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Discussion > Does Climate Science Exist?

Where did I demand demonstrable proof EM? Most people would have accepted that climate was very complex and needed a lot longer to untangle, but no, climate scientists have consensus. They issue levels of confidence that suggest they have proof. Only it turns out they are liars. After that, they don't get a license to fumble their way to the truth. They are being judged as much on their false confidence as their failure to predict correctly.

Raff, leaders are also judged on their failures and their confidence and their lies. Democracy allows us to boot them out when we decide we're not satisfied. Can we do the same with the climate scientists?

Jun 21, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

re!activity (sic) is unproven and, at atomic scales, demonstrably wrong

I thought that Freeman Dyson and co had it sorted at the quantum scale, leading to QED. Perhaps I am mis-remembering.

Jun 21, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Two climate kooks trolling away. Another thread filled with our self-appointed wack jobs desperately trying to hold onto their faith in apocalyptic claptrap.

Jun 21, 2015 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Come on Martin, for the scientist I described, what would you write under his name on his name tag, physicist or a climate scientist? Or something else.

Tiny, who (i.e name the scientists) do you want to boot out and with what justification that would stand up to independent scrutiny?

Jun 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

An intelligent question by Martin but as hunter says ; yet another discussion under attack from people who have no interest in debate. We all have free choice about whether to respond but if we continue to engage with them; they will continue to disrupt our discussions.
I think it is fair to say that Climate Science exists in the sense that it is a valid over arching collective title for all the areas of science which impact on climate knowledge. However It is not possible to call anyone 'A Climate Scientist' or a Climate Expert' because the area is too vast.

Jun 21, 2015 at 3:12 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Raff, that’s a bit like asking me which members of the Labour party I’d get rid of to make the remainder more electable.

Jun 21, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Martin A

QED successfully describes particle interactions in a way consistent with both theories. Whether it is valid or not is way above my pay grade. Feynmann himself was unhappy with the smoke-and -mirrors aspect of renormalization.

Gravity is still the irreconcilable problem.


Agreed. If you drew a Venn diagram climate science would be where astronomy, radiative physics, oceanography, biology, meteorology and numerous other sciences overlapped in studying a common system from different directions.

Engineering might be equally hard to define. An oil driller, a shipwright and a chip designer would share a similar approach but have very different skills.

Why do you assume that anyone whose views differ from yours is automatically intending to disrupt debate? Do you want a genuine discussion or just an echo chamber?

Jun 21, 2015 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

This is Martin's discussion and Martin can decide who he would like to engage with just as I will for myself.

Jun 21, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Entropic Mann: you still cling to the idea that there has to be some increase in temperatures with doubling of CO2. When the CO2 concentrations were lower than today, were the temperatures also lower, too? Let’s have a look: mediaeval warming period, when temperatures were slightly higher than today, CO2 was considerably lower. Can that simple observation not give you pause to reflect on your adherence to the immutability of ECS?

Climate “science” is NOT a true science, as it refuses to accept any falsification: any and every climatic event or vagary of the weather is yet more “proof” that AGW/ACC/call it what you will (CIWYW) is not only real, but dangerous, and is soon to be catastrophic!

Jun 21, 2015 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent

Until we can find a temperature record for the Holocene that we can both agree on, there is little point in discussing past temperatures.

If we cannot agree on temperatures, the is no point in discussing the effect of CO2 either.

If the AGW paradigm is false, it is easily falsified. All you have to do is find another variable which explains the observations better. You also have to rewrite a lot of physics. QED must be wrong, for a start.

I have given up trying to get anything past your Morton's Demon, so my usual response to your rants has become to ignore them. This is why I rarely bother to reply to you nowadays.

Jun 21, 2015 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

"All you have to do is find another variable which explains the observations better."

The fallacy, indulged in by the Met Office among others, that we don't know what else could be causing it, so that proves it.

Jun 21, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

What is it in a warmist that makes them think others have to prove an alternative to CAGW?

Jun 21, 2015 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Tiny CO2

Science, rememBer.

As dung pointed out, hypotheses can never be proved. If you can show they match observation and experiment, that improves your confidence. There is a considerable scientific literature which does just that.

You can falsify a hypothesis by demonstrating clearly that it's poor match to reality. In our context this might be done in three ways.

1) Demonstrate that the underlying science is wrong. Since the same science works successfully in everything from microwave ovens to air-to-air missiles falsifying the radiative physics is difficult.

2) Demonstrate that the predictions of the hypothesis fail to match observation. Under laboratory conditions this would be easy. Any university physics lab has the equipment to falsify ∆F=5.35ln(C/Co). In the atmosphere it is a bit more complex since other factors are operating. You would need to demonstrate that the atmosphere is operating outside the confidence limits expected of the CO2 hypothesis.

