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« New consensus: IPCC is dumb | Main | Taking potshots at Plimer »

Climate cuttings 54

There's some really interesting stuff around the blogs at the moment, which I don't have time to write up in full, so here's a collection of links.

Judith Curry's article on overconfidence in the IPCC's detection and attribution studies is a must-read.

Meanwhile Steve McIntyre takes a break from tree rings to look at the IPCC's recent report on renewables. The headline figure seems to be an extreme scenario and one, moreover, that has been snitched straight from a report by Greenpeace. Author conflict of interest raises its ugly head again.

But the story that is getting all the attention at the moment is the news that we are about to go into a period of solar quiescence accompanied by global cooling. Anthony Watts has the story, as does El Reg and there is lots of MSM coverage for those that are interested.

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Reader Comments (73)

"If there were significant tampering, it would have come out by now."


I don't want to belabor this, but I am not aware of any information that makes this conclusion true. Anyway, who do you think would have blown the whistle?


Jun 15, 2011 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

"IPCC is dumb"

Tetlock, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, has some useful insights. Listen on
Starting 22mins in.

Jun 15, 2011 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Rhoda writes,
"So that's a fixed position by Schmidt and the modellers? The solar minmum will not make much difference. So when it fails to get warm they will NOT be using the excuse that the solar cooling is merely masking ongoing MMGHG warming? Nice to know."

Nice point, Rhoda. So the brilliant Schmidt has locked himself into his Gaia Model, which assigns only marginal influence to the sun, and now cannot use changes in the sun as an excuse for cooling on Earth. Doctrinaire science at its best from Schmidt.

Jun 15, 2011 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Bad Andrew

At some point, scepticism descends into sheer Pyrhonnism, which is not helpful, since it suggests that a peaceful dwcent to death is the best way to go. All available records, however tampered with by different institutions with differing motives, show temperatures increasing. The easiest conclusion is that temperatures are increasing. You can argue about the extent of the increase but not about the fact of an increase.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Concerning the attribution game discussed by Curry - both believers and skeptics of climate change assume (without any proof) that the only way the Earth’s temperature can change is if it forced to do so. It is analogous to assuming that the Earth’s thermostat has no dead zone. It is much more likely that the thermostat has a wide dead zone and the Earth’s temperature can wander about over a wide range of values without any external forcing at all.

More precisely it might be said that Earth has a number of poorly coupled thermostats whose temperatures wander about and which are now known as oscillations such as the PDO, AMO, AO, etc. When they all get in phase, the global temperature can be very warm or very cold. Most of the time, it is somewhere in between. I guess you could also call this chaos.

We know that other planets have variations in temperature without any obvious cause. This suggest that planetary bodies in general have poorly constrained thermostats. A wide dead zone means you can turn the thermostat up, for example, and the temperature will drop, because it is poorly constrained. Kind of like the recent decade when it is presumably being forced to warm, but is actually cooling.

So attribution studies of a poorly constrained thermostat don’t make much sense. There is absolutely no proof of the assumption that all changes in temperatures must have an external cause.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas Hoyt

Douglas Hoyt

Of course what you say is reasonable. But it is equally reasonable to argue that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. What we need is a null hypothesis that explains why increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 will not increase the amount of energy within the climate system.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If you have a wide dead band, the system is insensitive to forcing, because the internal forcings are already much larger than the external forcing from carbon dioxide. Measurements of changes in the Earth's albedo, using the moon's albedo changes to monitor the changes in the Earth, show these internal forcings are an order of magnitude larger than the proposed CO2 forcing.

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas Hoyt

John Cook has prepared the "rebuttal" to the solar minimum story.

Jun 16, 2011 at 3:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

diogenes and BBD

I'm with Bad Andrew. I don't believe that the Hadcrut3 and other related data sets are impressive in the least. In fact, I am suspicious of their coincidence which make me believe that they all are basically the same data massaged by various people.

There should be more random noise between the data sets than is shown.

As for the satellite data, it was all in the hands of Hansen, so that is enough by itself to make me question it.

Jun 16, 2011 at 5:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Douglas Hoyt

There is no evidence for the 'wide dead band' of climate insensitivity you propose. The earthshine studies I assume you refer to (Palle et al 2004; Palle et al 2005) are controversial (eg Wielicki et al 2005; Loeb et al 2007; Bender 2006; Evan et al 2007).

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Don Pablo

You really are mistaken about this. First, I absolutely reject the suggestion that Hansen is somehow tampering with the raw data from satellite flown instruments.

The fact that no less a sceptic than Roy Spencer heads up the UAH team should be enough to scotch this idea - do you think Spencer could be fooled by Hansen?

Time to stop with the conspiracy stuff. It helps no one and diogenes is absolutely right in appealing to reason.

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"Time to stop with the conspiracy stuff. It helps no one and diogenes is absolutely right in appealing to reason."


I don't always have to have the last word, but I noticed you didn't answer my question or provide any information me that supports your conclusion. Anyway, it's a matter of trust. You obviously have it. I don't.


Jun 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew


I don't always have to have the last word, but I noticed you didn't answer my question or provide any information me that supports your conclusion. Anyway, it's a matter of trust. You obviously have it. I don't.

You have no evidence to support your conclusion.

It is a conspiracy theory, nothing more. I appealed to logic and reason repeatedly above. Named names, made suggestions as to why things are as they are, even threw in a couple of graphs.

Are we reading the same thread?

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Don Pablo

I don't believe that the Hadcrut3 and other related data sets are impressive in the least. In fact, I am suspicious of their coincidence which make me believe that they all are basically the same data massaged by various people.

There should be more random noise between the data sets than is shown.

I can see why you might think this, but it is mistaken. All four data sets in the graph (June 15 7:07pm) are the global average monthly temperature anomalies. This is broad strokes stuff, and smooths out much of the noise, revealing the expected and close relationship between monthly average changes in surface GATA and TLT (14,000ft/600mb).

There's nothing strange, nothing suspicious, nothing wrong.

The effects of Arctic interpolation in GISTEMP show up in the higher trend for the period, as they should, which is why GISTEMP 'runs warm' compared to HADCRUT3VGL. The RSS/UAH interpretations of the satellite data validate each other, and also HADCRUT3VGL, which emphasises that GISTEMP is the outlier here.

Jun 16, 2011 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


I asked: "Anyway, who do you think would have blown the whistle?"

You haven't provided any names in answer to that question.

I do have evidence/documentation that Warmers manipulate the presentation of climate data. It's called The Hockey Stick Illusion (which is a really good book, btw ;) ). So why you think "they" couldn't possibly have manipulated other squiggly lines is what is not reasonable.


Jun 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew


I do not know your background, but I have to assume that you never did any actual data collection. What we have in these data sets is too much coincidence, that is lack of random noise. If I were to run an analysis of variance, I suspect I would find their similarity to be in the four or five sigma range. This with data taken purportedly independently with sampling from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Now remember, I can go 10 miles and find a variation in temperature of as much as 10 degrees, particularly in the mountainous region I live in. All you have to do is watch evening weather report on the tele to see the variation of temperatures all over lets say UK. And these data were collected all over the world? Give me a break. They are too good not to be the same. The little variance you can see is due to computation artifacts caused by the "corrections" applied to the raw data, whatever it was.

As for Hansen, I think you need to look at his record at NASA. I have no trust in that man. None whatsoever.

Believe the data if you wish. I know better. A matter of opinion, for sure, but I do have a solid background in science and statistics.

Jun 16, 2011 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Another point to be made is this: climate science is so poor at this point, that there is room for doubt all over the joint, that climate science cannot respond to.

For instance, if someone claims that men can build airplanes and fly around in them (an astounding thing), demonstration of this is readily available for anyone.

If someone claims men are making the earth warmer, we get... colored line drawings?

The conclusions of these sciences are obviously not quite on the same playing field and shouldn't command the same level of belief.


Jun 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Oh I give up. Have it your own way.

Jun 16, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Don Pablo

You want to know about my background: take a look at some of the other comments on this thread and elsewhere.

Jun 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Don Pablo

You are missing the point @ 2:24 pm. Google 'gridded climate data' - what you say re spatial variance is not an issue.

Jun 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


No, it's you who are missing my point. The data are too good. They match too well. They should not, It has nothing with grids, but with whether the data are actually independently collected.

Ever hear of Dry Labbing? Done every day by undergraduates in the chem lab, and apparently by "Climate Scientists." Hansen has a long history of "correcting data" which is well documented in The Register

There are three examples from The Reg: There are many others:

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo

I am familiar with the history of GISTEMP, but thanks for the links.

If you seriously believe that all four major climate indices have been faked, then there's not much point in us discussing the matter further.

Let's agree to differ, and move on.

Jun 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

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