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Discussion > Climate Sensitivity rules OK!

Climate models and climate sensitivity models both rely on pretty much the same knowledge about climate; we more or less all agree that climate models are wrong, so why is it that so many of us think sensitivity models can be trusted?

Mar 14, 2016 at 7:35 PM | Registered CommenterDung

But not all of us.

Mar 14, 2016 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

It's a total mystery to me. Over the past couple of years, several times I have commented along the lines "even sceptics believe in climate sensitivity calculations". Yet they are based on much the same set of assumptions as the rest of the climate science nonsense.

For reasons I don't understand, Nic Lewis seems to be counted as a 'climate sceptic', yet his estimates depend on the assumption that there is already a quantifiable and detectable relation between atmospheric temperature changes and atmospheric CO2 concentration changes. Perhaps it is because he points out errors in papers from the climate science mainstream?

Mar 14, 2016 at 9:48 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Who thinks that climate sensitivity models can be trusted? What is a climate sensitivity model? Sensitivity emerges from a CMIP model. So please clarify with your razor sharp MENSA brain what you are referring to.

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes


Please do not hate me because I stood my ground and argued my corner?

I bring this up because the latest sensitivity claims/papers are almost always on the blog page and because our host does actually get a bit touchy if you attack the idea of sensitivity.

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:06 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, to my knowledge out host has certainly never got a bit touchy with me when I've criticised the idea of sensitivity. Like so many other things that are discussed, it is simply another out put of the models, and one that cannot directly be measured to boot. At least we can make a somewhat better fist of trying to actually measure a physical parameter like temperature.

My main objection is that climate sensitivity is too often presented as being on a par with real world measurable quantities like temperature, when it is actually just marketing. The term should really just be translated as "this is what model x says will happen under conditions y at time z. Technobabble loses much of it's power when it is explained in plain English.

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I am pretty sure that at a time when MartinA, Rhoda and myself were arguing with an early sensitivity thread on the main blog; I was told to take it to the discussion area and had my post(s) removed.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:45 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Well, we're discussing it freely here and now, Dung. I can see that maybe the Bish didn't want the main thread clogged up with too many back-and-forths when that is the purpose of having discussion threads where he gives us ample leeway. I occasionally become self conscious when posting more than a couple of times on the main threads, because I feel a duty to not drive such threads off topic. At least, that is how I interpret the Bish's editorial policy.

Maybe one might take the opinion that views such as mine or Martin A's are unnecessarily pedantic in a context where it is how a specific value is arrived at that is being discussed, rather than what it actually represents. Of course I hold to the view that, a bit like the concept of a "global temperature", just because you can numerically compute a number, it doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Or that if you do, you should not make or imply claims about it's utility and validity above and beyond what is justified. I personally think the term tends to lead less-informed or less attentive people further down the path of accepting model outputs without questioning the models or even realising when a figure is cranked out by a model that embodies so many compounded assumptions. It accords a calculated parameter spurious significance in many minds, and I suspect that is why it is used by some who rather not have people asking too many awkward questions.

For "climate sensitivity" I've generally held myself to pointing it out once, if at all, when I see it. On the main threads I think that is often allowed to pass as just a "comment" and not a discussion.

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart