Quote of the week – on the usefulness of climate models

qotw_cropped

From Dr. Judith Curry:

They seem to obliquely admit the inadequacy of climate models by saying that they have not been falsified by the recent pause.  Well, even if they have not been falsified, the climate models are not looking very useful at the moment, and climate model-derived values of climate sensitivity are seeming increasingly unconvincing.

From this post: UK Met Office on the pause

98 thoughts on “Quote of the week – on the usefulness of climate models

  1. Why is it referred to as a ‘pause’? It may or may not have paused, but what we know for sure is that it has stopped.

  2. “Climate models have not been falsified by the recent pause”?

    Really? Not a single one? There are what, order of 100 distinct climate models out there, each one of which generates an entire Monte Carlo ensemble of spaghetti as one perturbs their parameters and initial conditions. Each one has to be validated against the recent pause independently. And not one of them is far enough off to throw out the window?

    Or under the bus?

    What about the ones that are falsified by virtue of getting rainfall, drought, or the patterns of heating or cooling just plain wrong? What about the ones that incorrectly predict LTT?

    Or do they mean that there exist some climate models that have not yet been falsified by the recent pause?

    Finally, if “climate models” in general are not yet falsified, just how long does the pause have to be before they are?

    And please, no handwaving pulled out of butt-cheeks arguments. Let’s actually use the theory of statistical analysis to answer the question. Since “climate models” are not pulled out of an iid hat, their collective mean and variance are meaningless. That means the “envelope” of model results presented in various AR figures is meaningless, except when it is built for a single model, one at a time, and generated by e.g. Monte Carlo. So how, exactly, can such a statement be validated?

    rgb

  3. I agree with Michel. The warming period that started the whole panic about catastrophe was only 8 years long. We’re fully twice that and more with this the non-warming/cooling period, plenty enough to put the panic in perspective and the brakes on.

    It’s more and more obvious the alarmists are playing with two sets of rules, one for us and one for them – we should remind people of that every chance we get.

  4. Models have been already falsified by first half of 20th century, since they can not model 1910-1945 warming and subsequent cooling. “Recent pause” is actually a peak similar to that of 1945.

  5. Those climate models are like a class full of imbeciles which, when tested, show that no individual scored better than 20% in a test. Nevertheless, the teacher finds that every single question has been answered correctly by at least one imbecile so awards an A+ to the whole class.

    It took me a while to work out thesimile after reading this article at The Constipation.

  6. michel says:
    July 24, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Why is it referred to as a ‘pause’? It may or may not have paused, but what we know for sure is that it has stopped.

    A permanent pause?

  7. So let me see….If I open the front door, catch my nads on the handle, trip over the carpet, step on the cats tail, fall down the step, hit my head on the stone lions, get bitten by the dog, fall into the gooseberry bush, sit on poison ivy, trip over the lawn sprinkler, stand in a pile of doggy do do, fall into the rose bushes, climb over the picket fence, get my shoe lace caught in the fence spike and end up flat on my face in the road with a broken nose and then promptly get run over by the school bus…… Then the model I developed for exiting the house, walking down the path and catching the bus is a successful one, because it started at the door and ended at the bus. Now I think I understand how this is done.

  8. rgb;
    The rabbit hole is that they are projections exploring scenarios, not initialized predictions, hence are not subject to falsification. They’re merely suggestive speculations, doncha know? Which are 95% likely, by expert consensus.

  9. The Met Office offers incentive bonuses to its senior people.

    Presumably that was intended as a reward for getting their forecasts right.

    Any chance of the maximum bonuses not being awarded for inaccurate forecasts and fantasy climate modelling?

    Stupid question really, just wondered if anyone knew of one single instance?

  10. ………… even if they have not been falsified ……….. ??

    Can someone point to any model which has actually been validated ? Is the above phrase another example of reversal of the null hypothesis ?

  11. rgbatduke says (July 24, 2013 at 12:35 am): “Really? Not a single one?”

    Heh. As soon as I saw the title of the article, I suspected/hoped RGB would comment. I’ll keep my eye on this thread. :-)

  12. As the old Rolling Stones song goes, “Time Is On Our Side”.

    In order to meet CAGW’s hypothetical minimum climate sensitivity of 2.0C (current anomaly 0.5C) by 2050, a temperature trend of roughly 0.4C/decade over the next 37 years is required, starting from tomorrow… Every month below this minimum 0.4C/decade trend requirement simply increases it in the future.

    Over the past 150 years, the fastest decadal trend lasting over a decade has been around +0.16C/decade, which is less than half of what is required to validate CAGW. Further complicating matters for the Warmunistas are: 1) the 30-year PDO cool phase just started in 2008, 2) the lowest solar cycle since 1906 just peaked and weakens from here, 3) the AMO enter it’s 30-year cool phase around 2020, 4) the weakest solar cycle in 300 years starts around 2020 and 5) there hasn’t been any statistically significant HADCRUT4 warming trend since January 1995.

    NOAA’s previous criteria for concern was 15 years of no statistically significant warming, which has already been surpassed; we’re into the 18th year now…

    The most important thing from here is to nail the IPCC to an immovable goal post, which they’ll NEVER agree to. They’ll ALWAYS come up with some excuse as to why the goal posts need moving: Albedo flux, Vulcanism, “missing heat in oceans”, natural variability (i just love that squishy excuse), coal particulates, dust, 20 years is too short, 30 years is too short, in ad nauseum..

    How long with this CAGW charade continue?

  13. Brian H says:

    A permanent pause?

    Just a Mann-opause.
    The temporary instability in the rise is projected to be overcome soon.

    Management apologises for any convenience.

  14. They are desperately trying to persuade UK Government that if they only spend another £80 million on a supercomputer they will be able to make the models works despite the whole shebang failing because of the major errors in physics from Sagan, Houghton, Hansen, Trenberth and Ramanathan.

  15. For RGB, the Nick Stokes reply (or my guess at what it will be):

    You cannot throw out ‘some’ of the climate models because it is the ensemble result that counts.

    For example, a particular model may produce ludicrous precipitation patterns but be very good at temperature. If you throw it out, then the ensemble temperature data would be unbelievable, but on the other hand, another model with superb precipitation projections might provide daft temperature data, but again you have to keep it in else the precipitation data becomes ludicrous.

