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« Andy Microband Burnham | Main | Rudd to meet climate untouchables »
Monday
Jun082015

IPCC: climate misinformers

Warren Pearce has a new paper out in Nature Climate Change that looks at the 2013 WGI press conference and the pickle that Thomas Stocker got into in trying to rebut questions about the pause.

Here we demonstrate that speakers at the press conference for the publication of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group 1; ref. 1) attempted to make the documented level of certainty of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) more meaningful to the public. Speakers attempted to communicate this through reference to short-term temperature increases. However, when journalists enquired about the similarly short ‘pause’2 in global temperature increase, the speakers dismissed the relevance of such timescales, thus becoming incoherent as to ‘what counts’ as scientific evidence for AGW. We call this the ‘IPCC’s certainty trap’. This incoherence led to confusion within the press conference and subsequent condemnation in the media3. The speakers were well intentioned in their attempts to communicate the public implications of the report, but these attempts threatened to erode their scientific credibility. In this instance, the certainty trap was the result of the speakers’ failure to acknowledge the tensions between scientific and public meanings. Avoiding the certainty trap in the future will require a nuanced accommodation of uncertainties and a recognition that rightful demands for scientific credibility need to be balanced with public and political dialogue about the things we value and the actions we take to protect those things.

The paper looks in particular at the questions asked by David Rose:

Various attempts were made by the IPCC speakers to downplay the importance of the pause. Stocker repeatedly pinpointed a lack of published literature as a problem (L436437, L568571) and claimed that temperature trends that last for less than 30 years should be treated as significantly less important than trends that last more than 30 years (L580584, L793795). This `temporal segmentation' enabled the pause to be dismissed as scientifically irrelevant, suggesting that journalists' questions on thematter could be ignored. Jarraud oered just such a dismissal to Rose's question, which he claimed was ``from a scientific point of view: what we would call an ill-posed question'' (L827828), essentially dismissing Rose as scientifically illiterate. The terms of this dismissal, however, seem inconsistent with the temporally localized claims made by speakers during the press conference. The speakers oscillated between two positions: one of broad certainty but little public meaning, the other of public meaning but little broad certainty (Fig. 4). This striking incoherence was noted by Alex Morales of Bloomberg News who asked why 15-year periods are considered by the speakers if they hold no scientific value (L965969).

When Rose published his article the following day, the quote ``your question is ill-posed!'' was given headline status, and derided as a misjudged response to ``a simple question''. We do not wish to claim here that Rose was particularly sympathetic to the IPCC before the press conference23,24, but in this instance his question was well founded. It exposed how attempts during the press conference to increase publicmeaning undermined the very scientific certainty that representatives were trying to communicate, and then leverage, to procure public meaning.

David Rose's questioning led him to be being branded "climate misinformer of the year". This paper goes a long way towards demonstrating that that particular accolade belongs to the IPCC.

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Reader Comments (49)

Is there a link to the paper?
Although as it's in Nature Climate Change it is probably worthless.

Jun 8, 2015 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Thanks MCourtney :D The link is now live at http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2672.html

Bish, thanks for the write-up. A key point of the paper is that (some of) the people speaking at the press conference got into a 'pickle' in trying to make their report meaningful. So I'm not saying that the *entire* IPCC was responsible for 'misinforming'. Rather, that the problem arose in the way the information was presented at the press conference.

I'd also say that this is not a problem restricted to the 'pause'. There are uncertainties everywhere in science. These are never entirely ironed out, and new ones are likely to pop up where you least expect...

Jun 8, 2015 at 4:23 PM | Registered Commenter@warrenpearce

'certainty trap' - amusing to see the climatologists meandering towards discovering falsifiability. (And the journalists got there first.)

Jun 8, 2015 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Warren

Do you think perhaps the head of IPCC WGI might have been expected to deal with the big question of his report in a more "straightforward" fashion? Does his failure to do so reflect on the IPCC? I would have thought so.

Jun 8, 2015 at 4:41 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Warren and Greg now have their own blog post up at Making Science Public, which explains their main points clearly and concisely.

Jun 8, 2015 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Bish. I agree the performance at this press conference did not reflect well. They must/should have expected some questions on the 'pause', whether or not it was the 'big question'. This will likely have been particularly disappointing to the contributing authors who had slogged away at the report for years, only to have it presented in a sub-optimal manner at the press conference. The distinction I would make is between the IPCC's core organisation, who were responsible for the press conference, and the broader IPCC community of authors, who were not responsible.

Jun 8, 2015 at 4:50 PM | Registered Commenter@warrenpearce

It is just irresponsible of the IPCC to get themselves in a mess about uncertainty, when they can not disagree amongst themselves, what they do not have a clue about.

They need at least another £$ billion to improve their suntans in exotic locations to talk about their communication problems, and why people think they are out of touch with reality. After coffee on the first morning, they can spend the rest of the fortnight enjoying themselves.

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

An hour after publication, the paper seems to have "gone viral":

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/08/the-uncertainty-monster-bites-ipcc-scientists-back/
"It seems that the IPCC botched more than just AR5 in 2013, they also botched their own press conference on the Summary for Policy Makers in Stockholm by not paying attention to their own uncertainty figures, something we saw recently when 2014 was declared the “hottest year ever”, ..."


http://judithcurry.com/2015/06/08/improving-climate-change-communication-moving-beyond-scientific-certainty/
"The strategy of hyping certainty and a scientific consensus and dismissing decadal variability is a bad move for communicating a very complex, wicked problem such as climate change".
"Kudos to the Nottingham team for a very insightful paper"

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:19 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Trying to make meaningful something that is meaningless seems to me to be an exercise in bad faith.

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

I think progress is being made. Thanks Warren.

I wish the climate community would admit to itself that it needs to step back and regroup. The 'pause' is making fools of them and they're letting their anxiety about the future blind them to the need for a more coherent message. Even the favourable media is beginning to wince at the fudges that are having to be made while the climate doesn't co-operate. I've likened AGW to a product launched too soon and dogged with recalls and upgrades. Eventually the public shy away from it, even where it is credible and/or improved.

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Presumably any pertinent question about climate science is "ill-posed".

'Climate Scientists are sick poseurs' becomes a valid statement.

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

TinyCO2 Global warming has not paused, it is Chillaxing.

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Here's a partial transcript of IPCC's AR5 Working Group II Report Press Conference in Yokohama, Japan in 2014, during which the "pause" was categorically denied by both Prof. Chris Field and Michel Jarraud:
https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20140331_ip

Chris Field: Well, I think that the first thing that's important to recognise is that, from the earth system perspective, we haven't seen anything like a pause. What we've seen is that the earth has continued to warm at a rapid rate, that over the last few years - for reasons that are only partially understood - more of that warming has been showing up in the ocean and less - a lower fraction - has been showing up in the atmosphere. And even though the atmosphere has continued to warm, we've had more of the global warming showing up in the ocean. So the idea of a pause is not - it's just not correct, it's not - it's not what we're seeing in the data. What we're seeing in the data is continued rapid warming.

Michel Jarraud: Yeah, I would like to come back to this "pause", because I think it's very misleading. There is. No. Pause. Thirteen out of the fourteen warmest years ever recorded occurred since the beginning of this century. What we call now a cold year - the coldest year since year 2001, which is actually 2011 - the coldest year in this period is actually warmer than any year before 1998. So I have real difficulties to accept that we can talk about a pause.

Well worth a quick read, in its entirety.

Jun 8, 2015 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

golf charlie "chillaxing" LOL

Jun 8, 2015 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

My Lord

I have the image of two attractive women moving around the screen when I visit your site the advert says "We focus on every detail" Unfortunately I find it difficult too focus :-)

The advert is by VO Hair which for someone follicly challaeged like myself is not of much use.

Is there a way to rid myself of these delightful young ladies?

Jun 8, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Jun 8, 2015 at 5:42 PM | TinyCO2

Why is a coherent message needed? this is supposed to be science isn't it so everyone disagrees. If a 'scientist' whats to back a specific position they can explicitly put their name to it.

If you want to compare climate science to a product how about a sinclair C5, that was unpopular with the public,

Jun 8, 2015 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Stacey

See yesterday's post on the subject. I think it's a DNS hack of my domain. Should be gone by tomorrow.

Jun 8, 2015 at 6:31 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I used to explain to my children that if you tell the truth in the first place you won't have to remember the half truths and lies you made up. Perhaps Warren Pearce could write a paper on that subject? I am happy to inform him that we ignorant plebs whom he feels are so dumb as to not understand scientific uncertainty are more than able to see the shenanigans going forward to Paris. Perhaps he should write another paper to remove the confusion that Putin, Modi and Li Keqiang of China are obviously feeling as well.

Jun 8, 2015 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterivor ward

I've always thought that the significance of the pause was to be seen on a longer timescale anyway. Look at the way that global temperatures seem to have risen in an uneven sawtooth fashion since we came out of the little ice age. In the late 1990s it would appear that there was a temperature increase that coincided with industrialisation and the rise of man made CO2 output. This was especially true if we extrapolated the late nineties uptick into the future. After eighteen years of global temperatures flatlining, the effect of man made CO2 is no longer evident. The gradual increase in temperature appears to be totally natural.

Jun 8, 2015 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

...The speakers were well intentioned in their attempts to communicate the public implications of the report, but these attempts threatened to erode their scientific credibility....</I>

Er... trying to communicate lies generally erodes your credibility. That's what's happened to politicians, who used to be respected 100 years ago...

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Rob Burton, the problem is not that everyone disagrees about the meaning of the data, it's that the data keeps changing and they talk about why there's a pause and then deny there's a pause at all. They look like a bunch of amateurs. Now that might please sceptics but it doesn't really do either side much good. The problem doesn't go away. It doesn't get accurately quantified. If they shut up and went back to work on their problem then people might calm down and stop throwing money at stuff that doesn't work. Knee jerk reactions are rarely a good idea.

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The distinction between WG1 and the SPM should not be drawn. Between the SOD and the Final WG1. There was a concerted effort to conceal and obfuscate the pause as much as possible. Stocker would have been well aware of that. The concealment was important not because climate is defined as over 30 years or more, but because it falsified the CMIP5 models upon which the WG1 conclusions rested. See essay Hiding the Hiding the Hiatus in my ebook.

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

"Michel Jarraud: Yeah, I would like to come back to this "pause", because I think it's very misleading. There is. No. Pause. Thirteen out of the fourteen warmest years ever recorded occurred since the beginning of this century. What we call now a cold year - the coldest year since year 2001, which is actually 2011 - the coldest year in this period is actually warmer than any year before 1998. So I have real difficulties to accept that we can talk about a pause."

It's amazing to me that a professional scientist does not understand that just because 13 of the last 14 years are the warmest on record (even if that were true) does not in any way contradict the idea of a pause in the upward trend in the temperature. The temperature has just leveled off. Very easy to mislead the public with these types of statements.

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterwebofbelief

TinyCO2
In response to both your recent posts.
From where I'm sitting what the genuine climate scientists, of which there are probably more than we imagine, need to do is to realise that for the last 20+ years they have been conned by a very well-organised political faction (I won't use the word 'conspiracy' for fear I get into trouble) with a serious enviro-political agenda.
All of us who have had dealings with the eco-warriors know that the ability to accuse CO2 of all sorts of evils was a godsend to those who have been arguing since the 1970s (or even earlier) for an end to cheap, abundant energy. I don't need to go through all the names again; I think most of us know by now who they are.
The IPCC was from the beginning a political organisation and not a scientific one; anyone who believes otherwise has not been paying attention. Slowly but (I hope) surely, the chickens are coming home to roost because the principle of "you can fool all the people ..." still holds good.
There is a long way still to go because the activist Left (which is where the eco-warriors live)* is well-organised and climate change still remains its best hope.
I recommend reading Janet Daley on the subject (of the activist Left, that is, not specifically climate change which is only one strand of their operation).

* Which is not to say that there aren't neo-Malthusians and enviro-nuts elsewhere in the political spectrum; Tickell and Letwin come to mind. But the driving force is the extreme left; the rest are simply the "useful idiots".

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:35 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Thank you warrenpearce for the link.

It seems that you have assumed that the intention of the press conference was to communicate the science accurately. That seems improbable.
The intention of the press conference was to communicate how important this science is. That is because the world is ending, of course.

All the confusion about how certain the science is can be easily understood if you assume that the press conference was designed without any consideration that they may be wrong. Every example was chosen to aid a narrative of impending doom.

That warm is not warming is obvious. But they sound similar. Only the facts were misrepresented.
That the Pause has happened over the same duration as the evidence for warming means both or neither are significant... but no-one needs to worry about that as only one side is important.
And the car crash attempted put-down of the journalist (ill-posed) was inevitable when they weren't expecting anyone to doubt their faith.

This has nothing to do with Science Communication. This should be analysed as one would a Televangelist.
And consider how a cash-strapped preacher would handle heckling in a televised sermon.

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:46 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The problem as described (and I havent seen the paper yet) reminds me why I originally became interested in the field. It struck me years ago that IPCC scientists were being "promotional" as the term is understood in the securities industry. The problems that they encountered may seem unusual in science, but they are everyday problems in the stock market.

And the problems that they encountered seem entirely comparable to the problems encountered by businessmen who oversell to investors. One of the first rules in business when dealing with the public is: Underpromise and overperform. Something that the IPCC should also keep in mind when dealing with the public,

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Perhaps the biggest "hurdle" for me when it comes to deciding anything about climate change and what causes it is that we actually don't seem to know what climate is to start with. There are some theories about interactions, etc., but no one can put a wrap on it, thus we do NOT know what causes climate to change.

Given that we don't know all natural events that affect the climate, how can anyone truly determine IF man's actions have, in fact, affected climate? You can't tell if climate is impacted by anything we do beyond what we physically do to the land, air, and water, and that, of course is the biosphere in which everything lives. But we don't have a true clue as to what effect that truly has on "climate." You CANNOT model what you don't know, thus models are nothing more than one man's opinions and simulations of those opinions.

The proof that the models can't work is shown by the "pause." No model can simulate it, and those who believe in the models are all scrambling for "natural variability" to explain it, never even realizing as they do, that if natural variability can explain the pause in the rise in temperature, it probably also explains the rise in temperature as well.

But back to the simple fact that we can say that man probably has impacted climate in some way, but there is no proof man has because we don't know what natural variability truly is to start with. Until we understand climate, we cannot separate natural from manmade. If you cannot separate them, then anything you do because you "think" you affect something is a waste of time and energy. If you feel that burning coal and oil is affecting the climate adversely, I suppose it would be proper for YOU to stop doing so. If I don't, I think it proper for you to do what you want while I burn coal and oil.

Jun 8, 2015 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomO

Mike J - are you sure there really are some "genuine climate scientists"? I'm not convinced.

My own view has hardened a lot recently. I just do not think there is anywhere a good-faith effort to understand the world's climates(plural) in a scientific way - to try and find underpinning laws and make correct predictions. Instead it's a big mishmash of nonsense and bogus concepts.

Bogus concept #1 is the idea that the world has just one climate.

Bogus concept #2: the idea that "climate" is "average weather over 30 years". Where did the number 30 come from? Why not 29 or 28? Or 60" Or 300? Or 3000? 30 is just another P.O.O.M.A. number.

Bogus concept #3: global average temperature. It has as much meaning as a global average phone number.

Bogus concept #4: masking. As in "the warming was masked by the cooling". If effect A counteracts effect B or negates effect B that's cool - but "masking" ?

Bogus concept #5: ensembles of models. What a crock. Does any other discipline have "ensembles"? (Apart from esperanto)


Sorry, but I just cannot see "Climate Science" ever coming good and providing something useful.

Jun 8, 2015 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

I'm going to have to stop reading about all this stuff as I'm now fully disillusioned in the system, have lost all faith and now smell bullshit every time I here a sentence starting "Scientists say".....

However Golf Charlie's, perfectly focused comments, always prove a tonic

Jun 8, 2015 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBLACK PEARL

"Natural Variability" is another bogus concept. This really means "we don't fully understand". Maybe just "we don't understand".

If they do not understand or do not know then they will never advance until they admit that they do not understand.

Jun 8, 2015 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

30 years appears, because Jones said 15 years of no warming & Santer 17 years would mean climate models had been falsified.

Jun 8, 2015 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Jack Hughes, they may not understand the climate any better, but they understand how to make research funding rise above inflation.

Plausible deniability has now been reduced to pause deniability, and with this achievement, they hope to have the G7 and Paris party in the bag, and will be putting in fresh funding demands thereafter.

What the climate does, remains open to the normal guesswork, so long as it is hotter.

Jun 8, 2015 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jun 8, 2015 at 9:23 PM Jack Hughes

Spot on.

Jun 8, 2015 at 10:47 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@webofbelief

...It's amazing to me that a professional scientist does not understand that just because 13 of the last 14 years are the warmest on record (even if that were true) does not in any way contradict the idea of a pause in the upward trend in the temperature. The temperature has just leveled off. Very easy to mislead the public with these types of statements....

The problem for the scientists is that journalists are used to listening to politicians. Now, politicians are past masters at the art of saying one thing which can be interpreted to mean the opposite tomorrow, so journalists have been accustomed to professional liars. These scientist/activists are amateurs...

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Jack Hughes @ 9.23 PM

Yes, good but remember that scientists are human, and climate "scientists" are also human, (despite some people's doubts).
I have been reading up on 1820-1925 recently. The red witch of Paviland cave originated because Buckland couldn't believe that humans were around before 4004BC. Others couldn't believe in giant extinct sea reptiles because God wouldn't allow that. Lyell is a revered name in Geology but let's remember that he thought the Earth was eternal, that continents bobbed up and down, and that natural life went in cycles (see De la Beche's cartoon about Prof. Ichthyosaur lecturing on the new human fossil skull). Let's not get into the debates about evolution, but it's only 100 years since many scientists believed the Piltdown Man was genuine, and others that N rays were proven. And 112 years since Kelvin was debunked about the age of the Earth.

Man made global warming (at least on the scale presented by the IPCC) is just another one of the delusions that occur. Like all those who believed in perpetual motion schemes, they will wake up poorer and we must hope having learnt from the experience.

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

at Jack Hughes – Bogus concept #2 regarding 30 years

There is a history of this beginning in the 1930s (before modern computers and related technology) when weather folks wanted a common set of numbers for local people to compare to when hearing on radio or reading in newspapers. I think at a 1935 meeting in Poland, members of the WMO selected the 30 year period that changed every 10 years. This concept is called “climatic normals” and these are still reported as such.
See: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?wa9465
Note on the left, 3 sets of “Normals” – namely 1981-2010, 1971-2000, 1961-1990.

Also, before computers, basic statistic courses often used 30 cases as a respectable sample size for calculation of inferences about a population. I can still see “Show your work” on the test papers.

Anyway, the above ideas suggest where “climate scientists” got the number, and why it isn't 28, 60, or 300.

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

'what counts’ as scientific evidence for AGW. '

The short answer is anything they want to , the more interesting answer is what counts as scientific evidence against AGW and that is interest becasue they have never given an answer. This suggest they either think nothing could count has evidence against AGW or that they are unwilling to say . In all cases it shows how very far away they are from doing science in the first place.

Jun 9, 2015 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

This morning there's an article about the paper in the Independent, by Tom Bawden.
"Climate change scientists must be more honest about the limits of their knowledge and uncertainty around predictions if they are to win the trust of the public, according to a new report...."

I wonder how long it will be before someone at the Guardian attacks it?

Jun 9, 2015 at 8:59 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

"The certainty trap was the result of the speakers’ failure to acknowledge the tensions between scientific and public meanings."

What BS. The certainty trap is when an academic pretending to be a scientist claims to be certain, but then the real world doesn't agree.

Jun 9, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

KNR quoted this: 'what counts’ as scientific evidence for AGW. '

The simple fact is that the word "science" as used in the media is just a brand name for a group of public sector academics and their views.

In other words, you are a scientist, if you are employed in the public sector and the media want to give credence to your views. If however, they don't like your views and particularly if you quote real data - you are not now considered a "scientist", but often "anti-science" (because academia's views too often contradict the real data).

Jun 9, 2015 at 10:02 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

"Michel Jarraud: Yeah, I would like to come back to this "pause", because I think it's very misleading. There is. No. Pause. Thirteen out of the fourteen warmest years ever recorded occurred since the beginning of this century. What we call now a cold year - the coldest year since year 2001, which is actually 2011 - the coldest year in this period is actually warmer than any year before 1998. So I have real difficulties to accept that we can talk about a pause."

The intellectual deficiency in this statement is mind blowing. The fact that these people can get up on stage, talk such utter garbage, and then belittle anyone who has the temerity to ask simple questions makes my blood boil. When the revkoning comes and these people find they have squandered their life's effort on such an ideologically flawed mission, i will have absolutely no sympathy for them. Consigned to irrelevance and good riddance.

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterImranCan

ImranCan, 13 of the last 14 years had seen the best funding opportunities in climate science since records began.

What more does anyone need to ask?

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Tomo (Jun 8, 2015 at 9:07 PM): you have hit a good point, there – what is “climate”?

My own hypothesis is that it is such a nebulous concept that no-one will ever satisfactorily define it. Oh, yes, there will be many who think that they can, but all will fail at some point, no matter how long and complex their definition. This is why “climate change” is the preferred mantra over “global warming”, and not just because the IPCC definition of climate change is change brought about by humans – according to the IPCC, the global climates have been unchanged for 4.5 billion years, and would have continued unchanged were it not for us. That they should promulgate this, while also pointing out past changes is an masterful exercise in double-think.

Global warming is a measurable concept, and measurements have shown that the world is not warming any more, and has not done so for longer than had been previously laid down as the bench-mark as an acceptable period: 15 years. (Does Michel Jeraud really think himself a scientist with that bizarre logic? To paraphrase: “This is not the top of the hill, because everywhere we walk today is higher than where we walked before.” Would he never pause to admire the all-round view?) Naturally, there are moves to adjust this period of acceptability further, and 30 years is being mooted in not-so-subtle ways (see Entropic Mann passim). What will happen should the plateau extends for another 12 years, we can only wait and see; what will happen if there is an observable reduction in that time will be even more interesting.

Jack Hughes has managed to produce the best summation I have yet seen.

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:32 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

You get the impression that none of these people could find their arse using both hands. If the signal ever does appear then they will surely miss it. But hey that's ok because they have the unique ability among the entire scientific community to just make up their own data and be immediately believed - even if it contradicts what they had said for years. In fact it seems they can even say two contradictory things in successive sentences and be believed on both. Such is the strength of belief in enviro-catastrophe among academia and the chattering classes.

Jun 9, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Paul Matthews, wrong link to the Independent article on Hollin and Pearce.

I note in passing "... the widely perceived slowdown in global warming since the late 1990s – since shown by research in the US to be a fallacy – ..." Amazing how quickly Karl et al. 2015 has been adopted as truth. The author could have used a word like "suggested", but instead chose "shown". Is not one of the points of the paper that uncertainty needs to be clearly expressed?

Jun 9, 2015 at 1:04 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

@John F. Hultquist - thanks for the info.I can see that a 30 year rolling average can have some value for some purposes - but the idea has been stretched to breaking point.

Jun 9, 2015 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

My apologies for being somewhat late to this party. I respectfully acknowledge that the awesome Alex Cull has beat me to the punch on WGII's Field and Jarraud's well-choreographed tango, in which they strove to toss "the pause" out of the window - or into the dustbin with Pachauri-like panache, if you prefer. Nonetheless, just for the record ...

"There. Is. No. Pause." Jarraud declared. Not that anyone should be surprised by this. He'd been working up steam for such an earth-shattering declaration, since March of 2014. [See: NEWSFLASH: “Climate change is not stopping”, says WMO chief]

To this day, I can't help wondering what the authors of the (July 2013) UK Met Office three papers might have to say about this (other than yet another chorus of "Sounds of Silence"):

The recent pause in global warming (1): What do observations of the climate system tell us?
The recent pause in global warming (2): What are the potential causes?
The recent pause in global warming (3): What are the implications for projections of future warming?

But I digress ... back to the simple messages from the prophets of WGI ...

Stocker is a case in point! In 2011, he was out here in BC telling us that the price of gas (petrol to those across the pond) should be increased three-fold:

the planet might be better off if [gas prices] soared to “three to four” times its current level.

I suppose in Stocker's defense, I should concede that "might" does not exactly imbue his exhortation with any measure of credibility whatsoever - least of all that which one might expect from a so-called "world leading expert on climate change".

But considering that Stocker is a "scientist" I'm inclined to be somewhat well, skeptical ... particularly in light of his apparently abysmal "math skills". See IPCC’s Thomas Stocker’s new, improved math.

Not to mention his "non policy prescriptive" pontifications. See IPCC’s AR5: Pontifications from planet Stocker, Pachauri & Steiner.

Jun 10, 2015 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Let me start by saying that it’s possible that I’m just confused, but – in my opinion – the premise of this paper is rather confused....There’s probably a great deal more that I could say, but I’ll finish by quoting the final part ...I’m not even entirely sure of what this is getting at, but it seems to be suggesting that ...If so, I fail to see how this is a good idea....

Of course, I’ve been told before that my understanding of the whole Science and Technology Studies field is poor, which is possible. Maybe there is some significance to this paper that I’m failing to get. If so, maybe someone who does get it could explain it to me in a way that I can understand.

-Signed, ATTP

Jun 10, 2015 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

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