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Discussion > Are climate scientists scientific?

You show me a fully validated climate model and I might consider accepting some of its output. Otherwise, forget it.

Apr 5, 2015 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

ATTP, here's some advice for you: before making hoary statements about "this site", "you people", "people here", consider having your argument sorted out.

You said the 'ocean pH is falling and therefore CO2 is going up'. That may well be and can well expected to be, but there is no good unified global data to show this.

Without data, you cannot use your statement as a pillar of evidence to show the CO2 rise to be anthropogenic, as you did.

The best you can say is actually the opposite of your statement, which is to say, as atmospheric CO2 rises ocean pH can be expected to fall. What a sad reversal, isn't it?

Apr 5, 2015 at 8:51 PM | Registered Commentershub

For Sandy and SC - The metadata and the .txt file found here worked for me:

Apr 5, 2015 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

" I cried inside that (if what I've gleaned from other comments is correct) he is
a paid professional academic scientist, entrusted with teaching duties."

That isn't true is it?? I would cry too..

Apr 5, 2015 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

I was at at another university when an "astrobiology" course was introduced. People were crying with laughter. Some of the students it attracted were real space cadets with little grasp of science. Like with some of the climate modellers, it is undoubtedly more fun to go places where the imagination can run riot.

Apr 5, 2015 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The inference of ATTP's comments regarding the price a blog operator must pay in order to be taken seriously implies he thinks his blog is taken seriously.
Are Climate Scientists Scientific?
We can hope, but so far as a group they are more like an unfunny version of Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition.

Apr 6, 2015 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Back to the Question : Are climate scientists scientific? (Many "claims that do not stand up to scrutiny.")
Bad question as i'm sure he means : Are WARMIST climate scientists scientific?

Rule 1 of science : be honest
Rule 1 of WARMIST activism - never admit that the "97% of climate scientists say" mantra is based on flawed data (cherrypicking from a small sample size etc. )

- Anyone adhering to rule 1 of science, would have immediately made public the flaws of the 97% argument as soon as they heard it. Skeptic scientists have all done this. Many other "scientists" have not, perhaps due to being trapped within an atmosphere where freedom of speech is not possible if you want to stay on your career path.

Schrodinger's Cat ended his post with another question....

As we add up all the scientific blunders or deliberate distortions it is no surprise that we have the mess that climate science is in today.
How would a competent scientist have interpreted the same observations, starting with the unprecedented warming of the Eighties?
- Scientifically I hope ..instead of like people on a propaganda mission.

Apr 6, 2015 at 5:35 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"One thing for sure we have a generation of senior scientists who an absolute disgrace to the philosophy and methods of science."

Apr 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM | geronimo
Hear hear! Harry Passfield

"The Climateers are now trying to conflate the two (CAGW and AGW )and need to be watched carefully. Steve McIntyre first drew our attention to their shenanigans with peas and thimbles and their fondness for fudge.
Those are two things they are experts at. Probably the only two things they are expert at."
Apr 5, 2015 at 10:57 AM | Mike Jackson

Apr 6, 2015 at 5:47 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Anyway, I'm done here for now. I'd like to say that I haven't wasted my time, but I'd be lying if I did. I'd also like to say something nice and complimentary about this whole exchange, but - again - I'd be lying if I did.

Narcissistic personality disorder?

Apr 6, 2015 at 9:20 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

If scientists follow the scientific method they are being scientific. They may be wrong due to inadequate evidence or a flawed premise but they are still scientific if they try to find that out.

Climate "scientists" do not seek evidence counter to their apocalyptic memes. We saw recently how a climate scientist found that the forcing from aerosols was over-estimated but he refused to follow the logical thread and consider the impact on the balancing forcing from CO2. He abandoned the scientific method.

Indeed, he had to. Because the UNFCCC demands that climate "science" only looks for supporting evidence.
They are not scientific.
That's why no other branch of science has copied the format of the IPCC. It may raise funds but it loses any credibility for those involved.

Apr 6, 2015 at 9:29 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Narcissistic personality disorder?

No, just public relations courtesy of Edinburgh Uni Astrophysics isn't it. As many have said he id just an attention seeker wj will go away if ignored. I do like the superority air when some of 'us sceptics' probably out qualify him in 'climate science'.

Apr 6, 2015 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton


"People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes."

"Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism."

Apr 6, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Bang on the button, then, Martin A.

Apr 6, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Apr 6, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Martin A

I don't want to mock mental disorders or anything, and I'm very non combative and don't like to be 'unfairly' criticised but Ken ( if that is who he is) is just a twat. If he wanted admiration why was he anonymous and then decide to post afterwards behind his Edinburgh Uni credentials? Surely he would want his superiority visible to his superiors, peers and students to show how great he was? He clearly shows up when the 'bigger names' are around.

Apr 6, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Rob - If I were a teacher on research methods who was unable, or unwilling, to supply my supporting references, I would expect to be ridiculed rather than admired.

Apr 6, 2015 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Global warming is one of the modern religions where you can take up its tenets on faith and attack your opponents for not knowing the science.

Apr 6, 2015 at 5:07 PM | Registered Commentershub

Rob -

It's pointless to look for logic in the behaviour of victims of personality disorders or try to make sense of their behaviour. In any normal terms, behaviour intended to satisfy a need for admiration which results in the assessment "twat" is defective.

Traits of NPD also include:

- Insinuating "I am great (but you are definitely not)" - which probably gets up people's noses more than anything else they do (as we have recently seen).

- Seeking contact with and the approval of those they consider to be Important People (as we have recently seen).

Apr 6, 2015 at 6:42 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Of course climate scientists are scientific, but they, like the rest of society have a broad spectrum of personality types. It is natural if you sincerely believe that you have a scientific theory that's correct to look askance at a bunch of oicks untrained in your topic telling you it's wrong. Even more horrid if they are a bunch of non-progressive right wing oicks. And worse again if said oicks are challenging your predictions and continue to be proved correct. But that doesn't make them non-scientific.

I suppose from a strictly narrow view of the philosophy of science they could be said to be non-scientific because they've come up with the theory that all swans are white and instead of looking for black swans they're constantly looking for white swans. Indeed if a black swan does turn up, which they do on a regular basis, they either try to shoot it, or, claim that it still doesn't disprove the theory that all swans are white. That behaviour is to be expected among a group of people who have developed a scientific theory that requires huge increases in the price of energy and world government to implement the solution to the problem they've identified. The price of being wrong in such circumstances is huge. So they will cling on for as long as they can.

It would appear that such thinking isn't confined to the climate science community. We have had a discussion on here about whether humans caused the increase in CO2, with a "physicist" claiming it is incontrovertible that the increase was caused solely by human beings burning fossil fuels. Well that could be true, but looking for black swans turns up the fact that ocean degassing of CO2 occurs around 800 years after a rise in atmospheric temperature - which makes sense. Michael Mann's gallant efforts in trying to "get rid of" the medieval warm period having floundered, we are safe in the knowledge that we had a medieval warm period some time between 900 and 1300AD, which is almost exactly 800 years ago. To me it follows that if what we have observed in the CO2/temperature records is true, then we should have expected CO2 to rise in the atmosphere some time between 1800 and 2000, and it did.

This particular black swan has, of course, been raised before, and supposed to have been batted away by the change in C13/C12 ratio however there are a number of reasons why this can also happen because of natural changes in CO2 as Dr. Spencer has pointed out over at WUWT.

Of course some of the increase in CO2 will be because of fossil fuels but the mystery, to me at least, is why the increase in CO2 remains at 2ppm/annum when human emissions have increased exponentially over the last 50 years. Surely, if humans were making a significant impact on the CO2 in the atmosphere this exponential increase would have had a significant impact on the CO2 content of the atmosphere? But it appears not. Why is that?

Apr 7, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Registered Commentergeronimo

Martin A. "But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism."

To be fair to anyone with NPD, we all have ways of coping with our own inadequacies, it's just that this particular person is visiting them upon the denizens of this blog. As irritating as it might be to see someone who clearly thinks, or at least gives the impression that he thinks, he's a superior human being. he is ,in fact, more to be pitied than scorned.

His ambition is to get into the SkS gang and be a "big player" in the climate debate, that he should have such low aspirations, or that he believes SkS are big players is more reason to pity him.

Did I mention the pseudo politeness?

Apr 7, 2015 at 12:00 PM | Registered Commentergeronimo

... Surely, if humans were making a significant impact on the CO2 in the atmosphere this exponential increase would have had a significant impact on the CO2 content of the atmosphere? But it appears not. Why is that?
Apr 7, 2015 at 11:44 AM geronimo

The dynamics of atmospheric CO2 concentration are poorly understood. The IPCC sets store by the so-called Bern model.

But a quick look by anyone who properly understands dynamic models reveals that its behaviour is not physically realisable - ie the behaviour claimed for it is not physically possible. The theory of passive linear resistor capacitor networks spells out why this is. (RC networks are a direct dynamic analogy of linear box models of atmospheric CO2, so the same rules apply to both.)

Geronimo has noted the the human release of CO2 has grown roughly exponentially.

If you drive a linear system with a growing exponential, the reponse will to a close approximation, also be a growing exponential with the same exponent. That alone is sufficient to explain the "50% of human CO2 remaining" even with a finite and small atmospheric dwell time for a release of CO2.

But admitting that everything can be explained without the (unvalidated and implausible assumption) that half the human released CO2 hangs around forever does not fit with the storyline. Hence the acceptance of the Bern model.

Apr 7, 2015 at 3:52 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"Did I mention the pseudo politeness?"

I don't think you mentioned it, but it is there. It comes in the category of behaviour denoted as "passive aggressive".

Another common characteristic of NPD victims.

Apr 7, 2015 at 3:56 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Diagnosing someone as of inferior mental capacities is just another way of refusing to debate. May as well sniff and call them "Denier".

It's not appropriate.
And I doubt it's possible over the internet anyway.

Really, it's just rude. There are so many better reasons to hold ...And Then There's Physics to account.

Apr 7, 2015 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

M. Courtney,
I agree about remote diagnosing. That is perilously close to the reactionary lands controlled by Lewandowsky et al.
For what its worth it seems ATTP had already fled the scene when he could no longer hide the fact that he has no actual argument to make or ability to defend his claims.

Apr 7, 2015 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunterter

Well argued, as ever.
At 4.15pm on April 5 I wrote

I am quite happy to go along with the general belief that CO2 concentration has risen by ~120ppm in the last 150 years and that this has probably been largely anthropogenic. Not totally anthropogenic since higher temperatures, at least in part due to the planet's recovery from the LIA, will have caused some outgassing from the oceans. Ice cores also suggest a time lag <800 years between temperature increase and CO2 increase.
which largely agrees with your 11.44 comment above.
The response I got was
In all scientific fields there are certain things that are typically regarded as virtually certain, or not really worth debating any more. ... In climate science, if there is one thing that is regarded as virtually certain it's that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic.
Black swans do not exist. If you try to claim that you have seen a black swan they you are either lying or deluded. Either way, you are not to be taken seriously.

Apr 7, 2015 at 5:00 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson: Plagiarism is my forte, or great minds think alike. Anyway if there was a MWP then we should be expecting the CO2 in the atmosphere to increase, yet our resident "scientist" (and indeed many others of his ilk) dismiss the likely ocean degassing of CO2 which has followed every temperature rise in the records. V. strange.

Apr 7, 2015 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I'm sure it's great minds thinking alike ☺!
But the point has been made before, though not often. A warmer world, caused by whatever, will result in an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. To insist, like a stuck record (apologies to Stuck Record!) or an I Speak Your Weight machine that there is to be no argument; it's anthropogenic and that's it, end of, seems a rather bizarre stance for a scientist to adopt.
It's almost as if there is some sort of over-riding belief that it must be CO2 because .... well, because we want it to be, because .... well, reasons..
Ken claims that no-one would be more delighted than he if it were true that CO2 is not the evil gas the Climateers maintain it is. But all he can do is repeat his mantra without in any way addressing the two points we have made which argue that it is quite possibly something else as well.

Apr 7, 2015 at 6:55 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson