the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

A good discussion

Posted by Jeff Id on November 7, 2014

I probably will always enjoy the back-and-forth considered blog posts.  Nobody ever wins, but they are diverting.  This is from a previous thread.

Glenn Tamblyin wrote:

 

Jeff

“Glenn, the IPCC is hardly an unbiased reporting agency. Certainly we can all agree on that!”

Depends what you mean by biased Jeff.

Is there a bis towards downplaying some aspects of the risks of AGW. Yes. That is clearly evident when one sees the process by which the full report produced by the scientists is then ‘negotiated over’ by the national representatives to produce the final SPM. Case in point with AR5 was the removal of some key references to a maximum Carbon Budget to remain below 2 Deg C of warming. Some governments at least want to downplay AGW because it is something they don’t want to have to deal with politically or economically.

Is there natural human bias? Of course there is. Every individual is subject to that. But individuals biases tend to cancel out when large numbers of people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, demographic all look at the same question.And scietists are the most skeptical people in the world. It’s not like herding cats. More like herding alley-cats. When large numbers of scientists agree on something, having thrown every dart they can at it to try and burst the balloon, then the world really should sit up and take notice. What is the point of having experts if we won’t listen to them?

Some folks, perhaps including you, seem to think there is some sort of an agenda. That scientists are dancing to someone elses tune. Actually it is the opposite. Scientists have been slowly getting louder and louder in their warnings to government about the risks they see. Next year is the 50’th anniversary of the first, then low key, official warning from the scientists about the risk increased CO2 might pose. They have spent that half century, through 2-3 generations of scientists, trying to alert the world to the problem. Getting slowly and steadily louder as the world hasn’t listened. ‘houston, we might have a problem’…’houston, we really think there might be a problem’…’Houston, we really really think you need to look into this’… ‘Houston. Are You There?’…’HOUSTON WAKE UP’
And slowly, screaming and kicking, most governments have been dragged to a reluctant acceptance of this.

Consider something Jeff. Governments come and go. Left-Right-Left-Right…. Different countries. But there is not one National Academy of Science anywhere in the world with a position against it. Not one peak professional body against it. Not one Defense Force – the ultimate in hard-nosed thinkers. The Pentagon accepts it – hardly surprising since they were behind much of the research in the 50’s & 60’s that laid the foundations for understanding it.

Yet the message from the scientists hasn’t changed for decades. If there is an ‘agenda’ from government for example that is driving this then wouldn’t the message from the scientists blow with the wind -at least the winds of the electoral cycle – and supposedly what is coming from their ‘paymasters’.

Could the scientists have an agenda? Of course they do. The TRUTH – there, some words in nice big capital letters. What do I mean by that? Scientists are motivated by a deep desire to be right. To discover something and get it right. No matter how diligent a scientist’s career was, if they routinely backed incorrect ideas they don’t get the status, kudos, the simple ego-trip. Science doesn’t pay that well as a career for the amount of work you have to put in but there is the potential real pay-off. ‘I’m the guy who discovered X’. That s their motive, their agenda. Nothing noble about it, pure self-interest like the rest of us. They do science because they like love finding out stuff – and getting credit for that. If they wanted serious money they certainly wouldn’t pick science. Nor if they wanted fame among the general public they wouldn’t pick a field that most people don’t understand, value or are interested in.

So why wouldn’t they just try to convince people they did discover something, even if it isn’t true? History is full of the victor’s version of events, not truth. Why wouldn’t the scientists take the same tack? Because in science history isn’t written by people; its written by the Laws of Physics. You might convince a trillion people you are right but the Laws of Physics have right-of-veto; they determine history and a scientist’s reputation, not people. Convince people of something that isn’t true and your fame will be short lived and hollow – Physics will out. And all your fellow scientists will be champing at the bit to prove you wrong if they can.

Apart from a few wishful thinkers, scientists know that just convincing people doesn’t count for much. Being right is what counts. So ideas of vast conspiracies, group-think etc just don’t wash. Only an idiot would think you can con the Laws of Physics and get away with it. And scientists aren’t idiots.

And who are the people for whom acceptance is hardest, who are most reluctant to accept the evidence, in and out of government? Those for whom the consequences of AGW and the sorts of actions needed to address it are hardest to swallow. Just ask yourself how many of these items tick boxes for you Jeff? How many of these things resonate with you as negatives?

– Action to tackle this requires coordinated global action. It requires cooperation between nations with the strong helping the weak.
– It requires regulation of a whole range of activities in life.
– It requires that within our societies we act cooperatively, working together.
– It requires that we have sufficient trust in our fellow humans, in government, scientists etc to accept that most of them are acting decently enough most of the time.
– It requires changes that may require economic costs
– It means that the way we live our lives has had negative impacts. That we can’t have a completely positive, ‘we are the greatest’ view of what we have done.
– It requires that we accept that a sense of boundlessness that has been a central part of our cultures, particularly in the ‘frontier nations’ such as the USA or Australia is ending – from here on in human society has to have values centered on limitations and boundedness.
– That as individuals we may need to curtail some of the exercise of our freedoms for the common good.
– That our sense of man’s dominion over the earth (perhaps coming from a religious origin) is misplaced; we are simply one part of that earth and we prosper best when we work with the limits of our role rather than against it.
– That we may have spent our entire working lives contributing to building a society and an economy that turns out to have some significant flaws and is in need of at least some degree of redesign because currently it is dysfunctional; our prosperity has been obtained through a flawed system and we need to accept that, unwittingly, not all our actions have been good.
– That our view that we are so insignificant a force on the earth that what we do doesn’t matter is now wrong; the growth in our numbers and technologies means we have the power to cause vast changes on the earth and we have done – some of them negative ones. Humanity is now a geological force and we must act with extreme care now or we can cause great harm, to ourselves particularly.
– That any God we may believe in (if you happen to be religious) will not intervene; that we are capable and allowed to wreak damage upon ourselves and said God won’t lift a finger.
– That our ideas about how to build prosperity and well being, whether for ourselves or our communities, may have been flawed. That we might have to admit we, unwittingly, have made mistakes.

For me Jeff, none of these points (and one can imagine more than this) are difficult or problematic to accept. None of those statements say anything terrible, disturbing or deeply offensive about us; admitting we might have made mistakes or made bad judgements isn’t problematic, That’s just us being human. If we need to live life with a pollyanna, ‘we are so good’ view of ourselves then that is just a character flaw we have. In reality each of us is a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. And accepting that is perfectly alright. Quite simply, we are human. We fuck up sometimes. And not being able to admit we have fucked up is also fucking up.

I don’t necessarily think the changes and insights needed will be achievable, but there is nothing I find problematic in principle with any of them Nothing in that lists is something I feel any compulsion to reject..

So what about yourself Jeff? How many of those points get your hackles up?

Here is the point. The Laws of Physics don’t care what our feelings about this are, yours or mine. The Laws of Physics are life-and-death. All our values etc are just our incidental ruminations. If our deepest values, desires and beliefs are out of sync with the Laws of Physics, then the Laws of Physics will stomp on our most treasured ideas with utter disdain.

So who is more likely to be biased Jeff. Someone who is able to accept the implications of what AGW means, as highlighted in my list? Or someone who finds it deeply disturbing to accept that list?

Because all those points, and probably others have absolutely ZERO relevance. The science is what it is, and our values etc don’t count for a tinker’s damn in comparison.

No doubt you will want to disagree with what I have said. Just consider what your disagreement is in the light of how I have framed my comment.

Jeff Id

Glenn,

Thanks for the reply. Things like this make blogging fun.

Of course I have many problems with what you have written but your argument is reasonably well considered although it contains a significant bit of ideological ‘belief’ in your list of points. One thing we do agree on 100% is that the science is the science and this is the world that god (or chance) has given us and nobody is going to come from the sky to tweak it back into shape if we screw it up. I also agree that humans have the power to make change to the world, no big denial surprise there.

Where your scientific argument fails however is in step 1. Climate models have failed….. Completely 100% failed by basic statistical testing. No scientist can rationally state that they have passed even a 30 year test. Yet they just did in a global worldwide report. So we know from that simple validity check, that the IPCC is a biased source of climate information – in the alarmist direction — despite your implications that disagreement with some of the most extreme IPCC conclusions represent the actual bias against science.

It is reasonable to state that the problem with the models is worse than simply exaggerating the warming trend by 2-3 times, they are not explanatory of the difference, so mathematically and scientifically they have little to no predictive scientific value. We don’t have a prediction that we can rely on. Scientifically, we cannot use the models to predict either when or even IF we will see significant warming. Therefore no action is required, necessary, or far more importantly, —- in our best interest.

In addition, we don’t have any evidence that actually warming the planet would present any significant problem either. Hurricanes, droughts, rainfall, etc… none of the alleged dangers have actually been observed. Really that is all that should be required for our scientific discussion. We should all agree that while CO2 does add heat to the system, we don’t know what future temperatures will do, and we can’t observe any significant problems from the bit of warming we have experienced. End of story.

However, that is not what the IPCC is promoting.

IF we still irrationally assume that CO2 IS going to cause significant warming right now, and it IS irrational to assume such as we have no evidence for it, the way to combat CO2 warming is something that is far grayer an area than you have portrayed above. I would make the point that minimal global coordination is necessary and that we have only one technologically functional solution to generate such large quantities of energy. Minimal economic support is required, it may be a net economic gain, and very little regulation or change in lifestyle is needed. We simply agree to switch all new power plant construction to nuclear power and let the old plants run to their natural life cycle. New nuclear plants are safer, cleaner and more effective than the old technology and they continue to improve. We only need to do it in advanced countries that already have nuclear capability as the rest of the world doesn’t emit much in comparison. I will even predict that economically this WILL be the future of humanity whether the government intervenes or not. There are plenty of economic and physics based reasons that this will happen.

So there is your perfect green solution!! Are you on board? I am guessing you are one of the all of the above guys who thinks that 20 bad solutions will add up to one good one. You may also be an extremist and believe that all nuclear power is bad. I don’t mean to be disparaging but a mix of these positions seems to be the all-too-common pseudo-intellectual “compromise” position these days.

So from your unscientific observation that CO2 warming is going to be dangerous, you make several points on your list which are based on ideology. I find most of them wholly objectionable and very poorly considered. They are heavily socialist in their form and I believe that were we silly enough to adopt the plan as laid out by you, it would lead to global strife the likes of which we have not seen in human history. Of course, socialists in general don’t recognize the need to incentivize individual economic gain as a requirement for human prosperity. They believe simple wealth redistribution solves the problem, and they universally underestimate the harm to industry. It seems that you suffer from this affliction but I don’t know your whole story. What doesn’t make sense, is “Wealthy” functional capitalist governments supplying funds to maintain non-functioning socialist dictatorships. The result of redistribution, whether by country or individual is the same — rich productive people giving money to non-productive ones to “help” them stay with the status quo.

I have always found the argument interesting that we simultaneously say that we must globally help the weak with climate action. Since weak nations with non-functioning socialist/dictatorship style governments produce little of anything, it seems quite a leap to say that we need to do anything for them. They certainly aren’t any geological Greenhouse gas belching force right? Shouldn’t our limited resources be used to tackle producing energy that doesn’t emit CO2. Far more importantly, do we really want to enable those sick non-functional governments to continue creating human misery? With no visible mitigation required as no scientifically observable damage has happened, what would those countries exactly do with the money?

“It requires that we accept that a sense of boundlessness that has been a central part of our cultures, particularly in the ‘frontier nations’ such as the USA or Australia is ending – from here on in human society has to have values centered on limitations and boundedness.”

.
Glenn, this one is the worst point of all. Your assumption is that our natural existence won’t curtail our behavior sufficiently. You believe that capitalist free society cannot provide, again like global warming, against all observation to the contrary, and you are ready to stop it now rather than allow it to continue to succeed as it has and should. You have made a great leap of faith here toward a form of central government controlled existence which has already produced more than enough observational evidence of its non-functionality. You are wrong about this and it is the foundation of most of your conclusions. I am thoroughly frightened of this thought process, as it is so prevalent in society, and so observationally wrong, and it leads to such bad places.
.
As I have never convinced anyone who strongly believes that capitalism and freedom don’t functionally govern of anything to the contrary, I don’t expect you will agree with what I am writing. However, I will agree with you that it isn’t perfect, but it isn’t designed to be. What the system represents mathematically, is economic evolution. By allowing the strong to survive and the weak to fail, the human condition averages to a much higher level of functionality. When we don’t allow the weak to fail, out of compassion and fairness or whatever, we doom both they and humanity to a lower average level of function. Unfortunately, economic output is a much more sensitive system than the ocean moderated climate, and small changes in “fairness” result in large changes in average economic function. Now of course there is a balance, and I’m not saying there shouldn’t be safety nets for the truly helpless but that is something very different than sending money to non-productive dysfunctional societies, and people, to help with some unmeasurable aspect of global warming.
.
It is an oxymoron to believe in evolution, yet not understand free markets.
.
So no, I don’t suffer from the delusion that we don’t make mistakes. I do suffer from the belief that we need to be forced to reach higher through the danger of poverty such that we continue to try and then make even more mistakes. We need a world which allows us to continue to grow economically, producing even more goods and services at an ever more effective rate. We most certainly do not need a world of limited economy and heavy central control of our behavior. Remember, it was free people with minimal regulation who produced the cleanest economies on earth with the greatest wealth for even our failing poor. While these are political views, I hold them as observationally sound.
.
So moving on, reclassifying CO2 as a significant pollutant is unscientific at this point but if we assume that is the case, it is an entirely separate issue from whether we need massive regulation and limitation of our behavior as the “solution”. I can imagine many “solutions” which don’t fit your preferred and highly political list.
.
You made an interesting point that deserves a slightly different viewpoint and will segue into the now long-awaited conclusion.
.

“But there is not one National Academy of Science anywhere in the world with a position against it. “

.
You interpret this correlation as though it were evidence of scientific accuracy, yet again, observational evidence contradicts this position. There are almost zero people on these science foundations who can be described as capitalist, pro-growth, limited government or free-market supporters. It is rather apparent that these groups are self-sorting to a high degree by selection and support of like-minded people. This is no big conspiracy, just a generally greater reward for like minded conclusions. Again, I find that pro-government thinkers fail to grasp or perhaps to openly state them, the powerful effect of group incentivization. e.g. Jones invites Mann to speak instead of Spencer.

Your evidence of accuracy, is very obviously — the opposite. Hell, you and I would probably have disagreements about the color of the sky, yet somehow these people across the globe all are in agreement about a science where the scientifically predictive climate models HAVE STATISTICALLY FAILED??!! Future climate isn’t settled knowledge.  Your position that the correlation of message appears to represent scientific accuracy, simply doesn’t make rational sense.
.
So I would suggest that my argument on AGW is scientific, and is superior in accuracy to your own argument as presented here. My position on AGW is different than the politically motivated, generally exaggerated, and now unscientific global warming story given by National Science academies around the world. Those scientific arguments I make are separate from solutions to energy production, on which my opinions are also scientifically based and all of that is separate from my political views, which I hold as unscientific observationally based opinion.
.
So you asked:
.
“So who is more likely to be biased Jeff. Someone who is able to accept the implications of what AGW means, as highlighted in my list? Or someone who finds it deeply disturbing to accept that list?”
.
I must answer that since the list you present is highly political, a person who represents it as “requirement” for a solution to the general human condition, while failing to recognize obvious alternative paths, is far more likely to be biased than someone who disagrees with the proposed political solution but represents the disagreement as politics.

Add in the fact that the alleged “problem” has not been observed and well.. you get the point.

 [some editing for clarity of my comment was done – Jeff]

55 Responses to “A good discussion”

  1. kim2ooo said

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  2. Joe said

    GT: “The science is what it is . . . .”

    There we have the problem in a nutshell, and it is enough to gag an ox. No one disagrees that the science is what it is. How could they. But it is emblematic of the entire alarmist agenda that tautologies are persuasive. But the science that is, the science of data and measurement, of prediction, verification, and falsification, the full panoply of that science, the science of the past three-and-a-half centuries, does not currently support the alarmist view of anthropogenic global warming or anything close to it. Computer models support it; but computer models are a species of argument, not evidence—unless you are an Aristotlean, for whom cognitive inventions are all that are necessary to proceed to QED.

    So again, there it is, the thing itself, giving with one hand, taking away with the other, sanctimoniously appealing to science while simultaneously ignoring science, and all—wait for it—all of it asserted in the name of science.

    Intellectual incoherence simply does not get more accomplished than that.

  3. Genghis said

    Pretending that CAGW is real, is there a solution? Well there is the rub, the only ‘real’ solution would be to get rid of 90% or more of the worlds population. When I ran the numbers, using alternatives from nuclear to solar to wind along with current growth rates, nothing dents the CO2 growth rates (except cold fusion, which is a chimera), much less brings CO2 levels down. 90% decimation anyone?

    There is a solution, prosperity produces declining populations. Westernize the entire world, create a paradise everywhere, and solve the CAGW problem in one deft stroke.

    Economic restrictions and regulation hinders that, so in effect the CACA people are working against their own goals.

    • Jeff Id said

      I actully agree with you on your free economic solution. If we simply take the EPA boot off of US energy production, eliminate all CO2 limitations world wide, cut the government tax burden across the globe, the prosperity that would ensue would fix most of the poverty problems that these well-intended leftists claim to want to help. Everything functions much better when there is a lot to go around.

      Of course, they just envision damage and destruction. More productivity looks like brown sky death rather than blue to them whereas all I see is blue. It is their increased limitation of economic resources is what leads to brown sky.

  4. omanuel said

    If Glenn Tamblyin wants to demonstrate the adherence of AGW promoters to the scientific method, I will gladly post nine pages of precise experimental data and observations from the Nuclear and Space Ages that conclusively show why consensus global climate models fail: Nobody can predict the future behavior of the pulsar at the core of the Sun that:

    1. Made our chemical elements
    2. Birthed the solar system five billion years (5 Ga) ago
    3. Sustained the origin and evolution of life on Earth after 3.5 Ga ago
    4. Still controls and sustains every atom, life and world in the solar system today, a volume of space greater than the combined volumes of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 Earth’s.

    Glenn is welcome to invite as many consensus science members as he wants to assist in building public confidence in the AGW story.

  5. hunter said

    Jeff,
    It is going to take a lot more pointing out to the climate obsessed that their assumptions are wrong, and to do so in clear and credible ways to move this issue forward. You make a good in that direction in your reply.

    • Jeff Id said

      Well I did have fun replying to his post. Glenn seems rational and I hope he replies to tell me why I’m wrong, but we’ve also seen other alarmist types fail to recognize that they are promoting a highly political solution. I think it stems from a belief that anything humans do to change the planet is absolutely bad. They also fail to recognize just how powerful the environmental moderating functions are. If we cut a forest down and go away, 30 years later we have a forest again. A simple demonstration on the other thread shows that all of global warming can be absorbed right into the ocean for centuries without significant change to the atmosphere. Measured temperature rises could even be almost 100% caused by immeasurably small oceanic changes in mix rate and we wouldn’t even know. I’m not claiming to believe that, I’m just saying it is possible.

      Changes in convection and evaporation can create substantial and completely unknown feedbacks that the models I have actually read the code and papers on may not be well captured.

      When we go from that to global socialism because we MUST use a different form of government to limit human behavior, his argument falls apart. I’m sure it is as clear as day to him that the scientists wouldn’t lie or write anything wrong, but I can tell you flat out that sheep are NOT shrinking due to global warming. It is a lie. The Mann08 hockeystick is a statistical trick, and is a lie. The Antarctic warming temperatures published on Natures cover were flat wrong. Mann’s claim that autocorrelation didn’t cause significant variance loss in his papers is a lie. Fish are not shrinking, polar bears are not going extinct, sea ice isn’t vanishing, hurricanes are not increasing in number or strength, droughts are not increasing, ocean levels are not rising significantly faster, and temperatures are not skyrocketing these are ALL LIES. All by these national academies of science who are manned by the same people who believe we need a strong central government to control our behavior.

      It is a big pile of bullshit they are selling to the population. There is not much scientific about it that I have found. What is more, the fact that their proposed “solutions” are non-nuclear, callously non-functional and significantly dangerous to our health and well-being, is beyond the pale. Shut down powerplants without replacing them while expanding the population ….. very, very stupid… Central bank control of massive resource redistribution to sick, disgusting governments who use the funds to offset other costs and buy better weapons, is literally insane. Giving more power to these people is a never ending mantra for they are the intellectuals, they know what is best for you, and they are happy to tell you about it…. for a small stipend.

      So yeah, CO2 does cause a warming effect…. but so what?

      • hunter said

        Nice starter list of false beliefs of the climate obsessed. I (and others) have noted that AGW actually exists if one corrects the acronym to mean “Anthropomorphic Global Warming” from the incorrect “Anthropogenic Global Warming”.
        I wonder if Glenn and other believers would notice the distinction or consider it?

      • joshv said

        Actually his solutions are a solution – of a sort. They will lead to wide-spread famine and population decline – which will eventually result in war, which will lead to famine and population decline. When things settle out, we could be living on a planet with 1-2 billion people, which will be significantly more sustainable and produce a lot less CO2. I doubt very much however it will change the climate much.

  6. George O'Har said

    Jeff,

    I see the point-counterpoint here, and understand why you think GT posted a reasonable something or other. In your rebuttal, you make all the points I would have made. However, I am harsher than you. What he has to say strikes me as fatuous. It is an undisguised appeal to authority, and what is it based on? He seems to think the UN is above politics, that scientists are pure thinkers whose ideas are never sullied by politics. Yes, he makes some admissions, i.e., that all humans have a bias along some line. But it’s meaningless, given what he is peddling here, which is some kind of socialist international save the world scheme. His terms, ‘regulation,’ ‘cooperation,’ ‘global action.’ Yikes. He’s pushing socialism of the worst sort, yet he seems to have no idea that’s what he’s pushing. He believes it’s a rational response to scientific evidence and data. He’s ignorant. He needs to read Naomi Klein’s new screed. At least she’s come out of the closet. She admits the problem is capitalism, that capitalism is killing the planet, and that if we don’t put it to sleep, and become good socialists, we are all going to die. That’s what this whole darn argument comes down to: power and control. GT thinks power can be benign, in the right hands. He sounds like Thorstein Veblin. I disagree strongly with Klein, i.e., free markets are the answer, not the problem. GT says scientists have an agenda, the TRUTH. I’ll accept that, and would agree that it is true for most of them. Yet he conflates small picture and big picture worlds. Most scientists, as scientists, work in a small area. Within that area, they are for the most part experts. Yet I know three scientists at Harvard, a physicist, a chemist, and a biologist, all working in top labs, all nice fellows. What they believe about climate change is what Al Gore and Barack Obama believe. GT is going to say, yes, of course, TRUTH. Even scientists, when they venture outside the narrow confines of their area of expertise, are crippled by the intellectual cluster bomb that is a hideously biased liberal education (this is a new tom-tom for me. Long ago the humanities and social sciences were lost to the emotive irrationality of an agenda-driven education; now it has come for the scientists. We need to look no further than that fool Obama chose as science advisor, or the irrepressible fool, Bill Nye).

    Cheers. Sorry if this is a screed.

    • Jeff Id said

      I find the belief that the policies represent unbiased thought to be a rather fascinating psychological condition.

      • George O'Har said

        Jeff,

        You’re certainly right about that. I’ve all but given up trying to understand how it works. The sad thing is I suspect you could talk with him all day long, and nothing would change. His conviction approaches a kind of serenity.

        • Joe said

          The problem, like most others currently vexing the population, has to do with the place of religion in one’s life.

          Men are by nature religiously inclined. An anthropologist defined the species this way: Homo religious more than Homo sapiens.

          Men need something transcendental to believe in, someone. I am personally convinced that there is such a Being, howsoever He is addressed from place to place. But my belief is unimportant. What is important that some belief of more than material significance must motivate a man else he is, in a practical sense, not human. The majority on the left have repudiated religion. Fine and dandy, but they are still human and subject to a religiously grounded imperative to believe in what is transcendent, for which there are no shortage of candidates, what I, as believer in God, call transcendental fetishes.

          Chesterton as usual had it about right. When ma man stops believing in God, the danger is not that he will commence believing in nothing, but that he may believe anything. For example that the necessary byproduct of ordinary combustion both ubiquitous and necessary for all terrestrial life will destroy the earth, a surprisingly lifelike simulation of bygone Paganism: God is sun and wind. The Devil is fire.

          The scientist? He’s the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

      • hunter said

        I think Lewis Carrol would not mind if it was said about the climate obsessed that “objectivity is whatever I want it to be.”

  7. kakatoa said

    Thanks for sharing your communication with Glenn. I have been fighting a cold that has zapped my strength- which kind of sucks as it’s really nice outside in my area. I decided to do a little office clean up. I dusted off Herbert Samuel’s Belief and Action (1937) work a few minutes ago. I had previously left a napkin between page 186 and 187, in the Chapter entitled “Liberty.” Thought you might like the concluding paragraph of the chapter:

    “We reach the general conclusion that liberty conduces to welfare, in its widest sense. Happy are the people who are fitted, and able, to enjoy liberty in all its forms together. They will not deny that crisis may come when one kind of liberty has to be subordinated for the sake of another. But they will need CLEAR PROOF OF IT BEFORE THEY WILL CONSENT TO SO GREAT A SACRIFICE.”

  8. Glenn Tamblyn,
    Your post is devoid of factual content. You should be ashamed to present such emotional nonsense in public.

    The “Climate Scientists” you revere noted that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is rising (aka the Keeling curve). They claimed that this would trigger Catastrophic Global Warming.

    It is beyond obvious that your so called experts were wrong. The CO2 concentration is rising monotonically while global temperatures has failed to follow. For over 15 years there has been no “Global Warming”.

    Until you can explain the “Pause” nobody in their right mind will listen to you.

  9. hunter said

    As Glenn points out, “the science is what it is”. But the science is not what he says it is. And he seems unwilling to consider that.

  10. Robert Austin said

    “Is there natural human bias? Of course there is. Every individual is subject to that. But individuals biases tend to cancel out when large numbers of people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, demographic all look at the same question.And scietists are the most skeptical people in the world. It’s not like herding cats. More like herding alley-cats. When large numbers of scientists agree on something, having thrown every dart they can at it to try and burst the balloon, then the world really should sit up and take notice. What is the point of having experts if we won’t listen to them?”

    What looking glass world does Glenn live in? Utter tripe!

    • Robert Austin said

      I might add, juxtapose Glenn’s impossibly (and willfully?) naive idealism about the alleged character of Glenn’s “scietists” with the mores and morals revealed in the climategate releases. And it just so happens that the next later post celebrates the climategate releases. How’s that for timing?

  11. gallopingcamel said

    I wonder what Glenn thinks about physicists like Will Happer who say that “Climate Science” is a religion rather than real science:

  12. “It is an oxymoron to believe in evolution, yet not understand free markets.”

    Classic.

  13. tom0mason said

    Glenn Tamblyin wrote –
    “– That any God we may believe in (if you happen to be religious) will not intervene; that we are capable and allowed to wreak damage upon ourselves and said God won’t lift a finger.”

    Please supply scientifically verified evidence that God has not and “won’t lift a finger”. Like some people’s perception of ‘natural variations’ maybe it’s already happening or happened.

    “– That we may have spent our entire working lives contributing to building a society and an economy that turns out to have some significant flaws and is in need of at least some degree of redesign because currently it is dysfunctional; our prosperity has been obtained through a flawed system and we need to accept that, unwittingly, not all our actions have been good.”

    And who are you to tell the rest of the world how to live their lives? Surely only the most dysfunctional people can believe that they can create a better world by decree, and given the flaws within the human condition, only a more dysfunctional system would erupt from such an endeavor (please read how the Nazi party started – nice idea to begin with…).

    “Here is the point. The Laws of Physics don’t care what our feelings about this are, yours or mine. The Laws of Physics are life-and-death. All our values etc are just our incidental ruminations. If our deepest values, desires and beliefs are out of sync with the Laws of Physics, then the Laws of Physics will stomp on our most treasured ideas with utter disdain.”

    As any true scientist will acknowledge our universe is only seen through the flaws and distortions of human experiences, senses, and machines of our making; thus any interpretations of these ‘The Laws of Physics’ are only good as far as humans can make and interpret them. Our version of any universal ‘Laws of Physics’ are not necessarily true, they are only as good as we, as humans, can make and interpret them. That said all ‘Laws of Physics’ are therefore faulty and are subject to change.
    ‘The Laws of Physics’ are subject to change, none are set in stone!

    Your view of humans and our place in the world appears very meager, lacking, as it does, insight to both the raging glory that is nature, and the adaptable strengths of people.

  14. Frank said

    I’d like to ask Glynn why the authors of AR5 thought it was their job to tell policymakers what needed to be done to keep future warming below 2 degC? The IPCC is not supposed to be policy prescriptive! Why 2 degC, especially why 2 degC above pre-industrial temperature? No one currently on the planet has ever experienced pre-industrial climate and the LIA. That climate wasn’t accurately measured with thermometers. From a scientific point of view, accurate measurements of global climate change didn’t begin until the satellite era and ARGO eras. The USCRN is the first truly scientific attempt to measure changes in 2 m surface temperature. Current ad hoc procedures for measuring 2 m surface temperature (ignoring UHI, inconsistent station siting and maintenance, incomplete records, data homogenization!) don’t represent rigorous scientific methodology. About 1/4 of 20th century warming (1/10 of our 2 degC goal) comes from correcting apparent breakpoints with an unknown cause! In the best-studied country, the US, 50% of warming comes from adjustments and cooling was observed in the Southeast until very recently.

    The SECRET goal is to limit warming to about 1 degC above today’s temperature. Some obscure climate scientists get to non-transparently choose whether warming so far has amounted to 0.8 degC and we have 1.2 degC to go or whether previous warming has been 1.2 degC and we have 0.8 degC to go. Pure idiocy. What we do know is that the warming over the past century has generally produced a more benign climate and some think the situation will continue to improve for the next 1 degC of warming!

    The 2 degC goal has nothing to do with science. It was conceived by a group of environmental activists and adopted by the politicians they control without any substantial debate. Such an arbitrary political has no business being in a purely scientific report that isn’t supposed to prescribe policy!

    The IPCC could have included a table with showing how much more fossil fuel we can burn and still keep the temperature rise from TODAY (average of the last 30 years) until 2100 to 1.0, 1.5. 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 degC. Then policymakers could CHOOSE their preferred goal (hopefully based on practicality and cost/benefit). The problem is that these calculations must take into account uncertainty in climate sensitivity. The IPCC’s likely range (70% confidence interval) for ECS is 3.0 +/- 1.5 degC. Burning X gigatons of fossil fuel will produce 0.5-1.5 degC of warming (70% ci). Therefore, if we burn anywhere from 2X/3 to 2X gigatons of fossil fuel, we have a 70% likelihood of holding warming to 1 degC rise! Continuing, if we burn anywhere from 2Y/3 to 2Y gigatons of fossil fuel, we have a 70% likelihood of holding warming to 2 degC rise and if we burn anywhere from 2Z/3 to 2Z gigatons of fossil fuel, we have a 70% likelihood of holding warming to 3 degC rise!

    Why does the IPCC behave in such a non-scientific fashion? They want to tell policymakers precisely what they must do to make the world a better place!

    The IPCC also cheats on the uncertainty inherent in these calculation by using the output from GCMs to generate confidence intervals – even though they know this is statistically improper. GCMs contains dozens of adjustable parameters, but each model chooses only one value for each parameter from within a range – using a non-rigorous tuning process incapable of finding a global optimum. If the IPCC truly believed that GCMs represented the full range of uncertainty, they would use climate models to tell us that ECS is something like 2.5-3.5 degC (90% ci). Unfortunately, there is lots of evidence from other sources that is inconsistent with this estimate.

