Unequivocal Equivocation – an open letter to Dr. Trenberth

This essay from Willis appeared on WUWT overnight Saturday while I slept. After reading it this morning, I decided to make it a sticky at the top of WUWT (I also added the open letter reference) because it says everything that needs to be said about the current state of affairs in climate science and the skeptic position. I ask readers not only to read it, but to disseminate it widely at other websites and forums. Hopefully, the right people will read this. Thanks for your consideration, and thank you, Willis.

UPDATE: I’ve made this essay available as a PDF here: Willis_Trenberth_WUWT_Essay suitable for printing and emailing. – Anthony

UPDATE2: Trenberth reacts: edits speech to fix copying, leaves “deniers”


Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I would like to take as my text the following quote from the recent paper (PDF, 270k also on web here) by Dr. Kevin Trenberth:

Given that global warming is “unequivocal”, to quote the 2007 IPCC report, the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence [on the climate].

Figure 1. The game of Monopoly’s “Community Chest” card that was randomly drawn by Dr. Kevin Trenberth. Some guys are just lucky, I guess.

The “null hypothesis” in science is the condition that would result if what you are trying to establish is not true. For example, if your hypothesis is that air pressure affects plant growth rates, the null hypothesis is that air pressure has no effect on plant growth rates. Once you have both hypotheses, then you can see which hypothesis is supported by the evidence.

In climate science, the AGW hypothesis states that human GHG emissions significantly affect the climate. As such, the null hypothesis is that human GHG emissions do not significantly affect the climate, that the climate variations are the result of natural processes. This null hypothesis is what Doctor T wants to reverse.

As Steve McIntyre has often commented, with these folks you really have to keep your eye on the pea under the walnut shell. These folks seem to have sub-specialties in the “three-card monte” sub-species of science. Did you notice when the pea went from under one walnut shell to another in Dr. T’s quotation above? Take another look at it.

The first part of Dr. T’s statement is true. There is general scientific agreement that the globe has been warming, in fits and starts of course, for the last three centuries or so. And since it has been thusly warming for centuries, the obvious null hypothesis would have to be that the half-degree of warming we experienced in the 20th century was a continuation of some long-term ongoing natural trend.

But that’s not what Dr. Trenberth is doing here. Keep your eye on the pea. He has smoothly segued from the IPCC saying “global warming is ‘unequivocal'”, which is true, and stitched that idea so cleverly onto another idea, ‘and thus humans affect the climate’, that you can’t even see the seam.

The pea is already under the other walnut shell. He is implying that the IPCC says that scientists have “unequivocally” shown that humans are the cause of weather ills, and if I don’t take that as an article of faith, it’s my job to prove that we are not the cause of floods in Brisbane.

Now, lest you think that the IPCC actually did mean that ‘humans are the cause’ when they said (in his words) that ‘global warming was “unequivocal”‘, here’s their full statement from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Summary For Policymakers (2007)  (PDF, 3.7 MB):

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level (see Figure SPM-3).

Despite the vagueness of a lack of a timeframe, that is generally true, but it says nothing about humans being the cause. So he is totally misrepresenting the IPCC findings (which he helped write, remember, so it’s not a misunderstanding) to advance his argument. The IPCC said nothing like what he is implying.

Gotta love the style, though, simply proclaiming by imperial fiat that his side is the winner in one of the longest-running modern scientific debates. And his only proffered “evidence” for this claim? It is the unequivocal fact that Phil Jones and Michael Mann and Caspar Amman and Gene Wahl and the other good old boys of the IPCC all agree with him. That is to say, Dr. T’s justification for reversing the null hypothesis is that the IPCC report that Dr. T helped write agrees with Dr. T. That’s recursive enough to make Ouroboros weep in envy …

And the IPCC not only says it’s true, it’s “unequivocal”. Just plain truth wouldn’t be scientific enough for those guys, I guess. Instead, it is “unequivocal” truth. Here’s what “unequivocal” means (emphasis mine):

unequivocal: adjective:  admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion (“Unequivocal evidence”)

Notice how well crafted Dr. T’s sentence is. After bringing in “global warming”, he introduces the word “unequivocal”, meaning we can only draw one conclusion. Then in the second half of the sentence, he falsely attaches that “unequivocal” certainty of conclusion to his own curious conclusion, that the normal rules of science should be reversed for the benefit of … … well, not to put too fine a point on it, he’s claiming that normal scientific rules should be reversed for the benefit of Dr. Kevin Trenberth and the IPCC and those he supports. Probably just a coincidence, though.

For Dr. Trenberth to call for the usual null hypothesis (which is that what we observe in nature is, you know, natural) to be reversed, citing as his evidence the IPCC statement that the earth is actually warming, is nonsense. However, it is not meaningless nonsense. It is pernicious, insidious, and dangerous nonsense. He wants us to spend billions of dollars based on this level of thinking, and he has cleverly conflated two ideas to push his agenda.

I understand that Dr. T has a scientific hypothesis. This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs)  go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. The hypothesis is that the GHGs are the master thermostat for the globe, everything else just averages out in the long run, nothing could possibly affect the long-term climate but GHGs, nothing to see here, folks, move along. No other forcings, feedbacks, or hypotheses need apply. GHGs rule, OK?

Which is an interesting hypothesis, but it is woefully short of either theoretical or observational support. In part, of course, this is because the AGW hypothesis provides almost nothing in the way of a statement or a prediction which can be falsified. This difficulty in falsification of the hypothesis, while perhaps attractive to the proponents of the hypothesis, inevitably implies a corresponding difficulty in verification or support of the hypothesis.

In addition, a number of arguably cogent and certainly feasible scientific objections have been raised against various parts of the hypothesis, from the nature and sign of the forcings considered and unconsidered, to the existence of natural thermostatic mechanisms.

Finally, to that we have to add the general failure of what few predictions have come from the teraflops of model churning in support of the AGW hypothesis. We haven’t seen any acceleration in sea level rise. We haven’t seen any climate refugees. The climate model Pinatubo prediction was way off the mark. The number and power of hurricanes hasn’t increased as predicted. And you remember the coral atolls and Bangladesh that you and the IPCC warned us about, Dr. T, the ones that were going to get washed away by the oncoming Thermageddon? Bangladesh and the atoll islands are both getting bigger, not smaller. We were promised a warming of two, maybe even three tenths of a degree per decade this century if we didn’t mend our evil carbon-loving ways, and so far we haven’t mended one thing, and we have seen … well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.

So to date, the evidentiary scorecard looks real bad for the AGW hypothesis. Might change tomorrow, I’m not saying the game’s over, that’s AGW nonsense that I’ll leave to Dr. T. I’m just saying that after a quarter century of having unlimited funding and teraflops of computer horsepower and hundreds of thousands of hours of grad students’ and scientists’ time and the full-throated support of the media and university departments dedicated to establishing the hypothesis, AGW supporters have not yet come up with much observational evidence to show for the time and money invested. Which should give you a clue as to why Dr. T is focused on the rules of the game. As the hoary lawyer’s axiom has it, if you can’t argue facts argue the law [the rules of the game], and if you can’t argue the law pound the table and loudly proclaim your innocence …

So now, taking both tacks at once in his paper, Dr. T. is both re-asserting his innocence and proposing that we re-write the rules of the whole game … I find myself cracking up laughing over my keyboard at the raw nerve of the man. If he and his ideas weren’t so dangerous, it would be truly funny.

Look, I’m sorry to be the one to break the bad news to you, Dr. T, but you can’t change the rules of scientific inquiry this late in the game. Here are the 2011 rules, which curiously are just like the 1811 rules.

First, you have to show that some aspect of the climate is historically anomalous or unusual. As far as I know, no one has done that, including you. So the game is in serious danger before it is even begun. If you can’t show me where the climate has gone off its natural rails, if you can’t point to where the climate is acting unusually or anomalously, then what good are your explanations as to why it supposedly went off the rails at some mystery location you can’t identify?

(And of course, this is exactly what Dr. T would gain by changing the rules, and may relate to his desire to change them. With so few examples to give to support his position, after a quarter century of searching for such evidence, it would certainly be tempting to try to change the rules … but I digress.)

But perhaps, Dr. T., perhaps you have found some such climate anomaly which cannot be explained as natural variation and you just haven’t made it public yet.

If you have evidence that the climate is acting anomalously, then Second, you have to show that the anomaly can be explained by human actions. And no, Dr. T., you can’t just wave your hands and say something like “Willis, the IPCC sez you have to prove that what generations of people called ‘natural’, actually is natural”. There’s an arcane technical scientific name for that, too. It’s called “cheating”, Dr. T., and is frowned on in the better circles of scientific inquiry …

(N.B. – pulling variables out of a tuned computer model and then proudly announcing that the model doesn’t work without the missing variables doesn’t mean you have established that humans affect the climate. It simply means that you tuned your computer model to reproduce the historical record using all the variables, and as an inevitable result, when using only part of those variables your model doesn’t do as well at reproducing the historical record. No points for that claim.)

Third, you have to defend your work, and not just from the softball questions of your specially selected peer reviewers who “know what to say” to get you published in scientific journals. In 2011, curiously, we’ve gone back to the customs of the 1800s, the public marketplace of ideas — except this time it’s an electronic marketplace of ideas, rather than people speaking from the dais and in the halls of the Royal Society in London. If you won’t stand up and publicly defend your work, it’s simple – you won’t be believed. And not just by me. Other scientists are watching, and considering, and evaluating.

This doesn’t mean you have to reply to every idiot with a half-baked objection and a tin-foil hat. It does mean that if you refuse to answer serious scientific questions, people will take note of that refusal. You must have noticed how such refusal to answer scientific questions totally destroyed the scientific credibility of the website RealClimate. Well, they’re your friends, so perhaps you didn’t notice, but if not, you should notice, here’s an example. (PDF, 147K) Running from serious scientific questions, as they make a practice of doing at RealClimate, makes you look weak whether you are or not.

And Always, you have to show your work. You have to archive your data. You have to reveal your computer algorithms. You have to expose everything that supports and sustains your claims to the brutal light of public inquiry, warts and all.

Dr. T., I fear you’ll have to get used to the sea change, this is not your father’s climate science. The bottom line is we’re no longer willing to trust you. You could publish in the Akashic Records and I wouldn’t believe what you said until I checked the figures myself. I’m sorry to say it, but by the actions of you and your colleagues, you have forfeited the public’s trust. You blew your credibility, Dr. T, and you have not yet rebuilt it.

And further actions like your current attempt to re-write the rules of science aren’t helping at all. Nor is trying to convince us that you look good with a coat of the finest English whitewash from the “investigations” into Climategate. Didn’t you guys notice the lesson of Watergate, that the coverup is more damaging than the original malfeasance?

Dr. T, you had a good run, you were feted and honored, but the day of reckoning up the cost has come and gone. Like some book said, you and the other un-indicted co-conspirators have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting. At this point, you have two choices — accept it and move on, or bitch about it. I strongly advise the former, but so far all I see is the latter.

You want to regain the trust of the public, for yourself and for climate science? It won’t be easy, but it can be done. Here’s my shortlist of recommendations for you and other mainstream climate scientists:

•  Stop trying to sell the idea that the science is settled. Climate science is a new science, we don’t even have agreement on whether clouds warm or cool the planet, we don’t know if there are thermostatic interactions that tend to maintain some temperature in preference to others. Or as you wrote to Tom Wigley, Dr. T,

How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter.  We are not close to balancing the energy budget.  The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!  It is a travesty!

SOURCE: email 1255550975

Curious. You state strongly to your friend that we’re not close to knowing where the energy is going or to balancing the energy budget, yet you say in public that we know enough to take the most extraordinary step of reversing the null hypothesis … how does that work again?

At this point, there’s not much about climate science that is “unequivocal” except that the climate is always changing.

•  Don’t try to change the rules of the game in mid-stream. It makes you look desperate, whether you are or not.

•  Stop calling people “deniers”, my goodness, after multiple requests that’s just common courtesy and decency, where are your manners? It makes you look surly and uncivilized, whether you are or not.

•  Stop avoiding public discussion and debate of your work. You are asking us to spend billions of dollars based on your conclusions. If you won’t bother to defend those conclusions, don’t bother us with them. Refusing to publicly defend your billion dollar claims make it look like you can’t defend them, whether you can or not.

•  Stop secretly moving the pea under the walnut shells. You obviously think we are blind, you also clearly believe we wouldn’t remember that you said we have a poor understanding of the climate system. Disabuse yourself of the idea that you are dealing with fools or idiots, and do it immediately. As I have found to my cost, exposing my scientific claims to the cruel basilisk gaze of the internet is like playing chess with Deep Blue … individual processors have different abilities, but overall any faults in my ideas will certainly be exposed. Too many people looking at my ideas from too many sides for much to slip through. Trying anything but absolute honesty on the collective memory and wisdom of the internet makes you look like both a fool and con man, whether you are one or not.

•  Write scientific papers that don’t center around words like “possibly” or “conceivably” or “might”. Yes, possibly all of the water molecules in my glass of water might be heading upwards at the same instant, and I could conceivably win the Mega-Ball lottery, and I might still play third base for the New York Yankees, but that is idle speculation that has no place in scientific inquiry. Give us facts, give us uncertainties, but spare us the stuff like “This raises the possibility that by 2050, this could lead to the total dissolution of all inter-atomic bonds …”. Yeah, I suppose it could. So what, should I buy a lottery ticket?

Stop lauding the pathetic purveyors of failed prophecies. Perhaps you climate guys haven’t noticed, but Paul Ehrlich was not a visionary genius. He was a failure whose only exceptional talent is the making of apocalyptic forecasts that didn’t come true. In any business he would not have lasted one minute past the cratering collapse of his first ridiculous forecast of widespread food riots and worldwide deaths from global famine in the 1980s … but in academia, despite repeating his initial “We’re all gonna crash and burn, end of the world coming up soon, you betcha” prognostication method several more times with no corresponding crashing burning or ending, he’s still a professor at Stanford. Now that’s understandable under tenure rules, you can’t fire him for being a serially unsuccessful doomcaster. But he also appears to be one of your senior AGW thinkers and public representatives, which is totally incomprehensible to me.

His string of predicted global catastrophes that never came anywhere near true was only matched by the inimitable collapses of the prophecies of his wife Anne, and of his cohorts John Holdren and the late Stephen Schneider. I fear we’ll never see their like again, a fearsome foursome who between them never made one single prediction that actually came to pass. Stop using them as your spokesmodels, it doesn’t increase confidence in your claims.

•  Enough with the scary scenarios, already. You’ve done the Chicken Little thing to death, give it a rest, it is sooo last century. It makes you look both out-of-date and hysterical whether you are or not.

•  Speak out against scientific malfeasance whenever and wherever you see it. This is critical to the restoration of trust. I’m sick of watching climate scientists doing backflips to avoid saying to Lonnie Thompson “Hey, idiot, archive all of your data, you’re ruining all of our reputations!”. The overwhelming silence of mainstream AGW scientists on these matters is one of the (unfortunately numerous) reasons that the public doesn’t trust climate scientists, and justifiably so. You absolutely must clean up your own house to restore public trust, no one else can do it. Speak up. We can’t hear you.

•  Stop re-asserting the innocence of you and your friends. It makes you all look guilty, whether you are or not … and since the CRU emails unequivocally favor the “guilty” possibility, it makes you look unapologetic as well as guilty. Whether you are or not.

•  STOP HIDING THINGS!!! Give your most private data and your most top-secret computer codes directly to your worst enemies and see if they can poke holes in your ideas. If they can’t, then you’re home free. That is true science, not hiding your data and gaming the IPCC rules to your advantage.

•  Admit the true uncertainties. The mis-treatment of uncertainty in the IPCC reports, and the underestimation of true uncertainty in climate science in general, is a scandal.

•  Scrap the IPCC. It has run its race. Do you truly think that whatever comes out of the next IPCC report will make the slightest difference to the debate? You’ve had four IPCC reports in a row, each one more alarmist than the previous one. You’ve had every environmental organization shilling for you. You’ve had billions of dollars in support, Al Gore alone spent $300 million on advertising and advocacy. You’ve had 25 years to make your case, with huge resources and supercomputers and entire governments on your side, and you are still losing the public debate … after all of that, do you really think another IPCC report will change anything?

If it is another politically driven error-fest like the last one, I don’t think so. And what are the odds of it being an honest assessment of the science? Either way the next IPCC report won’t settle a single discussion, even if it is honest science. Again, Dr. T, you have only yourself and your friends to blame. You used the IPCC to flog bad science like the Hokeyschtick, your friends abused the IPCC to sneak in papers y’all favored and keep out papers you didn’t like, you didn’t check your references so stupid errors were proclaimed as gospel truth, it’s all a matter of record.

Do you truly think that after Climategate, and after the revelations of things like IPCC citations of WWF propaganda pieces as if they were solid science, and after Pachauri’s ludicrous claim that it was “voodoo science” to point out the Himalayan glacier errors, after all that do you think anyone with half a brain still believes the IPCC is some neutral arbiter of climate science whose ex-cathedra pronouncements can be relied upon?

Because if you do think people still believe that, you really should get out more. At this point people don’t trust the IPCC any more than they trust you and your friends. Another IPCC report will be roundly ignored by one side, and cited as inerrant gospel by the other side. How will that help anyone? Forget about the IPCC, it is a meaningless distraction, and get back to the science.

That’s my free advice, Dr. T., and I’m sure it’s worth every penny you paid for it. Look, I don’t think you’re a bad guy. Sadly for you, but fortunately for us, you got caught hanging out with the bad boys who had their hands in the cookie jar. And tragically for everyone, all of you were seduced by “noble cause corruption”. Hey, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s happened to me too, you’re not the first guy to think that the nobility of your cause justified improper actions.

But as far as subsequently proclaiming your innocence and saying that you and your friends did nothing wrong? Sorry, Dr. T, the jury has already come in on that one, and they weren’t distracted by either the nobility of your cause, nor by the unequivocal fact that you and your friends were whitewashed as pure as the driven snow in the investigation done by your other friends … instead, they noted your emails saying things like:

In that regard I don’t think you can ignore it all, as Mike [Mann] suggests as one option, but the response should try to somehow label these guys a[s] lazy and incompetent and unable to do the huge amount of work it takes to construct such a database.

Indeed technology and data handling capabilities have evolved and not everything was saved.  So my feeble suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric.  Labeling them as lazy with nothing better to do seems like a good thing to do.

SOURCE: email 1177158252

Yeah, that’s the ticket, that’s how a real scientist defends his scientific claims …

w.

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710 thoughts on “Unequivocal Equivocation – an open letter to Dr. Trenberth

  1. unequivocal: adjective: admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding

    It would seem that he used the correct word… climate scientists admit no doubt or misunderstanding.

    (whether what they admit is fact is a different matter)

  2. Willis: My suggestion is that we NOT refer to “climate”. That is another pea. Refer to “global warming”, which is their underlying claim. And then poke holes in the “anthropogenic” part. Language has subtle effects.

    Jim B

  3. “Look, I don’t think you’re a bad guy.”

    I am not so sure. He is doing everything he can to push AGW, trash our economy and cause millions of deaths. There is a name for people like that and it isn’t a nice one.

  4. Hmmmm I think there’s somebody cringing right now. (or kicking his cat)

    I agree with almost everything in this essay Willis except…

    Look, I don’t think you’re a bad guy.

    Lay with dogs, get up with fleas. A years supply of Advantix won’t fix his problem.

  5. Yes, I have often seen the conflation of 2 ideas-global warming real, humans the cause mixed together-in surveys, in papers etc etc. If you say the global warming threat in future has been exagerated you are, of course, denying the world has warmed. Politicians are the worst at this. Talk about lumping things together.

  6. Thank you Willis for such a clear exposure of the failure of Trenberth to abide by neither logic nor scientific principles.

    He referred to sceptics as charlatans, let me quote a definition: “A charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception.”

    I’ll leave everyone to draw their own conclusions as to which side of the fence the charlatans sit.

  7. Willis,

    Once it is published, then it is a reference that needs no defending as it is absolute.

    Would you like to use that as a defence for garbage science?
    Climate science has. Any mistakes shown mean nothing as it was published by their peers of the same like minded.
    Arrogance now reins and no defence is required.

    I feel so sorry for the kids being taught this as 100% accurate. Been done now for generations.

  8. I agree with everything above. The problem is that Trenberth’s paper on atmospheric heat exchange is the one the IPCC values and he claims is the truth and real science. He can’t even make his energy flow picture balance and assumed that heat will flow from cold to hot which the 2nd law of thermodynamics states is impossible. Sorry Kevin you talk c**p

  9. Fantastic post Willis. You got it right.

    Message to the 91 Norwegian representants in Cancun;

    Read and weep. Find something else to do. Your carbon footprint is “unequivocally” too large.

  10. This reminds me of “cold fusion”. Two guys claimed they demonstrated it. The theory seemed right. However nobody could reproduce the results. So where is “cold fusion” today? It’s dead. The AGW crowd claims they demonstrated their theory of CO2 connection to climate, and the theory seems right, but nobody can reproduce the results. However after all these decades and millions spent, it won’t die. It’s kept alive by shady dealings of the primary authors to the story (as found in their own emails) and public fear mongering (as found on the nightly news and elsewhere). It’s certainly not kept alive by increased scientific substantiation nor vindication of accurate predictions.

    When Einstein came up with an outlandish theory of gravity, that mass warped the space around it, there was nor universal acceptance until they predicted such warping would manifest itself in the image of stars behind a solar eclipse. Decades later astronomers observed exactly what was predicted. What do we have with the AGW meme? “Snows are just now a thing of the past” in the UK….then three years in a row and snow: record snow: guess what Einstein? FAIL!

    And how many times have they failed yet the old story won’t die?

  11. I , truly, have no idea whether the globe is warming or not, let alone in an unprecedented way. I do know that here in Harare things feel and change like they have over the last 60 years of my life.

    What I do know for certain is that our generated CO2 has not been proved to be consequential in any way for any change that might be happening.

    That’s the fundamental thing here in my mind. If the climate is changing is man made CO2 responsible in any significant or worrisome way? It would be good for unequivocal evidence for this and so far it has not been presented. Our little spirals off into betting on Sea Ice areas or forest fire frequencies are just interesting in a time filling kind of a way. All too debatable and easily modified by statistics used by whichever team you are rooting for.

    Is there unequivocal evidence of a global temperature increase at all rather than just “needle hover” ?

    Is their equally unequivocal evidence that CO2 is doing things that will bring excessive stress to earth and all that lives on her?

    Every time you see a move like Trenberth’s little arabesque you know that the core to his argument is non-existent. It’s like being asked by a Christian to prove there is no God, failing which there must be one. It might be religion but it most certainly isn’t science.

    Well done Willis for once again re-centering the debate. We all need to know if the “global temperature” is actual an item, likewise if it is going up or not, and what is causing it not what Trenberth , without any convincing evidence, blames on Man Made CO2.

  12. Yeah, what Willis said. All of it.

    And one more thing. If CAGW is correct, future generations will put the blame for inaction onto climate scientists who don’t take Willis’s words to heart. They won’t be blinded by tribalism into blaming the sceptics who asked reasonable questions or demanded decent standards in the science. They’ll condemn those people who should have met those challenges.

  13. Great essay, Willis! Thanks.

    This episode reminds me that to nineteenth century physicists, it was “unequivocal” that light must have a medium within which to propagate, leading them to develop the idea of the luminiferous aether. After all, Maxwell’s equations required such a medium, as explained in the Wikipedia article:

    “In addition, Maxwell’s equations required that all electromagnetic waves in vacuum propagate at a fixed speed, c. As this can only occur in one reference frame in Newtonian physics (see Galilean-Newtonian relativity), the aether was hypothesized as the absolute and unique frame of reference in which Maxwell’s equations hold. That is, the aether must be “still” universally, otherwise c would vary along with any variations that might occur in its supportive medium. Maxwell himself proposed several mechanical models of aether based on wheels and gears, and George FitzGerald even constructed a working model of one of them. These models had to agree with the fact that the electromagnetic waves are transverse but never longitudinal.”

    Even as problems were found with the theory, scientists at the Royal Institution in England still defended its existence as late as 1908:

    “Contemporary scientists were aware of the problems, but aether theory was so entrenched in physical law by this point that it was simply assumed to exist. In 1908 Oliver Lodge gave a speech in behalf of Lord Rayleigh to the Royal Institution on this topic, in which he outlined its physical properties, and then attempted to offer reasons why they were not impossible. Nevertheless he was also aware of the criticisms, and quoted Lord Salisbury as saying that “aether is little more than a nominative case of the verb to undulate”. Others criticized it as an “English invention”, although Rayleigh jokingly corrected them to state it was actually an invention of the Royal Institution.”

    So, to paraphrase Lord Rayleigh’s quote above, one can suggest that CAGW theory is “actually an invention of the IPCC.”

  14. “Given that global warming is “unequivocal”, to quote the 2007 IPCC report, the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence [on the climate].”

    I like that a lot, Dr. Trenberth. It is my belief that the core of Saturn is made of vanilla ice cream, and, as I believe my own hypothesis, then that surely is so and it is unequivocal. So far as I am aware no one has ever denied it to be the case: unequivocal. Supporters for my position? I have little doubt that with some application of effort I could drum up several thousand from the internet. They would, of course, lack something in the way of letters, but, so what? According to your own rules the onus would be upon the more learned to prove the nul hypothesis. Difficult that. Some of the most brilliant minds ever to be gifted to this planet have said, unequivocally, that the nul hypothesis can never be proved.

    So there you are, Dr. Trenberth, for all practical purposes the supply of vanilla ice cream is without limit.

  15. Brilliant article, long as it was, i wanted more.
    I think that the hockey stick team have made a fundamental mistake by putting all their eggs into one basket. Everybody knows that this is a bad idea.
    Looking forward to your next posting.
    Pesadia

  16. Trenberth wants proof there is no God, sorry.. I mean, AGW.
    Im sure I have seen this kind of inductive reasoning in ancient debates on Gods existense. I never took them serious though, maybe I should.

  17. As ever, Willis, your communication skills allied with your ability to unpick a statement and lay out all the costituent parts for us all to see so clearly are combined in an object lesson in critical analysis of language.
    Like other posters, the only thing I disagree with you about, is your very generous assessment that Trenberth is ‘not a bad guy’. A person that has the education, training, intelligence, opportunities and privelege that Trenberth has, must surely have knowingly selected his strategies to make his way through the post-Climategate era; those strategies suggest to me that ‘he IS a bad guy’.

  18. I’m sorry, but this is too far. What is Mr. Trenberth’s email? And his bosses? We need to directly tell him how foolish he is. He has now completely overstepped the scientific method. What a fool.

  19. Brilliant piece of writing, Willis – thank you. I particularly appreciate your positive comments, such as “I don’t think you are a bad man”, and I happen to agree. I don’t think that Phil Jones is a bad man either, nor even Bill McKibben – they have been seduced by a noble cause, and their life’s work is at stake.

    “Seduction by a noble cause” has happened for centuries, and once seduced, it is exceedingly difficult to break free despite the evidence there may be against your beliefs. Escaping from an abusive cult, even an abusive marriage, can be the hardest thing in the world, once you have committed your life to it.

    We have the same thing in medicine – the noble cause of preventing heart attacks has seduced the majority of mainstream medicine to worship at the feet of cholesterol-lowering statin medication. Many billions of dollars have been spent already in putting the fear of death into people and vastly enriching the inner circle of big pharma. The mainstream medics who go along with it, research for it and promote it are not part of a big conspiracy, but have been seduced by the noble cause. Once their academic lives have been committed, it takes a very big, magnanimous person to be able to stop and consider that they may have been barking up the wrong tree.

    I greatly appreciate your gentle, conciliatory approach to Dr T. I hope very much that he reads, listens and deeply ponders your excellent advice.

    Malcolm

  20. “Prior to the 2007 IPCC report, it was appropriate for the null hypothesis to be that “there is no human influence on climate” and the task was to prove that there was.”
    Hasn’t the good doktor just erected a classic straw man argument there? No one has ever argued that humans have no influence on climate, and that was never the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis was, and still is that natural climate variation driven by various factors, primarily changes in the sun and oceans have always been the major drivers of climate. But his strawman is even more insidious – a double strawman, if you will, because the argument isn’t even about “human influence”, but rather specifically about human-produced C02, and its effect on climate. Now, I have to wonder why would Trenberth want to talk about “human influence” instead of manmade C02? His dishonesty knows no bounds.

  21. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??

    Yes, and I pretty much understood every word of it. What’s up Robb? To heavy and complex for you?

  22. “We haven’s seen any acceleration in sea level rise. We haven’t seen any climate refugees. ” <– "haven't seen".

    " Stop re-asserting the innocence of you and your friends. It makes you all look guilty, whether you are or not … and since the CRU emails “unequivocally” favor the latter possibility, it makes you look unapologetic as well as guilty. Whether you are or not."

    "favor the latter possibility," shouldn't this be "favor the former possibility"
    or "whether you are or not" should be in parentheses, "(whether you are or not)"

    Excellent article!
    A+

  23. How sad the ecofascists must be to know that no matter how much they agree on their schemes to defraud us, Congress is never going to buy their bull. Their last best chance was voted out in November.

  24. Excellent post.

    There’s another point I don’t think we make nearly enough of. Before the alarmist camp can claim that GW (or anything else climatic) is not just a natural phenomenon but mankind’s doing, they really have to show that they are including – and accounting for – every factor with any significant effect on weather/climate in their models.

    Not only do they not do that, but it only takes, say, a week’s reading of WUWT to show why they don’t – can’t yet – get close. Climate science is still at the infant stage of collecting evidence and making preliminary hypotheses, never mind trying to scare us all with half-cocked “predictions” inferred from “trends” which are down in the statistical noise.

  25. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??”

    Pretty much everyone with an attention span longer than a gnat’s

  26. Great summary. Well written.

    Another side point:
    I am really getting tired of certain words and phrases such as:

    robust
    unequivocal
    “Back in the day…” – a reference to a time when things were better, people did their job right, etc. Why not say something like: “back in the mid-sixties…”
    “At the end of the day…” – People used to say “In the final analysis…”. That was wrong too, because there is no final analysis on anything. Why not say something like “My conclusion is…” or “The evidence suggests…”
    awesome – used when someone accomplishes anything such as remembering to pull up their zipper.
    perfect – used as awesome.

    These latter two words are sprinkled liberally in the speech and writings of people under thirty. My theory is we are seeing the results of a generation taught to have high self esteem. Teachers encouraged their students not by challenging them to do better, but by telling them spelling the word CAT correctly was ‘awesome’. Not punching Sally out at lunch time was ‘perfect’. My teachers encouraged me by refraining from drawing red check marks all over my papers. This happened when I got the correct answers. No one was awesome or perfect; language of that nature was reserved for truly awesome things like landing on the moon or a politician telling the truth.

    Of course robust and unequivocal are terms used by people trying to add credence to their theories; as regular readers of this blog site can attest.

    Its too bad. All of these are nice words, overused by a generation losing its ability to talk and write with precision and accuracy. When a people loses its language, they lose the verbal symbols of ideas and their world is diminished.

  27. How is it that the IPCC can link ‘unequivocal’to ‘melting of snow and ice’..?
    Where is this happening..?
    Every year, with relentless reliability, the Arctic ice melts in the summer, and with the same relentless reliability, freezes up again in the winter.
    I would say THAT was unequivocal….

  28. C’mon you gotta love these guys, they’re now allowed to reverse the null hypothesis at will. Can’t wait for their next ‘trick’.

  29. Great post Willis thanks.

    Verity Jones said at CA that Trenberth forgets that for every finger he points away from himself, there are three fingers pointing back. Now here are three fingers I would like to keep in view.
    One – Steve Mosher’s comparison of Trenberth’s IPCC AR4 words with what they should say. Note the pea under thimble again.
    Two – Ross McKitrick showing how crucial this sleight-of-hand removing UHI is for the whole IPCC position.
    Three - (look under link 2) Trenberth has now added to the phrases people will quote and remember him by.

    Track back from my posts linked here to the originals who deserve the credit and follow-up, Steve and Ross.

  30. What a dishonest posting. Completely omitting the IPCC conclusion that human activities are “very likely” (defined as >90%) the cause of observed warming. And the point is that — with the strong la Nina of the last half of 2010, the end of a prolonged solar minimum, the negative PDO and AO, and even the Milankovich cycles tranding towards more NH ice formation and cooler temps, all combined with the fact that 2010 tied for the warmest year on record and we are seeing a record number of AGW-related extreme weather events — we’ve reached the point where the IPCC “very likely” conclusion has become even stronger. At some point, when all the variables line up to anthropogenic warming causing catastophic events, the burden does shift to the skeptics to provide an alternative explanation. Spencer has tried with the PDO, and Lindzen has tried with the iris theory, but neither is supported by observed events of the past few years.

    Another strawman — No one says natural forcings have ‘no effect.’ They have taken a back seat to human emissions as the dominant forcing, but natural cycles and other natural variables continue to influence, even significantly, our weather and global temps on short-term, even decadal, timeframes.

    The point that we haven’t warmed the past decade and that the past 30 years are consistent with natural variability …. kind of shameless. You have to do some serious manipulations with starting years or peak years to come to those conclusions. Nine of the 10 warmest on record within the past decade (1998 being the other). The rolling 5-year or 13-month averages on a steady upward trend. In fact, including the last two years, we are well within the 0.2-0.3 degrees C per decade. And the last 30 years show a marked departure from the previous 300 in terms of the rate of temp increase and the temp levels reached.

    This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.

  31. That was a great essay, Willis. How amazing that a supposed scientist would seek to reverse scientific process. I’m a financial person, and nothing changes the laws of money, just as nothing changes the laws of science, no matter how much people fiddle about with them.

  32. One more thing, Willis, please stop letting them get away with saying that all of the investigations exonerated the ClimateGate Fools. The one serious violation was the FOI, and they got away with that due to the statute of limitations. That is not the same as exoneration at all! The other white washes were just that, but they narrowly escaped a real problem on a technicality.

    Other that that quibble – dead on!

  33. I am going to throw this ball at your face. But don’t duck unless you can prove it isn’t made of soft cotton. It is after all most likely a hoax perpetuated by elitist scientific journals that it is made of rock. And even if it is a rock, it could just be a natural cycle. Rocks happen, they have always been around. Many people have been killed by rocks in the past, in fact whole species have been wiped out by them. Hence there is no need to duck. Quack!

  34. Robb876 says:

    “Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??”

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. But if someone who has bought into the notion that a harmless and beneficial trace gas is going to cause thermogeddon, then, as they say, “the truth hurts,” and turning one’s eyes away is a relief.

    CO2 has risen about 40%. That is significant. If increased CO2 caused global harm, we would surely have seen evidence of it by now. But there is no verifiable evidence that anything unusual is occurring, except for the substantial increase in agricultural production.

    In a world where a billion people subsist on less than $1 a day, more CO2 means life for many of them. But I think Dr Trenberth cares more about keeping the grant gravy train rolling than he cares about starvation.

  35. It is difficult, if not impossible, to prove something *didn’t* occur. That, of course, is what they are counting on…

  36. Slash all federal taxpayer support to agencies, institutions, universities performing so-called climate research. We have wasted enough resources over the last 30 years supporting apocalyptic climate fraud. The only real man-made apocalyptic catastrophe we face is the threat of nuclear war. Unlike the brinkmanship rules played during the Cold War the rules today are different.

  37. Willis, all the adjectives lauding your work are all used above so all I can add is “Thank You” for writing this.
    Now a layman’s question for the education authorities; How can cool carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorb a portion of the warmer radiation from the surface and, without ever getting anywhere near the temperature of the surface, re-radiate some half of that absorbed radiation back to the surface and so warming it some more?

  38. So in other words, since they can’t prove their hypothesis the burden now is to disprove the hypothesis?

    Wow. Think about it. I almost hope they can reverse the null hypothesis, and fire everyone! It would make my job in big Pharma so much easier! I could then say ” the drug is safe and efficacious because I said so, and so did all my colleagues. Now it’s the responsibility of the FDA and other agencies to prove it’s not”. Then i could take the afternoon off golfing.

    Can I sign up for the “null hypothesis reversal” petition? I see great advantages with it, overall.
    /sarc

  39. Magnificent Willis! Many thanks.

    If I might add one more thought: Regardless of all the errors you have pointed out in Trenberth’s howler, it is also the case that the null hypothesis is defined by the question, not by the accepted answer. The null hypothesis is the absence of a connection.

    Consider: “Traffic collisions increase the accidental death rate.”

    It is so obvious we all believe it. And it is certainly true, unless we are all going mad. But regardless, the null hypothesis is “There is no correlation between traffic collisions and the accidental death rate.” Of course no one believes that null hypothesis, and any number of traffic statistics can easily be produced proving beyond doubt that this particular null hypothesis is wrong. We go further, we do not even bother looking for that evidence because we are so convinced by the most elementary observations of the world, that people sometimes die in traffic collisions.

    Nonetheless the null hypothesis (clearly and comprehensively disproved though it may be) remains forever “There is no correlation between traffic collisions and the accidental death rate.”

    Likewise the null hypothesis in the climate case remains “There is no human effect upon the climate.” Some divergences from that null hypothesis will surely exist, but each and every one of them needs to be established by evidence, utterly without regard for people’s opinions (or the amount of trees used in publishing refereed papers or IPCC reports on the topic).

  40. Willis

    It would be really great to see a collection of your pieces published as a book.

    Go on – it would be a very useful reference work and make a great present!

  41. Robb876 asks “could anybody actually make it through that entire post”
    I know that Robb 876 has already moved on to “boobs aplenty com.” but his retort highlights one of the problems we face today. The public will not or can not engage for more than 183 seconds without becoming bored and changing the channel. I think that Robb876 should read the whole post. My neighbor should read the whole post. After I told my neighbor that AGW was overblown he told me I should get out more.

  42. MalcolmR says: January 15, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Brilliant piece of writing, Willis – thank you. I particularly appreciate your positive comments, such as “I don’t think you are a bad man”…

    I agree, and thanks for that post Malcolm. It reminds me that there seems to be a positive correlation between those who are generous in their assessments of people, those who are willing to say “I was wrong” over both science and attitudes, and those who are scientists right through to the core, who are most staunchly helping the very sick Climate Science undergo medical treatment and attain good prognosis for the future.

  43. Rather than supposing Dr. Trenberth’s illogical statements are possibly evil in intent, perhaps Willis and we should perceive them as the sincere best effort from an inferior talent that is quite humanly fearful of facing up to his intellectual lacking. I know I do.

  44. Mike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:54 am
    I am going to throw this ball at your face. But don’t duck unless you can prove it isn’t made of soft cotton. It is after all most likely a hoax perpetuated by elitist scientific journals that it is made of rock. And even if it is a rock, it could just be a natural cycle. Rocks happen, they have always been around. Many people have been killed by rocks in the past, in fact whole species have been wiped out by them. Hence there is no need to duck. Quack!”

    Here’s how the null hypothesis works in science, using your analogy. The null hypothesis is that the ball thrown at my face will not harm me. I do the experiment. I get harmed. Now I know, for all future reference, that a ball can harm my face. (I did get hit in the face in High school so I do know this to be true). Now I can act on this knowledge because it’s not a hypothesis but a good theory. Will some ball be soft and not hurt my face? Yes, but that’s called an interaction term and more experiments would be needed to fully describe all the ways a thrown ball could hurt your face.

    Now in the case of CO2 causing thermagedon, what proof (experiments) do we have to prove this? I’ll spare you the response: none. It’s all speculation. And Dr. T. now wants to argue the experiment doesn’t need to be done. But go ahead and spend trillions and change the entire world economy merely on the precautionary principle. That’s not science, that’s politics based on fear.

  45. Warmista Theology is reaching new heights of desperation. They can’t even deceive well any more, let alone tell outright whoppers & lies.

    Their gods have abandoned them, their High Priests no longer can interpret instructions from Gaia and they have lost their ability to predict, or at least convince the people they could predict, the future.

    The skies didn’t and aren’t falling. The People now realize we don’t need the Warmista High Priests to tell us what to do and how to live.

    Another pseudo religion bites the dust and joins the legions of other useless and failed causes on the garbage heap of history. Each generation throws up its own causes and each, in turn, runs its course and fades away.

    The sad part about AGW is the $trillions of dollars of pathetic and useless Public Policy decisions that have been made to appease that theology’s demands.

    Truly sad when you think about what that treasure could have done for humanity.

  46. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am

    So good I read it twice, which is why my comment is allll the way down here and yours is… froth. I have bookmarked it so as to stuff down the throats of globalists and priests at every opportunity in the future. I have emailed it to myself so that I may produce it, instantly, on any computer at any location I find myself in need of a concise, coherent, nay elegant exposition on the climatologists fairytale “position”.

    I have a question for Willis.

    Are you now or have you ever been called to the bar?

    :-)

  47. In your essay, you state the following:

    “I understand that Dr. T has a scientific hypothesis. This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. The hypothesis is that the GHGs are the master thermostat for the globe, everything else just averages out in the long run, nothing could possibly affect the long-term climate but GHGs, nothing to see here, folks, move along. No other forcings, feedbacks, or hypotheses need apply. GHGs rule, OK?”

    More precisely, the AGW hypothesis of Dr. T., asserts that if carbon dioxide gas goes up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. They usually ignore water vapor, clouds, ice crystals, aerosols, and other GHGs. They also ignore any question of the source of the increase in carbon dioxide assuming it must be from human activities rather than from the natural heating of the oceans and other obvious possibilities.

    Over most of our planet, carbon dioxide plays a relatively insignificant role in thermal regulation. It’s absorption of IR is only important in cold, dry, and dark places. GHGs are an important thermostat, but the influence of the trace gas carbon dioxide is quite variable and relatively minor.

    This was a wonderful essay. That we share your exasperation is unequivocal—a word that has no place in scientific inquiry.

  48. I like to re-visit posts I have enjoyed to catch up on the comments, but Buzz Belleville, your contribution left me with my jaw dropped for a while. Your ‘sustainable energy law class’ sounds like something that would have been taught during the 1960s in a commune not far from Haight-Ashbury.

  49. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??

    Yes…

  50. The guy is a clown. Once we thought he was just a somewhat deluded professional scientist. Now we know he is a purveyor of charlatanism. Charlatans try to reverse the null hypothesis – just look at the empty rhetoric and fallacious argument of any snake oil salesman.

    But the bottom line is this: Trenberth is on record several times in saying that he can’t find his ‘missing heat’, and that it’s a travesty that he can’t. What that means is that he can’t get his calculations to add up, which means that some or all of his assumptions, his understanding, his observations, his models, his physics and his mathematics are false. Some or all. Now what real and honest scientist would seek to reverse the burden of proof and the null hypothesis when we all agree that AT LEAST ONE of those essential parts of his science (assumptions, understanding, observations, models, physics and mathematics) are FALSE? Now THAT would be a travesty.

  51. Buzz Belleville says: ….
    “Oh dear. Another who eschews the facts to suit themselves. “Energy law class”? where ever do you come from!

  52. I happen to agree with the content ( so may be a little biased), but would like to praise the clear, concise and gentlemanly way that Willis has phrased his arguement. Well done and thanks!

  53. thingadonta talked about lumping as a tactic. It could also be sloppiness. The easiest way to tell who are true scientists on either side are if they define and use words correctly. Those who say GW but mean AGW are being political or sloppy. Those who say GW but mean CAGW are hopelessly politicized.

  54. Great post Willis.
    So now that CAGW is the null hypothesis (according to Dr. T), then we don’t need to spend billions more proving it, right?
    All government funding from here on should go to the scientists trying to prove the scientific hypothesis that natural effects are causing the change in climate that we are seeing. Think that might change the results? … remember, only results confirming the hypothesis will get further funding.

  55. Great piece Willis, love your writing style and allusions, e.g. “Akashic record”, brilliant.

  56. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    When I started reading your comment, I thought it must be irony or satire or some sort of tongue-in-cheek affair, but when I got to the end was left thinking that you might really be as deluded as you write.

    “This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.”

    I’m still not sure whether you are having a joke, and this is the punchline, because it sure sounds like it. If not, I suggest you do a bit of reading. You’ve obviously be given or selected a propagandized reading list.

  57. Seconding Mr. Cobb, Trenberth isn’t just reversing the burden of proof, but is lowering it all the way to the ground:

    …placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence [on the climate].

    Nobody has ever denied that increasing CO2 must have SOME warming effect. So that means the alarmists win? When that was never the debate?

    Parallels the perversion of the interstate commerce clause, where post FDR the Supreme Court no longer required that regulated activities had to be a “direct” matter of interstate commerce, but that anything that affected interstate commerce no matter how indirectly could now be regulated by the feds, annihilating our system of limited enumerated powers of government. Just lower the bar on those limitations to zero and they no longer exist.

  58. Superior work, Willis. Everyone should print a copy of your essay in large print and attach it to the wall just behind the monitor. Trenberth’s essay and your essay provide a perfect snapshot of the state of the debate about climate science at this time. In brief, Trenberth and his crowd avoid debate at all costs and push the “science is settled” meme. As you show so very well, Trenberth does it by moving the pea. By contrast, your analysis says exactly what must be shown, what has not been shown, and how to show it. We owe you a great debt of gratitude.

  59. @David L.

    “This reminds me of “cold fusion”. Two guys claimed they demonstrated it. The theory seemed right. However nobody could reproduce the results. So where is “cold fusion” today? It’s dead.”

    It’s dead in the U.S. by DOE decree. I’m not sure I trust US gov’t agencies to give the unwashed masses the unvarnished truth. If I did I wouldn’t be an CAGW skeptic as according to NASA it’s settled science. Japan is still officially engaged although they’ve abandoned the original electrolysis rig used by Fleischmann & Pons and are now using solid substrates with nano-engineered surfaces to bring the deuterium atoms close enough together for spontaneous fusion. They call it “solid fusion” now.

    Don’t be too quick to discount unexpected results in physics. We still don’t know how high temperature super-conductors work. Theory only predicts low temperature superconductivity. High temperature superconductors are as unexpected as cold fusion. There’s a lot of [snip] happening in this universe that our theories can’t explain.

  60. @ Buzz Belleville says: January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    What a dishonest posting. Completely omitting the IPCC conclusion that human activities are “very likely” (defined as >90%) the cause of observed warming.

    C’mon, guy. You’re trying to move the pea under the walnut shell yourself! The post is about the unscientific and ultimately self-condemning behavior of scientists, not IPCC conclusions.

    Whether you believe it or not.

  61. “We were promised a warming of two, maybe even three tenths of a degree per decade this century if we didn’t mend our evil carbon-loving ways, and so far we haven’t mended one thing, and we have seen … well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.”

    Here is what the data says regarding this issue:

    http://bit.ly/dQ8S9i

    Global mean temperature flat at 0.4 deg C for 13 years!

    Where is their 2.4 to 6.4 deg C warming going to come from?

    Only from their models.

  62. WOW!!! BRAVO!!! STANDING OVATION for Willis!!!

    This gets my nomination for “Best Rant” ever. Best is that it’s all true.

  63. David L says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:17 am

    This reminds me of “cold fusion”. Two guys claimed they demonstrated it. The theory seemed right. However nobody could reproduce the results. So where is “cold fusion” today? It’s dead.

    Would you please do some research and stop making a fool of yourself by denigrating “cold fusion”? Start by looking up “LENR”, an acronym for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, which is the term that has replaced “cold fusion”. The current centers of research for this exciting (and real) phenomenon happen to be Israel and Japan–multiple patents have been awarded and there is currently a second-generation medical device that works on the principle of LENR. Recently, the US Navy looked into it and provided detailed proof that it exists. But don’t despair–you’re not alone: The theoretical physicists are looking pretty silly now with their complete reliance on equations they’ve worshiped for over 100 years. However, the chemists that went into the lab and ran the experiments and found new reasons to adjust past unassailable dogma are looking pretty good.

    Funding for hot fusion in the US has gobbled up all the research dollars in this field, which is unfortunate–they’ve spent unimaginable amounts of money and have not much to show for it. Indeed, honest experts conclude that hot fusion isn’t viable.

    I’d much rather have a half-fridge-sized unit in my basement generating all the electricity I need for the next 50 years (just add 3 liters of heavy water), than some monstrosity trying to replicate the interior of the sun outside of my city; the comparison is staggering. Besides, researchers expect the delivery date for the basement-positioned LENR unit to be around 3 – 5 years in the future. I predict you’ll be using energy from a LENR unit before you’re ever going to get it from a miniature sun.

  64. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??
    —————
    I did and I thought it was excellent. Very glad to read it. Grateful to WUWT for hosting such excellent minds and conscientious writers.

  65. “This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class,”

    Now if “sustainable energy law” is a Law of Nature and unequivocal, please feel free to fill this gaping hole in my knowledge. If, as I suspect, it is a mickey mouse subject that makes media studies look like rocket science, then please forgive me for rolling about in lachrymose hilarity.

  66. As far as whether or not Trenberth is a “bad” or even “evil” man, that is not up to us to decide. He will need to search his own conscience and/or visit his local clergyman for those answers. Suffice it to say, however, that deceitfulness is not generally the mark of someone who is a good person, and Trenberth’s rant positively oozes both deceit and self-delusion. Perhaps he can be forgiven the delusional aspects.

  67. Perhaps I misread, but isn’t “not” the latter possibility?

    • Stop re-asserting the innocence of you and your friends. It makes you all look guilty, whether you are or not … and since the CRU emails “unequivocally” favor the latter possibility, it makes you look unapologetic as well as guilty. Whether you are or not.

  68. That will leave a mark.

    It is a tough thing for a man to admit his life’s work was all a sham. Unfortunately, I think this is going to have an ugly ending when Trenberth finally realizes the game is over.

  69. I read it all.. I did not read all of the the references.. but I will.

    I think it is the best work I have read on climate science to date.

    It is SO good, in fact, that it scares me.

    How come this site is still up and running?

    These people murder people for less than this.

    I cannot get my local newspaper to print my ‘letters to the editor’ about ‘climategate’ for goodness sake.

    Its not about science.. its about public perception.

    And that is a very very serious business.

    Is it possible that The Powers That Be are controlling the weather?

    Geoengineering is mentioned by Dr T in an email referenced in this article.

    If they are controlling the weather.. it might explain why this page on the internet still exists.

    Start talking about the science of 911, Anthony, and then see how long this site stays online.

  70. Venter says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:34 am
    Steve McIntyre has shown below that Trenberth has lifted a lot of the text verbatim from a Nature Geoscience article.

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/01/14/12736/#more-12736

    “So in addition to being a shameless peddler of false information, he’s also a cheap plagiarist. It’s a shame on climate science and everyday they find new lows to sink to.”

    You have to worry that all these guys are using the same boilerplate passed down from the Kommissar. People who use this boilerplate are either stupid, crooks, or terrified that their careers hang in the balance. Whatever the case, they are hellbent to destroy whatever moral authority Galileo and his successors had earned.

  71. Congratulations to Willis for reversing the sense of the science discovering a low molecular weight gas which reduces radiative forcing by watts/m2 at 100 ppm concentrations.

    Now will could you please tell us what it is ?

    We’ll all feel better when you do.

  72. Robb876 said:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    “Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??”

    I sure could! And I’d do it again. There is something about reading such elegant prose, especially when constructed in such well-delivered argument. I shall probably read it again before the day is out.

    As for you Robb876 (My! You really are way down the scale of Robbs, aren’t you? Couldn’t think of something a little lower in the order of names? – Just gentle joshing ;-) ), I can only urge you to really take the trouble to read all the way to the bottom – comments an’ all. It will open your mind, and maybe blow in the fresh winds of truth with which to fumigate it. Who knows, your lethargic comprehension might improve with use.

  73. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am
    “… all combined with the fact that 2010 tied for the warmest year on record and we are seeing a record number of AGW-related extreme weather events — we’ve reached the point where the IPCC “very likely” conclusion has become even stronger.”

    I could have selected any one of your points for refutation of your position, but I favor empirical matters and selected those points. Sir, the weather that we are experiencing is totally normal, totally within normal variation in less than one human lifetime. I have documented this many times on WUWT. Just search on my name. You will learn the story of the three “thousand year floods” that I survived in one midwestern city over a period of twenty years. Think Brisbane has flooding. I saw the Missouri River rise sixty feet. You use one of Trenberth’s techniques, assuming what you should be proving or at least substantiating.

  74. Excellent! For anyone unfamiliar with the whole AGW issue (now better known as scam), this cogent piece is where they should start. It gets them familiar with some AGW player’s names, it shows there is pushback to the AGW scam, and it educates on what constitutes good science; that science is not the pursuit of declaring a winner to a hypothesis by whomever achieves critical mass of public opinion first.

  75. Mr T is beyond the pale. His words are repulsive. Truly, deeply repulsive.

    What he is saying should not be under-estimated.

    “At the end of the sencond world war, the Nazis didn’t lose – they just had to move” – former CIA agent involved in the MKULTRA program.

    See also Project Paperclip.

  76. The last time I was hearing “unequivocal” was when Tony Blair was saying that the evidence that WMD in Iraq existed was unequivocal and that is why we had to go to war. And I quote:

    Iraq-gate

    (1) In Iraq, the overwhelming consensus amongst the experts was: that there were WMD, the threat was “real & imminent” and, the public was told the evidence was “unequivocal”. We were being told one thing in public by a campaign using the fear of WMD to sway public opinion, whereas in private experts like David Kelly were far from convinced.

    “SIR WILLIAM EHRMAN:In terms of chemical and biological, particularly through the spring and summer of 2002, we were getting intelligence, much of which was subsequently withdrawn as invalid, but at the time it was seen as valid, that gave us cause for concern,

    … March 2002: the intelligence on Iraqi WMD and ballistic missiles is sporadic and patchy.” 1

    (2) How did Parliament and the public come to be so misled as to the certainty of WMD? Why did those against the Iraq war have to disprove the negative: to provide proof that every location in Iraq, where facilities for WMD might have been installed, had been searched?

  77. Lots of interesting stuff here but I really think you nailed it when you focussed on KT’s refusal to defend his work with any kind of public debate. It seems to me that this is the ultimate Achilles heel: to avoid debate, given the ever increasing volume of informed citizens via the blogosphere, is an anachronism.

    Trenberth at times seems genuinely nonplussed that his agenda lacks the traction he feels it deserves amongst the “great unwashed”. Until he wakes up to the reality of the new paradigm ie the internet, and engages with his critics in a truly interactive medium, he will remain something of an embarrassment IMO.

  78. Mark Twang says: January 15, 2011 at 5:13 am”How sad the ecofascists must be to know that no matter how much they agree on their schemes to defraud us, Congress is never going to buy their bull. Their last best chance was voted out in November.”

    Unfortunately, the left wing activists in the EPA and a variety of other departments in Washington are going forward with their schemes to kill coal and oil without the cooperation of congress. They will use anything they can invent from endangered species to environmental protection to accomplish their goals. Plus the well funded “green” organizations will file legal actions if they do not get their way and they can always find a liberal judge to file injuctions.

    We need to spend more time pointing out the negative results their policies will most certainly produce in every case visa vi any POTENTIAL benefits. Major examples are the economic and social costs of carbon elimination from our energy supplies. Good minor example is that it has been found that wind farms make excellent eagle killers. This when many coal bed methane production activities are curtailed by the mere presence of an eagle roost near those activities.

  79. I think throughout the T. paper (and also to some extent in Willis’s response) there is a conflation between two different concepts: “burden of proof” and “null hypothesis”.
    The burden of proof, in a court of law, lays with the claimant (in criminal cases, with the prosecutor). In science, there is no “presumption of innocence”: ALL claims have the burden of proof. You have to prove everything you claim.
    On the other hand, null hypotheses refer to the STATISTICAL significance of claims, in the framework of random variations (e.g. sample means relative to the true mean). When you find a statistical relationship (say, a correlation coefficient, or a difference in percentages or propensities or whatever), there is always the possibility that it is a fluke, coming from the peculiarities of your measurement method, sample, or other sources of random variation. The most common situation is one where errors (of your observations compared to the “true” value) are normally distributed, with a mean that tends to coincide with the true mean. Then you establish a “level of confidence” (say 95%), and deduce a “confidence interval”, i.e. an interval around your observation where there is a 95% probability that the true value is. The “null hypothesis” in that context is usually what would happen by mere chance if there is no relationship or non-random effect at play. Statistical tests allow you to “reject the null hypothesis with 95% confidence”. Suppose you claim that the size of a temperature anomaly is 0.5° C. You claim that your anomaly of 0.5° is outside the normal variability range. You know temperature is affected by random variation about a historical mean. The historical mean has a standard error of, say, 0.2°. About 95% of cases, actual temperatures in that case will be within about 2 standard errors, i.e. +/- 0.4°. The 95% confidence interval of the historical average would be from -0.4° to +0.4°. Therefore, the chances of the anomaly to be outside that normal range would be less than 5%. The null hypothesis would be that your observation is within normal variability. Given such numbers, you can “reject the null hypothesis with 95% confidence” because an anomaly of +0.5° is outside the range from -0.4° to +0.4°. There is always a small (2.5%) probability that normal variability goes upwards of 0.4°, as there is also a small (2.5%) probability that it may produce temperature anomalies below -0.4°, but 95% probability is enough for you (and your opponent).
    Notice that null hypotheses do not refer to the substantive issue at hand, but to the statistical properties of your data.
    Scientists cannot avoid the null hypothesis either. Whenever they are dealing with variables affected by random effects, the hypothesis that whatever you observe is just a fluke should be considered. That is the role of the null hypothesis.
    Once the statistical validity of your claim is established within a given confidence level (say 95%), then you can address the substantive question: what is going on, what is the cause of the observed phenomenon, what are the mechanisms at play. The burden of proof remains with whoever makes a claim in those regards.

  80. I think I stand with a majority of the readers of this site in being not merely skeptical of the claims of AGW, but actually cynical because of the seemingly obvious motives and agenda of the AGW crowd, as well as their past record of playing fast with the truth.
    Yet, I bet I am nearly alone on this site in thinking the entire episode of AGW has been merely a miniaturized replica of the macroevolution gambit. Just as the author points out the sly attempt of a prominent AGWer to conflate unsupported ideas with others that are strongly supported, so, too, evolutionists have glommed their religious myth of macroevolution onto the patently obvious truth of microevolution. While it is certainly true that cats and dogs and goldfish and canaries can adapt to the pressures of their environment, it does not therefore follow that dogs can become cats or goldfish become canaries.
    Do not doubt it: The AGW tribe wants to arrive at the same happy state as their macroevolution forebears: So entrenched that it simply no longer matters that their ideas are laughably absurd. And, they are employing the same heavy handed game plan to arrive there: Inbred Pal Review, relentless smear campaigns, complete control over funding, willing partners in politics and print, etc.
    I ask you to resist the knee jerk reaction toward willful obtuseness and apply the same critical, skeptical thinking to macroevolution that you rightly apply to AGW.

  81. Willis said (to Trenberth): “Look, I don’t think you’re a bad guy.”

    Perhaps not, but replace the word “guy” with the word “scientist” and I’m inclined to disagree.

    Agree wholeheartedly with the rest of Willis’ post however.

  82. Great article, but I have a couple of issues:

    1. As mentioned earlier, under the ‘re-asserting your innocence’ section you should use ‘former’ not ‘latter’.

    2. More substantively, you define the AGW hypothesis as saying

    “if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. The hypothesis is that the GHGs are the master thermostat for the globe, everything else just averages out in the long run, nothing could possibly affect the long-term climate but GHGs, nothing to see here, folks, move along. No other forcings, feedbacks, or hypotheses need apply.”

    You then state that the “[AGW hypothesis] is woefully short of either theoretical or observational support. In part, of course, this is because the AGW hypothesis provides almost nothing in the way of a statement or a prediction which can be falsified.”

    I submit that this is not correct. There is substantial observational evidence which pretty conclusively proves that the hypothesis is FALSE. They claim that CO2 drives temperature, yet the evidence is mind-bogglingly clear that in fact temperature has driven CO2 for ages. If this data doesn’t prove the hypothesis wrong, then what does?

  83. “Completely omitting the IPCC conclusion that human activities are “very likely” (defined as >90%) the cause of observed warming.”

    Would you accept astronomical physics as unequivocal if a scientific body came out with a report saying that it is “very likely (defined as > 90%)” that the reason the earth orbits the sun is because of gravity? Or would you just laugh? That 90% number is just made up hokum. As you say, it’s a conclusion, but not a conclusion from data, it’s a conclusion from feelings. It’s not to be taken seriously.

  84. There is another pea-thimble thing going on here by Trenberth and by others. They argue that “everyone agrees” that greenhouse gases warm the planet, and that therefore you should sit down and shut up. But that is not the question. The question is “how much” will it warm, which is not explicitly known, and what would be the impacts (with a mild answer given in the IPCC and a hysterical answer given in press interviews and such) and how much would it cost to fix it (the last being a question that one is forbidden to ask). So by getting you to agree to the first point, you are supposed to not ask the latter 3 questions. This tactic came up constantly on the radiative physics threads over at Judith Curry’s, where some climate scientists kept saying that “it is just physics” when they should know better.

  85. There seems to be a good deal of opportunistic re-framing of the issue from all sides.

    First of all, the ‘Null Hypothesis’ is NOT, “which is that what we observe in nature is, you know, natural”.
    That is a deep epistemological claim of science which opens a whole other can of worms…

    The initial prediction from the AGW hypothesis was that the rise in CO2 from human sources would cause a global warming trend.
    The Null hypothesis was that it would cause no trend in global temperatures.

    The UNEQUIVOCAL data is that there IS a trend in global temperature. That overturned the initial null hypothesis which was replaced by the null that explicitly addresses the ‘anthropogenic’ aspect of the theory.
    The new synthesis/antithesis became –
    AGW is causing the unequivocal warming trend and predicts that there will be greater effects in higher latitudes, in the winter and at night.
    The new null hypothesis becomes that any observed trend or regional changes are part of physical processes that are intrinsic to the climate system without any measurable influence from anthropogenic CO2.

    As Eschenbach writes there are various lines of evidence that are required to refute the null hypothesis that claims the present climate changes are independent of the present anthropogenic CO2 level. First, that present conditions are anomalous, that they lie outside the envelope of chaotic, quasi-periodic behavior observed in the climate before the rise in CO2 and since the present Holocene stable interglacial period was established ~8000 years ago.
    The problem here is that proxy indicators of surface temperature over that period are ambiguous. The LIA and the MWP may show up in some records, and appear comparable to present conditions, but may be absent from other records indicating the conditions may not have been global in the way that the present warming is. Himalayan glacier ice-core records show no LIA and a small MWP that is not synchronous with the peak in N Europe.

    Perhaps the best evidence that present conditions are anomalous is the sea level data and ice mass measurements. Eclipse records indicate that the recent rate of sea level rise exceeds the rate for the last 6000 years. The last time sea level rose at comparable rates was during the collapse and melting of the last glacial ice-caps. Ice extent is falling globally and glaciers are melting back to positions they last occupied during the Holocene maximum 8 thousand years ago.

    It is less than scientifically helpful if the null hypothesis is defined in a manner that prevents its refutation, just as the AGW hypothesis would be weaker if it was not open to refutation by a number of climate indicators.

  86. …the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class…

    Here’s the deal: if the know-it-all elitists can convince enough people that we’ll all die unless we let them regulate everything, they will then be the masters and we, the unwashed masses, will be their slaves. The whole point of an “energy law class” is to teach the avaricious how to game the system for power and profit.

    Do the world a favor, Buzz, and switch to a useful discipline such as physics, medicine, or engineering. Seek truth, not power.

  87. Anyone going to the AMS? Let’s come up with a list of pointed questions for Dr. T. Post them here (so Dr. T and other members of the climate science cult) can read them before hand, ask him after his talk, and see what type of responses he will give.

  88. Note to BUZZ

    You are easily convinced. I suggest you extend your reading and look at the ARGO data on ocean heat content. Ask your teachers to explain why despite being heat sinks for 90% of global heat there has been no increase over the last few years. Even Dr Trenberth is confused.

  89. Mark Twang says: January 15, 2011 at 5:13 am “How sad the ecofascists must be to know that no matter how much they agree on their schemes to defraud us, Congress is never going to buy their bull. Their last best chance was voted out in November.”

    Since the EPA and a variety of other govt agencies are populated by a host of left wing activists the assault on coal and oil continues without congressional authorization. They will invent whatever reason they desire to reach their goal. They also have liberal judges at the ready to support injunctions when “green” groups file legal actions. We must emphasize the socioeconomic costs of their folly more regularly. If more folks realized that 50% of the electricity in the US is generated from coal and that their lights and heating and cooling will either cost much more or perhaps cease to function at all under some of these new policies they would change their attitude.

    Also some of the various left wingers might turn against some of these policies if they knew the unintended consequences such as wind farms making excellent eagle choppers. This while coal bed methane production is curtailed by the mere presence of an eagle roost in the area.

  90. To clarify my comment about Cold Fusion: that theory has been around for a very long time. It has not been demonstrated reproducibly. Some version of it may yet be demonstrated in the future: I don’t argue that.

    What I will state is that the results of Pons and Fleischmann have not been replicated, true or false? Also it’s dead as research (at least in the US)? True or false? Again: true. Sure there are people still researching it, but people are also research Bigfoot, UFOs and Orgone energy. So does that mean it’s all true? Come on guys…

  91. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    “This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.”

    Boy, they saw you coming. As they say – one born every minute. But don’t despair – permit me to take you through the points one by one:

    “What a dishonest posting. Completely omitting the IPCC conclusion that human activities are “very likely” (defined as >90%) the cause of observed warming.”

    Did you ‘energy law class’ teach you that 90% is the same as unequivocal? But let’s not quibble over a mere 10%. Go to the AR4 report and find the calculations from which the canoncial 90% is derived. Oh wait – it doesn’t exist.

    “And the point is that — with the strong la Nina of the last half of 2010″

    No – the La Nina began in the last quarter of 2010, not the last half. The effects of Enso events on global temperatures have a delay of a few months – and January to May of 2010 was actually an El Nino event, which is the one that would dominate temperatures, not the much more recent La Nina.

    “the negative PDO and AO . . . Milankovich cycles tranding [sic] towards more NH ice, ”

    The PDO has only just entered a negative phase that takes 30 years to bottom out – AO is still positive. Are you suggesting that the Milankovich cycle will produce a measurable temperature trend over a couple of years when the shortest cycle is 23,500 years and the longest 100,000?

    “seeing a record number of AGW-related extreme weather events”

    ‘Fraid not. Just seeing old fashioned weather patterns. Even the Russian heat wave was acknowledge by Nasa to be caused by Rosby waves.

    “At some point, when all the variables line up to anthropogenic warming causing catastophic events,”

    Unlikely – these variables are diverging, not lining up.

    “And the last 30 years show a marked departure from the previous 300 in terms of the rate of temp increase and the temp levels reached.”

    Absolutely wrong. Even Phil Jones admitted that the rate of warming in the last 30 years was no different from the rate from 1910 – 1945.

    None of Hansen’s predictions from 1988 have come true, so if that fits your definition of ‘nailing it’, then good luck in your exams.

  92. Back in 1947, when Britain experienced a devastating Winter and came close to being bankrupt (we were bailed out by the US). The then Socialist Govt. put bread on ration. (It had never had been during WWII). I do not speak as an eye witness – I was less than one year old. The reason was that Germany, which lay in ruins, was desperately short of wheat and so the British Govt. ordered that supplies would be diverted to our recent enemy.
    You put up a great post, Willis and I feel sorry for those who found it too much. I do not advocate ad hominen attacks on Dr. T. but the the time to be nice to your enemies is when you have them well and truly beaten. Please don’t give credit where it is not due. I’m sure readers of this site can spot a charlatan when he appears.

  93. Gary Taubes has identified a similar situation in the nutrition field in his book – “Why We Are Fat”. (he calls it an “insidious problem” on page 185 of his book) I paraphrase some of his observations below and relate to the current “Trenberth affair”.
    The situation with Trenberth and all the AGW “researchers, organizations, and public policy institutes committing to a belief early in the evolution of “climate science” at the stage when they know least about it also has happened in other areas of science.
    In nutrition, we were advised (in the late 1970s)that a high carb low fat diet was the healthiest. When study after study showed this to be false authorities didn’t respond by acknowledging that they had made an error all along. “Doing so might make us question their credibility, as it should.” Instead, they tell us that the studies (and any contrary information) must be flawed and the results should be ignored.”
    The AGW researchers, organizations, and public policy institutes have created a house of cards. They then used an Orwellian method and tried to label all those observers of how inaccurate their early proclamations in climate science have been as “deniers”.
    “Castles made of sand wash into the sea eventually.” (with apologies to Gary Taubes and Jimmy Hendrix)

  94. I’m amazed at the amount of people that have bought into the “extreme weather event” line…

    …but even more amazed at the amount of people that have bought into a science based on elevated CO2 levels

    ….when CO2 levels are at an all time low

  95. OOhhh that’s gotta sting, great post Willis.

    Trenberth must be crazy coming out with his rant. How can something be ‘unequivocal’ when he does not undestand/know the heat budget of the earth?

    Science settled…in a computer model and his mind yes… in the real world, NO. It is a travesty that this guy was ever given a Phd and is called a scientist!!

  96. izen says:

    “The initial prediction from the AGW hypothesis was that the rise in CO2 from human sources would cause a global warming trend. The Null hypothesis was that it would cause no trend in global temperatures.”

    You misstate the null hypothesis, which does not refer specifically to trends. It compares the current climate to the climate’s past natural variability parameters. As Dr Roy Spencer explains it, “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.” Natural variability is the null hypothesis.

    An alternate hypothesis is tested against the null hypothesis. For example, if current temperatures exceeded the past parameters of the Holocene, that would be evidence supporting the alternate hypothesis. The extremes during the Holocene can be seen here.

    If you wish to include trends as part of your argument, and claim that the current trend is outside past parameters, I refer you to Phil Jones’ data going back to 1850, which shows that the current trend has occurred repeatedly in the past.

  97. Excellent use of logic-based counter arguments. 4 marks!

    REPLY: No, the 4 marks are Hansen, Mann, Jones, and Trenberth ;-) Anthony

  98. I see fodder for Josh here….

    Dr. T, resplendent with mohawk and a 1/2 ton of gold necklace bling…caption:
    It’s HOT, fool!

    REPLY:
    LOL! I’ve sent the idea along. – Anthony

  99. Jack Simmons says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:25 am
    These latter two words are sprinkled liberally…
    Should be “These last two words are sprinkled liberally…” (when choosing between last and latter, the latter is used only where there are two options).

    Sorry to be pedantic, but your post demanded it.

    Excellent, clear and enjoyable post Willis – thank you.

  100. It s a fine essay. I would have emphasised that Trenberth suffers from *projection*, or transference, as caused by advocating a cause – the cause of AGW theory. Thus accusing others of what he practices (null theory, denialism – which in his case is a denial of the pertinent facts in question that should be comparitive over time. At least 2000 years)

  101. Craig, the entire diatribe is rife with peas and shells:

    First, we establish an unsubstantiated spurious connection:

    So we frequently hear that “while this event is consistent with what we expect from climate change, no single event can be attributed to human induced global warming”. Such murky statements should be abolished. On the contrary, the odds have changed to make certain kinds of events more likely. For precipitation, the pervasive increase in water vapor changes precipitation events with no doubt whatsoever. Yes, all events!

    Then, we make it the most important feature of the game (again, by mere assertion with NO scientific substantiation needed):

    It is not a well posed question to ask “Is it caused by global warming?” Or “Is it caused by natural variability?” Because it is always both. It is worth considering whether the odds of the particular event have changed sufficiently that one can make the alternative statement “It is unlikely that this event would have occurred without global warming.” For instance, this probably applies to the extremes that occurred in the summer of 2010: the floods in Pakistan, India, and China and the drought, heat waves and wild fires in Russia.

    Now comes the shell hiding the pea under it. Since it has been unequivocally established that ALL weather events of any type are the result of global warming, their very existence becomes new independent evidence that we are heading for catastrophe. This technique has already been used in the “melting glaciers” meme reasonably successfully in the past.

  102. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??

    I did. Easily.
    And I applaud it!

  103. Ok… I finally made it through the post … It was tough getting away from boobs.com for that long but I finally trudged threw it… Anyway.. This really is a good site with loads of good skeptical info, based on fully tested and well thought out hypothesisiss… And you guy have done a lot to change my mind, especially now that the conspiracy is trying to throw “hottest year” crap at us again even though it’s cold where I live…. Anyway… Willis just convinced me the other day that the earth was cooling… I even plotted a best fit trend over the last 12 years to prove it to myself… But now… It seems be be back to warming…. I just cant keep up… Boobie pics don’t treat me like this….

  104. gt says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Anyone going to the AMS? Let’s come up with a list of pointed questions for Dr. T. Post them here (so Dr. T and other members of the climate science cult) can read them before hand, ask him after his talk, and see what type of responses he will give.
    —————
    He’ll just do an Al Gore and refuse to take questions from the media. These guys have learned well. Too well.

    You’ll probably find yourself in a ‘free speech zone’, anyway.

  105. Hi Willis
    I think I proved already here in this report that an increase in GHG’s did not cause ahttp://letterdash.com/HenryP/assessment-of-global-warming-and-global-warming-caused-by-greenhouse-forcings-in-pretoria-south-africany global warming

    If you have some time to look at it, I would love to hear your opinion on this report?

  106. Excellent article and very well written.

    Somehow though, I don’t see Dr.T having the
    conviction/knowledge/honesty/integrity*
    to furnish a reply.
    * – delete whichever is not applicable.

  107. Every scientist should read this article. Every introductory science course in college should have the students read this as their first assignment. Every graduate student of science should read this before they begin their research. Everyone at NSF should read this before giving out any grant money for any subject. This may be as important a piece of science as any I’ve ever read. Thanks Willis.

  108. “the core of Saturn is made of vanilla ice cream”

    What are you talking about Ken? The core of Saturn is made up of chocolate ice cream!!! Have you no sense man?

  109. Looks like at the moment of this post with 124 comments that the “Read it all” is 123 with one outlier.

    Excellent commentary, Willis, on ridiculous “Mr. T.” AGW propaganda. Sad the funds supporting the warmista machinery are not going to real education.

  110. Willis,

    Thanks for this excellent post. That took a lot of effort. I also took the time to read your example from June 2006. That, on your part, also took a lot of work and effort. To finish with the lazy and incompetent e-mail quotes is outstanding wordsmithing. Bravo!

    I think it is time for Josh to do a cartoon of “Lazy Willis” with sharpened pencil and abacus, maybe a spreadsheet held down at the corners by walnut shells, and – off in the back – the worried face of Dr. T. showing in a port hole.

  111. Excellent article Willis. Keep the fire of the scientific method and the spirit of the philosophy of science alive!!!

    Those who make the positive claims, e.g. Dr. Kevin Trenberth, must fork over the evidence. Stand and deliver Dr. Kevin Trenberth, and while you’re at it please stop making doomsday claims that are not published “word for word” in a peer reviewed journal with all the evidence and the means of verification of that evidence to back it up!

    Oh, and Dr. Kevin Trenberth you get a fail in the philosophy of science.

    Willis you get a gold star!

  112. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    The initial prediction from the AGW hypothesis was that the rise in CO2 from human sources would cause a global warming trend.
    The Null hypothesis was that it would cause no trend in global temperatures.

    The UNEQUIVOCAL data is that there IS a trend in global temperature. That overturned the initial null hypothesis…. [my bold]

    No, the null hypothesis that Willis is referring to is not that there would be no trend in global temperatures. That’s only what the CO2AGW hypothesis said! It’s that hypothesis itself – no trend without CO2 – which is the actual “denial”, of the effect of non-CO2 agents, “natural” agents, and of the actual null hypothesis; and it’s that hypothesis which “begs the question” as to the cause of the increase in temperature claim. According to CO2CAGW as you stated it, the increase in temperature has to be due to CO2….by definition! Not by science.

    izen, you just did the same thing Trenberth did: ~”there is warming, therefore it has to be AGW.”

  113. Great piece. Superb work. Thank you Willis.
    Isn’t the AGW hypothesis already dead by showing the graphs when temperatures during the last century went up and down, no matther that CO2 level was constantly rising? For me, that’s enough to disprove it.

    Anthony, have this piece at the top for a long time is a good idea.

    And last but not least, a truescientist here was calling Mr. T a clown. I tended to agree but there is a more accurate description. He and the other (hockey)stickers are “useful idiots” for a more important purpose. That makes them more dangerous than just clowns.
    And they know it, but trade in their reputation for a good life at taxpayers’ money … so far.
    As one of them has exprssed it in the climategate mails: “who can resist to visit these congesses in Bora Bora” … and Bali … and Cancun etc.

  114. Since the science is settled and the proof is unequivocal and the other side must now prove they are right, then all funding should cease going into something we no longer need to study and flow the natural cycle side and figure out what the natural cycle is. Of course we cannot spend trillions to stop the natural cycle only adapt to it.

  115. Unequivocal agreement with the points – but equivocating about whether it is succinct and focused enough to have any large effect. It helps hold the dam in place though.

    Scientifically, I’m not one of you, but tried to lay out my thoughts and analyses 4 years ago and noticed that the burden of proof was being shifted via illogical claims that we must now prove that AGW is not true, that the AGW hypotheses were not falsifiable or provable with any actual observed warming or cooling, and that the catastrophic (C)AGW theory consisted of the joint probability of a number of these unprovable hypotheses all being true (that warming is caused by anthropogenically generated CO2, will only increase, will be “catastrophic,” and can actually be stopped using methods more advantageous than adaptation).

    That hasn’t stopped very human scientists from engaging in the antithesis of science for a variety of reasons – some of those being forms of moralistic self indulgence Trenberth is far from the first and far from the last.

  116. Buzz:
    I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it.

    Hmm. Buzz, why don’t you go to New York and drive up the West Side Highway? You can leave your boat at home. (But don’t tell Jim Hansen)

  117. Green Gangsters such as Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. ain’t ever gonna change either their bullying, thuggish attitudes or their malfeasant ways. What’ll anyone bet that a year from now, in mid-January 2012, communo-fascist hysterics of Ehrlich’s, Holdren’s, lately Keith Farnish’s ilk will be declaiming Maoist China as the cure for democracy’s ills in neglecting to genuflect before Climate Cultists’ divine attributes? Nothing will change unless and until certain AGW Goebbelites appear in orange jump-suits, an overdue circumstance devoutly to be wished.
    l

  118. Willis,

    I’d like to reaffirm the call for you to publish your writings in book form. I’d be on the waiting list….

    However, as one other reader here has noted, there is a rather puzzling ‘command’ you make near the end, viz.:

    “Stop re-asserting the innocence of you and your friends. It makes you all look guilty, whether you are or not … and since the CRU emails “unequivocally” favor the latter possibility, it makes you look unapologetic as well as guilty. Whether you are or not.”

    Perhaps I don’t understand the meaning of unequivocal, but my reading of the “CRUtape Letters” led me to the opposite conclusion, as does the quotation with which you end this otherwise wonderful dissertation.

  119. Willis says “We were promised a warming of two, maybe even three tenths of a degree per decade this century if we didn’t mend our evil carbon-loving ways, and so far we haven’t mended one thing, and we have seen … well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.”

    Perhaps you could expound on this statement. All five main temp reporting bodies (UAH, RSS, HadCru, NASA and NOAA) show broad agreement that the decade of the 2000’s was .16c to 1.8c warmer that the 1990s. How do you get zero tenths out of that?

  120. The current null hypothesis is that no warming is occurring that isn’t natural. How can this hypothesis explain that the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans all now have a warm anomaly? Where is the cold water hiding? How do AMO and PDO explain that? The current null hypothesis is inadequate to even explain current observations. Something else is clearly needed to replace the null hypothesis, unless you want to persist with a null hypothesis that has already been disproved by observations.

  121. Great post Willis.
    I had no trouble reading or digesting it.

    Buzz Belleville, man you are what we are scared of.
    Propagandized robots, getting ready to practice “sustainable energy law”.
    That is the silliest thing I have ever heard.
    Your school, parents, and professors should be ashamed for propagating these myths, wasting your time, and threatening the pubic with unrealistic legislation and, I guess, litigation.
    I do not see how anyone who can read three sentences in row and understand what they mean, can delude themselves into thinking that there is a macro-crisis, which perversely refuses to reveal itself on a micro-level.
    It simply isn’t true.

  122. Buzz,

    “What a dishonest posting. Completely omitting the IPCC conclusion that human activities are “very likely” (defined as >90%) the cause of observed warming.”

    What a dishonest posting. Completely omitting that what the IPCC actually said was that human activities are “very likely” the cause of “much” of the observed warming.

    And completely glossing over the fact that the “90%” definition of “very likely” is a number pulled from the distal end of the IPCC’s alimentary canal.

    And completely ignoring the fact that, unlike the assertive “very likely” the weaseling “much” is not defined.

    This is the Trenberth/IPCC way. Make wild assertions, but be sure to throw in enough weasel words like ‘much’ that you can diminish and distance yourself from, and/or further exaggerate and cry wolf, with those wild assertions, depending on your future needs.

  123. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.
    ———-

    Funny, I just started teaching another iteration of my environmental history class. I was a science student in the late 1970s and early 1980s, then thoroughly sold on the environmental alarmism of the era. Currently I am thoroughly unimpressed by the accuracy of those self-same predictions.

  124. Willis said, re Trenbeth’s pea-shuffling Monte trick:

    >That’s recursive enough to make Ouroboros weep in envy …

    Well said. And a nicely-done riposte. Good job!

    Trenbeth is one of the least admirable of the “Hockey Team,” in my view. Though there’s some stiff competition there, in the race for the bottom….

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

    “Fewer scientific problems are so often discussed yet so rarely decided
    by proofs, as whether climatic relations have changed over time.”
    — Joachim von Schouw, 1826.

  125. Trenberth’s energy flows diagram miraculously generates 396 watts m2 out of a mere 64 watts of solar radiation. Energy from thin air (literally). The man who believes in this fantasy obviously has an unshakeable conviction that is religious in nature rather than scientific. That is why the burden of proof is upon us poor unbelievers.

  126. Mark Twang says: January 15, 2011 at 5:13 am
    How sad the ecofascists must be to know that no matter how much they agree on their schemes to defraud us, Congress is never going to buy their bull. Their last best chance was voted out in November.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Mark I sincerely hope that you are right. The U.S. is the only hope of turning this crap around – Europe and the U.K. are toast just now – finished – kaput.

    And Willis – your article was, as always, spot on. I imagined that if that missive was directed at me I would have disappeared up my ‘fundamental’ in abject shame!!

    Douglas

  127. Kudos for a much-needed unequivocal statement of truth. The only thing now left uncertain is Willis playing third base for the Yankees.

  128. Like virtually every Willis writes, this was a truly excellent article. Looking around the blogosphere this morning I noticed that just the comment thread for this article is more interesting and entertaining than the lead articles at other sites.

    To help put the gravity of Willis’ essay in perspective I suggest reading Art Horn’s article on PJM today about how much taxpayer money is squandered on climate research. It can be found here:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/how-much-of-your-money-wasted-on-climate-change-try-10-6-million-a-day/

  129. Mcs? Another Mc from Canada.

    We know the names McIntyre and McIttrick and their stellar work(s).

    Now we can add another Mc to the above; now we have 3 Mcs.

    Dr. Bob McMurtry.

    Dr. Bob McMurtry may have brought down a Liberal-socialist government. Stay tuned.

    More:

    “How [Liberal-socialist] McGuinty’s windmill dreams became a nightmare”

    “When Dalton McGuinty embraced wind power four years ago, it seemed he couldn’t lose.

    Politically, his support for this infinitely renewable form of energy put the Ontario premier firmly on the side of the environmental angels.

    Even more important, McGuinty’s Liberals pitched their commitment to wind as part of a comprehensive, green industrial strategy.

    The government would not merely use wind turbines to generate electricity. It would also subsidize firms to build the giant machines for export.

    In effect, windmills would be to the new Ontario what autos were to the old — the province’s economic driver.

    Critics of the premier’s ambitious schemes were dismissed as cranks and nutters infected with a not-in-my-backyard syndrome.

    To ensure that these self-seekers and know-nothings didn’t interfere with the government’s bold plans, Queen’s Park stripped municipal councils of their power to regulate wind turbines.

    On paper, the plan seemed a sure winner.

    But that was before Dr. Bob McMurtry.

    McMurtry is neither a crank nor a nutter. An orthopedic surgeon and former dean of medicine at London’s University of Western Ontario, he is part of the country’s medical and political establishment.

    He’s acted as a health advisor to the former federal Liberal government. In the early 2000s, he was a key advisor to Roy Romanow’s royal commission into Medicare.

    McMurtry’s brother, Roy — a Red Tory and former attorney general — was Ontario’s chief justice for 11 years.

    Bob McMurtry began as a strong advocate of wind power, keen to have a turbine built on the 16-hectare Eastern Ontario farm he bought four years ago for retirement.

    As he explained in a telephone interview this week, he hoped to generate his own power and sell the rest to Ontario’s electricity network.

    But being a scientific sort of chap, McMurtry began by researching the issue.

    What he discovered alarmed him.”

    http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/922197–walkom-how-mcguinty-s-windmill-dreams-became-a-nightmare

  130. @Robb876

    Good on ya mate. It was well worth the effort wasn’t it?

    I just wish more of my mates would take the effort to digest a bit of the content posted on WUWT. But it seems that most of them are still blinded by the light of the CAGW religion. I have tried to point them in the right direction but “Boobie” sites are just so much less mentally taxing. :-)

  131. Willis said :

    • Stop calling people “deniers”, my goodness, after multiple requests that’s just common courtesy and decency, where are your manners? It makes you look surly and uncivilized, whether you are or not.

    _____________________________________________________________

    Name me one great scientific advance or discovery that was achieved by a scientist blindly following the conventional wisdom of his day. All the great men and women who achieved these breakthroughs did so by proving that conventional wisdom to be incorrect. They were, by definition, “deniers”.

    Instead of whining when warmists use this description, I suggest that it should be thrown back in their faces by reminding them of this “inconvenient truth”.

  132. Matt Schilling says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I came late to this game (2005) because the “weather” was not following the “science” in my anecdotal, non-climate-scientist, frightened-to-face-up-to-facts, out-of-my-field, tobacco-smoking, SUV-addicted, oil baron, flat-Earther opinion. Oh, the insults.

    I though, then, that studying the nuances of this black art while it self destructed would help when it came to showing that many other pre-conceived, bottle-fed, media induced “scientific beliefs” were also.. ahem… questionable. Until climategate I was pretty confident, most days, that eventually this whole snake-ball would unravel and the truth would out and the madness would stop some time.

    Post climategate? I believe that the inertia of this legend (in the strict MI5/MI6 sense of the word) will be very hard, if not impossible, to turn. I believe that even if someone/anyone should find the golden bullet, even tomorrow, that kills this sick and twisted zombie hypothesis stone cold dead forever that we will all be paying for the lie for the rest of our lives, the truth will never be made available to the masses and the perpe-traitors will never be brought to justice and they will, in fact, be rewarded handsomely.

    Now we see what confidence in the powers that be being on your side can make men do. Now we see that funding corrupts and absolute funding produces junk science that is leapt upon by those holding the purse-strings. Now we see that no matter how daft/stupid/counter-intuitive some “peer-reviewed science” actually is there is no platform for dissent. Sad to say even Anthony’s most even handed and egalitarian conference/debating room, probably the greatest hope we have, will not be enough to remove the pork from the eyes of the politicians and/or expose the manipulative, psychopathic scum that feed on the very fear that drives the population we are attempting to enlighten.

    Never mind all the other “settled” scientific claims, from “fluoridated water saves teeth” to “The Big Bang” via the war on (fill in the blank) from government and big pharma/war/food/etc.

    The ills of this world can be solved. It is not going to happen with the current set up running the show.

    “They just takes care of number one and number one ain’t you. You ain’t even number two.” – Frank Zappa.

  133. Trenberth fears that the flakey state of AGW science will never allow them to prove their “theory” (i put that in quotation marks because i have never seen a closed description of what the AGW theory exactly is, only post-normal ramblings, and will never see one). That’s the reason he wants to change the rules of the game.

    He *is* desperate.

  134. Yet another outstanding article, and a joy to read: thank you, Willis!

    Anthony – you actually sleep???
    Who knew!
    :-))

  135. SionedL says:
    January 15, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Since the science is settled and the proof is unequivocal and the other side must now prove they are right, then all funding should cease going into something we no longer need to study and flow the natural cycle side and figure out what the natural cycle is. Of course we cannot spend trillions to stop the natural cycle only adapt to it.

    Better yet, all that funding should now go into trying to disprove it. If the theory is strong, they have nothing to fear.

  136. “This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class,”

    That is actually rather worrying.

    It implies that someone somewhere has set up or is setting up a worldwide regime for ‘controlling’ or attempting to control climate.

    Furthermore that a system of laws is being set up to that end. With suitable enforcement methods no doubt.

    Did anyone ever vote for that ?

  137. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:48 am
    “Ok… I finally made it through the post … It was tough getting away from
    […]
    seems be be back to warming…. I just cant keep up…[…] pics don’t treat me like this….”

    No more quality trolling. Last troll standing.

  138. “All five main temp reporting bodies (UAH, RSS, HadCru, NASA and NOAA) show broad agreement that the decade of the 2000′s was .16c to 1.8c warmer that the 1990s. How do you get zero tenths out of that?”

    Easy. No further increase since 2000.

    The pre 2000 figures having been skewed down slightly by lower figures in the early part of the period.

    Do you understand the meaning of ‘plateau’?

  139. *****
    Peter Plail says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Thank you Willis for such a clear exposure of the failure of Trenberth to abide by neither logic nor scientific principles.

    He referred to sceptics as charlatans
    *****

    Psychologists would call it an example of “projection”. That’s the habit of accusing others of something the accuser practices themselves.

    When a politician (or post-modern “scientist”) accuses someone of “X”, you can be sure he or she is an expert executing or participating in “X”. Hence all the accusations of being under the pay of “Big Oil”, while themselves being funded by “Big” taxpayer funds.

  140. This should be the unequivocal death nell of Trenberth’s career as a climate alarmist. It would be a travesty if it is not.

  141. the day will come when one of these so called climate scientist will end up facing a long spell in jail the quicker it happens the better we will all be

  142. GARY KRAUSE says:
    January 15, 2011 at 10:05 am
    “Excellent commentary, Willis, on ridiculous “Mr. T.” AGW propaganda. Sad the funds supporting the warmista machinery are not going to real education.”

    Sadder still is the fact that the funds going to education in this country support ideologues who preach AGW and similar theories. What my 16 year old brings home from an elite high school is no better than a party line written by a Kommissar. Thanks, teachers’ unions. The poor kid would not know that the word ‘criticism’ exists if he had to depend on the educational establishment only.

  143. @- smokey –
    “You misstate the null hypothesis, which does not refer specifically to trends. … Natural variability is the null hypothesis.”

    I take you point that the null hypothesis does not refer to trends. But the problem with ‘Natural variability’ is that if it remains a purely descriptive term it is impossible to refute.

    A common method in science is to try and refute the null hypothesis, if ‘Natural variability’ has no defined parameters, points beyond which measured change CANNOT be ascribed to physical processes uninfluenced by the anthropogenic CO2 rise, then it is impossible to refute and becomes an impediment to research in this area.

    The link you give for extremes during the Holocene unfortunately only shows temperature derived from the vostok ice-core. This is a proxy measure from O18 ratios of the temperature during ice formation at the pole, rather less indicative of global temperature. The north-south reversal effects where the northern hemisphere is cold while the south is hot and visa versa are measurable in comparisons of both poles. The temperature record from the core samples also stops around a century ago. How does the present temperature on the same scale compare with the record, I suspect it is comparable with the 8000yrBPE levels.

    The link you give for similar past trends uses some unrealistically short periods. but is also entirely within the period when AGW is an active hypothesis for observed changes.
    But the graph also poses problems for those wanting to ascribe the variability on the changes in solar output. Temperatures appear to have fallen, or at least stabilized for a time in the 1940-1960s when solar output was increasing. But then has been rising recently when solar output has reached historic lows….

  144. “As I have found to my cost, exposing my scientific claims to the cruel basilisk gaze of the internet is like playing chess with Deep Blue … individual processors have different abilities, but overall any faults in my ideas will certainly be exposed.”

    This, has to go into the 21st Century Dictionary of Quotations

  145. I first started to read up on the subject of global warming at Realclimate. After a few months I got a feeling of “is this really all there is to their argument”. I began to read other blogs and when a guy called Tim Lambert (if I remember that correctly) confused a model for reality, and all his audience agreed and heaped praise upon him, I started to check the basics. They were not in place.

    It is embarrassing to see dr Trenberth extend the logic and reasoning of juvenile blogs to science. One cannot help to understand why the french make such big difference between intelligence and wisdom. The AGW crowd displays an emphatic lack of wisdom.

  146. Robb876, well done.

    Just remember, you have to make up your own mind. Bu tin general, the side trying to convince you with trickery, or trying to scare the living daylights out of you, is the side that is mistaken.

  147. “well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.”

    Come on dude, show your work? Lets see where this number comes from? Willis, you make a few good arguments and then you lose me by making a blatantly wrong remark. You are being hypocritical by throwing in that dig which isn’t supported by the data. It may win you points with your base but the people in the middle recognize the irresponsibleness of making such a statement that has not evidence supporting it.

  148. Another truly superb piece, in a long tradition of them.

    I certainly shall repost this every chance I get.

    However, it might be more accurate to call Trenberth ‘Mr. T’ – as in the 1980s B-grade TV ‘star’ – as that would seem to fit better.

  149. David L says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

    To clarify my comment about Cold Fusion: that theory has been around for a very long time. It has not been demonstrated reproducibly. Some version of it may yet be demonstrated in the future: I don’t argue that.

    What I will state is that the results of Pons and Fleischmann have not been replicated, true or false? Also it’s dead as research (at least in the US)? True or false? Again: true. Sure there are people still researching it, but people are also research Bigfoot, UFOs and Orgone energy. So does that mean it’s all true? Come on guys…

    Sorry, David L, you’re wrong on the first count.

    And sorry, David L, you’re wrong on the second count, too, unless you’re saying the US Navy’s research (which is reproducible) was performed someplace other than in the US.

    You must think the only science/engineering/manufacturing is happening in the US. Unfortunately, that’s becoming a less tenable position all the time. Take, for example, the fact that since 2001, the US has lost 42,000 factories, which had roughly 500 employees each. The jobs didn’t disappear–they headed overseas, where much of what we now use on a daily basis is manufactured.

    Science is the same way, especially when people in critical decision-making positions here in the US are lobbied by special interests that don’t have your best interests at heart but have only their own.

    Your clarification fell flat. Any attempt to drag Bigfoot and other such nonsense was a mistake.

  150. dp says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

    “This should be the unequivocal death nell of Trenberth’s career as a climate alarmist. It would be a travesty if it is not.”

    Yes, where is the missing ‘heat’ that should be applied to this pseudoscientist?

  151. Al Gored says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

    However, it might be more accurate to call Trenberth ‘Mr. T’ – as in the 1980s B-grade TV ‘star’ – as that would seem to fit better.

    Please don’t elevate Trenberth to Mr. T’s level in the A Team; it’s an unwarranted promotion.

  152. This is a very interesting post Willis, and I applaud your efforts. There are many things here I could quibble with, but out of the gate it would be this statement of yours:

    “This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. The hypothesis is that the GHGs are the master thermostat for the globe, everything else just averages out in the long run, nothing could possibly affect the long-term climate but GHGs, nothing to see here, folks, move along. No other forcings, feedbacks, or hypotheses need apply. GHGs rule, OK?”

    _____
    Truly, that is not what the AGW “hypothesis” states, for GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models, and hardly stipulate that “nothing else matters”. Your simple definition of the AGW hypothesis makes it sound as though climate scientists are blind to the other forcings and simply discount solar changes, ocean cycles, and the rest. This is simply not true and you know it.

    Much to the dismay of many AGW skeptics, the scientists who create the various GCM’s actually are dedicated scientists, and really do want to get the science right and understand what is actually happening with the climate. Not one of them would purposely ignore any known and proven climate forcing and simply focus on the primary and secondary effects of the build-up in anthropogenic GHG’s. Hence, as new information about climate dynamics are brought to light, they are, one by one, included in the GCM’s and, in that way, the science advances and the models get better and better. For example, the much talked about urban heat island effect was recently incorporated into a most current global climate model:

    http://www2.ucar.edu/staffnotes/research/2563/capturing-heat-islands-climate-models

    So, even in this simple example, climate scientists are hardly ignoring other forcings and only focusing on anthropogenic GHG’s. The bottom line is, as much as certain AGW skeptics may think otherwise, the vast majority (99.9% or greater) of climate scientists really do want to understand and advance the science, and are constantly looking for any new way (as in the example above) to make the models better. The insinuation that they are merely concerned with the forcings of GHG’s to the exclusion of all others would be laughable if it wasn’t so sadly mistaken.

  153. Willis and Lucy S

    I think you are being too generous to Dr T and here’s why.

    In France we have Murder, Attempted murder, Murder Involontaire and the fameuse Crime de Passion.
    Now We can and forgive the Crime de la passion but the rest NON.
    So what is DrT’s crime. Well, he has realised by his own admission that there are problems in his theory of AGW (the email of missing heat). He has read (I assume because he constantly critisizes them) many articles or papers, even peer reviewed ones, which indicate points of failures in his theory and yet he is about to stand up in public and denegrate all who disagree with him and to reinforce the rightness of his theory.
    In my book that is pre-meditated. It is not a crime de la passion, crime involontaire it is as you americans would say, 1st degree murder. I for one am not prepared to believe that he is not a bad man. Sorry!!

  154. robert says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE YOURSELF.!!! Troll

    Prof Jones quote. NO SIGNIFICANT WARMING SINCE 1995

  155. Most/many, lay/professional people, think the debate is about whether the world is warming or not. They assume that we live in the ideal climate. I have seen virtually no debate or science paper addressing the question “What is the ideal climate for the bio-mass and more specifically for Man (and his food supply)?”

    If we cannot answer this basic question… then how do we know if the climate changing (as it always has) is away from ideal (hence requiring prophylactic action) or not??

    I would truly like to see a lot more research into this question, than all the rest.

    Our currently partly frozen earth and it’s reoccurring ice ages do not intuitively (nor logically) seem ideal, to me, personally. GK

  156. No matter how great the growing numbers of scientists who are skeptical of AGW theory, it is the politicians who need to be convinced. Unfortunately at the present time there seem to be precious few decision makers who are prepared to question let alone refute the idea that CO2 controls climate.

    If only Willis could lead an assault, with his excellent logic, on those who are spending billions of tax payers money on fruitless projects to control climate.

  157. “Rather than supposing Dr. Trenberth’s illogical statements are possibly evil in intent, perhaps Willis and we should perceive them as the sincere best effort”

    Questioning someone’s motives never works and is typically wrong. All human beings generally believe they are acting for the best of motives. Hitler acted to save Germany. Al Capone provided jobs during the Depression.

    I have no doubt that “The Team” fully believe that they are acting in our best interests to save us from ourselves. As such, they fully believe the ends justify the means, no matter what means are employed. They fully believe that the problem lies not with the science, but rather with the ignorance of the common person.

    Well worth a read is Willis’ paper here, which exposes RC censorship of scientific debate:

    https://public.me.com/ix/williseschenbach/Svalbard.pdf

    My experience on RC is that it exists for the purpose of indoctrination. If you wish to learn the party line, you will be welcomed. If you try and engage in debate on the merits of the science, you will be heavily censored.

  158. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??

    If you already or immediately understood that the opening words of Willis’ article quoting Trenberth demonstrates Trenberth’s [apparent] complete lack of scientific and logical thinking, which Willis later explained so lucidly, you didn’t really have to read very far! Right?

  159. “Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??”

    My reply:
    Which post did you mean??
    The post of Dr T’s draft presentation? Where he knowingly and deliberately makes multiple uses of the offensive (and ultimately, meaningless) term “denier”? I struggled but, no, I couldn’t make it through to the end. I did try but I skipped the last quarter, or so.

    The post by Willis? YES. Right through in 2 sittings – I was called for dinner part way through and, sorry Willis, nothing beats “she who must be obeyed”* – not if I want a good meal! Rivetting stuff. All I need now is to recap and read the statistics Appendix Willis referred to.

    * For “She who must be obeyed” see Rumpole of the Bailey (UK TV comedy and books).

  160. In politics it is called spin, scientists are not suppose to use spin just present the evidence. We will agree that spin has been used because failed to present the evidence.

  161. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am
    This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class,
    =========================================================
    Good Lord
    Is there no one left, in any field, that isn’t trying to squeeze more money out of this crap……………..

    I guess, a long as the government is giving away billions of our money for it………..

    This is what education has come down to, a sustainable energy law class

  162. There is pretty massive intense cold anomaly over Asia just one map here

    http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp6.html

    The rest of the world is “normal”. Usually, from previous experience in my view, this drop in ASIAN land temps tends to bring down the global average to below 0C, which is the case now. Check AMSU satellite. My prediction is for a cooling 2011, so once again the trend will be downas in 2008, but this time I do not expect a recovery to +0.2-0.6C which occurred 2010, for quite a few years if it occurs at all, as the AGW crowd would like. Basically, datawise, global warming, even non-AGW, has finished, we are going into a cool phase LOL (BTW J Bastardi wins hands down see bets at Lucia’s)

  163. Willis Eschenbach

    In climate science, the AGW hypothesis states that human GHG emissions significantly affect the climate. As such, the null hypothesis is that human GHG emissions do not significantly affect the climate, that the climate variations are the result of natural processes. This null hypothesis is what Doctor T wants to reverse. . . .
    since it has been thusly warming for centuries, the obvious null hypothesis would have to be that the half-degree of warming we experienced in the 20th century was a continuation of some long-term ongoing natural trend.

    The IPCC’s mission was determining

    “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” in relation to Article 2 of the UNFCCC”

    The null hypothesis is therefore more generic:

    Nature and mankind are robust and will tolerate a continuation of previous climate variations will continue.

    These climate variations include ocean and atmospheric oscillations in temperature, pressure, clouds, atmospheric H2O and CO2, sea level, and weather extremes.
    These natural variations have been quantified since the Little Ice Age in:
    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, On the recovery from the Little Ice Age, Natural Science, Vol.2, No.11, 1211-1224 (2010), doi:10.4236/ns.2010.211149
    Openly accessible at http://www.scirp.org/journal/NS/

    The IPCC’s AR4 summary states:

    There is very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.6 {2.2}
    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica) (Figure SPM.4). {2.4}
    During the past 50 years, the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling.

    Anthropogenic warming could lead to some impacts that are abrupt or irreversible, depending upon the rate and magnitude of the climate change. {3.4}

    In Box TS.1: Treatment of Uncertainties in the Working Group I Assessment The IPCC defines:
    “Very high confidence At least 9 out of 10 chance”,
    “very likely > 90% probability”, and
    “Likely > 66% probability”

    Far from just inverting the burden of proof, with IPCC’s statements, Trenberth has to show far beyond just “statistical evidence” of “anthropogenic global warming” AGW. He has to statistically show a 90% probability that “Most of” (> 50%) the warming during the 2nd half of the 20th century is due to anthropogenic causes. He also has to show that these will cause “dangerous anthropogenic interference”.
    I.e., “Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”. (CAGW).

    Trenberth’s challenge is not just to show statistical evidence that recent climate changes are anomalous from the null hypothesis, but
    1) that warming rather than cooling is due to anthropogenic causes
    2) that these are
    “very likely (>90%) due to the increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations”, and
    3) that these will likely (>66%) cause catastrophic effects.

    Also note above:
    Bruce Cobb

    The null hypothesis was, and still is that natural climate variation driven by various factors, primarily changes in the sun and oceans have always been the major drivers of climate.

    Hector M.

    null hypotheses refer to the STATISTICAL significance of claims, in the framework of random variations (e.g. sample means relative to the true mean).
    The null hypothesis would be that your observation is within normal variability.

    Smokey

    As Dr Roy Spencer explains it, “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.” Natural variability is the null hypothesis.

  164. izen,

    The null hypothesis does not explain the mechanism of warming, cooling, or trends. No one has all the answers to those questions. What the null shows are the parameters of past variability. Any alternate hypothesis must show at least some changes to those parameters. Othewrwise, Occam’s Razor must be invoked: natural variability is the simplest explanation for the current climate.

    And regarding your question about the example of one ice core location, here is another from the Northern Hemisphere. Note that it has been considerably warmer during the Holocene. In fact, warm periods are much rarer than cold periods. And the fact that rises in CO2 follow temperature rises makes it hard to pin the blame on that tiny trace gas.

    JPeden says:
    January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am:

    “izen, you just did the same thing Trenberth did: ~’there is warming, therefore it has to be AGW.’ ”

    JPeden points out the fallacy of the argumentum ad ignorantium: “Since I can’t think of any other cause for global warming, then it must be due to CO2.” The null hypothesis says that natural variability has been going on for many thousands of years, and today’s climate is no different. There is no empirical, testable evidence showing that CO2 causes that climate variability.

    Jim D says:

    “How can this hypothesis explain that the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans all now have a warm anomaly? Where is the cold water hiding? How do AMO and PDO explain that? The current null hypothesis is inadequate to even explain current observations. Something else is clearly needed to replace the null hypothesis, unless you want to persist with a null hypothesis that has already been disproved by observations.”

    Again, a misunderstanding of the climate null hypothesis, which does not attempt to explain the mechanism, but only points out that there is no discernable difference between past climate parameters and the current climate. If you cannot measure any difference between a planet with high CO2 versus a planet with low CO2, then the claim that CO2 is causing today’s ordinary climate is a logical fallacy based on an assumption.

    The fact that there are no observations showing that past climate parameters have been exceeded supports the null hypothesis. What we see now has happened many times in the past. In fact, we are currently in the “sweet spot” — not too warm, not too cold, but just right.

    Now Kevin Trenberth wants to turn the scientific method on its head; to put the cart before the horse, and make his CO2=CAGW hypothesis the null hypothesis. He wants to ignore real world observations showing that nothing unusual is occurring. But that approach is no more scientific than astrology or Scientology. It is non-science.

  165. Well, this was your best post Willis.
    Each paragraph drew you to the next.

    An applicable aside. Here in California the fish stocking program was shut down for a while so Fish and Game could prove that a frog did not exist.
    You’ve got to love it!

  166. *****
    Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am
    This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class,
    *****

    Well, isn’t that special! Wonderful! That’s exactly what’s needed, a whole new generation of fresh, young, rosy-cheeked rent-seekers and manipulators, ready to save the world. We don’t need those brutish engineers….

  167. ‘Given that worship is “unequivocal”, to quote the cardinals/ imans/ priests, the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there are no gods.’

    I do not have a problem with belief, I do have a problem when a righteous few are able to destroy lives by imposing wasteful regulations thus lining their pockets and retarding our collective understanding.

  168. Great article.

    Edit point for you to consider. First sentence below, choose “is” or “has” not both.

    Dr. T, you had a good run, you were feted and honored, but the day of reckoning up the cost is has come and gone. Like some book said, you and the other un-indicted co-conspirators have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting. At this point, you have two choices — accept it and move on, or bitch about it. I strongly advise the former, but so far all I see is the latter.

    [Thanks, fixed. ~dbs, mod.]

  169. @- JPeden says:
    “No, the null hypothesis that Willis is referring to is not that there would be no trend in global temperatures. …
    izen, you just did the same thing Trenberth did: ~”there is warming, therefore it has to be AGW.”

    Not intentionally, I am sorry if I failed to explain the point I was making so that you got the impression that I would claim that a trend would confirm CO2 as a cause.

    The null hypothesis that there is NO trend was a historical position. I believe some still hold it, claiming measurements taken near cities etc have distorted the entire global record…
    The detection of a trend means that observations failed to refute the AGW hypothesis, not that it was confirmed. They do however support it… to what degree depends on the parameters of the ‘Natural variation’ that is posited to be the cause of the observed trend.

    That is the problem with the null hypothesis as presently defined – or not defined – which I was trying to point out.
    If it is purely descriptive then it fails in comparison with an explanatory hypothesis that invokes physical process to account for the causation of the observed parameters.

    ‘Natural variation’ as a null hypothesis is nothing more than mystical handwaving by comparison with AGW unless it adopts the same engagement with explanations at the level of the underlying physics and thermodynamics.

  170. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    What a dishonest posting.

    What an unpleasant start, Buzz [snip]. Come back when you have learned to use your indoor voice and play nicely with the other children, there’s a good boy … I may be an idiot, and I certainly may be mistaken, but by god I’m an honest man. For you to start your posting by insulting the honesty of someone you never met is a really, really dumb thing to do, Buzzbrain. You’ve poisoned your own well.

    ….

    The point that we haven’t warmed the past decade and that the past 30 years are consistent with natural variability …. kind of shameless. You have to do some serious manipulations with starting years or peak years to come to those conclusions.

    Actually, it’s no warming for the past 15 years, and even Phil Jones has said that the past 30 years are statistically indistinguishable from the last rise in temperature. You sure you stayed awake during the intermission? Because what you are saying is not just unbelievably stupid, it is also 100% wrong. DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST, you are embarrassing yourself.

    And “shameless”??? Are you unable to open your mouth without insulting someone, is that a requirement for your writing?

    Nine of the 10 warmest on record within the past decade (1998 being the other). The rolling 5-year or 13-month averages on a steady upward trend. In fact, including the last two years, we are well within the 0.2-0.3 degrees C per decade. And the last 30 years show a marked departure from the previous 300 in terms of the rate of temp increase and the temp levels reached.

    Well, Buzz Lightweight, as they say … duh.

    In a time of general warming, it sounds like you expect the warmest decade to be at the start of the record. Here in the real world, we know that when the earth has been warming for three centuries, the warmest decade (whether in the 1700s, 1800s, or 1900s) will likely be the most recent one. We expect that, y’know, so we’re not surprised when it happens as you seem to be.

    Since you seem to be surprised by this predictable outcome, perhaps you could explain to the class why this is likely to be true in a time of centuries of general warming, and why it MEANS NOTHING ABOUT WHETHER HUMANS AFFECT THE CLIMATE.

    This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.

    Well, that makes your nastiness understandable, you are training to be a lawyer, which ups the odds that “Buzz” is really short for Buzzard.

    OK, Buzzard, If you think the 1980s predictions were accurate, perhaps you could also share with the class what the warnings of AGW in the 1980s were … for example, James Hansen predicted sea rise would cover parts of New York by 1998, and the prognostication dream team of Ehrlich and his pals predicted widespread deaths from climate induced famine before the year 2000 … since there weren’t many prognostications of AGW in the 1980s, perhaps you could start with letting us know just how fantastically accurate those predictions were.

    Then you could move on to Hansen’s Pinatubo forecast of 1991 (failed), and Hansen’s original computer forecast of 1988, the first forecast … you know, the one that looked real accurate for the first ten years when things were warming, but has failed miserably ever since things stopped warming and his model didn’t stop warming … yeah, that one.

    Buzz, you’ve wandered into a buzz-saw here. You obviously haven’t been following the story at all. If you try again, you’ll only get hurt. You are fighting outside your weight class, against men who participated in the original battles around the time of your birth.

    My advice in that case? Shut up and learn something.

    However, of course, YMMV …

  171. robert says: January 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    “well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.”

    Read beng: January 15, 2011 at 11:28 am, and think about it. Willis is one of the best producers of graphs that show good information around here. You clearly haven’t researched this man’s work. What you can do is Google Images for a global temperature graph of the last 30 years where you will see that you are correct and so is Will. But Will’s observation is more useful in what it suggests or doesn’t suggest for future trends. Global Warming heat appears to be spent. Think October in the Northern Hemisphere: you can have days as warm as July but sure as hell that’s not the coming pattern.

  172. Fantastic post W., as usual!!

    And, equally thoughtful responses (well, most)

    What is certainly clear is that the content of Trenberth’s character is seriously lacking. (w/ thanks to MLK Jr.)

  173. Smokey, if the null hypothesis doesn’t explain why the whole ocean is warmer than average (using the last decade’s average, as I meant to mention in my previous post), it has been proved false. A hypothesis that is already proved false is no good as a null hypothesis. Also a hypothesis that has no explanation of a mechanism is not a useful hypothesis in the scientific sense. A valid hypothesis would at least list the mechanisms it allows for and have some measure of how much effect each mechanism would have, and how it could be verified or falsified. It can’t just say temperatures go up and down and we don’t know the reasons why, but we do know they are natural, because such a statement can’t be falsified by specific measurements like global ocean temperatures. If you look up any definition of a hypothesis, it has to be testable. I say again, the null hypothesis is testable, and has already failed to explain current observations. Either you throw out the hypothesis or the observations.

  174. I’ve another thought and any and all may quote me.

    “Any scientist that is not also a skeptic is also not a scientist”

    Trenberth is not a skeptic. He has evidenced as much.

  175. Lockean says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Rather than supposing Dr. Trenberth’s illogical statements are possibly evil in intent, perhaps Willis and we should perceive them as the sincere best effort from an inferior talent that is quite humanly fearful of facing up to his intellectual lacking. I know I do.

    Thanks, Lockean. I didn’t say Dr. T was evil, nor do I think he was, and I tried to stay away from his intent. I think he was seduced by “noble cause corruption”, and I sympathized with him as a fellow sufferer.

    However, were I in his shoes, I’d much prefer that people assumed I was Dr. Evil than have them think I was Dr. Stupid Who Tries Really Hard. So I’m not sure that what you said is being any kinder or gentler to the man …

  176. Sunspot number: 0
    Updated 14 Jan 2011

    Spotless Days
    Current Stretch: 1 day
    2011 total: 1 day (7%)
    2010 total: 51 days (14%)
    2009 total: 260 days (71%)
    Since 2004: 820 days
    Typical Solar Min: 486 days
    Updated 14 Jan 2011

  177. “Admit the true uncertainties. The mis-treatment of uncertainty in the IPCC reports, and the underestimation of true uncertainty in climate science in general, is a scandal.”

    “Stop trying to sell the idea that the science is settled. Climate science is a new science, we don’t even have agreement on whether clouds warm or cool the planet, we don’t know if there are thermostatic interactions that tend to maintain some temperature in preference to others. ”

    I agree. I think that the underestimation and misrepresentation of the degree of uncertainty about the trajectory and likely future state of Earth’s climate system is one of the largest scientific overreaches/failures in human history. As I pointed out in the El Nino thread there are dizzying array of variables involved in Earth’s astoundingly complex climate system;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/15/nasa-la-nina-has-remained-strong/#comment-574922

    and our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and its continually evolving behavior, is currently rudimentary at best.

    Based on our limited understanding of Earth’s climate system, any predictions about Earth’s climate system and the long term trajectory of its average temperature are, at best, educated guesses. We are still learning how to accurately measure Earth’s temperature, much less predict it 50 – 100 years into the future. Those who claim to be able to accurately predict the long term trajectory and likely future state of Earth’s climate and average temperature, are either deluding themselves, or lying.

  178. According to the 180 year CO2 record published by Beck 2007, CO2 measured 425 ppm in 1825 when temperatures were lower than today. And, we all know Berner and Scotese documented CO2 and temperature for 6E8 years and these histories show no correlation between CO2 and Temp.

    So how does Dr. Trenberth or any other member of the Church of AGW reconcile the disparity of higher CO2 levels coming with lower temperatures? Or for that matter, increasing about 800 years after the temperature increases as indicated by GISP2 ice core data? Are these facts dialed into all the computer climate models? I think not.

  179. R. Gates says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am
    This is a very interesting post Willis, and I applaud your efforts. There are many things here I could quibble with, but out of the gate it would be this statement of yours:

    “This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. The hypothesis is that the GHGs are the master thermostat for the globe, everything else just averages out in the long run, nothing could possibly affect the long-term climate but GHGs, nothing to see here, folks, move along. No other forcings, feedbacks, or hypotheses need apply. GHGs rule, OK?”

    _____
    Truly, that is not what the AGW “hypothesis” states, for GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models, and hardly stipulate that “nothing else matters”. Your simple definition of the AGW hypothesis makes it sound as though climate scientists are blind to the other forcings and simply discount solar changes, ocean cycles, and the rest. This is simply not true and you know it.

    _____________________________________________________________

    At our current level of understanding, sloar changes, ocean cycles and virtually every other forcing you care to mention remain inherently unpredictable. Who saw the protracted solar minimum coming 5 years ago, for example? Do you know how many major volcanic eruptions will occur in the next 5 years? Will there be a La Nina or El Nino in the Pacific in 2015. What will the NAO index be doing? When will the AMO next change into a cooling mode? Has the PDO flipped into a cooling mode and, if so, how long will it remain thus? – 5,10,20 100 years? How is the Arctic Oscillation going to play out in future years?

    Neither you, I or, more importantly, the people programming GCM’s, can do any better than make an educated guess as to the answer to any of these questions and, no matter how well-educated, a guess is still a guess. Indeed, the only sensible assumption is that things will continue as they are today, until observational evidence tells us otherwise. Sensible, but almost certainly incorrect.

    Just about the only thing that can be projected into the future with any degree of accuracy is anthropogenic GHG emissions.

    Little wonder that the GHG tail winds up wagging the GCM dog………….

  180. Henry Galt says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:25 am

    … Are you now or have you ever been called to the bar?

    :-)

    The only bar I ever had much to do with was the sand bar at the mouth of the harbour, which is supposed to moan when a man passes it on his way to his death:

    “Sunset, and evening star,
    And one clear call for me.
    And may there be no moaning of the bar
    when I put out to sea.”

    Oh, yeah, the sand bar at the harbor, and also the bar at the Royal Suva Yacht Club in Fiji. I have to confess that I have had a little to do with that bar … and the “Sea Inn” in Dillingham, on the Bering Sea. After fishing we’d go to the Sea Inn and stay until we couldn’t sea out, so I guess I have to count that bar as well. Actually, now that I think about it …

    w.

  181. I wrote agin to Dr trenbath asking him Steve Moshers question. ere is his reply in full.

    From: “Kevin Trenberth”
    Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:26 PM
    To: “Helen Armstrong”
    Subject: Re: Your address to AMS

    > Hi Helen
    > In AR4 that section was overseen by Phil Jones and the lead author was
    > David Parker. I am on travel and can’t check it in any detail. I recall
    > that both Parker and also Tom Peterson, and maybe Jones, have done
    > relevant work. This may also be detailed in the responses to reviewers,
    > which is publically available.
    > Kevin Trenberth
    >
    >> Dear Dr Trenberth
    >> It was kind of you to reply to my letter yesterday, thank you.
    >> While I am not confident that denigrating sceptics is a good strategy
    > for
    >> winning their hearts and minds i am somewhat comforted by your statement
    > that one should only deal in facts. To that end, would you be so kind
    > once
    >> again as to answer the following:
    >> In AR4 you and Dr. Jones wrote :
    >> “However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also
    > those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes
    > (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence.
    > Hence,
    >> the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development
    > ceases to be statistically significant.”
    >> can you please cite the paper or show the math you did to determine that
    > the relation found in Mckittrick 2004 ceased to be statistically
    > significant?
    >> I look forward to your response.
    >> Regards
    >> Helen Armstrong

  182. Mike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Redundant, lumbering and meandering. Less would have been more.

    Mike, if you already or immediately understood that the opening words of Willis’ article quoting Trenberth demonstrates Trenberth’s [apparent] complete lack of scientific and logical thinking, which Willis later explained so lucidly, you didn’t really have to read very far! Right?

    In addition, Mike, why do you think your contentless “grading the paper” tactic works, when it’s actually even worse than a FAIL? It’s old, tired, and irrelevant to the subject of Willis’ post – aha, except that it’s perhaps another example of someone trying to evade thinking about and doing real science as a substitute for real science, which pretty much sums up Trenberth’s and Climate Science’s Post Normal Science CAGW Propaganda Op..

  183. Look, I’m a Civil Engineer with no climate knowledge, and I have to apologise, but …

    Can I take you up on your ?nineteenth paragraph:
    “First you have to show that some aspect of the climate is historically anomalous …”
    Well if you look at the Vostock plot, and if you think the last peak of the interglacial was 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, you’ll see that atmospheric CO2 has continued to rise despite the temperature decreasing (starting at a time when the anthropogenic effect was surely tiny, for sheer lack of humans) whereas after all previous interglacial peaks CO2 has followed the temperature down – and I think that’s historically anomalous. And if we can’t explain it, it worries me …

  184. stephen richards says: January 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Willis and Lucy S – I think you are being too generous to Dr T

    I take grumpy old man’s point about being generous to your enemy after defeat. And I see it’s easy to mistake my full intent, from those words. I want this man nailed for what he has done. Read that and my next posts following. See exactly where Trenberth and Jones perverted truth in the AR4 paragraph re McKitrick’s UHI study. Grasp that this single action avoids (1) facing the proper UHI reckoning, (2) the c**p styles hereto of UHI reckoning and (3) data collection and (4) processing, and also (5) keeps hidden the solar correlation. What Steve Mosher and Ross flagged up here is central to legally nailing the whole AGW as fraud. I emailed Marc Morano because I think exposing this is a better alternative than Cuccinelli but it needs to be a Watergate-level legal investigation. IMHO.

    It’s in that context that I don’t want to forget that Trenberth could, just could, be driven by noble-cause corruption.

    [(Robt takes off mod hat briefly.) But is he (Trenbert) actually “defeated” yet? Has he earned any generosity, or forgiveness, or has he even asked for forgiveness yet for errors and deliberate actions he has taken in the past? Thus, is it time (yet) for “being generous”? Robt]

  185. Dacron Mather says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Congratulations to Willis for reversing the sense of the science discovering a low molecular weight gas which reduces radiative forcing by watts/m2 at 100 ppm concentrations.

    Now will could you please tell us what it is ?

    We’ll all feel better when you do.

    Glad to be of assistance. The low molecular weight gas you refer to is H2O (mw = 18). When it forms clouds, it reduces radiative forcing by not just watts, but hundreds of watts per square metre.

    Thanks for asking,

    w.

  186. Great article Willis — I need to come back to it and read in detail but something occurred to me as I was skimming it.

    The “null hypothesis” in science is the condition that would result if what you are trying to establish is not true.

    Is it possible that this is much simpler to explain. The IPCC was created to study human contribution (AGW) to climate warming with the assumption that Science already had an understanding of the Climate System.

    Using the null hypothesis, is it reasonable to propose, IPCC doesn’t understand climate nor its related science.

    What evidence do we have that any of the IPCC AR versions are anything more than poorly understood Science Fiction?

    I guess its a question of degree (pun intended) of understanding?

  187. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    There seems to be a good deal of opportunistic re-framing of the issue from all sides.

    First of all, the ‘Null Hypothesis’ is NOT, “which is that what we observe in nature is, you know, natural”.
    That is a deep epistemological claim of science which opens a whole other can of worms…

    The initial prediction from the AGW hypothesis was that the rise in CO2 from human sources would cause a global warming trend.
    The Null hypothesis was that it would cause no trend in global temperatures.

    Thanks, izen. Perhaps on your planet “no trend” is the null hypothesis. On the Earth, which has been warming for some three centuries, the null hypothesis has to be that we will see a slight [] warming. Anything else stacks the deck and leads you badly astray, as the rest of your post clearly shows.

    If the null hypothesis is “no trend” as you say, then any trend will be interpreted under your null hypothesis as supporting the CO2 theory. Sorry, you can’t do that, you can’t say “what has been happening for centuries is now shown to be caused by CO2, because the temperature is in fact rising”. Doesn’t work that way.

    w.

  188. Mods – should my post infact have gone to the previous trenberth thread – the one with over 300 comments? I have written again asking if he could attend when he returns, but I am not confident of a repy of any substance. If, as Steve Mosher suggests the evidence is not there, then Dr Trenberth will not be able to produce it.

  189. @- Smokey says:
    “The null hypothesis does not explain the mechanism of warming, cooling, or trends. No one has all the answers to those questions. What the null shows are the parameters of past variability.”

    That failure to explain is the aspect of the null hypothesis that I am criticizing. No one has ALL the answers to warming cooling and trends but since Tyndall and Milankovitch some people have been using the scientific method to develop credible explanations.

    If you are content to exclude mechanism when comparing the AGW hypothesis with the null hypothesis, the issue becomes the uncertainty in the paleoclimate record. But that is a double-edged sword. Given the error ranges for such proxy reconstruction of past conditions it is often impossible to unambiguously define past warming, cooling and trends as equivalent to the present. That is why explanations based in physical processes rather than just data pattern-matching is invoked as an important means of discriminating the AGW and null hypothesis.

    “Any alternate hypothesis must show at least some changes to those parameters. … And the fact that rises in CO2 follow temperature rises makes it hard to pin the blame on that tiny trace gas.”

    There is one parameter which has changed beyond past Holocene values, the CO2 level. It may be a trace, but it is a trace responsible for ~15% of the warming we derive from LWR absorption in the atmosphere and has now risen to levels unseen in human evolution.
    In past records its rise has followed temperature with an initial lag that indicates that temperature rise was the initial cause. But the subsequent correlation shows how the influence is known to be bi-directional.
    The physics of LWR absorption within the atmosphere has been studied intensively for over a century. Recently as part of weapons research into heat-seeking sensors.
    Co2 and temperature are part of a dynamic interaction.
    The extra energy from the extra CO2 has been directly measured by ground-based LWR sensors.

    Given the known thermodynamics of CO2 as a part of the atmosphere and the evidence of a very complex interdependent system it strains credibility that you could change one factor, and everything else would continue unaffected. As is often said about biological ecologies, you can never chang3e just ONE thing….

  190. “David L said:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

    To clarify my comment about Cold Fusion: that theory has been around for a very long time. It has not been demonstrated reproducibly. Some version of it may yet be demonstrated in the future: I don’t argue that.

    What I will state is that …..”

    Apparently you are not up to date w/ LENR, (however, it is probably(=66%?? ;<)) NOT a nuclear reaction). visit; lenr.org for a quick update.

    P&F's work has been duplicated, and some are able to replicate it consistently, since most of the requirements for the Palladium electrode are now known. Whether or not this or similar technology develops into something useful is still up in the air because the excess energy output is still small.

  191. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

    A common method in science is to try and refute the null hypothesis, if ‘Natural variability’ has no defined parameters, points beyond which measured change CANNOT be ascribed to physical processes uninfluenced by the anthropogenic CO2 rise, then it is impossible to refute and becomes an impediment to research in this area.

    Say what? You’re giving up far, far to easily. “Natural variability” has very clearly defined parameters.

    For example, did you ever see the entire globe change its anomaly temperature by more than a degree in a month? Neither have I, and I don’t think I ever will.

    Why? Because that kind of rise is outside the parameters of natural variability.

    Or take the latest post – 1980 rise in temperatures. It was no steeper, and no faster, and no larger, and no longer than the 1920-1940 rise in temperatures. The conclusion can only be that it is very possible that the post 1980 rise in temperatures could easily be natural variations.

    See how easy it is? Now you can do it yourself …

    w.

  192. Willis, great work as always. You have a gift for sure. When I finish one of your pieces, I feel as though I shouldn’t bother to try to write another sentence in my life, but nonetheless here I am again. I echo the calls for a book. And I thoroughly enjoyed your mop-up of Buzzard. You routinely offer many memorable quotes, but I love this one:

    “You are fighting outside your weight class, against men who participated in the original battles around the time of your birth.”

    Keep up the good fight. It is a battle larger than most people realize and there’s a ways to go before it is won.

    On the battlefront front, please excuse my pseudonym. I’m not sure what your station in life is, but I have no choice but to go by one. As the only income for my family, I simply can’t afford the inevitable firing and blacklisting I would suffer were I to “go public” (what I do and where I live and work offers little tolerance of skeptic ideology). Not sure what Buzzard’s excuse is considering he is on the good side of the pod people.

    Perhaps this makes me a coward in your eyes, though I hope it doesn’t. It’s a simple decision for me: I look into my 4-year-old son’s eyes and realize economic suicide is not an option. I know to choose my battles wisely, and the outcome of “coming out” here fists swinging is utterly predictable: immediate annihilation. That said, I don’t plan on sequestering myself from my sniper nest anytime soon. The view from here is simply too good to give up or expose.

  193. R. Gates says: January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    “GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models”

    Can you provide any support for this statement?

    How do GCM’s account for the Thermohalin Circulation?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    “While the bulk of it upwells in the Southern Ocean, the oldest waters (with a transit time of around 1600 years) upwell in the North Pacific (Primeau, 2005).”

    How are the GCMs estimating the future state of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Decadal Oscillation (AMO) and El Nino (La Nina) Southern Osccilation (ENSO) given “a transit time of around 1600 years”?

    PDO:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_decadal_oscillation

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/PDO.htm

    AMO:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_multidecadal_oscillation

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/AMO.htm

    ENSO

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ni%C3%B1o-Southern_Oscillation

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/ENSO.htm

    The best way we have to measure the Thermohalin Circulation is Argo;

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    but “Argo deployments began in 2000 and by November 2007 the array is 100% complete. ” so the data we have is negligible on a process that takes around 1600 years to run through one cycle.

    Can you show us a Global Climate Model (GCM) that rigorously accounts for changes in the Thermohalin Circulation?

  194. Excellent!!

    “Here’s my shortlist of recommendations for you and other mainstream climate scientists:”

    Who knows if Dr. Trenberth has not done some of these things in his private emails since climategate. Is there any way we can find out?

  195. @Robb876

    You said: ‘OK…it was tough getting away from boobs.com for that long but I finally trudged threw(sic) it… Anyway.. This really is a good site with loads of good skeptical info, based on fully tested and well thought out hypothesisiss (sic)… ‘

    (I guess trolls don’t get an English education. That, or they don’t understand those squiggly red lines under their misspellings!)

    But I’m glad you read it through, Rob. When you get your homework done I’m sure you’ll be able to post something based on your improved comprehension of the piece. Go for it! You know that you have the arguments already assembled that will make us (deniers!) want to spend the BILLIONS per year to change (hah!) the climate.

    Seriously though, (and I mean this most sincerely, no kidding), can YOU tell US what the ideal climate ought to be and, furthermore, how you will maintain it at that level of constancy?

  196. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    “This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.”

    Ummmmmm, Buzz – I was there. In the 1980s they were still warning us we were headed for the Big Deepfreeze if we didn’t change our ways. Will you people PULEEEZE make up your minds! From the “law class” you describe, perhaps you were/are in an alternative universe?? …

  197. If you believe in Cold Fusion, but don’t believe in radiative forcing, where do you stand on the so called ‘conservation of matter ‘ ?

  198. robert says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    “well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.”

    Come on dude, show your work? Lets see where this number comes from? Willis, you make a few good arguments and then you lose me by making a blatantly wrong remark. You are being hypocritical by throwing in that dig which isn’t supported by the data. It may win you points with your base but the people in the middle recognize the irresponsibleness of making such a statement that has not evidence supporting it.

    You have two polite choices when you see an un-cited statement like that. You can ask for a citation, or you can find the numbers and check for yourself. I far prefer the latter option, as then I can be sure that the person hasn’t done something foolish with the numbers.

    Or on the other hand, you could insult the writer and call him “hypocritical” and “wrong” and “irresponsible”.

    You have chosen that path. As a result, your prize is to go find the numbers for yourself. You could start here, if you wish. Bear in mind, however, that Phil Jones himself said that there has been no statistically significant temperature rise for the last 15 years …

    Sometimes, robert, I don’t cite things simply because they are so well known in the field that they do not need citation. This particular fact has been widely discussed, there was even an article in Science Magazine entitled “What Happened to Global Warming”. I forget that there are people like yourself who do not know the field well enough to realize that it doesn’t need a citation.

    The right way to deal with that situation (of yours, not mine) is to say “Hey, Willis, I didn’t realize there was no warming in the last 15 years, do you have a citation for that?” When that happens, I give the citation and we go on.

    The wrong way is to start by calling me names, saying I’m … what was it … oh, yeah, “hypocritical” and “wrong” and “irresponsible”.

    When that happens, I tell you to go find the freakin’ citation yourself, and I remind you that it might be good tactics to be more cordial in the future, particularly when you are asking someone to make up for the fact that you haven’t done your homework …

    w.

  199. Jim D says:

    “…if the null hypothesis doesn’t explain why the whole ocean is warmer than average (using the last decade’s average, as I meant to mention in my previous post), it has been proved false.”

    Jim, you still do not understand the null hypothesis. It is the statistical hypothesis that states that there are no differences between observed and expected data. The Arctic has been ice-free in the recent past, so a warmer ocean is normal and natural [and the ARGO data shows a cooling ocean].

    According to the alternate CO2=CAGW hypothesis, a 40% rise in CO2 was expected to significantly raise the planet’s temperature and trigger runaway global warming. It has not. That is not to say that CO2 has no effect, but the effect is so insignificant that it cannot be discerned from a pre-industrial time when there was no change in the trace gas.

    Real world observations show that there are no measurable temperature differences between the past climate with very low CO2, and the current climate. The charts I posted show that today’s climate is no different than the climate over the past ten millennia.

    In fact, the current climate is exceptionally benign. As Prof Richard Lindzen of MIT wrote:

    Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.

    The fraction of a degree variability in temperature over the past century is low compared with numerous times during the Holocene. There is no evidence that the 0.7° rise in temperature is anything but coincidental with the rise in CO2. If CO2 had a significant effect, global temperature would track its rise closely. But it doesn’t.

    Thus, the climate null hypothesis remains valid; it has never been falsified. To do so would require empirical, testable evidence showing that the climate was behaving outside of its natural historical parameters. It is not, as has been repeatedly shown.

    Again, I refer you to climatologist Roy Spencer: “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.”

    The current climate is well within Holocene norms, by every metric except the increase in CO2. Since it cannot be shown that CO2 has caused any unusual warming, the logical conclusion is that the effect of CO2 is too minuscule to measure. Instead, computer models are used as “evidence” to try and show that CO2 will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe.

    But models are not evidence; they are only tools. And they are not accurate tools when used to try and predict the climate. The MET Office uses immensely expensive computers to run its models, and they can’t do nearly as well as one person with a laptop.

    Kevin Trenberth is attacking the null hypothesis for one reason: it refutes his CAGW hypothesis. But the null hypothesis is a function of the scientific method, and attempting to replace the null with his own CAGW hypothesis shows the bankruptcy of the catastrophic AGW industry, which either ignores or subverts the scientific method.

    Once again: the null hypothesis states that there are no differences between observed and expected data. The alternate CAGW hypothesis states that there will be observed differences [actually, observed harm to the planet] as a direct result of the increase in CO2.

    Since there is no indication of runaway global warming after 150 years of rising CO2, Trenberth’s job security is affected, as well as his status as a scientist. That is why he is attempting to turn the scientific method upside down. He can not admit the obvious: CO2 is a non-problem.

  200. The Good Book has it right concerning prophets of any kind:
    You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?”
    If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
    Deuteronomy ch.18:21-22

  201. Buzz Belleville says:

    “This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.”

    You’d do well with a history class first. The Global “Cooling” theory was still in play then.

  202. Akashic Records

    I haven’t heard that term in decades. I got a very wry smile from it.

    Ain, Ain Sof. Ain Sof Or. (which is kind of a transliteration of the Hebrew)

  203. An excellent piece Willis – if at times you do appear to be sitting on the fence whether you are or not.

    Please tell us what you really think. ;)

  204. Just The Facts says:
    January 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm
    R. Gates says: January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    “GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models”

    Can you provide any support for this statement?

    Can you show us a Global Climate Model (GCM) that rigorously accounts for changes in the Thermohalin Circulation?

    _______
    The best GCM’s are extremely complicated affairs that take into account tens of thousands of different variables and require massive supercomputers to run. They certainly take into account many aspects of thermohalin circulation on a global basis. One of the most comprehensive models (IMO) is the CESM 1.0. I would suggest you begin here:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/

    And explore all the facets for yourself. You’ll see that not only is something as relatively simple as thermohaline circulation included, but more far more variables than you’d guess. The steady accumulation of CO2 is only one of thousands. And as I said before, the best thing is these models are always being refined as the science advances.

  205. Poor Trenberth finally put his foot in it up to his knee. Will he be remembered for pointing out the travesty? Or for becoming a bigger and bigger part of it?

  206. Willis willis willis,

    To sum it up:

    Dr. Trenberth, when on a journey, if you do nothing but circle the wagons, you won’t make any forward progress.

  207. A measurable proportion of the rest of my life has been spent in reading and then re-reading Willis’s posting and just about all of the comments to date.
    BRAVO Sir!

  208. R. Gates says: January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am
    “GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models”

    But they are still models. Models are good for analytical work and nothing else. In other words, models are worthless for synthetic work; that is, they cannot be used to make predictions. To make predictions you must have hypotheses. There is not so much as a set of hypotheses that can be used to explain and predict even the familiar La Nina phenomenon. If there are no hypotheses, there is no science. If you had hypotheses, you would have trotted them out long ago and you would have no interest in models, except as they make it easier to see the consequences of your hypotheses.

  209. Smokey, on what basis do you think AGW predicts runaway global warming, let alone that it has already started? No one expects that. Three more degrees by 2100 is hardly runaway global warming, and the amount so far is no less than AGW suggests.
    You say the null hypothesis is a statistical hypothesis. How can statistics explain the global ocean being warmer than average everywhere? Is this just a random fluctuation? No, it is so unlikely to happen that it disproves even a statistical hypothesis.

  210. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Nice reply to robert, Willis. :) The demand for “citations”, as if they were the word of God, has always irritated me. The questioner, it seems to me, assumes that past work is somehow more relevant than innovative and current analysis. Clinging to the past so to speak, or appealing to some authority he/she happens to agree with.

  211. I posted this comment on the earlier Trenberth thread.

    Trenberth writes:

    …it was appropriate for the null hypothesis to be that “there is no human influence on climate”

    He says this has to now be abandoned because:

    Given that global warming is “unequivocal”, [to quote the 2007 IPCC report]

    This is such a fundamental error it is embarrasing to even point out.

    That the ‘globe is warming’ cannot become ‘proof’ that humans are doing it!

    :)

  212. Thank you for sharing this brilliant piece of work with us Willis. As I went through the various points, one by one I could only nod, smile and utter; “yes of course!”
    However the paragraph that started; “Stop trying to sell the idea that the science is settled.” was the one that interested me the most. That could, of course be because I see Dr. T’s “Global Energy Budget Plan” as “The No. 1 Icon for the AGW priesthood” (Chief of all their false Gods)
    However be that as it may, but why is the producer of, the by now famous “Energy Budget Plan” (numerous clones have been born), which shows that ‘energy in’ equals ‘energy out’ (almost down to the last W/m²) asking: “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or —?”
    -And then goes on to state; “We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”

    Is he not here admitting that “The Global Energy Flow Plan” is a “piece of fraud”, whether he realizes it or not?
    By the way (positive = negative) your statement “Climate science is a new science” may not be very well researched but “we don’t even have agreement on whether clouds warm or cool the planet” may be spot on.
    OHD.

  213. R. Gates says:

    “Truly, that is not what the AGW “hypothesis” states, for GCM’s include every known forcing”

    So how accurate are they at predicting something simple and observable, like Hadley Cell Expansion?

    http://www.atmos.berkeley.edu/~jchiang/Class/Spr07/Geog257/Week10/Lu_Hadley06.pdf

    Fu et al. [2006] estimated the amount of latitudinal widening of the HC over the period 1979-2005 as ~2°latitude. Over the same period the increase in global temperature was about 0.5°C, so that the widening of the HC amounts to ~4° latitude per degree warming. This is much greater than what we find in the simulations of the AR4 A2 scenario (~0.6° latitude /K).

    The models are tuned so they are sort of capable of hind casting temperature trend, but in the process they end up getting important components of climate, such as Hadley Cell width wrong.

  214. R. Gates says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    This is a very interesting post Willis, and I applaud your efforts. There are many things here I could quibble with, but out of the gate it would be this statement of yours:

    “This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters. The hypothesis is that the GHGs are the master thermostat for the globe, everything else just averages out in the long run, nothing could possibly affect the long-term climate but GHGs, nothing to see here, folks, move along. No other forcings, feedbacks, or hypotheses need apply. GHGs rule, OK?”

    _____
    Truly, that is not what the AGW “hypothesis” states, for GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models, and hardly stipulate that “nothing else matters”. Your simple definition of the AGW hypothesis makes it sound as though climate scientists are blind to the other forcings and simply discount solar changes, ocean cycles, and the rest. This is simply not true and you know it.

    R. Gates, you always raise interesting issues. But egads, sir, take a deep breath, your attempts to flog that straw man must be tiring. Read what I said again. I did not say they did not consider a host of forcings. I am saying that they believe all of the other forcings average out, and thus that the future state of the climate can be considered by solely considering the GHGs. See Kiehl or Andreae Box 1 as two of many examples.

    Much to the dismay of many AGW skeptics, the scientists who create the various GCM’s actually are dedicated scientists, and really do want to get the science right and understand what is actually happening with the climate. Not one of them would purposely ignore any known and proven climate forcing and simply focus on the primary and secondary effects of the build-up in anthropogenic GHG’s. Hence, as new information about climate dynamics are brought to light, they are, one by one, included in the GCM’s and, in that way, the science advances and the models get better and better. For example, the much talked about urban heat island effect was recently incorporated into a most current global climate model: …

    I’m sorry, but that is assuming facts not in evidence. The models are getting more and more detailed. Whether that makes them “better and better” is not known. However, the small advances in things like the range of climate sensitivities despite 25 years of amazing advances in the details and the speed of the models argues that the performance improvements are small at best.

    And my recent demonstration that the GISSE model results can be duplicated within a few percent by a one-line linear equation indicates to me that adding more details to the models is not resulting in true complexity or deeper understanding.

    Finally, yes, most climate modelers are just like me, fools whose intentions are good. However, like me, they are susceptible to “noble cause corruption”, and nowhere is this more lethal than in climate modeling. The problem is that we are not really modeling the climate. We are twisting the dials on the various parameters until the output matches the historical record. The models are NOT based on physical principles. Or as Gavin Schmidt et al. of the NASA GISS modeling team put it in 2006:

    3. Model physics

    The model physics are predominantly based on the physics of the GISS Model II (SI2000 version) described in previous publications (Hansen et al. 2002, and references therein). However, many details have changed, and some physics has been completely reworked. We therefore provide a brief description of the current physics along with a summary of the major changes over the last few years. In all the subsequent text we are referring to the February 2004, ModelE1 public release version of the code.

    In common with most other models, we make some basic assumptions at the outset, which though minor, have consequences throughout the model: namely, that

    • water vapor does not add to atmospheric mass (i.e., globally integrated surface pressure is constant)

    • the latent heat of atmospheric water vapor does not depend on temperature (i.e., all atmosphere–surface freshwater fluxes are assumed to be at 0°C)

    • the potential energy of water vapor/condensate is neglected

    • condensate is not advected

    • the pressure gradient calculation does not include humidity effects.

    We hope to be able to relax these constraints in future versions.

    So since they are missing they adjust the dials on the mockup until (given the forcings they are using) the outcome matches the historical record. Of course, different models use different forcings … and yet they all get the same answer, they can all hindcast the historical record. Amazing coincidence, huh? How do they do that? Lots of dials to twist, here’s another one from Gavin Schmidt, op. cit. You know how they go on about how their model shows a radiative imbalance of 0.85 W/m2 ± 0.15 W/m2 and the like? Here’s the solidity of their “physics based” model regarding the radiation balance (emphasis mine):

    The model is tuned (using the threshold relative humidity U00 for the initiation of ice and water clouds) to be in global radiative balance (i.e., net radiation at TOA within 0.5 W m 2 of zero) and a reasonable planetary albedo (between 29% and 31%)

    They twist the knob that sets the threshold at which clouds form until they get the radiation to kinda balance? That’s their “physics based” approach?

    R. Gates, do you truly think that adding more and more forcings and UHI calcs to a model in which “the potential energy of water vapor/condensate is neglected”, a model that doesn’t stay in balance by itself but has to be “tuned” to stay in balance, will give us better and better answers?

    Because I’ve been programming computers for forty-eight years now, I’m very fluent in half a dozen computer languages and literate in another half dozen. In my experience, until the basics of the climate (or any other) model are right, adding more forcings and UHI effects is just like nickel-plating a squirt-gun. It looks solid and real, and you can certainly use it to terrorize the citizenry … but that doesn’t make it into a real pistol.

  215. Regarding Sustainable Energy Law Courses: yes, these things exist. And yes, the law schools are teaching law students what the current state of the law is on regulating energy, with a view toward curbing or capping CO2. It is a “given” that CO2 causes the Earth to warm.

    As just a couple of examples, from Fordham University School of Law (New York City):

    “Sustainable Energy Law and Policy

    Carbon Dioxide emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels for energy (electricity and fuel) are the leading cause of global warming. This course will focus on new policies being developed and implemented at the state and federal level to enable the transition towards a less carbon intensive economy and the legal issues associated with them. In particular, we will examine developments in utility regulation, renewable electricity and fuels, energy efficiency and policies to cap carbon emissions from power generation and vehicles. As part of the final grade, students will develop a paper that will examine a particular sustainable energy topic, analyze policies and legal issues associated with it and recommend measures to enable the transition.

    Credits: 2

    Type: SEM (meaning a seminar class – lots of lectures, then write a paper at the end of the semester.) ”

    Willamette University College of Law offers a Certificate Program in Sustainability Law.

    http://www.willamette.edu/wucl/programs/certificates/sustainability.php

    UCLA Law, that bastion of straight-thinking (sarc off now), has totally swallowed the hook, line, and sinker of CAGW. If there were a more frightening word than “Catastrophic” they would likely prefer it. Perhaps “Apocalyptic” or “Doomsday” would do. Their website shows the law school has these offerings: a Center on Climate Change and the Environment, also an Environmental Law and Policy Program.

    http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/index.asp?page=841

    There are others, of course. The law schools are turning out minds filled with the knowledge to make policies and laws to push “evil” CO2 back into the ground.

    I have attended some of the lectures and seminars at UCLA. I am loudly derided for asking pertinent questions. I enjoy every minute of it!

    Fortunately, some of us are already in the fight. For every lawyer on the CAGW side in a courtroom or legislative policy-shaping session, there is one on the climate realism side. I am one of the latter.

  216. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am
    What a dishonest posting. Completely omitting the IPCC conclusion that human activities are “very likely” (defined as >90%) the cause of observed warming. And the energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.
    Etc etc etc
    ========================================================
    Buzz,

    You should read these first before next fronting the class:

    file:///C:/Climate%20Change%20Docs/23errors%20by%20Trenberth.htm

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/noaa_and_nasa_proclamations.html

    Best wishes to infinity and beyond! Just be sure you have replacement batteries.

  217. Great letter Willis from dry/wet Aust or should that be wet/dry
    in respect to the null hypothesis
    Warwick Hughes http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=780#more-780 has a Guest article by Pat Frank
    Dr Frank says
    We’ve all read the diagnosis, for example here, that the global climate has suffered “unprecedented warming,” since about 1900. The accepted increase across the 20th century is 0.7 (+/-)0.2 C. As an experimental chemist, I always wondered at that “(+/-)0.2 C.” In my experience, it seemed an awfully narrow uncertainty, given the exigencies of instruments and outdoor measurements. I did a study which led to the paper that is just out in Energy and Environment [5]. Here’s the title and the abstract:

    Title: “Uncertainty in the Global Average Surface Air Temperature Index: A Representative Lower Limit”
    (abstract follows and conclusion)
    This lower limit of instrumental uncertainty implies that Earth’s fever is indistinguishable from zero Celsius, at the 1σ level, across the entire 20th century.

    There’s a link in a comment to the above article by Geoff Sherrington
    to http://www.geoffstuff.com/Jane%20Warne%20thermometry%20Broadmeadows.pdf
    A Preliminary Investigation of Temperature Screen Design and Their
    Impacts on Temperature Measurements

    and as for me I’m still running in circles screaming and shouting; I can’t believe we’re getting so heated over such an infinitesmal temperature rise (if it exists at all)

  218. Willis, tremendous piece, therefore details need attention IMHO.

    I understand that Dr. T has a scientific hypothesis. This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters.

    The AGW hypothesis is that if MANMADE greenhouse gases go up, the temperature must follow…

    I know a lot of AGW skeptics believe that we are serious contributors to the rise of CO2 but I’m not one of those, and quite apart from that, the hypothesis should be stated correctly here. I could explain just why I think our contribution to CO2 is virtually zilch and just how the MLO CO2 record could still be a steadily climbing staircase to heaven… but that would be a whole topic for a separate post here…

  219. *****
    David L says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:17 am

    This reminds me of “cold fusion”. Two guys claimed they demonstrated it. The theory seemed right. However nobody could reproduce the results. So where is “cold fusion” today? It’s dead.
    ******
    I’m still waiting for my basement ‘cold fusion’ water heater, but it isn’t exactly dead either.

    “Friday, January 14, 2011
    Bologna, 14/1/11 – cronaca test fusione fredda del reattore Nichel-Idrogeno Focardi-Rossi Bologna, 14/1/11 – record cold fusion test reactor Nickel-Hydrogen Focardi, Rossi ”

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://22passi.blogspot.com/2011/01/bolognia-14111-cronaca-test-fusione_14.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522focardi%2522%26start%3D20%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN%26tbs%3Dqdr:w%26prmd%3Divns&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1

    “January 2011

    On January 14, 2011, Sergio Focardi and Andrea Rossi held a press conference at the University of Bologna. They demonstrated a 10 kilowatt nickel-light water cold fusion reactor. On January 15, the press conference will be web-cast starting at 10:00 a.m. on Rossi’s web site:

    http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com

    The press release, in Italian, is here. It is translated into English with translate.google.com here.

    Focari and Piantelli have published many papers claiming excess heat from nickel. Here is an example from 1998. No attempts to replicate this by other groups have been reported, although Mills and others have claimed excess heat from nickel using somewhat different methods. Rossi received a patent.”

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/News.htm

  220. R. Gates says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am
    This is a very interesting post Willis, and I applaud your efforts. There are many things here I could quibble with, but out of the gate it would be this statement of yours:

    “This hypothesis, generally called the “AGW hypothesis”, is that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) go up, the temperature must follow, and nothing else matters.”

    Willis did not USE the phrase “AGW hypothesis,” but put it in SCARE QUOTES to indicate that it has a non-standard meaning. Actually, it has no meaning, unless you are willing to substitute the word ‘hunch’ for the word ‘hypothesis’. Notice that single quotes are used to refer to the word itself and are not scare quotes. Proponents of AGW have no reasonably confirmed hypotheses aside from the 19th century hypothesis about the behavior of CO2 in the atmosphere. All they have is a collection of no doubt brilliant hunches that might become a science someday. For now, they should stop whining that Mommy should treat their hunches as science.

    Back to R. Gates:
    “Truly, that is not what the AGW “hypothesis” states, for GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models, and hardly stipulate that “nothing else matters”.

    You, like all pro-AGW people, are totally incapable of talking about hypotheses. In one breath, you switch from hypothesis to model. Do you really not know the differences between them. Hypotheses are necessary for explanation and prediction in science but models can do neither.

    Back to R. Gates:
    “Much to the dismay of many AGW skeptics, the scientists who create the various GCM’s actually are dedicated scientists, and really do want to get the science right and understand what is actually happening with the climate.:

    Maybe, but we will not know until we can wean them from their obsessive-compulsive fascination with models. They need to dump the models and get to work on hypotheses. So do you.

  221. In reference to the various recent comments on the thread about the null hypothesis I do think Dr T’s suggestion is worth unpicking a bit, even if I rather suspect the Dr T’s interest here was more about rhetoric than advancing the science

    If we take the IPCC statement (paraphrased) the null looks like: man made GHGs produce >50% of the recent warming (@ some confidence level).

    To be a well formed null hypothesis we need to know what it means to assume it, and we need to know how to falsify it statistically with the data.

    I’d make two points:

    First to meet the above criteria the above null needs to be tightened up.

    This null asserts causality (“produce”). Without opening up the rich philosophical writings on this subject, I think it is pretty clear that for the null to be falsified at least the nature of the process of causality needs to be asserted as part of the null. At a minimum the null should include an empirical process that show the links from prior GHG changes to temperature increases, and assert the nature and direction of the relationships. Without that we don’t have the basis to assert and hence test causality. (And of course we need the causality model specified prior to testing).

    I’d also note in passing that for causality to be demonstrated if any step in the chain (or any cumulatively) can be falsified then so is causality. The null mightn’t be such an easy ride even putting aside my second point.

    Which is: to be a useful null it needs to be falsifiable using available empirical tools. If you only have a stick a meter long having a null about the thickness of your toenail is dare I say it, academic.

    If the evidence for the causality of GHGs is all swamped in the noise of the observations, you clearly haven’t disproved it, but then you haven’t proved or disproved anything.

    To summarise the proponents of the AGW null hypothesis need to give a tight specification that includes the process of causality, and demonstrate that the hypothesis is able to be falsified using the quality of the data we have available (and GCMs output doesn’t count).

    Otherwise they are saying nothing.

  222. Thank you for sharing this brilliant piece of work with us Willis. As I went through the various points, one by one I could only nod, smile and utter; “yes of course!”

    However the paragraph that started; “Stop trying to sell the idea that the science is settled.” was the one that interested me the most.
    That could, of course be because I see Dr. T’s “Global Energy Budget Plan” as “The No. 1 Icon for the AGW priesthood” (Chief of all their false Gods)

    However be that as it may, but why should the producer of, the by now famous “Earth’s Energy Budget Plan” (numerous clones have been born), which shows that ‘energy in’ equals ‘energy out’ (almost down to the last W/m²) be asking: “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going —–?”
    -And then go on to state; “We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”

    Has he not just admitted that “The Global Energy Flow Plan” = a “piece of fraud”, whether he realizes it or not?

    OHD.

  223. robert says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:40 am
    “well … zero tenths of a degree for the first decade.”
    “Come on dude, show your work? Lets see where this number comes from?”

    That number is from Phil Jones, greatest Poobah of all. It is all over the internet. In an interview after the Copenhagen disaster, he said that there has been no statistically significant warming in the last fifteen years.

  224. @- Willis Eschenbach says:
    “Or take the latest post – 1980 rise in temperatures. It was no steeper, and no faster, and no larger, and no longer than the 1920-1940 rise in temperatures. The conclusion can only be that it is very possible that the post 1980 rise in temperatures could easily be natural variations.”

    That makes the assumption that the 1920-1940 rise was ‘natural’ variation…
    But that is the point I am making. If there is no way of distinguishing the cause of a rise in temperature just from an observational, or proxy, record of disputable accuracy, then such a null hypothesis fails to provide a means of differentiating it from the AGW hypothesis.
    The quality of the physical explanation of the rise then becomes a means of judging the credibility of the two hypothesis.

    If the null hypothesis is unfalsifiable because the climate record is too variable or uncertain to be statistically applicable then resorting to thermodynamic explanations of the rise either in terms of CO2 or solar variation or some other mechanism becomes the only means of making the distinction between AGW and ‘Natural variation’.

  225. AGW has always been a marketing ploy. They bend the truth as far they can get away with it. A little bit of truth amongst a whole lot of fluff because it confuses the public. Computer modeling is ideal fluff. The Forecasting Society(?) has exposed this years ago but it has been kept out of the mainstream because fluff sells papers. Imagine how quickly they could hqve succeeded if they could have linked bigger boobs and sexy models with it.
    This time Trenberth has gone too far.
    Thanks for exposing it so clearly and simply

  226. Alan Bates says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm


    * For “She who must be obeyed” see Rumpole of the Bailey (UK TV comedy and books).

    Which is in turn a take on the original, the swashbuckling novel of an immortal queen in an inaccessible part of Africa, “SHE” by H. Rider Haggard …

    Thanks,

    w.

  227. JohnH says:
    January 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Look, I’m a Civil Engineer with no climate knowledge, and I have to apologise, but …

    Can I take you up on your ?nineteenth paragraph:

    “First you have to show that some aspect of the climate is historically anomalous …”

    Well if you look at the Vostock plot, and if you think the last peak of the interglacial was 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, you’ll see that atmospheric CO2 has continued to rise despite the temperature decreasing (starting at a time when the anthropogenic effect was surely tiny, for sheer lack of humans) whereas after all previous interglacial peaks CO2 has followed the temperature down – and I think that’s historically anomalous. And if we can’t explain it, it worries me …

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. I have noted before that at the start of the Holocene, the CO2 continued to rise for several thousand years while temperatures were falling. That always seemed to cast doubt on the “Milankovich started deglaciation, CO2 drove it higher” theory to me. But I’m not sure that’s what you mean.

    If so, how does this apply to Trenberth?

    w.

  228. Curiousgeorge says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Nice reply to robert, Willis. :) The demand for “citations”, as if they were the word of God, has always irritated me. The questioner, it seems to me, assumes that past work is somehow more relevant than innovative and current analysis. Clinging to the past so to speak, or appealing to some authority he/she happens to agree with.

    I don’t mind requests for citations in the slightest, that is an integral and important part of science. I do mind people insulting me first and then asking for citations …

  229. Inspired.

    Is it really 25 years? I felt every one of them in this post.

    You’re right, of course, in science the null hypothesis is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as it were. The burden is always on the proposer of the hypothesis to provide proof that specifically supports that hypothesis.

    The bottom line is that despite all this time, they have not delivered the level of proof needed for a hypothesis of this nature, and so the null hypothesis must stand.

    So no more threats, no more warnings, no more computer induced fantasies about this or that apocalypse. I have been on this planet for 45 years and I too have heard far too many of those.

    Nothing that they have done convinces me that what has happened was not going to happen anyway. I agree that reversing the burden of proof is the ultimate conceit, but nobody seems able to stop them.

    And they have done so much damage..

    I’ve seen lots of conflict and error in the history of science, but this one really bothers me, and for all the reasons that you have laid out with such clarity.

    Please accept my thanks and sincerest respect for all your work.

  230. Trenberth : “Scientific facts are not open to debate and opinion because they are evidence and/or physically based.”

    Facts : “It stems from a paper I published bemoaning our inability to effectively monitor the energy flows associated with short-term climate variability.”

    Or put another way, the data doesn’t show warming.
    This is spin of the highest order.

  231. Smokey says:
    “The fraction of a degree variability in temperature over the past century is low compared with numerous times during the Holocene. There is no evidence that the 0.7° rise in temperature is anything but coincidental with the rise in CO2.”

    I am not aware of any paleoclimate proxy reconstruction of past temperature that would enable you to identify periods during the Holocene when temperature trends equaled or exceeded those seen over the last century. Perhaps if you have a link to such data with sufficient accuracy to show this you could link it?

    “Once again: the null hypothesis states that there are no differences between observed and expected data. The alternate CAGW hypothesis states that there will be observed differences [actually, observed harm to the planet] as a direct result of the increase in CO2.”

    Again the problem is that expected data from paleoclimate reconstructions is not sufficiently unambiguous to differentiate between present observations and statistical expectations from the Holocene record. That is why explanations of causative processes are invoked, and if the null hypothesis comes up short with explanatory detail by comparison with the AGW hypothesis then no amount of handwaving over uncertain statistical reconstructions is going to hold much sway.

    It is entirely possible that the effects of AGW would be within the range of ‘Natural variation’ during the Holocene – and therefore ‘expected data’ as far as we know descriptively. Because the description we have is to uncertain to distinguish between the two. But that does not falsify the AGW hypothesis, it simply makes the null hypothesis irrelevant as a comparison unless it can be more closely defined statistically or provides explanatory detail at the level of physical processes to account for the observations.

  232. Roger Sowell says: January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you, Roger. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Buzz-Bashing on this thread, including Willis’s monumental put-down, it would seem that most have missed a very important point which only the nice lady from Ryerson and myself picked up on…. Buzz is not an aspiring lawyer… he is an Assistant Professor of Law who is teaching the Sustainable Energy Law course (he actually calls himself “Buzz” in public) and despite his ludicrous interpretation of science, he and people like him infest academia and government and have their hands firmly on the levers of power. It’s nice to imagine that CAGW is in its death throes but the ugly truth is that the warmists are still in control and pressing forward with their agenda. The AMS meeting in Seattle from the 23-27 is dedicated to better communicating climate alarmism… Trenberth’s address, which has been highlighted here at WUWT, is just one of many presentations at that venue hoping to co-opt meteorologists to the cause. Anthony’s most recent posting on TV weather re-education here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/15/tv-weathercaster-re-education-proposed-by-nsf-and-gmu/#comments
    another example that this battle is not nearly won. Buzz is not educatable nor can he be shamed. He needs to be defeated.

  233. O H Dahlsveen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing this brilliant piece of work with us Willis. As I went through the various points, one by one I could only nod, smile and utter; “yes of course!”
    However the paragraph that started; “Stop trying to sell the idea that the science is settled.” was the one that interested me the most. That could, of course be because I see Dr. T’s “Global Energy Budget Plan” as “The No. 1 Icon for the AGW priesthood” (Chief of all their false Gods)
    However be that as it may, but why is the producer of, the by now famous “Energy Budget Plan” (numerous clones have been born), which shows that ‘energy in’ equals ‘energy out’ (almost down to the last W/m²) asking: “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or —?”

    Is he not here admitting that “The Global Energy Flow Plan” is a “piece of fraud”, whether he realizes it or not?

    No, no, and no. Dr. Trenberth is many things, but it has never even crossed my mind that he might be a fraud. He obviously believes in what he is saying, and his global energy budget is another among many attempts by us poor humans to understand this great and mysterious planet.

  234. Great article! For me, I’m amazed at how many people, climate scientists included, that don’t know the difference between climate change, global warming and anthropogenic global warming. These are three different things.

  235. This is an extension of what Professor Ian Lowe has been advocating for some time. He calls it sustainability science and says we must embrace it, and reject the traditional scientific approach, because time is running out to save the planet.
    More here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/01/on-abandoning-the-scientific-method-continued/

    REPLY: Hi Jen, nice to see you blogging again, I thought you gave it up. I’ll put you back on the active blogroll. – Anthony

  236. This will never get read, but thank you Willis, an unequivocally good article, yet again.

    REPLY: Actually it will, “vee have ways….” – Anthony

  237. Smokey says on January 15, 2011 at 5:54 am:

    CO2 has risen about 40%. That is significant.
    ==========================================================
    That number is only valid for purified dry air (PDA) which does not occur in the earth’s atmosphere and is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen, the inert gases, which are called the fixed gases, and CO2. In real air there much less CO2 than is indicated by analytical data. For example, tropical air at 90 deg F and 100% humidity has 80% of the mass of PDA at STP.

    In the real atmosphere, the absolute mass of the the gases is always unknown and it is constantly fluctuating due exchange into and out of surface water, clouds and porous soil.

    There is no uniform distribution of mass in space and time as shown by weather maps. High pressure cells have higher local mass and drier air than due low pressure cells and these are constantly moving. Low pressure cells bring the weather events such a rain and snow which affect local humidity. Weather maps show there is no unifom distribution of humidity.

    Tidal effects of the moon and sun also change the mass distribution of atmosphere in space and time.

    Do GCM’s take any of the above into account? Probably not.

  238. Willis Eschenbach says January 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm:
    “No, no, and no. Dr. Trenberth is many things, but it has never even crossed my mind that he might be a fraud.”

    The question is Willis: How does he/we equate what he writes to Tom Wigley, if he believes in what he says, with his “Global Energy Budget Plan”?

  239. Vorlath says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    a good point – but to be fair, the warmists and alarmists have created the confusion (deliberately?) over the years. To all intent and purpose, they have used all three in the same discussion context and the vast majority of ordinary folk would have no option but to consider them ‘undifferentiated’ given the MSM coverage.
    Also, how many folk here, during an evenings’ conversation, would constantly use the full term ‘anthropogenic global warming’ all night?
    As for the scientists, I agree, they should be more specific, but I reckon in the current reporting and MSM climate (excuse the pun) the term climate change covers everything (again, deliberately so?) and so those terms are considered synonymous within the general public.

  240. And, sorry for repeating myself. but I thought the 3:25 comment had somehow got lost.
    If Dr. T believes it to be true when he writes: ”We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!”

    Then he cannot possibly also believe that his “well balanced energy budget” is genuine

  241. Willis:

    Thankyou! Brilliant! And entertaining, too!

    I was going to answer Smokey but you did it first (and better than I could).

    Now we have Izen (I think he intended Izal) who claims that if the null hypothesis cannot be disproved then it should be ignored. That claim is another attack on the scientific method.

    The null hypothesis is the governing hypothesis in any scientific investigation. It says that if no change is observed then nothing has changed. Therefore, if an alternative to “no change” is suggested then evidence of a change has to be produced. Importantly, “no change” has to be assumed unless and until that evidence exists.

    So, an inability to disprove the null hypothesis says that the ONLY scientific assumption is that “no change” has happened.

    It does not matter what the reasons are for suggesting that a change may have happened or is likely to have happened. The null hypothesis HAS to be accepted unless and until evidence of the suggested change exists.

    In the case of AGW the change to be discerned is a change to climate behaviour which differs from climate behaviour prior to the postulated anthropogenic effect. If it is not possible to discern such a change then the ONLY scientific hypothesis is that AGW has not changed climate behaviour.

    So, according to a fundamental principle of the scientific method, when Izen says,

    “I am not aware of any paleoclimate proxy reconstruction of past temperature that would enable you to identify periods during the Holocene when temperature trends equaled or exceeded those seen over the last century”,

    he is asserting that – according to his knowledge – it has to be assumed that AGW is not happening.

    Richard

  242. Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “I know a lot of AGW skeptics believe that we are serious contributors to the rise of CO2 but I’m not one of those, and quite apart from that, the hypothesis should be stated correctly here. I could explain just why I think our contribution to CO2 is virtually zilch and just how the MLO CO2 record could still be a steadily climbing staircase to heaven… but that would be a whole topic for a separate post here…”

    I’m with you on this Lucy.

  243. R. Gates says: January 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    “The best GCM’s are extremely complicated affairs that take into account tens of thousands of different variables and require massive supercomputers to run.”

    No doubt, very complex and very expensive, but the models are reliant on input data. Earth is approximately 4.5 Billion years old. We’ve been reasonably accuratly measuring the Thermohalin Circulation with Argo since 2007. How statistically significant do you think our sample of historical data is?

    “They certainly take into account many aspects of thermohalin circulation on a global basis. ”

    Well let’s see. Based on my review of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) site;

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/

    There appear to be two Ocean Models. The Parallel Ocean Program (POP2) model;

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/pop2/

    and the Climatological/Slab-Ocean Data (DOCN) model:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/data8/

    Looking on the POP2 model page, there are three user guides provided. The first, the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) User Guide does not include any references to the Thermohaline Circulation. It does have a section on Temperature and salinity distribution;

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/pop2/doc/users/node36.html

    but it seems that to make it work you need to input “initial ocean conditions from a file OR create conditions from an input mean ocean profile OR create initial conditions based on 1992 Levitus mean ocean profile computed internally”. This seems to indicate that initial ocean conditions are based on user input or the Levitus profile that doesn’t have historical data before 1992.

    The second is the CESM Ocean Ecosystem Model User’s Guide:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/pop2/doc/users/POPecosys_main.html

    There is no mention of the Thermohaline Circulation, and interestingly the word “temperature” only appears once in the guide, and that instance is a reference.

    The third is the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) Reference Manual;

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/pop2/doc/sci/POPRefManual.pdf

    that does have two to references to Thermohaline Circulation in its Bibliography:
    “Ferrari, R. and D. L. Rudnick, 2000: Thermohaline variability in the upper
    ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 105, 16 857–16 883.
    Ferrari, R. and W. R. Young, 1997: On the development of thermohaline
    correlations as a result of nonlinear diffusive parameterizations. Journal
    of Marine Research, 55, 1069–1101.”

    However, both are old references, i.e. Ferrari, R. and D. L. Rudnick, 2000 leverages “temperature and salinity were measured on a range of scales from 4 m to 1000 km, towing a SeaSoar along isobars and isopycnals in the subtropical gyre of the North Pacific, during the winter of 1997towing a SeaSoar along isobars and isopycnals in the subtropical gyre of the North Pacific, during the winter of 1997″, well before Argo deployments began in 2000.

    Furthermore, there is plenty of new and relevant literature Thermohaline Circulation;

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/1520-0442%282002%29015%3C0179%3ALPOTFT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    http://scholarsarchive.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/15124

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/g7ln6156g3v82655/

    but no indication that “these models are always being refined as the science advances”.

    In terms of the second CCSM Ocean Models, Climatological/Slab-Ocean Data (DOCN) model, looking at the homepage;

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/data8/

    there is one Data Model v8 User’s Guide:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/data8/data8_doc/ug.pdf

    There is no mention of Thermohaline Circulation in the User Guide, but Chapter 7 is about the Data Ocean Model. It is states that;

    “SOM (“slab ocean model”) mode is a prognostic mode. … Note that while this mode runs out of the box, the default SOM forcing file is not scientifically appropriate and is provided for testing and development purposes only. Users must create scientifically appropriate data for their particular application. A tool is available to derive valid SOM forcing. More information on creating the SOM forcing is available
    at: http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/ccsm4.0/data8/SOM.pdf

    So the Climatological/Slab-Ocean Data (DOCN) model “is not scientifically appropriate” and is reliant on the user to “create of scientifically appropriate data”.

    So to create “create of scientifically appropriate data”, we look back to our historical datasets. “The first automated technique for determining SST was accomplished by measuring the temperature of water in the intake port of large ships, which was underway by 1963. These observations have a warm bias of around 0.6 °C (1 °F) due to the heat of the engine room.[1] Fixed buoys measure the water temperature at a depth of 3 metres (9.8 ft). Many different drifting buoys exist around the world that vary in design and the location of reliable temperature sensors varies. These measurements are beamed to satellites for automated and immediate data distribution.[2] A large network of coastal buoys in U.S. waters is maintained by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).[3] Between 1985 and 1994, an extensive array of moored and drifting buoys was deployed across the equatorial Pacific Ocean”;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_surface_temperature

    and as stated in my prior post that “Argo deployments began in 2000 and by November 2007 the array is 100% complete. ”

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    Given the tremendous complexity of accurately measuring the Thermohaline Circulation, the brevity of the historical record and the long cycle time of the Thermohaline Circulation, it seems safe to assume that the garbage in garbage out maxim applies to CCSM’s ocean models. Do you have more confidence in the historical ocean temperature and salinity data going into these models?

    How can we accurately predict the behavior of the Thermohaline Circulation a century in the future when we can barely measure and understand its current behavior?

  244. It has been argued above that a proper null for climate must EXPLAIN the natural pattern of climate. Sorry, wrong. We have data of varying quality, over various time spans, in different media (ice, sea floor sediments, tree rings) which do not always agree. Figuring out the pattern in this past data is difficult (I have published on this question) but the characterization of this pattern is KEY to the global warming question. Mann’s hockey stick claimed to solve the problem by showing a very flat (featureless) past 1000 years thereby proving that recent warming was anomalous. This is why the fight to defend Mann has been so vociferous. In the absence of the hockey stick, the past looks so confusingly variable that it is hard indeed to see any obvious anomalous behavior post-1950 in the global temperature data. But it is up to the advocates for catastrophe to demonstrate that THEY have characterized this pattern properly and that recent changes do not fit it. Handwaving is not so scientific. In addition, attempts to test climate models against the past are also thwarted by the noise and incoherence of paleorecords of climate. Some teams were very happy to fit their climate model against the Team model (Mann’s hockey stick) because the models do fine against a flat null climate, but if this hockey stick is broken, what about those model results?

  245. I suspect that Dr. Trenberth is suffering from the Dr Percival Lowell syndrome.
    Mr Lowell spent his career mapping the martian canals from an observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and laid the ground work for the discovery of Pluto. Unfortunately Pluto has now been discredited as a planet and the Martian canals are believed by many to be a map of the veins in Lowell’s eyeballs.

  246. Lengthy but very readable. Thank you, Willis.

    Minor typo alert: people speaking from the dias and in the halls of the Royal Society in London. That should be “dais”.

    [fixed thanks ~moderator]

  247. Willis, excellent isn’t a good enough word, it’s better than that.
    =================================================
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm
    No, no, and no. Dr. Trenberth is many things, but it has never even crossed my mind that he might be a fraud.
    ==================================================
    Willis, It has crossed mine.

    I don’t think these guys are saying things out of ignorance, or just totally crackers like some people think.

    Let’s give them some credit. They are climate scientists after all.

    They know their time is running out. They do know enough about the PDO (why they don’t mention it), etc. to know it’s over.
    Either pull out all the stops, try anything at the last minute, to seal the deal…..
    We can only expect to hear things even more outrageous from them in the next few months, their time really is running out.

    Joe Bastardi calls them on it in his latest blog.
    Also says to watch out, we haven’t seen anything yet – from the weather or the climate scientists.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7037

  248. Trenberth is a master at misdirection.

    His energy balance is perhaps the greatest misdirection in all of science. He carefully showed each energy transfer in the Earth system except one. For the radiative exchange between the surface and the atmosphere he didn’t show the net energy change he switched to the fluxes.

    That third walnut shell there created the appearance that radiative heat transfer was dominant in the system. Truly Trenberth is a magician at misdirection and deceit.

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2010/11/the-energy-balance-and-the-greenhouse-effect-1-of-3/

  249. Another year, another four billion.

    According to this link that is what is being requested for climate change studies this year in the US.

    Climate Change is a big money complex. The US government alone spends roughly $4 billion a year to finance climate research and initiatives. That level of spending leaves all private US entities in the dust by a factor of roughly 1,000. In North America, the US federal government controls climate change spending.

  250. Future postmortems on AGW will take many quotes and ideas from this post by Willis Eschenbach.

  251. I read this twice before even thinking about posting a response and usually don’t bother when there are already this many that basically say what I feel, but this article is so good I felt the need. As a former debater I must say that was a truly crushing rebuttal. I dream of responding to trolls/disagreeable people with that kind of weight and eloquence. I have forwarded this along to as many people as I think will read it and hope it goes viral.

    Bravo sir

  252. Jennifer Marohasy says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm
    “This is an extension of what Professor Ian Lowe has been advocating for some time. He calls it sustainability science and says we must embrace it, and reject the traditional scientific approach, because time is running out to save the planet.”

    Why does he use the word ‘science’? Why not just call it sustainability studies? It has nothing to do with science. Science pursues truth and interests those who pursue truth. If you are out to save the world, I can recommend a religion.

  253. Smokey says:
    January 15, 2011 at 5:54 am
    CO2 has risen about 40%. That is significant. If increased CO2 caused global harm, we would surely have seen evidence of it by now. But there is no verifiable evidence that anything unusual is occurring, except for the substantial increase in agricultural production.
    =========================================================
    What we should be asking is why were CO2 levels that low to begin with.

    Every time CO2 levels have been high, in the thousands ppm, CO2 levels have crashed.
    This planet seems to want to do everything in it’s power to lower CO2, and we need it. Without it, we die.
    From the looks of things, this planet is very good at sequestering CO2 on its own. Even lowering CO2 to the point where it threatens plant growth.

    We should be taking care of plants, without them we all die………

  254. “Look, I don’t think you’re a bad guy.”…..

    Wrong Willis. I really do think he is a bad guy.

    There has never been any good come of a man who’ll deceive unto destruction, all who believe in him.

  255. izen,

    You still don’t grasp the concept of a null hypothesis. I’ve given you a straightforward definition of it: ‘it is the statistical hypothesis that states that there are no differences between observed and expected data.’

    You should do a web search for “null hypothesis,” and try to get up to speed. Most everyone else here seems to understand it, and how it relates to an alternate hypothesis. So let me change tack, and try to explain in simple terms what’s going on:

    Kevin Trenberth would not have made a major issue of the long-accepted null hypothesis if it were not a serious stumbling block for his catastrophic AGW hypothesis. It shows that the effect of CO2 is minuscule. [Let me quantify that by saying that anything less than 1°C for a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels will result in substantially more benefits than costs.]

    Trenberth made a center-piece in his article his intention to replace the long-held null hypothesis of natural climate variability with his alternate hypothesis, putting skeptical scientists in the position of having to prove a negative.

    The rationale is that with a planet to save, ignoring the scientific method is excusable – a noble cause. But it is non-science, which is why the rest of us are not going to let him get away with changing the rules, just so he doesn’t have to put up with that irksome null hypothesis. He wants to replace it with his alternate hypothesis, and Voilà! That pesky scientific method is no longer in the way.

    The null hypothesis does not need to provide an explanation of all the mechanisms that make the climate tick. If we knew that, there would be no need for a debate.

    All the null does is show that the current climate is no different than it was before the industrial revolution and the rise of CO2; the cycles are the same, current temperatures are very mild, and the planet is nowhere near its extreme warmest or coldest parameters.

    It has been much warmer, and much colder, in the past – when CO2 remained steady at 300 ppmv or less for centuries. Therefore, CO2 is not a major driver of temperature. QED.

    CO2 probably has an effect, but that effect is so minor it is inconsequential. That’s what the null hypothesis tells us, and that is why Trenberth has his feet to the fire with no wiggle room. So he proposes to put the cart before the horse, and claim that his alternate hypothesis [and there can be many different alternate hypotheses] should now be labeled the null hypothesis.

    His shenanigans make “post-normal science” look rational.

  256. Izen said
    “I am not aware of any paleoclimate proxy reconstruction of past temperature that would enable you to identify periods during the Holocene when temperature trends equaled or exceeded those seen over the last century. Perhaps if you have a link to such data with sufficient accuracy to show this you could link it?”

    Instead of climate proxies maybe you could study a little archaeology. The history of Greenland was well documented before the hockey stick debate.

  257. Willis: “The mis-treatment of uncertainty in the IPCC reports, and the underestimation of true uncertainty in climate science in general, is a scandal.

    Right on, Willis. That’s what brought me into the game.

    I read this paper(pdf, 373 kb) , W. Soon, S. Baliunas, S. B. Idso, K. Y. Kondratyev and E. S. Posmentier (2001) “Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties” Climate Research 18, 259-275, and, being shocked, looked further. And the further I looked, the worse it got. As you wrote, it’s a scandal. IMO, the worst scientific scandal, ever. Ever.

  258. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??
    ————————————————————————–

    Well I did…. and made two posts as well. What’s wrong with you Robb876? Did you fail at reading and comprehension while at school, did you?…..;-)

  259. Doesn’t it follow that if AGW is now a matter of fact, unequivicolly so as we are repeatedly told, that we can stop funding research on it with taxpayer money? What’s the point of continuing to prove it?

    The biggest harm done to science, with the global warming theory, is that everything that is unexplainable, is now due to global warming – no matter the field we select to study. It’s a cheap, dirty way to explain the unexplainable for scientists of all sects and all they need to justify their conclusions is? Global Warming. Makes for lazy science and scientists. Switch up the rules and it will be even more so.

  260. Hmm, this is rather cool – I’ve replied to the “cold fusion is dead” claims a few times, it’s nice to see some other people are chiming now too.

    I kept up with cold fusion for a few years through the beginning, and occasionally check in to see what’s happening. It’s an observation that refuses to go away. Too many experiments yield very interesting results. It’s also a complex field, there is a lot to be learned, a theory hasn’t provide much guidance.

    David L says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

    What I will state is that the results of Pons and Fleischmann have not been replicated, true or false? Also it’s dead as research (at least in the US)? True or false? Again: true. Sure there are people still researching it, but people are also research Bigfoot, UFOs and Orgone energy. So does that mean it’s all true? Come on guys…

    On P&F – I think the answer is that it’s been replicated, but not very reliably. There are other test setups that are more interesting. Focusing on P&F’s experiment is akin to focusing on CO2 in climate changes – there’s more going on!

    Dead as research? Well, one person is dead of natural causes, Les Case. He had some interesting experiments with gaseous deuterium and without energy input (making it a lot easier to measure the anomalous heat). We both live(d) in New Hampshire. He was past MIT professor, I believe, and rather weird guy. (The founder of “Infinite Energy” magazine, Eugene Mallove, was also from NH, he was murdered by ex-renters of his parents’ property in Connecticut.) There is other other research in the US, that Navy work mentioned above is one.

    People doing cold fusion research don’t do research on Bigfoot, UFOs, or even think the Earth is flat. Just because people study UFOs doesn’t mean cold fusion doesn’t exist. Oh come on yourself, quit sounding like Al Gore.

    One thing that has changed is the term “cold fusion,” which isn’t always cold, is being supplanted by abbreviations LENR and CANR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions and Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reactions). See http://www.lenr-canr.org/Experiments.htm for a description of several experimental setups.

    One thing we missed today was a press conference in Italy about a 10 kW nickel/hydrogen reactor, see http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/ see also http://nickpalmer.blogspot.com/2011/01/extraordinarily-important-announcement.html (Full title “Extraordinarily important announcement or not?”) BTW, Nick Palmer is a climate warmist, fan of Climate Crock of the Week, and has Anthony’s http://wattsupwiththat.com/widget/ in his rightside bar. I hope he comes across this post!

    There’s also interesting work done with sonofusion. That relies on sound energy to generate small bubbles that then collapse generating huge pressure in the uncompressable liquid.

    So no it’s not dead Dave, cold fusion research is doing quite well! It’s probably good that it’s not getting the attention it did in its early days. In fact, climate research could do better if it didn’t get the current attention and let scientists be scientists instead of personalities.

  261. Richard S Courtney @ January 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    “…. if the null hypothesis cannot be disproved then it should be ignored. That claim is another attack on the scientific method.”

    I’m not sure I agree. If the null is not falsifiable then the scientific method can’t proceed so it’s hardly an attack on it. I used a slightly different characterisation a bit earlier in this thread – I suggested such a null is useless.

    The null hypothesis is the governing hypothesis in any scientific investigation. It says that if no change is observed then nothing has changed. Therefore, if an alternative to “no change” is suggested then evidence of a change has to be produced. Importantly, “no change” has to be assumed unless and until that evidence exists.

    I think this is a narrow view of a null. The null can be about the fit between any statistical model and observations. It’s perfectly acceptable to have a null that man made GHGs cause >50% of recent observed temperature increases, and seek to falsify that. My point would be that the interesting conversations happen as one sets this up properly as a null; evaluates the capacity of the data to falsify it; and discusses the meaning (if anything) of the results.

  262. For some perspective on law professor Belleville’s viewpoint, this link is to his paper CARBON REGULATION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE APPALACHIAN BASIN: WHY THE COAL-FIRED ENERGY INDUSTRY IN APPALACHIA SHOULD EMBRACE, PREPARE FOR AND HELP SHAPE A COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATIVE SCHEME THAT LIMITS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, apparently from May of 2009 or thereabouts.

    http://www.asl.edu/uploads/files/NRJClegg.pdf

    From Professor Belleville’s published biography on his law school’s website, he holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy, and a JD. It is doubtful, then, that he has the education or training to discern between valid scientific conclusions, and complete nonsense. Like most of the attorneys and legislators in the U.S., many of whom are also attorneys, he has no scientific nor technical background and must rely on “information received.” Therein lies one of the big problems: what information is received, and of that which is received, what is to be accepted as true.

    Lobbying groups are employed in an attempt to educate or inform lawmakers, and to shape legislation so that ridiculous outcomes do not result. It would be rare for an attorney, or a law professor, to also have such knowledge as that obtained from a lobbying group. The lobbying field also has great problems, as many times the full truth of an issue is not presented.

    The premise for Belleville’s paper cited above is that regulations on GHG emission limits are inevitable. This may have seemed true in early 2009, before the Climategate emails and other files were released, before the Copenhagen and Cancun climate summits, before the U.S. Senate refused to pass a bill on climate change, before the long, cold winters of 2010 and now 2011, and before the November 2010 election results in the USA in which control of the U.S. House of Representatives reverted to Republicans.

    Belleville states on page 13, ” There is also little basis, in light of the IPCC’s work and the scientific consensus, for arguing that GHG emissions from vehicles cannot “be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” “ – which also shows that he has, indeed, swallowed the hook, line, and sinker of CAGW.

    Belleville is not unique, certainly. There are many, many law professors across the country who hold views similar to his, and woe to the student who challenges a law professor. Few students are that bold, given the stakes involved.

  263. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    @- Willis Eschenbach says:

    “Or take the latest post – 1980 rise in temperatures. It was no steeper, and no faster, and no larger, and no longer than the 1920-1940 rise in temperatures. The conclusion can only be that it is very possible that the post 1980 rise in temperatures could easily be natural variations.”

    That makes the assumption that the 1920-1940 rise was ‘natural’ variation…
    But that is the point I am making. If there is no way of distinguishing the cause of a rise in temperature just from an observational, or proxy, record of disputable accuracy, then such a null hypothesis fails to provide a means of differentiating it from the AGW hypothesis.
    The quality of the physical explanation of the rise then becomes a means of judging the credibility of the two hypothesis.

    If the null hypothesis is unfalsifiable because the climate record is too variable or uncertain to be statistically applicable then resorting to thermodynamic explanations of the rise either in terms of CO2 or solar variation or some other mechanism becomes the only means of making the distinction between AGW and ‘Natural variation’.

    izod, I have no problem with using sophisticated methods to determine if the null hypothesis has been falsified. However, I am unaware of anyone who has been able to falsify the null hypothesis using any methods. Do you have citations to the use of “thermodynamic explanations” to falsify the null hypothesis?

    w.

  264. Robert E. Phelan says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm
    Roger Sowell says: January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “Buzz is not an aspiring lawyer… he is an Assistant Professor of Law who is teaching the Sustainable Energy Law course (he actually calls himself “Buzz” in public) and despite his ludicrous interpretation of science, he and people like him infest academia and government and have their hands firmly on the levers of power. It’s nice to imagine that CAGW is in its death throes but the ugly truth is that the warmists are still in control and pressing forward with their agenda…Buzz is not educatable nor can he be shamed. He needs to be defeated.”

    My youth is passing before my eyes. I have been down this road before, first with Feminist Studies Departments. Yes, such people have gained power in academia and steadily so. We do not know how to defeat them. On the other hand, the pro-AGW people have so squandered the good name of science, some opportunities might open. As for the practical problem of pro-AGW power grabs, right now the ball is in Congress and the battle must be fought there. We must appeal to our Representatives in the House to stop the EPA and to stop all similar activities by the administration and its many minions, aka “Departments” and such. Congressman Eric Cantor, VA, has on his website a suggestion box for cutting government spending. Start there, at least to learn. Support Sensenbrenner and Issa in their investigations. Ask them to nail the pro-AGW people.

    Oh, by the way, sustainability science is an oxymoron, unless you want to return to Aristotle. Modern science, Galilean science, science informed by the scientific method admits no end points specified by human values. Aristotle finds values in all of nature. Our science of the Oak must include the claim that the Acorn has a purpose, namely, the mature Oak. Some people bought into Aristotle’s science, most notably the Inquisition. That’s why they wanted to spank Galileo. They did put him under house arrest for the remainder of his life. Other notable outcomes from Aristotle’s views include the claims that masturbation, sex for pleasure only, sodomy, homosexual sex, and all similar matters are morally wrong because in those acts the sex organs do not serve their NATURAL END of procreation. That is where sustainability science inevitably leads.

  265. Brilliant, as usual, Willis! I await, without holding my breath, some reasonable reply from the “climate science elitists,” who are now in a very, very deep hole, yet they keep digging!! It gets funnier day by day!

  266. chuckarama says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    Doesn’t it follow that if AGW is now a matter of fact, unequivicolly so as we are repeatedly told, that we can stop funding research on it with taxpayer money? What’s the point of continuing to prove it?

    ======================================================

    Chuck, with the amount of money our government is pumping into this….
    ….I’m afraid the economy would really crash

    Look at all the spin-off sciences that have been created just to get some of that money.
    Biologists are blaming global warming for frogs dying, that they killed.
    Psychologists are scheduling groups to deal with the mental pressure of global warming.
    Doctors are claiming increased pandemics, to get some of that money.
    Fire departments are claiming that they need to build stronger facilities because there will be more and stronger hurricanes.
    and on and on

  267. Everyone here seems to have forgotten that four independent, unbiased investigations have completely exonerated all of the scientists involved in the so-called “climate gate” emails, including Dr. Kevin Trenbwer…. Trenbwaa …. Trenbwaawk…. bwaak…. bwaak… Polly wants a cracker….. bwaak…

  268. It would be a good idea to forward this post to your congressman and senators (or better yet, paraphrase it to stress your key points briefly in your own words). Take the time to communicate with your congressman and senators, they are usually great at responding to constituents. Let them know what you think, especially about climate science funding (cuts for the alarmists, increases for the skeptics) and transparency.

  269. HAS says:

    [@Richard S Courtney]:

    “I’m not sure I agree. If the null is not falsifiable then the scientific method…” &etc.

    The null hypothesis is completely falsifiable. Simply show a current parameter that has changed as a result of the increase in CO2. Presto! Null falsified.

    That’s the purpose of the null hypothesis; to act as a foil to any alternative hypothesis that comes along. If the alternate hypothesis can knock off the big dog by explaining reality better, the alternate becomes the new paradigm.

    But Trenberth wants his particular alternate hypothesis to become the null hypothesis by decree. Sorry, the scientific method doesn’t work that way.

  270. @- Willis Eschenbach says:
    “I have no problem with using sophisticated methods to determine if the null hypothesis has been falsified. However, I am unaware of anyone who has been able to falsify the null hypothesis using any methods. Do you have citations to the use of “thermodynamic explanations” to falsify the null hypothesis?”

    No.
    Which rather supports my point.
    Without a means of differentiating between ‘Natural variation’ and any alternative hypothesis for climate events the descriptive term is of little use.

    ‘Fingerprinting’ in attribution studies usually relies on details of the physical process because the past natural variation has many causes.
    For instance the hypothesis that the Milankovitch cycles are the initial cause of the ice-age – interglacial transitions is not refuted, negated or helped by having a null hypothesis that the variations are present in the past paleoclimate record and are therefore consistent with a null hypothesis of ‘Natural variation’.

  271. Although the argument in this post appears seductive, I doubt that arid debate on whether the null hypothesis (or burden of proof – call it what you will) is reversed will have any impact on Dr Trenberth at all.

    He made up his mind long ago. Nothing will shake it; he believes implicitly in his own theories and has the support of activist colleagues. Each time events seem to counter his theories he can somehow justify it as weather not climate, another quirk of a chaotic climate system or some such.

    It’s a lost cause. The issue is now out of the hands of the scientists and with their paymasters – the politicians and the public, as taxpayers. The public have a surprisingly good “nose” for arguments that run counter to their life experience, and when they are collectively being fed a line.

    The message is getting through. Activists are bemoaning the lack of interest in the latest hyped-up scare. Slowly but inevitably the funding will dry up; this just has to run its course. The scientists are so polarised that for once, surprisingly, the public must have the final say at the ballot box.

  272. Smokey @ January 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    “But Trenberth wants his particular alternate hypothesis to become the null hypothesis by decree. Sorry, the scientific method doesn’t work that way.”

    Science is a pretty broad church so Dr T is quite free have whatever he likes as a null hypothesis. The science would then debate the utility of it and the consequences of its testing.

  273. This is a very interesting comment thread. I am watching hourly with fascination at the posts. The tone is amicable (mostly, despite Buzz Aldrin’s flyby) and is good debate. Keep it happening guys’n’gals!

    Particularly enjoyed Theo Goodwin’s post and have added his endquote “Aristotle’s views include the claims that masturbation, sex for pleasure only, sodomy, homosexual sex, and all similar matters are morally wrong because in those acts the sex organs do not serve their NATURAL END of procreation. That is where sustainability science inevitably leads.” to my Facebook profile of quotes.

  274. Trenberth and his ilk are hitting the lecture circuit trying to ride the 2010 El Nino that was a disappointment but represents a last gasp for the AGW movement. They realize they face an increasingly sceptical public and congress. With the NAO and record positive SOI working against them they know that this is their last best chance to convince their fellow scientists. NPR, in a radio segment today pitted a ‘climate scientist’ against a kid in the global warming debate. The kid suggested she would like to hear the other side of the debate.

  275. Excellent post Willis, but realise that’s a belief system we’re dealing with, not science, and I suspect that KT might not understand that.

  276. @- Richard S Courtney says:
    “In the case of AGW the change to be discerned is a change to climate behaviour which differs from climate behaviour prior to the postulated anthropogenic effect. If it is not possible to discern such a change then the ONLY scientific hypothesis is that AGW has not changed climate behaviour.”

    This makes an a priori assumption that the knowledge we have of past climate behaviour is sufficiently extensive and accurate to discern such a change and make that judgment.

    The change in climate behaviour may NOT be discernible from climate change prior to the postulated anthropogenic effect. Past climate behaviour that can be derived from the paleoclimate reconstructions covers a wide range of possibilities.
    When the Holocene temperature record is too uncertain and inherently uninformative to determine the explanation for any observed behaviour, attribution of the physical cause of climate variations becomes the criteria.

  277. TimC says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm
    The scientists are so polarised that for once, surprisingly, the public must have the final say at the ballot box.
    Nah, mate – the machinery is already set in motion. The politicians have already set the course based on IPCC. The underlying agenda of the CAGW camp is there for all to see in the ‘wealth redistribution’ paradigm, cloaked in the guise of planet-saving, but in reality a power-grab by powers such as The Club of Rome. If you think for one minute that the public (silent majority) will have the final say, what’s the weather like on your planet?

  278. Buzz Belleville:
    “….I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s….”

    One of the most influential of those predictions was Hansen’s scenarios A, B & C as presented to a joint Congressional hearing in 1988 (during a US heat wave and drought)
    “Scenario A” was business as usual, “scenario B” was some restrictions on CO2 emissions and “scenario C” stopped the growth of carbon dioxide emissions altogether in 2000.
    The observed data (GISS) is roughly following “scenario C”:

    The CAGW hysterics are never satisfied, because “stopping global warming” is the last thing they want.

  279. Seem to be one of the last to notice these new posts but, it’s late, grandkids wonder why I spend a hour reading of this Dr. Trenberth so I told them a little fairytale, went something like this:

    After researching this Scienceville mystery thoroughly it has become apparent that Dr. Trenberth did not, I repeat did not shoot his pet named Agwhypothesis, pronounced Ag’why’po-the-sis, in the foot as many have heard. Trenberth, it seems being drunk with power and hubris at that very moment of rage erred and instead shot it in the head. Immediate death followed. Being so huge for hypothesis beasts rarely found that a small group call good, someone apparently mistaken it’s ears for it’s feet in initial rumors. He continues to claim he did not mean to shoot his pet but was instead aiming for something on the other side. The authorities, finding no law against shooting a hypothesis on the books, had no alternative but to release him forthwith with no charges being filed.

    His local community, wailing in shock for they all claim Agwhypothesis as their own, will have a huge loss of the regular income from shows around the world and that will cause a sizable economic blow to this tight collegiate community Grantville that claim Washington D.C, for one, as their supporting suburbs. Some say it is actually a blessing for it’s size was doubling regularly and it was taking literally billions yearly just to feed and get from one show to the next.

    Personally, good riddance! I and millions of others could see that the wild beast was draining this world literally dry of life. Some even claim that was that communities hidden intention all along.

  280. R. Gates says: January 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    “One of the most comprehensive models (IMO) is the CESM 1.0.”

    So in reviewing one CESM’s two Atmosphere Models the Climatological Data Model (DATM), and I must say that I find the interface incomprehensible:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/cesm/cesmAbrowser/

    Why would they name all of the menus and variables gibberish? And the user interface is awful. So I looked in the user guide, Chapter 5. Data Atmosphere Model;

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/data8/data8_doc/ug.pdf

    and there is no mention of the variables in the model and the data sets that they are based upon. I’d like to figure out how the DATM atmosphere model accounts for Earth’s Polar Vorticies. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Polar Vortices;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

    “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”

    http://www.universetoday.com/973/what-venus-and-saturn-have-in-common/

    Can you direct us to where CESM’s Atmosphere Model DATM accounts for Earth’s Polar Vorticies?

    “several studies (including Waugh and Randel 1999; Waugh et al. 1999; Karpetchko et al. 2005; Black and McDaniel 2007) have indicated a trend over the 1980s and 1990s toward a later vortex breakdown.”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7598/is_20091115/ai_n42654411/

    Surely “one of the most comprehensive models” in existence must take into account changes in the size, strength and persistence of Earth’s Polar Vorticies. More than just the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) index:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/aao/aao.shtml

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/antarctic-oscillation-aao

    Right?

  281. Willis,why misrepresent Trenberth when you offer a link to what he actually says?
    He never states that human activity is ‘causing’ our weather ills,simply that we are influencing events.
    As usual you get up a head of rhetorical steam-e.g. climate science has had ‘unlimited funding’,and the ‘full-throated support of the media’…. and on and on.
    Objecting to the use of the ‘denier’ tag is a bit rich when you call Trenberth a cheat and a conspirator.
    All this because he expects you guys to do some real work by following the scientific process.

  282. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    … It is entirely possible that the effects of AGW would be within the range of ‘Natural variation’ during the Holocene – and therefore ‘expected data’ as far as we know descriptively. Because the description we have is to uncertain to distinguish between the two. But that does not falsify the AGW hypothesis, it simply makes the null hypothesis irrelevant as a comparison unless it can be more closely defined statistically or provides explanatory detail at the level of physical processes to account for the observations.

    So Trenberth wants to reverse the null hypothesis, and you want to tell us it is “irrelevant” … what is it with you guys? You can’t prove your case so you want to change the rules.

    Look, izod, if the signal of global warming is so small that twenty five years of poring over a century and a half of records can’t find it, you know what my conclusion is? It is that you are looking for a really, really tiny signal. Not a signal that is the greatest danger on the face of the earth, to listen to the alarmists, but a really, really small signal.

    Back when the earth was warming, from say 1975 to 1998, it looked like you were going to get your evidence. But then the warming stopped, and hasn’t restarted.

    As I said, I have no problem with using sophisticated methods to look for a signal. However, when you take that tack, you are venturing on dangerous ground. Everything from data snooping to autocorrelation and the natural distribution of Zipf functions begin to mess with your conclusions.

    So, if you have a good way to establish that recent climate variations are outside of the natural variation, bring it on … don’t be surprised if you find some kickback against the plan, however, because the well has been poisoned many times. To take you back, in 2005 we had Jim Hansen claim exactly what you are claiming in the famous “smoking gun” paper, which made us all wonder what Jim was smoking because he was saying that his whiz-bang model could measure the radiation balance to within ±0.15 W/m2.

    But I wish you the best, report back what you find.

    w.

  283. O H Dahlsveen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says January 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm:

    “No, no, and no. Dr. Trenberth is many things, but it has never even crossed my mind that he might be a fraud.”

    The question is Willis: How does he/we equate what he writes to Tom Wigley, if he believes in what he says, with his “Global Energy Budget Plan”?

    I lay it to the awesome power of self-delusion, which among other things makes me think I can write clearly …

  284. Excellent critique of the unfortunate Dr. Trenberth’s propaganda piece from the indefatigable Mr. Eschenbach. I have not had the time to read all the comments, but wonder: Will Dr. Trenberth have the guts to respond?

    I won’t hold my breath.

    /Mr Lynn

  285. “The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one’s own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body. Oceanic society rests ultimately on the belief that Big Brother is omnipotent and the the Party is infallible. But since in reality Big Brother is not omnipotent and the party is not infallible, there is a need for an unwearying, moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of facts. The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.

    The alteration of the past is necessary for two reasons, …. But by far the more important reason for the readjustment of the past is the need to safeguard the infallibility of the Party. It is not merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind must be constantly brought up to date in order to show that the predictions of the Party were in all cases right. It is also that no change in doctrine or in political alignment can ever be admitted. For to change one’s mind, or even one’s policy, is a confession of weakness. …Thus history is continuously rewritten. This day-to-day falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the regime as the work of repression and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love.”

    http://www.panarchy.org/orwell/ignorance.1949.html

    England the testing ground for much of this, as a search on surveillance cameras shows. Example:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/uk-government-to-install-surveillance-cameras-in-private-homes.html

    The people they are experimenting on don’t have the ability to object. Not these in the link above, nor the whole population of the country who have allowed the cameras to proliferate.

    ‘If you haven’t done anything wrong, why would you object?’

    Is the argument constantly used by all promoting this; from police, journos, the man in the street asked his opinion..

  286. Robb876 says: (January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am)
    Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??

    Yes, Robb,

  287. Nick says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Willis,why misrepresent Trenberth when you offer a link to what he actually says?
    He never states that human activity is ‘causing’ our weather ills, simply that we are influencing events.

    Nor did I say that he states that human activity is causing our weather, you need to improve your reading skills. I said he implies it, which he certainly does … Nick, I’ll say to you what I say to many people. If you disagree with something I said, QUOTE IT.

    As usual you get up a head of rhetorical steam-e.g. climate science has had ‘unlimited funding’,and the ‘full-throated support of the media’…. and on and on.

    My friend, if you think that the unproven AGW hypothesis has not had the “full throated support of a media” over the last quarter century, you need real professional help, not the paltry assistance we can offer.

    Regarding funding, the US is currently spending a million dollars a day, not per month or per week but per day, on climate science research. Yes, that’s not “unlimited funding”, you are correct … but in this time when you guys are always squealing about Exxon funding someone to the tune of ten million dollars total, once, five years ago, compared to that, ten million bucks per day is near enough to unlimited for all practical purposes … and that’s not counting the $300 million bucks that Al Gore threw into the pot.

    Objecting to the use of the ‘denier’ tag is a bit rich when you call Trenberth a cheat and a conspirator.

    I didn’t have to call Trenberth a cheat and a conspirator, he is condemned by his own words. You really, really should read the underlying documents before making foolish claims, it makes people snort coffee up their nose when you make nonsensical statements like that. Read the emails, then go back and read them again. As someone who is mentioned in the Climategate emails because I was a participant, I can assure you that you don’t have a clue what you are on about.

    And if you don’t see the difference between accusing someone of a specific act, and referring to a whole class of varied and interesting people by a name which Trenberth has been repeatedly told is perceived as an insult, again you need professional help. As I told Trenberth, that’s just common courtesy. For example, I used to call AGW supporters “warmers”, but a couple of people objected. So being courteous, I changed it to the more neutral “AGW supporters”.

    But Trenberth, and I guess you as well, are too tone-deaf to dozen’s of people’s oft-repeated and clear requests to exhibit the most common form of politeness. If you tell me you don’t want to be called “Little Nicky”, I don’t argue about how you really are little or some such nonsense. I just call you something else because you asked me to. You and Trenberth obviously missed the kindergarten class about playing well with others …

    All this because he expects you guys to do some real work by following the scientific process.

    Oh, Nick, that’s so funny. I know it’s not polite to laugh at someone for being naive, but in your case, it’s so over-the-top I can’t help it. Kevin doesn’t expect us to do some real work, that’s a Pangloss fantasy. He is terrified of the real work that’s already been done, and he knows that he can’t find the evidence to make his case. Occam told me that’s the most probable reason that he’s trying to change the rules in midstream.

    And you think he wants to change the rules to make us do some real work? Oh, that’s precious, Nick, I almost spilled my coffee, your mom must be so proud of you.

    w.

  288. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    @- Willis Eschenbach says:

    “I have no problem with using sophisticated methods to determine if the null hypothesis has been falsified. However, I am unaware of anyone who has been able to falsify the null hypothesis using any methods. Do you have citations to the use of “thermodynamic explanations” to falsify the null hypothesis?”

    No.
    Which rather supports my point.
    Without a means of differentiating between ‘Natural variation’ and any alternative hypothesis for climate events the descriptive term is of little use.

    You miss the point. We have a host of means, statistical and otherwise, to differentiate between natural variation and something anomalous. You seem to think because you can’t prove your case using those means, you get to change the rules.

    ‘Fingerprinting’ in attribution studies usually relies on details of the physical process because the past natural variation has many causes.
    For instance the hypothesis that the Milankovitch cycles are the initial cause of the ice-age – interglacial transitions is not refuted, negated or helped by having a null hypothesis that the variations are present in the past paleoclimate record and are therefore consistent with a null hypothesis of ‘Natural variation’.

    You mean that natural variations can’t be found with a null hypothesis of “it’s natural variation”? Now there’s some shocking news, Izen, thanks for enlightening us. I suppose your revolutionary news would be of use to us if we were looking to identify specific natural variations … but we’re not trying to find Milankovich or other natural variations, are we?

    Instead, we’re looking to see if man is affecting the climate, or if variations in the climate are natural. In such a quest, “it’s natural variation” is the logical and inescapable null hypothesis. We can attack the problem of showing man’s influence in many ways, as you point out, from the simplistic to the highly refined.

    However, all of this is far from the point. The point is that Trenberth is not looking for any of the subtleties that you so rightly point out. Instead, he is trying to turn the whole system on its head, not to refine the null hypothesis as you discuss, but to reverse the null hypothesis.

    So you may be right or not … but Trenberth is definitely wrong, he’s way off the scientific reservation with his desire to reverse the null hypothesis.

  289. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:33 am
    @- smokey –
    …The link you give for similar past trends uses some unrealistically short periods. but is also entirely within the period when AGW is an active hypothesis for observed changes…
    …presumably referring to this:

    Not so.
    The IPCC AR4 states that most of the observed warming after the mid-twentieth century is most likely due to human GHG emissions.
    Clearly human emissions, by comparison, were insignificant before then:

    A fact which reinforces Smokey’s point.

  290. G. Karst says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Most/many, lay/professional people, think the debate is about whether the world is warming or not. They assume that we live in the ideal climate. I have seen virtually no debate or science paper addressing the question “What is the ideal climate for the bio-mass and more specifically for Man (and his food supply)?”
    _________________________________________________________
    Absolutely spot on, G. Karst!

    It’s damned hard to grow an abundance of food when temperatures are too cool or too hot.

    Your question should be the first one asked with regard to climate, not an afterthought that no one bothers to address….

  291. As a lawyer myself, I am always amused by law professors like Buzz Belleville who confidently proclaim what the policy should be and what they “know” about the subject of AGW. Because they know precious little other than what they have been fed by others. For myself, I’ve read a bunch of different stuff (most of which I don’t understand; I suspect Belleville understands even less), but I am most educated by WUWT because of the variety of viewpoints I receive here. It would be best for Belleville to do the same.

    Law professors like him give our profession a bad name. I oppose them where I can.

  292. R Gates, you keep saying you are not an alarmist or AGW cheerleader, that you are 75% one way and 25% the other and that you want the science, the real science, to win. Then you start in on Willis with the claim that ” GCM’s include every known forcing (long and short term) in the models”

    Several others have already produced specific examples, but may I possibly direct you to the IPCC AR4 Chapter 8, pages 597 and 598, where the various models used in the report are listed. as you can see from reading just that high level chart, many of the models have ZERO adjustment for TSI at all. On that one variable alone your statement is falsified, but don’t worry, the land factors column, the sea ice column, in fact ALL the columns in the table falsify your statement.

    So… did you not bother to check the facts at all? Or did you just decide to adjust them? The 75% of you that claims to support the AGW theory seems to have adopted the AGW scientific method. Refinement = Adjustment = If the facts do not support your theory, the facts must be wrong.

  293. izen:

    Without a means of differentiating between ‘Natural variation’ and any alternative hypothesis for climate events the descriptive term is of little use.

    izen, we’ve got nearly the whole climate-weather history of the Earth as “natural variation”. We’ve got a significant amount of time since the end of the last glaciation, with “natural variation” but without any ACO2. You are obviously the one who has to “differentiate” CO2AGW from that natural variation, because you are the one who wants to say that now CO2CAGW is at work instead of natural variation.

    But, izen, if you are claiming that you can’t define or describe “natural variation” on the basis of its limits – what is expected from it, and what is not – then, according to you, you likewise can’t differentiate CO2AGW from it! So, according to you, you can’t prove anything at all about CO2AGW!

    For example, you can’t possibly make any predictions that would support or falsify either “natural variation” or CO2AGW, one more than the other, since you can’t distinguish between them in the first place. In fact, you can have no idea, either, if some completely seperate force would have also entered into the mix at some time. You simply don’t know what the [say, Earth’s Holocene] natural climate is or has been, so you can’t really even worry about something like fossil fuel CO2 changing it, because you wouldn’t be able to recognize/differentiate it from natural variation.

  294. R Gates
    … and while you are at it, why don’t read read through this gem from page 608 of the same report. Basically what they say is the NONE of the models can actually reproduce the climate of the last 140 years properly, so they are ALL wrong, but when you average them together, the average is closer than any of the models. In other words, “we have no clue which parts are right and which parts are wrong, but since they average out, our strategy is to keep creating a whole bunch of different ones even though we know they are wrong.”

    While reading this little gem, keep in mind also that these are just the model results that they used for for the average. There were results from lots of other models submitted, but they were discarded for one deficiency or another so that just the models that happen to average to a better result were left. Hmmm. I wonder whose idea that was? Some guy with tree ring expertise maybe?

    ————————

    The multi-model averaging serves to filter out biases
    of individual models and only retains errors that are generally
    pervasive. There is some evidence that the multi-model mean
    fi eld is often in better agreement with observations than any of the
    fi elds simulated by the individual models (see Section 8.3.1.1.2),
    which supports continued reliance on a diversity of modelling
    approaches in projecting future climate change

  295. HAS:

    Sorry, but No! your post at January 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm makes the same mistake as Trenberth.

    As scientist has to work within the scientific method. He/she does not have the luxury of changing the method because of any personal desire. And part of the scientific method is an acceptance of the nature and importance of the null hypothesis in any investigation.

    The null hypothesis is that in the absence of evidence of a change then it has to be assumed there has been no change.

    So, in the case of AGW, it has to be assumed that climate behaviour has not changed from previous climate behaviour unless and until there is evidence that climate behaviour has changed.

    There can be no compromise with this.

    Your suggestion that the null hypothesis should be that climate behaviour may have to change by a specified amount (you suggest 5%) redefines the null hypothesis. And an attempt to redefine the null hypothesis is the same mistake that Trenberth makes.

    The null hypothesis in AGW is that climate behaviour has not changed as a result of the anthropoigenic emission of GHGs (i.e. following the industrial revolution) and it is the ONLY scientific assumption because there is no evidence – none, zilch, not any – evidence of such a change. If such evidence were produced then the null hypothesis would be disproved and there could be investigation of what caused the change. But unless and until such evidence exists there is not – and there cannot be – any scientific purpose in investigating the cause (perhaps AGW or something else) of a change which is not known to exist.

    Investigating if AGW is the cause of a change to climate behaviour when there is no evidence that the change exists exists is like investing the behaviour of a specific ghost in a house that is said to be haunted.

    Richard

  296. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “…R. Gates, do you truly think that adding more and more forcings and UHI calcs to a model in which “the potential energy of water vapor/condensate is neglected”, a model that doesn’t stay in balance by itself but has to be “tuned” to stay in balance, will give us better and better answers?

    Because I’ve been programming computers for forty-eight years now, I’m very fluent in half a dozen computer languages and literate in another half dozen. In my experience, until the basics of the climate (or any other) model are right, adding more forcings and UHI effects is just like nickel-plating a squirt-gun. It looks solid and real, and you can certainly use it to terrorize the citizenry … but that doesn’t make it into a real pistol.”

    Can you define for us what the potential energy of vapor condensate is, and explain why its effect is important enough to warrant consideration by climate models?
    Can you do the same for the other assumptions that were made to simplify the execution of the climate model which you referenced?

    You ridicule the modelers who wrote the paper you referenced for having made these simplifying assumptions it, but you haven’t shown that they are causing significant errors in the models.

    The people who did the modeling clearly have the background to understand the physics and why they can make these assumptions. I see that they didn’t explain in detail why this made sense.

    I suspect that climate model researchers who understand the physics would attack these assumptions if they were incorrect. Can you cite any refutations of this particular set of assumptions in the climate modeling literature?

    If you can’t explain the physics that causes the phenomena neglected in the reference, and you can’t cite objections to these assumptions in the literature, why should anyone accept your comments on this particular point as valid? You don’t claim to have any background in physics, only in programming.

  297. I want to postulate a new H1 hypothesis.
    It is that an increase in Carbon dioxide might be cooling the atmosphere.
    At least that is what my results from my own method & report could be suggesting.
    The method is simple.
    We can all do this. If you know the weather pattern at your weather station.
    We want to compare days & times where it was always dry and cloudless.

    http://letterdash.com/HenryP/assessment-of-global-warming-and-global-warming-caused-by-greenhouse-forcings-in-pretoria-south-africa

    Let me know what you think…..

  298. Dr. Trenberth also pretends he was ‘exonerated’ irt climatgate.
    He knows he was not, if he is capable of reasoned thinking on the topic.
    He got away with it, so far. He received a whitewash from phony non-investigtions.
    He may think he did nothing wrong.
    but he was not exonerated.

  299. Willis

    Very nice post.

    chuckarama says:
    “January 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    Doesn’t it follow that if AGW is now a matter of fact, unequivicolly so as we are repeatedly told, that we can stop funding research on it with taxpayer money? What’s the point of continuing to prove it?”

    I think its time we sceptics had a change in tactics, so lets lobby our governments too say that as the science is so settled no further research of any kind is needed, and we can cut all funding to the climate industry completely.

    After the stunned silence there will be howls of protest and requests for further research funding for various lines of investigation into ‘uncertain areas’ which will show us EXACTLY where the warmists believe the main weaknesses in their arguments lie…

    Tonyb

  300. Willis, HAS and others – I’m not a scientist, so correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you courting unnecessary epistemological difficulty by entertaining talk of the null hypothesis being, or not being, “proven” or “falsified”? Surely the whole point of the null hypothesis is that it admits of neither, but but just sits there, waiting to be found if the alternative hypothesis fails? CAGW Believers like izen, but many others with greater claims to eminence, misunderstand the null hypothesis, appearing to believe that it is a separate logical construct, to be tested by separate experiment, on a separate occasion, from the alternative hypothesis. They thus talk about “proving” or “falsifying” it, deepening their confusion. Surely we should be pointing out this source of confusion?

    By the way, KT’s wish to switch N0 indicates to me that he DOES understand it, unlike those defending him.

  301. Richard S Courtney says January 16, 2011 at 12:07 am

    The null hypothesis is simply what you testing to see if the data will falsify it. The consequence of falsifying it gives support for the alternate hypothesis.

    The fact that the null often reflects the default or commonly held view is simply because typically it isn’t usually very interesting to prove what is already common belief. But when there’s real argument or difference of views the experimenter is free to choose what they are trying to do in their experiment.

    So Dr T is perfectly at liberty to say I’m testing to falsify that CO2 has no/limited impact on temperatures. In fact he should have been doing this all along given what he clearly believes.

    I note that initially Willis Eschenbach objected in his post to the reversal because “it is woefully short of either theoretical or observational support.” But I see that when he is responding to izen at January 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm he does seem to make the same mistake when he says “Trenberth is definitely wrong, he’s way off the scientific reservation with his desire to reverse the null hypothesis.”

    For my part I have always felt there is a lack of rigour in climate science when it comes to experimental design etc. Dr T for example assumes the output of climate models as if they are empirical data to achieve closure on radiation balances.

    I therefore think it would be a very good discipline to get him to formulate his null and his alternate (as I’ve noted earlier). Only good will come of it, and I don’t think it’ll skew the debate one way or the other.

    No one else need change their null, although I predict that quite a few skeptics will start doing it when they see the opportunities presented by more tightly defining causality and demonstrating the limitations in the data.

    And remember one persons null can be another’s alternate.

  302. The part of Dr Trenberth’s emails that never seems to get much attention is the following.

    The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!

    Now I might be missing what he is saying but it seems to me he is saying.
    We have not got a clue what is going on so if we try to take steps to try and fix it(CO2 reduction)we will not know if it is working or not.
    So before the World spends trillions of dollars does he still think that the geoengineering will be quite hopeless.

  303. Willis Eschenbach [January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm] says:

    “… until the basics of the climate (or any other) model are right, adding more forcings and UHI effects is just like nickel-plating a squirt-gun. It looks solid and real, and you can certainly use it to terrorize the citizenry … but that doesn’t make it into a real pistol.”

    He shoots, he scores. Nuthin’ but net.

  304. In australia we have Bob Brown leader of the greens he made a statment that the coal mines have caused the queenslands floods . every body should feel sorry for us having to put up with this goose . the x and y generation love the greens it is very sad for all normal people

  305. @- smokey
    “The null hypothesis is completely falsifiable. Simply show a current parameter that has changed as a result of the increase in CO2. Presto! Null falsified.”

    I would nominate the satellite measured fall in OLR and the measured rise in DLR.

    Somehow I suspect you will find a reason NOT to accept that this falsifies the null hypothesis.

    @- JPeden says:
    “But, izen, if you are claiming that you can’t define or describe “natural variation” on the basis of its limits – what is expected from it, and what is not – then, according to you, you likewise can’t differentiate CO2AGW from it! So, according to you, you can’t prove anything at all about CO2AGW!”

    Actually I got rather sidetracked into the issue of how useful a null hypothesis based purely on comparisons with past patterns was compared to an explanatory hypothesis invoking physical causation.

    As I stated in my first post on this thread, there ARE aspects of the current climate which I think are anomalous in comparison with natural variation. The changes in OLR and DLR I mention above would be one. The evidence that the recent rate of sea level rise is not typical of the last 6000 years would be another.
    Whether climate change is ‘Natural’ or manmade the attribution of a cause relies on a hypothesis that invokes physical processes. Looking only at the change in temperature is incapable of providing an explanation for that data.

  306. @izen

    “how useful a null hypothesis based purely on comparisons with past patterns was compared to an explanatory hypothesis invoking physical causation”

    Again you treat N0 as if it were separable from its alternative, instead of the essential complement to any properly-framed hypothesis which it is.

    And what on earth is an “explanatory hypothesis”? If you mean the Alternative Hypothesis (N1) , then again, to be properly framed, it must have a properly framed N0.

  307. This is the point where the AGW cause either jumps the shark or elevates itself to true religion, right now canonical models and journals are being selected much like the heretical gospels the rest will be dropped IPCC report 5 will become a new bible.

  308. “That’s recursive enough to make Ouroboros weep in envy …”
    Can it be a coincidence that the loopiest scientific craze of all time is provoking some of the finest comic prose ever?

  309. tango @ 1:27

    In nature, the only prize for stupidity is extinction! The stupidity was voting for Greens.

  310. @- TomFP says:
    “Again you treat N0 as if it were separable from its alternative, instead of the essential complement to any properly-framed hypothesis which it is.”

    I remain unpersuaded that the dialectical method of thesis/antithesis-synthesis is the only way that epistemologically sound science can be practiced.

    I would favor less asymmetry in the falsifiability of AGW -v- ‘Natural variation’.

  311. The bottom line is that after 25 years of promoting a theory, they know that they are unable to prove it (by way of science and/or scientific observation) and in a last desperate gasp, they seek to argue that those not accepting the theory should disprove it.

    It is akin to in a 6 month long complex fraud case, the prosecution holding up their hands and saying OK we cannot prove the fraud but during the last 6 months we have slung plenty of mud and the Defendants should disprove that they committed fraud.

    The burden of proof is clearly upon those promoting the AGW theory and they must prove it, failing which, it remains just a matter of conjecture. I certainly do not accept that my tax dollars should be spend on some unproven assertion.

    Come on Trenberth, show us all where your missing heat is.

  312. ʇɥbıɹ buıןǝǝɟ ʇou ןןıʇs puɐ ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ʞɔɐq ʇob

    Just woke up and jumped back in. Delicious. Got popcorn.

    Willis, if ever I should have the good fortune I will call you and it wont cost you a penny. Until neither of us can sea ;-)

    And thanks for reminding me of Ursulla Andress. Lovely.

  313. Willis Eschenbach says January 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm:
    “I lay it to the awesome power of self-delusion, which among other things makes me think I can write clearly …”

    You are definitely, in my opinion, not deluding yourself. – Your writing is always very clear and concise. – [Mine, unfortunately on (most?) occasions, is probably not.]

    You may however know the old saying; “A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.” – Many people including myself may, sometimes unwittingly, take on the disguise of that horse. Very unfortunately it sometimes happens that the “horse-cloak” is both blind and deaf.
    This, as far as I know, is not a Cliff Claven theory. It is one that just came to me as I was reading through some (a few) of the comments above.
    OHD.

  314. Give it a rest Izal.

    Great comment W, you’re the man!

    Trouble with this lot, the science went out of the window, when the conjecture was first mooted- MMCO2e = GW was a non starter……. it was a political fiction, bouyed by some extremely doubtful ‘post normal’ legerdemain/sorcery – Aka climatology.

    These dorks like Trenberth cannot admit it is [AGW] all just guff, because their paydays will be finished – mind you that would hardly be before time – too long supping at the government teat – Ken, me old luv.

    Integrity, honest endeavour and real Science has found ‘em out [AGW scammers], big problem though………politicians still believe in faeries at the foot of the garden and so do the IPCC and many massive financial institutions [DB, GS] who all have fingers in the pie – so to speak. This is where the battle is still being lost, even today, Clinton is calling for this: http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_can-t-afford-delay-on-climate-change-hillary-clinton_1494874 for action on climate change, will they never give it up?? [H/T Tom Nelson]

    So the AGW showboat is holed, no sinking!!……… the Merrimac still bristles and shouts defiance, whilst the realists aim yet another fussilade of state of the art lasar guided missiles.
    Admit it Ken, you’re out-gunned, out-classed and [to boot] an anachronism.

    Now lower your colours.

  315. björn summarised it superbly above; AGW for Trenberth and his colleagues now has the status of a god. It has long been apparent that the AGW crowd will behave like the Spanish Inquisition towards those who disagree. They have just taken their fantasy a step further.

  316. @izen,
    Given how much easier it would make your task, I can see how you would “favor less asymmetry”. Well, tough, ’cause you’re not going to get it.

  317. This post must be Unequivocally and robustly irritating to the Warmistas.

    Can you imagine….

    First Al Gore HIMSELF says the science is SETTLED.
    And Arrhenius! Dont forget Arrhenius!!

    Then there is 2500 scientists saying there is concensus!

    And now….. The science isnt even science.

    And there wasnt a concensus after all.

    And convection and water wapour kills Arrhenius….

    Good grief…..its a Travesty!!!

  318. Hi Willis!

    Another great essay – its excellent quality is reflected in the most interesting and stimulating debate which has followed it.

    A point I would have thought that the legal people posting here might have picked up is the parallel legal principle to the null hypothesis – that of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

    This analogy seems to me to be particularly useful in resolving the point made by Izen at several posts – the need for the null hypothesis to be defined (or at least that is what I think he is requiring). In legal terms this means that the accused has to define their innocence when in fact it is incumbent upon the prosecution to define their guilt. Any other approach turns the whole principle upside down. In science It would seem that the same principle applies. The null hypothesis is simple – there is no abnormal variation in the present climate and it is incumbent upon anyone falsifying this hypothesis to demonstrate that there is abnormal variation.

    As others have noted this is the underlying cause of so much heat being generated over the Hockey Stick; why its debunkers – M&M, Wegman and Montford spring to mind – are so reviled and why the UVa has so far spent $500,000 on defending it progenitor…

    I am in Suva at the moment Willis – anything I can order for you at the RSYC???

  319. You cannot win with these guys because you are fighting a religion.

    To realize how demented this religion is read the Guardian or Independent. They are serious loonies. I am also noticing how the Guardian is trying to expand the issue by using bio-diversity and ocean acidification. You see these guys are after the big fish, capitalism. AGW is just another stick to hit capitalism with. No science just a religious with capitalism as the Great Satin. The term Watermelon is apt, Green on the outside, red on the inside. For years I use to wonder why did the Germans follow Hitler. I see these loonies and totally understand it. Totally convinced in their own opinion and beliefs and a hatred of anyone or thing that dares questions them. Sadly the MSM is packed out with these loons. I really do think we need a new name for this religion, Melonists.

  320. R. Gates says:
    January 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    The best GCM’s are extremely complicated affairs that take into account tens of thousands of different variables and require massive supercomputers to run. They certainly take into account many aspects of thermohalin circulation on a global basis. One of the most comprehensive models (IMO) is the CESM 1.0. I would suggest you begin here:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/

    Yeah, and they still fail miserably to match the predictive ability of Piers Corbyn’s laptop.

    And explore all the facets for yourself. You’ll see that not only is something as relatively simple as thermohaline circulation included, but more far more variables than you’d guess. The steady accumulation of CO2 is only one of thousands. And as I said before, the best thing is these models are always being refined as the science advances.

    Hahaha! The thing that really gets me is: this guy is actually convinced by this stuff. It’s like he refuses to acknowledge the myriad elephants in the room. “Always being refined” – what a wonderful phrase! Like those yearly TV ads “New improved Daz Automatic, gets whites even whiter than before!” Daz in 1988 must have been really [/snip]. “Far more variables than you’d guess” – yeah, and each one with massive error bars, not to mention all the unknowns that by definition cannot be incorporated, and not to mention the biased feedback assumptions built in. Anyone who believes we can anywhere remotely near accurately model a planet’s atmosphere to make any kind of meaningful prediction (sorry, ahem – projection) is deluded. If R Gates has any real examples of these things being evidence of AGW, I hope he shares them. And he might tell Kevin Trenberth too, because privately (at least he wishes it was private) even he admits we don’t know enough to predict anything, so I’m sure he’d be all eyes and ears.

    [Lets leave the vulgarity in your head… not in the text OK?….. bl57~mod]

  321. jeez says:
    January 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm
    Willis willis willis,

    To sum it up:

    Dr. Trenberth, when on a journey, if you do nothing but circle the wagons, you won’t make any forward progress.

    That one made me chuckle. Glad to see you back and blogging

  322. is possible that climate change is real? I dont know. I suppose. I think its called Global Disruptive Climate now (or something like that.) Its all in the marketing. I see it all the time, just tonight I watched one an infomercial for a bracelet that helps people keep their balance.. because normal people can’t stand up straight without help. If that sort of garbage sells to millions of people then why not tell people the world is warming to catastrophic levels and their demise is right around the corner?

    Pretty good pitch if you ask me.

  323. Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    stephen richards says: January 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Willis and Lucy S – I think you are being too generous to Dr T

    I take grumpy old man’s point about being generous to your enemy after defeat. And I see it’s easy to mistake my full intent, from those words. I want this man nailed for what he has done
    Lucy

    I respect your opinions always and I can’t say that about many bloggers. My point is that we not be ‘generous’ but that we be respectful. One can be respectful at the same time as we remove his tongue for lieing (mentir). not sure about that spelling for lying.

  324. OUCH. Great work, Thanks Willis.
    I don’t mind paying (as a tax payer/consumer) for climate research. But, if just half of funds went to real research instead of some unprovable notion, then UK and Australia might have been better prepared. That’s the real travesty of the AGW scam.

    I will be sending a copy Willis’s Essay to the Honorable Senator Sharron Brown of Ohio.

    All Congress has to do is to declare CO2 a non pollutant. Put the pressure on them.

  325. Mike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    Redundant, lumbering and meandering. Less would have been more.

    Mike

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, you can’t help it:)

  326. I take it then that Trenberth’s current working hypothesis and indeed the working title of his next peer reviewed journal article would be “Overriding Anthropogenic Vengeful Disruption of Natural Cyclic Disruption of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption”.

  327. Izen

    “The change in climate behaviour may NOT be discernible from climate change prior to the postulated anthropogenic effect.”

    Your point seems to be that if we don’t know what the historical climate (pre industrial) was, then how can you have a null hypothesis that uses that historical climate as its benchmark? How can you falsify the null hypothesis if you don’t have the data to compare against?

    These are valid points, but the argument cuts both ways. Firstly, this is EXACTLY what the AGW came are doing – they are taking so-called proxy data (which you say is meaningless) and comparing that to modern data to point to unusual trends. Yet they were only able to do that successfully using the Mannian type hockey sticks. But as you yourself point out, we just don’t know historical data accurately enough to make such a comparison.

    The second point is that we do actually have historical facts to make a reasonable assertion that present climate is not unusual. We have the Viking Greenland settlements; Vineyards in the North of England; glacier retreats which have uncovered archeological artifacts; admiralty reports of drastic arctic ice loss in recent history.

    I feel comfortable believing that today’s climate is no different from past episodes.

  328. TonyB and chuckarama were concerned about continued funding of climate if “the science is settled.”

    I would have guessed that funding for NASA Goddard, NOAA, NSF, and the new Dept of Energy AND Climate change soaked up all the government funding, but no.
    I just found this:

    How Much of Your Money Wasted on ‘Climate Change’? Try $10.6 Million a Day

    January 15, 2011 – by Art Horn

    Seems everyone is talking about the massive United States federal deficit and how it has now reached an unfathomable $14 trillion. Is there any way to comprehend such a bloated number? Try this: the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. At that speed a photon of light starts at the surface of the Sun and reaches the Earth in 8 minutes. On Star Trek, the speed of light is warp one — at that speed the Enterprise would travel about 6 trillion miles in one year. If each dollar of the deficit is represented by one mile, it would take the Enterprise more than two years traveling the speed of light to go 14 trillion miles.

    So what can we cut out of the federal budget to make any kind of dent in this enormous pile of borrowed money? We could start with the vast sums of cash being wasted on climate change research.

    This year, your government will spend in the neighborhood of $4 billion on global warming research, despite the fact that there has been no global warming since 1998, and despite all of the billions that have been spent so far yielding no conclusive evidence that using fossil fuels to make energy has any significant effect on Earth’s temperature.

    The human component of carbon dioxide that is injected into the air each year is very small, on the order of 3%. Half the carbon dioxide emitted into the air by human activity each year is immediately absorbed into nature. Carbon dioxide is 8% of the greenhouse effect; water in the air is 90% of the greenhouse effect. By volume, carbon dioxide is currently at about 390 parts per million in the atmosphere, increasing at about 2 parts per million annually. In other words, carbon dioxide is increasing at a rate of .5% per year. Since human activity adds 3% of the carbon dioxide that gets into the air each year, the human component of the increase in carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year is 3 % of .5%, or just .015%.

    Here is what the federal government thinks is happening with the Earth’s climate due to the burning of fossil fuels — the following quote is from chapter 15 of the Advancement of Science’s 2011 budget request:

    Past scientific research demonstrates that the Earth’s climate is changing, that humans are very likely responsible for most of the well-documented increase in global average surface temperatures over the last half century, and that further greenhouse gas emissions, particularly of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, will almost certainly contribute to additional widespread climate disruption. This climate disruption poses considerable risk to society because it can be expected to cause major negative consequences for most nations and to a wide range of species.
    The first sentence is obvious: of course the Earth’s climate is changing; it always has and always will no matter what we do.

    The next statement — “humans are very likely responsible for most of the well-documented increase in global average surface temperatures over the last half century” — is speculation. The statement completely ignores any natural variability in the climate. Apparently all of nature’s power to regulate the Earth’s temperature, which has been going on for millions of years, stopped 50 years ago, and now carbon dioxide is the principal driver of the climate. This is political and social advocacy, not science.

    Then, this statement: “further greenhouse gas emissions, particularly of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, will almost certainly contribute to additional widespread climate disruption.” The implication is that there has already been widespread climate disruption — there has not. There is no more extreme weather going on now than anytime in the last 2,000 years. Per the complex Orwellian world of government-speak, we have now moved on from “global warming” to “climate change” to “climate disruption.” Climate change wasn’t frightening enough! What’s next? My money’s on “climate disintegration” — that should keep the money flowing so we can figure out who and what will be disintegrated.

    The statement then reads: “This climate disruption poses considerable risk to society because it can be expected to cause major negative consequences for most nations and to a wide range of species.” And that is the key to all of this: the fear factor. Pitching rising sea levels and other catastrophic consequences to keep the research money coming.

    If you want to know where to save money in the budget, cut the vast sums of redundant funding headed to redundant federal agencies doing redundant climate change research. Four billion dollars to study climate change — and that’s just for this year!

    Check the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2011 budget request, and go to chapter 15: Climate Change in the FY 2011 Budget. The numbers are staggering. In 2011, your government will spend $10.6 million a day to study, combat, and educate about climate change.

    The big winner in the climate change money train is the National Science Foundation — they are requesting $1.616 billion. They want $766 million for the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program, a 15.9% increase from their last budget. They also need another $370 million for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), an increase of 16%. They say they also need another $480 million for Atmospheric Sciences, an increase of 8.1%, and Earth Sciences, up 8.7%.
    Oh, and $955 million for the Geosciences Directorate, an increase of 7.4%.
    The second largest request for money in 2011 comes from the Department of Energy. They say they need $627 million for things like funding for renewable energy. The request represents a whopping 37% increase from last year! They want a 12% increase for energy efficiency programs. They want to eliminate $2.7 billion of subsidies for industries that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide.

    Let’s get NASA in on the parade! For 2011, NASA wants $438 million to study climate change, an increase of 14%. NASA’s total Earth Sciences budget request is actually $1.8 billion. Some $809 million of that is for satellites, some of which are specifically put in orbit to study climate change. It is difficult to separate out which ones are for climate monitoring and which ones are not, so I won’t include this number in the overall climate change money train. But make no mistake: a significant percentage of the $809 million is exclusively for climate change satellites.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is looking for $437 million for climate research. This is an increase of 21.4% from the previous budget. This includes funds for regional and national assessments of climate change, including ocean acidification. Once again, another meaty bag of money to tap into for researchers, who have nice cars and big houses and need to keep up the payments.

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) is also interested in robbing the climate change vault — they say they need $244 million in 2011. Of this total, $171 million is for the Climate Change Adaptation initiative. This program identifies areas and species that are most vulnerable to climate change, and implements coping strategies. Another $73 million is needed for the New Energy Frontier initiative. The goal of this program is to increase solar, wind, and geothermal energy capacity.

    Solar and wind power don’t survive without this government funding.

    Is that $14 trillion making sense yet?

    Of course, there’s more. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants $169 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an increase of 1%. Do you believe that next year greenhouse gases will be reduced by the EPA spending $169 million? I would bet the ranch that greenhouse gases will continue to increase next year, and the year after that, and the year after that despite EPA spending your money.

    Is there any government agency that does not get some climate change funding? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants $338 million for climate change programs. They want $159 million for climate change research, up a whopping 42%. They also want another $179 million for renewable energy, an increase of 41%! The USDA’s climate change efforts are supposed to help farm and land owners adapt to the impacts of climate change. Yes, really.

    Redundancy on top of redundancy, piles of money on top of piles of money. All to study climate change, which, according to the theory, should be warming us rapidly, but, according to the data, has stopped. How much of the requested money these government agencies actually get is not yet known. The way they spend money in Washington, you can rest assured they’ll get most of it.

    If you’re looking to cut the budget, climate change is a good place to start. If we don’t get a handle on Washington’s spending soon, and I mean very soon, climate change will be the least of our problems.

    Art Horn spent 25 years working in television as a meteorologist. He now is an independent meteorologist and speaker who lives in Connecticut. He can be contacted at [/snip].

    [I have removed the email address. It is not fair or wise to post it in the open for the spam bots to absorb and use …. without expressed permission and request from the owner. bl57~mod]

  329. HAS, very good point. It is true that your null hypothesis can either be the consensus of a new paradigm, an old one, or your particular belief. Once stated, whatever it is, it is up to you, and in this case Trenberth, to find fault with it. Trenberth must therefore retract his charge for us to disprove his preferred null hypothesis. Indeed, his next grant must be about finding non-anthropogenic sources of variation. And he must search hard and long for it. The rest of his career, in fact, must be dedicated to that task. I wait…………………………………

  330. HAS,

    “So Dr T is perfectly at liberty to say I’m testing to falsify that CO2 has no/limited impact on temperatures.”

    But that’s NOT what he’s saying at all. He is saying that since he has changed the null hypothesis to be that co2 has caused modern warming, then until such time that somebody falsifies it, this will remain an axiomatic truth. And if nobody is able to falsify it, then what is the world supposed to believe?

  331. Well, I’ve checked about 100 comments and it’s running at about 99 to 1 in favour of Willis’s comment.

    Resistance is thus futile.

  332. richcar 1225 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Trenberth and his ilk are hitting the lecture circuit trying to ride the 2010 El Nino that was a disappointment but represents a last gasp for the AGW movement. They realize they face an increasingly sceptical public and congress. With the NAO and record positive SOI working against them they know that this is their last best chance to convince their fellow scientists. NPR, in a radio segment today pitted a ‘climate scientist’ against a kid in the global warming debate. The kid suggested she would like to hear the other side of the debate.

  333. [Oops – I may have just posted the snippet – clicked “Post Comment” instead of “edit” (the ItsAllText Firefox addon). Sorry].

    richcar 1225 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    NPR, in a radio segment today pitted a ‘climate scientist’ against a kid in the global warming debate. The kid suggested she would like to hear the other side of the debate.

    That’s at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/424/kid-politics , act two as they like to say:

    Act Two. Climate Changes. People Don’t.

    Climate expert Dr. Roberta Johnson presents the best evidence there is that climate change is real, in hopes of convincing a very skeptical audience: a 14 year old named Erin Gustafson. (14 minutes)

    I heard a bit of the beginning and end. “Free mp3 available Sunday 7PM” – from Chicago, so likely Monday 0100 UT.

  334. old construction worker says:
    January 16, 2011 at 5:00 am

    “[…] I will be sending a copy Willis’s Essay to the Honorable Senator Sharron Brown of Ohio. […]”

    Better send it to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. ;o)

  335. Robb876 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am

    > Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??

    Yep! Now, making through all of the comments, I can’t keep up. And Saturday is the slow day on the web. Had Willis posted this Thursday, the moderators would have collapsed within 24 hours.

  336. 1. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Mr. Eschenbach – I’m sorry you find my comments so distasteful.

    My comment: What a dishonest posting.

    Your response: “What an unpleasant start, Buzz [snip]. Come back when you have learned to use your indoor voice and play nicely with the other children, there’s a good boy … I may be an idiot, and I certainly may be mistaken, but by god I’m an honest man. For you to start your posting by insulting the honesty of someone you never met is a really, really dumb thing to do, Buzzbrain. You’ve poisoned your own well.”

    First, I’ll defend my statement. The original posting is intellectually dishonest. You accuse Trenberth of implying – through a single cherry-picked sentence – that the IPCC found human causation of weather ills (rather than just warming generally) to be “unequivocal.” It did not, obviously. But then you quote the IPCC a few times to show that “the IPCC said nothing like what he is implying.” You fail to mention the IPCC’s “highly likely” finding, implying that the IPCC reached no conclusions as to human causation. In other words, you’re engaged in the exact same fallacy you’ve accused Trenberth of committing. So I stand by my contention that the original post is dishonest.
    Second, you accuse me of a lack of civility for questioning the posting’s intellectual honesty. In your post, you patronize me like a child (“use your indoor voice and play nicely with the other children, there’s a good boy”), called what I said “dumb,” name-call (“Buzzbrain,” “Buzz Lightyear,” “Buzzard”), and accused me of ignorance (“do your homework,” “stay awake,” “try to keep up,” etc.). I may be substantively incorrect, sir (most posters on this board agree with you, while other boards would mock your “analysis” mercilessly), but any objective analysis of our two comments would grade yours much lower on the civility scale.

    My post: The point that we haven’t warmed the past decade and that the past 30 years are consistent with natural variability …. kind of shameless. You have to do some serious manipulations with starting years or peak years to come to those conclusions.

    Your response: “Actually, it’s no warming for the past 15 years, and even Phil Jones has said that the past 30 years are statistically indistinguishable from the last rise in temperature. You sure you stayed awake during the intermission? Because what you are saying is not just unbelievably stupid, it is also 100% wrong. DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST, you are embarrassing yourself.
    And “shameless”??? Are you unable to open your mouth without insulting someone, is that a requirement for your writing?”

    Quite apart from your screaming and continuing patronizing, I am quite sure you know the true story. All of the temp keepers (NCDC, GISS, HadCRUT, RSS, UAH) show broad agreement that this past decade averaged between 0.16-0.18 degrees C warmer than past decade. It is a false statement of fact to say that the planet hasn’t warmed in the past decade, and it is shameless to claim otherwise. You can pick an isolated year (1998, 2005) and say that a particular later year (2008) is cooler, but that’s not what you did.
    And here’s the part of the Phil Jones interview you’re referring to:
    Question: “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”
    Jones: “Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”
    In other words, it has gotten warmer, even in a cherry-picked timeframe. If you add in 2010, we’re at the statistically significant level. And if you go back further than 1995, we’re above 0.2C degrees per decade.
    And for good measure, here’s another question and answer, verbatim:
    “How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?”
    Jones: “I’m 100 percent confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.”

    My comment: Nine of the 10 warmest on record within the past decade (1998 being the other). The rolling 5-year or 13-month averages on a steady upward trend. In fact, including the last two years, we are well within the 0.2-0.3 degrees C per decade. And the last 30 years show a marked departure from the previous 300 in terms of the rate of temp increase and the temp levels reached.

    Your response: “Well, Buzz Lightweight, as they say … duh.
    In a time of general warming, it sounds like you expect the warmest decade to be at the start of the record. Here in the real world, we know that when the earth has been warming for three centuries, the warmest decade (whether in the 1700s, 1800s, or 1900s) will likely be the most recent one. We expect that, y’know, so we’re not surprised when it happens as you seem to be.
    Since you seem to be surprised by this predictable outcome, perhaps you could explain to the class why this is likely to be true in a time of centuries of general warming, and why it MEANS NOTHING ABOUT WHETHER HUMANS AFFECT THE CLIMATE.”

    I understand, but disagree with, your premise. We’re not in a period of “general (aka natural) warming.” Regardless of your belief in the cause of the LIA (the Maunder minimum or the more recent hypothesis of a prolonged NAO), those causative conditions ceased to exist in the mid- to late-1800s, at the latest. No “lag time” suggestion could say that the cessation of these phenomena are still causing current warming. Moreover, my comment was in response to your claim that we haven’t warmed the past decade (which is demonstrably false).

    My comment: This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.

    Your response: “Well, that makes your nastiness understandable, you are training to be a lawyer, which ups the odds that “Buzz” is really short for Buzzard.
    OK, Buzzard, If you think the 1980s predictions were accurate, perhaps you could also share with the class what the warnings of AGW in the 1980s were … ”

    Actually, I teach the class, at a law school in coal country. Students that plan to head into the field need to understand where the law is heading, whether its the reach of Mass v EPA, the new EPA stationary source regs, the financial incentives for energy projects, etc. I’m just fixing the misperception my comment must have caused, not claiming that gives me any particular expertise. Every year, as I start to get into teaching the UNFCCC and Kyoto, I need to review things like the First Climate Conference, the Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere, the various declarations and agreements around the globe, the Second Climate Conference – all things that happened in the run-up to the Framework Convention. The broad identification of the problem, projected temp increases made during these events, and identification of effects of climate change proved extremely accurate. That was my point.
    (As an aside, and in response to mostly other posters, it’s not true that scientists in the 80’s or even in the 70’s were predicting “cooling” rather than “warming.” Yes, there were a couple mainstream magazine covers that talked of cooling in the 1970s. But, by a ratio of 6-to-1, peer reviewed scientists who ventured an opinion in the 1970s were in fact predicting warming, not cooling. There was no doubt in the 1970’s that CO2 caused warming by trapping reflective heat, or that aerosols and particulate matter caused cooling. Natural solar cycles and NAO cycles were also understood in the 1970s. What wasn’t understood was what forcing agent would be dominant in subsequent years. As noted above, the great majority (44 of 51) who ventured an opinion that passed peer review sniff tests were predicting warming, Time and Newsweek magazine covers notwithstanding.)
    I don’t know about the individual predictions about some specific quantifiable change in isolated effects you cite. If I spent the time, I could give you a litany of incorrect predictions on fundamental AGW premises by skeptics (not just those of non-scientists saying we’re heading into a cooling period, but Spencer’s changing cause-and-effect theories and Lindzen’s iris projections), but that’s beyond the scope of this exchange.

    Your comment: “Buzz, you’ve wandered into a buzz-saw here. You obviously haven’t been following the story at all. If you try again, you’ll only get hurt. You are fighting outside your weight class, against men who participated in the original battles around the time of your birth.
    My advice in that case? Shut up and learn something.”

    Thanks for the advice. I’ve spent years trying to understand the nuances on both sides of this debate. I think I’ll keep engaging the skeptics anyway, despite your advice. I learn more that way than just engaging relatively like-minded folks on HuffPo or the NYT.
    As to your ad hominem attacks and tone — “Me thinks he doth protest too much.”

  337. Stuart Huggett says: January 16, 2011 at 4:22 am

    A point I would have thought that the legal people posting here might have picked up is the parallel legal principle to the null hypothesis – that of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

    YES

    It’s not exactly the same, but it is a way to help people understand rather than shut off.

    Moreover the fourfold principle of a court of law comes into its own in a way I think is very important for us. This is as follows:
    1. Case for the Prosecution
    Climate alarmists describe their version of IPCC – “MAN IS GUILTY”
    2. Case for the Defence
    True climate scientists state the true science – “There is no conclusive evidence of this, and a lot of evidence against it”
    3. Prosecution attacks the case for Defence
    The pseudoskeptic alarmists “debunk” all the skeptics’ issues a la John Cook.
    4. Defence answers Prosecution’s attacks
    For instance, Monckton showed (stage 2) that by IPCC’s own science, the warming effect from increasing CO2 was incorrect – far too high. Gavin Schmidt answered (stage 3) but then coyly declined to reveal the fact that Monckton actually answered all Gavin’s points (this stage, 4)

    IMHO we will not win this war until we can band together to carry out Stage Four regarding all the major statements of Stage Three ie Royal Society, NAS, BBC, RealClimate, Gristmill, and John Cook – and produce a joint statement to all the alarmists’ issues that is agreed or at least accepted by all skeptics. Monckton is sadly still a lone voice in doing this. And meanwhile Prosecution still runs rings round us. Those rings may be weakening but they are still there, as is evidenced by those like Buzz.

  338. HAS sez:

    “The fact that the null often reflects the default or commonly held view is simply because typically it isn’t usually very interesting to prove what is already common belief. But when there’s real argument or difference of views the experimenter is free to choose what they are trying to do in their experiment.

    So Dr T is perfectly at liberty to say I’m testing to falsify that CO2 has no/limited impact on temperatures. In fact he should have been doing this all along given what he clearly believes.”

    No. By switching the null hypothesis in this manner, scientists are forced to try to prove a negative. This is logically impossible, and Trenberth probably knows that. What a perfect hypothesis for them! Society would then have to cave in to the CAGW nonsense because they cannot prove there’s nothing to it (and it looks like there is not)!

  339. Stuart Huggett says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:22 am
    “This analogy seems to me to be particularly useful in resolving the point made by Izen at several posts – the need for the null hypothesis to be defined (or at least that is what I think he is requiring)…The null hypothesis is simple – there is no abnormal variation in the present climate and it is incumbent upon anyone falsifying this hypothesis to demonstrate that there is abnormal variation.”

    Very well said. Some people have a gift for plain speaking and others attain the ability after a lot of self-criticism. I cannot trust a so-called scientist who cannot state his hypotheses in his own humble words and without resort to complicated machinery that presents risks of its own. The number one rule for any analyst is that the tools of analysis cannot be more complicated than the problem to be analyzed.

  340. I think the comments scare the Leftists of the AGW Climate-Man True Believer Cult more than establishment skeptics. The forum that hosted the debate between Trenberth and Gray (Gray the clear winner) was taken summarily taken down: the debate lives but the comments were killed. These AGW humanitarians of the Left need their Governor Palins like Nazis needed Jews.

  341. eadler writes:

    “I suspect that climate model researchers who understand the physics would attack these assumptions if they were incorrect. Can you cite any refutations of this particular set of assumptions in the climate modeling literature?”

    This is a brazen appeal to authority. You do not understand what the modelers are doing. You cannot explain what they are doing in your own words. You should say that you are clueless about the modelers’ claims. Instead, you bow to them and ask us to join you. These facts alone should set you free from the delusion that has you worshiping the modelers.

    Climate science is not rocket science. It is a branch of natural history. It is not physics. There will be no conceptual breakthroughs in high-level theory of the sort that took us from Newton’s physics to Einstein’s physics. There will be a lot of hard work creating and confirming hypotheses about the actual behavior of our atmosphere. Models are not hypotheses and cannot replace them. If you want to make claims for climate science, present the hypotheses that enable them to predict climate phenomena. By the way, at this time there are none.

  342. ref: the legal ”innocent til proven guilty’ angle – that is not strictly applied in most cases of civil law (as opposed to criminal law) – in the civil type actions, there simply has to be a majority of evidence either for or against. Technically, a case can be won by 51% to 49%. This is exactly the nature of the AGW ‘case’ – it is definitively presented as a theory which cannot be categorically proven or categorically debunked (though I would personally say it is debunked) – and therefore we are in the realms of a ‘balance of probabilities’ type case, which suits the warmists and alarmists down to the ground – they have no need to PROVE anything, just try and move the opinion to 51% – Job done! Of course, in a court case, all documentary evidence must be FULLY disclosed and available for all to review, sadly, this is not the situation with respect to the pro-AGW science!

  343. What an outstanding contribution to the real discussion on AGW. It beautifully sums up everything that is wrong with the science of the AGW cult. My suggestions to help our cause is for each of us to email to each of our pro-AGW friends this outstanding post together with the Dr. Trenberth piece. That way we will be more able to argue our corner when we meet them at dinners and other social occasions, but more importantly such action will have a marked effect in bringing doubt to the AGW argument and hasten its total demise. Nine of my friends have already got it on their in box. Go on everybody set to work now and do the same, it’s vital to our cause.

  344. Has it been pointed out that the “Community Chest” card actually reads “Community Cheat”?

    LOL

  345. WOW, GLOBAL COLD TAKING HOLD! Joe Bastardi

    The 06z run of the GFS as a global temp forecast of -.38C against the normals by midnight the 21st! Given where we are now, and what is projected the next 7 days at least, the Jan temp should finish between .1 and .2c below normal, which would be a drop, since August of over .6c!

    Now for those that think this is just a drop in the bucket, let me give you the facts. The global spike by the el nino was short lived because the el nino collapsed quickly. Why? Because we are in a cold PDO. Cold events in a cold PDO last longer and are stronger. The idea of the biggest one year drop from 2010 to 2011, which exceeds the post 97-98 nino drop looks darn good. Why? Because we had a warm PDO.

    More importantly, the average Joe, paying attention, will be able to easily see the linkage between the fluctuations of the ocean and the global temp. The ideas I have touting, trying to get people to understand that temp is a measure of energy, and the cooling where its warm matters much more to what is going to happen than warming where its cool, is showing why the forecast made here over 9 months ago for this drop has merit. A cold pdo, then amo.. the global temps fall, the opposite, as had been the case up until 3 years ago ( the amo is still warm) they rise. That it leveled off before hand shows the earths tendency to fight back in the first place, and also that no new ENERGY was being added to the system, or stored, to create the opined apocalypse. In addition, there is no sign of stratospheric cooling in the larger term, which is the tell tale sign of true tropospheric warming. Now hot spots being stored at 25,000 feet and compensating cooling above. Nada. At the surface, global sea ice can be explained simply by the fact that warm amo and pdo warm the continents around them in the means, which surround the northern ice cap. Now, what do you think will happen when we go the opposite way

    I realize everyone else is now waking up to this, and the deniers of the facts ( they want to call me a denier, well two can play this game) are saying this a fluctuation down, which will be met by bigger turn up. Wrong. The reason the global spike, whether you want to say it was the warmest ever or not ( 2010) could not go well beyond it is because the cooling has begun. After all, if the base state was higher than the 98 warm event, why didnt we just blow it away to get back to the IPCC forecast cone.

    I’m beginning to believe one side of my opponents argument.. that the debate may indeed be over, but not for the reasons they think. However if this all does occur, you wont see me arguing for the end of the debate of the influence of man… just arguing we shouldnt be shoving things down peoples throat based on agenda driven conclusions. I do think even if I carry the field on this FORECAST the next 10-20 years, it does not mean that my side should do to the other side what they have attempted to do to us, given that there is the lurking in the background the idea that so much research does have value. I guess that is what happens when one was brought up to be tolerant, open-minded and yes liberal IN THE TRUE SENSE OF THE WORDS. You do respect the other side, and what they bring to the table.

    I have never said that curbing emissions in an effort to better the world should not have a seat at the table, its just that its not at the head of the table. And I trust this will be proven to all but the most dogmatic over the coming years.

    And by the way, the ice, which has been lagging behind, is about to get a big boost as the AO goes toward positive. Remember that forecast is FOR THE SUMMER.. that we will have less ice melt than the past 5 years. Its not summer yet, and the areas lagging are about to turn colder for the rest of winter and spring. The US navy has been doing studies and they reveal precisely what people who dont have their head buried in the sand know, the THICK SEA ICE IS INCREASING! You can look at that yourself here.

    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/trends-in-arctic-ice-thickness-and-volume- 211.php

    Naturally, this is not showing up in the mainstream, and it takes a blog that is trying to offer counter ideas to show this. But its also fascinating to me that apparently a military organization, who by their very nature have to confront cold hard facts in their dealings, since lives are on the line immediately in their jobs, come up with a different conclusion than is seen in the civilian sector, WHO THEY ARE MADE TO PROTECT.. no matter what the cost.

    You do the math.

    ciao for now

    Have a look at Joe’s blog, there are more interesting stories to read

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather

    So, with global temps trailing below average, a fact not predicted by the UN IPCC, not predicted by NASA/GISS activist James Hansen, Trenberth nor Al Gore or all the other clowns the AGW claim that our CO2 emissions drive global temperatures is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, DEAD.

  346. I certainly understand why W.E is hot under the collar, we’ve all been suffering under decades idiocy that seems to increase as the scientific proof for AGW decreases. All of this fear mongering has an impact on all of us. Take for an example the misinformation about nuclear energy that has become truth in our culture over the past 30 years. Where are we today? Suffering again under idiots that think we’ll have refrigerator sized power plants in our basements in five years. Ask anyone on the street if solar power is a feasible alternative to coal. Then ask them how large a solar field must be constructed (in the sun belt) to replace just one of the 1,000 mega watt power plants in this country. It’ about one square mile of panels that will not produce energy at night or on cloudy days.
    Meanwhile the elderly freeze to death in England and it’s coming to a town near you if people like Dr. T keep this up.
    I believe this is an imperative:
    Nuclear power now
    Natural gas for transportation now
    We face many economic challenges in this country. Without affordable, clean domestic energy we will follow the fate of AGW

  347. CO2 accounts for 20% of the greenhouse effect. Adding 40% more CO2 means humans have increased the greenhouse effect by between 1 and 2% even without feedbacks. Given this, the null hypothesis that humans have had no effect on climate is already scientifically untenable. What remains of it is a merely statistical exercise for the signal to emerge from the noise, which it clearly has, but that leaves many still in denial. Examine the 0.5 degree warming and try to explain it entirely with the ocean and sun. It doesn’t work, plain and simple.

  348. Buzz Belleville:

    Regarding your last post:

    You wrore: “I understand, but disagree with, your premise. We’re not in a period of “general (aka natural) warming.” Regardless of your belief in the cause of the LIA (the Maunder minimum or the more recent hypothesis of a prolonged NAO), those causative conditions ceased to exist in the mid- to late-1800s, at the latest.”

    The fact is, we can’t fully account for the causative conditions that give rise to an approximately 900 year climate cycle. And yet, there we see Minoan, Roman, Medieval and Modern warm periods. They all had causative factors that were extant (obviously) throughout the cycles yet you dismiss any such factors can now exist. And you wonder why people are sceptical?

  349. An excellent article.

    However, what struck me – apart from the occasional alarmist rant – was how well written and carefully considered most of the comments here have been. People who can write good coherent English are not usually stupid – I suspect this is something which must really upset the AGW cult commanders.

    If you go on to a typical alarmist website, the comments are usually of the “Yah boo!” variety, from the semi-literate masses. It is rare indeed to find one of these sites which will publish a contrarian comment, presumably because they think censorship is the best way of protecting the faithful followers of bad science from the facts.

  350. Buzz Belleville says:

    “As to your ad hominem attacks and tone…”

    You started it, bud. Calling someone “dishonest” because you don’t agree is the same as calling him a liar. I’m surprised Willis was as restrained as he was. If you had called me a liar I would have let you have it with both barrels.

  351. I have had two kids, and when they were small they were quickly able to communicate to me if they wanted warmth, food or love
    Now I have two dogs, and somehow they are also always able to do exactly the same.
    yesterday, the plants and trees in the garden talked to me.
    They said they really wanted more warmth and more food (carbon dioxide)
    but now we have thousands and thousands of people who believe – or who have been made to believe \ (brainwashed) –
    that global warming and carbon dioxide is bad

    What to do in a case like this? We have people standing up for animal rights, so why don’t we stand up for the rights of plants and trees? Then we sue Trenbirth and his ilk in a court of law. I think Willis alone has enough proof to bring them all down.

    BTW I think I may have proved that CO2 does not cause any global warming.

    http://letterdash.com/HenryP/assessment-of-global-warming-and-global-warming-caused-by-greenhouse-forcings-in-pretoria-south-africa

  352. Bon Appetit!
    ————————————————————————————–
    Global warming researchers says eating bugs better for environment than eating meat
    Sunday, January 16, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

    http://www.naturalnews.com/031023_global_warming_insects.html

    (NaturalNews) Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands say that insects produce far less greenhouse gases than cattle and pigs do, and would thus be a viable alternative to eating meat. Published in the journal PLoS ONE, the study found that pigs, for instance, produce up to one hundred times more greenhouse gases than the equivalent weight of mealworms.

  353. Buzz Beleville

    I thought you wrote a long and thoughtful response. One of the prime difficulties I have is that we generally use too short a timescale when we consider climate.

    Typically that equates to the ‘life time’ viewpoint; “its warmer than when I was a child,”

    The scientific viewpoint; “The warmest since satellite records began” (in 1979)

    The quasi historical; “the warmest in the global instrumental record”, generally taken by Brits to be 1850 (CRU) and Americans to be 1880 (Giss)

    I think we can all agree that the first two time measurements are MUCH to short to be at all meaningful.

    As for the longer records, firstly we must stop being believng we know what a global temperature is, let alone that we have accurately captured it to tenths of a degree (do you actually know how instrumental land and sea records were taken?)

    We must then recognise that our instrumental records actually go back to 1659 in Britain, and a few decades later in other countries. Our extensive weather records enable us to go back much further with some accuracy.

    This shows us that we have been warming since probably 1601, and certainly since 1659-when our instrumental records began. So temperatures had ALREADY been rising for some 250 years before Dr Hansen came along-he and Phil Jones merely plugged into the end stages of a long warming trend-they didn’t capture the start of it. This is an important point which often gets overlooked.

    Temperatures have been warming in fits and starts of course, with numerous reverses and advances, but the general trend can be followed and such people as Lamb and Manley (Cru and Met office respectively) both agree that glaciers have been in retreat since before 1750.

    It is striking that the oldest temperature data set in the world has being turning down sharply for at least 8 years, and that the Mean average in 1659 was exactly the same as in 2010 at 8.83 Degrees C.

    Many other INDIVIDUAL records also show this downturn. GLOBAL warming is by no means GLOBAL.

    So the interesting question is why have we been generally warming for 350 years? Why do so many locations appear to have been bucking a generally global trend? Why do some people still believe the rate of change in recent years is unprecedented when its clearly not?

    The most sensational rise, by a comfortable margin, remains during the period 1698-1740, there have also been many smaller rises similar to the last few decades as I have enumerated here many times.

    Tonyb

  354. Very simply the trust is gone

    1. They failed t be open aboput how they reached their conclusions.
    2. They failed to get rid of their bad apples (Pachauri, Jones, Mann)
    3. They over hyped their conclusions.

    I am intersted in thsi sentence “it’s simple – you won’t be believed. And not just by me. Other scientists are watching, and considering, and evaluating.”

    Are they? I have a bad feeling other scientists are mostly failing to get involved and failing to take a proper interest. I think this point has been eloquently made by Hal Lewis?

    I do worry that the science community as a whole are going to take the wrap for what they have allowed to happen. If I were a scientist I would be standing up and shouting at them (the AGW cheats). I know many on this forum do just that, but my gut feeling is that most are not.

  355. Willis said:
    >However, were I in his shoes, I’d much prefer that people assumed I was Dr. Evil than >have them think I was Dr. Stupid Who Tries Really Hard [my bold].

    Got it in one, Willis….

  356. izen:

    Whether climate change is ‘Natural’ or manmade the attribution of a cause relies on a hypothesis that invokes physical processes. Looking only at the change in temperature is incapable of providing an explanation for that data.

    Climate Models using CO2 as at least a necessary driver simply haven’t been successful in making correct predictions compared to the null or “natural” state. In fact some of these predictions are even the direct opposite of what then happens in the [still] natural world.

    That’s why Climate Science is now saying that “weather” is “climate” and that whatever it decides is “anthropogenic climate disruption”, is “anthropogenic climate disruption” – and, of course, that we’re all gonna die if we don’t commit suicide first, or become enslaved, before it’s too late!

    But, izen, are you now really saying that GMT doesn’t even track any “physical processes”? It sounds like you are saying that Models using physical processes – CO2 “ghg” physics and whatever else the modellers decide to enter in – generate Model data which the GMT doesn’t have to reflect anymore, to either tend to verify or falsify the Model’s “physical processes”.

    In which case the CO2CAGWarming hypothesis itself has no bearing on “climate”, “climate change”, or “climate disruption”! Unless, of course, its “warming” works in very very very “mysterious ways” – perhaps knowable only by the faithful and the Post Normal Science Gurus?

    Imo, that’s were you’ve gotten yourself, izen.

  357. Buzz Belleville writes to Willis:

    “Second, you accuse me of a lack of civility for questioning the posting’s intellectual honesty. In your post, you patronize me like a child (“use your indoor voice and play nicely with the other children, there’s a good boy”), called what I said “dumb,” name-call (“Buzzbrain,” “Buzz Lightyear,” “Buzzard”), and accused me of ignorance (“do your homework,” “stay awake,” “try to keep up,” etc.). I may be substantively incorrect, sir (most posters on this board agree with you, while other boards would mock your “analysis” mercilessly), but any objective analysis of our two comments would grade yours much lower on the civility scale.”

    Buzz, the problem is not that you are substantively incorrect. The problem is that you are foundationally incorrect. You do not provide any evidence that you have a clue as to what scientific method is, but you provide much evidence to the contrary. Can you state the basic tenets of scientific method? I will give you some hints. You need to use the words or phrases ‘hypothesis’, ‘scientific explanation’, ‘phenomena to be explained’, ‘prediction’, ‘reasonably confirmed hypotheses’, ‘falsified hypotheses’, and a few more that I can explain in context when you make your submission. If you use the words or phrases ‘model’, ‘model fit to data’, ‘fit of average model runs to data’, and a few more, you will have proved that you are just drinking the koolaid and not at all serious. That is what you sound like to me.

    Had I not been informed otherwise by another WUWT commenter, I would have treated your comments as parody. When someone makes comments about something that he clearly does not understand, the comments are not parody, demands respect for his comments, and puts down those who accurately criticize his comments as being not only out of the ballpark but out of the region, then he is being uncivil. Recognize that you are in way over your head.

  358. Jim D says:
    January 16, 2011 at 8:55 am
    “CO2 accounts for 20% of the greenhouse effect. Adding 40% more CO2 means humans have increased the greenhouse effect by between 1 and 2% even without feedbacks. Given this, the null hypothesis that humans have had no effect on climate is already scientifically untenable. What remains of it is a merely statistical exercise for the signal to emerge from the noise, which it clearly has, but that leaves many still in denial. Examine the 0.5 degree warming and try to explain it entirely with the ocean and sun. It doesn’t work, plain and simple.”

    _____________________________________________________________

    You are simply plucking numbers out of your nether regions.

    Nobody can say with any certainty what proportion of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2. This question is stumping the world’s best scientists, yet you seem to have figured it out all by yourself.

    And NOTHING in climate science is “plain and simple”. Anybody who thinks otherwise is only going to make themselves look incredibly foolish whenever they express an opinion on the subject.

  359. Cheez Buzz,
    Why don’t you just give up the pretense and call your class “Killing business in the US for a fatalistic pipedream born of nihilism, through legal interpretations of scientific mistakes and misrepresentations of statistics” ?

  360. davidmhoffer says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    The multi-model averaging serves to filter out biases
    of individual models and only retains errors that are generally
    pervasive. There is some evidence that the multi-model mean
    fi eld is often in better agreement with observations than any of the
    fi elds simulated by the individual models (see Section 8.3.1.1.2),
    which supports continued reliance on a diversity of modelling
    approaches in projecting future climate change

    I love that paragraph! It describes the real ‘magic’ of climate modelling. Take the results of several incorrect models and average them to get a ‘better’ result.

    Now that’s what I call magic!

  361. Magnus says:
    January 16, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Yeah, just read it, another good piece
    My only complaint -I was a little perturbed by his suggestion of public scientific illiteracy in the first para. It is unfair to blame the public for the MSM and dogmatic mantra presented to them in respect of AGW. If the scientifically literate folk here and elsewhere cannot get hold of the ‘real’ data and ‘real’ science easily how the flip is Joe Public gonna do that? Those of us who are not medical doctors – go to a doctor when we are ill and have no real choice but to trust his judgement. Climate scientists (well, a few Team members, anyway) have set themselves up as the leading consultants with clear ‘controlling’ of reporting (including witholding data of course!) and thus it is unfair to consider the public illiterate in this regard.
    Those of us that are fortunate to have an education and a science background can ‘see the light’ – but there are many clever intelligent ordinary Joes doing their own jobs who simply cannot dig and delve like most of us on this site! It is these folk that need the real bottom line descriptions of the science so they can form honest opinions instead of being bullied by MSM BS (as released by the Team!)

  362. Willis quotes Nick:

    “All this because he expects you guys to do some real work by following the scientific process.”

    My God, man, science is the critical enterprise that has no peer. Most of the work in science is critical work. The fundamental duty of scientists who offer hypotheses is to provide all their work to the community so that others may attempt to replicate it. All of what is learned in those attempts is offered as criticism of the original work. Sometimes the original work cannot be replicated and falls to the wayside. Sometimes parts of it can be replicated but the work of replication itself becomes more interesting than the original work. See, all of that amounts to criticism of the original work.

  363. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Of course – that was kind of the intention of my point – AGW has been pushed into our lives by the MSM as a ‘given’ and the ‘court’ (i.e us – the public) are being forced to view it and make a judgement. [granted, not necessarily the folk on here, but Joe Public in general, I mean]
    Hence, if Joe Public reads say, 10 MSM articles promoting AGW and none rebutting AGW – his mind is going to go with the pro-AGW stance? (let’s just assume that most are not scientists with a scientifically enquiring mind!)
    In my opinion, they (the warmistas and politicos, etc) have deliberately misdirected the ‘court’.
    I wouldn’t like to say when the scientific method actually ‘died’ wrt mainstream climate science, but based on the climategate emails, it seems likely to have been some considerable time ago!

  364. A prosecution arguing for a shift to guilty until proven innocent sounds like a prosecution in real trouble.

  365. davidmhoffer says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    “The multi-model averaging serves to filter out biases
    of individual models and only retains errors that are generally
    pervasive. There is some evidence that the multi-model mean
    fi eld is often in better agreement with observations than any of the
    fi elds simulated by the individual models (see Section 8.3.1.1.2),
    which supports continued reliance on a diversity of modelling
    approaches in projecting future climate change”

    Notice, too, that it also treats all models as plain old collections of mathematical equations. If any two of the models actually contained hypotheses that address the same physical phenomena, we could ask if the two sets of hypotheses are logical contraries and, if so, which of the two is true. Try averaging that. The modelers are clueless about such points, as they are clueless about all of scientific method.

  366. HAS:
    Your post at January 16, 2011 at 1:24 am is a disgraceful attack on science.

    You assert:
    “And remember one persons null can be another’s alternate.”

    No! Absolutely not! That is a falsehood!

    As I said to you in my post to you at January 16, 2011 at 12:07 am
    “A scientist has to work within the scientific method. He/she does not have the luxury of changing the method because of any personal desire. And part of the scientific method is an acceptance of the nature and importance of the null hypothesis in any investigation.
    The null hypothesis is that in the absence of evidence of a change then it has to be assumed there has been no change.
    So, in the case of AGW, it has to be assumed that climate behaviour has not changed from previous climate behaviour unless and until there is evidence that climate behaviour has changed.
    There can be no compromise with this.”

    That is true. And no scientist would dispute it.

    Any attempt to assert that “one person’s null can be another’s alternate” is an assertion that enlightenment thought should be abandoned.

    YOUR ASSERTION IS WRONG.

    Richard

  367. In response to “Anything is possible”,
    I don’t expect many people here to be reading the latest science papers, but 20% comes from the JGR paper by Schmidt et al. in 2010. This being the latest refinement of estimates going back to the 1980’s. The 1990 IPCC report said 25% by a different measure.
    The sun hasn’t strengthened since the 1940’s, and the ocean somehow everywhere has warmed above average, which seems hard to explain with PDO and AMO redistributions. Is the cold water hiding beneath ready to come back, or is it crazy to think the extra CO2 warmed the surface instead as would be completely explained by AGW? Discounting AGW puts you in a tight spot trying to make the observations fit, which is why the null hypothesis is hanging by a statistical thread, yet so many cling to it.

  368. Kev-in-Uk says:
    January 16, 2011 at 11:28 am
    Theo Goodwin says:
    January 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    “I wouldn’t like to say when the scientific method actually ‘died’ wrt mainstream climate science, but based on the climategate emails, it seems likely to have been some considerable time ago!”

    Yes, and this is a new phenomenon for our political system. Will we rise to the challenge? There is never a dull moment.

  369. Robb 876
    Cute comeback on the “boobs aplenty” remark. I laughed………….but on a more serious note, I hereby completely deny using the “projection” construct in my original post or any subsequent posts contained herein.

  370. Buzz Belleville says: January 16, 2011 at 6:31 am What wasn’t understood was what forcing agent would be dominant in subsequent years.
    Who would have guessed it would be fudging the numbers?

  371. Jim D,

    Apparently you haven’t been reading the most recent science papers, especially the missing heat discussion, have you ?

    You are incorrect about the ocean temperatures. They have gone down since 2005 and so have the atmosphere temperatures, except for an El Nino blip in early 2010 This is impossible under standard CAGW theory.

    The sun’s irradiance has increased a lot since records have been kept. 1880 or so was the end of the little ice age. The increased warmth would according to Dr Hansen and his minions been amplified by water vapor 3 to 6 times over a period covering hundreds of years. It is continuing even today.

    Positive feedback would work on all warming, not just CO2 warming, wouldn’t it?

    The warming from 1978 to 1998 can easily be explained by an excess of El Nino’s vs La Nina’s

    I pulled the chart below into excel and graphed it. The results were amazing.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    From 1950 [the start] there were more La Nina’s than El Nino’s and it cooled. [Not surprising]

    From 1978 to 1998 there were more El Nino’s and it warmed. Also not surprising, and no CO2 is needed.

    From 1998 to present there have been years with more of each and temperatures have gone essentially sideways. How do the alarmists explain the lack of warming ?

  372. izen says:
    January 16, 2011 at 1:44 am

    @- smokey

    “The null hypothesis is completely falsifiable. Simply show a current parameter that has changed as a result of the increase in CO2. Presto! Null falsified.”

    I would nominate the satellite measured fall in OLR and the measured rise in DLR.

    Somehow I suspect you will find a reason NOT to accept that this falsifies the null hypothesis.

    Thanks for the nomination, Izen. Will I “find a reason NOT to accept that this falsifies the null hypothesis”?

    I don’t have to find a reason not to accept it, Izen, you’re missing lots of parts necessary for submission. You have to give us something solid if we are to consider your suggestion as something real. So far you have given us zip. Nada. Nothing.

    Right out of the box, it is just a good idea, completely without content. There is no data. No analysis. No references. No citations. No error bars. No logical chain. No historical comparisons. Nothing but a bald claim, with no support presented at all.

    So yes, Izen, I didn’t even need to look for reasons. You presented us with the very good reasons why you are not even within shouting distance of even the most purblind reviewer accepting your idea as a falsification of the null hypothesis.

    Now if you would give us the location of the relevant datasets, as well as the historical average for the OLR and the DLR to verify that your recent data (whatever it might be, you have given us no clue so far) is out of the historical variation, then we’d have something to discuss. To do that, of course, we’ll need some kind of error estimates, not only for the measurement, but for the previous measurements to which we are comparing it.

    To misquote you, “Somehow I suspect you will find a reason NOT to follow through on this …” Me, I’d be shocked if there is enough quality data to even make a comparison.

    People have this idea that because they are in space, satellites can measure things like albedo and OLR for the entire planet. But while a satellite is better than looking from the ground for that kind of stuff, it still can only see half of the planet at one time. And more restricting, it can only measure the OLR and the albedo reflections that are headed directly for the satellite. The rest of the OLR or the albedo reflections go unmeasured out to space. So it is hard to get OLR measurements from satellites.

    But you also speak of the satellite measured rise in DLR … compared to satellite measurement of DLR, measuring OLR is easy. This is because, as the name says, downwelling longwave radiation is going down towards the surface, rather than out towards the satellites. I’m sure you can see your upcoming problem, Izen, huge error bars and a teeny-weeny-signal. I wish you well with that, please report back with your falsification of the null hypothesis.

    But again, Izen, this is a side issue. The issue is not whether you can do what Trenberth and Hansen and everyone else has failed to do for a quarter century despite their best efforts. It seems doubtful that you can do it, but you might, and you are doing the right thing in the right way, you are doing real science, and I applaud you for it.

    The issue it is that in response to the problems falsifying the null hypothesis, Izen, you are still giving it your best shot (real science) while Trenberth is suggesting that he be declared the unilateral winner (non-science, non-sense, and cheating to boot).

    PS – you seem to think that the changes in OLR and DLR are somehow related to increasing GHGs … if the IPCC is right and the change is really 0.8°C per watt per square metre, and we’re looking at a doubling of CO2 in lets say 100 years … heck, let’s make it 50 years to be real conservative.

    When you come back for us to consider your falsification, Izen, please provide us with an estimate of the TOA imbalance you think you’ll find. Because by my numbers, you’re looking for a 3.7W/m2 increase in 50 years, that’s something like a tenth of a watt imbalance maintained over 50 years.

    And if you think the satellites are measuring OLR or DLR to a real accuracy better than tens of watts, not tenths of watts but tens of watts, please bring in your evidence.

    Thanks,

    w.

  373. Jim D:

    You make a good try at justifying nonsense at January 16, 2011 at 11:50 am where you write:

    “The sun hasn’t strengthened since the 1940′s, and the ocean somehow everywhere has warmed above average, which seems hard to explain with PDO and AMO redistributions. Is the cold water hiding beneath ready to come back, or is it crazy to think the extra CO2 warmed the surface instead as would be completely explained by AGW? Discounting AGW puts you in a tight spot trying to make the observations fit, which is why the null hypothesis is hanging by a statistical thread, yet so many cling to it.”

    Please note that the inability of you or anybody else to “fit” known explanations for climate behaviour to observed climate behaviour merely proves you do not know the causes of climate behaviour. That inability has no relevance of any kind to consideration of the null hypothesis of climate behaviour. And what can or cannot be “completely explained” by anything has no relevance to the null hypothesis.

    As I and others have repeatedly explained above, the null hypothesis is that in the absence of evidence of a change then it has to be assumed there has been no change.

    So, it has to be assumed that climate behaviour has not changed from previous climate behaviour unless and until there is evidence that climate behaviour has changed.

    The null hypothesis of climate behaviour would be disproved if some change to climate behaviour were observed to not be explicable as being similar to previous climate. Then – and only then – would the null hypothesis of climate behaviour be disproved.

    Therefore, unless and until the null hypothesis is disproved, the governing assumption of climate behaviour is that it and its causes have not changed (i.e. they continue to be natural variation). And, importantly, there is no scientific need for AGW – or any other hypothesis – to explain a phenomenon of altered climate behaviour which is not observed to exist.

    Richard

  374. “it still can only see half of the planet at one time.”

    Not even half, significantly less if the satellite is in an orbit below geosynchronous.

    Mark

  375. Well put Willis,

    Now do you think the good(?) Doctor will listen and heed one single bloody word of it?

    I truly hope I am wrong, but the man has a history….

  376. Jim D says:
    January 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

    “Is the cold water hiding beneath ready to come back, or is it crazy to think the extra CO2 warmed the surface instead as would be completely explained by AGW?”

    The problem with your thinking is that you believe that you can ask a meaningful question about some state of the oceans totally in absence of any hypotheses that could explain the phenomenon in question. Like all modelers, you believe that science is a matter of opening some door not yet opened and discovering the answer in all its glory. In thinking like this, you put the cart before the horse. No scientific questions about our natural world make any sense apart from some network of hypotheses that explain the phenomena in question and that have been used to predict interesting aspects of the phenomenon. As stated, your question has no meaning whatsoever. That is because there is no framework of hypotheses to which you can refer that can explain what would count as an answer to the question.

    “Discounting AGW puts you in a tight spot trying to make the observations fit, which is why the null hypothesis is hanging by a statistical thread, yet so many cling to it.”

    In absence of reasonably well-confirmed physical hypotheses that can be used to explain and predict what you mistakenly call “observations,” no meaningful statements about those “observations” are possible. If your statement has any meaning at all then it refers to computer code and to no other part of the real world.

    To have a tiny hope of attaining some humility, every person must learn that the fact that you can imagine a man six hundred feet tall does not mean that the question “Could there be a man six hundred feet tall?” has a scientific meaning. The physical hypotheses which explain the human body provide a definitive answer to the question. The answer is no. Get your head out of the computer code and out of your imagination and into the real world. If climate science advances, it will do so on the basis of reasonably well confirmed physical hypotheses. At this time, it has none. That is not a reason for climate scientists to despair but a reason to get to work. What is needed first and foremost is a measurement regime for temperature and various other factors that satisfies the demands of climate scientists and what you would call critics of climate science.

  377. Jim D says:
    January 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I don’t expect many people here to be reading the latest science papers, but 20% comes from the JGR paper by Schmidt et al. in 2010. This being the latest refinement of estimates going back to the 1980′s. The 1990 IPCC report said 25% by a different measure.

    _____________________________________________________________

    The keyword here is ESTIMATE. An estimate is still an estimate, no matter how well-informed it is. Do Schmidt et al claim it is a definitive answer? I’m guessing not….

    “The sun hasn’t strengthened since the 1940′s, and the ocean somehow everywhere has warmed above average, which seems hard to explain with PDO and AMO redistributions.”

    It may not have strengthened, but it may not have to. Solar activity remained at historically-high levels throughout the second-half of the 20th. century – that’s why it’s called the “modern maximum”. High enough to cause the warming? We just don’t know. Which, by definition, means we can’t rule it out either.

  378. @eadler:
    January 16, 2011 at 12:08 am

    “Can you define for us what the potential energy of vapor condensate is, and explain why its effect is important enough to warrant consideration by climate models?
    Can you do the same for the other assumptions that were made to simplify the execution of the climate model which you referenced?

    You ridicule the modelers who wrote the paper you referenced for having made these simplifying assumptions it, but you haven’t shown that they are causing significant errors in the models.”

    Eadler, that is simply the most elegantly ass-backwards reversal of logic I have ever read. I can only think of three explanations for it:

    1. You either don’t really believe a word of what you type into these boxes and assume gullible accept your assertions without criticism or debate, a la Trenberth (in which case you’ve come to the wrong place).

    2. You are actually a bored AGW Skeptic with a sharp wit, penning an acerbic parody of the sort of bizarre inverted reasoning typical in warmist propaganda.

    3. You suffer from a cognitive dissonance so poetic in its completeness, it’s perfection, it should be put in a museum and held up for all to behold as an example of quite how far out of whack the human brain can go when it wants, beyond all logic, common sense and reason, not to have to admit to being totally wrong.

    You may have noticed that I haven’t attacked the substance of your comment [snipped]. It’s just that I don’t have to any more, now it’s acceptable to reverse the burden of proof in an argument. It’s up to you to prove that everything you say isn’t complete [snip].

    [That language might be accurate, might even be deserved or earned, but it still isn’t appropriate. 8<) Robt]

  379. Richard S Courtney says:
    January 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

    HAS:
    Your post at January 16, 2011 at 1:24 am is a disgraceful attack on science.

    You assert:
    “And remember one persons null can be another’s alternate.”

    No! Absolutely not! That is a falsehood!…

    …Any attempt to assert that “one person’s null can be another’s alternate” is an assertion that enlightenment thought should be abandoned.

    YOUR ASSERTION IS WRONG.

    Richard, yes! But just to glom on to your rightful, meaning supporting statement – obviously because otherwise no one would be able to understand anything said, including what we are saying right now – to emphasize that HAS’s assertion, paradoxically to HAS, is also an assertion that would prove to everyone who is objective, or at worst “biased” toward objectivity, that Climate Science is not doing real, scientific method, science, and is essentially permanently delusional, since it claims that everything is “subjective”, including facts, reality, etc.. – except for the objective claim that everything is subjective, of course.

    Therefore, Climate Science would be telling us that it is not telling us anything, because everything is subjective, so that it and, allegedly, we wouldn’t be able to know that we understood anything it said, including what it is apparently telling us about itself. Which is what happens if “everyone has their own interpretation of things,” so that even the meaning of words is terminally or hopelessly subjective, and communication itself is impossible – again, because “everything is subjective”.

    Bottom line, once having destroyed Science and word meanings, Post Normal Science wants to get everything down to some kind of emotional or “after tasty” vote, at least until brute Totalitarian control makes even that unnecessary.

  380. Vince Causey says: January 16, 2011 at 5:32 am

    “[DR T] is saying that since he has changed the null hypothesis to be that co2 has caused modern warming, then until such time that somebody falsifies it, this will remain an axiomatic truth. And if nobody is able to falsify it, then what is the world supposed to believe?

    Changing the null hypothesis has no impact on the burden of proof notwithstanding Dr T’s sophistry in claiming the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence [on the climate]. This perhaps indicates either how little Dr T knows about science, or the extent to which the politics are overwhelming his commitment to it.

    Vince, Dr T can change the null hypothesis he uses, but this has no impact on axiomatic truths, what is true or false, or the ability of other people to test other hypotheses.

    Dr T is simply saying this for effect, don’t buy into it, but do take the opportunity to force him to state his null clearly in a testable way. It will be the first time this has happened AFIK, and it will lead to a significant improvement in the debate.

    jae says January 16, 2011 at 7:01 am

    By switching the null hypothesis in this manner, scientists are forced to try to prove a negative. This is logically impossible, and Trenberth probably knows that. What a perfect hypothesis for them! Society would then have to cave in to the CAGW nonsense because they cannot prove there’s nothing to it (and it looks like there is not)

    No, the debate is about whether a scientist tries to falsify “man made CO2 causes the majority of global warming” (Dr T’s suggestion) or falsify “man made CO2 doesn’t”. neither are logically impossible to do, and in my view both are worthy of study. See also comments to Vince.

    Richard S Courtney says January 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Richard, the particular null is not part of the scientific method, only the process of falsifying a null as a means to adding weight to the alternate (rather than directly trying to demonstrate the alternate – this was Fisher’s contribution).

    However we are not going to settle this by each reasserting our positions. Perhaps have a look at a statistical reference or two – e.g. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/NullHypothesis.html and particularly note the use of the word “usually”.

    On the question of whether one person’s null can be another’s alternate have a look at the pair I suggest for consideration in response to jae. I frankly think either leads to a useful information about what’s going on, and neither leads to the end of the scientific method as we know it.

  381. Wow!

    A riveting, profound, utter excoriation.

    A tour de force tar and feathering.

    A complete and thorough intellectual whipping.

    Willis I hope you forward some version of this to every major newspaper as an op ed piece.

    [And of course, most newspaper editorial departments these days are cowards when it comes to challenging the AGW scam, so they probably won’t publish it. Grrrr!]

    Extremely well done, though. Keep up the great work!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  382. Willis,

    I applaud your tenacity, but arguing with izen is like beating the puppy for peeing on the rug yesterday. He doesn’t realize why he’s wrong and it won’t do any good. I’ve read izen’s comments on many blogs over the last 6 months or so. He’s a thoroughly entrenched ideologue. No amount of evidence or logic will shake his conviction. The same for Smokey. Brother, I love to read your comments, but sometimes it’s best to let a dolt be dolt and leave it at that.

  383. Dr. Dave,

    Thanks for the feedback. Most times I’m not responding to educate an individual [you can see that their minds are made up and can’t be changed]; I’m pointing out their errors for a wider audience.

    The problem is that on most alarmist blogs, comments that correct bad information, or that refute incorrect facts, are censored [held permanently in moderation, then deleted], or snipped in such a way that the meaning or intent is changed.

    This site allows, and even encourages contrary comments. The down side is that casual readers are often being given wrong information. I think that’s really the intent of the handful of warmist repeat commentators. They make quite a few false assertions, and if they’re not corrected, readers who are less familiar with the topic can be led down the garden path. There’s too much misinformation in the media as it is.

    If we don’t correct wrong information here, there are not many other places where the real facts can get out. If climate progress, realclimate, tamino, etc., would allow a real, uncensored debate, it wouldn’t be so necessary to set the record straight here.

  384. Let’s not be too rough on Mr. Belleville – he’s just doing his job, ie , training environmental trial lawers to derail projects and extort monies from industry . This is already a lucretive career and surely stokes the ambitions of up and coming bloodsuckers . However , I suspect he is not the most popular guy in Buchanan County , which is the most important coal producing county in Va .

  385. Oh, good. Buzz the lawyer is back, to give me neatly numbered objections to my statements, starting with:

    Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 6:31 am

    1. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Mr. Eschenbach – I’m sorry you find my comments so distasteful.

    My comment: What a dishonest posting.

    Your response:

    What an unpleasant start, Buzz [snip]. Come back when you have learned to use your indoor voice and play nicely with the other children, there’s a good boy … I may be an idiot, and I certainly may be mistaken, but by god I’m an honest man. For you to start your posting by insulting the honesty of someone you never met is a really, really dumb thing to do, Buzzbrain. You’ve poisoned your own well.

    First, I’ll defend my statement. The original posting is intellectually dishonest.

    That’s lawyerly booshwah. You said it was a dishonest posting. Now you want to change the record, and claim that you really, truly meant it was intellectually dishonest. Sorry, Buzz, your moving finger writes, and having writ …

    But heck, I’m a nice guy. So let me amend my previous statement to fit your preferences. Are you ready?

    What an unpleasant start, Buzz [snip]. Come back when you have learned to use your indoor voice and play nicely with the other children, there’s a good boy … I may be an idiot, and I certainly may be mistaken, but by god I’m an intellectually honest man. For you to start your posting by insulting the intellectual honesty of someone you never met is a really, really dumb thing to do, Buzzbrain. You’ve poisoned your own well.

    You happy now?

    Now please, do go away and don’t come back until you give up on insulting people. You’ve been a lawyer too long, my friend. I am not a hostile witness that you are free to abuse or accuse, although at this point I’m definitely feeling hostile.

    You come in here and open the dialog by insulting me. Now you come back to say you you were just a poor innocent misunderstood poster. OK, so far, so good … then you explain the misunderstanding, it turns out you really didn’t mean I was dishonest, you really meant I was intellectually dishonest. Thanks.

    … short break while I take the clothes off of the line …

    Taking in the clothes on a sunny day is a very good thing to do. While I was out there I thought “Hmmm … I’m not reading this situation right.” I so was upset that before I went out to get the clothes I had actually written:

    Buzz, you can go photograph yourself in the asterisk. I’m totally serious, go forget yourself in the aspidistra.

    What I realized, as the tide of my blood pressure ebbed while I was getting the clothes, was that when I thought I was kidding you about your social skills, I wasn’t. You really don’t understand what you are doing. Perhaps you’ve been a lawyer too long …

    You open by saying you are sorry. Of course, you are not sorry for opening your post with insults. That’s what lawyers do, perhaps, I don’t know, but whatever, you’re not sorry for doing it.

    No, you are sorry that I find insults distasteful. Buzz, in the real world, insulting people as an opening move is generally … oh, never mind. I give up. Never mind.

    Bro’, I’m totally serious. You are way out of line, and the fact that you don’t realize it is scary. Think about what you just did. You need professional help with your people skills, my friend. My amateur advice, neatly numbered, is:

    1.Don’t enter a thread with an insult. It doesn’t get you points, it pisses people off, it invites resistance when your stated aim is to make converts, and your words and ideas immediately lose weight with the readers. It is that unusual combination, both bad tactics and bad strategy. Come in politely and you’ll get listened to. Come in with insults blazing and you’ll be shot down. Simple as that.

    2. If you are called on for doing something that foolishly suicidal, don’t re-enter the thread by refining, defining, extending, clarifying, or in any way explaining your insult. That gets your vote totally cancelled, it’s what we plebians call “lawyerly tricks”. Nobody will listen to a word you say after that, at that point you’re a recidivist, a repeat offender, you’re a convicted serial lawyer and I think you have to register as an offender under Megan’s Law or something like that, but the bottom line is you’re just talking to the hand from then on.

    Buzz, it might assist you if you thought of entering a new thread as if you were entering a man’s house in a foreign country. Would your first act upon entering be to insult the man?

    And if the man said “Hey, insulting the host when you enter his house is against our custom, it’s taken as a big insult”, would you:

    a) Apologize, and admire the fine construction of the man’s house?, or

    b) Tell the host that you are sorry that he was so thoughtless as to be offended by your insult, and repeat the insult in different words?

    Am I getting through here? After you insulted the man a second time, do you think he would be receptive to your brilliant insights?

    So. I’m a patient man, and besides, I just brought in the laundry and there’s football on TV, the kind with the pointy ball, life is good. I’m not going to answer a single one of your issues in your second (and equally unpleasant) attempt at opening a dialog. You know why? Because I didn’t even read them, and have no intention of doing so.

    But if you want to take a third try at the brass ring, Buzz, go right ahead, like I said, I’m a patient man. However, it will be as stunningly successful as your first two forays unless you first take off the lawyer hat and drop the lawyer ‘tude. You are the guest in a foreign house here, just state the facts and leave your provincial prejudices and puffed-up self-esteem back wherever you hail from. There, you are no doubt an important man, and you are free to insult your students or your witnesses at will.

    Here, you’re not a lawyer or a professor or anyone with any status or standing at all, here you’re the same as the rest of us, just another fool whose intentions (hopefully) are good.

    w.

  386. Mark T says:
    January 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    “it still can only see half of the planet at one time.”

    Not even half, significantly less if the satellite is in an orbit below geosynchronous.

    Mark

    True, and I didn’t want to complicate things. The satellites measuring many climate variables are way below geosynchronous height. In addition, for many kinds of measurements they can only measure in their “footprint”, or even only in the center of their footprint, which is much, much smaller than the horizon to horizon view.

    So while it’s great to have the satellite measurements, at any instant any given satellite can only measure a tiny fraction of a planetary variable.

  387. netdr2,
    -You will notice Trenberth talks about the missing heat, and it doesn’t change his views on AGW. It is about the energy budget in the few years where they should have good data, but it is not yet adequate to make exact enough attributions of global temperature change by their standards.
    -Ocean temperatures over 30 years are warmer now than before. This is what needs explaining, not five-year ups and downs. AGW doesn’t pretend to explain short-term trends that are unlikely to be statistically meaningful because natural variability creates larger uncertainty in trends as you look at shorter periods.
    -If the sun stopped increasing its irradiance in the 40’s, you hypothesize that the ocean hasn’t yet finished adjusting to the new irradiance half a century later. Even with positive water vapor feedback, the solar irradiance change since the LIA (0.5 W/m2 in the earth’s budget) may cause up to 0.5 C, and that had already been fully realized by the 40’s. The irradiance change therefore can’t account for the warming since then.
    -El Nino refers to a small fraction of the ocean. Are you saying El Ninos warmed the Arctic Ocean? I was saying all the oceans are now above average when you look at the decadal average specifically to cancel out ENSO cycles.
    -The lack of recent warming could be due to the down cycle of the solar minimum we just had. We have had these every decade. If it continues to pause as the solar activity increases, that would be something, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Richard S Courtney,
    The null hypothesis, as defined in the Trenberth piece, is that human activity has had no effect on global climate. Take out the effects of increased CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) and it becomes very hard to explain the warming of the last 30-100 years, and it is becoming ever harder with each decade until eventually it will be impossible, and many say we are already at that point (with ‘very high confidence’ which is 90% in IPCC terms).
    Now, I just noticed, it seems you have an ‘out’ in that you can claim greenhouse gases are increasing but not from human activity, but that is your only out, otherwise the null hypothesis will soon be dead, if not already.

    I see that Theo Goodwin and Anything is possible also have replies, but I will leave it at this for now. Maybe it is sufficient for them too (I don’t think so).

  388. HAS:

    At January 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm you assert to me:

    “On the question of whether one person’s null can be another’s alternate have a look at the pair I suggest for consideration in response to jae. I frankly think either leads to a useful information about what’s going on, and neither leads to the end of the scientific method as we know it.”

    That is an assertion by you that “the scientific method as we [sic] know it” is not science.

    You do NOT get to define basic principles as, how and when you want. Consider the item you cite and provide a link for athttp://mathworld.wolfram.com/NullHypothesis.html .

    It provides this definition of the null hypothesis (n.b. one definition and not two as you pretend):

    “A null hypothesis is a statistical hypothesis that is tested for possible rejection under the assumption that it is true (usually that observations are the result of chance). The concept was introduced by R. A. Fisher.

    The hypothesis contrary to the null hypothesis, usually that the observations are the result of a real effect, is known as the alternative hypothesis. ”

    In the case of AGW, according to that definition, the important point is that the “contrary hypothesis” (n.b. NOT the null hypothesis) is “usually that the observations are the result of a real effect”.

    So, according to the definitions you present, an assumption that AGW is a real effect is an example of a contrary hypothesis to the null hypothesis.

    Your attacks on the scientific method and your misrepresentation of the evidence which you cite are reprehensible.

    Richard

  389. Might I point out that you have left out a couple of stages?
    It is necessary and but not sufficient to
    1. Show a strong probability that ex-normal global warming will occur.
    2. That if such warming occurs, that it will have catastrophic consequences – with likely impacts in extent and in place.
    At this point the Climate Scientists pass the problem over to the economists.
    3. Even, if you accept the disaster scenarios, there is no policy available that will contain CO2 at 2 or 3 degrees of further warming, without imposing greater costs on humanity that impose greater costs on humanity than the worst case scenarios. However, some will say that Stern solved this problem and showed this was theoretically possible. However, it was one that would work by hitting the poorest hardest.
    4. Even if you accept that a mitigation policy is theoretically possible, it will only work if every country contains their emissions. If the rapidly growing countries, especially China and India, do not contain their emissions then the emissions- cutting of the West will be of no effect. Further, if the policies to not fall into Stern’s maximum cost of $80 per tonne of CO2 saved (The IPCC’s is much lower), then the policies are doing more harm than good.
    So there are four stages of this justification – Forecast, consequences, policy and implementation.
    Just because a doctor diagnoses a new condition does not give him the instant insight into the cure, nor the ability to know the dosage or the side-effects of any new medicine.

  390. It might be that the climate scientist have to admit that they don’t understand the climate. No one does. What do we believe then? The null hypothesis !!

    Should we, the inhabitants of Earth, restrict our CO2 emissions because we don’t know whether they have impact on the climate. Just to be sure. Or are we allowed to ignore CO2 because we can’t measure its alleged consequences.

    So, the null hypothesis is important.

  391. “Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 6:31 am

    All of the temp keepers (NCDC, GISS, HadCRUT, RSS, UAH) show broad agreement that this past decade averaged between 0.16-0.18 degrees C warmer than past decade. It is a false statement of fact to say that the planet hasn’t warmed in the past decade, and it is shameless to claim otherwise.”

    The first statement above can be accepted as totally true. However this does NOT mean that your second statement is true. The warming that you are talking about stopped in 1998. It has been cooling ever since.
    See the five green bar graphs for 5 and 10 years, including GISS at: http://www.climate4you.com/GlobalTemperatures.htm#Comparing%20global%20temperature%20estimates
    The most recent 5 years ones are smaller than the 10 years ones in every case. So in other words, it was cooler from 2006 to 2010 on the average than from 2001 to 2005.

  392. eadler says:
    January 16, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “…R. Gates, do you truly think that adding more and more forcings and UHI calcs to a model in which “the potential energy of water vapor/condensate is neglected”, a model that doesn’t stay in balance by itself but has to be “tuned” to stay in balance, will give us better and better answers?

    Because I’ve been programming computers for forty-eight years now, I’m very fluent in half a dozen computer languages and literate in another half dozen. In my experience, until the basics of the climate (or any other) model are right, adding more forcings and UHI effects is just like nickel-plating a squirt-gun. It looks solid and real, and you can certainly use it to terrorize the citizenry … but that doesn’t make it into a real pistol.”

    Can you define for us what the potential energy of vapor condensate is, and explain why its effect is important enough to warrant consideration by climate models?
    Can you do the same for the other assumptions that were made to simplify the execution of the climate model which you referenced?

    No, I can’t explain what the potential energy of whatever it might be that you are calling “vapor condensate”. If you are talking about water vapor and condensate, sure, I’d be glad to assist. The potential energy in water vapor is the latent heat. It is released back into the atmosphere by condensation. This released heat is the driving force for the thunderstorms.

    Potential energy in the condensate is occasioned by the fact that the water condenses at altitude. Its potential energy is released when it falls to the surface. Part of it goes to entraining a wind that falls with the rain and spreads out when it hits the earth, cooling the entire surrounding area.

    These processes are important to a climate model because they occur in thunderstorms, and thunderstorms function as the governor of the tropical energy system. However, because they are “sub-grid” phenomena (smaller than a gridbox in a model), they cannot be included in the current models.

    Is it important that cool winds blow downwards from thunderstorms and cool the entire area? As a long-time tropical resident, I know that it is a major part of the energy flow at the surface … but it’s not in the models.

    I hope that helps with your understanding, but I can discuss it more if you like.

    I do note that you didn’t answer my question about the lack of progress, despite huge improvements in computer speed and model complexity, in improving things like the estimates of climate sensitivity. To me that means increasing the model complexity even further won’t answer the question … and if they can’t answer that most basic question, why should we trust them for 100 year forecasts?

    w.

  393. Jim D says:
    January 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

    CO2 accounts for 20% of the greenhouse effect. Adding 40% more CO2 means humans have increased the greenhouse effect by between 1 and 2% even without feedbacks. Given this, the null hypothesis that humans have had no effect on climate is already scientifically untenable. What remains of it is a merely statistical exercise for the signal to emerge from the noise, which it clearly has, but that leaves many still in denial. Examine the 0.5 degree warming and try to explain it entirely with the ocean and sun. It doesn’t work, plain and simple.

    No theory can be undeniably proven by saying “It cannot be explained entirely with the ocean and sun, so it must be CO2″

    Sorry, but you are committing the same mistake as Dr. T. The proponents of the theory are the ones who have to provide the explanation, not the skeptics. You still have to prove your theory, and “It must be CO2 because we cannot explain it otherwise” is not scientific enough.

  394. eadler says:
    January 16, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    The people who did the modeling clearly have the background to understand the physics and why they can make these assumptions. I see that they didn’t explain in detail why this made sense.

    I suspect that climate model researchers who understand the physics would attack these assumptions if they were incorrect. Can you cite any refutations of this particular set of assumptions in the climate modeling literature?

    Man, this thread is lethal, snorted coffee up my nose again, either coffee or this thread have got to go.

    Eadler, you could fit all of the critically investigative “climate modeling literature” on the head of a pin and still have room for 36, no, 37 angels to dance …

    Climate modelers don’t write critical evaluations of another person’s model, oh my goodness, no. I mean, if they did that, someone else might do the same thing to their model, and then what would happen to the field of computer modeling?

    They are so unwilling to take a critical look at anyones model, particularly and specifically including their own, that any old model that runs the simulations gets into the IPCC model olympics. No entry exam, not even a “pass-fail” grade. Everyone gets to play, IPCC takes the average and calls it a “model ensemble”, and there you have the Fifth Assessment Report.

    The modelers don’t write critical papers of each other, and every single model gets a star, it’s all very California. After all, you wouldn’t want the kids to lose self-confidence from the shock of seeing someone else get an award for outstanding performance, so all the kids get awards …

    I invite you, eadler, to search the climate model literature for one paper from the “red team”, one example of someone taking a model apart with the harsh, unyielding, and critical attitude appropriate to the investigation of a tool to be used to make billion dollar decisions.

    Report back with your findings, I’m interested. Because all I can find is modelers patting each other on the back and telling each other how much progress has been made. It’s like an endless film loop of some bizarro “Tony” awards for climate models, with everyone congratulating each other and saying “You look faabulous, you haven’t changed a bit” and gushing about how they loved the other person’s last climate model and boring speeches about how “I don’t feel I really deserve this prize, and I’d like to thank the funding agencies and mom and dad, and God for making the climate, and thanks to my co-modellers …

    But I digress.

  395. The guys that actually write the code are software engineers. The folks in Boulder run ads for jobs on a fairly regular basis. Not that there is anything wrong with software engineers developing models, but they are by no means required to be experts on physics of the climate.

    I’ll post one of the listings next time I see one (I live in Colorado and search job boards for software related jobs regularly.)

    Mark

  396. Jim D:

    Your post at January 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm is offensive. It ignores everything I wrote and reasserts your nonsense that I had refuted. And it attempts to obfuscate the issue under discussion by a (deliberate?) mis-statement together with the provision of a ‘red herring’.

    Your original post was at January 16, 2011 at 11:50 am and it said;

    “The sun hasn’t strengthened since the 1940′s, and the ocean somehow everywhere has warmed above average, which seems hard to explain with PDO and AMO redistributions. Is the cold water hiding beneath ready to come back, or is it crazy to think the extra CO2 warmed the surface instead as would be completely explained by AGW? Discounting AGW puts you in a tight spot trying to make the observations fit, which is why the null hypothesis is hanging by a statistical thread, yet so many cling to it.”

    I refuted that at January 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm by writing:

    “ Please note that the inability of you or anybody else to “fit” known explanations for climate behaviour to observed climate behaviour merely proves you do not know the causes of climate behaviour. That inability has no relevance of any kind to consideration of the null hypothesis of climate behaviour. And what can or cannot be “completely explained” by anything has no relevance to the null hypothesis.

    As I and others have repeatedly explained above, the null hypothesis is that in the absence of evidence of a change then it has to be assumed there has been no change.

    So, it has to be assumed that climate behaviour has not changed from previous climate behaviour unless and until there is evidence that climate behaviour has changed.

    The null hypothesis of climate behaviour would be disproved if some change to climate behaviour were observed to not be explicable as being similar to previous climate. Then – and only then – would the null hypothesis of climate behaviour be disproved.

    Therefore, unless and until the null hypothesis is disproved, the governing assumption of climate behaviour is that it and its causes have not changed (i.e. they continue to be natural variation). And, importantly, there is no scientific need for AGW – or any other hypothesis – to explain a phenomenon of altered climate behaviour which is not observed to exist.

    Your offensive response at January 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm was this:

    “The null hypothesis, as defined in the Trenberth piece, is that human activity has had no effect on global climate. Take out the effects of increased CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) and it becomes very hard to explain the warming of the last 30-100 years, and it is becoming ever harder with each decade until eventually it will be impossible, and many say we are already at that point (with ‘very high confidence’ which is 90% in IPCC terms).

    Now, I just noticed, it seems you have an ‘out’ in that you can claim greenhouse gases are increasing but not from human activity, but that is your only out, otherwise the null hypothesis will soon be dead, if not already.”

    • That response iterates your original assertions (copied above in this post),
    • is offensive in that ignores everything I said concerning those assertions(copied above in this post),
    • is offensive in that it mis-represents what Trenbereth said, and
    • provides a ‘red-herring’.

    Trenberth said;
    “Given that global warming is “unequivocal”, to quote the 2007 IPCC report, the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence [on the climate].”

    That is the precise opposite of your assertion saying;
    ““The null hypothesis, as defined in the Trenberth piece, is that human activity has had no effect on global climate.”

    However, it is true that the null hypothesis is that human activity has had no effect on global climate.

    And your mention of CO2 emissions could be thought to be irrelevant except that I have published on the carbon cycle and my views on it are well known. Hence, this is clearly a ‘red herring’ provided with the intention that I will grab it and so be deflected from the real issue. I won’t.

    Apologise for your trollish behaviour.

    Richard

  397. Urederra, I agree. Because you prove the null hypothesis is false, it doesn’t automatically prove that every alternate hypothesis (here AGW) is true unless it is expressed in a very general way such as “human activity contributes to global climate”, which is merely the negative of the null hypothesis. It doesn’t say how much, or even how it contributes, and leaves a lot of scope for variations.

  398. izen says:
    January 16, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I remain unpersuaded that the dialectical method of thesis/antithesis-synthesis is the only way that epistemologically sound science can be practiced.

    I would favor less asymmetry in the falsifiability of AGW -v- ‘Natural variation’.

    I’m sure you would like to bend the rules. So would Dr. Kevin Trenberth, which is the subject of the thread. Re-writing the rules of science to favor your side must seem like a very attractive option at this point in the drama. That’s why AGW supporters are so attracted by Jerome Ravetz’s asinine “post-normal science”, and for exactly the same reason.

    And I understand the reasons for your frustration. You have propounded a hypothesis which is very, very difficult to establish. The ugly truth is that’s an inevitable result when you try to assign causality to a third-order* forcing. The signal is really, really hard to dig out of the noise … next time you might try a hypothesis which is not so hard to establish.

    But neither you nor Dr. T say “Guys, the signal is really, really hard to dig out of the noise, despite 25 years of trying we’re unable to make our case.” That would be too much like science.

    Instead, you are trying to dig your way out with something like “Guys, the signal is really, really hard to dig out of the noise, so we’re gonna change the rules to make it easier”.

    Sorry … can’t do that.

    * “third-order” – Forcings can be defined as first-order (greater than 10% of total forcing), second-order (1 – 10% of total forcing) and third-order (less than 1% of total forcing). Total downwelling forcing at the surface is about half a kilowatt per square metre. A doubling of CO2 will increase that by about four watts per square metre or so. So a doubling of CO2 is a third-order forcing. And third-order effects are notoriously difficult to either measure or model, they are just too far down the food chain.

  399. Outstanding critique and commentary by Willis.

    I’ve noted the online newspapers have far fewer pro-AGW supporters making comments than what there was a couple years ago. Either they’ve decided to stay silent or there are fewer of them. But the true believers – well, no expectation of logic or evidence to the contrary making any headway there.

  400. HAS:

    No, the debate is about whether a scientist tries to falsify “man made CO2 causes the majority of global warming” (Dr T’s suggestion) or falsify “man made CO2 doesn’t”. neither are logically impossible to do, and in my view both are worthy of study.

    In short, Trenberth and Climate Science should take your advice and do both, because up to now they’ve done neither.

    Trenberth’s Climate Science hasn’t tried to falsify its own hypothesis, “man made CO2 causes the majority of global warming,” which it preferrably should have done before presenting anything to the scientific community, according to scientific principles and the demands of objective or “critical” thinking; but it didn’t need to do that itself, if Climate Science had also adhered to the scientific method and its principles by making its data and methods easily accessable to anyone else who wanted to try to falsify its work or shoot holes in it, confirm it, etc., but which it didn’t do!

    Therefore, Climate Science is not doing real, scientific method, science! Whereas, since Climate Science is not doing real science to try to substantiate its own hypothesis, it’s certainly not up to anyone else to do it in its stead, concerning CS’s own CO2CAGW hypotheses.

    At the same time, making the rest of science falsify the hypothesis that “man made CO2 is not causing the majority of global warming” is an irrelevant task because, 1] the necesssary null hypothesis involved indicates that there is no need to invoke a new explanation for warming, or for anything else having to do with the climate, because there is nothing new to explain!

    And, related to 1, 2] it is Climate Science which is on a mission to prove that fossil fuel CO2 is causing [harmful] warming, so it is especially Climate Science which needs to prove that claim by “falsifying” your second hypothesis, if it can, which it apparently can’t; which in turn is why Trenberth wants to make everyone else falsify his and Climate Science’s main hypothesis above when they not only wouldn’t do it themselves but have also resolutely tried to keep everybody else from doing!

    Trenberth and ipcc Climate Science have only managed to prove beyond any doubt that they are not doing real science, and that they really don’t care about the validity of their own hypotheses. According to his last move, Trenberth isn’t going to change that anytime soon.

  401. It will never happen but ….

    The big problem with any attempt to get some form of ‘closure’ about the null hypothesis from either angle (or ‘side’ if you prefer) is that the likely time scale for any substantive to appear, either way, is much longer than a human life endures. Or more accurately – much longer than the proposers of the ideas are likely to live even if they make the proposals at the beginnings of their careers. (I am assuming here that despite the apparently rapidly increase life expectancy figures not many adults influencing decision making right now will be alive in 100 years from now.)

    What would be interesting is toi ask the proponents of the arguments to make a bet. Their lifetime wealth (minus basic living costs) would be the stake. The result to be declared at some far future point capped at 100 years from now.

    If their forecasts are unproven by that point the money is returned to them or their estate.

    If by that time or earlier they have been proven correct and it can indeed be shown that mankind has caused ‘substantive and damaging’ (careful definitions required here) by the actions of the past 50 years and forwards from now then they win and get double their money returned.

    If by that time or earlier they have been shown to be incorrect the stake is forfeit.

    Of course for most if not all involved an early proof or disproof would be necessary if they wanted to benefit from the challange. But those more concerned for their children and grandchildren might be happy to let things run at a slower pace.

    Obviously I am missing out details here but I’m sure people will get the general concept of the idea.

    So, would people take in the bet?

    What if the ‘bet’ was a requirement for anyone wishing to make pronouncements on the subject or make policy recommendations. Would there be any takers then?

    Given the enormity of the potential effects on societal developments over the coming century it seems only reasonable to expect influencers to share some part of the risk.

  402. Richard S Courtney says January 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    One last go, but I think we’re using up bandwidth here that won’t be of interest to others.

    “In the case of AGW, according to that definition, the important point is that the ‘contrary hypothesis’ (n.b. NOT the null hypothesis) is ‘usually that the observations are the result of a real effect’.

    “So, according to the definitions you present, an assumption that AGW is a real effect is an example of a contrary hypothesis to the null hypothesis.”

    If I’m testing the null that AGW causes >50% of the recent warming, then the alternate could be that something else is causing >50% of the recent warming. The contrary hypothesis is then asserting “that the observations are the result of a real effect” – namely something like UHI corrupting the instruments, long-term cycles in the climate etc.

    Just in passing I noted your comment “Your attacks on the scientific method and your misrepresentation of the evidence which you cite are reprehensible.”

    In respect of the first all I can say is I didn’t set out to attack the scientific method, just to help better explain it. As to the second point you misunderstood what I was saying. I used a figure of speech “have a look at a statistical reference or two” and then gave one example. Confusing on my part, perhaps, but “reprehensible”?

  403. Stuart Huggett says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Hi Willis!

    Another great essay – its excellent quality is reflected in the most interesting and stimulating debate which has followed it.

    A point I would have thought that the legal people posting here might have picked up is the parallel legal principle to the null hypothesis – that of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.
    … good stuff snipped …

    I hadn’t thought of that parallel myself when writing the piece, but as you point out it is certainly appropriate. And when a guy starts talking about the urgent need to reverse the presumption of innocence in his case, it does kinda make the word “guilty” come to mind, doesn’t it?

    I am in Suva at the moment Willis – anything I can order for you at the RSYC???

    The RSYC being the Royal Suva Yacht Club, order me a gin and tonic, to keep away the dread Fijian malaria. (Stuart, for his sins, is arguably one of the best architects in the South Pacific … a constant source of irritation which he occasionally attempts to alleviate via the measured application of a variety of alcohol-based tropical medicines …) Good on ya, Stuart, hoist one for me, pass my regards to the guys at the bar and the ladies in the office.

    w.

  404. Smokey:

    This site allows, and even encourages contrary comments. The down side is that casual readers are often being given wrong information. I think that’s really the intent of the handful of warmist repeat commentators. They make quite a few false assertions, and if they’re not corrected, readers who are less familiar with the topic can be led down the garden path.

    Right! Once you understand that ipcc Climate Science is nothing but a Propaganda Op., it’s easy to see the “value” of the nonsense propagated by warmist “trolls” here and elsewhere – who are dubbed so because of their resolute ignorance and desire to repeat really stupid memes as though they are related to rational or scientific considerations, hoping they’ll stick, and in fact as a substitute for such considerations; but, on the upside, this tactic does reveal their truely malign intent.

  405. Willis said:

    “R. Gates, do you truly think that adding more and more forcings and UHI calcs to a model in which “the potential energy of water vapor/condensate is neglected”, a model that doesn’t stay in balance by itself but has to be “tuned” to stay in balance, will give us better and better answers?

    Because I’ve been programming computers for forty-eight years now, I’m very fluent in half a dozen computer languages and literate in another half dozen. In my experience, until the basics of the climate (or any other) model are right, adding more forcings and UHI effects is just like nickel-plating a squirt-gun. It looks solid and real, and you can certainly use it to terrorize the citizenry … but that doesn’t make it into a real pistol.”

    _____
    That was honestly brilliant. Really.

    But to the point: Which specifc GCM are you saying does not take into account the potential energy of water vapor/condensate? Certainly CESM. 1.0 does (through the Community Atmosphere Model), and you so might want to have a look at this document, beginning on page 15:

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/cesm1.0/cam/docs/description/cam5_desc.pdf

    To see all the variables of just the CAM 5.0 portion of CESM 1.0, it is fun to look through this reference of variable names: (click on the variable name to reveal what it is for):

    http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/cgi-bin/eaton/namelist/nldef2html-cam5

    CESM 1.0 is far from perfect, and there will be a CESM 2.0, 3.0, etc. but each iteration represents an advancement of the science, and of course CESM 1.0 is only one of many models.

  406. Willis Eschenbach says January 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    You’d be more accurate basing it on the Scottish Verdict.

    “Not proven until proven guilty”. Applies to both sides.

  407. Putting my legal hat on I’d just like to memtion that the reversal of the normal burden of proof has been getting all pervasive in the UK over the past 10 years or so.

    Not in connection with criminal law but in connection with bureaucratic administration.

    Purely for the convenience of our masters in the public ‘service’ it is now generally the case that if something untoward happens then the assumption is that one behaved incorrectly, inappropriately or did not take enough care to prevent it.

    One then has to go through a huge number of hoops to ‘prove’ that the observed outcome was not the result of some sort of reprehensible bewhaviour.

    Unfortunately whatever evidence is produced the bureaucrats can always still say that something could or should have been done differently or better so the whole process is a charade and a penalty is almost always imposed.

    The fashion for reversing the burden of proof is becoming widespread in many of our so called democracies and I am unsurprised that AGW proponents see it as a useful strategy.

  408. Moderator, thank you for toning down my previous comment (should think before firing off comments in frustration), and apologies for the inappropriate language. Eadler, my apologies too. I could have made my point without resorting to sarcasm or insult. I have respect for AGW proponents who comment here knowing that their thoughts will face a level of scrutiny not seen on blogs like RC. A one-sided debate is meaningless, and you guys at least help keep things interesting!

  409. Richard S Courtney
    Clearly you thought I was addressing Trenberth’s ‘new’ null hypothesis when I stated I was talking about his and the IPCC’s working null hypothesis that humans have had no influence on climate change. If this is falsified, as I point out it almost certainly is, it can no longer serve as a null hypothesis, which is what motivated Trenberth to suggest a new one. I don’t have an opinion on what a new null hypothesis should be, except that it should be specific enough to be falsifiable. It would advance science if it could be a statement that distinguishes AGW that can be tested by observations.
    Your statement is “the null hypothesis is that in the absence of evidence of a change then it has to be assumed there has been no change.” This is subtly different in that it does not mention human influences or define change from what. Assuming you meant only natural variations, how about a half-degree global rise with no concomitant solar variation, which is unprecedented. Does that count as change? Maybe a one-degree rise would do instead? The former has happened, and the latter is about to. Unfortunately your statement is vague enough that it is too easy to move the goalposts unless you formulated an objective view of what was natural before the measurements were in.

  410. For Drs Trenberth, Jones and Mann. (To be sung to the tune if ‘Lock up your daughters’ from the undistinguished musicale of that name.)

    Archive your data,
    Start doing it now,
    Archive your data,
    Steve Mc will show you how.

    Release your data,
    Hot spots, bristlecones and all,
    Release your data,
    Without evidence
    Your theory must fall.

    Thanx Willis.

  411. Mr. Eschenbach — I didn’t apologize for, or qualify, anything I said. Your posting is intellectually dishonest. I’m not sure what other kind of “dishonest” you think I could possibly mean. I have no indication that you’ve stolen from anyone or been unfaithful. I wasn’t accusing you of stealing or cheating. I was suggesting that — in your logical fallacies, in your misleading implications as to what the IPCC said, and in your misrepresentation of recent temp trends — you were being dishonest. If I said that we’re in an el nino right now, and that’s the reason for the warm autumn, that would be dishonest, because it doesn’t accurately reflect the facts. You were dishonest. And I explained precisely how.

    The rest of your response is just pathetically sophomoric. I come to contrarian sites to engage folks with different views. That’s how discussion and intellectual growth works. My rhetoric is quite tame compared to yours.

    Think about this whole thread. You spent a few thousand words hyperventilating over a single sentence by one person taken out of context and without even attempting to challenge the ultimate conclusion Trenberth was making. Talk about a strawman. To get to Trenberth’s real point — what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch to the skeptics in your view? If we had, say, a prolonged solar minimum at a time when the Milankovich cycles were all trending cool and towards NH ice growth, and all known atmospheric and oceanic cycles were ‘cool’ or ‘negative,’ and there was no natural GHG release or any variating in volcanic patterns … if all those factors were present, but it was still getting warmer at historically significant rates and to historically significant levels (and CO2 was still rising at historically significiant rates to historically significant levels), and the warmer temps were causing historically significant sea ice and glacial loss and historically significant sea level rise and historically significant ag zone shifts and historically significant ocean acidification and loss of ocean life and historically significant exterminations and historically significant weather events that caused historically significant destruction and loss of life … and knowing as we do that CO2 and CH4 are in fact GHGs that trap reflective energy … if ALL of those things were present (and I’m not saying they are), wouldn’t the burden at that point shift to folks urging inaction to explain why all these things are not attributable to human activities and/or why it is better to continue on business-as-usual paths? At some point, the burden has to shift, right? When, in your mind, does that happen?

    It’s time for a grown up conversation, sir.

  412. Willis Eschenbach says:

    “It’s like an endless film loop of some bizarro “Tony” awards for climate models, with everyone congratulating each other and saying “You look faabulous, you haven’t changed a bit” and gushing about how they loved the other person’s last climate model and boring speeches about how “I don’t feel I really deserve this prize, and I’d like to thank the funding agencies and mom and dad, and God for making the climate, and thanks to my co-modellers …”

    ========================

    ******* hysterical, Willis! Repeated here for effect.

    Chris

  413. Richard S Courtney says:
    January 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    You have been right on the money. I think you have to give up on the guy you are responding to.

  414. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    “I come to contrarian sites to engage folks with different views.”

    ===========================

    Engage? ENGAGE?

    More like disengage.

    You may want to pick up a little book entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

    But in the meantime, it is quite obvious that you just can’t stand the fact that Eisenbach ripped Trenberth a royal new one…and came pretty damn close to doing the same to you.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  415. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    This post is way beyond the pale. You might as well have written “If pigs were horses then beggars would ride.” You seem to think that because you can imagine the burden of proof shifting then it should shift. I heartily recommend that Anthony ban you.

  416. Willis Eschenbach writes:

    “Report back with your findings, I’m interested. Because all I can find is modelers patting each other on the back and telling each other how much progress has been made. It’s like an endless film loop of some bizarro “Tony” awards for climate models, with everyone congratulating each other and saying “You look faabulous, you haven’t changed a bit” and gushing about how they loved the other person’s last climate model and boring speeches about how “I don’t feel I really deserve this prize, and I’d like to thank the funding agencies and mom and dad, and God for making the climate, and thanks to my co-modellers …”

    I saw this coming about twenty-five years ago. I attended graduation for a film school and learned that every student got an Oscar.

  417. Street view:
    “There will be inexorable warming”
    “It won’t snow”
    “Nighttime temps and daily lows will be higher” ( I watch. They are not)
    “There will be drought”
    ” It will be oppressively hot in the summer and will not cool off at night ”
    “The WestSide highway will be flooded ” ( from the rising Hudson River)
    etc.
    All wrongified

    The predictions of this false science have failed.
    You cannot tell me that CO2 is the “dominant” climatological factor and that the Sun ( for just one) is “constant and unchanging” and then blame the failure of the Earth’s climate top keep pace with the predictions set forth for the rising CO2 on the Sun’s failure to remain constant, which you said in great detail was not a factor to be considered. It just doesn’t play anymore.
    People can tell if they are hot or cold.

    So… when Richard Courtney says :
    “The null hypothesis of climate behaviour would be disproved if some change to climate behaviour were observed to not be explicable as being similar to previous climate. Then – and only then – would the null hypothesis of climate behaviour be disproved.”,
    I am buying.

    I may be undereducated but I am not incredibly stupid. Only mildly stupid.
    The entire house of cards is a con game, a scientific four-flush, a naked bluff, which inspired certain political ideas that were previously discredited to be resuscitated, creating a feedback loop to the third rate science that inspired the the reawakening of the zombie political positions.
    And what do we get ? Bad lightbulbs and worse legislation and professors of fantasy law pretending to know fantasy climate science.
    Cheez and crackers, it just makes me mad,
    Rant off.

    PS, Good SNL riff Willis.
    PPS if my post is too low brow, Anthony, chuck it. I will not cry.

  418. Buzz, dozens of people in this conversation are pointing out that you are the dishonest (and rude) one. Sometimes, when you’re outnumbered, it’s because you’re wrong.

    As a side note, a lot of people aren’t going to read past your second post, because a lot of people (like me) do not tolerate passive-aggressive game playing like yours. You DO NOT get a pass for opening your part in the conversation with hostility and insults, and then coming back to complain that people are being mean to you. I do not tolerate that behavior (which is a form of a LIE) in small children, I don’t know why I should tolerate it from law professors.

    You should have learned, as a very small child, that if you are going to give, you should be ready to get.

    It is indeed time for a grown up conversation, for which you have demonstrated with aplomb that you are not equipped, the graceless hostility of your response to criticism matches the graceless hostility of your introduction.

  419. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    To get to Trenberth’s real point — what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch to the skeptics in your view?

    Buzz, you’ve got this backwards. Were Climate Science to finally start doing real, scientific method and principle, science, which by its very nature is sceptical* to the hilt, the sceptics would largely be onboard with the science, whatever that indicated.

    Therefore, it is Climate Science that in fact has to get on board with the sceptics and their completely consonant adherence to the scientifc method’s scepticism, not the sceptics who have to let an operation which is not real science frame the scientific issues!

    *Seriously, have you ever noticed the built-in scepticism of the scientific method and its principles? If so, instead of bugging the sceptics, why haven’t you ever urged Climate Science to start using it?

  420. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Mr. Eschenbach — I didn’t apologize for, or qualify, anything I said. Your posting is intellectually dishonest. I’m not sure what other kind of “dishonest” you think I could possibly mean. I have no indication that you’ve stolen from anyone or been unfaithful. I wasn’t accusing you of stealing or cheating. I was suggesting that — in your logical fallacies, in your misleading implications as to what the IPCC said, and in your misrepresentation of recent temp trends — you were being dishonest. If I said that we’re in an el nino right now, and that’s the reason for the warm autumn, that would be dishonest, because it doesn’t accurately reflect the facts. You were dishonest. And I explained precisely how.

    Damn, I generously offered you a third try, and instead of mending your ways, you’ve come back to repeat your insult a third time.

    I repeat, sir, that I am not dishonest, neither intellectually nor any other way. I may be wrong, no doubt about that, I have been many times. But I am an honest man, a species with which, since you are a lawyer, you may not have much experience. So here’s some more clues for your social education. Honest men and women are a strange and prickly breed, and we won’t tolerate some random slimy little internet snake proclaiming that we are dishonest.

    Now you may think that’s crazy, but bro’, this is my thread and my house. I warned you twice. I told you to treat it like a foreign country, where if you make a mistake because of ignorance of local custom, you apologize and move on. I told you that local custom is to not insult the host, and I made it clear that your first attempts had been very insulting to the host.

    But noooooo, you are like one of those nasty little dogs that bites peoples ankles because that’s all he knows how to do. And all you seem to know how to do is insist that your stupid, self-destructive, prat-fall entry into this thread was in reality a beautiful swan dive, and that you were right to call me dishonest because you meant intellectually dishonest … don’t you even notice how that is working for you? Because it ain’t …

    I can’t figure out if you are really that nasty, or if you are just totally clueless. Before, I was voting the straight clueless ticket. But since beating you severely about the head and shoulders with a clue-by-four didn’t even get you to at least fake having social skills, I’m now going with nasty all the way.

    And since your preferred (and indeed insisted upon) manner of opening a polite conversation seems to be insults, let me accomodate you by saying that your manner is unpleasant, your presence is unwelcome, your very thoughts emanate palpable noxious fumes, the mere mention of your name causes houseplants to wilt, and your mothers footwear is more appropriate for a war zone. Or as the man said, “I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.”

    Or in case that was too complex, let me just say, go away, little man. Your presence is both unwanted and unpleasant.

    Clear enough for you? You have totally blown a generously offered third chance to act like an adult. Your ideas will receive no hearing from me at all. Don’t like it? Here’s how to fix it.

    NEXT TIME, BE POLITE.

    But please, please don’t try out your new-found politeness here. We’ve already seen who you are, feigned politeness won’t impress us at this point. You’ve burned all your bridges and sank all your ships on this thread, my friend. Goodbye, and next time, as the song says, try a little tenderness …

    w.

  421. I saw this in someone else’s post, and couldn’t resist:

    Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    To get to Trenberth’s real point — what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch to the skeptics in your view?

    We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen, I have often said there are no dumb questions, but Buzz has proven me wrong.

    Buzz, that’s is exactly like saying “what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch from “innocent until proven guilty” to “guilty until proven innocent”.

    When you can answer what would have to happen for us to take up “guilty until proven innocent”, then you’ll know what would have to happen to reverse the null hypothesis.

    As long as there is real justice, it will be innocent until proven guilty.

    And as long as there is real science, humans will remain innocent of altering the climate until YOU can prove different. The burden of proof is on YOU to show something is un-natural or anomalous, and it always will be, so get used to it and stop trying to wriggle out from under, it’s unseemly if nothing else.

    I thought you were a lawyer, surely that can’t be too hard a concept? If you want to claim that things are not like people always thought they were, YOU have to establish that fact.

    Why do I bother …

  422. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm
    …if…

    Well, yeah, if pigs could fly we’d be having BBQ pork wings at Kentucky Fried Swine, too.

    (grin – wave’s at Buzz)

  423. Willis, Buzz’ persistent mendacity put me in mind of Peter Cook’s remark about the famously voracious defamation lawyer, Peter Carter-Ruck:

    “The man’s a proven lawyer!”

    But then I remembered this little ignoramus doesn’t even practice law, he only “teaches” it.

    As with most Believers, talking null hypothesis with them is ultimately a waste of time – they simply – don’t – understand – it.

  424. I am seriously toying with the idea of printing this report and stapling it anonymously and under the cover of darkness around the halls of my institution (connected with the IPCC’s “nobel prize”…I want the folks at Stony Brook to read it.

  425. Willis asks, “Why do I bother …”

    Because no matter how long we have been in this kind of forum (and I’ve been around since the newsgroups of the ’80s and ’90s), and no matter how much we have been told, and told others, “don’t feed the trolls”, we remain human and some environments are just too target-rich to resist.

  426. Buzz Belleville says: January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    To get to Trenberth’s real point — what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch to the skeptics in your view?
    —————————————————————————————Buzz this question was clearly dealt with in the original post. It is not reasonable to switch the burden of proof. Why are you persisting with this?
    —————————————————————————————
    Then you go on to say:-

    The rest of your response is just pathetically sophomoric. I come to contrarian sites to engage folks with different views. That’s how discussion and intellectual growth works. My rhetoric is quite tame compared to yours.

    I put it to you Buzz that it is you who is being pathetically sophomoric, pedantic, overbearing and decidedly pompous.
    —————————————————————————————
    if ALL of those things were present (and I’m not saying they are), wouldn’t the burden at that point shift to folks urging inaction to explain why all these things are not attributable to human activities and/or why it is better to continue on business-as-usual paths? At some point, the burden has to shift, right? When, in your mind, does that happen?
    ———————————————————————
    Buzz I understand that you teach for a living. It seems to me from what you write above that you have difficulty in expressing your ideas (if in fact that is what they are) in clear English. This is a very jumbled and incoherent statement. I would not send my children to your classes.
    ————————————————————-

    Then you conclude with this gem.

    It’s time for a grown up conversation, sir.
    —————————————————————————————
    This seems a bit rich Buzz. It seems to me that in these terms, you haven’t got out of the crib let alone begin a discussion.

    Douglas

  427. Willis wrote;

    “As long as there is real justice, it will be innocent until proven guilty.”

    Willis, I fear that is something else that many would like to change even in the more pleasant political climates (if there are such a things) around the world.

    Here in the UK we see a lot of ‘ticket issuing’ that used not to be the case where guilt is first presumed and any attempt to refute the implied charge is likely to be so expensive and unlikely to succeed that most people give in an pay up. (Unless they are already operating outside the law.)

    Of course these things can build up when not expected to and start to cause enough personal ‘harm’ that the original fiscal decision proves to be a poor choice in the end. These things are allowed to continue since there seems to be a general deterioration in the accepted moralities by which society survives. “Anything goes if I can get away with it” becomes “Anything goes if gets our message across” and a steady drip of little additional conditioning events will make the ‘don’t mess with us, don’t question us’ message more readily accepted just to keep life simple. Or so people think.

    I could well imagine that soon our ‘western’ countries will notice that there has been a fiscal and legal tipping point which is irreversible in all but the long term – if then. I have no idea where that might lead but I suspect the Buzz may in fact be right about his students needing to understand about the matters he teaches no matter how pointless to human existence they may prove to be.

    Leaving aside the classmates who adopt an activist stance, one way or another, because they thought they were cgoing into law to do some moral good, the rest will presumably be focused on making a living and will take on any fee paying task that comes their way. Providing Buzz’s teaching is sound and his classes balanced in terms of people’s world viewpoints, we might hope that his students focus primarily on Law rather than political advocacy.

    Will the net result be amenable? Who knows? Much of law seems to be about winning ‘cases’ in any way possible. I guess the result, whatever it may be, will be more fiscally derived than morally derived. Money will speak. But will it be Corporate money, ‘government’ tax money or ‘the masses’ with a lack of money and little to lose that speaks loudest?

  428. SABR Matt says:
    January 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I am seriously toying with the idea of printing this report and stapling it anonymously and under the cover of darkness around the halls of my institution (connected with the IPCC’s “nobel prize”…I want the folks at Stony Brook to read it.

    I have no problem with that. I learned two things a while back. One was the best way to get my ideas out there was to toss them onto the electronic winds without any attachments of ownership or copyright.

    The other was that I could accomplish just about anything if I didn’t care who got credit for it …

    So by all means, spread them far and wide.

    w.

  429. GP says:
    January 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Willis wrote;

    “As long as there is real justice, it will be innocent until proven guilty.”

    Willis, I fear that is something else that many would like to change even in the more pleasant political climates (if there are such a things) around the world.

    Sad but true, which is why we have to fight these kinds of insidious movements wherever they crop up.

    Thanks,

    w.

  430. Oh, I guess I’ll add my observations to Buzz’s comments this AM. Some of my comments come with a background of reading Willis’ comments and meeting him at the ICCC in Chicago. He’s one of the most useful people here.

    I’ve trimmed a lot of your post, I hope the remaining pieces haven’t lost too much context.

    Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 6:31 am

    > Mr. Eschenbach I’m sorry you find my comments so distasteful.

    > My comment: What a dishonest posting.

    That colors your entire comment. Looking back at it, it’s not as “bad” as I recall, though all of your statements suggest you haven’t been here much for related discussions. I don’t have time to go into details about each, but I’ll try to pick a few.

    One of the things about Willis is that he has no patience for people who call him dishonest, dismiss the effort he puts into his posts, or are generally incivil. He tends to respond in kind. You’ll do a lot better if you ask him questions to go into more detail. However, like Willis said, “You’ve poisoned your own well.” There are enough people here Willis to discuss issues, he doen’t need you.

    My post: The point that we haven’t warmed the past decade and that the past 30 years are consistent with natural variability …. kind of shameless. You have to do some serious manipulations with starting years or peak years to come to those conclusions.

    Quite apart from your screaming and continuing patronizing, I am quite sure you know the true story. All of the temp keepers (NCDC, GISS, HadCRUT, RSS, UAH) show broad agreement that this past decade averaged between 0.16-0.18 degrees C warmer than past decade. It is a false statement of fact to say that the planet hasn’t warmed in the past decade, and it is shameless to claim otherwise.

    In the 1990s people were quick to point out record warm years. When things began leveling off or cooling, as in 2008, they said “Oh a year is too short, you need the 30 year climate period.” Last year they talked up how the decade of the 00’s was the hottest on record. This year back in August they started hyping “This is the warmest year on record” even though the year had months more to go. I have very little patience for that sort of argument. Sure 1998 and 2010 were hot years (0.6°C being hot), but they were El Niño years. Sure the last 30 have been warming, it fits Akasofu’s hypothesis that a 60 year plus recovery from the Little Ice Age fits very nicely. If we’re to follow that, then we should be near a crest and temperature will gradually fall for the next 30 years. And the last decade should be the warmest in the record. If solar effects affect the climate then things will be more “interesting.”

    Actually, I do have a lot of tolerance for shorter-than 30 year records. If the solar cycle does have an impact on climate, then 30 year records will mask that. Shorter term records are important to see Enso effects and even some of the sudden state changes such as those in the Atlantic tropical storm activity.

    Personally, I like to point out the forest debris being uncovered by the recent glacial retreat – some 7,000 years ago there were mature forests in places that are now glaciated. I have trouble getting excited over short term trends. If they tracked CO2 levels better, perhaps I might, but they don’t, so something else has to be happening.

    You mention GISS – Anthony abandoned their monthly reports some time last year. The manipulation they do of the historical record is quite appalling. The NCDC invited Anthony there to try to convince him that their manipulations were reasonable.

    Moreover, my comment was in response to your claim that we haven’t warmed the past decade (which is demonstrably false).

    The time I’ve spent playing with trend data has proven to me that it’s a cherry picker’s delight. FWIW, the last 10 years of HADCRUT data shows essentially a flat trend, -0.0025 per year, see

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000.92/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000.92/trend

    I’m sure I could find other decadal plots showing arming or cooling. Noisy data makes it tough to find meaningful trends.

    My comment: This past week, I started into the “international climate regime” part of my sustainable energy law class, and I’m always amazed by how accurate those warning of AGW in the 1980s were. They nailed it. We should have listened to them long ago.

    I did. I even believed it, with a bit of skepticism. It was Joe D’Aleo’s graphs showing temperature follows the PDO or better, the PDO+AMO much better than it does CO2 that convinced me the science isn’t nearly as settled as I had been led to believe.

    (As an aside, and in response to mostly other posters, it’s not true that scientists in the 80’s or even in the 70’s were predicting “cooling” rather than “warming.” Yes, there were a couple mainstream magazine covers that talked of cooling in the 1970s. But, by a ratio of 6-to-1, peer reviewed scientists who ventured an opinion in the 1970s were in fact predicting warming, not cooling. There was no doubt in the 1970’s that CO2 caused warming by trapping reflective heat, or that aerosols and particulate matter caused cooling. Natural solar cycles and NAO cycles were also understood in the 1970s. What wasn’t understood was what forcing agent would be dominant in subsequent years. As noted above, the great majority (44 of 51) who ventured an opinion that passed peer review sniff tests were predicting warming, Time and Newsweek magazine covers notwithstanding.)

    I assume that’s from the Naomi Oreskes work. I’m more interested in what we’re learning than what we believed. (BTW, include Science News along with Time and Newsweek. Their article provoked a lot of discussion between my father and me about what to look for.)

    I’ve spent years trying to understand the nuances on both sides of this debate. I think I’ll keep engaging the skeptics anyway….

    This is a good place to hang out and learn. There is a lot of noise, a lot of “me too’s”, a lot of “it’s only a trace gas” but overall all sides do get represented here and that makes this blog unique.

  431. R. Gates says: January 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    “CESM 1.0 is far from perfect, and there will be a CESM 2.0, 3.0, etc. but each iteration represents an advancement of the science, and of course CESM 1.0 is only one of many models.”

    Forget perfect, lets talk about the fundamental shortcomings in CESM that I pointed out above. If CESM represents the state of art in climate prediction, then I am unimpressed. I would like to hear your thoughts on the issues I raised about CESM above. Why would you avoid a reasoned critique of CESM? I thought you were 25ish% skeptic…

    In terms of your prior assertion that, “the best thing is these models are always being refined as the science advances.”

    Per this article from November 29th, 2008 in Nature titled, “North Atlantic cold-water sink returns to life – Convective mixing resumes after a decade due to massive loss of Arctic ice.”;

    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081129/full/news.2008.1262.html

    and this article from January 9, 2009 from, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution;

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=282&cid=54347

    which states that “One of the “pumps” that helps drive the ocean’s global circulation suddenly switched on again last winter for the first time this decade. The finding surprised scientists who had been wondering if global warming was inhibiting the pump and did not foresee any indications that it would turn back on.

    The “pump” in question is in the western North Atlantic Ocean, where pools of cold, dense water form in winter and sink beneath less-dense warmer waters. The sinking water feeds into the lower limb of a global system of currents often described as the Great Ocean Conveyor (View animation (Quicktime)). To replace the down-flowing water, warm surface waters from the tropics are pulled northward along the Conveyor’s upper limb.”

    it appears that in 2008 a North Atlantic cold-water sink, one of the pumps for the Thermohaline Circulation, became active after a period of dormancy. R. Gates can you provide documentation of a single GCM that has taken this occurrence into account?

  432. Correction from my earlier post, Buzz, where I said that you “could not stand the fact that Eisenbach ripped Trenberth a royal new one and came very close to doing the same to you.”

    I was incorrect.

    He just ripped about three “new ones” right through you if not more. And you deserved every one.

    Do you have any mid-section left? LOL

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  433. I believe the Goracle, Dr T and all his coconspirators should be tried for fraud, convicted and exiled to St Lawerence Island to await the coming warming in cool comfort.
    For those of you who don’t know, the island is located between Alaska and Siberia in the Bering Strait.

  434. Buzz Belleville says January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    ”To get to Trenberth’s real point — what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch to the skeptics in your view?”

    I don’t think this is the real point of Dr T’s paper. It variously defends against climategate; deals to the deniers; has the media as part of the problem, but wants them as part of the solution; exhorts scientists to stand their ground and be less circumspect; accuses most politicians of not being competent to do their jobs; and offers solutions that range over population polices, less uncertainty (but not to the extent that natural variability can no longer be used to generate good media), and to use the media to tell the right story.

    In other words a veritable romp and polemic well worthy of the hustings. The bit about the burden of proof is just a small morsel. But it is the bit that tells us about how good he is as a scientist, the bit we would have expected him to get right.

    Basically the section is mush.

    Dr T starts off with a reasonable exposition of the null hypothesis that “man made influence on the climate is limited”, and the Type 1 errors (null incorrectly rejected) and Type 2 errors (null incorrectly accepted) that might arise.

    He then asserts that climate science is making too many Type 2 errors (i.e. failing to reject “limited man made influence” when it should). This is consistent with his belief system but his evidence is only that the null is getting the benefit of all the pesky natural variation hiding what is really going on.

    If he’s a practicing scientist then he should know that failure to reject the null adds nothing to the null. It is just the hypothesis to be nullified.

    He then takes the curious step of saying by inverting the null hypothesis we will make all that natural variation count for the AGW hypothesis. Let’s see about that.

    It’s worth quoting him at this stage and picking our way through it:

    ”Such a null hypothesis [AGW is true] is trickier because one has to hypothesize something specific, such as “precipitation has increased by 5%” and then prove that it hasn’t. Because of large natural variability, the first approach results in an outcome suggesting that it is appropriate to conclude that there is no increase in precipitation by human influences, although the correct interpretation is that there is simply not enough evidence (not a long enough time series). However, the second approach also concludes that one cannot say there is not a 5% increase in precipitation.”

    It isn’t immediately apparent why the It isn’t immediately apparent why the “AGW is true” null is trickier than the “AGW is false” null, and it’s a bit unclear what he is really proposing to test here. But lets assuming he is testing on the believers side “less than 5% increase in precipitation due to human influences” as the alternate. With the burden of proof on the sceptic’s side this becomes “ greater than 5% increases in precipitation due to human influences”.
    Now assume that the data isn’t up to attributing the cause of increased precipitation, which seems to be what Dr T is assuming. We therefore cannot reject either null.

    Dr T tells us that if the sceptics have the burden of proof it is appropriate to conclude “no increase in precipitation by human influences”. Again he is mistakenly implying that not being able to reject the null adds credence to it. It is inappropriate to conclude anything of the sort.

    He then says if the believers have the burden of proof we still conclude no increase in precipitation by human influences, but also we can “conclude that one cannot say there is not a 5% increase in precipitation”. He’s completely wrong. He hasn’t even thought through the obvious point that because the null has changed so has what might have been rejected. Sloppy thinking. No instinct feel for the subject matter here.

    In fact all that can be concluded from the testing of H null “AGW true”, is we have been unable to falsify “less than 5% increase in precipitation due to human influences”; and on H null “AGW false” we have been unable to falsify “greater than 5% increases in precipitation due to human influences”.

    Nothing startlingly different between the two approaches, and no magical transfer of natural variation from the sceptic’s side to the believers.

    Now let me recap. This is a presentation to the AMS. A call to action to scientists. A rip roaring slap around of the quality of the opposing forces, particularly around their ability to do science.

    But at the heart of it the talk simply confirms the critics are right.

  435. Buzz Belleville says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm
    “To get to Trenberth’s real point — what would have to happen for the burden of proof to switch to the skeptics in your view? If we had, say, a prolonged solar minimum at a time when the Milankovich cycles were all trending cool and towards NH ice growth, and all known atmospheric and oceanic cycles were ‘cool’ or ‘negative,’ and there was no natural GHG release or any variating in volcanic patterns … if all those factors were present, but it was still getting warmer at historically significant rates and to historically significant levels (and CO2 was still rising at historically significiant rates to historically significant levels), and the warmer temps were causing historically significant sea ice and glacial loss and historically significant sea level rise and historically significant ag zone shifts and historically significant ocean acidification and loss of ocean life and historically significant exterminations and historically significant weather events that caused historically significant destruction and loss of life … and knowing as we do that CO2 and CH4 are in fact GHGs that trap reflective energy … if ALL of those things were present (and I’m not saying they are), wouldn’t the burden at that point shift to folks urging inaction to explain why all these things are not attributable to human activities and/or why it is better to continue on business-as-usual paths? At some point, the burden has to shift, right? When, in your mind, does that happen?
    =======================================================
    My Dearest Buzz,
    Consider the following:

    1. Temperature rate rises that occur during periods when there was no CO2 increase to speak of and greater than when temperatures were claimed to be “accelerating” by the IPCC
    2. CO2 rising but temperatures falling and stabilising since 1995 (No significant statistical rise since then – Dr Phil Jones)
    3. Computer models with CO2 forcing generating scary scenarios that lack validation or fail to predict measured temperatures and measurements that fail to show heating up of the troposphere predicted by the models.
    4. The same computer models that cannot simulate the Mediaeval Warm period outside of a calibration run.
    5. The same computer models that have created the myth and ‘tongue-in-cheek’ estimate that it is “90% certain” that CO2 is causing “global warming”
    6. CO2 rising but Antarctic ice at record levels during 2010
    7. Recent flood events that are of less intensity than during periods when CO2 increase was virtually non-existent
    8. Droughts of equal intensity that have occurred during historical periods well before any significant increase in CO2
    9. Cooling from 1940 to 1975 when CO2 was increasing
    10. “Acidification” being nothing but a slight decrease in alkalinity and shown to have no affect on sea life and in some cases being beneficial.
    11. Hurricanes and storms that have decreased in intensity over the last half Century.
    12. The 2010 mean yearly temperature in Central England that is 256th on the scale of “warmest” since recording began in 1659 and THE SAME as the temperature recorded in 1659 when there was a ‘Little Ice Age’. Ditto for the US with cold temperatures including other parts of world at below average temperatures.
    13.

    I could go on but
    If ALL of those things were present (and I’m saying THEY ARE and are evident if you check), wouldn’t the burden at that point remain with those folks urging action, to explain how and why all these things are attributable to human activities and why it is best not to continue on business-as-usual paths? The burden of prove remains Dear Sir with you and Mr Trenberth. When, in your mind, and KT’s does that happen?

  436. There’s a latin term for Trenberth’s argument: a priori. AGW exists because it does, because we have a name for it, and because I, Dr. Trenberth have decided that it is now the null hypothesis. Nifty.

  437. Am I the only one who finds this whole Willis vs Buzz argument a bit ridiculous? Far from a reasonable reaction to a blog posting remark… Sad thing is… It will probably be buzz who gets banned… Willis, you were much more rude to buzz than he ever was to you… Totally uncalled for and should have been moderated… Im betting, from the evidence I’ve seen around here, that a warmer would have never been able to get that carried away…

  438. Bravo! A masterpiece!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you… Willis Eschenbach and Mr. Watts. This is the best summary of the state of the Climate Debate that exists on the WWW.

    Bookmark and forward.

    Willis write the book! Watts, your work may very well be considered by future historians as the website that “saved the planet” from a multi-trillion dollar voodoo cure far more apocalyptic than any climate evolution. Ironic, no?

  439. @HAS your last post was dense but rewarding, like a chocolate mudcake. I am a nonscientist, but what you say seems ineluctably true, and in its own way as good a riposte to KT’s folly as WE’s – which is saying something.

    Would you agree with my growing belief that a large cohort of scientists simply misunderstand the null hypothesis, and that climate science is largely founded on persistent disregard of it?

  440. Just the Facts says:

    “It appears that in 2008 a North Atlantic cold-water sink, one of the pumps for the Thermohaline Circulation, became active after a period of dormancy. R. Gates can you provide documentation of a single GCM that has taken this occurrence into account?”

    ______
    Would take a bit research, but in general, if the cause is unknown, there would be nothing to add to the model. Models are based on known physcial relationships with specific hypotheses tested by altering variables. Please give a reference for this event you’re referring to.

    Also in respect to my being a 75% “warmist” and 25% skeptic–yes, I feel that generally AGW likely happening and thus in general AGW theory is correct– anthropengic GHG’s can alter the climate. Every day I also spend time looking at other conjectures and alternative hypotheses to explain the range of effects that AGW Theory can account for. From solar to longer term ocean cycles and even geomagnetic cycles– they all are interesting, but none of them has yet risen to the level of a full-blow theory to rival AGW. If I didn’t retain my skeptical side, I wouldn’t spend any time with them at all…

  441. Buzz,

    It seems that you have confused the burden of proof with the burden of going forward. The latter can shift; the former, never.

  442. And at another location:

    “Buzz Belleville
    This is a humanitarian crisis. And it’s quite sad that the U.S. fails to act. At some point, folks who are opposing action should be held complicit in the deaths we’re seeing.”
    Link: http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2010/08/13/climate-breakdown/comments

    Read the rest he writes there. No point debating with this chap, he has the blinkers on and it’s full steam ahead.

    Given that he is a lawyer maybe he should try suing a coal-fired power station for some of the deaths he claims CO2 has caused… keep me posted on his progress if he does :)

  443. Excuse me, Rob? Buzz’ first sentence was “What a dishonest posting.” Of course, yours was hardly any better so it is not a surprise you view Willis as rude. I’ll give you a hint: if your first attempt at dialog is an accusation of dishonesty, you hardly have a right to claim you were treated impolitely.

    Get a clue, it takes one to survive outside the bubble you live in.

  444. Thanks Bulldust,

    I love this quote from Buzz at that site.

    …folks who are opposing action should be held complicit in the deaths we’re seeing.

    .

    You may want to employ that logic to the starvation of untold numbers due to misguided biofuel policies and subsidies. Since comparable weather events have occurred in the past making attribution impossible, the biofuel issue is much easier to quantify because it is, in the language of AGW promoter camp, “unprecedented”.

    You gonna turn yourself in for punishment Buzz?

  445. Buzz Belleville (6:31 am):
    ….Actually, I teach the class, at a law school in coal country. Students that plan to head into the field need to understand where the law is heading…

    This tactic of creating an expectation of “where the law is heading”, which in turn causes much uncertainty in industry, has been very successful in the coal-powered electricity sector here in Australia so far.
    The greens’ solution to this green inspired uncertainty is of course is to adopt the regulatory or taxation measures that the greens are urging and voilà, uncertainty disappears.

    It was a tactic familiar to would-be Roman emperors and more recently to a certain political aspirant in Central Europe about 80 years ago viz. create uncertainty and disorder, then step in to restore order.

    The solution is to find political leaders with the courage to tell them where to go.

  446. Great read — loved it — I got a question. A little off-topic maybe.

    I am a non-scientist. My understanding is that CO2 increase is going to kill us all because of a — positive feedback effect.

    OK — How rare or prolific are naturally occurring positive feedback effects in the environment? If there were a lot of them it seems like we would be having catastrophes all the time. And I don’t just mean climate related ones. I mean about any aspect of the earth environment, anything in nature (let’s ignore the sun and the rest of the universe).

    I can think of the idea that at the start of an ice age more ground covered permanently by snow causes more sunlight to be reflected back in space causing lower temperatures and thus more ground to be covered permanently by snow but that is the only one I can come up with. And I don’t even know if that one is true.

    So are there a lot of positive feedback cycles? Or does nature abhor a positive feedback cycle? It seems to me that if there were a lot of them the earth would not be capable of supporting life.

    If this is a good question please feel free to use it any way you want. If it is a dumb question please feel free to humiliate me. Then I can get Buzz the environmental law school professor who has posted on this thread to sue you. Oh wait — you are anti- warming so you don’t get much grant money if any. Probably he would not consider it worth his time.

    Sorry getting giddy — been reading this thread for a couple hours. Anyway great post!

    EWRGALL

  447. R. Gates says: January 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    “Would take a bit research, but in general, if the cause is unknown, there would be nothing to add to the model.”

    Why not? A robust climate model should take into account changes in the Thermohaline Circulation. How can you effectively predict the AMO, PDO, ENSO decades into the future if you don’t know what the oceans have in store?

    “Models are based on known physcial relationships with specific hypotheses tested by altering variables.”

    Models are dependent on having accurate historical data and knowledgeable (in this case prescient) programmers. Our historical data on an array of critical variables is troublingly brief e.g.;

    Satellite Surface Temperature records since 1979;

    Satellite Global Sea Ice Area measurements since 1979;

    and Argo Oceanic temperature and salinity measurements since 2007;

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    From a programming perspective, only a Soothsayer would claim to have broken the code to Earth’s absurdly complex continually evolving climate system and now accurately predict its trajectory, temperature and behavior many decades into the future…

    “Please give a reference for this event you’re referring to.”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n1/abs/ngeo382.html

    “Also in respect to my being a 75% “warmist” and 25% skeptic–yes, I feel that generally AGW likely happening and thus in general AGW theory is correct– anthropengic GHG’s can alter the climate. Every day I also spend time looking at other conjectures and alternative hypotheses to explain the range of effects that AGW Theory can account for. From solar to longer term ocean cycles and even geomagnetic cycles– they all are interesting, but none of them has yet risen to the level of a full-blow theory to rival AGW. If I didn’t retain my skeptical side, I wouldn’t spend any time with them at all…”

    So what do we need to do to get you to 26%? Do we need to build our own GCM?

  448. Bulldust says:
    January 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm
    [we don’t encourage this kind of thing ~ ctm]

    Fair enough ctm – I didn’t realise there was a policy against posting details if someone happened to blog under their name as a handle (assuming the chap did, of course). No doubt several people have Googled this chap by now and found the same information.

  449. Robb876 says:
    January 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Am I the only one who finds this whole Willis vs Buzz argument a bit ridiculous?…. Willis, you were much more rude to buzz than he ever was to you… Totally uncalled for and should have been moderated….

    Yes, Robb, you just might well be the only one to feel that way, since you apparently are unable to even try to substantiate what you are saying! Perhaps this in turn involves a defect in your ability to comprehend what you are reading, which you might have been alluding to in your “Robb876 says: January 15, 2011 at 3:55 am” post where you expressed your frustration by exclaiming, “Could anybody actually make it through that entire post??”

    So yes, Robb, you are probably onto something very important…about yourself! Good luck with the remedial reading class!

  450. Bulldust says:
    January 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm
    And at another location:

    “Buzz Belleville
    Read the rest he writes there. No point debating with this chap, he has the blinkers on and it’s full steam ahead.
    Given that he is a lawyer maybe he should try suing a coal-fired power station for some of the deaths he claims CO2 has caused… keep me posted on his progress if he does :)
    ————————————————————-
    Bulldust OMG – just read it – and this ‘person’ teaches! God help us.

    Douglas

  451. R. Gates;
    Also in respect to my being a 75% “warmist” and 25% skeptic–yes, I feel that generally AGW likely happening and thus in general AGW theory is correct– anthropengic GHG’s can alter the climate>>>

    Nice of you to respond to that part of my post. NOW HOW ABOUT THE REALLY IMPORTANT PART WHICH WAS POINTING OUT TO YOU THAT THE IPCC REPORT ITSELF MAKES A MOCKERY OF YOUR ASSERTION THAT THE CLIMATE MODELS ARE COMPLETE IN TERMS OF VARIABLES USED?

    Or do you just respond to comments that you can spin and think no one will notice that you completely side stepped the facts themselves?

  452. I have another question — this time about climate models. I am a non-scientist so I want to see if I am understanding this correctly.

    Scientists know things about what past climate was. So they make models which when they feed in past data it gives results the same as what actually did happen to the climate in the past. They tinker with their models to make sure that their models always replicate the known past. They use a number of features in their models and are always trying to increase the number of features they use. And there are several different independent climate models and they all predict the past pretty good. Except that the values of the features incorporated in their model are all different.

    To explain what I mean this is like giving three people each a piece of paper and a pencil and telling them to pick five number that add up to 100

    13+17+19+21+30=100
    24+12+14+19+31=100
    11+19+18+32+20=100

    They all claim that because they all arrive at the same predetermined number validation has occurred for each model.

    And to make their models even better they are always striving to increase the number of features they use. Which is like saying find seven numbers that add up to a hundred.

    13+17+11+19+18+10+12=100
    21+12+17+15+11+14+10=100
    18+12+19+16+11+10+14=100

    So the model with more features in it is a better predictor of the predetermined climate outcome.

    Now my understanding is these model never seem to predict very well what the future climate will be and they all come up with different answers. That seems like giving people a paper and pencil and telling then to write down the seven best number that they can think of.

    23+11+19+12+22+21+18=126
    11+13+10+24+14+15+28=117
    27+18+22+15+19+25+17=143

    And suddenly all the models give different answers. So is my understanding of climate modeling correct? Is that basically how it works? Do I understand the basics?

    EWRGALL

  453. Bulldust says:
    January 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm
    And at another location:
    “Buzz Belleville:
    This is a humanitarian crisis. And it’s quite sad that the U.S. fails to act. At some point, folks who are opposing action should be held complicit in the deaths we’re seeing.”
    If my understanding is correct, Buzz is from the legal profession, so I suppose his null would be – somebody is to blame! There probably is, from Government planning committees, to energy providers, to architects, to builders, to engineers, right down to land owners, housewives and teenagers, and even God if they can successfully serve a summons. The latter might prove troublesome as His domicilium citandi et executandi has proved difficult to locate. So apportioning blame is going to prove rather difficult seeing that everybody is guilty in some manner, indeed just being alive could be an offence. Then of course they would need to prove beyond doubt that every “humanitarian crisis” is caused by someone else and not in some way by the litigants themselves. IOW you would be suing yourself. Of course nature herself will have to testify as to why she can be a real bitch sometimes.

  454. HAS:

    AGW-supporters have been assaulting the sc ientific method for decades. Now, Trenberth does it (in the subject of this thread) by claiming the null hypothesis should be reversed. And in this thread you have tried to do it by redefining the null hypothesis.

    But you ‘crossed the line’ when you claimed a link (cited by you and provided by you) said there were a “pair” of null hypotheses. In fact it stated the null hypothesis and what would be a counter-hypothesis to it. So, either:
    You did not read what you linked and cited
    Or
    You lied.

    AGW-supporters often do both so neither is a surprise. But – in response to my pointing out your behaviour – at January 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm you attempt sophistry to excuse your attack on science.

    In your recent post you write;
    “If I’m testing the null that AGW causes >50% of the recent warming,”

    No! Do not be a blithering idiot!
    The null hypothesis is that chance, or random variation, or natural variation (call it what you will) is the cause of the recent warming: nothing else – not AGW, not your dreams, not the Easter Bunny – causes any part of it.

    Nobody needs to consider whether AGW or anything else is causing any of the recent warming unless and until the null hypothesis is disproved.

    Your sophistry says;
    “In respect of the first all I can say is I didn’t set out to attack the scientific method, just to help better explain it. As to the second point you misunderstood what I was saying. I used a figure of speech “have a look at a statistical reference or two” and then gave one example. Confusing on my part, perhaps, but “reprehensible”?”

    A misrepresentation that distorts the scientific method is NOT an explanation, and an “example” that says the opposite of what you assert is a lie. Both are reprehensible.

    Richard

  455. Jim D:

    You have not apologised for your reprehensible behaviour as I asked but, instead, at January 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm you again repeat falsehoods.

    There is nothing “vague” in the null hypothesis. Indeed, there is nothing “vague” in any part of the scientific method, and this clarity is why AGW-supporters find the method inconvenient to their assertions.

    Your behaviour is not acceptable, so be a good little troll and return to under your bridge.

    Richard

  456. Willis,

    I recommend that you don’t get too upset with Buzz. At least not in your actual comments on this blog post.

    I found your post informative and challenging to the scientists promoting AGW by revealing the implicit arrogance (ignorance?) in what they promote. However, I think letting Buzz be critical without letting him get to you personally would promote more clarity in both his and your position. I for one like to hear every argument there is in civil discourse. I can understand how one can be provoked by allegations of dishonesty, but I would still recommend that you instead challange him to be clear and very specific about how your criticism is dishonest and not legitimate.

    Sorry about typos. Not a native speaker.

  457. Mr Gates said he believes in AGW, but he’s wrong and we will prove it.

    Queensland is going to have an Independent Commission of Inquiry ‘to forensically examine Queensland’s unprecedented flood disaster.’

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/01/queensland-premier-establishes-commission-of-inquiry-into-flood-disaster/

    It is now up to BOM to tell the world how they could have got it so wrong. Those expensive models can’t predict seasonal weather and need to be scrapped.

    The Inquiry will prove that the theory of CAGW is flawed.

  458. Robb876 says:
    January 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Am I the only one who finds this whole Willis vs Buzz argument a bit ridiculous? Far from a reasonable reaction to a blog posting remark… Sad thing is… It will probably be buzz who gets banned… Willis, you were much more rude to buzz than he ever was to you… Totally uncalled for and should have been moderated… Im betting, from the evidence I’ve seen around here, that a warmer would have never been able to get that carried away…

    Y’know, after reading your post about Buzz and I and thinking it over, Robb876, I find that it is the most dishonest posting I have ever seen.

    You see how much fun that is, Robb, to have someone’s opening line be a personal insult like that? Does that make you want to continue the discussion?

    Then consider if I repeated the insult after you gave me a polite request to cease and desist with the insults, I answered back like this:

    Gosh, Robb876, I’m sorry you were upset. And by by the way, you seem to think that when I said your post was dishonest, I meant you were dishonest. I’m sorry for that misunderstanding, actually what I meant was that you are intellectually dishonest.

    How would that set with you, Robb? Makes you want to leap into an exciting intellectual interchange with the writer, does it?

    Then finally, when I tell you that you are intellectually dishonest for a third time, insisting that there is nothing I can call your postings but intellectually dishonest … well, perhaps you might sit still for that kind of thing.

    I don’t. Perhaps that kind of behaviour is perfectly acceptable in your house, Robb. In mine, it is rude, boorish, and uncalled for, and it won’t be tolerated by me. You want to act like that, you can go discuss your ideas with somebody else.

    Did I go out of my way to obstruct Buzz? No, quite the opposite. I tried to help him with his shocking lack of social skills. I told him, in very clear terms, what constitutes unpleasant and unwelcome behavior here. I gave him a third chance, saying clearly that if he wanted to discuss these issues with me, he had to stop with the insults. I don’t see how I could have been more clear or done more for him. Despite that, he went out of his way to repeat his boorish insulting clown act for the third time.

    Was I “more rude to Buzz than he was to me” after that, as you say? Was I rude to him after he came back to spit his accusation of dishonesty back in my face for a third time?

    Damn right I was, Robb, with the most cutting insults I could find, and I would have used worse if I had them to hand. I have no use and no time for men like that, he has no sense of honor himself. And what’s worse, he is so dense that he doesn’t understand that other men and women are honorable, and will defend that honor against congenital serial calumniasts like our Buzz. Buzz doesn’t want to discuss things, Robb, that’s just what he tells himself to comfort him to sleep at night. He wants to fight.

    People who want to discuss things don’t start insulting people as soon as they walk in the door. People who want to discuss things apologize when they break local custom, and keep on going. People who want to discuss things respond to even small clues about expected behavior, and are grateful for and follow explicit instructions about said behavior.

    People who want to fight, on the other hand, walk in the door insulting people. When it is pointed out to them, people who want to fight do not apologize for their actions. Instead, they deepen the insult by pretending that the issue is that you are so uncouth as to be insulted by them. They’ll say, “I’m sorry that my words upset you,” as if your being upset is the problem rather than their crude and anti-social actions, and then they’ll proceed to repeat the insult as many times as necessary.

    Which of these sounds like our Buzz to you? It’s an open book test, feel free to read what he wrote.

    Finally, me, I’ve never banned a single person from commenting. I don’t know how, I don’t have the power to do that, and although Anthony would likely grant me the power if I asked, I don’t want the power to ban people, I’d probably misuse it.

    So as far as I’m concerned, Buzz is free to babble on here for as long as he wishes … but I’m not having a discussion with him. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I’ve already got coffee up my nose from earlier hilarity.

    w.

  459. Well sir I salute you on this stunningly excellent post…

    Truly a gem, a gem that needs to be required reading for anyone wanting to go into the scienes…

  460. Magnus says:
    January 17, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Willis,

    I recommend that you don’t get too upset with Buzz. At least not in your actual comments on this blog post.

    I found your post informative and challenging to the scientists promoting AGW by revealing the implicit arrogance (ignorance?) in what they promote. However, I think letting Buzz be critical without letting him get to you personally would promote more clarity in both his and your position. I for one like to hear every argument there is in civil discourse. I can understand how one can be provoked by allegations of dishonesty, but I would still recommend that you instead challange him to be clear and very specific about how your criticism is dishonest and not legitimate.

    I did challenge him to be clear about his claims, Magnus, see my post a ways above. I said:

    But if you want to take a third try at the brass ring, Buzz, go right ahead, like I said, I’m a patient man. However, it will be as stunningly successful as your first two forays unless you first take off the lawyer hat and drop the lawyer ‘tude. You are the guest in a foreign house here, just state the facts and leave your provincial prejudices and puffed-up self-esteem back wherever you hail from.

    However, I will never “challange him to be clear and very specific about how your criticism is dishonest”. I don’t care about the details of Buzz’s fantasies about honesty, any more than I care what my cat thinks about the fit of my Hawaiian shirts — their familiarity with the subject matter in both cases seems about equal.

    But beyond that, the main thing is, it’s not relevant to, and has no place in, a scientific discussion. Either what I say is right, or it is wrong, WHETHER I AM HONEST OR NOT.

    So my honesty is MEANINGLESS in a scientific discussion. The fact that he even mentions it, much less brings it up in the first sentence, means he is not interested in discussing things.

    Magnus, you are obviously laboring under the mistaken idea that Buzz wants an intellectual discussion about the issues. Nothing could be further from the truth. Buzz wants a fight, he has demonstrated that repeatedly by his actions. Sorry, but he’ll have to do that with someone other than me.

    Sorry about typos. Not a native speaker.

    Your English is excellent, native speaker or not.

    w.

  461. Wonderful posting… a text book response… from a text book on logic & morals that every scientist should read and inwardly digest… honesty, integrity, openness and scruples are mandatory credentials for every scientist – especially those with a PhD.

    However, the statement that global warming is “unequivocal” is a very misleading statement… every day we experience cooling when the sun sets… every day we experience warming when the sun rises… every year we experience winter cooling when the sun is low in the sky… every year we experience summer warming when the sun is high in the sky… and each year is never exactly the same… the only true statement is: weather variability is “unequivocal”.

    To accept the statement that global warming is “unequivocal” requires a belief in the official data published by the official organisations that are buried up to their necks in the manmade global warming is “unequivocal” belief system… their thermometer data has been shown to be biased, manipulated, inaccurate and partial… and their satellite temperature data has not been calibrated with ground based thermometers, has not been independently verified / reproduced and has been shown to include bogus values.

    Perhaps the best global indicator we seem to have is the Global Sea Ice Area assessment (since 1979) that indicates a healthy, naturally variable annual pattern – with an anomaly that ranges between +/- 2 million square kilometres… when we have some additional trustworthy data we might be able to make an “unequivocal” scientific statement. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

  462. Buzz Belleville
    January 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

    The point that we haven’t warmed the past decade and that the past 30 years are consistent with natural variability …. kind of shameless.

    1) “we haven’t warmed the past decade”

    Here is the data from the Climate Research Unit:

    http://bit.ly/hE3vv1

    Yes, according to the data, according to the apolitical science, we haven’t warmed in the past decade as the global mean temperature was flat at about 0.4 deg C.

    2) “the past 30 years are consistent with natural variability”

    Here is the data for the past 30 years from 1980 to 2010 showing a warming rate of about 0.16 deg C

    http://bit.ly/fJ7rI4

    Here is the data for the 30 years period a century ago from 1910 to 1940 showing similar warming rate of about 0.15 deg C.

    Yes, according to the data, according to the apolitical science, the past 30 years warming is consistent with natural variability (the previous warming rate has not been exceeded!)

    Buzz, what is the shameless?

    Is it the politicized science?

  463. Thank you for your cogent responses, I am aware that I don’t share the local concensus and would want to avoid any accusation of thread subject hijack – so I appreciate the replies even if they may not be absolutely relevent to the thread topic.

    I am aware of the objections to the OLR/DLR changes as a ‘fingerprint’ of AGW. Sensors capable of resolving the IR spectra were not developed until the 70s(?) and satellite measurement is difficult, with confounding factors of attitude drift etc. Also there are no comparable pre-ACO2 rise data. But despite these limitations, the consilience between two different measures of the change in energy flow caused by rising CO2 seems to provide reasonably robust evidence that the thermodynamics of the climate are altered by rising CO2.

    @- Willis Eschenbach says:

    You have propounded a hypothesis which is very, very difficult to establish. The ugly truth is that’s an inevitable result when you try to assign causality to a third-order* forcing. The signal is really, really hard to dig out of the noise.

    On the contary the primary signal, global temperature rise, loss of land-based ice mass and sea level rise is easy to see. It is attributing causation to a factor in the climate system that is very very difficult. I have some familiarity with biological systems, and there the importance of what you call ‘third order*’ forcings and the difficulty of identifying and measuring them in that disipline makes climate science look like a walk in the park…

  464. @- Dr. Dave says:
    ” I’ve read izen’s comments on many blogs over the last 6 months or so. He’s a thoroughly entrenched ideologue.”

    I am most flattered by your atention, before the last six months I had many happy hours playing wack-a-mole with Creationists at several site. Regretably they – the sites and creationists – have closed or left so I have had to find a new crowd of anti-science advocates to entertain me and hone my own ideas on.

    I would have to say that being labeled a ‘entrenched idealogue’ by you is rather a case of the cylindrical food cooking container asserting the kitchen water boiling utensil is covered in amorphous carbon particles.

    [Reply: Labeling readers and commentators here as “anti-science advocates” puts you squarely in the troll category. Don’t be surprised if your future posts are deleted without comment. ~dbs, mod.]

  465. Over at RC their top post is about a conversation overheard in a news room. Commenters giggle and try to make their own funny dialogue. Funny how they censor everything. Not just counter arguments, but jokes as well! Such a shame.

    Overheard in a newsroom near you:

    How about this:

    Reporter: OK, why are you calling me about ‘climate science’, do have anything to report?

    Climate scientist: Well, we have some statistics regarding the albedo effect. It could be that increased albedo in the Northern Hemisphere…

    Reporter: Sshhh, professor. This sounds very vague and not like something that is going to sell our tabloids. We’ll call the people working at CERN instead. Bye.

    Climate scientist: WAIT!!!! WAIT!!!

    Reporter: What now?

    Climate scientist: What if I told you to quote me on the following: “the sky is falling!”.

    Reporter: Now we’re talking. Care to give a precise estimate on exactly when this happens?

    Climate scientist: Let me just press ‘run’ on the model. I can make it happen as soon as 2050.

    Reporter: Niiiice round figure. You got yourself a first page, professor!

    Climate Scientist: Oh, it’s Schmidt! Gavin! Get that in there.

  466. @-Vince Causey says:
    “I feel comfortable believing that today’s climate is no different from past episodes.”

    Belief is always effective at making people feel better.
    Nature however has a habit of contradicting belief and making your life worse unless you understand it.

    @- Jim says:
    ” do you have a link describing the DLR “anomaly” you are taking about?”

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

  467. If AGW is now the null hypothesis as T claims then governments should stop handing out grants in support of it. You DO NOT send good money down the sinkhole of looking for evidence for standing NULL hypotheses. Scientific endeavor is about testing the stability of null hypotheses. I’m looking forward to seeing tens of billions of $$$ laid out for research that puts the AGW hypothesis to the test, now that it is the null hypothesis.

    Not happening?

    Well, Dr. T, it seems that granting agencies haven’t bought your silly claim. And it’s a good thing for you as you rely on the grants based on AGW NOT being the null hypothesis.

  468. The way I understand the null hypothesis in this case is that, if temperature variations since the beginning of the industrial period fall within the the margins of previous temperature variations, then they need not be attributed to any special new cause, and therefore it should be the default assumption that whatever combination of causes produced previous warming or cooling trends, are also applicable and sufficient to explain variations in the current period.

    The attempt by the CAGW specialists to shift the null hypothesis to the assumption that the warming has been caused mainly by extra CO2, originates in the claim that the greenhouse properties of this gas are well understood, and that a theoretical calculation of the thermal effects of extra CO2 (everything else remaining equal) is a matter of pretty straighforward physics.

    Since, for whatever reasons, physical experiments attempting to measure the thermal effect of different concentrations of this gas in the atmosphere seem to be non-existent, everything must hinge on theoretical calculations.

    Depending on who you listen to, these calculations (again, excluding feedbacks) are either very simple or not so simple, or very difficult. Even those who say they are simple come up with significantly different results. But most of them agree that the effect (of a CO2 doubling) would not *in itself* be cause for alarm.

    So from one perspective, the *contribution* of human CO2 emissions to the climate should be part of the null hypothesis IF you think basic greenhouse theory is bedrock science.

    It seems to me that the real sleight of hand performed by the CAGW scientific salesmen consists in injecting all kinds of diluting conjectures (regarding feedbacks, tipping points etc.) in this supposed bedrock, all the while pretending that the bedrock continues to be as solid as it was before the speculative injections, and from there they proceed to build a case for catastrophism and proceed to sell it. Once these gaseous dilutions (or delusions) begin to soften and puff up the initial “bedrock,” they quickly get overrun by sheer fantasy at every step. That’s when you start seeing a proliferation of words like “can” “may” “might” “could” in scientific articles, which eventually, after some repetitions, tend to end up being replaced by “will” in the popular reports. At some point, early in the game, normal science is thrown out the window and is replaced by science fiction of the cheapest variety, and the majority of the public, as well as scientists, don’t seem to notice.

  469. Buzz,

    You offered a long list of extreme scenarios and ended with the question, what would it then take to reverse the null hypothesis (a la Trenberth). But don’t you see Buzz, if all those extreme events happened, you wouldn’t have to reverse the null hypothesis – you would have evidence that directly falsified it. Isn’t it wonderful how all this science stuff works?

  470. Izen,

    You had made some interesting comments previously, but now spoil it all with that unnecessary stuff comparing WUWT posters with anti-science creationists. What is it with proponents of AGW that they can’t be satisfied without throwing some insults?

  471. henry@izen
    To quote from the paper you are quoting:
    W.F.J. Evans, North West Research Associates, Bellevue, WA; and E. Puckrin

    The earth’s climate system is warmed by 35 C due to the emission of downward infrared radiation by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (surface radiative forcing) or by the absorption of upward infrared radiation (radiative trapping). Increases in this emission/absorption are the driving force behind global warming….

    Obviously this is nonsense! CO2 absorbs strongly at around 2 um (3 peaks) and 4-5 um but this causes radiative cooling, and not warming. This is because the sun is radiating in the 0-5 um range. Hence the fact that they can measure this radiation (cooling!!!) on earth as it bounces back to earth from the moon.

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

    I suggest you start thinking for yourself,
    my own report here is a good starting point:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

    Come back to me if you don’t understand anything that I wrote.

  472. Willis,

    Excellent post, as always. The only point where I might disagree is that the IPCC is done. I have another suggestion or two.

    First, if the IPCC wants to appear objective about the science, they have to exclude researchers who have disqualified themselves. Eduardo Zorita has already said he thinks CRU people should be excluded from future IPCC assessment reports because Climategate showed them to be … well, what they are. Trenberth has shown that anyone who uses the term “denier” is also unable to objectively assess the science. Who are Trenberth’s “deniers?” Any researcher who reaches a conclusion he doesn’t agree with? That is the way it sounds. So, Pielke, Christy, Spencer, Lindzen, Douglass, McIntyre, McKitrick… none of the papers written by these people and others can get a fair shake from Trenberth. He cannot possibly play an authorship or leadership role in assessing science fairly.

    Second, if the IPCC chooses to continue to employ Jones, Mann, Hansen, Trenberth etc, then they should publish a majority report and a minority report. The minority report could be written the people above, plus other physicists, statisticians etc. I am willing to bet if the two reports are side by side, most climate scientists would endorse the minority report rather than the report written by Trenberth, Jones, Mann and Hansen.

    At the end of the day, the minority report would become the majority report.

  473. FAO: Izen and “anti-science advocacy”
    Some delicious hypocrisy there, given Kev the Kiwi’s own words…

    Indeed technology and data handling capabilities have evolved and not everything was saved. So my feeble suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric. Labeling them as lazy with nothing better to do seems like a good thing to do.

    Best Regards,
    Yarmy
    (Atheist, liberal, global warming believing, catastrophe-denying science advocate)

  474. Alexander Feht says:
    January 17, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Buzz is paid by the Big Windmill industry.

    There doesn’t appear to be a statement on conflicts of interest in his paper referred to by ‘dp’ above.

  475. @-Vince Causey says:
    “…but now spoil it all with that unnecessary stuff comparing WUWT posters with anti-science creationists. What is it with proponents of AGW that they can’t be satisfied without throwing some insults?”

    My apologies, most posters here are not anti-science, the comment I made was clumsily general. When it comes to throwing stones I only ever retaliate. In this case to a poster that described me as an incontinent immature canine. I also know from seeing his previous posts that to describe him as pro-science would be less than accurate.

  476. As I’ve been saying for a while: our climate research dollars would be far better spent:

    1. Establishing and using a PROPER method of measuring overall energy content in the atmosphere. “Surface Temperature” is a meaningless index, and anyone with any knowledge of SCIENCE would know this. Until this is done any “fingerprint” from CO2 or other human-influenced emissions can not possibly be detected.

    2. Determining once and for all what natural forces have driven climate in the past, including ice ages, little ice ages, optima, etc. A quick scan through the wikipedia article on Ice Age show it is littered with unscientific CO2 suggestions (ie. “(ice age) possibly being ended by the accumulation of greenhouse gases such as CO2 produced by volcanoes.”). Contrary to the anti-science Warmists, CO2 is not a significant enough driver of anything to answer any of these questions.

    3. Building models that are increasingly accurate at forecasting weather.

    Personally, I’m disgusted at the success of warming evangelists in their indoctrination of students. Some of the comments on this thread demonstrate that THINKING has been replaced with EMOTION when it comes to climate. I see assertions that are ludicrous at best, but clearly firmly believed.

  477. Don’t worry Mr. Eschenbach, I don’t want to engage you personally any further either. The discourse between us has obviously deteriorated. I would suggest that when you put something out on to the blogosphere, especially something that is obviously controversial and contains opinions and analyses, you should expect criticism. That’s what the AGW debate generates, and that’s what sites like WUWT (or Climate Progress on the other side) serve.
    Without getting into whether the original posting gave adequate credence to what Trenberth was saying, or refuted it in a logically sound way, I do think the posting and the comments on the board raise an interesting question >> when, if ever, does the burden of proof (and/or burden of persuasion) shift from those advancing AGW theory to those opposing any type of mitigation action? Certainly, the burden rests with the proponents of the theory initially, and just throwing out a hypothesis or a theory does not cause it to shift. And the fact that the theory is consistent with some observable facts also is not by itself enough to shift the burden. On the other hand, many posters have suggested that the burden never shifts, it always rests with the proponents, and that doesn’t seem right to me either. For instance, in my opinion, there are certainly enough indisputable premises and observational facts that the burden has shifted to those opposing the theory (now “law”) of gravity, the theory of relativity, and the theory of evolution.
    Now I do have a deep knowledge of the law and the policy surrounding climate change. But I’m not trained in the hard sciences. I am self-taught, especially as it relates to the science of climate change, and I am married to a scientist. I do understand logic and the scientific method, at least so far as most lay people do. I have given seminars on the “science of climate change for non-scientists – what the policymakers know or should know.” I give these seminars to lawyers and business people from the fossil fuel industry, who are as a whole very skeptical … and I try to do so fairly. But I am no expert. I can grasp 90-95% of the science, but there reaches a point (usually involving equations with symbols) where I just can’t get my legal mind around it. But that’s OK, most people can’t. Preparing for the seminars forces me to learn and understand much of the science and then be able to translate it into language that non-scientists can understand. I do think it is important to point out areas where there is absolutely no real debate, and areas where the scientific discussion continues. That’s the best I can do.
    The scientific method, both generally and as it relates to climate change, is largely inductive. A hypothesis is presented that is consistent with observable or verifiable facts. Then it is tested. It is criticized and challenged. For most scientific conclusions, the hypothesis can be verified or disproven in a laboratory, by adding and removing variables and comparing results to a control group, and by being able to repeat the analyses and reach the same endpoint. The challenge for AGW proponents is that, while certain of the underlying premises can be recreated and proven in a laboratory, their major conclusion cannot be. This is because we have only one planet earth. We don’t have a control earth. The ever-improving models are still imperfect in attempting to account for all climatic variables and project with certainty where climate change will lead us. That said, in my mind, at some point, the emerging consensus as to some premises together with increasing consistency (both qualitatively and quantitatively) with observable facts leads to the burden shifting. That is the point that seems to be in contention between Trenberth and Mr. Eschenbach (and many posters).
    When I try to break it down for the non-scientists, I suggest that there are basically six proposed premises for AGW theory which arguably support that major conclusion that AGW is a serious problem for which (proponents claim) some mitigation action should be taken:
    (1) Temps are rising (at historically significant rates to historically significant levels). This is largely accepted in the scientific community. I know there are some isolated challenges based on the urban heat island effect, but the adjustments made by the temp keepers together with the consistency among them has largely laid such challenges to rest. And the changes in the natural world (ice melt and shifting ag zones and forests, for example) are consistent with the instruments. Most reconstructions show that we have surpassed the highpoint of the MWP, though I know there are still a couple reconstructions (Loehle) floating around the Internet which suggest otherwise. And 0.2 degrees C per decade over 30 years is historically significant in anyone’s book, even if it is not THE greatest increase ever (and arguably it’s right up there). I don’t think scientists give much credence to folks who argue, based on a single warm year in the past (1998 or 2005), that the warming has somehow stopped. Most intelligent folks, I think, recognize that longer timescales show a continued warming trend. Certainly as to this point, challengers bear the burden of proving that either temps aren’t increasing or it’s historically insignificant.
    (2) GHG levels are rising (at historically significant rates to historically significant levels). This is about the most rock solid observational evidence that exists in the discussion, and it is not seriously challenged in the scientific community. The evidence keeps mounting that we’re at levels higher than we’ve seen for hundreds of thousands (and in some recent studies, millions) of years.
    (3) CO2 and other GHGs trap radiant heat. This is one of the premises that can be and has been recreated in the laboratory, and it is not seriously challenged.
    (4) Human activities (primarily GHG emissions, but also land use changes) have been (largely, significantly … pick an adverb) responsible for recent warming. This premise is complicated, as it involves elements of both deductive and inductive reasoning, as well as mathematical and physical equations. The blackbody sensitivity of a 4 watt per sq meter increase (translated to 1.2 degrees C) from a CO2 doubling seems to be largely accepted (give or take a couple tenths), based as it is on physics and observation. Even the Spencers and the Lindzens don’t seriously challenge that. But that doesn’t necessarily prove that the recent increase in CO2 emissions has caused the recent warming. The more we learn of our paleoclimatic history, the more comfortable the scientific community is in acknowledging that CO2 (and other GHGs) in the atmosphere is definitively a radiative forcing. The problem comes more from the deductive element of this premise, and there continues to be a debate. The AGW skeptics have over the past couple decades advanced various other natural forcings as the cause of recent warming. Slowly, as we gain more observational evidence, these natural alternatives are being ruled out. Our ability to directly measure solar irradiance levels (rather than just estimating based on sun spots and flares) has in many minds ruled out the sun as the dominant forcing. The various oceanic and atmospheric cycles have all shifted from positive to negative while the temp increases have continued (in admitted jumps and starts) suggesting they are not the dominant long term forcing. Spencer has argued the PDO, and there is a broad correlation between positive PDO and warming (and vice versa). But, long term (decadal or century scales), these cycles are neutral. Over the past 30+ (and/or 110) years, temps are not. Moreover, the PDO went negative in 2008, and the past two years have been among the warmest on record. Thus, while temps may level out (rather than decline) under the influence of solar minimums and atmospheric cycles, they march up when the cycles turn around. This suggests that, while the solar and atmospheric/ocean cycles have a significant impact on short-term (and regional) temps, they cannot explain the recent global warming. The Milankovich cycles, volcanoes, natural GHG release, etc., have been ruled out. Spencer is pushing a cloud theory still — that it may be cloud cover is causing warming rather than the other way around – but to my understanding this is not (yet) supported by observation or accepted theory. As to this particular premise, it seems to me that the accumulating observational evidence has shifted the burden to the ‘skeptics’ to propose an alternative cause for recent warming.
    (5) The temp increase will become worse in the future. This premise goes to feedbacks, and is still very much debated. Although much of the support for this premise comes from observation and knowable natural phenomena, as well as our paleoclimatic history, much of it is necessarily based on modeling as well. And no one can definitively rule out the possibility that there is a negative feedback that the models aren’t accounting for. The scientific community seems to have a good understanding of some of the positive feedbacks, especially water vapor, decreased albedo, and warmer oceans. Many fear that the melting permafrost will be a tipping point that will cause temp increase to exceed conservative estimates. And of course there is considerable debate on the feedback effect of clouds (Lindzen being the most prominent skeptic). This debate is acknowledged in all the scientific compilations, from the IPCC to the EPA. The burden on this point probably remains with the proponents of AGW theory. But the models are getting better, our paleoclimatic knowledge is getting deeper, and the record of direct observations is getting longer. It seems to me that, at some point, the burden shifts (but we’re not there yet).
    (6) The final premise is that the effects of climate change will be bad. There is some discussion that initial plant growth could increase, and the Russia and Canada will benefit from more usable land. There is also legitimate debate as to how rapidly and the extent to which some of the bad effects, especially glacial melt and sea level rise, will happen. But by and large we know that rising sea levels (and climate refugees) would be bad. We know meteorologically that more severe storms, floods, droughts and heat waves are likely if the warming continues, and these are bad. Ocean acidification, agricultural stress, species lost, etc. are all likely if the warming continues, and these are bad. Extreme weather events over the past year, consistent with climate change predictions, have had devastating effects. This discussion will continue, and I’m not sure it fits neatly within the “burden of proof” discussion.
    In sum, as the evidence supporting these premises mount, it seems to me that the burden shifts. Whether policymakers should wait until that shift happens before doing something definitive is a different discussion. Sorry for the rambling long post. But the question remains, at what point does the scientific burden of proof shift?

    [moderator comment deleted by bigger moderator ~ ctm]

  478. Buzz, while displaying the worst kind of pretentious and manipulative behavior, has no learning curve and cannot comprehend the AGW movement for what it is.

    https://public.me.com/ix/willi

    I’m sure he either never read this, couldn’t understand it or deliberately chooses the Gavin Schmidt/Michael Mann dishonest path of obfuscation & dismissal.

    There are many examples of these fatal flaws within the AGW Team’s work demonstrating both their extreme lack of integrity and the willingness of the rank and file (Buzz) to accept anything at all.

    Without any answers for these nails in the AGW coffin Buzz mimics Schmidt and Mann.

    There is no level of egregious misbehavior that would trigger any honest discussion from the likes of Buzz.

    I’m sure the fact that he can post his offensive tripe here while RC routinely blocks polite scientific discussion also means nothing to Buzz.

    Perhaps he is Joe Romm? That would explain everything.

  479. izen says:
    January 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

    @-Vince Causey says:
    “…but now spoil it all with that unnecessary stuff comparing WUWT posters with anti-science creationists. What is it with proponents of AGW that they can’t be satisfied without throwing some insults?”

    My apologies, most posters here are not anti-science, the comment I made was clumsily general. When it comes to throwing stones I only ever retaliate. In this case to a poster that described me as an incontinent immature canine.
    =================

    Apologies gratefully accepted. Sorry, I missed the incontinent canine post :)

  480. henry@buzz

    I have been where you came from. I used to be an Al Gore fan.
    I am a chemist so might be a bit ahead of you

    To reply to your assertions
    1) temps. have been rising but not that much. it looks like 0.7 degrees C over the past 100 or 150 years. Actually it seems to me that over the past 25 – 30 years warming has stalled.
    2) CO2 is a natural gas like oxygen and all of life including your own depends on it. More of it is better, because it stimulates growth.
    3) if Co2 causes trapping of heat you would expect minimum temps. to rise at a rate as fast as max. temps and mean temps. This is simply not happening, at least in the three places where I looked so far. South Africa, Spain and Northern Ireland. (I don’t have the time to look elsewhere, this is just my hobby)
    4) + 5) + 6) all proved invalid

    for a start look here

    http://letterdash.com/HenryP/assessment-of-global-warming-and-global-warming-caused-by-greenhouse-forcings-in-pretoria-south-africa

    and then read the results of my own investigation here:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

    let me know if anything is not clear to you.

  481. Buzz buzzes:

    “The challenge for AGW proponents is that, while certain of the underlying premises can be recreated and proven in a laboratory, their major conclusion cannot be.”

    That is right, Buzz. So the “therory” is not falsifiable, and therefore, it ain’t science; it is religion. That’s the problem.

    Here’s the deal: we cannot explain the cycling temperatures that were represented in the Roman Warm Period, Dark-Ages Cooling Period, Medieval Warming Period, Little Ice Age, and finally, the Current Warm Period. It is simply not logical, let alone scientific, to select a variable like CO2 to explain the current warming, when we have no frigging idea what caused past variations! It is especially foolish to blame CO2, when past evidence suggests very little correlation between CO2 and temperatures!

  482. Buzz Belleville:

    At January 17, 2011 at 8:56 am you ask:

    “Without getting into whether the original posting gave adequate credence to what Trenberth was saying, or refuted it in a logically sound way, I do think the posting and the comments on the board raise an interesting question >> when, if ever, does the burden of proof (and/or burden of persuasion) shift from those advancing AGW theory to those opposing any type of mitigation action?”

    Surely, you must know the answer to that. However, in case you really do not know, the answer is as follows.

    AGW will elevate from being a hypothetical conjecture to become a scientific hypothesis if and when there is some evidence to support it. That would be if and when there is a disproof of the null hypothesis of climate behaviour. And that null hypothesis is that all observed global climate behaviour is explicable as being natural because it is similar to the climate behaviour which happened in the past and is known to be natural.

    If observation of some demonstrably unnatural global climate behaviour were to occur, then investigation of the cause of the unnatural climate behaviour would be warranted. And if that investigation were to demonstrate the unnatural climate behaviour was most probably a result of AGW, then AGW would be elevated from being a scientific hypothesis to become a scientific theory.

    Before then, no action in response to the hypothetical conjecture of AGW is warranted. But, if AGW were to become a scientific theory then consideration of actions to mitigate it and/or to adapt to it would be prudent.

    Prior to AGW becoming a scientific theory “those advancing AGW theory” have as much credibility as those advancing astrology theory.

    See, even though your question was posed in ‘have you stopped beating your wife form’, it has a simple and straightforward answer. That is the beauty of the scientific method: it cuts through B*** S***.

    Richard

  483. Buzz Belleville,

    I can grasp 90-95% of the science, but there reaches a point (usually involving equations with symbols) where I just can’t get my legal mind around it.

    This explains a lot.

  484. Regarding Buzz’s long missive of 8:56am
    I, as someone on the AGW side with a relevant scientific background find this very encouraging. I often despair that the general public think of AGW as a hoax, or at best bad science, and then I see this. Clearly Buzz has a great filter for determining what is and is not bunkum, and has come to the kind of well balanced view that the scientists are trying to convey, and often feel they’ve failed, leading to the need for rapid response teams, etc. Thanks, Buzz, for restoring my belief that the correct information is getting to the public.

  485. ewrgall;
    To explain what I mean this is like giving three people each a piece of paper and a pencil and telling them to pick five number that add up to 100
    13+17+19+21+30=100
    24+12+14+19+31=100
    11+19+18+32+20=100
    ———————————-

    That’s a pretty decent analogy, and I like the rest of the logic in your description because it shows the fallacy of how the IPCC is presenting models and their data, except it is SO much worse than that. Consider this statement from IPCC AR4 concerning modeling of the earth’s energy balance:
    ____________________
    Chapter 8 8.3.1.1.2
    Calculation of the global mean RMS error,
    based on the monthly mean fi elds and area-weighted over all
    grid cells, indicates that the individual model errors are in the
    range 15 to 22 W m–2, whereas the error in the multi-model
    mean climatology is only 13.1 W m–2.
    ___________________

    So…. The BEST model they came up with is out by 15 watts/m2, some as high as 22w/m2, but if they average them all together then hey are only out by 13 watts/m2! They don’t know WHY this is, they don’t know WHICH parts of WHICH models are the problem… but they can say with confidence that the average for doubling oc CO2 is 3.71 w/m2, accurate to within 1/100 of a watt. If you then read carefully, this is derrived from 14 models which were run multiple times (58 runs in total, different starting parameters and so on). So not only are the models wrong, they know they are wrong, they used 14 models to create 58 wrong answers which when averaged “prove” that CO2 doubling will increase surface flux by 3.71 w/m2.

    And how does that relate to temperature? Well it seems that the models we know are wrong, and we don’t know why, and if we run enough versions of them and average them we’ll get something that’s only out by 13 watts/m2 or so, we get pretty good temperature predictions:

    _________________________
    Even over extensive
    land areas of the NH where the standard deviation generally
    exceeds 10°C, the models agree with observations within 2°C
    almost everywhere.
    __________________________

    They agree with observations within 2 degrees? Which model would that be? The one that was out by 15 watts? Or the one that was out by 22 watts. Oh! It’s the average of the models because by averaging the things we know are wrong with each other (you know, 14 wrong models with 58 sets of results between them) we can get within TWO DEGREES of observation! TWO! 2.0! So how close was the “best” model? 3 degrees? And since we’re onthe topic, why is it that they don’t tell us which model got the closest on these measurements? Is it because it totally blew it on everything else?

    So…. the best model is out by at least 15 watts/m2 and the best temperature we can get is out by more than 2 degrees… from which they conclude:

    CO2 doubling = 3.71 w/m2 = 1.1 degrees C and they are VERY confident they fot that right.

    OOOPS, I almost forgot. To show the accuracy of their models, they also looked at their ability to calculate net surface heat flux on the ocean. Got pretty close, we’ll just ignore that they used TOW DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS:

    ________________________
    The observational estimates are from da Silva (1994) and are based on COADS observations over the period 1945-1989. The model results are from years 1980-1999 of the CMIP3 20th Century simulations.
    _________________________

    Exactly why would they not have used COADS 1980-1989 to compare to the model results 1980 to 1989, the period in which they overlap and so comparison is meaningful? In fact, since the models can be run for any time period, why not create model output that matches the 1945 to 1989 period? After all, they used 14 models with a total of 58 results to get their “its wrong but if we averager enough results from enough models, it is less wrong” why not take that next eensy teensy bit of effort to make the time periods match?

    May I answer that?

    Any scientist who could put their name to this crap would embarass themselves less by walking naked through a northern park, in winter, and using what ever instrument they may have about their person to correlate to temperature. I presume this will be decried as sexist since observations must be recorded and the only utsensil at hand being the aforementioned instrument and only medium on which to record results being snow… but I think the embarassment is still less than what has been published as science and has the added benefits of over hearing a few of these intellectuals grumble to themselves that a lottle global warming might be a good thing at that moment.

  486. Buzz,

    An interesting (and lengthy) exposition. I still argue that the null hypothesis cannot be reversed. Firstly, the scenarios you described earlier to support this reversal would themselves provide the evidence that falsifies the null hypothesis – so the scientific method would work as intended, no reversal necessary. The second point about the law of gravity is a bit of a strawman – gravity is actually a law of physics not a hypothesis or conjecture.

    Your itemised list is long, so I’ll pick up on some of the points.
    (1) I (and most sceptics) agree with your statement that temps have been increasing. But then you overreach by adding that we have surpassed the warming of the MWP, and quote Loehle as an outlier. This is a hotly contested area. I don’t know where you base this on – there are literally hundreds of papers attesting to MWP being warmer and global, and most of the hockey sticks have been found flawed.

    (2) GHG rising, yes, but in the geologic past have been much higher – Mesozoic averaged 2000 ppm, and the late Ordovician had 5000ppm just as the world entered a glaciation.

    (3) CO2 traps heat – well, to be pedantic, it