    This is crowd-sourcing of computer models at work!

  16. My model works well enough.

    Active sun causes poleward, zonal jets with less clouds allowing more energy into the oceans for a warming world.

    Inactive sun the opposite.

    The global air circulation pattern being the only necessary diagnostic indicator to establish the current trend.

  17. “A permanent pause?”

    Sure – why not? After all, when you press “pause” on your CD player, there is no rule that says that one day you must press “play”. You may even press “rewind” next, pr “eject” – tho not sure how that analogy works with climate ;)

  18. Juraj V. says:
    July 24, 2013 at 12:43 am
    “Models have been already falsified by first half of 20th century, since they can not model 1910-1945 warming and subsequent cooling. “Recent pause” is actually a peak similar to that of 1945.”

    Of course. They never validated them because they knew it would fail.

    So. What we have now is that the Western crony governments have diverted trillions into the climate scam, mostly via the renewable energy ruse. And they can’t admit that; the omnipresent windmills are testimony to their crookedness. So they must maintain that GCM’s are good as Gold; and Gavin continues to fiddle GISTEMP higher as we speak.

    Ok, we can work with that.

  19. Try reading yesterday’s London Times article by Hannah Devlin to see some truly vomit-inducing back-tracking by scientists about ‘accelerating warming’.

    They combine having signed up to things they were ‘apparently not comfortable with’ with taking shedloads of public cash and excoriating those who remained true to their beliefs and expressed skeptical doubt.

    The term ‘Nazi orderly at a concentration camp’ comes to mind: that bunch did what they were told, turned the other cheek and then claimed that it was just the evil officer class who made them do it.

    How did history treat those orderlies, eh????

  20. Predictably, the “Pro’s” – this time at DMI (the Danish Met Office) just a few days ago said the opposite: http://www.dmi.dk/nyheder/arkiv/nyheder-2013/klimamodel-genskaber-de-seneste-aars-temperaturopbremsning/

    Google translation:

    “New study of climate model EC-Earth, which is used in DMI’s climate research, suggest that increased intake of energy in the oceans play a key role for the past year slowdown in the growth of the global mean. In the past 10 to 15 years, the global average temperature has risen more slowly than in the past – and slower than most climate models predicted. This deceleration has occurred in a period during which atmospheric concentration of CO2 has remained growing and where the total external forcing (from solar radiation, greenhouse gases and particles) have been
    largely unchanged. The slow down is also done in a period in which both the models and observations show that the climate system overall, has taken up as much energy as previously.

    The climate, however, also exhibit natural variations in both short and long term. and several studies point. to deceleration may be due to natural variations in the atmospheric and ocean circulation in a period led to increased accumulation of energy in the oceans. Tha lead a Spanish research team to investigate whether the climate model EC-Earth could simulate the last year’s temperature slowdown if they started model based on an observed state and thereby could hit the contemporary flow pattern. The natural variations in climate models is in fact not automatically in line with the observed.

    The results show that the climate model EC-Earth is better at representing the recent years deceleration in surface temperature when it is forced into the right flow pattern. They also show that the extra energy in the climate system during this period actually used to heat the oceans. This confirms that it is the natural variations in flow patterns that determine how much of the energy that actually accumulates in the oceans, and how much goes to heat the surface.

    Further model studies with an exaggeration that is comparable to the one we have experienced in the past decade, confirm that global temperatures are increasing. However, there will be periods where the temperature change at the surface can be small or even negative. During these periods is recorded more energy in the oceans deeper layers.

    The new results generally increases confidence in the climate models. At the same time, the results indicate some of the possibilities offered in the short-term climate forecasts. Forecasts, which among other things can become a valuable tool in relation to climate change adaptation.”

    Well, well – follow the taxpayer money spent by politicians.

  21. Permanent pause? A few years ago where I live in England, the local council removed the road surface ready for a new layer and put up a sign saying ‘Temporary road surface’. However, it dragged on for months, so a local put up a sign next to the other sign saying ‘Permanent Notice’. I think that says it all.

  22. Why would we not look at the differences in slope and length in years and magnitude of temperature change between the 1910-40 warming compared to the similar period from ~1980 on and say that this is the added effect due to CO2? Now throw in an unknown lag between 5 and 1000 years depending on how efficiently the heat is mixed into the oceans and there we have our model for effect of CO2.

  23. Lot more water in southern hemisphere.
    Circulation is a function of temperature gradients.
    Temperature gradient geometry is a function of distribution of continents.
    Water has much higher heat capacity than air.

    Attention UK Met Office:

    With attention to the thermal equator you can quickly refine this dead simple tip:
    http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/6451/1xx.gif (2-slide animation — N vs S)

    Supplementary: http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/scd_sst_q.png

    Temperature, mass, & velocity are coupled.
    Turbulence details are not needed to determine the central limit of coupled mechanical processes.

    Think of the tachometer in a car. One need NOT know how to model the mechanical processes occurring in the car to figure out that the rate of coupled mechanical processes is related to revving. (Duh!!)

    It’s also a no-brainer to see that heating ice water to boiling water on a stove is an integral.

    Circulation geometry in the southern hemisphere is comparatively a simple ring, whereas angled steep land-ocean gradients are adjustable meridional deflectors in the northern hemisphere.

  24. If the temp begins to go down, as is beginning to happen, will that falsify them? One wonders if they will simply say they hae seen dips in their models too. In fact they have so many models running at once every eventuality has been covered.

  25. “rgb;
    The rabbit hole is that they are projections exploring scenarios, not initialized predictions, hence are not subject to falsification. They’re merely suggestive speculations, doncha know? Which are 95% likely, by expert consensus.”

    If they are not falsifiable, then they are NOT scientific tools and should be rejected as useless.

    Another mistake the alarmist scientists make is in using the models for experimentation. To see what the effects of different input conditions are on the system. Models are coded according to the warmist theory. Therefore the models can only ever be expressions of variants of that theory. They can never be used as experimental tools and have zero predictive value at all.

    The real actual physical earth, comprising the earth and its climate, do not work to some theory. It obeys all the known and unknown (and if unknown, therefor un-modelable) laws of chemistry and physics and biology.

    The only way to scientifically validate the theory, (and therefore the models), is by empirical data acquired through observation of this planet through accurate and consistent measurement.

    The “inconvenient truth” is that the real actual earth is NOT behaving how the models projected based on the variants of the theories upon which they were coded. There is no known mechanism for surface heating to suddenly switch to being deep ocean heating. They are unscientifically using this alleged ocean heating as a desperate and pathetic excuse to try to keep their reputations and funding.

    They are being grotesquely anti-scientific in this. Igoring their own theory that posits that CO2 absorbs more radiative heat in the atmosphere as it bounces off the land and has no known mechanism for increased levels of CO2 suddenly stopping warming the atmosphere over land and then pushing the atmospheric heat DOWNWARDS into the oceans instead. If the oceans are warming more, then the atmosphere above them should also be warming more and it is not.

    The theory has been falsified. The earth is NOT going to fry to a crisp any time soon. We should celebrate.

  26. Ken-

    Great post but the new K-12 education reforms in the US and the Maastricht reforms the EU is pushing and all the reforms I am seeing all over Asia and Australia and NZ are ALL premised around creating a belief in systems thinking and the idea that this is all true. The reason is that it becomes an excuse to get desired mass behavioral changes without that being so obvious or appearing authoritarian.

    But AGW is thoroughly embedded in ed as a so-called global challenge because it creates an excuse for political power and politically directing the economy and cronyism. We have to get the science right but we cannot stop there in cleaning this all up. Or forget why science itself is under attack. See Sokal Hoax.

  27. michel says:
    July 24, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Why is it referred to as a ‘pause’? It may or may not have paused, but what we know for sure is that it has stopped.
    ================

    It is innaccurate to claim the recent cessation of temperature rise as ‘paused’ unless you can explain why and give some idea when the ‘pause’ itself will stop (and that needs to be somehting more than ‘in the near future’). If you can’t you have to say it has stopped.

  28. Ken,

    “They are being grotesquely anti-scientific in this. Igoring their own theory that posits that CO2 absorbs more radiative heat in the atmosphere as it bounces off the land and has no known mechanism for increased levels of CO2 suddenly stopping warming the atmosphere over land and then pushing the atmospheric heat DOWNWARDS into the oceans instead.”

    =================

    Not only pushing the energy downwards into the oceans, but somehow skipping the first 700 meters of ocean and moving the heat to the ocean below.

  29. According to the Berkley Earth Temperature study, the World has been heating since the 1820s.

    This is often attributed to “recovery from the little ice age” – whatever caused that.

    If the physics of the LIA and its recovery can be explained and then modelled successfully, one might have more faith in the basis of climate models.

  30. @rgb

    In paper 3 from the MO, figure 4 purports to show that the actual data is within the range of error of computer models.

    However, a few things are missing from this. The computer models used are not those from IPCC AR4, or even TAR, they are from SAR. As it happens, (must just be a coincidence) the IPCC SAR was the report that made the lowest projections. Although the MO hasn’t said so – this is pretty much an admission that TAR and AR4 are massive overestimates of global warming.

    Next, they haven’t even checked the model runs as they were run back in 1995/6. Instead they have re-run the models adjusting them downwards a little bit.

    Also, they’ve chosen to compare the results of the models with HadCRUT4. But HadCRUT4 didn’t exist when these projections were originally done. HadCRUT3 would be a better choice. HadCRUT4 runs 0.05degC warmer than 3 . Not using v3 makes it look a little bit like they’ve changed the actual data to fit the model. And I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be seen to have done that.

    Seems to me the correct approach would be to use all the IPCC reports or just the most recent. The model runs should be compared with the temperature record that was being used when the models were run (HadCRUT3).

    All talk of uncertainty range/errors can be omitted. If there were no bias in the models, you would expect about half the models to be above actual data and about half under. We can say the models are biased – and we can estimate by how much.

  31. I’ve discarded models of chemical processes that were much better system predictors than the climate models and I never was smart enough to average failures to get the correct answer. And this is settled science and beyond debate?

  32. Bill Marsh

    “It is innaccurate to claim the recent cessation of temperature rise as ‘paused’ unless you can explain why and give some idea when the ‘pause’ itself will stop (and that needs to be somehting more than ‘in the near future’). If you can’t you have to say it has stopped.”

    Actually to be accurate you can not say there is a pause or that warming has stop. There is no statistically significant pause or decrease in temperatures. The only statistically significant trend to now is an increase in temperatures.

    You could consider other evidence such as ocean heat content data, ocean thermal expansion data, energy imbalance data. None of which supports the theory temperatures have paused or stopped. Most likely, in my view, it will start to warm faster again soon. It’s just a question of how much and what significance the slow down has on predicting that.

  33. I expect the Met Office might say “The level of convincing-ness of the climate models is experiencing a pause.”

  34. no need for further comment really – just sit back and wait for the usual warmista to come and defend the model rubbish!

  35. Climate models that have not been falsified remind me of voting in Chicago.

    Despite the fact this person has been dead for 100 years their vote for the perpetual incumbent has not been falsified.

  36. Those climate models are like a class full of imbeciles which, when tested, show that no individual scored better than 20% in a test. Nevertheless, the teacher finds that every single question has been answered correctly by at least one imbecile so awards an A+ to the whole class.

    Very much indeed; a very apt simile as you say. Only it is slightly worse. Because every question has been answered correctly by at least one imbecile, and because the teacher finds that every imbecile wrote the correct laws of physics somewhere on their page (it was, after all, an open book test), the teacher concludes that the errors the students make must cancel out. The teacher then takes the average of the answers of this “A+” class and uses it to grade the actual answer key of the author of the textbook who originally wrote the problems and who is not, I repeat not, an imbecile.

    The real question is, who is dumber, the students or the teacher?

    rgb

  37. Here is a quote from the latest post on my blog at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com relative to climate models.
    “Fig 1 is but one illustration among an ever increasing number, of the growing discrepancy between model outputs and reality.This disconnect has been acknowledged by the establishment science community which is now busy suggesting various epicycle like theories as to where the “missing” heat went.Some say its in the oceans (Trenberth) some say its due to Chinese aerosols (Hansen) but the all main actors still persist in the view that it will appear Lazarus like at some unspecified future time.This is like the Jehovah’s witnesses recalculating the end of the world each time a specified doomsday passes.
    In Britain , the gulf between the Met Office expectations for the last several years and the actual string of cold and snowy winters and wet summers which has occurred has made the Met Office a laughing stock-
    to the point of recently holding a meeting of 25 “experts” to try to figure out where they went wrong.
    The answer is simple.Their climate models are incorrectly structured because they are based on three irrational and false assumptions. First that CO2 is the main climate driver ,second that in calculating climate sensitivity the GHE due to water vapour should be added to that of CO2 as a feed back effect and third that the GHE of water vapour is always positive.As to the last point the feedbacks cannot be positive otherwise we wouldn’t be here to talk about it .
    Further ,Trenberth in a presentation at :

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outreach/proceedings/cdw31_proceedings/S6_05_Kevin_Trenberth_NCAR.ppt

    proposes a strong natural negative feedback which has not been included in the IPCC- Met Office models and which independently of all the other evidence would necessarily substantially reduce model warming predictions.
    Temperature drives both CO2 and water vapour independently,. The whole CAGW – GHG scare is based on the obvious fallacy of putting the effect before the cause.As a simple (not exact) analogy controlling CO2 levels to control temperature is like trying to lower the temperature of an electric hot plate under a boiling pan of water by capturing and sequestering the steam coming off the top.A corollory to this idea is that the whole idea of a simple climate sensitivity to CO2 is nonsense and the sensitivity equation has no physical meaning unless you already know what the natural controls on energy inputs are already ie the extent of the natural variability.
    Furthermore the modelling approach is inherently of no value for predicting future temperature with any calculable certainty because of the difficulty of specifying the initial conditions of a large number of variables with sufficient precision prior to multiple iterations. There is no way of knowing whether the outputs after the parameterisation of the multiple inputs merely hide compensating errors in the system as a whole. The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections.It concludes:
    “Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections,consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
    What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said itself that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- ie we don’t know what future temperatures will be and we can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2.This also begs a further question of what mere assumptions went into the “plausible” models to be tested anyway.
    This quoted statement was necessarily ignored by the editors (censors) who produced the AR4 Summary for Policymakers. Here predictions of disaster were illegitimately given “with high confidence.” in complete contradiction to several sections of the WG1 science section where uncertainties and error bars were discussed. Almost all the worlds politicians, media and eco-activist organisations uncritically accepted and used these predictions as infallible guides to the futrure and acted on these delusions of certainty which are now, six years later ,seen to be just that -delusions.
    In summary the projections of the IPCC – Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them really have no useful place in any serious discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money.”

  38. That the contemporary high CO2 warming swing is indistinguishable from the one before suggests that CO2 attribution is just silly, albeit highly profitable for some and most of that profit being tax dollars or recession era high energy prices, highly unprofitable for others.

    Temperature chart: http://oi45.tinypic.com/5obajo.jpg

  39. At the beginning of the linked article:

    “The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not, in itself, materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century. – UK Met Office”

    Now to me that reads as such: “Even though there has been a pause in global surface temperature rise, the risks associated with substantial warming, if it ever occurs, are still valid”.

    They have carefully switched their argument from their failed point of certain warming to a position of “yeah but what if it does warm, it will be dangerous”. The object is to keep the fear factor at the front and center of the argument so that the money keeps coming in.

  40. However, a few things are missing from this. The computer models used are not those from IPCC AR4, or even TAR, they are from SAR. As it happens, (must just be a coincidence) the IPCC SAR was the report that made the lowest projections. Although the MO hasn’t said so – this is pretty much an admission that TAR and AR4 are massive overestimates of global warming.

    Agreed. And it is stressing SAR. Which is why estimates of sensitivity are in freefall. The really interesting thing will be when the IPCC formally gives up on the projections from AR4, TAR and eventually SAR, and when they formally acknowledge that their use of statistics to average them all together was complete crap. At that point, I “predict” a climate of pitchforks and torches, led not by citizens but by lawmakers who have been lied to.

    Not a good time to be a climate scientist, especially one that vocally defended the use of such averages or high sensitivity climate models as predictive tools capable of generating confidence intervals as in AR4’s Summary for Policy Makers, one of the all time greatest travesties in science.

    rgb

  41. ‘Its in the deep ocean, I tell you – the missing heat ..
    No – you can’t detect it – its there, trust me – I’m a climate scientist…’

  42. they have not been falsified by the recent pause…..
    …their expectations are extremely low

  43. Some of these issues and many more are discussed in my new (invited review) paper in details

    SOLAR AND PLANETARY OSCILLATION CONTROL ON CLIMATE CHANGE:
    Hind-cast, Forecast and a Comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs
    by Nicola Scafetta

    take it from

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf

    or visit my web-site

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/

    Abstract:

    Global surface temperature records (e.g. HadCRUT4) since 1850 are characterized by climatic oscillations synchronous with specific solar, planetary and lunar harmonics superimposed on a background warming modulation. The latter is related to a long millennial solar oscillation and to changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere (e.g. aerosol and greenhouse gases). How- ever, current general circulation climate models, e.g. the CMIP5 GCMs, to be used in the AR5 IPCC Report in 2013, fail to reconstruct the observed climatic oscillations. As an alternate, an empirical model is proposed that uses: (1) a specific set of decadal, multidecadal, secular and millennial astronomic harmonics to simulate the observed climatic oscillations; (2) a 0.45 attenuation of the GCM ensemble mean simulations to model the anthropogenic and volcano forcing effects. The proposed empirical model outperforms the GCMs by better hind-casting the observed 1850-2012 climatic patterns. It is found that: (1) about 50-60% of the warming observed since 1850 and since 1970 was induced by natural oscillations likely resulting from harmonic astronomical forcings that are not yet included in the GCMs; (2) a 2000-2040 approximately steady projected temperature; (3) a 2000-2100 projected warming ranging between 0.3°C and 1.6°C , which is significantly lower than the IPCC GCM ensemble mean projected warming of 1.1°C to 4.1°C; (4) an equilibrium climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling centered in 1.35°C and varying between 0.9°C and 2.0°C .

  44. “and climate model-derived values of climate sensitivity are seeming increasingly unconvincing.”

    I am confused about the meaning of “Climate sensitivity” – has it a well defined meaning?