    • hunter said

      You assume that burning fossil fuels equals warmth and can be fine tuned by policy makers to control future climate.
      That is an assumption not supported by facts.
      The IPCC enterprise behaves in a non-scientific fashion because it is not scientific. It is part of a social movement coated in a thin layer of science and obsessed with the ideas that the climate is being strongly influenced by CO2. This CO2 is human caused. This influence is leading to dangerous things. And that controlling CO2 will prevent these dangerous things.
      The absence of the evidence of any adverse impacts. The complete failure of the predictions and models. None of this deters the obsessed to rethink their dogmatic beliefs. All they need to cling to is that CO2 has gone up. That alone fuels their faith. No more evidence needed.
      As to the secret you have discovered- well it can’t be much of a secret if you are sharing it.
      And since you offer no documentation on the secret, perhaps we can call your secret more of a speculation?

      • Frank said

        Hunter: One does not need the IPCC’s unvalidated and failing models and politicized science to know that increasing CO2 will cause future warming. It is discouraging to hear smart people like Jeff rant about the failure of climate models and ignore real science.

        Well-established theories (the S-B and Schwarzschild eqns) tell us how radiation and matter interact. When combined with laboratory measurements of the optical properties of GHGs, these theories predict that doubling CO2 will reduce TOA OLR by about 3.5 W/m2. Without feedbacks, 1 degC of warming would needed to restore the balance between incoming and outgoing radiation. I don’t know of any skeptical climate scientists who disagree with these basics.

        Due to the asymmetric hemispheric distribution of land, mean global temperature rises and falls about 3 degC every year, roughly the amount of warming the IPCC expects from 2XCO2. (This cycle is unfamiliar to many because the cycle is subtracted when temperature data is reported as a temperature anomaly.) Measurements of OLR from space during the annual seasonal cycle in warming demonstrate beyond any doubt that fast feedbacks DO further reduce OLR, but not necessarily 3-fold.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/110/19/7568.full

        So why have the IPCC’s projections been so wrong?

        Since the IPCC wanted to confidently attribute the rapid warming from 1975 to 1998 to rising GHGs, they de-emphasize the role of unforced variability (aka internal variability or chaos). They ignored the fact that the unforced warming around 1940 was similar to warming at the end of the century. Today’s hiatus in warming looks very much like the hiatus in the 1960’s, but the IPCC attributed that earlier hiatus to rising aerosols. That strategy produced climate models that were too sensitive to the cooling effects of aerosols and needed strong feedbacks to reproduce the record of 20th century warming. (If you want your climate model to continue to be funded, your model had better be able to reproduce the historical record of warming!) Now we have a hiatus without rising aerosols, experimental data demonstrating less cooling by aerosols, and discredited models warming about 50% faster than observations.

        If you look at the above PNAS paper, you’ll see that GCMs do a pretty lousy job of reproducing the flux changes associated with the annual warming cycle. AOGCMs contain several dozen interacting adjustable parameters that are tuned one at a time, a process unlikely to produce an optimum set of parameters. When the IPCC tells us that climate sensitivity is 1.5-4.5 degC (70% confidence interval), but their models show a much narrower range; they are telling us they can’t trust their models to put accurate bounds ECS and therefore on any projection! Unfortunately, policymakers and economists desperately need something better than a 70% confidence interval for warming that spans a 3-fold range in overall warming. Despite spending billions, that 3-fold range hasn’t shrunk in more than two decades. The IPCC disguises this problem with model output showing a narrower range of future warming.

        There is absolutely nothing in the observational record that is inconsistent with the idea that unforced variability can produce decadal deviations of about 0.2 degC and that ECS is about 2 degC. We know that the unforced variability associated with the 1998 El Nino caused an 0.5 degC rise in temperature.

        • Jeff Id said

          Frank, please tell me what real science I have ignored. I have read your comments here a couple of times and can’t figure it out. As I do endeavor to correct myself when there is something new to be learned, it would certainly be nice to understand what I have missed.

          • Frank said

            Jeff: Let me abstract a few sentences you wrote above – at the risk of taking them out of context.

            “Climate models have failed….. Completely 100% failed by basic statistical testing…”

            “It is reasonable to state that the problem with the models is worse than simply exaggerating the warming trend by 2-3 times, they are not explanatory of the difference, so mathematically and scientifically they have little to no predictive scientific value. We don’t have a prediction that we can rely on.”

            “IF we still irrationally assume that CO2 IS going to cause significant warming right now, and it IS irrational to assume such as we have no evidence for it …”

            You appear to be ignoring many publications, including those by Nic Lewis, that have recently reported energy balance models with a most likely value of 1.4 degC for TCR and 1.6-2.0 for ECS. The most likely values exhibited by the IPCC’s models are about 50% higher; not 2-3 fold higher. If ECS is 2.0 and CO2 reaches about 800 ppm, that would be another 2 degC of warming from today. I’d call that significant warming, but not necessarily CAGW. You may consider this to be insignificant warming that is irrational to worry about, in which case we are in scientific agreement, but using different terms to describe it. None of this was changed by the failure of climate models during the hiatus.

            You appear to be ignoring the GHE and the 3.5 W/m2 radiative forcing calculated for 2XCO2 using the Schwarzschild eqn. This results in a no-feedbacks climate sensitivity of about 1 degC; apparently 1.2 degC for the most sophisticated representations of the atmosphere. None of this physics is invalidated by the failures of climate models. Even modest amplification by feedbacks will bring ECS up to 2 degC. I think there are good reasons to expect some positive feedbacks to exist and not be negated by strongly negative cloud feedback. The best evidence can be found in the Manabe PNAS paper linked above:

            During the annual 3 degC rise in mean global temperature rise, OLR rises significantly less than expected for Planck feedback with no amplification from fast feedbacks. Manabe analyzes data from 10 annual cycles, five with ERBE and five with CERES. There is also evidence of a sizable snow albedo feedback in the reflected SWR from clear skies. There is no evidence for a strongly negative cloud feedback in the SWR channel (albedo) or the OLR channel. These observations, combined with common-sense about water vapor feedback from regions where liquid and vapor are in close contact, lead me to believe in some amplification by feedbacks.

            The problem with using this annual cycle of warming is that it is caused by the lower heat capacity of the northern hemisphere. So we are observing feedbacks reducing OLR and reflected SWR as the land-rich northern hemisphere warms and the water-dominated southern hemisphere cools, leaving the whole planet an average of 3 degC warmer. Rising GHGs will warm both hemispheres. This problem makes the snow albedo feedback seen in reflected SWR in clear skies fairly irrelevant; there is little snow cover during winter in the southern hemisphere. However, the OLR feedback in clear skies (caused by water vapor + lapse rate feedback) does seem relevant to GHG-mediated warming.

            IMO, the skeptical community has vastly over-interpreted significance of the hiatus; just like the alarmists over-interpreted the rapid warming during the last quarter of the 20th century. Both were probably unforced variability (the AMO?) modulating an average warming consistent with an ECS near 2.0 degC. The GHE is still real. Radiative forcing by GHG’s is still real. Amplification by feedbacks appears to be real, but not catastrophic. The hiatus may or may not have ended with this year’s modest El Nino. So what? It will take decades of rapid warming (0.3 degC/decade) to make truly catastrophic warming a real possibility again.

          • Jeff Id said

            Thanks for the reply. That’s quite a laundry list. I see the problem with what you have written and you seem quite in tune with the science but the fact that I did not re-cover all aspects of global warming in a single comment cannot reasonably be used to claim that I “ignore” the science.
            ———–
            “You appear to be ignoring many publications, including those by Nic Lewis, that have recently reported energy balance models with a most likely value of 1.3 degC for TCR and 1.6-2.0 for ECS. ”

            Actually, I consider Nic’s work on sensitivity to be the best in the field. I had an opportunity to work a bit with Nic on our Antarctic temperature publication and happen to know that he won’t tweak a number in any direction. He demands perfection in his math and this math is complex enough you need someone with Nic’s mind and unbiased approach to perform these specific types of studies. I don’t know your math background, but in the types of studies you reference, tweaking is how they are done. You can make the studies conclude a wide range of answers based on starting assumptions. Nic put a huge effort in determining optimal starting assumptions. Therefore, Nic’s work is the only science that I can even begin to accept without redoing the studies in their entirety myself.

            —-

            I flatly don’t believe 1.3C is a problem at all for humanity and this is a best center estimate for TCR this holds true for even 2C ECS. It is probably hugely beneficial to life on Earth at that level but unlike the IPCC, I admit that I don’t know with certainty. ECS is a different and more complex subject and IMHO you shouldn’t jump to quickly to accepting those numbers, even from Nic, as they contain significant unknown assumptions (guessing) contained within climate models. We have so little information on moisture feedback and other factors that it is scientifically reasonable to say we simply don’t know long term sensitivity. Combine that with really vast unknowns on oceanic energy transfer and all bets might be off for accurate prediction of tiny temperature trends in the atmosphere with current data.

            Of course you can disagree, but feedbacks and oceanic energy transfer as related to ECS contain the crux of the unknown aspects of AGW. We are only guessing temperatures at that point. People argue about the magnitude of CO2 warming all the time but cannot get their heads around the concept that ECS vs TCS is a core aspect of the true disagreement.

            ————-
            “You appear to be ignoring the GHE and the 3.5 W/m2 radiative forcing calculated for 2XCO2 using the Schwarzschild eqn”

            I have posted numerous time on the magnitude of warming expected from Stephan Boltzmann and Planck blackbody equations. I agree with the answer of 1.2C ish..
            ———–
            Modeled tropospheric trends are often multiples of observation, so again, I think we agree on this as tropospheric temperature is hardly the whole story as TCR is a total energy based calculation.

            However, if you fit a trend and include natural variations in surface temp measurements, models have completely, unequivocally, failed. Not only have they failed to predict bulk properties like warming of atmosphere and ocean, they have failed to predict much of the local and atmospheric structure we observe. Now before I ignore something, I do believe models can work and that they might even work with today’s complexity, although oceanic energy transfer probably needs improvement for the model to accurately predict future temps, it is apparent to me that the most likely case is that modeled AGW sensitivity is a bit tweaked..
            ——–
            ” The most likely values exhibited by the IPCC’s models are about 50% higher; not 2-3 fold higher.”

            That isn’t accurate. Nic Lewis and Judith Curry estimated about 1.7C ECS, rather than your 2.0. AR4 had an exaggerated observationally based estimate of 3.0 but I compared observation to models which run even hotter. A quick plot reference can be found at Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity

            Models run several times hotter than observation, the 50% number you reference happens to correspond with Nic Lewis’s comparison of actual observational data to the IPCC observational data report. Perhaps that is where the confusion is.
            ———-

            I think the main disagreement we have may be with respect to the accuracy of ECS and how it relates to future temperatures and probably what that actually means for our future. I don’t find the disagreement unscientific, however, unrealistic is more descriptive. If we take even a cursory look at the energy content of the ocean, we quickly find that the energy capacity of the body of water can overwhelm any warming CO2 can create. Only some very significant assumptions about the rate of energy transfer from the surface to the depths of the ocean allow us to make conclusions about air temperatures in 300 years. Acceptance of the basic model assumption of a highly stable centennial scale oceanic energy transfer rate seems more than a bit scientifically reckless to me, especially when considering the ice-core temperature history.