3)Demonstrate that a different hypothesis better explains the observations. Our equipment for monitoring temperatures and energy flows throughout the climate system is now comprehensive. Look for non-CO2 energy flows big enough to explain the trends observed without CO2.

If any of the above were genuinely possible one would have expected papers falsifying climate change to be flooding Nature, and thousands of younger scientists to be jumping aboard the new paradigm. Instead we see propaganda memes on denier sites and sceptics nitpicking minor details in the literature.

Yours is very much a minority view. Most of those objectively judging the evidence regard it as sufficient to give high confidence in AGW, and would regard as perverse your insistence that you do not need to provide evidence to support your eccentric opinion.

Jun 21, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

What is it in a warmist that makes them think others have to prove an alternative to CAGW?

Jun 21, 2015 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Lack of imagination, TinyCO2.

It is incumbent upon a good scientist to imagine ways in which they may be wrong. This allows them to properly test their theories against reality.

Warmists need, but seemingly don't want, other people to do their jobs for them.

Jun 21, 2015 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Michael hart

"It is incumbent upon a good scientist to imagine ways in which they may be wrong. "

I just gave Tiny CO2 several suggested ways to falsify AGW. I have tried two myself and failed to falsify.the hypothesis.

Perhaps you can point me to someone who has succeeded?

Jun 21, 2015 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

TinyCO2 ...I should also have added “a lack of curiosity”.

All practical scientists will have experienced the frustration of occasions when observed data didn't match hopes or theoretical expectations. This is entirely normal and to be expected. Otherwise we would never learn anything new. Curiosity sets the scientist apart from automaton who thinks scientific results are merely something to be assembled in the manner of a Victorian butterfly collector. Science requires curiosity and thinking. Sometimes uncomfortable thinking.

Frustrating occasions, such as a consistently missing tropospheric hotspot, should also nourish curiosity in the genuine scientist. In my casual observations of much climate-science reporting and commentary, this curiosity seems to most notable by its absence: Results have to be shoe-horned into the grand paradigm.

I'll acknowledge, however, that much of this reporting and commentary is spawned within the MSM who couldn't tell the difference between a missing tropospheric hotspot and a hole in the ground.

Jun 21, 2015 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

EM I wasn't asking 'how' I was asking 'why'. My goal does not require I have an alternative theory. I just have to damage yours. There are multiple routes to that, many of them having nothing to do with science.

The burden of proof is all on your side. You have to motivate people to do something very hard, very expensive and very unpleasant. I just have to make them realise that and question whether it's necessary.

Jun 21, 2015 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"Warmists need, but seemingly don't want, other people to do their jobs for them." michael hart

I don't think they know what their task entails. They've come up with their catastrophic theory and expect everyone to be motivated into actions they themselves are avoiding. How much proof do they need that they haven't done enough to be convincing? Instead of raising their game they just whine and insult people. Which in itself leads people to conclude they're a bit thick.

Demanding we produce an alternative theory is the equivalent of Richard Branson demanding that detractors of his space mission produce a better craft.

Jun 21, 2015 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


Your three points demonstrate that climate science conflates 'greenhouse effect' and 'global warming'. Greenhouse effect is due to the presence of radiative gasses in an atmosphere and is manifest as an average surface temperature greater than the average radiating temperature. Global warming is an increasing in height of the average radiating temperature.

The value of the former is determined, in some part, by the concentration of radiative gas. The value of the latter is determined by the rate of change in radiative gas concentrations. What should be in question is the effect of rate of change, not in concentration.

In short: the concentration is largely irrelevant to the argument about CO2 emissions but the rate of change may not be. We don't know anything about the latter because of a collective obsession called climate science. Without real science to help us we can only turn to observations. These show that the effect is small if not insignificant.

Jun 22, 2015 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

All you have to do is find another variable which explains the observations better.
Sorry, EM, wrong again: you DO NOT need another theory to replace a theory that is wrong! All that is required is for the evidence not to fit the theory, and that is the case with CO2; while CO2 has been rising more or less steadily, the temperatures have not – there was even a period when the temperature was declining such that fears of an on-coming ice age were paramount!

While we may not have temperature records from the time of the Vikings, or of the Romans, we do have historical records that indicate that both were warmer than the present day, with agriculture at higher latitudes and altitudes than recent years – even within these isles, there are sites of prehistoric settlements at elevations where it is STILL not possible to have settlements of similar technology as it is too cold. If that is the case, then surely it has to be that, when those settlements were extant, it was a lot warmer than now, perhaps even than the Roman period!

I am sorry if my scepticism upsets you, but your reluctance to consider any of the evidence that is laid in front of you is a wonder to behold: ALL the GCMs are built upon the idea that CO2 is the driving factor in temperatures and climate; NONE of the models fit reality – i.e. they demonstrate clearly that they are poor matches to reality – yet you cannot countenance the idea that the theories could be wrong, and cleave to them like a suitably duped acolyte. You are a very useful idiot.

Jun 22, 2015 at 10:38 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR. Years back, I had (like just about everybody else) assumed that the global warming stuff was all based on a firm theoretical basis, confirmed by detailed observation and measurement. Then, when I tried to track down some material and read up on it for myself, a thought had slowly dawned on me... This global warming - it's just... it's just... a theory

I mentioned this to a archeologist and he immediately replied "Oh yes, of course it's complete rubbish". He then went into a lot of detail about previous warm periods and that there was no room for doubt as to their existence.

Shortly after that, I read about Mann and his accidentally released "censored" file. Things began to fall into place.

It certainly is a common meme among True Believers that 'the science', no matter how flaky, remains valid unless someone comes up with a better alternative theory.

Jun 22, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@Martin A

I think your path of discovery is very similar to most of the rest of us. I am really proud to associate with a bunch of people who think for themselves rather than the sponge brained and/or self serving masses ^.^

Jun 22, 2015 at 3:28 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Radical Rodent

Good! Sensible debate. We have both considered the evidence and come to different conclusions. Once more around the merrygoround.

" while CO2 has been rising more or less steadily, the temperatures have not "

You are assuming that CO2 is the only driver of temperature change. It drives the underlying trend, but not the internal variation.

Above average vulcanism drives slows warming. La Nina conditions slow warming. A solar minimum slows warming. A downward Milankovich trend slows warming. Increased air pollution slows warming. Their opposites accelerate warming

This is why you do not see a smoothly increasing temperature trend.Instead you see a lot of bouncing around above and below the trend, steep spots and pauses.

I know you are not a fan of statistics, but they can be useful to help distinguish long term trends from short term noise. You should read up on variation abound a mean and confidence limits. It would help you understand why ,I, and those studying such trends prefer to think in 20-30 year timescales rather than getting excited about shorter term variation like the flat spot between 2002 and 2010 in the GGSS 5-year average.

We were en route to a glacial period. The last 5000 years of cooling trend were exactly that. The last century has reversed that, with no natural cause apparent.

We agree that temperatures were warmer 500 years ago than the 20th century average. The disagreement comes when you use a single source , GISP2 and interpret each transient spike as a warm period well above 20th century levels. I look at all the sources and average out the spikes to a long term cooling trend.

You see a spike and say the past was warmer then, at the peak of the spike, but misinterpret that as representing the average temperature for the period, while most of it is consideraby cooler than the spikes.I see the average temperature similar to mid 20th century levels, followed by cooling and now a warming beyond the Holocene optimum. Incidentally, crops are once more grown in Greenland and vineyards in Yorkshire.

I see no way to resolve this difference until we can come to a common interpretation of Holocene temperatures.

Incidentally, try not to drift off into insults. From my viewpoint Andrew Montford and yourself resemble useful idiots, but I try not to say so unless really pissed off.


Rate of change is indeed at the heart of the problem. Even the PETM did not see a rate of change in CO2' too match the last fifty years. The most recent natural example is the early Holocene, in which CO2 and temperature drifted up in approximate synch o from 9C/200ppm to 14C/280ppm over 20,000 years.

The last century has seen CO2 change 400 times faster and temperature change 40 times faster, with no indication that either will stabilise soon. We have no previous precedent. Without previous precedent we are forced to extrapolate from theory, and theory is not encouraging.


Do not confue "thinking for yourself" with being correct. Galileo notwithstanding, the vast majority of those holding minority opinions in science tend to be wrong..

Jun 22, 2015 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


Thanks for that but, with respect, you are missing the point. Calculation of the posited 1 degree per doubling from CO2 alone is based on concentration, not on rate of change in concentration. The theory can't have it both ways: either the increase in CO2 concentration leads to the 1 degree of warming before your positive feedbacks and is irrespective of time or the rate at which CO2 concentration is rising will lead to 1 degree of warming once a doubling has been reached. The two are quite different. Which is it?

Jun 22, 2015 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat


You've gone and done it now mate; you asked EM a direct question! We will probably lose him for a week now :(

Jun 22, 2015 at 6:20 PM | Registered CommenterDung