    Is she saying Surface and air temperatures are bad proxies for what is happening overall, because the new argument is that the heat is there, but has been sucked out of the atmosphere and hidden in the deep oceans which are warming at a rate of .01c every five years. That means the measured temp record from the atmosphere is insensitve to what is going on in the total system, and is an insensitive as a proxy for the whole system.

    Taken to the logical conclusion this means they have been measuring the wrong thing, and have no way of knowing what was happening in previous periods, since they have no long term historical record for deep ocean temps. How can they know how the present warming period compares with previous warming periods, they have no historical record of what the total, very complex system was doing in the MWP.

  45. Ironically, this hypothetical “class of imbeciles” actually exists. (Warning: the following contains run-on sentences and should be avoided by those who are offended by grammatically dubious rants).

    As individuals, their knowledge of Science, History, and Human Nature are essentially useless. Their sole reason for being in the “class” is that they were able to win a popularity contest, a rigged one at that, where they were able to beat up their opponents, either literally or figuratively.

    This “class of imbeciles” are known as “elected officials”, although you could also subclass them as “Congress” or “The Senate” or “The Administration”, or stereotype them as “leftists” or “liberals” or “treehuggers”, or insult them as “idiots”, “morons”, or “dolts”. These people do occasionally get something right, and if you average the entire group’s achievements you would find that overall someone at some point gets it right.

    The problem is, we only hear about something they got right, and never are told about all the rest that they got grievously wrong. The “class of imbeciles” would be completely powerless without the support of their doting parents, who only tell us of their successes and never about the failures or the horrendous “unintended consequences”, a concept they seem completely unfamiliar with in spite of large crowds predicting them. The doting parents, of course, are the media… the ones who generated this group of drooling cretins, and spoon-feed them with a pablum of oversimplified and incorrect “Science” rhetoric that would make previous generations laugh at first, until they realize it’s serious, at which point they’d cry. The media aren’t subtle, either. You have to respect an organization that can not only make people vote for 0bama, twice, but make them think they did a good thing and feel good about him. That’s power.

    People don’t think for themselves anymore, instead they subject themselves to bite-sized morsels of knowledge, doled out by a corrupt education system at first, then a corrupt media that is more than willing to tell people whatever they are paid to tell them. Come on, deny it. Tell me that Science, or Scientific American, or National Geographic, or any others that were formerly reliable and genuinely attempting to communicate the latest information, have not fallen completely down the rabbit hole, passing Alice along the way to irrelevance. Not even the pretty pictures will save NatGeo, because lately I see better digital camera images from tourists all over the world that don’t need to be staged or have someone “on assignment” get paid for 6 months of sitting in a blind somewhere in Africa to get.

    The Internet gives people the illusion that all of the world’s knowledge is at their fingertips, and they are completely oblivious to the manipulation behind the scenes, lying and cheating at “Science” as evidenced by Connolley et al. In fact, the Internet does not give people more knowledge, it makes them stupid. I know people who pull out their phone and use maps to walk 3 blocks away, and can get lost in a city of 50,000 without their devices. Half the younger people I know can’t even tell West from East, in spite of the fact that from almost everywhere in Calgary the horizon to the West is jagged by mountains.

    Okay, there’s my rant for the day. Carry on.

  46. The models dont work for two reasons…one is that there are too many variables…many poorly understood…second is that absorption by CO2 is saturated…as pointed out by Angstrom in 1900…yes, as far back as then…three years ago at the height of the hysteria I predicted undeniable cooling within five years…prediction right on track…

  47. @rgb Finally, if “climate models” in general are not yet falsified, just how long does the pause have to be before they are?

    The usual warmist rule of thumb is 2-5 years longer than it has been so far.

  48. That word Obliquely could well become the tag line for all of global warming science of the late 20th and 21st centuries. I hope future enlightened generations will look back at it that way too.

  49. Why would anyone be surprised at a “pause”? There was one from 1940-1970, too, so it isn’t like it’s never happened before. And from 1850-1880. So what’s new?

    On the other hand NO ONE WITH A BRAIN can expect a straight linear regression to a chaotic systems to hold true for more than a short time. Duh. Are they slow upstairs?

    The pauses show clear signs that there is cyclicity to the climate, and that different regimes hold true for some periods. A true oscillation? People don’t seem to be able to wrap their heads around a cycle on an ascending overall slope – but that is what the data show, even though no one is giving it much attention. (Why I don’t know)

    Coming out of the LIA, if the general trend isn’t upward, then we would still be IN the LIA. Duh again. Lay a sine-type curve on that with a 60-year pitch, and you can make some nice predictions that come true.

    The “pause” is just the non-ascending part of the cycle.

  50. John says:
    July 24, 2013 at 4:26 am
    “You could consider other evidence such as ocean heat content data, ocean thermal expansion data, energy imbalance data. None of which supports the theory temperatures have paused or stopped.”

    Temperatures are measured. It is not a theory that they stopped warming, it is an observation.

    The fact that you don’t know this shows that you are a simple activist or True Believer, not a rational thinker. Or maybe just totally uninformed about how science works in general.

  51. Steve Garcia The general upward trend is part of a millenial cycle with peaks at 1000 and 200 +/-
    Heres another quote from the latest post at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    “The point of most interest in Fig 3 is the present temperature peak and the MWP peak at 1000 AD which correlate approximately with a solar millenial cycle .The various minima of the Little Ice age and the Dalton minimumof the early 19th century also show up well.
    It is not a great stretch of the imagination to propose that the 20th century warming peaked in about 2003 and that that peak was a peak in both the 60 year and 1000 year cycles.On the basis that the sequence from 1000- 2000 may be about to repeat – and also referring to the Oulu cosmic ray related neutron count time series the following climate forecasts may be made .
    1 Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
    2 Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
    3 Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
    4 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 – 0.15
    5Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
    6 General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
    7 By 2650 earth could possibly be back to the depths of the little ice age.
    8 The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial – they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and help maintain crop yields .
    9 Warning !! There are some signs in the Livingston and Penn Solar data that a sudden drop to the Maunder
    Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures could be imminent – with a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario.
    For a dicussion of the effects of cooling on future weather patterns see the 30 year Climate Forecast 2 Year update at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2012/07/30-year-climate-forecast-2-year-update.html

    How confident should one be in these above predictions? The pattern method doesn’t lend itself easily to statistical measures. However statistical calculations only provide an apparent rigour for the uninitiated and in relation to the IPCC climate models are entirely misleading because they make no allowance for the structural uncertainties in the model set up.This is where scientific judgement comes in – some people are better at pattern recognition and meaningful correlation than others.A past record of successful forecasting is a useful but not infallible measure. In this case I am reasonably sure – say 65/35 for about 20 years ahead. Beyond that, inevitably ,certainty drops rapidly.”

  52. The primary value of any computer model is to verify that the modelers completely understand the system they are trying to model. The consensus, so far, is obvious.

  53. @rgbatduke at 5:41 am:

    The really interesting thing will be when the IPCC formally gives up on the projections from AR4, TAR and eventually SAR, and when they formally acknowledge that their use of statistics to average them all together was complete crap. At that point, I “predict” a climate of pitchforks and torches, led not by citizens but by lawmakers who have been lied to.

    Hilarious!

    Let’s try putting this in Frankensteinian terms:

    — Their aim was to bring life to a dead backwater of science in a region bypassed by history (East Anglia),
    — They thought they were studs because of those electrodes on their necks (the newfangled computer thingies),
    — They befriended the blind (policymakers), and spilled hot soup (boiling oceans) all over them, and
    — They are doomed to go down in flames when everyone realizes just how butt ugly they are (actually their ‘science’).

    Nice story line!

    We skeptics ourselves are the pitchforks and torches. And we are glad to be of service in a good cause.

    Gentlemen! Sharpen your pitchforks!

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  54. “The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not, in itself, materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century. – UK Met Office”

    All the predictions of us 97%ers were wrong in the short term, but trust us in the long term!

  55. “They seem to obliquely admit the inadequacy of climate models by saying that they have not been falsified by the recent pause. ”

    Well I don’t suppose they have. But this is the phrasing of a propagandist surely? The models are dependent on the conditions you feed into them. So what parameters do you need to feed into these all-encompassing models to get them to predict an 18 year pause?

    I would guess Chinese CO2 output for 18 years exponential increase = zero temperature increase implies sensitivity to CO2 = 0. End of.

    Expecting CO2 to trap energy into the Earth’s climate is a bit like expecting a meat skewer to be a useful way of keeping water molecules in a bucket. There are ways around it you see….

  56. Why not assert a variation on Aristotle’s principle of Impetus, to effect that an arrow flies parallel to the ground until its “force” has been exhausted, whereupon it abruptly stops and falls straight down [!]. Despite all experience –“evidence” is the wrong word– this asininity was taught as holy writ in academe for nigh 2,000 years (c. BC 350 – AD 1625).

    So what’s to prevent a Cool Phase “impetus effect” from kicking in a century from now, halting suddenly before “falling flat,” that is reversing in line with AGW Catastrophists’ peculiarly anti-rational scenarios? By Met Office rules, Invisible Flying Rabbits may well engender climate Armageddon… after all, who can they prove they won’t?

  57. rgbatduke says:
    July 24, 2013 at 5:41 am


    At that point, I “predict” a climate of pitchforks and torches, led not by citizens but by lawmakers who have been lied to.

    There are two questionable assumptions here: that lawmakers are (1) less complicit and (2) more courageous than the climate scientists. Of course, that won’t prevent the lawmakers from pretending to be outraged because they’ve been lied to …

    Back to the essence of this thread, I would be very interested in your thoughts on what it would take to actually validate a climate model. How would you do it? Do even we have enough reliable data? Has anything approaching a rigorous validation been attempted?

    Thanks; I always find your comments educational.

  58. Weather is chaotic. It does not have a single “average” temperature. Rather, it has many average temperatures, that cycle and interact at the period of the attractors.

    The notion of modelling climate as an “average” temperature with “variance” is a statistical nonsense. The average and variance will change with the scale due to the differing period attractors.

    Contrary to the learned opinion of climate modellers, the “noise” will not converge to zero in such a situation, except at time periods that approach infinity. The notion that you can project climate 100 years into the future with 150 years of data is pure nonsense.

    Climate models are the statistical equivalent of sitting in Los Angeles, watching cars driving east on the highway, and predicting they are “on average” all going to New York.

  59. Some enterprising young modeller should start building a model around lower CO2 sensitivities, just to see what happens. That would take some curiosity, and a thick skin. It would lead to ostracism after other main stream climatologists found out, but perhaps a longer career after being proven on the right track.

  60. @Dr. Norman Page:

    In response to your comments:

    On your link you say, “g) I noted that CO2 was about 0.0375% of the Atmosphere and thought, correctly as it turns out, that it was highly unlikely that such a little tail should wag such a big dog.”

    Duh. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. THIS is the single one claim that we all should be harping on about.

    The Holocene record is not one of cold, but of warmth. 1,000 year cycles during the Holocene are not terrible climate disasters, except for the blips called the “8.2 kya event”, the 536 AD downturn, and the LIA, all of which are not understood at all, even if we may claim to. Bond events are not understood, and IMHO are completely MISunderstood, another case of a tail being claimed to be wagging the dog.

    Your 1-5 are reasonable but are also explained well enough by the 60-year-cycle; the 1,000-year one does not need to be invoked.

    Your #6 contradicts the general rise coming out of the LIA. Based on the RWP and the MWP, IMHO, we are more likely to reach a climate optimum than to see us head straight back into another LIA.

    #7 – Who knows or cares what it will be in 2650, 20-something generations from now?

    #8 – CO2 is already greening the planet.

    #9 – See #6 response

    In general, we agree that cycles need to be included in the analysis. This idea of putting straight-line regressions on natural-world data is the most insane and IMMATURE thing I’ve ever seen. Straight line projections won’t be good for more than a handful of years, so WHY DO IT?

    Speaking of immature, climatology is a VERY immature science, one that is trying to join the big boys like biology, physics, and geology, but which needs to be collecting data for another century or three before they will have adequate data to make 100-year predictions. Making ANY long-term predictions with what is known and half-known only shows how adolescent the whole enterprise is. The computers went to their heads and made them all “greedy reductionists.”

    Climate science is a joke.

  61. John,

    18 years of no warming is OF COURSE a statistically significant pause in temperatures. To say otherwise is simply incorrect.

    You can hand-wave all you like about ocean temperatures and energy imbalance and whatever else you like to hand-wave about, but the simple fact is, the models predicted accelerating warming of the global average temperature, and this simply isn’t currently happening. Warming of the oceans has happened SOMEWHAT, and has been due to perfectly natural causes. There is no evidence whatsoever of accelerating warming of the oceans. Sea Level Rise simply isn’t happening. Energy imbalance is a myth. All energy has to go SOMEWHERE. If you think there is an imbalance, that simply indicates that we don’t understand the Earth’s energy budget properly.

    Unlike you, I suspect we will see a few more years on the current plateau, followed by at least 30 years of cooling. Come back in 30 years and we will see which one of us is correct. I don’t want to see actual temperatures in January in Chicago at -40F (with -70F wind chills) like they were in the late 1970s, but I strongly suspect winters will be like that again relatively soon, and perversely, I kinda hope that they are just to finally put an end to this AGW charade.

  62. Not been falsified? But they haven’t been validated. If we doing science, the models are considered invalid until proven otherwise.

    Welcome to 21 century political climate science.

  63. From Dr. Judith Curry:
    the climate models are not looking very useful at the moment
    ===========
    the value of science comes from its ability to provide useful, reliable prediction. if it cannot provide reliable prediction, then it can be worse than useless, it can be harmful.

    if we place our future in the hands of model predictions, and they turn out to be false, then we will have squandered our future and wasted billions of dollars in the process. funds that could have been used to cure cancer or malaria will have instead been spent tilting at windmills.

    the purpose of science is not to “explain” why something happens. that is useless nonsense. each generation of scientists discovers new reasons “why” something happens, as our instruments and knowledge improves. “why” something happens is like this seasons fashions, it eventually goes out of style.

    the lasting value of science is in its ability to make accurate predictions about the future. thus for example, while epicycles went out of style, for more than 1000 years they provided very accurate predictions about the orbit of the planets. even though the “why” was wrong, it didn’t matter to the value of the predictions. they were still accurate.

    this is an important point in science and it is at the heart of science. we can never be sure about the “why”. this doesn’t prevent us from making very accurate predictions which deliver true value.

    the same is true about climate science. ‘Why” the climate is warming is not an interesting question. Some say it is due to CO2, some say it is due to something else. It makes absolutely no difference.

    If you can accurately predict the future climate, then the prediction has value regardless of the “why”. If you cannot accurately predict, then the prediction may be useless or it may be worse than useless, it may be harmful.

  64. What will the Warmistas do without their useless climate models?

    Go get drunk or something?

    I see that as the only plausible solution.

  65. rgbatduke, you write “Not a good time to be a climate scientist, especially one that vocally defended the use of such averages or high sensitivity climate models as predictive tools capable of generating confidence intervals as in AR4′s Summary for Policy Makers, one of the all time greatest travesties in science.”

    I agree, and have been trying to make the same point for a few yeats. But, from what I have seen of the SOD, the same sort of travesty is going to take place in the AR5 in September 2013. How on earth can we stop this from happening?

  66. Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity makes very accurate predictions about the trajectory of objects. Yet it requires action at infinite distance in zero time. Under Newton’s Law, if you wave your hand, this will instantly affect the gravitational attraction on the most distant star in the Universe.

    Einstein’s General Relativity improves slightly on Newton’s Law, at the expense of being extremely cumbersome to calculate. Yet it relies on an entirely different “why” than Newton. If the Sun vanished at this moment, Newton predicts that the earth would immediately go out of orbit. GR on the other hand predicts that the earth would continue to orbit the non-existent sun for another 8.5 minutes.

    Yet both theories deliver extremely accurate predictions about the path of the earth around the sun, while relying on an entirely different “why”. So therefore, what is the value of the “why” to science, when it makes no significant difference to the accuracy of the prediction?

    the answer to “why” is an intellectual curiosity. it does not determine the value of science and is irrelevant to the value of science. why temperatures are increasing or decreasing is not interesting – it has no value – if you cannot predict which way they are going.

  67. Steve Go to http://www.climate4you.com/
    Go to Fig 3 in the global temperatures section look at the GISP ice core temps with clear millenial peaks now and 1000 and 2000 years ago Why avoid the obvious and not accept a decline from here in the 1000 year cycle. It is really not much of a leap to suggest a repeat of the 1000 – present temperature trends as seen in Fig 3 from latest post at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    (fig 5 from http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.pdf )

  68. The idea still confounds me that heat, after receiving some unfathomable (heh!) “go” signal, suddenly disappears from the atmosphere and runs off to hide in the deep ocean.

    “Deep ocean heat” has been an issue for what, almost a year now? And I’ve seen NO plausible mechanism explained. NONE.

  69. The models are just too Sexy for many to abandon. To many, their life and livelyhood depend directly upon them and thier marketable output. If models could sing, I believe this would be their song.

    Appologies if I offend anyone, but the analogy/irony is too great to stop my mouse :-)

  70. rgb
    It’s my guess every model has been falsified because of one thing or another.
    temp, humidity, rain, snow, drought, ocean temp, antarctic ice, enso, tornadoes, hurricanes, major storms, etc.
    Each model has it’s own failings:
    this one we add CO2 and it gets hot
    this one we add CO2 and it rains
    this one we add CO2 and it quits snowing
    this one we add CO2 and a tornado pops up
    this one we add CO2 and everything dies…..
    and when averaged none of it works.
    cn

  71. So humans pushing at most a few dozen ppm into the atmosphere doesn’t show up in atmospheric temperatures or surface temps or upper ocean temps but magically transports to the deep oceans of which we know less about than we do of Mars. Right. Perhaps a comprehensive thermal map of both content and deep ocean rift contributions will verify the warmista claim. What? Doesn’t exist? Color me shocked.

  72. SAMURAI says (July 24, 2013 at 1:31 am): “Further complicating matters for the Warmunistas are: ”

    Hey, I like that! I’d shorten it to “warmunist”, though, to reinforce the similarity. Is it new…aha! Google says it isn’t. Hope it catches on.

  73. Eustace Cranch,

    Most “deep ocean heat” is produced by under-water vulcanism. That is the ONLY reasonable mechanism whereby heat can “appear” in the deep ocean without first going through the upper ocean.

  74. Bloke down the pub says:
    July 24, 2013 at 6:15 am
    @rgb Finally, if “climate models” in general are not yet falsified, just how long does the pause have to be before they are?

    The usual warmist rule of thumb is 2-5 years longer than it has been so far.

    The recent five year forecast from the UK Met Office has been down-graded to almost zero warming for the next five years. There is a nice illustration of the revisions covered in some recent posts at Climate Audit, starting from

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/15/nature-hides-the-decline/

    The Met Office appears to be forecasting the falsification of all the IPCC models, including their own earlier predictions. If this is a genuine effort to return predictions to somewhere closer to reality then it probably should be welcomed. It is a pity that the words emanating from official sources do not yet appear to reflect the dawn. That’s politics, I guess. Telling the truth bluntly or too quickly can be painful.

  75. I keep saying, any and all models are worthless – no, they’re worse that worthless because they are nothing but baseless constructs, whose sole purpose is to deceive the uninformed.

  76. Chad Wozniak says:
    July 24, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I keep saying, any and all models are worthless – no, they’re worse that worthless because they are nothing but baseless constructs, whose sole purpose is to deceive the uninformed.

    I’m not willing to go that far for models in general, and even for climate models I don’t believe they were created for the purpose of deceiving the uninformed. I think this is just another case of our reach exceeding our grasp — we can create models but don’t know what all the relevant physical processes are so the models are at least incomplete. And we probably don’t have a long enough span of reliable instrumental data to validate them (just my opinion). I believe the faith many people seem to have in climate models is not justified, and that adding more computing power will make no fundamental difference. We need a more complete understanding before we can make reliable climate models.

    Computer modeling in general is not useless. Look at what it has done for aircraft design, or optics, or any number of other fields.

  77. ferd berple: We use Einstein’s GR when picoseconds matter in a gravity well and gravity well curvature is significant otherwise Newton’s formulation works pretty well. In fact I was shown once how to derive Newtons gravity out of GR as a special case of initial conditions. So it isn’t really that there is a different “why”, just that Newton didn’t really give us a “why”, just a hand-waving “how”.

  78. Bernd Felsche wrote a comment above
    “Those climate models are like a class full of imbeciles which, when tested, show that no individual scored better than 20% in a test. Nevertheless, the teacher finds that every single question has been answered correctly by at least one imbecile so awards an A+ to the whole class.”

    The above comment by Bernd is probably the most profound statement I have ever seen in understanding the “robustness” of the spaghetti plot of the “ensemble” of climate models. I burst out laughing.
    Bravo for finding a way to communicate the idea in a spectacularly simple manner.
    Thanks
    Will

  79. Just imagine a world, where everything, but absolutely everything would be wrapped into brown paper. The economic & environmental costs of that would surely be prohibitive, therefore the material, along with everything else related to wrapping should be banned immediately. The proposed regulation is entirely consistent with the Precautionary Principle.

  80. This idea of a pause is ridiculous and totally unscientific. Surely science makes a prediction of values and they are specific to a time. If they are not right at that time then the theory should be tossed in the dump.
    More importantly they should be addressing the objections to the climate models from proven successful computer modellers in other fields that the models are facile and worthless because they do not model nature’s CO2 system so the effect of man’s is not realistic. I models a gross value of man’s emissions against the remainder in the atmosphere which is the net value, surely a very basic error also any changes could just as easily be the result of natural changes in behaviour of the CO2 system and would happen regardless of man’s activities.

  81. Models are not supposed to be falsified by data. They are supposed to help predict future data. If they cannot do that, they do not need to be falsified, they are useless.

  82. Yet both theories deliver extremely accurate predictions about the path of the earth around the sun, while relying on an entirely different “why”. So therefore, what is the value of the “why” to science, when it makes no significant difference to the accuracy of the prediction?

    Challenge accepted!

    a) Precession of the Perihelion of Mercury (Newtonian predictions are inaccurate)
    b) Black holes and connections to deep cosmological whys (and predictions)
    c) Gravity waves (impossible with Newton) perhaps, some day
    d) Unified field theory (if/when) which will, no doubt, allow us to make many new predictions, possibly with enormous value. Who can tell?
    e) But mostly, the whys in our worldview make an enormous difference in our course of actions. They bias our choices and affect our actions.

    For example, both Einstein and Newton are wrong. I have an extremely accurate theory of gravitation. The Earth goes around the Sun because invisible fairies armed with a large cosmic computer do computations that provide them with a trajectory that greatly resembles that of Newton (or if you prefer, Einstein). They then grab the Earth and push it around with their tiny fairy wings fluttering in an invisible six dimensional dark matter fluid.

    The thing is, my theory (which perfectly predicts the data) also states that the fairies will stop pushing the Earth next Tuesday unless we sacrifice a virgin by throwing her, naked, into a volcano today. Consequently I’ve been on a virgin hunt (damn, they are hard to find!) and have booked two tickets to Hawaii for next Sunday to save the world.

    Too bad for the virgin, but the invisible fairies must be placated for the next 1000 years.

    This is not a silly example. The Ptolemaic model worked to describe all the physical data any human would ever be able to see with the naked eye, to predict anything that mattered. More than what mattered — what difference does it make knowing that the planets orbit the sun or the other way around? The crops grow, we age and die the same either way. The model endorsed by the Catholic Church as “infallible truth” (the Biblical view of reality) described many things with invisible fairy theories that “worked well enough”, but the flat earth theory hid an entire new world literally beneath our feet with enormous value. The theory of universal gravitation, and Einsteins corrections of same (which is still wrong, BTW) and the still ungrasped TOE with quantum gravity may or may not work (at all levels and in all cases), they may not be correct if they work perfectly (we could, actually, live in The Matrix so that everything we think we know is false, a simulation, a projection from a completely different, far more complex reality we cannot easily measure or reach. Plato’s parable of the cave is more apropos today than it was when Plato wrote it.

    But at least they are good for all the virgins in the world who would otherwise have been sacrificed to the mythologists with their dread use of the “and” and “or” operators in logical conjunction.

    rgb

  83. rgbatduke writes: “… unless we sacrifice a virgin…”

    Could we not sacrifice simply the virginity thereof, and not waste the entire virgin in the volcano?

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