            Once the heat is transferred to the 2C depths of the ocean, thermodynamic law demonstrates that it no longer can have have a measurable impact with today’s equipment on atmospheric temperature on even 500 year timeframes. In addition to atmospheric moisture feedbacks, ECS on a 70 year scale represents a significant assumption about centennial scale oceanic energy transfer variability.

            —–
            I suppose it is worth mentioning that I also agree that the “pause” in warming is often overstated by skeptics in that they claim warming isn’t happening. I enjoy it because it is such a blatant failure of a multi-hundred billion dollar “science”.

            Warming clearly is happening, but the models did not predict that the magnitude of planetary energy accumulation would be this low, and with the insane alarmism we are subjected to in the normal course of things, that aspect of model failure cannot be overstated.

        • hunter said

          Frank,
          You simply use a *lot* more words to say what I said. The over-the-top out of control side is the alarmist. I am bored when skeptics like myself are told we are out of line for not comprehensviely listing the points about basic physics that most skeptics do not contest in the first place.
          *Nothing* you have said contradicts my basic point: that the idea of controlling CO2 will modify the climate in any sigfnficant fashion.
          The ones who need to be hearing truth to power are the ones who are on the receiving end of the huge river of (wasted) funds that finds the climate obsession and hype industries.

  15. Frank said

    Jeff: In my original comment, I criticized the IPCC for over-simplifying how policymakers could meet the 2 degC target proposed by alarmists without any economic justification. I recommended reporting the range of CO2 emissions (not just a central estimate) compatible with limiting future warming to several targets using the full range of uncertainty about climate sensitivity (not just model output). The full range of uncertainty includes the values of TCR and ECS we both agree are most likely. Using the full range of climate sensitivity would warn policymakers that climate scientists have no useful idea of how much fossil fuel we can burn and limit future warming to a particular target. Hunter then criticized me:

    “You assume that burning fossil fuels equals warmth and can be fine tuned by policy makers to control future climate.
    That is an assumption not supported by facts.”

    IMO, anyone who makes this statement is ignoring the reality of the GHE, anthropogenic forcing, and 1.2 degC of no-feedbacks climate sensitivity. They also ignore observations from space during the annual cycle of warming I cited above (and common sense about rising absolute humidity) that support the idea that feedbacks amplify warming. These are the fundamental scientific principles of AGW, not just AOGCMs. Too many skeptics passionately or irrationally believe that the hiatus, and the failure of the IPCC’s models to predict it, has INVALIDED this fundamental science. They don’t understand unforced variability and are blind to the possibility that the hiatus may have ended with this year’s weak El Nino. IMO, sophisticated skeptics like you should qualify critical remarks with something like:

    “While the GHE effect is real and increasing CO2 will cause some warming …”

    However, this is your blog and you have every right to respond to exaggerations by alarmists as you see fit. (If you let me, I will point out that the fundamental science that we both accept is still valid.)

    The median TCR we favor is about 3/4 of the IPCC’s models. The median ECS we prefer is about 1/2 to 2/3 of the IPCC’s models.
    As Nic has brilliantly recognized, the IPCC’s models exaggerate the effect of aerosols on climate. The IPCC projects that aerosols will decrease, so their models overestimate the warming that this reduction will cause. I usually ignore this problem and simply assume that future anthropogenic forcing will be an addition 3.7 W/m2, equivalent to a doubling of CO2 from the current 400 ppm to 800 ppm. This is roughly equivalent to the IPCC’s RCP 6.0 W/m2 scenario. So I assume that real warming will be about 75% of the RCP 6.0 projection when TCR is relevant and 50-67% when ECS is relevant further in the future and try to remember there are confidence interval involved too. Is this reasonable?

    IMO, this position leaves CO2 as the biggest “control knob” on our climate – besides the phenomena that produce ice ages. Ice ages appear to be linked to, but not fully explained by, orbital mechanics. The most extreme estimate for the reduction in TSI during the Maunder minimum (-6 W/m2) is equivalent to a -1 W/m2 global forcing. Pinatubo, the second biggest eruption in a century, was a trivial -2.5 W-year/m^2 event. If one assumes that warming should have continued at 0.2 degC this century (more than either of us believe), the hiatus represents only -0.3 degC of unforced variability. Some of this discrepancy may have been forced by the weaker sun and minor volcanos. So future anthropogenic forcing dwarfs solar variability, volcanos and unforced variability.

    That brings us to impacts and whether it makes sense to spend massive amounts of money trying to stop this this control knob from turning. This is a far more difficult issue than the existence of a “control knob”. The attempts by alarmists to blame current extreme weather events on rising CO2 are mostly lies. I have calculated that a 1 degC change in mean annual temperature is equivalent to moving south about 100 miles in the Northern Temperate Zone. So, a warming of 1.5 degC would move the corn belt about 150 miles to the north, a distance modestly less than the span of the corn belt. So I don’t think the impacts of expected warming will be trivial nor exclusively good. Iowa farmers, of course, can switch to wheat or perhaps more tolerant varieties of corn. Polar bears can move north, but most habitat isn’t that flexible. Adaptation by evolution is far too slow. I know that Richard Tol and others think further warming up to +1 degC could be net beneficial before dropping off rapidly. I personally haven’t studied the costs and benefits of mitigating climate change, but it is obvious that centrally planned policies (like solar and no nukes in Germany) will be incredibly wasteful.

    When I look at this image of the North Pole, it is hard to understand why the Greenland Ice Sheet survived the Holocene, while all of the other ice caps at similar latitudes melted. I’m pessimistic about the future of the GIS after centuries of +1.5-2.0 degC of future global warming accompanied by polar amplification. About half melted during the previous interglacial. The roughly 5 degC of warming since the LGM were accompanied by 120 m of SLR. So 5 m of SLR from Greenland and more from Antarctica doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, but over a millennium or more. Since any change will be slow, the discounted cost of this change is negligible. However, the claim that SLR this century could be 1 m or more appears totally outrageous. If current SLR (1.25 cm/decade) accelerated at a rate of 1 cm/decade/decade, that would produce the IPCC’s central estimate of 0.5 m of SLR. That amount of acceleration isn’t happening now. When or if it arrives, acceleration will be easily detected by current monitoring systems long before we need to plan for adaptation, but mitigation may be impossible.

    • Jeff Id said

      “The median TCR we favor is about 3/4 of the IPCC’s models. The median ECS we prefer is about 1/2 to 2/3 of the IPCC’s models.”

      Why do you insist on the ECS being 2/3 of models? It certainly doesn’t look very close to what Nic, Judith and many others have determined. What am I missing? There has to be something that I haven’t seen or read.

      As to TCS, I get about 70% of IPCC and even that has plenty of question involved with that number.

      I really don’t prefer or favor any of the numbers. Warming could still be much worse than current measurements have shown, however unlikely that may seem to be. What I don’t agree with though is that ECS is in any way ‘known’. As I have tried to state, the oceans can overwhelm any positive or ‘negative’ feedbacks in the climate system with only minor changes in internal energy flow. My understanding is that ECS estimates are model derived ratios from TCS, and as we have seen from models, should absolutely and scientifically be taken with a big grain of salt!

      There is no solid scientific case to accept the magnitude of ECS that I am aware of. Not that there is anything wrong with attempts to estimate it, we must be at least as wary of accepting the value as we are of accepting trees as thermometers.

      It seems to me that your statement about 1.2C of warming sensitivity, combined with observed humidity, necessitates that warming will be greater than 1.2C. I really don’t believe that this is a known. First, it seems pretty obvious that humidity would respond to temperature on a very short timescale, not the 70 year ECS type scale so we are already seeing the result of whatever increased humidity we would see. Then I suspect that hadley cell formation is a strong counterbalance to increased humidity, although I don’t know of any measured trends in that area. There have been papers published which have shown a negative feedback from that increased humidity as well so it seems to me that the science is a bit up in the air on the matter. Certainly that should call model based ECS into question.

      So then we have the effects of all of this warming we are talking about. As you said 1.5C is about 150 miles, but year to year variation in farming states is far greater than that already. We already know how corn will do in 2C warmer climate, because we tried it, many times. Adaptation to such a minor thing is quite obviously not a problem. It is very hard for me to understand why people worry about such things.

      The Antarctic is too cold to melt. Sheep won’t shrink. Fish won’t shrink. Butterflies won’t starve. Polar bears and penguins won’t die. Polar ice won’t vanish. Ocean levels won’t rocket upward. I think we agree that none of that is real, which again should call into question literally anything we hear from the IPCC.

      So no it doesn’t appear to me that CO2 is a good control knob for climate. Oddly enough, I really wish it were. We have a pending ice age to offset and it doesn’t look to me like CO2 is anywhere near strong enough to do the trick. It’s really too bad because the next ice age will really stink for humanity.

      On another topic which is interesting, I am suggesting the ice ages, which seem linked to orbital mechanics, are initiated by a very minor shift in oceanic current. Just a slight increase in surface water mixing is more than enough to offset any warming we can add with CO2. Run some basic calculations if you are interested. There is a HELL of a lot of heat capacity there, and the stuff is damned cold! Nearly a thousand years of global warming would result in a miniscule 1C change in ocean temps were it absorbed into its depths. It’s kind of a good argument for those who believe god will save us from ourselves.

  16. Frank said

    Jeff wrote: “So then we have the effects of all of this warming we are talking about. As you said 1.5C is about 150 miles, but year to year variation in farming states is far greater than that already. We already know how corn will do in 2C warmer climate, because we tried it, many times. Adaptation to such a minor thing is quite obviously not a problem. It is very hard for me to understand why people worry about such things.”

    Frank replies: Variable weather makes farming a relatively risky business right now. Corn is grown where the average climate is optimal right now. If the average weather is 1.5 degC warmer in the future, the number of poor corn harvests will increase at that location. Prices will go up. Some farmers will go out of business. If we had a free market in agriculture (:)) and no farm lobby, competition would spur adaptation. As it is, the government in every developed country will attempt to protect their farmers and shoppers (voters) from the effects of climate change. The environmentalists have banned GMO crops in Europe and are trying to do the same here.

    Forests and the ecosystems they support can’t migrate northward very quickly. Some species are already having difficult at the southern (and lower altitude) end of their range. You’ve read the stories about the pine beetles that now survive winters where they haven’t before.

    Deserts tend to be located under the descending branch of the Hadley circulation. Models predict that there will be less warming from 2XCO2 at the equator than average because an enhanced Hadley circulation will extend further into the temperate zones in the future. The models (and my intuition, which tells me to trust them on this subject) may be wrong, but skeptics logically have to “pick their poison”: more warming at the equator or the poleward expansion of sub-tropical arid regions. On the average, however, precipitation will increase with warming and we can pay to transport that water to more arid regions.

    As for the Antarctic, I’m sure you know it melts from contact with the ocean, not the air which is below freezing. If you aren’t aware, the standard map of Antarctica shows where the coastline would be if the ice cap were removed and post glacial rebound (but not sea level rise) occurred. There is a lot of ice below sea level. The bedrock in central Greenland is below sea level too.

    Assessing the impacts of climate change and the ease of adaptation isn’t a rigorous field where one can be confident in one’s conclusions. When my best examples are the corn belt and the disappearance of the GIS in a millennium or two, it should be obvious I don’t have much confidence in many impacts except the 100 miles per degC of warming. So I’ll give you the final word on the absurdity of spending money to avoid these impacts and stick to climate change itself in the future.

    • Jeff Id said

      Frank,

      I see we are going to have a parting of ideas here. I don’t mind disagreement but most others do.

      You wrote:
      ” Variable weather makes farming a relatively risky business right now. Corn is grown where the average climate is optimal right now. If the average weather is 1.5 degC warmer in the future, the number of poor corn harvests will increase at that location. Prices will go up. Some farmers will go out of business. If we had a free market in agriculture (:)) and no farm lobby, competition would spur adaptation. As it is, the government in every developed country will attempt to protect their farmers and shoppers (voters) from the effects of climate change. The environmentalists have banned GMO crops in Europe and are trying to do the same here. ”

      Your statement is premised on variable weather, not warmer weather. CO2 is hypothetically about warmer weather. Although increased variability in weather is a reasonable expectation, we haven’t observed any change in variability from 0.8C in warming that we already have experienced. My point above though, is that we already *have* substantially variable weather. Therefore, we have already tried the effects of an increase of 1.5C temperature in local crops, we try that (and much more) on and off every couple of years. This summer was very cold here but crops came in right down the middle of expectations just like we get on warm years. Moisture is a much more serious impact on crops than temperature and we see no trend in moisture from warming (observations, not models). The lack of trend is true even in the tropics where we expect a lot of change from AGW doom. The effect of moisture on crops is so great that any signal from warming effects on crop growth, is completely swamped in the noise.

      You have concluded that because crops cannot be genetically engineered that they cannot be selectively engineered quickly enough to adjust to 1.5C, you also conclude that we cannot move farming northward at a reasonable enough pace to keep up with a little warming. I disagree with both of these conclusions on the basis that existing variation in weather means that most years will fall inside well established normal temperature ranges so a low climate sensitivity like Nic Lewis and others have observed, means that we have literally centuries in which to adjust to lower performing crops.

      Precipitation should increase with warming, it makes too much sense for it to be wrong, but the increase in precipitation is going to be based not on temperature but delta temperature between atmosphere and the surface of the ocean. That delta temperature is not going to increase at the same rate as warming as the surface temperature of the ocean drives atmospheric temp, and that reduction in delta temperature trend means less change in precipitation with warmer weather. However, the ocean is very big and thermally massive and the temperature over the whole volume is static with respect to the AGW energy input we create, so I really don’t know what to expect. Relative humidity is not expected to go up significantly though whereas absolute humidity will, and that is probably why we don’t see a significant increase in precipitation, again I don’t really know. It seems obvious that the difference from today’s precip caused by 2C of warming has been vastly exaggerated by the IPCC and climate science in general, my evidence is the lack of a statistically detectable trend in rainfall.

      In my humble opinion, you shouldn’t let the alarmism of ‘impacts’ penetrate your thoughts so deeply without evidenciary support. Scientific understanding occurs when models match observation. In this case, when climate models don’t match observation, we must question every significant aspect of the model. Precip, humidity, feedback, ice, sea level, temperature, etc….

      So I’m definitely a skeptic of the magnitude and seriousness of global warming, but I do contend that my skepticism is based 100% on the science in its current state. I’m often wrong though so if there is something I am missing, which there most certainly is, I’m happy to learn.
      —–

      On another topic, I wouldn’t be surprised if negative feedbacks kept the actual long term performance of the TCR and ECS to CO2 below 1.3C. I would be equally unsurprised if TCR was actually higher than 1.3. My statement is not consistent with the center of observed data but again I think it is quite likely that the accuracy in our understanding of other factors such as cloud formation, aerosols and oceanic currents have influenced our observations that would adjust our understanding in significant ways.

      • Frank said

        Jeff: I don’t mind rational disagreement, because there is always a chance I can learn something new.

        Here is a map of the corn belt: http://schillerinstitute.org/strategic/2011/us_food_crisis/Original%20Files/e1-4-corn_for_all_purposes_usda.jpg

        I assume corn is grown at certain latitudes in the Middle West, summer wheat further south, and winter wheat even further south because the average climate is optimal in those ranges. Let’s say natural variability in the weather means that 4 out of 10 years the temperature in the center is the corn belt is optimal for corn, 2/10 yields are down from spring cold, 2/10 yields are down from summer heat, 1/10 spring cold reduces harvest disastrously and 1/10 summer heat reduces harvest disastrously. Back to back disastrous harvests cause potential bankruptcy, about four times a century.

        Now we have climate change equivalent to moving 200 miles further south, where much less corn is grown because the temperature is less optimum. (Many other aspects of climate and geography matter, but let’s keep it simply.) Further south, spring cold may reduce yield only 1 out of 10 years and never disastrously. But summer heat is disastrous 3/10 years, marginally suboptimal 3/10, and ideal 3/10. Now there is potential for bankruptcy 9 times a century.

        Now these are all imaginary numbers. However, whenever you move away from where climate is optimum on the average or the optimum climate moves north, you do somewhat less well – despite the fact that the weather naturally varies significantly from optimum in the average year. If a warming of 2 degC moves the optimum climate 200 miles to the north and the crop grows well across a 600 mile north-south span, a 2 degC/200 mile shift will be unimportant. However, I picked the corn belt because it is concentrated in a 200 mile range.

        Man can always adapt grow alternative crops or genetically engineered crops. We have been purposefully breeding important crops for a century and accidentally breeding for 50 centuries. There are some fundamental limitations in terms of W/m2 of solar energy that can be intercepted by growing crops, the efficiency of biochemistry, and evaporation of water via stomata when CO2 is entering. So I don’t expect lots more improvement, but betting against man’s ingenuity isn’t a great strategy.

        Ecosystems for the same rules as crops. The edge of the southern range of many species has moved about 100 miles north or 160 feet higher in elevation and will continue to do so. When the north/south span of the species is narrow and it is difficult for that species to get a foothold not of its current range, the species will be endangered.

        • hunter said

          Frank,
          Corn is grown from the tropics to Canada.
          There are hundreds of varieties of corn.
          Corn is bred for temperature, water needs, quality of corn, etc. We have been purposely growing plants and breeding them to our needs for over 1000 years, not 100.
          We do not have climate change moving anything significantly north or south.

    • hunter said

      Farming has *always* been risky due to weather. It is beyond ignorant for climatge hypesters to imply that farming at one time was not subject to huge weather risks.
      If things warm up some, people will breed corps to thrive in the new climate or they will change crops.
      It is as if a requirement to believe in a climate catastrophe is that the beliver must be completely uninformed about history and farming. Those who wish to spend trillions of other people’s dollars on this absurdity. That the Antarctic, the polar ice caps, Greenland and land based glaciers are all doing things well within their hsitorical variability seems lost on the castrophists.
      I am pleased that Frank at least sees some absurdity in the cliamte obsessed position.

  17. Frank said

    Jeff wrote above: “In my humble opinion, you shouldn’t let the alarmism of ‘impacts’ penetrate your thoughts so deeply without evidenciary support. Scientific understanding occurs when models match observation. In this case, when climate models don’t match observation, we must question every significant aspect of the model. Precip, humidity, feedback, ice, sea level, temperature, etc….”

    You are right. In general, I study the science of AGW, but don’t devote much effort to the “science” and economics of impacts. (I am sickened when every extreme weather event is blamed on climate change.) I’m comfortable that reasonable best estimates for future warming are 75% and 60% of the TCR and ECS estimates of the IPCC. (The IPCC used to say that 3.0 degCwas their best estimate for ECS based on the model mean before AR5 and that presumably is the central estimate for their current model output.) On the other hand, I’m not sure what confidence limits to put around the central estimate I prefer: Some days Judith Curry’s 1-6 degC range makes sense. Other days, the confidence limits from LC14 make sense.

    I have always objected to saying that relative humidity will be unchanged to a first approximation. Water vapor is not in equilibrium with water vapor everywhere (and relative humidity is far from 100% = equilibrium in many places), so why should anyone but an alarmist start with the assumption of constant relative humidity or the straw man of constant absolute humidity. Constant relative humidity is the correct assumption where air masses are rising and clouds are forming. It seems like a reasonable assumption in the turbulently mixed boundary layer over the ocean. Even that assumption because a 7% increase in evaporation from the ocean with a 1 degC increase is a 6 W/m2 imbalance at the surface – which big compared with the change in OLR and DLR expected for a 1 degC change in SST and the atmosphere immediately above. One can add the controversy about whether relative humidity in the upper atmosphere has been rising and whether the resulting hot spot exists. Apparently a constant adiabatic lapse rate and the hot spot exist during annual cycles (if one believes the one Santer paper on this subject). The hot spot clearly doesn’t exist in the satellite record and didn’t exist in the radiosonde record before the data was “homogenized”, but measuring surface warming accurately enough over 30+ years has been hard enough and the temperature in the upper atmosphere drops 0.65 degC every 100 meters, a second variable that can’t be allowed to drift. Overall, it is hard to believe there won’t be some water vapor feedback (partially negated by linked lapse rate feedback), but it doesn’t have to be enough to double the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity. This is confirmed by CERES observations from space in clear skies during the annual 3 degC rise in GMST.

    So far, there is no evidence for the strongly negative cloud feedback needed to reduce ECS below 1 degC. Even Spenser was critical of some aspects of Lindzen and Choi.

    I don’t pay much attention to the output of climate models. Each climate model contains dozens of parameters for handling sub-grid processes – parameter which could adopt a range of values. These parameters are tuned by a process that doesn’t guarantee that the complete set will produce the best possible representation of current climate. It seems obvious that the aerosol parameter and probably others has been tuned to match the historical record – which invalidates their use in attribution studies. Worst of all, the relative narrow range of climate sensitivity exhibited by these models compared with 1.5-4.5 degC allows the IPCC to make more confident (narrow) projections about the future than the uncertainty they acknowledge in their 70% ci for ECS. This is the BIG LIE in every IPCC report. If projection they make should be prefaced by “If our AOGCMs are correct(1), we anticipate the …..” with footnote saying that uncertainty in climate sensitivity is exhibited by climate models is about half the uncertainty based on expert opinion, that the average model has overestimated observed warming by about 33%, and that most models over-estimate cooling by aerosols.” After all, Schneider tells us that ethical scientists are expected to tell “the truth, the whole truth … with all of the caveats…” and the IPCC’s SPMs are supposed to be scientific documents, not scary over-simplifications.

    In the case of scientific skeptics, the caveats should include the GHE, 1.2 degC and the expectation of some warming with rising CO2.

    • Jeff Id said

      Frank,

      The conversation started when you said that it was a shame that I ignored the good science. After our conversation has continued, I have found no basis for your claim.

      In response to the corn growth claims you make above, I need to get you a summer temperature variability plot of iowa or something so that you don’t worry so much about corn growth. As a hint, it is much much greater than your previous comment seems to indicate. Annual temperature variability far exceeds 2C so we already know what 2C will do to our ability to grow corn.

      I also need to spend a few minutes on this recent comment but I won’t have any time until tomorrow. In the meantime, I have repeatedly made a single point which seems to be missed.

      You wrote:

      “I’m comfortable that reasonable best estimates for future warming are 75% and 60% of the TCR and ECS estimates of the IPCC. (The IPCC used to say that 3.0 degCwas their best estimate for ECS based on the model mean before AR5 and that presumably is the central estimate for their current model output.) ”

      Now I’m glad you are “comfortable” with your estimate but your estimate seems inaccurate to me unless I am missing something. The IPCC used to say that 3C was the best estimate for ECS based on observation NOT models. The models are multiples of observation……….

      So I will get back to the rest but perhaps you can address this point of contention.

  18. Frank said

    Let me save you some work:

    AR4 Model TCRs: 1.8 +/- 0.6 (90% ci =1.6 std?) likely = 70% ci would be +/-0.4
    AR4 Expert TCR: None given in SPM
    AR4 Model ECSs: 3.2 +/- 1.1 (90% ci = 1.6 std?) likely = 70% ci would be +/-0.7
    AR4 Models ECSs without cloud feedback: 1.9°C ± 0.15°C
    AR4 Expert ECS: likely 2.0-4.5 degC (17-83% ci) with a best estimate of about 3.0

    AR5 Model TCRs: 1.8 +/- 0.6 (90% uncertainty) likely = 70% ci would be +/-0.4
    AR5 Expert TCR: likely 1.0-2.5 degC with no best estimate specified
    AR5 Model ECSs: 3.2 +/- 1.3 (90% uncertainty) likely = 70% ci would be +/-0.8
    AR5 Expert ECS: likely 1.5-4.5 degC (17-83% ci) with no best estimate

    From Table 2 Summarizing newer estimates of ECS and TCR from observations found in Nic’s “A Sensitive Matter” for the GWPF
    Observational best estimates for TCR: 1.35 (1.3-1.4) 75% less than models
    Observational best estimates for ECS: 1.8 (1.6-2.0) 56% less than models

    The IPCC makes projections using model output, not their expert opinion about ECS. The SPM for AR5 says that: “Increase of global mean surface temperatures for 2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005 is projected to likely be in the ranges derived from the concentration-driven CMIP5 model simulations, that is, 0.3°C to 1.7°C (RCP2.6), 1.1°C to 2.6°C (RCP4.5), 1.4°C to 3.1°C (RCP6.0), 2.6°C to 4.8°C (RCP8.5).” I assume that the best estimates for these values should be 55%-75% of these values, because the observational estimates for TCR and ECS are this much lower than the central estimates from models.

    I think all of the IPCCs projections should reflect their full expert uncertainty in ECS, which is “likely” +/-50% – not just the uncertainty in model ECS (likely 2.4-4.0 degC, or 3.2 +/-25%). The output from the IPCC’s models includes this disagreement between models about ECS and initialization uncertainty. For example, when the IPCC projects 2.6-4.8 degC, this is 3.7 degC +/-30%. If this range reflected the full uncertainty inherent in ECS, it would be +/-50% or 1.9-5.6 degC. (In other words, a range too wide to be useful to policymakers.)

    Then I multiply the IPCC’s projections by 55-75%, depending on whether TCR or ECS is more relevant, or compromise and take 2/3. RCP8.5 projection: 1.2-3.8 degC. (I’d judge this to be non-trivial, but others are entitled to their own opinions.)

    So this is why I’ve talked about expecting 2/3 as much warming as the IPCC projects (with a likely range of +/- 50%). I could use the confidence intervals derived from observational estimates, but that would assume that the observational estimates are the only useful source of information. I’m open to better alternatives.

    And this is why I complain at suggestions that there will be no warming or that the IPCC is off by a factor bigger than 2.

    Data is from:
    AR4: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6-2-3.html
    Table 9.5 of AR5: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter09_FINAL.pdf
    page 15 http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2014/02/A-Sensitive-Matter-Foreword-inc.pdf

    • hunter said

      The fallacy you are making is believing that anything the IPCC is publishing is realistic at all.
      To use a different industry to illustrate: Someone makes a financial investment pitch that seems amazing in its projections of a 300% return over two years. If those doing due diligence fell for your fallacy they would decide that even if the projections were only off by 50% it is still a great investment because they would still get 150% in only 3 years. The fallacy is that they have bought into the basic concept that the investment is real in the first place.

    • Jeff Id said

      Frank,

      Sometimes I’m just wrong. It happens to me. You are correct that ECS is 78% higher than observation (on average) which is a bit more than 2/3 but close enough. It isn’t multiples as I wrote. Sometimes it IS multiples but the average is not.

      The overstatement means that models have failed miserably, and that has meaning throughout the structure of the models

      I need to state again that you shouldn’t accept ECS as it assumes a FIXED ocean heat uptake for near century timespans which is wholly unsupportable by any evidence.

      In exchange for your legwork, I will try to do a little work for you on local temperatures and what we should reasonably expect for an impact on farming. I may even do a post on it but that will have to happen later today.

      Regarding the model CI, they are nearly meaningless for any purpose other than a psychological state of scientists creating models. Statistically, they represent assumptions of the modelers and not the confidence we should have in the accuracy of the model mean. I’ve had this discussion here before a couple of years ago. Basically, the fact that their CI lands just outside of observation means that the bias in assumptions pervades the group, rather than models nearly pass a scientific usefulness credibility test.

      I do have to reply to this immediately though:

      “And this is why I complain at suggestions that there will be no warming or that the IPCC is off by a factor bigger than 2. ”

      I have never, ever stated that there will be no warming. I have repeatedly and endlessly stated the opposite here. HOWEVER, you must realize that warming means warmer than it would have been without the added CO2, rather than warmer than today. It is critically important that people who study climate recognize that the ocean can easily and permanently remove all of the heat we have added to the atmosphere with no significant change to its own temperature.

      We could quite easily see AGW warming on top of a powerful global cooling. In fact, I will go a step further and say that we WILL see cooling at some point that completely reverses any warming we can add. It’s quite obvious from the historical record that this happens regularly. It is also quite obvious that the oceans are responsible for the tropospheric temperature change simply due to the massive energy content.

      The IPCC and general climate science assumption of the flat liner long term temperature increases is completely irrational. We don’t know what the ocean will do. Nobody does. Heat uptake may stay flat for centuries, or it may not. Whatever it does will have the greatest impact on climate we measure.

      Now with that said. In our lifetime, I do expect warming. It is an irrational assumption of oceanic stability based on a thumbnail guess of changes in heat uptake. I could be wrong!! Even assuming a static oceanic heat uptake, the warming we observe is minimal and will not affect our lifestyles, crops, plants, sea ice etc…. The “damage” studies are nonsense.

      • Frank said

        I don’t believe that I ever accused you of saying that there will be no warming and I certainly never intended to imply that. (See quotes in my comment on December 7, 2014 at 3:29 am). Hunter, however, continues to do so. I think his problem arises from the widespread belief among skeptics who don’t understand the physical basis of the GHE that a hiatus during a period of rising GHGs provides experimental proof that the theoretical foundation has been invalidated.

        I personally don’t place that much importance in the failure of the IPCC’s models to predict the hiatus or their “success” in predicting warming during the 1990s (despite a major volcanic eruption). Climate models can’t be validated or invalidated by a few decades of projections and observations without a decent understanding of unforced variability on a decadal time frame. With only a dozen decades of instrumental data and chaos to consider, we don’t have enough data to evaluate unforced variability from observations. If climate models weren’t tuned to reproduce the historical record of 20th century warming, we might be able to use models to assess unforced variability. Unfortunately, the models we have today are the result of “natural selection”: the need for continuing government funding, the need to attract co-workers, and group think. It is not surprising that they all a) reproduce the GLOBAL historical record with little role for unforced variability and b) make similar projections about future global climate change while c) failing to hindcast past regional climate variability and d) projecting very different futures on regional scales. In 1991, Lorenz wrote a little-noticed, but prophetic paper on this subject: Chaos, Spontaneous Climatic Variation, and Detection of the Greenhouse Effect.

        http://eaps4.mit.edu/research/Lorenz/Chaos_spontaneous_greenhouse_1991.pdf

        Instead, I (like you?) look at the long term estimates of forcing and observations of warming, particularly those of Nic Lewis.

        If the IPCC says that ECS is likely 1.5-4.5 degC (3.0 degC +/- 50%) then their projections should also have a likely range of +/-50%. However, they don’t. Buried in AR4, one finds these caveats – which are ignored elsewhere:

        “Many of the figures in Chapter 10 are based on the mean and spread of the multi-model ensemble of comprehensive AOGCMs … Since the ensemble is strictly an ‘ensemble of opportunity’, without sampling protocol, the spread of models does not necessarily span the full possible range of uncertainty, and a statistical interpretation of the model spread is therefore problematic.”

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-1.html

        • hunter said

          Frank,
          No, I know that CO2 is a GHG, that more CO2 means more energy in the system. There has been warming. There has been cooling. There will be more of both. And it will continue to be indistinguishable from historic trends. What the pause invalidates is the climate consensus regarding the response of the climate to increased CO2: The consensus was that we are experiencing a climate crisis of global proportions now. That consensus is incorrect.
          The pause implies strongly that the climate system is more complex and more meta stable than the alarmist consensus promotes.
          The lack of any alarming trends shows that alarmist predictions are worthless.

        • Jeff Id said

          Frank,

          I’m sorry I haven’t had time to play. I’m trying to get back to this but I have a question.

          “I personally don’t place that much importance in the failure of the IPCC’s models to predict the hiatus or their “success” in predicting warming during the 1990s (despite a major volcanic eruption).”

          Does that mean that you don’t recognize climate models have failed en masse or something else?

          • hunter said

            Jef,
            The implication of the 1990’s spike is that the climate consensuswas simply lucky, and marketed the heck out of their luck.

          • Jeff Id said

            I understand what he may mean. I don’t understand if it Frank believes that models are just ok anyway. He might say that the temperature of the lower troposphere as a stand alone element isn’t sufficient to bother him but the entirety of the story is failed models.

          • Frank said

            Jeff: The IPCC projections have failed. Given our limited understanding of unforced variability and their inability to narrow the range for ECS, the IPCC never should have made such confident projections. The models are either wrong about the warming rate we should be experiencing (climate sensitivity) OR about the amount of unforced variability that might “disguise” the “true” long-term warming rate OR about the amount of forcing that occurred over the past decade plus. So it is [remotely] possible that models are still consistent with the correct value for climate sensitivity. To minimize the effect of unforced variability, it is best to look at the longest periods possible for forcing and warming, and the hiatus isn’t a very long period. LC14 dealt with the longest possible period. The hiatus will end someday – it may ALREADY have ended with this year’s El Nino. However, the gap between observation and models will remain long after warming restarts. (Hunter will tell us that there is no reason to assume that warming will ever restart and that cooling in the future is equally likely. You may say something more sophisticated, but the more unforced variability plays a role in your thoughts about the future, the less emphasis you should place in the current failure of models.)

            The failure of models may not be a permanent state of affairs. AOGCMs can be re-tuned and presumably can produce lower climate sensitivity or perhaps delayed warming. Recent work on perturbed physics ensembles probably tells modelers how this can be done. I predict that models will be re-tuned and the discrepancy apparent today will be gone when AR6 is written – without any clear explanation of why. There will still be HAD and GISS models, but the version number alphabetic soup that follows will be different and the output will be subtly different, putting today’s observations within the confidence interval, possibly just barely. As best I can tell, modelers can optimize the value of any one parameter used by a model when all the other parameters are fixed by looking at its effect on one aspect of climate (MGST for example), but they can never find an optimum set of parameters by this process, because the final set depends on the order in which the parameters are optimized and what observables in current climate one uses during the optimization process. There may be no such thing as an optimum set of parameters, just sets that are better than others at representing a some aspects of current climate. In that case, you pick the set that best handcasts the historical record. In AR4, the IPCC called the models they work with an “ensemble of opportunity” because the ensemble doesn’t systematically explore “parameter space”. In a hypothetical N-dimensional wilderness with multiple similar local optima, modelers may be able to find a rational for particular parameter set they prefer, particularly a set that allows them to claim that their model hasn’t “failed”. To the extent that a particular model is merely applying well-established physics, the failure of a model is not the failure of its physics, it is merely the failure of a particular set of parameters (that describe sub-grid processes). Each parameter set is another hypothesis to test by comparing projections to observations over many decades; something that never really happens. The model and its parameter set is evolving faster than its projections can be tested except by hindcasting. 1990 projections are absurdly out of date today. So are the CMIP3 projections made around 2000. By 2020, CMIP5 will also be obsolete. When CMIP6 comes out, I personally don’t expect to find that their agreement or disagreement with observations to be any more meaningful than their current disagreement with observations or their agreement with observations in 2000. If I’m already saying that CMIP6 results aren’t going to be meaningful, I can’t get too excited about the “failure” of CMIP5. (Modeling with several dozen adjustable parameters isn’t “real” science, it feels like fitting N data points with an N-1 (or N-2) degree polynomial and proclaiming that polynomial to be a “theory”.)

            Sorry for the extended rant.

  19. Paul_K said

    Jeff,
    “I need to state again that you shouldn’t accept ECS as it assumes a FIXED ocean heat uptake for near century timespans which is wholly unsupportable by any evidence. ”

    I think you need to clarify the above statement. As currently framed, it is very misleading.

    ECS for a GCM is typically calculated from extrapolation of a TOA aggregate net flux vs temperature plot (a “Gregory plot”), the data for which are obtained from a fixed step forcing from a doubling or quadrupling of CO2, to find the temperature value where the extrapolated line intercepts the zero net flux axis. Ocean heat uptake, expressed as a flux, is approximately equal to the TOA aggregate net flux and, far from being fixed, decreases pretty well monotonically from the point in time when the forcing is held constant.

    If, instead, by “Fixed ocean heat uptake” you mean the kappa constant used by Gregory, Forster, Andrews etc, then you should note that this is used to analyse feedbacks, and not to estimate ECS. This approach is intellectually bankrupt, unnecessary and yields silly answers; it is therefore fully adopted by the IPCC. However, since it is founded on a model which definitionally is unable to equilibrate, it is not used at all for ECS. A constant value of kappa does not imply a constant value of ocean heat uptake expressed as a flux; rather it suggests that the ocean heat flux can be approximated as being linearly proportional to the temperature change in certain limited circumstances. This approach is used for post hoc analyses and intermodel comparisons of GCM results. The GCMs do not assume a fixed value of kappa, and indeed would not recognise a kappa if they fell over one.

    • Jeff Id said

      You are right Paul, constant heat uptake isn’t really what I meant. I meant that it is a fraction of delta T which doesn’t take into account any potential oceanic current changes over time.

    • Frank said

      Paul_K: Let’s do a little algebra on the standard equations used to calculate TCR and ECS from observations and model runs in the case of TCR.

      TCR = F_2XCO2 * [ dT / dF ]
      ECS = F_2XCO2 * [ dT / (dF-dQ) ]

      1/TCR = 1/ECS + (1/F_2XCO2) * (dQ/dT)

      dQ/dT is kappa, the ocean heat uptake efficiency. If dQ/dT varies as warming proceeds, then either TCR or ECS will not be a constant. One can debate whether expecting a constant linear relationship between forcing and warming is ever sensible, but it makes more sense to me to treat the equilibrium response as a constant. If one treats ECS as a constant, TCR will change with time during a forcing-driven warming whenever dQ/dT varies. I vaguely remember your claiming that different TCRs can be calculated during different sub-periods during the standard simulation.

      As I understand it, vertical heat transport into the deeper ocean is driven mainly by advection: turbulence associated with currents and the roughness of the ocean floor and deepwater formation in polar regions and upwelling elsewhere. As the top of the ocean warms faster than the deeper ocean, the ocean will become more stably stratified with time, likely slowing advection. This seems especially true for the turbulent mixing. So one might expect dQ/dT to decrease with time, thereby causing TCR to increase with time.

      You can find some modeling evidence supporting this hypothesis in the paper linked below, but the author’s main interest is the hiatus. In Figure 4a, you can clearly see that kappa decreases with time during CMIP5 and CMIP3 runs. (The authors use dN for heat flux into the ocean rather than dQ.) In Figure 4b, kappa from models decreases over the various periods studied especially between 1961-1990 and 2001-2030.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/grl.50541/

      Of course, observations and models are in serious disagreement since the hiatus began. As best I can tell, the “observed” kappa in this paper comes from dividing modeled ocean heat uptake by the change in surface air temperature, not from measured ocean heat uptake data. There is no reference to raw data from the ARGO period and Balmaseda relies on a re-analysis.

      “Given that ΔN is equal to the heat content tendency, our evaluation of “observational” κ can be verified using heat content data. Qualitatively, the fact that the upper-ocean heat content is shown to increase continuously after 2000 [Levitus et al., 2012; Balmaseda et al., 2013] means that no weakening of κ will have occurred; this is consistent with our estimate. On the other hand, the weakening tendency of κ in GCMs is seen in the concomitant transient experiments in which CO2 is increased at 1% per year (black curve in Figure 4a) and also in individual models (Figure S6), so that it is an intrinsic characteristic of the climate system forced by GHG increase. Because climate will be far from equilibrium during this period, the weakening in κ should not be interpreted as saturation of heat uptake. Rather, it is likely that surface warming gradually stabilizes ocean stratification, thus reducing deep-water production at high latitudes, which acts to weaken advective heat uptake by meridional overturning circulation.”

      • Paul_K said

        Hi Frank,
        Thanks for this. With respect, you are drawing a circular inference from your bit of algebra. The problem lies with the assumptions underpinning your first two equations.
        Your second equation is a rearranged form of the linear feedback equation, where the feedback value is given by F_2XCO2/ECS . It is quite general and subject ONLY to the assumption that the feedback value is constant.
        Your first equation, however, is not definitional. Rather, it is an approximation to TCR which is only valid under severely limiting assumptions. The first necessary condition is that the forcing used to estimate dT/dF (or DelT/DelF) is linearly increasing with time, intrinsic to the definition of TCR. For the approximation to have validity, dT/dF must be constant (or approximately constant in reality) under this forcing scenario. A necessary and sufficient condition for dT/dF to be constant is that dQ/dT must be constant. This is easily shown.
        Q = F – lambda*T
        dF/dT = dQ/dT – lambda
        Hence a necessary and sufficient condition for dF/dT to be constant is that dQ/dT is constant. QED
        You therefore end up drawing a circular inference because of the approximation which you use for TCR in this instance. It has no broader implications, and indeed is actually incorrect for models (analytic or GCM) which do not exhibit a constant dQ/dT under a linearly increasing forcing. In reality, the majority of GCMs do not satisfy this condition, but the enforced assumption that they do (the kappa methodology) leads to erroneous conclusions about the true evolution of radiative feedback. When I get some time, I will put an article together explaining just how bad this gets.
        “I vaguely remember your claiming that different TCRs can be calculated during different sub-periods during the standard simulation.”
        Not quite, Frank. What I demonstrated a while back is that the feedback value (rather than TCR) is not constant in the majority of GCMs, and hence its estimation is subject to both scenario and timeframe. This can be seen from the curvature in a plot of net flux vs temperature in the GCMs when a constant step forcing is applied. (There is actually a paper in print (Andrews 2014) which confirms this in a more direct way than Winton and Held 2010.) The assumption of a constant feedback value requires that this curve should be a straight line. Enforcement of the assumption leads to some arbitrary results.
        W.r.t observational evidence of ocean heat uptake, the flux can be estimated as the derivative of the ocean heat content data, or the derivative of MSL data (as a proxy) or directly from TOA radiative measurements. They all show an apparent peak around the turn of the century or a bit later. I would be very wary of any paper which suggests that ocean heat uptake is apparently strengthening!

        • Frank said

          Thanks for the clarification, Paul. As a practical matter, it appears as if the equations I cited are used to estimate TCR from observations without fully checking to see if the data satisfy all of your requirements for TCR to be properly defined. However, I may not be reading these papers as carefully as I should. There are clearly problems when ocean heat uptake efficiency changes with time, which I suspect will always be the case during warming because the ocean becomes more stably stratified with time. The paper I referenced (which is dubious about when discussing the hiatus) simply proves that dQ/dT changes with time in climate models. For me, the equation with all of the reciprocals clarifies the relationship between TCR, ECS and kappa. However, you are telling me that it does not explain why the climate feedback parameter (1/ECS?) also changes with time. I’ll have to read the the paper.

          The idea that the stability of ocean stratification changes with time – thereby changing vertical heat flux – may be important. This is obvious during cooling, when the ocean surface can cool enough for spontaneously sinking to develop. During warming, turbulence associated with currents can cause downward transport of warmer, less dense water, but the energetic price increases as the ocean is more stably stratified by mixed layer warming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: