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« Libel reform | Main | Comment not free »
Wednesday
Feb102010

It's worse in context

One of the delights of rising visitor numbers is that you start to get noticed by a whole lot more people who disagree with you and who come over to stick the boot in. The attention is always welcome although I'm sure there will be a certain kudos among those people who stuck the boot in (in the nicest possible way) when nobody had heard of me (hi Frank!).

My Lacis post has got a certain amount of attention around the blogs, with WUWT, Delingpole and DK picking up the story on one side of the debate and Andy Revkin and LibCon on the other. (Revkin has some interesting comments from Chapter 9 coordinating lead author, Gabriele Hegerl, which I may return to another time).

One minor criticism is that can be brushed aside fairly quickly is that Lacis' comments were made about a draft of the report and not the final article. This seems a bit daft to me as it's only the drafts that reviewers get to have their say on. The final report is, well, final. The important facts are the nature of Lacis's criticisms and that they were rejected.

The major criticism though seems to be that I've quote mined; that Lacis' comments were on the executive summary only and were therefore taken out of context.

I think with retrospect my headline could have been better, as it suggested that the Lacis quote I gave was on the whole report and not on the Executive Summary and to this extent I think some of the criticism is warranted. Fortunately though, in another comment on the chapter, Lacis does in fact set out his opinions on the chapter as a whole so we can assess just how badly I've misrepresented him by leaving out the context.

Here's the comment, again in full:

The scientific merit of the IPCC Assessment Report would be substantically improved by simply deleting this chapter. Understanding is a prerequisite before any credible attribution can take place. The chapter starts by putting the cart ahead of the horse - attributions are made left and right without ever laying a foundation to stand on. The objective of the Assessment Report should be to present a clear and convincing documentation of climate change, and avoid becoming a punching bag for climate change critics and skeptics. The place to start is with the observed record of greenhouse gas increases. These GHG increases have physical consequences, i.e., the GHGs produce radiative forcing that is driving the climate system to a new equilibrium. And, there is a global temperature record that verifies that that is indeed what is happening. If, for political reasons, this chapter needs to be retained, it should be rewritten as a synthesis of what has been learnded in the earlier chapters, and moved to the end of the Report. If written well, "attribution" will become a self-evident conclusion that is based on the facts
presented.

It's still worse in context.

 

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Reader Comments (47)

The objective of the Assessment Report should be to present a clear and convincing documentation of climate change, and avoid becoming a punching bag for climate change critics and skeptics.

What bothers me the most is that Lacis is coming at this from an advocacy (almost legalistic) angle. He's not promoting the scientific method of applying falsifiable tests to a theory, but rather how to argue a case against the so called "skeptics". For example, the case he makes is not one of direct evidence, but circumstantial:

"the observed record of greenhouse gas increases" + "GHG increases have physical consequences" = "there is a global temperature record that verifies that that is indeed what is happening". Therefore anthropogenic global warming! QED

However every scientist knows that correlation is not causation. Couple that with his apparent lack of curiosity toward viable alternate theories (UHI, the Sun, poor data quality, etc.) what we are left with is an advocate. Lacis' position is not a principled one, he's not critical because the case is not there, or week, or should be scrapped. He's critical because case is not made, and if it's not made correctly then it shouldn't be presented at all.

A rather strange position for a supposed scientist, eh?

Feb 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I read the LibCon piece. 1. If some were hasty in putting sound-bites out there, those same are admitting their hastiness which is the right attitude to have. No denial here or re-writing of the facts.

2. And big deal...this Executive Summary bit is miniscule to nothing in the scheme of the entire scandal. It doesn't undo the major errors by the IPCC & the Hockey Stick Team. If this is the best that LibCon et al has, we have nothing to worry about...

Now let's be careful out there...

Feb 10, 2010 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Frank suggested contacting Lacis. which : Revkin did.

He writes:

I was immediately curious, of course, whether Dr. Lacis still held this dim view of that chapter summary, so I contacted him and we just spoke a short while ago.

“The revised chapter was much improved,” he said. “That’s different than saying everything in there is nailed down, but I think it’s a big improvement.”

Overall, he said, “I commend the authors for doing as good a job as they did. That’s the way the science process ought to work. You get inputs from everybody, find any bugs, crank through and the science moves forward.”

Any thoughts?

[BH adds: Hard to tell isn't it? Would he continue to criticise it with Hansen breathing down his neck? I'm having a look at how the document changed between drafts, and while some of the detail and repetition has gone, the "green" tone is unchanged by the second draft.]

Feb 10, 2010 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

"The chapter starts by putting the cart ahead of the horse - "

A description of post-normal science aka Lysenkoism 2.0

It seems that Lacis is not hip with the in-crowd.

Feb 10, 2010 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

'One of the delights of rising visitor numbers is that you start to get noticed by a whole lot more people who disagree with you'
I agree.

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjpt

It's the new religion. They just want to believe. They're not even sure exactly what they want to believe in - but they do. It's mentally easier to fight the bad guys - much easier than trying to remember what your own beliefs are.

It's tribal.

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Looking in the mirror, my reasons for scepticism were initially "gut feel". It never felt right - these are the kind of smells:

* Shifting objectives - "global warming" segued into "climate change"
* Celebrity endorsement - Bono sickens me
* Hypocrisy - eg Al Gore's jet
* Second rate scientists at 3rd rate universities

Also the constant mention of "peer-review" as though this makes something correct.

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Once again, Jack -- you have nailed it in my view. Two gold stars for the first comment and three additional gold stars for the second. Nicely said.

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Re: David

Any thoughts?

How about "Circle the wagons"?

There is nothing Lacis can do now that it is in print. Criticising it now wouldn't help his cause so he may as well defend it.

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

So what will they think when they hear someone in the IPCC just admitted the IPCC doesn't do science:

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/12721

Unbelievable.

Feb 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJStrta

So Ravkin contacted Dr.Laics did he, I don't think so.

Ravkin called Gavin at RC "Gav mate some guy at Giss slated the summary for Ch 9"

"What not true never Giss has always lied, sorry supported every part of AR4, you know this Andy"

"But some blog in the UK and now the devil Watts has it" says Ravkin sounding desperate

"Give me 5 minutes to spin something up the boys are on line know, you know Andy none of the great unwashed read IPCC report or reviewers comments. We'll make up something good for you. By the way is $10,000 enough since you have left NYT, we'll put in a extra funding requirement to cover you. You know we really need you out there Mike says sorry about the email by the way".

5 minutes later team gives a response which make Lacis look like a complete idiot

Feb 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKamboshigh

Bob Carter
there is more
June 29, 2007 11:00pm

In a remarkable contribution to Nature magazine's Climate Feedback blog, Trenberth concedes GCMs cannot predict future climate and claims the IPCC is not in the business of climate prediction. This might be news to some people.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,21977114-27197,00.html

Feb 10, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterwilbert robichaud

Lacis has basically told Revkin that he was happy with the final draft. This is a non-story.

Feb 10, 2010 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterbigcitylib

The significance of the Lacie comment was his criticism of the mindset of the authors of the ES. That is what is so revealing.

His other comment, posted above, refers to the temperature record. It seems to me that the temperature record used by climate scientists contains too many infills, estimates and homogenisations. There is an interesting post here on this very subject:
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/dtdt-agw-ddt/

This is a statistical analysis based on the available temperature records from thermometers, starting in 1880. It is being undertaken by E M Smith. You will understand this better than me but he seems to be on to something. If you scroll down through earlier posts, you will see that he has also been working on, and attempting to analyse, the homogenised temperature records.

From his work, there seems to be serious doubt that global temperature has been rising very much at all since 1880. I should be interested to hear your comments on this work.

Feb 10, 2010 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

@Jack

Those four points certainly helped me reconsider any belief I held that man was changing the climate. But the biggest one for me was the constant stonewalling of an honest request for data and methods. Namely, the refusal by Mann and others of Steve Mcintyre's requests.

Imagine if you will that we have a UN organization to deal with asteroid threats. They give assessment reports every few years on the threats for major asteroid strike to the planet. Now lets pretend that they say there's a gigantic Ceres-sized object close to Earth's orbit that will hit us in 50 years or so. This organization forms the backbone of a media campaign telling humans to donate money to a cause to spend billions on new spacecraft to redirect this object.

Of course, every time I use this example, I find myself tearing up a little bit at the fact that space exploration wasn't the beneficiary of all the money spent on mitigating a worldwide disaster. Humanity could certainly use a big kick-in-the-pants when it comes to opening a new frontier. but I digress...

Imagine that for decades large chunks of humanity were distracted by this looming threat, and asked to sacrifice their lifestyle and wealth to save the planet. Now imagine the furor that would occur when a single retired backyard astronomer requests the observational data (that supposedly proves that this large asteroid exists and will hit us), and this international organization refuses to publish this data, or even tell this person what calculations were used to determine its orbit. Such a thing is unheard of, it actually stretches the imagination of any career scientist to the breaking point. Not only because any retired scientist with a decent-sized scope could detect and warn us (there is no equivalent data collection method when it comes to earth's climate), but because astronomers looking for near-earth objects already share their data with ANYONE who asks hoping that with more eyes on the problem, the earth-orbit neighborhood will be better nailed down. This is how science is supposed to work, you accept what everyone even non-scientists may have to contribute, and you publish your findings in the open.

If Climate science worked more like the NEO community, USHCN would be a totally open-source network allowing anyone to hook up their own approved monitoring station and their own data, with message boards and helpful people helping to guide the collection of proper thermometer data. Errors would be caught instantly because those responsible for their little corner of the big picture would be told their numbers were diverging from those around them, and forced to explain and perhaps adjust. This organized whole of contributors would stand on its own as an independent network because there is no centralized "dictator" (for lack of a better term) adjusting the data without explanation or being choosy with regards to which stations are ignored and which are included in the final say. You'd also have no need for surfacestations.org because the owners of each station would already know what the microclimate of their station is.

Yeah, I'm sure some will say I'm some kind of whacko idealist.

Feb 10, 2010 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

BCL

Lacis has basically told Revkin that he was happy with the final draft. This is a non-story.

Sure, I'm sure he's OK with being told by the IPCC editors that they were confused by his questions. And the Palin and McCain staffs never had any differences either. No sir.

Of course, if by "basically", you mean something along the lines of "consistent with", well, we all know how rock solid that is.

Feb 10, 2010 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

I'll just move my comment over from the earlier post:

Scepticism stems not from verifying what the opinions of others are and then accepting them blindly, but examining the logic and facts behind those opinions. You hear what people have to say, you question, seek clarifications, examine the evidence and then form your own opinion. It helps if you have a little knowledge of science and mathematics.

Let us examine Lacis's statement Not all of the forcings and feedbacks are known with unquestionable accuracy... the documented changes in CO2, CH4, N2O, and CFCs are very accurately known .. As a result, the greenhouse effect of the Earth's atmosphere has been made significantly stronger, and there is no alternative but for the global surface temperature to warm in order to re-establish energy balance with the absorbed solar radiation. All this has to be accounted for in the observed temperature record, as of course it has been in many climate change simulations conducted with climate GCMs that include all of the relevant physics and climate forcings.

This is obviously patently wrong. Of course there are alternatives to the global surface temperature to warm in order to re-establish energy balance with the absorbed solar radiation. What he has left out is there is no alternative but for the global surface temperature to warm in order to re-establish energy balance with the absorbed solar radiation, all other things remaining equal. This is a very big caveat, and in our climate all other things DO NOT remain equal.

From the Earth's climatic history during the last 800,000 years, when the Earth's temperatures have fluctuated like a yo-yo, plunging into 8 ice-ages to emerge, briefly into warm interglacials, like the one we are in now, invariably the Earth plunged into an ice age when the CO2 levels were rising, and continued to rise, while the temperatures plunged.

Clearly there were other forcings and feedbacks far more powerful than CO2. In fact the earlier part of Lacis's statement, contradicts the latter part. How on earth can "attribution" become a self-evident conclusion when "Not all of the forcings and feedbacks are known with unquestionable accuracy"?

And as a matter of fact "all this has not been accounted for in the observed temperature record" even of today, as the Earth has not warmed while CO2 has continued to increase.

My scepticism also arises from the dishonesty, trickery, fraud and manipulation to do away with or corrupt such evidence as the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, chronicled by the rt hon Bish

Feb 10, 2010 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

From reading the comments written by Lacis, those from first order draft were more of a critical scientific nature compared to the second draft which became more cosmetic or politcal. In fact the recent comment smacks of a man finally let into the inner cicle of the grand lodge.

Not being privy to the process or the time scale between the two drafts it would be interesting to see the timeline in relation to apportioned grants, contracts, investments etc.

But perhaps that is just me being an old sceptic.

Feb 10, 2010 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord BeaverBrook

Bishop,

Good one. It always strikes me as hilarious when people spout out the canned kneejerk response "out of context" without actually checking themselves. To be sure some things are taken out of context, but at least one should check. And like the climategate mails it is worse in context

Feb 10, 2010 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Mosher

Mosher

I wondered if someone would get the meaning of the word "still" in the last sentence.

Feb 10, 2010 at 7:36 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Bishop,

"One minor criticism is that can be brushed aside fairly quickly is that Lacis' comments were made about a draft of the report and not the final article. This seems a bit daft to me as it's only the drafts that reviewers get to have their say on. "

It was not the final draft either. It was not even the second draft.

"The important facts are the nature of Lacis's criticisms and that they were rejected."

The most relevant nature of his criticisms being that attribution should be so blindingly obvious from the facts that it doesn't even need its own chapter.

How do you 'politicise' attribution anyhow? The question WG9 answers is whether the warming is anthropogenic. The chapter's answer is that this is very likely. Lacis's answer is that it should be self-evident to all that it is.

Still for years to come we will be hearing from the usual loonies and sleazeballs that "Hansen's Colleague" said that there was "no scientific merit" to the IPCC's conclusion that the recent warming is man made. And when it turns out he didn't, well the conspiracy simply grows larger. That is not merely misleading and wrong - it is so wrong, so wildly improbable, and so contrary to known facts that I think even Dan Brown would hesitate to use it in a plot for one of his novels.

And let's face it: if the IPCC or any climate scientists had been as wrong and as misleading and as sloppy as you have been on this, there would be cries of fraud, everything you have written would be dismissed out of hand, there would be demands that you resign from your blog and calls for your prosecution. The whole affair would even have its own catchy '-gate' title (I suggest this).

Feb 10, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Come back when you've calmed down.

Feb 10, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Bishop,

Please stick to reading what I write, rather than pretending you can read someone's mind or mood from the page.

Do you dispute what I've written?

FYI (although I fail to see the relevance) I am perfectly calm. If I am not calm, and if this is relevant to my argument, I will say so.

Feb 10, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank

You certainly sounded quite excited to me. Your comment was rather rambling and incoherent if you don't mind my saying so.

You say "It was not the final draft". I agree. I'm not sure what point you make. He said the ES on the FOD was politicised. That's important, no? As is the fact that his comment was rejected out of hand. He also said that, as written, the whole chapter should be deleted. That's important too IMHO. These points apply even more so when we note that he's not a sceptic. Is "eviscerated" too strong a word to use in these circumstances? I don't think so. His statements were very strong.

If you think people will misuse what I've written, you have to criticise them, not me.

Feb 10, 2010 at 10:25 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

@Bishop.

I refer you to the Kübler-Ross model referenced earlier. I have been a clinical psychologist early on in my career. While not a licensed psychologist, I have read the literature and I hold a Ph. D. in the discipline from Cornell (1972), although I am really a physiological psychologist who looks upon the issues of neurosis and psychosis as a medical issue, treatable with drugs and such. In deed the Noble laureate on my committee was Robert W. Holley, who got a prize in 1968 for his work in RNA. He was a serious scientist and I remember him well. Although he was a minor member of my graduate committee, he held my nose to the scientific method he used -- as did the other members. I am really a physiologist interested in behavior with minors in statistics, computer science, biochemistry, pharmacology, endrocrinalogy, pharmacology and mammalian physiology. My degree, however, was conferred by the department of psychology -- due to a political settlement. Too many studends were moving to another department and I was the one lock in behind the deal they made with the Dean.

However, that is a long time ago and I moved on to computers,which I found much more treatable with the simple removal of the the mains plug.

Returning to Frank, our collective "project"

Please go to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

and see what stage you think he is at. Read the article to see what I mean. Phil Jones is clearly in stage four. Does he really mean he is really, really serious about suicide? -- most likely not. The general rule is those who mean it do it and those who don't, talk about it, but sometimes accidents happen.

As for Frank, I sometime ago suggested that he should get real. Perhaps he will. Perhaps he will not. But people like him are the reason I remain anonymous. I have bitter memories.

I would watch your back if I were you. Anything could happen.

Feb 10, 2010 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Bishop,

"Your comment was rather rambling and incoherent if you don't mind my saying so."

You may say so but it doesn't make it true. And that would still beat misleading and incorrect.

"You say "It was not the final draft". I agree. I'm not sure what point you make."

It was not his last chance to comment.

The final draft was not even his last chance to comment - he commented on that yesterday.

"As is the fact that his comment was rejected out of hand."

It was rejected - 'out of hand' is just your spin. And what they rejected was a suggestion to delete the exec summary.

"He also said that, as written, the whole chapter should be deleted. That's important too IMHO."

Are his reasons important? His reason, which he stated more than once, was that attribution should be self-evident to all based on the facts.

What is the overall conclusion of chapter 9, the one that matters? It is that the warming is man made. You know that because you said so in your original post. Because of that, your original post conveys the misleading and entirely incorrect impression that somebody with a clue said that this conclusion and the entire argument leading up to it had no scientific merit. That's the soundbite and you know it. And yes you alone are responsible for giving that impression, and it hardly matters whether you meant to or not. Lacis certainly didn't give it when you read ALL of his comments.

And what are the facts? Not only does Lacis not disagree with the main conclusion of chapter 9, he thinks it is so staringly obvious from the facts that the chapter wasn't even needed. Furthermore there is not a scientific body on the planet that would disagree with the conclusion. Lacis himself has also stated that he thinks the *final version* is pretty much OK.

Feb 10, 2010 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

@pablo "I refer you to the Kübler-Ross model referenced earlier."

I refer you to my earlier comment on the last occasion you posted this pointless abuse as a substitute for an attempt at rebuttal or a rational argument.

"I have bitter memories."

It's a shame your memory doesn't extend to the topic of the thread.

Still I am sure you have something to contribute on the topic and maybe one day you will get around to posting that instead of your CV.

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank O'Dwyer - please try to get over yourself. If you think you have scored a victory by pointing out a minor error in the original post, in that it referred to Lacis' comments on the executive summary, whereas the caption referred to the chapter, please pat yourself on the back.

However I have to disillusion you in that your "accomplishment" would not rank in the same category as having discovered a flaw in the quantum theory or relativity. Quite gently I have to point to you that you are not quite in the same category as Max Plank or Einstein.

As for Lacis' opinions, they are of even less interest to me than yours, if that is possible. He has displayed himself to be a cantankerous old gentleman, as probably you are, who deludes himself that he has boldly discovered, what no man has done before, that climate changes.

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Frank, Get help. You need it.

Feb 11, 2010 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Mr O'Dwyer, your argument comes across as weak. What is Lacis supposed to say, now that the final draft has been published? That he is unhappy with it, and wants another bite at the apple? What good would that do him?

No, the only reasonable response this late in the game is for Prof Lacis to say that he's satisfied with the outcome. Which is what he did.

Feb 11, 2010 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSmokey

Would somebody care to please post the text of the draft ES on which Lacis commented, and the draft Ch.9 to which it was linked.

Feb 11, 2010 at 5:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterShelama

You should be able to get these from the Harvard Archive.

Feb 11, 2010 at 7:06 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The place to start is not with the observed CO2 record, but rather with the surface-temperature data, contra Lacis' contention that "there is a global temperature record that verifies that that is indeed what is happening" there is no such thing.

We have bits and pieces of a global temperature record, but they have been so badly manipulated and massaged and cherry-picked that the record as NOAA, GISS, CRU would hand us is suspect at best.

We are back to square one, we are back to doing what the 'climate science' crowd should have been doing in the 1990s: establishing a design for what a valid global historical temperature dataset would look like, and what the test data and software tools needed to validate that model, and to map imperfect real-world data into that model, should look like. Every data point in the dataset should have metadata attached to it fully documenting its origin and derivation along with a 'confidence factor' for the data point that'd propagate through every calculation done with the value.

Once we have a real temperature record, wherein we have established ranges of uncertainty in blending 4000BC apples with AD1887 oranges with AD2003 pomegranates, and if at that point we can look at the juice that spills out and determine that it in fact shows a trend clearly outside both historical norms and data-quality uncertainty, then Hansen and his bunch can go to town.

Feb 11, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Richard,

"If you think you have scored a victory by pointing out a minor error in the original post"

The insinuation of the original post is 100% wrong. The main conclusion of ch 9 is still that the warming is man made. Not only does Lacis agree that the warming is man made, but this conclusion is supported by every reputable scientific body on the planet. Not one of them agrees with you. Insulting me won't change that.

"However I have to disillusion you in that your "accomplishment" would not rank in the same category as having discovered a flaw in the quantum theory or relativity"

Of course not. After all, 'sceptics' have no scientific theory at all, never mind one in that category.

I would say that my rebuttal ranks in the same category as discovering flaws in the plot of one of Dan Brown's novels. But I can only work with the material you give me.

Feb 11, 2010 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Frank O'Dwyer - After all, 'sceptics' have no scientific theory at all, never mind one in that category.

Tut tut Frank O'Dwyer, you know this to be patently false. I gave you one, which beats IPCC's predictions hollow:

Global temperatures from 1998 will be the same as 1998 +/-0.3C

Though I modestly admit it may not be in the same category as the quantum theory or relativity, it is in the same, (and vastly superior to), the AGW hypothesis. Honour and glory may follow 50 years hence, as with all great theories.

"I can only work with the material you give me."

I gave you this. (May take you a long time to work out though.)

Lacis "..there is no alternative but for the global surface temperature to warm in order to re-establish energy balance with the absorbed solar radiation. ..", - Patently wrong - there are alternatives to the global surface temperature to warm in order to re-establish energy balance with the absorbed solar radiation.

A man comes along and pushes a slow moving train and claims the train is now moving faster because of his push. That he is the driver of the train. The train slows down. Stops. Reverses. Squishes the man. That was the end of the poor mans theory and religion he propagated that so many people relied on. Think about that.

Feb 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard,

"Global temperatures from 1998 will be the same as 1998 +/-0.3C"

That's a prediction, not a scientific theory. If a prediction is all it takes then the gypsy at the fair who predicts you will meet a tall dark stranger is a scientist. But you're certainly right that it's not quantum theory.

Forgive me if I am skeptical of your 'theory' - I understand that sort of thing is encouraged. So I have some questions about it.

What is your theory?

What is your physical model and how have you arrived at this prediction?

How many scientists have you managed to convince with your theory?

Where in the peer reviewed literature can I read about your theory and the evidence for it?

Why have you chosen 1998? It appears to be a blatant cherry pick and little more than an excuse for delaying action.

Why have you chosen +/-0.3C? You appear to have pulled the number out of your ass. Why not +/- 200C?

What does your theory say about temperatures prior to 1998?

We have increased the GHG concentration in the atmosphere. Your theory requires that this is having no warming effect. But warming has been observed. What part of your theory accounts for this?

How does your theory explain cooling of the stratosphere?

How does your theory explain observations of earth from space which show absorption of infrared in the bands where CO2 would be expected to have that effect? Why wouldn't that heat the earth's systems?

Heat has been observed to accumulate in the earth's systems (the oceans and air) over the past decades. How does your theory account for this heat? Where does it come from?

Most glaciers have declined in recent decades. It takes a lot of heat to melt ice. How does your theory explain this? Where do you claim this heat has come from?

Much of the animal and plant kingdom is responding to additional warming - but it would seem that according to your theory this either should not have happened or at least should have recently reversed. Has it? If not then what part of your theory explains this biological response?

The Ph level of the ocean is becoming more acidic (or less alkaline if your prefer) due to anthropogenic CO2. How does your theory explain this? Why is it safe to do this?

How does your theory explain the faint young sun parodox?

How does your theory account for the ice ages?

According to your theory, what is climate sensitivity for 2xCO2? It must be a low value. What is your evidence for this and how have you refuted the contrary evidence in the literature?

Feb 11, 2010 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Bishop Hill: Hansen's colleague eviscerates AR4 Chapter 9

Bishop Hill, "You should be able to get these from the Harvard Archive."

Is that an admission that you don't have a clue of the actual text of that first order draft on which Lacis commented? Nor the first order draft of the chapter it was linked to. A draft text of that ES that you're ignorant of eviscerates Ch9 of AR4?


ok

Feb 11, 2010 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterShelama

edit: "Review comments on a draft text of that ES that you're ignorant of eviscerates Ch9 of AR4?"

Bishop Hill" Hansen's colleague eviscerates AR4 Chapter 9

So five years after the fact, rooting around in archives you find what you think is a smoking gun, misrepresent it in bold, and then lamely declare that it's even worse in context after somebody informs your ignorance.

ok

Feb 11, 2010 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterShelama

I have been trawling around for a site where debate about climate science is conducted in a rational and scientific way. What I have found - universally to date, and this chain is a prime example - is simply people being snide and insinuating that those who disagree are corrupt, stupid or naive. Hence the references to why Lacis might be content now when previously he wasn't. Those sort of comments even lace the contributions of people who do also address the actual assertions supposedly under scrutiny.

It seems me that the vast majority of the commentators of whatever hue are "believers" whose main driver is to support their clan by slagging off the opposition.

And with that comment I suppose I am showing how easy it is to get drawn in to behaving likewise !

Feb 11, 2010 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDeclan McDonnell

"It seems me that the vast majority of the commentators of whatever hue are "believers" whose main driver is to support their clan by slagging off the opposition."

And yet there's a silent majority of lurkers who constitute the sensible selvage. Speak to them.

One can also mentally "copy edit" the bumptious posts by toning them down into what the author should have said if he'd "taken a pill" first.

Feb 11, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Knights

Declan and Roger, this and innumerable other blogs are all but worthless in promoting or affecting meaningful dialogue, investigation, information or understanding. In this particular instance, one merely needs to read Bishop's title: "Hansen's colleague eviscerates AR4 Chapter 9."

Feb 11, 2010 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterShelama

Frank O'Dwyer you are right - it is a prediction not a theory. But you will admit that my prediction beats IPCC's hollow, that temperatures will inexorably rise. As for the theory it can be built around the presumption just as IPCC set forth to prove AGW. I do have a theory which I might explain to you later, time permitting. And you may not understand. Theories need not be complicated. Take for example E=hv (the Plank's constant multiplied by the frequency), good enough for the Nobel prize.

"Most glaciers have declined in recent decades. It takes a lot of heat to melt ice. How does your theory explain this? Where do you claim this heat has come from?"

The same place the heat came from during the many warming periods of our earth. Surely you know all heat either comes from the sun or the internal heat of the earth? Good grief, do some reading. Back to school for you.

Feb 11, 2010 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Shelama stop repeating yourself like a parrot. If you have nothing meaningful to say, best not to say it.

Feb 11, 2010 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard,

"Surely you know all heat either comes from the sun or the internal heat of the earth?"

Actually I didn't know that! Which one of those do you claim nuclear power plants get their heat from?

More to the point, are you claiming that a change in solar output or a change in the earth's heat caused the warming trend from (for example) around 1975 onwards? If not then what do you claim changed to make it warm at that time?

"I do have a theory which I might explain to you later, time permitting. And you may not understand. "

Oh that's fine. If I do not understand I will simply ask questions. I expect they will be the questions I already asked and that you have yet to answer.

Feb 11, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

"Surely you know all heat either comes from the sun or the internal heat of the earth?"

Actually I didn't know that!
Well now you know, hopefully. They say youre never too old to learn, but I couldnt vouch for that saying.

"Which one of those do you claim nuclear power plants get their heat from?" - From elements / minerals manufactured in a star like our sun. Stars, like our sun, are element / material manufacturing machines, materials from which their planets are made.

"..are you claiming that a change in solar output or a change in the earth's heat caused the warming trend from (for example) around 1975 onwards? If not then what do you claim changed to make it warm at that time?"

I already told you, the same process that has caused the Earth to warm for the last 200 years. Why pick out 1975? Try and figure that out and you will understand the bit from 1975 or any other period that may interest you.

Are you in the eastern US? If so just run along and shovel some snow and ponder over these things while doing so.

Feb 11, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard,

"From elements / minerals manufactured in a star like our sun."

So, not the sun then.

"I already told you, the same process that has caused the Earth to warm for the last 200 years."

Remind me. What is the process?

How is your theory qualitatively different from 'shit happens'?

"Why pick out 1975? "

Why not? Pick 1984 or 1957 if you prefer. I chose 1975 because the data points to a significant trend change then - why did you pick 1998? I asked before but I can't find your answer.

"Are you in the eastern US? "

Nope. Are you on planet earth? We just had the hottest January of the satellite record here.

Feb 11, 2010 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Q - "what ...caused the warming trend from .. around 1975 onwards?"

Answer - "the same process that has caused the Earth to warm for the last 200 years."

Q - "Remind me what is the process?"

A - You losing your memory? Or your thought processes? Or both? Figure out what caused the Earth to warm earlier and you will have figured out what caused it to warm during the time period you are so desperately wanting to know.

Q - "Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?"

Answer Phil Jones - "the warming rates for all 4 periods [1860-1880, 1910-1940, 1975-1998 and 1975 - 2009] are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other."

"Are you on planet earth? We just had the hottest January of the satellite record here."

No we do not seem to live on the same planet. You seem to live in the past. This is February. You still hang on to your archaic beliefs, when the credibility of your religion has imploded.

Feb 13, 2010 at 6:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

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