There is only one published peer-reviewed paper that claims to provide scientific forecasts of long-range global mean temperatures

by Kesten C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon

The human race has prospered by relying on forecasts that the seasons will follow their usual course, while knowing they will sometimes be better or worse. Are things different now?

For the fifth time now, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims they are. The difference, the IPCC asserts, is increased human emissions of carbon dioxide: a colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas that is a byproduct of growing prosperity. It is also a product of all animal respiration and is also essential for most life on Earth, yet in total it makes up only 0.0004 of the atmosphere.

The IPCC assumes that the relatively small human contribution of this gas to the atmosphere will cause global warming, and insist that the warming will be dangerous.

Other scientists contest the IPCC assumptions, on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.

The computer models that the authors of the IPCC reports rely on are complicated representations of the assumption that human carbon dioxide emissions are now the primary factor driving climate change and will substantially overheat the Earth. The models include many assumptions that mainstream scientists question.

The modelers have correctly stated that they produce scenarios, not forecasts. Scenarios are stories constructed from a collection of assumptions. Well-constructed scenarios can be very convincing, in the same way that a well-crafted book or film can be.

The IPCC and its supporters promote these scary scenarios as if they were forecasts. However, scenarios are neither forecasts nor the product of a validated forecasting method.

The IPCC modelers were apparently unaware of decades of forecasting research. Our audit of the procedures used to create their apocalyptic scenarios found that they violated 72 of 89 relevant scientific forecasting principles. Would you go ahead with your flight if you overheard two of the ground crew discussing how the pilot had skipped 80 percent of the pre-flight safety checklist?

Thirty-nine forecasting experts from many disciplines from around the world developed the forecasting principles from published experimental research. A further 123 forecasting experts reviewed the work. The principles were published in 2001 and they are freely available on the Internet to help forecasters produce the best forecasts they can and to help forecast users determine the validity of forecasts. These principles are the only published set of evidence-based standards for forecasting.

Global warming alarmists nevertheless claim that the “nearly all” climate scientists believe dangerous global warming will occur. This is a strange claim, in view of the fact more than 30,000 American scientists signed the Oregon Petition, stating that there is no basis for dangerous manmade global warming forecasts, and “no convincing evidence” that carbon dioxide is dangerously warming the planet or disrupting its climate.

Most importantly, computer models and scenarios are not evidence—and validation does not consist of adding up votes. Such an approach can only be detrimental to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Validation requires comparing predictions to actual observations, and the IPCC models have failed in that regard.

Given the expensive policies proposed and implemented in the name of preventing dangerous manmade global warming, we are astonished that there is only one published peer-reviewed paper that claims to provide scientific forecasts of long-range global mean temperatures. The paper is our own 2009 article in the International Journal of Forecasting.

Our paper examined the state of knowledge and available empirical (that is, actually measured) data, in order to select appropriate evidence-based procedures for long-range forecasting of global mean temperatures. Given the complexity and uncertainty of the situation, we concluded that the “no-trend” model is the proper method to use. The conclusion is based on a substantial body of research that found complex models do not work well in complex and uncertain situations. This finding might be puzzling to people who are unfamiliar with the research on forecasting.

We tested the no-trend model, using the same data that the IPCC uses. To do this, we produced annual forecasts from one to 100 years ahead, starting from 1851 and stepping forward year-by-year until 1975, the year before the current warming alarm was raised. (This is also the year when Newsweek and other magazines reported that scientists were “almost unanimous” that Earth faced a new period of global cooling.) We conducted the same analysis for the IPCC scenario of temperatures increasing at a rate of 0.03 degrees Celsius (0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) per year in response to increasing human carbon dioxide emissions.

This procedure yielded 7,550 forecasts for each method. The findings?

Overall, the no-trend forecast error was one-seventh the error of the IPCC scenario’s projection. They were as accurate as or more accurate than the IPCC temperatures for all forecast horizons. Most important, the relative accuracy of the no-trend forecasts increased for longer horizons. For example, the no-trend forecast error was one-twelfth that of the IPCC temperature scenarios for forecasts 91 to 100 years ahead.

Our research in progress scrutinizes more forecasting methods, uses more and better data, and extends our validation tests. The findings strengthen the conclusion that there are no scientific forecasts that predict dangerous global warming.

Is it surprising that the government would support an alarm lacking scientific support? Not really. In our study of situations that are analogous to the current alarm over scenarios of global warming, we identified 26 earlier movements based on scenarios of manmade disaster, including the global cooling alarm in the 1960s to 1970s. None of them were based on scientific forecasts. And yet, governments imposed costly policies in response to 23 of them. In no case did the forecast of major harm come true.

There is no support from scientific forecasting for an upward trend in temperatures, or a downward trend. Without support from scientific forecasts, the global warming alarm is baseless and should be ignored.

Government programs, subsidies, taxes and regulations proposed as responses to the global warming alarm result in misallocations of valuable resources. They lead to inflated energy prices, declining international competitiveness, disappearing industries and jobs, and threats to health and welfare.

Humanity can do better with the old, simple, tried-and-true no-trend climate forecasting model. This traditional method is also consistent with scientific forecasting principles.

_____________

Dr. Kesten C. Green is with the University of South Australia in Adelaide and is director of the major website on forecasting methods, forecastingprinciples.com, and has published twelve peer-reviewed articles on forecasting.Professor J. Scott Armstrong teaches at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and is a founder of the two major journals on forecasting methods, editor of the Principles of Forecasting handbook, and the world’s most highly cited author on forecasting methods. Dr. Willie Soon of Salem, MA for the past 20 years has published extensively on solar and other factors that cause climate changes. Copies of the authors’ climate forecasting papers are available at www.PublicPolicyForecasting.com.

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118 Responses to There is only one published peer-reviewed paper that claims to provide scientific forecasts of long-range global mean temperatures

  1. Steven Mosher says:

    ‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    skeptic logic.

  2. Karl Blair says:

    Plain, simple, easy to understand and, above all, believable. Why then do I get the feeling that our political masters will continue to ignore this side of the debate…..

  3. Brian H says:

    Does natural warming from the end of LIA show up?

  4. Mike Smith says:

    Yep, catastrophic warming is not a forecast. As best as I can tell, it’s a hope, an aspiration.

  5. Ulric Lyons says:

    “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/501.htm

  6. 007 says:

    ‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    Alternatively, the climate is too complex but we conclude the effect of CO2 dominates. As a matter of fact we are 90%, no make that 95% sure.

  7. milodonharlani says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    It is your alarmist “logic” which fails, or maybe just your reading comprehension.

    The passage you quote does not state what you claim. It plainly does not say that the CO2 effect is trivial because the climate is too complex, as you assert. It does state that 1) “the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial”, & in an independent clause that 2) “the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood”, that therefore, for these two separate reasons, “the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecast” (spelling or grammar corrected).

    It has been abundantly shown by actual observation & experiment that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial. The only way to generate scary, catastrophic scenarios is to assume positive feedback loops which not only are not in evidence, but which have been conclusively shown not to exist. Indeed the climate history of our planet shows that runaway catastrophic global warming from high CO2 has not happened, even at concentrations at least 17.5 times higher than now, for more than 541 million years, & probably much longer.

    What is in evidence is that higher levels of CO2 in the air is a good thing.

  8. richardscourtney says:

    Steven Mosher:

    Your post at October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm is a gross misrepresentation of the above essay and – as such – is typical of what passes for “logic” amongst alarmists.

    The essay says

    We tested the no-trend model, using the same data that the IPCC uses. To do this, we produced annual forecasts from one to 100 years ahead, starting from 1851 and stepping forward year-by-year until 1975, the year before the current warming alarm was raised. (This is also the year when Newsweek and other magazines reported that scientists were “almost unanimous” that Earth faced a new period of global cooling.) We conducted the same analysis for the IPCC scenario of temperatures increasing at a rate of 0.03 degrees Celsius (0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) per year in response to increasing human carbon dioxide emissions.

    This procedure yielded 7,550 forecasts for each method. The findings?

    Overall, the no-trend forecast error was one-seventh the error of the IPCC scenario’s projection. They were as accurate as or more accurate than the IPCC temperatures for all forecast horizons. Most important, the relative accuracy of the no-trend forecasts increased for longer horizons. For example, the no-trend forecast error was one-twelfth that of the IPCC temperature scenarios for forecasts 91 to 100 years ahead.

    There are valid objections that could be made to the adopted forecasting method because there are doubts associated with any method. But that does NOT say – as you assert –

    The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    I will be charitable and assume your post only displays lack of reading comprehension.

    Richard

  9. David Riser says:

    True forecasters! There is a lot of truth in the what you have today is most likely what you will have tomorrow. Very interesting that IPCC models are ok over 10years but complete trash after that. Its a wonder that they have managed to maintain their funding with such a horrible track record. Hopefully this 2013 report will be the last one.
    v/r,
    David Riser

  10. Andy Oz says:

    400 ppm sounds so much more dramatic than 0.04%. Alarmist logic.

  11. Ian W says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    ‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    skeptic logic.

    It follows forecasting standards and when it is validated against the real world it is more accurate than the IPCC models.

    As you say skeptic logic.

    Validated skeptic logic

    .

  12. TRG says:

    A no trend model sounds like you just predict the next year will be about like the year before it. Is that it?

  13. Jeff Crowder says:

    Stephen Mosher says:
    ‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    “The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    skeptic logic.”

    No one has proven it isn’t trivial either. The burden of proof lies at the feet of those making the claim. 17 years later…

  14. Ian W says:

    This paper should be presented to the SCOTUS Massachusetts v. EPA as evidence.

  15. DR says:

    Mosher took his drive-by, will go MIA.

  16. Ben Wilson says:

    Steven Mosher commented:

    “‘ The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial. . . . skeptic logic.”

    As opposed to. . . . climate warming evangelists, who proclaim. . .

    1. We know for sure that CO2 is the overwhelming factor that drives climate. . . . in fact, the science is settled and no more debate can be tolerated.

    2. We’re not quite sure what the effect of clouds on climate and temperature is, but it doesn’t matter. . . . it can’t be as much as the effect of CO2. We know that. The science is settled.

    3. It doesn’t matter that all our climate models so far have performed so badly that they are a bad definition. It’s all because all that missing heat is disappearing into the deep oceans or somewhere or another. And we didn’t include that in our models because, uh, shut up.

    4. And the science is settled — CO2 rules!!

  17. David L. Hagen says:

    See: Kesten C Green publications
    e.g., Golden Rule of Forecasting: Be Conservative, J Scott Armstrong, Kesten C Green, Andreas Graefe. Publication date 2013/7/11
    Take away – IPCC scenarios are NOT conservative!

  18. dbstealey says:

    As Jeff Crowder points out, skeptics have nothing to prove.

    The onus is completely on the alarmist crowd, to prove their point. But they have failed miserably, so all that is left are comments like Mosher’s.

  19. David L. Hagen says:

    Mosher

    This procedure yielded 7,550 forecasts for each method. The findings? Overall, the no-trend forecast error was one-seventh the error of the IPCC scenario’s projection.

    That appears to meet the scientific method.
    Do you dispute the evidence, methodology or results?

    Or have you descended into illogical fallacies?

  20. Tom Trevor says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    ‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”
    The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.
    =============================================================================No. even in the above quote they say it cannot be forecasted, they don’t say it is trivial, they say it can’t be forecasted. Only you say they say it is trivial.
    They claim “A”, so I’ll will attack them for saying “B”. Steven Mosher logic.

  21. JohnWho says:

    Mosher logic appears to be bass-ackwards.

    Perhaps that is what happens when one spends too much time on SkS?

  22. Stuart says:

    Mr Mosher

    It does not appear that any such syllogism is intended, or implied, by the part sentence that you quote. It seems, simply, to be a statement of certain grounds on which ‘Other scientists contest the IPCC assumptions..’ Would you elaborate, please?

  23. Luke Warmist says:

    Steven Mosher says:………

    Mod, please send this troll to the outer darkness. He’s only phishing for negative responses.

  24. jorgekafkazar says:

    Stephen Mosher says: “on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    Given that an assumption of no CO2 effect is seven times as effective as assuming a putative CO2 effect, it is thereby established that CO2’s climatological effect is, as you so aptly put it, trivial, QED. As for the net thermal effect of human emissions not being forecastable, the number of fairies at the bottom of my garden is also not forecastable, and for the very same reason.

  25. Chris B says:

    Andy Oz says:
    October 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    400 ppm sounds so much more dramatic than 0.04%. Alarmist logic.
    ______________________________________

    They shoulda used 400,000 ppb, or 400 million ppt.

  26. Jquip says:

    “Overall, the no-trend forecast error was one-seventh the error of the IPCC scenario’s projection. They were as accurate as or more accurate than the IPCC temperatures for all forecast horizons. Most important, the relative accuracy of the no-trend forecasts increased for longer horizons. For example, the no-trend forecast error was one-twelfth that of the IPCC temperature scenarios for forecasts 91 to 100 years ahead.”

    Money shot. If, as so the saying goes, science is self correcting and attempts to better approximate things? Then the ‘science is settled’ with this.

    Most importantly is that the relative accuracy increased with longer horizons. eg. The more climate and the less weather they were forecasting — The. Better. It. Did.

  27. TImothy Sorenson says:

    I am just glad for more published peer reviewed articles like this.

  28. tallbloke says:

    DR says:
    October 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    Mosher took his drive-by, will go MIA.

    Having succeeded in derailing discussion of a great article. When will WUWTians learn to ignore disingenuous people who raise controversy by twisting other peoples words?

    The important issues to discuss here are those raised by Willie Soon.

    The difference between scarynarios and forecasts and the results of Soon’s application of correct scientific method.being the prime examples.

    You can be sure Mosher won’t be sticking around to discuss those.

  29. Go Home says:

    [snip wrong thread for this - mod]

  30. michel says:

    What worries me about this article is the reference to the analogical cases. I do not actually believe that we should be continuing to allow the relatively unrestricted use of white asbestos, organophosphates, lead in gasoline etc. I don’t think the unrestricted use of DDT was at all smart. (Its total ban is not at all smart either).

    Global warming shows all the signs of being a great popular mania and madness of crowds. But it really worries me when I find myself associated in this view with people who seem to believe in the total abolition of all environmental protection from all kinds of noxious substances.

    The problem by the way about organophosphates has nothing to do with psychology. Anyone who would voluntarily use the stuff as sheep farmers used to to dip their sheep annually? I don’t believe the authors would do it in a million years.

    Mad cow disease? It did not happen, at least not on the scale that the disaster mavens forecast. But do you really think it makes sense to feed their own nervous systems as feed ingredient to meat animals? Do you really think we should be permitting that? Should we really be permitting the sort of poultry rearing conditions that led to the salmonella scare?

    If these are my associates in dismissing the global warming hysteria, I am really quite worried.

  31. Joel Shore says:

    So, it has come to the point where we are somehow supposed to believe that a Professor of Business and a Professor of Marketing is somehow more qualified than, say, the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society, … to discuss climate change?

    And, these guys show just how qualified they are with their insightful analysis of gauging expert opinion:

    [quote]
    Global warming alarmists nevertheless claim that the “nearly all” climate scientists believe dangerous global warming will occur. This is a strange claim, in view of the fact more than 30,000 American scientists signed the Oregon Petition, stating that there is no basis for dangerous manmade global warming forecasts, and “no convincing evidence” that carbon dioxide is dangerously warming the planet or disrupting its climate.[/quote]

    This petition was run in the same way as an old-fashioned Soviet-style election: bombard people with propaganda and then only allow them to vote “YES”, not “NO”…And, yet they cite it as if it is some sort of serious survey of scientific opinion? Not to mention the fact that there was no attempt to determine that the people who signed were qualified to pass judgement on this.

    Here is a discussion of this survey by Robert Park, an actual real and respected physical scientist (http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN03/wn080803.html), directed to his physicist audience:

    [quote]
    One of the purported abuses cited in the minority staff report involved the insertion into an EPA report of a reference to a paper by Soon and Baliunas that denies globl warming (WN 1 Aug 03). To appreciate its significance, we need to go back to March of 1998. We all got a petition card in the mail urging the government to reject the Kyoto accord (WN 13 Mar 98). The cover letter was signed by “Frederick Seitz, Past President, National Academy of Sciences.” Enclosed was what seemed to be a reprint of a journal article, in the style and font of Proceedings of the NAS. But it had not been published in PNAS, or anywhere else. The reprint was a fake. Two of the four authors of this non- article were Soon and Baliunas. The other authors, both named Robinson, were from the tiny Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in Cave Junction, OR. The article claimed that the environmental effects of increased CO2 are all beneficial. There was also a copy of Wall Street Journal op-ed by the Robinsons (father and son) that described increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as “a wonderful and unexpected gift of the industrial revolution.” There was no indication of who had paid for the mailing. It was a dark episode in the annals of scientific discourse.
    [/quote]

    (The Willie Soon that Robert Park mentions as being part of this embarrassing episode is the very same one who has attached his name to this current post.

  32. Steve Oregon says:

    “Dr. Kesten C. Green is…..director of……forecastingprinciples.com, and has published twelve peer-reviewed articles on forecasting.”

    Ok so he can forecast.

    But can he predict or project the climate?

    Forecasting is for weather and weathermen.,

    I read about it on climatecentral.org

  33. HankHenry says:

    On Skeptic Logic –
    I thought the role of the skeptic was to point out the illogic and implausbility of others, not to construct a thesis of his own. The stated proposition, “that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecast” is such an basic and simple position that a skeptic would scarcely dare to call it his personal thesis. The burden is on those touting a thesis to demonstrate that it’s a plausible alternative to a state of ignorance. The skeptic merely mocks others making conclusory remarks and draws no conclusions of his own. For Mosher to complain about skepticism in this way amounts to believing you might be right simply because your thesis is well articulated.

  34. tallbloke says:

    Joel Shore says:
    October 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm
    So, it has come to the point where we are somehow supposed to believe that a Professor of Business and a Professor of Marketing is somehow more qualified than, say, the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society, … to discuss climate change?

    Well Joel, it’s become pretty clear that the climate scientists don’t know what they’re talking about, so I guess it’s open territory.

    Now, Joel, rather than engaging in your usual warmist smear tactics, why don’t you discuss the scientific content of the post. Or is that too much to ask?

  35. rogerknights says:

    Joel Shore says:
    October 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Here is a discussion of this survey by Robert Park, an actual real and respected physical scientist (http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN03/wn080803.html), directed to his physicist audience:

    . . . we need to go back to March of 1998. We all got a petition card in the mail urging the government to reject the Kyoto accord (WN 13 Mar 98). The cover letter was signed by “Frederick Seitz, Past President, National Academy of Sciences.” Enclosed was what seemed to be a reprint of a journal article, in the style and font of Proceedings of the NAS. But it had not been published in PNAS, or anywhere else. The reprint was a fake. Two of the four authors of this non- article were Soon and Baliunas. The other authors, both named Robinson, were from the tiny Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in Cave Junction, OR. The article claimed that the environmental effects of increased CO2 are all beneficial. There was also a copy of Wall Street Journal op-ed by the Robinsons (father and son) that described increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as “a wonderful and unexpected gift of the industrial revolution.” There was no indication of who had paid for the mailing. It was a dark episode in the annals of scientific discourse.

    (The Willie Soon that Robert Park mentions as being part of this embarrassing episode is the very same one who has attached his name to this current post.

    But Soon presumably wasn’t to blame for his article’s being formatted in the style and font of Proceedings of the NAS, since it’s unlikely he was involved in the mailing and petitioning nitty gritty.

  36. Txomin says:

    Mosher = strawman

  37. Jquip says:

    tallbloke: “Now, Joel, rather than engaging in your usual warmist smear tactics, why don’t you discuss the scientific content of the post. Or is that too much to ask?”

    Aye, rather puts the shoe on the other foot doesn’t it? It’s not just that they failed to reject the Null Hypothesis. The Nothing. The ensemble mean of an empty set of models. It’s that the claim is that the Nothing is beating them like a red-headed stepchild on every metric of interest. That’s such an outrageous claim that if it is refutable as flawed I have every confidence that the Climatologists will have the deed done by lunch tomorrow.

    It’s an outright shoe d’etat.

    And if basic math survives the onslaught of the thermometer jigglers this paper should be bronzed and enshrined in the masthead of WUWT. To be thrown in the face of everyone that has anything to say about the competency of the doomsayers. Not just with AGW modelling, but with the past Ice Age as well. Some 40 years of failure to beat a best guess of Nothing.

    And it establishes, finally, a measurable criterion for a good climate model. Absolutely any model is preferable if it can manage to do better than Nothing.

  38. thallstd says:

    Just curious – why did they stop stepping their forecast forward in 1975? That wasn’t only “the year when Newsweek and other magazines reported that scientists were “almost unanimous” that Earth faced a new period of global cooling.” It’s also the approximate year that cooling stopped and warming, for whatever reason, resumed.

  39. ntesdorf says:

    Kesten C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon have reminded me that there are basic guidelines for the orderly conducting of scientific investigations. After reading too many Warmist alarmist presentations, I had begun to think that it was all a matter of propaganda repetition, personal abuse and hiding of inconvenient facts. Many thanks for a clear presentation.

    The difference between fictions and forecasts is found still in the application of correct scientific method not political reviews and re-writings.

  40. A “scientific model” is one that conveys information to its user about the outcomes of events in the period before these outcomes become observable. That the associated model is “scientific” in this sense of the word is a necessity for the associated system to be controllable. As Green, Armstrong and Soon point out, the climate models of the IPCC are not “scientific”; hence these models provide no basis for control of the climate.

  41. limogerry says:

    Lol-Mosher said next to sweet f***-all and got mentioned all the way down the time line. If you think the miserable failure of the IPCC means they’re just going to fold their tent and skulk into the wilderness think again. The price of freedom is ETERNAL vigilance.
    http://green-agenda.com/index.html
    http://www.resistingthegreendragon.com/

  42. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    ‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    skeptic logic.

    It wasn’t presented as an “X is true therefore we conclude Y” type of logic. It seems to me that the questions are very different. In their presentation they say on the grounds of A and also of B. They don’t say A implies B as you assert.

    Is the climatological effect of CO2 trivial? At the surface, the global average 24/7 downwelling radiation is about half a kilowatt per square metre. The change due to a doubling of CO2 is 3.7 W/m2. This is far less than a one percent change in the existing radiation. From that perspective, yes, the effect of CO2 is trivial.

    Add that fact to the overall complexity of the climate, and what you get is a tiny possible signal, buried in much larger signal variations of unknown natural origin.

    Regards,

    w.

  43. tallbloke says:

    I see Joel shore has skulked off. Probably crying into his beer with Mosh somewhere.

  44. gopal panicker says:

    it difficult to forecast…especially the future…just one little nit pick…how are Soon et al…able to claim that the error in their model is a fraction of that of the IPCC ninety or a hundred years from now…unless they have a time machine…in which case it would be nice to know the stock prices a few weeks from now…or even the football scores…seriously…IMHO…this so called global average temperature is nonsense…that said…. an average of a number of measurements in the same places over the years may be useful…i think that such an exercise will reveal a 60 year cycle…warming from 1920-1950…cooling till about 1980…warming till 2010…and cooling since then….using this extremely simple ‘model’ i predicted cooling at the height of the warming hysteria in 2010….doing pretty good so far

  45. RoHa says:

    “The human race has prospered by relying on forecasts that the seasons will follow their usual course, while knowing they will sometimes be better or worse. Are things different now?”

    I vaguely recall that in some ancient civilizations the priests in charge of the calendar worked very hard at getting things right, since too many large errors would lead to an uncomfortable interview with the king’s executioner.

    Alas, thing are different now.

  46. See - owe to Rich says:

    Interesting, but I have two points. First is that instead of comparing flat with 0.03K per year, they should have compared with the actual trend since 1850.

    Second is that it is surprising to see Willie Soon supporting this. He should know that allowing for solar effects can enhance the fit to data. By allowing for solar cycle lengths and a modest CO2 contribution, I get a fit with mean residual 0.07K on 11-year periods compared to 0.11K for the flat method of forecasting. (And Scafetta’s model of two cycles plus quadratic does even better than that, but probably would not if matched to 1800-1850 temperatures.)

    Rich.

  47. Bill Sprague says:

    Willis,
    I have great respect for you and your ability to communicate your ideas. However, as a suggestion, we should all use data in the same units to prevent confusion, and to make comparisons more obvious.

    In your comment, you say that, “At the surface, the global average 24/7 downwelling radiation is about half a kilowatt per square metre. The change due to a doubling of CO2 is 3.7 W/m2.”

    This is equivalent to downwelling radiation of .5 kilowatt/ sq meter, and the change due to a doubling of CO2 of .00037 kilowatt/sq meter.

    Alternatively, downwelling radiation is 500 Watts/sq meter, and the change due to CO2 doubling is
    3.7 Watts/ sq meter. Keeping the units the same makes the comparison more obvious.

    I realize that most of the readers here have the scientific and mathematical ability to make the conversions without thinking about it, but many in the general public due not. Were I King, we would always refer to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as .03%, never as 300 ppm, simply because 300 sounds like a big number, and is purposely misleading.

    Similarly, in another context, we read that the deficit is $1 trillion, or whatever. To put this into context for some one who makes $100,000 per year, his salary is $0.0000001 trillion.

    I very much enjoy your adventure stories as well as your adventures into AGW, and keep up the good work in behalf of all of us.

    Best Regards,
    Bill Sprague

  48. Bill Sprague says:

    …many in the general public do not.
    Brainfart… sorry.
    Bill Sprague

  49. Good Morning All

    Having tried to debate with the alarmists several times, I know that when hard fact & figures are presented to them which are contrary to their view they always fall back on the “The opinion of these websites/BLOGS/people don’t count as they aren’t climatologists.”

    In the case of “ Oregon Petition one particular alarmist said that whilst there is 31K signatures, does a carpenter with a PhD opinion really count on climate change. Yet when I pointed out that less than 20 percent of the IPCC’s own WP1 who produced AR5 listed climatology as their primary or even secondary discipline, it fell on deaf ears. Pot & kettle I think.

    The CO2 alarmist religion is exactly that, a religion. *IF* one was to start comparing religious fanatics to alarmists, there is an a shockingly scary similarity.

  50. Seth says:

    The Oregon Petition includes fictional names, was distributed with a paper that dishonestly implied that it was peer reviewed and published in PNAS (including a made up volume number and made up page numbers), and is a sterling example of how low the climate-skeptics can stoop.

    Bringing it up is probably not a great idea. If you want to show that there’s scientific support for scepticism, it is best done honestly.

  51. Seth:

    It is strange that warmunists think anonymous lies are needed and are effective in refuting honest and open statements from people who chose to put their names to the statements.

    I notice that you post your falsehoods at October 16, 2013 at 2:08 am from behind a shield of anonymity.

    That anonymity is ironic when your post only consists of falsehoods concerning a list of names of people who have each been individually checked and who chose to spend the time, money and effort to provide a written reply and to mail it in response to a request for their agreement to a statement.

    Richard

  52. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    I did a silly thing the other day in a restaurant waiting for my order. On the table was a big glass bowl about 8″ wide and about 10″ tall with a 1″ circular squat candle in the middle.

    I wondered how much radiation I would feel if I put my hand inside along the edge of the bowl It was very slightly warm. I then wondered how much convection there would be and held my hand over the top of the bowl in the centre and burnt my finger.

  53. JohnWho says:

    Seth says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:08 am
    The Oregon Petition includes fictional names,…

    Which ones? Be specific. The Petition folks have gone to great pains to remove any fictional or improper names.

    The relatively simple, straight-forward form they use to add signees to the Petition remains on the website – http://www.petitionproject.org/instructions_for_signing_petition.php – and is available for all to see/use. I see absolutely nothing deceptive or misleading about the form.

    From the Petition Project website:

    “…There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    Hmm,

    doesn’t deny “global warming”

    doesn’t deny the “greenhouse effect”,

    doesn’t deny that CO2 is part of the GHE,

    doesn’t deny that humans are emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Does not support “future catastrophism from atmospheric anthropogenic CO2″ .

    Seems like a pretty solid skeptical viewpoint.

  54. Gary Pearse says:

    michel says:
    October 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    “What worries me about this article is the reference to the analogical cases.”

    Michel, don’t forget that the analogies were similarly hyped beyond the pale. It seems, brash and reckless to attack what have become “motherhood issues” and you are right about a limit to the uses and many other environmental no-nos. However, the complete ban of DDT and other insecticides may have resulted in millions of deaths by malaria and other insect-borne diseases (tsetse fly, yellow fever, etc.) that could have been prevented by judicious use of DDT. The use of insecticides actually cleared North America and most of Europe of malaria and yellow fever (it killed canal builders in Ontario in the early 19th Century and I believe it is still a hazard in Bulgaria and the “stans” of the former USSR) and could have basically eradicated malaria in Africa. Long term effects of its use: we live to be almost a hundred now! Africans: not many years ago 50% of the population didn’t live beyond 12 years old (don’t have latest statistics). Okay, tobacco is bad for your health – no caveats here, but we and our fellow creatures have evolved with smoke from forest fires, grass fires and cooking fires and the like and I’m sure a little bit is okay. It may be good for our health in modest amounts.

    Hey, a lethal dose of milk will kill you. The things you mention are the hard won fruits of the same kind of anti-human folks that are trying to kill the economy and civilization and they will protect their territory at all costs. It is no stretch that if CO2 gets regulated broadly, it will become one of the motherhood issues, too and every school child will be worrying about it.

  55. Seth says:

    Some of the fake names that were in the petition:
    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1998/Odd-Names-Added-to-Greenhouse-Plea/id-aec8beea85d7fe76fc9cc77b8392d79e

    John Who says “The Petition folks have gone to great pains to remove any fictional or improper names.”

    Which folks, and what methods? Be specific. I cannot find any published method of vetting the names.

    Scientific American article on their vetting:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20060823125025/http://www.sciam.com/page.cfm?section=sidebar&articleID=0004F43C-DC1A-1C6E-84A9809EC588EF21

    Apart from the non-locatable, the dead, and the ones whose names had been added by someone else (or at least that had no memory of the petition themselves) there are many that would no longer sign the petition. Not very honest as a guide of current opinion.

    The National Academy’s response to the accompanied paper being faked as peer reviewed and published by them:

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=s04201998

    A paper in a highly regarded scientific journal would not be neutral to a lot of scientists. If you’re interested in scientific opinion, what is the point in trying to sway people with lies before asking their opinion? Doesn’t that pollute the whole process?

  56. richardscourtney says:

    Seth:

    In your post at October 16, 2013 at 5:32 am you ask

    A paper in a highly regarded scientific journal would not be neutral to a lot of scientists. If you’re interested in scientific opinion, what is the point in trying to sway people with lies before asking their opinion? Doesn’t that pollute the whole process?

    Whatever the truth of your assertions – n.b. there is none – it is certain that your irrelevant blather is polluting this thread.

    If you are capable of understanding the issues discussed in the above essay – and your posts in this thread indicate you lack that capability – then please address those issues. Otherwise, please go away because you are being a disruptive nuisance.

    Richard

  57. w.w.wygart says:

    A link to the Forcasting Principles discussed by the authors of this post can be found at this webpage:
    http://www.publicpolicyforecasting.com/

    Perhaps someone at WUWT can append the link directly to the post.

    W^3

  58. tallbloke says:

    Nice easy to understand numbers in WIllie Soon’s post, but the warmophants only want to discuss the Oregon petition.

    Says it all.

  59. Frank K. says:

    Unfortunately, our warmist friends NEVER want to really discuss numerical modeling of the climate, so I will ignore their comments in this post.

  60. Seth says:

    richardscourtney says: “Whatever the truth of your assertions – n.b. there is none – .”

    Did you not follow my link to the National Academies Webpage about the petition?

    Here it is again: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=s04201998

    I didn’t make that up. It is a response from the NAS about the petition.

    So what do you mean that there is no truth to my assertions? Are you claiming that the NAS page has been hacked, and I have put the contents there myself?

  61. Leonard Weinstein says:

    The statement Mosher is referring to is directly out of the writeup: “Other scientists contest the IPCC assumptions, on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.” He is correct that the two part of the statement seem to be logically inconsistent. I am a skeptic, but have to agree that the two parts of this statement are not logically consistent. However, taking a poorly worded statement to represent the entire writeup is wrong. The rest of the discussion is quite clear what was meant. I could go into almost any paper and find a poorly worded part to use to refute the entire paper, and would be wrong to do so. You have to consider the entire paper. In Mosher’s case he should have simply stated the wording of a specific phrase was logically wrong, but not included the snark “skeptic logic”. The supporters of CAGW and even AGW have made so many errors or even deliberate misleading statements in published papers and summary representations to make the “skeptic logic” snark a real joke.

  62. richardscourtney says:

    Seth:

    Your post at October 16, 2013 at 6:22 am clearly proclaims that you did not read my post it pretends to be answering. I copy the salient points of my post to here.

    If you are capable of understanding the issues discussed in the above essay then please address those issues. Otherwise, please go away because you are being a disruptive nuisance.

    Richard

  63. Owen in GA says:

    I see the warmunists are doing another variant of “playing the man” since they can’t play the ball. If you dislike the message, shoot the messenger. Of course it doesn’t change the facts presented in the message.

  64. Matt Skaggs says:

    The folks who liked this article should also read Dr. Soon’s paper with Sallie Baliunas (not paywalled):

    http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2003/23/c023p089.pdf

    Might as well grab some popcorn and read the wiki article about the ensuing controversy as well. History will show that S&B 2003 could use some tweaks in the language to reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation (you should decide on your own whether it was willfull misinterpretation, especially the quotes from Michael Mann), but readers will perhaps be left wondering why these two academics suffered the equivalent of tarring and feathering for this work.

  65. JohnWho says:

    Seth says:
    October 16, 2013 at 5:32 am
    Some of the fake names that were in the petition:

    Do you even realize how foolish you are?

    You first said:

    “Seth says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:08 am
    The Oregon Petition includes fictional names,..”

    and now you admit that they are not there now. You’ve shown to us all that you were wrong.

    Makes my job easier. :)

    Perhaps with further investigation by you, you will continue to prove yourself wrong regarding this subject matter.

    Just to clarify, from the Petition Project website:

    “Opponents of the petition project sometimes submit forged signatures in efforts to discredit the project. Usually, these efforts are eliminated by our verification procedures. On one occasion, a forged signature appeared briefly on the signatory list. It was removed as soon as discovered.

    In a group of more than 30,000 people, there are many individuals with names similar or identical to other signatories, or to non-signatories – real or fictional. Opponents of the petition project sometimes use this statistical fact in efforts to discredit the project. For examples, Perry Mason and Michael Fox are scientists who have signed the petition – who happen also to have names identical to fictional or real non-scientists.”

    Clearly Seth, you are one of the people with a weak mind who, rather than check the source, would rather simply repeat what other people say. You are part of the primary demographic that the Alarmist’s target and they clearly have been successful with their effort with you.

  66. JohnWho says:

    Oh, for grins, I checked out Seth’s NAS link (above).

    It is dated 1998 and references 1991 and 1992 papers. I would submit that we’ve come a long way, baby, since then. Heck, since 1998, we haven’t even had any statistically significant “global warming” which should be enough to make any reasonable person question those old assertions.

    Even so, from the NAS link:

    “The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy.”

    They didn’t say the petition does not reflect the opinions/conclusions of the NAS membership, since they hadn’t polled the membership (and maybe still haven’t?).

    They further state:

    “In particular, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a major consensus study on this issue, entitled Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming (1991,1992). ”

    Gee, Alarmist/Warmist go bonkers when someone other than what they consider a bona-fide “climate scientist” says anything that does not support their agenda, but here, they have no problem when engineers and medical folks agree with them!

    Is it any wonder that it is so difficult to have rational, intelligent with a true Alarmist/Warmist believer?

  67. JohnWho says:

    Uh, “rational, intelligent conversations”.

    (See my previous post, above.)

    Spell check seems to work but grammar checker, not so much. :)

  68. RHS says:

    Steven Mosher – If you don’t mind, could you do your drive by trolling elsewhere? Preferably on one of those less factual and less relevant sites?

    Much appreciated!

  69. rgbatduke says:

    (The Willie Soon that Robert Park mentions as being part of this embarrassing episode is the very same one who has attached his name to this current post.)

    You mean the Willie Soon that is a Harvard astrophysicist and geoscientist? Or some other Willie Soon?

    Jeez, come on you guys, I’m trying to win an entire game of logical fallacy bingo: (http://lifesnow.com/bingo/) in one post, and the best I can get is Texas Sharpshooter, Appeal to Consequences, Argument Ad Populum, Factually Inaccurate (basically free), Appeal to Fear, Straw Man, Argument from Authority, Cherry Picking. That might win on some cards, but not mine, so please, try to throw a few more fallacies in.

    In the meantime, if you’re going to argue from authority or argue ad hominem, at least get your facts right.

    FWIW, Soon has actual peer reviewed physics-based papers in climate science. Park, OTOH, does not — in fact, I can’t see much evidence that Park has ever published an actual physics paper after he received his Ph.D., at least on his wikipedia page. He can best be described as being a “political physicist”, tackling what is, in his view, pseudoscience. Which means that he has as much credibility criticizing any sort of paper or computation in climate science as I do. Less, actually — I’ve got a fair number of peer reviewed papers in several areas of physics, including some that at least are relevant to climate science, and have spent several years now educating myself in climate physics. And appealing to this is just as much a fallacy as anything else — whether Park or Soon or I or anyone else is correct or incorrect in any assertion is not reliably predicted by ad hominem attacks on our person or claims that we are or are not competent physicists (or physicists at all!).

    I’ve got an idea. Instead of attacking the authors of the paper described above, why not actually read the paper and attack its content? Are you asserting that the claims of GCMs do satisfy the criteria of forecasts? Are you claiming that GCMs do actually do a better job of hindcasting or projectively forecasting the last 100+ years of the climate than Soon’s null model (whatever it is)? If so, by all means present us with evidence to that effect.

    Personally, I rather think its content will stand up to scrutiny, simply because it is straightforward to fit some extremely simple models to HADCRUT4 that strongly suggest that the climate trend hasn’t signficantly altered over the last 170 years. Yes, the models are numerology, but in the end, so are the GCMs! They are chock full of assumptions and adjustable parameters, many of them set arbitrarily and with values that vary from model to model by as much as a factor of 3.

    And they don’t actually work, which is what the current furor is all about. The “leaked” version of AR5 openly acknowledged that obvious fact; the “released” version retracted that obvious fact and emphasizes the exact opposite — how trustworthy their predictions are for 30 or 40 years from now even though they are already failing in a mere 20. It has already been pointed out on WUWT that they fail, with a lot of detail concerning the modes of failure, to describe the 100+ year e.g. HADCRUT4 record, or SSTs, or many other things.

    I’m going to ask you one simple question and would appreciate at entirely honest answer. If it were not for the politics of climate science, would you look at figure 1.4 in AR5 SPM and conclude that all of those GCMs are working correctly? I don’t. And that’s before I take into account that 1.4 contains the projective forecast of one averaged quantity — GASTA — against one quantity — time — where “climate” is at least what, five or ten dimensional even in its simplest presentation. That’s before I even know what the graph is portraying, really. Before I take into account my additional knowledge — such as the fact that the actual mean temperatures produced by the models differ by some 2-3 C and are subtracted away to present only “the anomaly” in an effort to conceal how very far away the models are from reality (which is, BTW, a chapter straight out of How to Lie with Statistics, although I’m sure it is well-intentioned).

    Instead of defending AR5’s SPM, perhaps you might ask yourself why the final report removed what appears to me to have been a very reasonable statement of honest scientific doubt, a statement that if anything underemphasized the gravity of the problem facing the GCMs. You might also ask yourself this:

    Just how long does the climate have to continue on its current neutral to descending track before you come to question not just “the average prediction of many independent GCMs” but specific GCMs that fail to come anywhere close to this track? What will it take for the data to falsify the models (one at a time, of course) in your own mind? Have any models failed to make that cut already?

