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« Science's pollution problem | Main | Johansen's climate sensitivity estimate »
Friday
Apr032015

A declaration of orthodoxy

When a mainstream climate scientist comes up with some findings that go against the narrative of impending catastrophe they usually feel obliged (or are obliged by others) to take steps to distance themselves from the implications - hiding them, issuing declarations of orthodoxy, or saying something rude about dissenters.

We saw something of this in Bjorn Stevens' recent paper on aerosol forcing, with the implications for climate sensitivity left to one side. Yesterday, however, Stevens went futher and issued a declaration of his absolute global warming faith.

Many scientists (myself included) believe that a warming of more than 2ºC from a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is consistent with both my new study and our best understanding. Some insight into our reasoning can be found in a number of excellent blogs reporting on a workshop on Earth’s Climate Sensitivities, which I co-organized just last week, e.g., http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/reflections-on-ringberg

So contrary to some reports that have appeared in the media, anthropogenic climate change is not called into question by my study. I continue to believe that warming of Earth’s surface temperatures from rising concentrations of greenhouse gases carries risks that society must take seriously, even if we are lucky and (as my work seems to suggest) the most catastrophic warming scenarios are a bit less likely.

The full statement is here.

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Reader Comments (131)

Does anyone know who has said that Stevens' findings call AGW into question?

Apr 3, 2015 at 8:57 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

It is very revealing of the pressure on these people. I wonder if he experienced a friendly word in the ear that he needs to get out and "set the record straight" or risk his career.

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

I seriously doubt it was a friendly word

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Five precepts of the intelligentsia:
Don't think.
If you think, then don't speak.
If you think and speak, then don't write.
If you think, speak and write, then don't sign.
If you think, speak, write and sign, then don't be surprised.

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterManniac

Annnnd he posted it to realclimate. Auto FAIL. I mean, that site doesn't see much traffic anymore, does it?

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

Reminds me of the recantations the Catholic Church used to force on people in the XV and XVI centuries. If you want proof that Climate "Science" is a religion and not a science, here you have it.

FD

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Davies

There re many mainstream Climate Alchemists who know real CO2 climate sensitivity is far lower than 1.2K but adhere to he faith to keep their jobs.

The problem is that if they were to admit that the Physics they teach is wrong, thy would have got their jobs on false pretences.

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Great news about the certainty of climate science.

He believes it won't be as bad as previously thought.

With luck, we might just get away with it.

Has his nose detected the stench of rotten rat, that permeates climate science?

Has he reverted to loose leaf tea, so now he can read tea leaves, and become more insightful as a result?

Another convert to the LukeWarm camp, should help cool the science

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Tamsin made a big fuss about Rindberg not being a junket etc but if the Team just wants to issue consensus-consistent proclamations it does not need to go to a castle for it? Rindberg is the equivalent of the SKS back-forum - secret science.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:21 AM | Registered Commentershub

If sulphate forcing is low then the balancing CO forcing must be low.

He may quote Holy Script and genuflect for the entry of ecclesiastical Hockeystick-shaped croziers...

But if his science is right then his faith is wrong.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:21 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

It is a bit mystifying as to why he should describe 'Real Climate' as an excellent blog.

Unless of course Calamity of Gavin is desperate for credibility, and needs some respect in the new financial year. He has to reposition his science, to prevent 2015/16, becoming a year of unprecedentd global warming funding disasters.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Scientist finds less reason for alarm. Activist wants to keep alarm up. All in one person. Walt would be proud.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

For those interested, here's some self-unaware 'crap' from Gavin:

More generally, the workshop was a great example of how a diverse group (in attitude, background, temperament as well as the more usual classes), can tackle complex and difficult problems in a situation with only minimal distractions.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Registered Commentershub

Bish- as per countless Betts and Schmidts past, agw is cagw, or funding and interest for climate science will go to the levels of sea slugs' otherwise

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:31 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

"Does anyone know who has said that Stevens' findings call AGW into question?"

The normal realclimate strawman!

Lets pretend skeptics are saying that there is no AGW rather than their questioning the assumed high sensitivity, then they proceed to show the strawman is wrong!

Yawn Yawn

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Aye... dip your fingers in the font of holy water, genuflect before you enter a pew.

That Bjorn feels the need to affirm his beliefs rather than letting the data do the talking is indicative of the power of the orthodoxy...

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Interesting that there should be another assault on our consciousness by this newly-formed religion of Climate “Science” on the most important weekend of the year for Christians.

To further the interest, view the parallel that Christianity is a religion that has endured “contrarians” for a couple of millennia, now, yet still survives – even more interesting is that many who have set out to disprove it have ended up believing it, something that does not appear to happen with Climastrology.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Stevens has been issued with his sack cloth and ashes and reminded which 'side ' is bread is buttered.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr


Yesterday, however, Stevens went futher and issued a declaration of his absolute global warming faith.

Or, maybe, he's just a bit ticked off that some people are using his recent paper to make arguments that he doesn't think are justified?

Bishop,
Just out of interest, do you have any interest in presenting some kind of balanced view? My guess is "no", but I thought I would just check.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

It's kind of sweet how jumpy they are getting...

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

If this latest statement is reflective of his position on agw you'd think he would have found time to state that in his original paper, you know, just to clarify things and leave no doubt. Seems like an addendum at short notice. I wonder why...?

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

If the rise in CO2 PPM is an artefact of ocean outgassing, a cyclical phenomenon due to solar variation a century ago, and if that rise should cease, that WOULD be a disaster for the AGW religion. Our friend ATTP might have to change his monicker: And Then There's Faith.

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Brent,


If the rise in CO2 PPM is an artefact of ocean outgassing

Given conservation of mass, this is virtually impossible. Of course, I'll leave it for the self-professed experts who regularly comment here (or, the host of the site who presumably also regards himself as an expert) to explain why. I won't, however, be holding my breath.

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Take ocean outgassing to the discussion forum please.

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The master of snide is at it again. Sneering raised to an art form.

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Bishop,


Take ocean outgassing to the discussion forum please.

Surely you could quite easily just point out that it's patently nonsense, or do you not realise this? Why would you possibly even want to have such nonsensical discussions or your site? I'm not, however, arguing against free speech. Carry on if it's what you want to do. You do have to consider, though, why anyone who understands this topic would regard this site as having any credibility if you do allow such discussions without comment. Similarly, you are regularly invited to speak about climate change/climate science in the mainstream media. Given that, why would you want it to appear that you don't understand this very simple issue? It's not particularly complicated.

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

A thought experiment....

If ATTP holds his breath, by how much will global temperatures not rise due to less anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere?

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Bish: I can't comment on ocean outgassing as I am not an expert - self-professed or otherwise - on that subject, but I do like to understand concepts that other self-professed 'experts' come up with:

The law of conservation of mass, or principle of mass conservation, states that for any system closed to all transfers of matter and energy (both of which have mass), the mass of the system must remain constant over time, as system mass cannot change quantity if it is not added or removed.
It seems to me that ATTP is saying that the oceans are 'closed systems'. That's interesting.

Apr 3, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Please do what the Bish asked 11:34

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

@Radical Rodent: A priest once me to never criticise the wisdom of the Church, as it was the only tyranny that had lasted for two thousand years!

Anybody any idea when it's going to get warmer on this planet? Or are we just wasting our breath exhaling our CO2?

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Privately, I prefer to avoid the analogy to religion, because it has too many varieties and caveats.
Much prefer analogous to a Trade Union. Similar levels of cause dedication, self right, will to impose on others, etc.
This analogy does not require any element of conspiracy theory or funding by Big This or That.
We co-exist with these corrupt and objectionable unions because they are bloody-minded enough to cripple an economy to win.
Lesson?
Accept that the global warming union movement will be around for a long time, still trying to harm economies for personal enrichment. Try to minimise and marginalise it.
Geoff

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

This is similar to the disclaimers early geologists and astronomers gave when they found out that the orthodox theological interpretations of the Bible were not supported by the evidence.
The irony that the greatest scientific popular movement since eugenics is nothing more than a tawdry parody of failed religious beliefs is delightful.

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

If you comment was addressed to me, big oil, then fair enough - if I want to discuss ocean out-gassing. But I wasn't, so I didn't. However, I admit to feeding a troll when I thought the definition of terms was required - but I guess you already knew what the law of conservation of mass stated. Cheers.

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

If this latest statement is reflective of his position on agw you'd think he would have found time to state that in his original paper, you know, just to clarify things and leave no doubt. Seems like an addendum at short notice. I wonder why...?
Apr 3, 2015 at 11:01 AM cheshirered


Obviously, somebody had a word with him.

Who? The following line, with its sucking-up adjective, is pretty transparent.

Some insight into our reasoning can be found in a number of excellent blogs reporting on a workshop on Earth’s Climate Sensitivities, which I co-organized just last week, e.g., http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/reflections-on-ringberg
geddit?

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Bishop,
Just out of interest, do you have any interest in presenting some kind of balanced view? My guess is "no", but I thought I would just check.

Apr 3, 2015 at 10:50 AM ...and Then There's Physics

……… from the dept of "you couldn't make it up"….. by the proprietor of the Greek chorus of perpetual & unyielding catastrophilia himself.

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:42 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Union or religion? I'd go for 'religion' in view of the complexity of the CAGW memeplex, the degree of belief without evidence amongst the True Believers, and the fervency of their Faith. Witness one poster in the present thread.

Let's take this to the discussion forum if there is any more to be said on this question.

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

ATTP, please don't derail this thread too. With sugar on top etc.

According to Stevens, we should take 'risks' seriously even if '...(as my work seems to suggest) the most catastrophic warming scenarios are a bit less likely.'

Why should anyone take less-than-catastrophic 'risks' seriously? Or, why should people waste so much money studying them? I can't think of a thing in this world that's not a less-than-catastrophic risk to something or the other.

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:54 PM | Registered Commentershub

I kinda like the following analogy (from my trusty Book of Quotes):

'You can tell how bad a musical is by the number of times the chorus shouts "Hooray..!".....'

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

I kinda like the following analogy (from my trusty Book of Quotes):

'You can tell how bad a musical is by the number of times the chorus shouts "Hooray..!".....'

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Oh, b*gger - done it again....

Apr 3, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

To return to Bjorn Stevens's statement about " a doubling of CO2" in the quote at the top, this seems to be an assertation worthy of challenge. The temperature here in Worcestershire has risen several degrees since this morning but any claim that this is the beginning of a geometric progression is just dumb. Direct measurements of CO2 began in the late 1950s, and have risen since then. True. This trend must continue in decades to come? A mere assertation.

Gimme The Physics.

Apr 3, 2015 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Foxgoose, aTTP has clearly not been copied in on the latest Hockey Team memo, about cooling the alarmist message, in anticipation of funding disasters.

Anything not predicted by computer models, is an excuse to say it is worse than we thought. Climate science may be on the brink of getting something right.

Apr 3, 2015 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Ken @ 10.50: "Bishop....... do you have any interest in presenting some kind of balance view?".
The issue of the "climate catastrophe" has been a binary question since 1992 when the whole world accepted the narrative through the precautionary principle without sound scientific reason (see UNFCCC Article 3 (3). Since then only an adversarial position could "balance" the credo and a plurality of views (such as appear here) is needed for balance.
If you have a "balanced" view which embraces this plurality please present it. In my world the "carbon" association with such individuals is Lithium Carbonate.

Apr 3, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

I have conducted a lengthy analysis of the Mauna Loa CO2 measurements which began in 1958 - not only the undoubted year-on-year rise but also the annual downticks as the NH vegetation reclaims CO2 during the NH summer.

Contrary to the claim on the Royal Society website of a residence time of "a thousand years", I find a residence time of 15 +/- 2 years. I conclude that the CO2 cycle is one of the many negative feedback processes which have contributed to 4.5 billion years of stability.

In my view, a major part of the alarmist mindset is based upon the notion of positive feedback - a notion that any departure from an ideal state of grace is the beginnings of a spiral out of control. In this perverse view; Man is a contaminant; a disruptor. In this perverse view the Earth's systems are teetering on the brink of collapse. But if negative feedback rather than positive, is the governing maths then the planet is robust.

If ATTP believes what he says he will disconnect from the grid forthwith. And Then There's Hypocrisy.

Apr 3, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Presumably, Stevens isn't at the leading edge of research on the science of total climate sensitivity, like say, Nic Lewis.

For him to extrapolate so offhandedly from his data work on aerosol measurements and forcing to total climate sensitivity is extremely I'll judged, from an academic perspective.

Apr 3, 2015 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Brent Hargreaves,
A neat summation of the club of Rome and agenda 21.

Apr 3, 2015 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

A direct analogy: The (controversial) BBC reports "Parties claim election debate victory".
Self-interested 'climate scientists' claim they are right. Again. Their models say so.

There's not really much difference, is there?

Apr 3, 2015 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Stevens said:

Some insight into our reasoning can be found in a number of excellent blogs reporting on a workshop on Earth’s Climate Sensitivities, which I co-organized just last week, e.g., http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/04/reflections-on-ringberg

Unfortunately, contrary to Stevens' advertisement, Schmidt's realclimate post provided no evidence or reasoning supporting Stevens' conclusion. Schmidt said that they had "interesting" discussions of cloud feedback. Given that this has been the major outstanding feedback issue since Charney, such discussions are welcome, but one would have hoped that such discussions would not be a novelty.

Schmidt's takehome seemed to be that international workshops for climate scientists were very stimulating and thus warranted the expense and carbon footprint. Something that most other specialists believe about themselves, but hardly a way forward towards the lower carbon footprint society that they advocate for others.

Apr 3, 2015 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

You can't make an omelette progress in ensuring carbon reduction without breaking a few eggs clocking up a few air-miles.

Apr 3, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Stalin

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