of economic socialism – designed to work against the people evading the moral socialists.

        Around 1900 the moral and economic socialists were united. The Progressive movement. Since then there has been a division of labor with the two “sides” pretending to fight each other. But for the most part the ratchet only goes one way. No matter who is ratcheting.

      • Jeff Id said

        As one with libertarian views, I see little to argue with. I do believe that the moral socialism as you call it is far less concerning than the progressive movement. At this point a little moral center wouldn’t hurt our society.

        • M Simon said

          There is no way to find the moral center when every action is prescribed. When the rules are too numerous there is no room for moral agency. And that defect is central to all brands of socialism.

          I’m reminded of the guy who said “When you live outside the law you must be honest.”

          BTW moral socialism is Progressive. It is the heart of Progressivism. “If charity is good then government enforced charity is better.” The one side only looks less bad because it appears their efforts are less encompassing. But the one provides the foundation for the other. As soon as rules of morality becomes the basis for government (beyond the bedrock of murder, theft and fraud) then it is just a question of whose rules.

          The right says – we will only open the door a little in these areas. And the left says: why just open it a crack? Why not kick it down?

          Once you allow 2+2 = 5 along will come a guy who says? “If 5 why not 500?” And you are off to the races.

          So I only buy that the right is the lesser of two evils under present circumstances. But in reality they are the foundation of all the evil. “If 5 why not 500?”

          • kuhnkat said

            “I’m reminded of the guy who said “When you live outside the law you must be honest.” ”

            There is NOTHING supporting this assertion. Pirate towns were outside the law, except, they usually had their own pecking order and rules enforced by the strongest. Someone who does not have an irreplaceable skill or the force to set the rules must be honest or they won’t survive. Not much different from being under the law.

          • M Simon said

            kuhnkat said
            September 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm,

            I spent some time living outside the law in my youth. When you don’t keep your word the justice is rather instant. I almost met the Maker because of an error in that regard (the other guy thought I hadn’t kept my word. I had. I did my explaining with an M1911 to my temple. As a friend said who was familiar with the milieu long after the occurrence, “I hate it when that happens.” )

        • M Simon said

          And besides. I’m of the opinion that kidnapping some is worse than theft from everyone. YMMV.

  5. Iain Hall said

    Reblogged this on Iain Hall's SANDPIT and commented:
    Your posts are always wonderfully succinct Jeff and this one is no exception I particularly like the point you make with this :

    What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
    – More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosolcooling)
    – Between 76% and 100%
    – Between 51% and 76%
    – Between 26% and 50%
    – Between 0 and 25%
    – Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
    – There has been no warming
    – Unknown due to lack of knowledge
    – I do not know
    – Other (please specify)

    From Bart’s post:

    Consistent with other research, we found that the consensus is strongest for scientists with more relevant expertise and for scientists with more peer-reviewed publications. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), agreed that anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) are the dominant driver of recent global warming.

    This seems to agree with what we would expect, however there is a problem. The conclusion that human created GHG is THE dominant factor in global warming has absolutely no numerical foundation in the science. One wonders just what makes these scientists so certain! Yes there are papers on the matter of attribution, but those I have read are universally model based. There is nothing wrong with the concept of climate models, except that the ones relied on are now known to be non-functional. They have failed by overestimating global warming….dramatically.

    To this non scientist its the utterly crucial point upon which all of the climate change enthusiasts fall down these is simply no way of determining the extent of human influence on the climate and no amount of assuming or asserting will change that fact
    Cheers Comrade
    Jeff

  6. Barry Woods said

    “Temperatures fluctuate over short periods, but this lack of new warming is a surprise. Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, in Britain, points out that surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models (see chart 1). If they remain flat, they will fall outside the models’ range within a few years.”


    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions

    • Jeff Id said

      Barry,

      What is wrong with his statement is that the confidence intervals are not based on a single point falling out of the 95% range and his statement pretends that they are. Those CI’s are trend based, and the trend failed long ago. We have dozens of points falling outside the 90% range now, each one a recheck of the modeled accuracy.

      The models have failed already. I wrote to Zeke at Lucia’s to make the same point countering his similar statement to Ed Hawkins.

      To make it more clear for others, think about how much warming that temp graph would have to show to put the observations on center with the models. If that massive jump happened, I will write an entirely different story but I’m not the one predicting the future. Also, if that massive jump happened, we would have to find the cause of something previously un-modeled or inaccurately modeled. In the meantime, the trend fit to observed temperatures falls well outside of the trend confidence intervals of models and trend is what CO2 warming creates. We need an objective redo of climate models either way.

      Disclaimer: I actually believe (faith based) in some of global warming being anthropogenic, but I don’t have any proof other than CO2 causes warming and a mild warming trend. At this point my best guess is that sensitivity is simply lower than predicted.

      • Barry Woods said

        By making even those observations Ed got a lot of negative feedback from the more vocal of the climate concerned..

        Ie even discussing the issue of potential failures of the models and he gets grief for even being willing to talk to David Rose

      • latecommer2014 said

        I’m sorry Jeff but on what do you base you claim that CO2 causes any atmospheric warming, when there is solid evidence that historically CO2 has always followed warming.
        I have yet to see that anything different has happened today.
        Yes it’s getting warmer since it was colder, but CO2 has nothing to do with it. This beneficial gas was seized upon as the perfect tool for economic control by those who hope to gain the power to dictate the fate of Man.

        • Jeff Id said

          I’m sorry that you don’t understand physics. CO2 absolutely causes warming, there is literally zero question.

          Where we probably agree is that the magnitude of the warming effect has the potential to be very small. The effects appear to be very minimal.

          • kuhnkat said

            So Jeff, you are telling us that absorption and emission of the equivalent energy causes warming for longer than the process takes??

          • Jeff Id said

            I can’t really parse your question. The process of absorption warming is so simple that I have difficulty arguing the same thing over and over. There is a delay in the flow of ‘power’ (energy per second) from the surface to space created by added absorbing gas. This delay is short in time but non-zero. Even the most aggressive negative feedback to increased temperature in a stable system leaves a slight positive. There is quite literally zero question of this.

            Other matters —
            This slight positive may be below what can be measured BUT it observations over recorded timeframe with data that contains substantial uncertainty seem to show around 1.3-1.5C warming per DOUBLING of the atmospheric CO2. Doubling CO2 is a lot, 1.5C temperature is not. The timeframe is short, the data is not certain. The oceans are huge energy stores and frankly I don’t understand just how much they could have either masked more warming or 99.5% created the observed warming. I don’t think anyone really does which is why Trenberths comment about the travesty of the missing heat, and his proposed ocean solution are actually quite insidious beasts. Plenty of climate scientists are satisfied with the ocean temp data enough to find results that are statistically positive and measurable. Models have failed but I’m not convinced of even the low end results. That is mostly due to a lack of a complete effort on my part. Not that I haven’t spent substantial time on the subject, just that the amount of research to understand the nuances of a complete climate model are well beyond the scope of my time.

            I’m off topic for your question but the basic warming effect is a cooked duck, unless we want to reject all of the basic physics we have created so many of our lives conveniences on.

  7. Jeff,
    Let me play the Devil’s advocate for a moment.

    You wrote: “There is simply no evidence that global warming is severe, dangerous or anything but beneficial.”

    That seems to me to go too far. There is certainly potential for problems due to sea level rise; not immediate problems, and not catastrophic, but problems just the same. If sea level rise were to continue at the pace of the last two decades (about 2.9 mm/yr on average relative to geologically stable shorelines), in 100 years that would cause some problems in low lying areas. Any future acceleration due to increased melt of land supported ice would lead to more serious problems.

    I am not suggesting that humanity could not deal with rising sea level, but neither do I think it is accurate to say global warming is only beneficial.

    • Jeff Id said

      Steve,

      When I look at a plot of sea level rise since 1900, the curve is pretty flat linear. If we take a derivative of sea level and the same of temp, filtered in the 20 year timeframe, there seems to be very little correlation between rising sea level and air temperatures. While we must conclude that temps melt/freeze ice, the magnitude of the influence of small temperature changes on sea level seems insignificant compared to tectonic effects we are seeing happen to ocean volume. We can talk about the expansion of liquid water with temps, but even that seems to have had a near zero impact on sea level. My conclusion is that land loss due to a fractional additional sea level rise is compensated by a larger impact on ice free land for plant life to grow. A net positive for life on Earth.

      Either way, I suspect we are both highly skeptical that we will see the huge collapses of ice in the Antarctic that are required to generate meters of sea level rise because the temperatures simply aren’t there.

      As always, I’m willing to be shown that I’m wrong, but less ice seems quite beneficial at this point. I am serious that I cannot find any single negative caused by mild warming due to CO2. This isn’t some intransigent position I hold as we should take negative impacts seriously and my opinion would change rapidly with different data, but without some kind of known impact I cannot accept that additional sea level rise from warming is necessarily negative or in the specific case of microscopic effects on measured data, even something which we need to react to.

      I fully expect sea levels to continue on their current at least century long trend based on whatever drove it for the first half of the 1900’s. I suspect we don’t see more effect because there isn’t enough land ice volume in warm areas to make a significant impact on it. I’m no expert so if you have some insight on the matter, I would be interested in hearing it.

      • stevefitzpatrick said

        Jeff,
        Sure, warming at high latitudes may increase land suitable for habitation and farming. That does not mean that adaptation to rising sea level will be simple or easy, considering the number of cities that are close to sea level. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have given this subject some thought and study.

        With respect to the rate of sea level rise, the tide gauge data for the late 19th century through the late 20th century does show ~1.7 to 1.9 mm per year (though very noisy). more accurate satellite data do indicate an increase to about 2.9 mm/year, with clear influence of ENSO visible, and a reasonably clear correlation with the rate of surface temperature rise (a little more rapid in the 1990’s, and a little more slowly since ~2000. There is pretty clear evidence of some increase.

        My Devil’s advocacy is only to point out that there really is a lot of uncertainty, and that it may be unwise to completely discount the possibility of negative impacts of sea level rise. While the IPCC estimates appear overstated (it is the IPCC after all), certainly the lower end of their range is plausible, and if accurate, presents significant potential problems. On balance, accepting and adapting to more rapid sea level rise may well be worth it, but I don’t think it should be simply ignored.

        • Jeff Id said

          Thanks Steve, I will look for that satellite data and specifically any correlation with surface temps. At least at that point I could say, look there is some detected sea level rise which correlates with the modern temperature rise and would change my opinion according to it. I agree with you that we can imagine a plausible negative impact of some sort based on that sort of data. What it is specificially, I’m not sure but at least it would be an identifiable feature.

          • latecommer2014 said

            Adaptation to current problems is what we do best…adapting a century ahead based on uncertain data is insanity

        • Jeff Id said

          Steve,

          I’m not seeing much visual correlation to warming temps. I’m going to try and download the data sometime but at this point the sea level metric by satellite looks about the same as the tide guage data, just with a different linear slope.

    • Stevefitzpatrick:

      Your technical nuance is correct, but in practice we probably have to give Jeff a bit of leeway.

      “. . . (about 2.9 mm/yr on average relative to geologically stable shorelines), in 100 years that would cause some problems in low lying areas . . .”

      A one-foot rise over the course of a century is hardly anything to be concerned about (even if the rise were continuing at that pace, which is questionable). It would go practically unnoticed in 99% of the world, just like it did the prior century. Yes, there might be a few extremely low-lying areas in which a 1-foot rise would cause significant problems. That being the case, however, it is surely also the case that those very same areas are already at high risk from not only major storms, but even minor squalls or a stout wind. Anything that needs to be done to ensure their survival 100 years from now should also be done right now to protect against the inevitable storms that will happen long before the sea level rise makes itself manifest. One foot is just not going to make the difference between their continuing existence or extinction.

      Furthermore, if we are talking about human-built structures being in danger from a one-foot rise after 100 years, it is hardly the biggest threat to those structures. After 100 years most structures (at least of modern vintage) will either be rusted away, falling apart, torn down, remodeled, or significantly altered anyway.

      Sea level rise is about as credible a threat to humanity as saying, “We could end up with more mosquitoes in [pick arbitrary location] and that might cause problems. Therefore, warming might be bad.”

      All that said, I agree that perhaps Jeff misspoke by saying “anything but beneficial.” Anytime there is any change in any environment of any kind we can find some organism or species or structure that is now more at risk than it was before; just like we could point to those that are benefitted on the other side of the coin.

      Jeff probably should have said “anything but *net* beneficial.”

    • hunter said

      My uncle had useful a go-by for assessing claims:
      “Always and never are seldom true”.
      A corollary to that would be that very little is all good or all bad.
      The irony that the climate catastrophe fanatics are the ones practicing motivated rejection is of course poetic justice.

    • Steve wrote: “My Devil’s advocacy is only to point out that there really is a lot of uncertainty, and that it may be unwise to completely discount the possibility of negative impacts of sea level rise.”

      Steve, scientists at JPL have pointed out that we have traditional terrestrial-based estimates of sea-level rise, and then we have satellite based one. (Both are noisy – but given the vastness of data that satellites collect and vastness of natural harmonics that have be detrended, satellite is much noisier of the two.)

      What is lacking, these JPL scientists say, is a “standard candle” to tell us which data is better. (And others say, which method of detrending is soundest, least fudged.)

      The only way to do this is to launch a geostationary satellite to observed the other satellite’s close-orbital data gathering and make measurements.

      I forget what the project is called… Ah, looking it up, it’s GRASP.

      And in a video I alerted Andrew Montford at Bishophill to earlier this year, Bob Carter got it correct in a panel interview.

      At any rate, from WUWT:

      “The difference between tide gauge data and space based data is over 100% in the left graph, 1.5 mm/yr versus 3.2mm/yr. Of course those who claim that sea level rise is accelerating accept this data without question, but obviously one of the two data sets (or possibly both) is not representative of reality, and JPL’s GRASP team aims to fix this problem they have identified:

      ‘TRF errors readily manifest as spurious sea level rise accelerations’

      “That’s a bucket of cold water reality into the face of the current view of sea level rise.”

      MORE at
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/30/finally-jpl-intends-to-get-a-grasp-on-accurate-sea-level-and-ice-measurements/

      At any rate, the GRASP project aims to fix the ongoing uncertainties of satellite-based altimetry of the ocean.

  8. Pouncer said

    If rising sea level is a problem, and market economic incentives work, then shouldn’t the US government quit subsidizing flood insurance? For that matter, even if sea levels are NOT rising, if the market works, shouldn’t the gov’t quit subsidizing flood insurance?

    If combusion of coal causes warming, and coal mining is dangerous to the workers, and socialist mandates work, shouldn’t the state mandate more safety investment — equipment, training, structures, etc –, which would force mine owners to raise the price of coal, which would discourage combustion and encourage use of renewables? For that matter, even if combustion does NOT cause warming; if socialist mandates can save workers’ lives, shouldn’t the state impose stricter safety requirements, raise the price of coal, etc?

    If elderly people are at risk of viruses, and if vitamin C reduces the severity of virus-caused diseases such as “the cold”, shouldn’t elderly people take vitamin C supplements? Even if they aren’t at greater risk of virusus than younger people, shouldn’t elderly people ensure they get plenty of vitamin C?

    If the recommendation is offered as remedy to a particular diagnosis, but the recommendation persists even in the refutation of the diagnosis, why do we care about the math, credentials, or affiliations of the diagnostician?

    • M Simon said

      “which would force mine owners to raise the price of coal, which would discourage combustion and encourage use of renewables?”

      Do you have any idea of how much the price of coal would have to go up to encourage unsubsidized “renewables” ? I think it is rather likely that they would have to follow Obama’s plan and outlaw coal burning.

      If elderly people are at risk of viruses, and if vitamin C reduces the severity of virus-caused diseases such as “the cold”, shouldn’t elderly people take vitamin C supplements?

      Cannabinoids as preventive medicine? That would be funny. Well it cures cancer.

    • hunter said

      Flooding existed long before the climate obsession. Much flooding risk in the US has nothing to do with sea level rise. Sharing the load of flood risk has been on balance a god thing: A *lot* the nation’s economic activity is better off with affordable flood insurance.
      That said, the Congress is removing some of the subsidies and that removal is set to grow over time.

  9. Kenneth Fritsch said

    “Still, IPCC scientists in general regularly express the most powerful central government solutions imaginable. Discussions of limitations on environmental property rights, energy generation, transportation, speech of skeptics and even limiting reproduction are common themes in their world. The horrific outcomes of history do not seem to moderate the general beliefs of the community that more central government control of the population, is somehow a solution to human climate problems”

    I am quite certain that many climate scientist lean towards big government solutions to most problems which would, of course, include attempts at AGW mitigation. I also think that that political position explains why these scientists and other big government advocates need very little certainty about a problem that they judge wherein the government should already be involved and to a great extent. There are some big government advocates who downplay the need for government attempts to mitigate AGW because there other areas they want big government more involved. Most skeptics, on the other hand, knowing how government would be involved in mitigation and the potential unintended and intended detrimental consequences of government mitigation, and also for the more libertarian orientated knowing how governments can invent crisis to increase their scope, are going to require much more certainty about some very detrimental potential effects of AGW before submitting to government action.

    When IPCC scientists are required to quantify (for the purpose of the appearance of objectivity for the IPCC) their otherwise subjective declarations on the probability of an occurrence related to AGW and associated detrimental effects thereof, they are going to be very much influenced by their political leanings and regards for big government. I have tried but have never been able to determine how the probabilities that the IPCC publishes are derived. In the AR4 charter the methods used for estimating probabilities by the lead authors, while not standardized, were supposed to be documented by each group. When I requested that documentation I never received an answer from the IPCC. I have never seen anywhere where that documentation has been revealed.

  10. Brian H said

    who’s=who is. The word is “whose”.

    Scientists support the ones who pay them. Surprise!

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