    Bear in mind that I fully understand how, and why, CO_2 increases can reasonably be expected to increase global temperatures — by around 1 C (a fair chunk of which has already been realized) at 600 ppm. Even that, however, is based on IMO on oversimplified estimations — it is a “Fermi estimate” of a quantity that is appallingly difficult to actually compute, nothing more. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were as much as 2 C, or as little as 0 C, and wouldn’t be surprised much if it went a degree more than that either way — this is an linearized estimate of the shift in the dynamic equilibrium of a highly nonlinear system with a demonstrated capacity for natural variation every bit as large or larger than this estimate, and with complex feedbacks that keep the system remarkably stable while at the same time permitting its current/local equilibrium to wander all over the place within a 1-2 C range — and this is NOT referring to GASTA (whatever that quantity really is) this is referring to the actual absolute GAST, and neglects the much LARGER local/regional variations of LST, SST, LTT, rainfall and drought patterns, variations in the large scale decadal oscillations and Hadley circulation, albedo, and so on.

    What I find surprising is that anybody has managed to convince themselves that we can predict the climate at all yet, with or without CO_2 variation. We cannot even predict the predictors of climate, many of the variables that might contribute to our constantly shifting climate. We do not yet reliably know the details of the climate autocorrelation, since the climate has clearly visible secular variation across the entire time period over which we have halfway decent data (even being remarkably generous and including HADCRUT4’s GASTA all the way back to 1843 or whatever). If this were any other problem in physics with similar complexity, nobody would be announcing success, and nobody would be betting a trillion dollars and millions of lives on the predictions of the not-yet-successful models.

    Don’t you agree?

    rgb

  70. Joel Shore says:

    tallbloke says:

    Now, Joel, rather than engaging in your usual warmist smear tactics, why don’t you discuss the scientific content of the post. Or is that too much to ask?

    Here is the sum total of all the supposed scientific content in their piece:

    We tested the no-trend model, using the same data that the IPCC uses. To do this, we produced annual forecasts from one to 100 years ahead, starting from 1851 and stepping forward year-by-year until 1975, the year before the current warming alarm was raised. (This is also the year when Newsweek and other magazines reported that scientists were “almost unanimous” that Earth faced a new period of global cooling.) We conducted the same analysis for the IPCC scenario of temperatures increasing at a rate of 0.03 degrees Celsius (0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) per year in response to increasing human carbon dioxide emissions.

    This procedure yielded 7,550 forecasts for each method. The findings?

    Overall, the no-trend forecast error was one-seventh the error of the IPCC scenario’s projection. They were as accurate as or more accurate than the IPCC temperatures for all forecast horizons. Most important, the relative accuracy of the no-trend forecasts increased for longer horizons. For example, the no-trend forecast error was one-twelfth that of the IPCC temperature scenarios for forecasts 91 to 100 years ahead.

    So, what they are saying is that they tested whether the rate of temperature increase has been 0.03 C per year since 1851 and found that it hasn’t been: In fact, it was closer to zero then to 0.03 C per year. Would anybody have told them otherwise? The IPCC notes that the temperature rise has been something like 0.8 C over 160 years, which gives a rise of 0.005 C per year. Is it some sort of shock that 0.005 is closer to 0 than it is to 0.03?

    It is like predicting the future path of a ball sitting on top of a tall building after you kick it off the building using the fact that it has sat stationary on top of the building up to that time…Therefore, your prediction would be that the height wouldn’t change with time.

    This is not science. It is just sophistry. To test the IPCC predictions, they would have to take into account the forcings on the system, just like to test the prediction that the ball would fall vs the prediction that it would stay at the same height, I have to take into account the fact that the forces balance when it is sitting on top of the building but not once it is kicked off.

    The fact that they even went through and wrote a paper about this shows that their real motivation had nothing to do with science and everything to do with deception. (I just went to look at their paper to see if it is really as silly as they described it, hoping that perhaps they had not described their work well here…but, no, their description of what they did is accurate.)

  71. joeldshore says:

    rgbatduke says:

    in fact, I can’t see much evidence that Park has ever published an actual physics paper after he received his Ph.D., at least on his wikipedia page

    Are you serious? From that Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Park

    Over his long career as a physicist he has authored more than a hundred technical papers on the structure and properties of single-crystal surfaces and has supervised ten PhD theses. He has chaired “more committees than I want to remember” and edited several peer-reviewed journals or proceedings.[6]

    He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Vacuum Society.[6]

    Here is just one example of a physics paper: http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v46/i22/p1465_1 I chose that one in particular just for personal reasons. (The first author was my undergraduate advisor.) And, you don’t generally get made a fellow of those various societies without doing some highly-regarded scientific work.

    In addition, Park went on to become the director of public information at the Washington office of the American Physical Society. And, in his work in that regard, he was noted for defending science against all sorts of attacks that he perceived on it, without regard to political ideology. He made as much fun of Sen Tom Harkin’s push for an NIH Office of Alternative Medicine as of the abuses of science by Willie Soon and company.

    I’ve got an idea. Instead of attacking the authors of the paper described above, why not actually read the paper and attack its content? Are you asserting that the claims of GCMs do satisfy the criteria of forecasts? Are you claiming that GCMs do actually do a better job of hindcasting or projectively forecasting the last 100+ years of the climate than Soon’s null model (whatever it is)? If so, by all means present us with evidence to that effect.

    Yes…They do if you look at the correct thing, which is how the climate system responds to forcings. If you look at the wrong thing, like whether the temperature has been rising 0.03 C per year irregardless of the forcings, then of course the null model will work better…but that’s not the relevant point!

  72. joeldshore says:

    tallbloke says:

    Now, Joel, rather than engaging in your usual warmist smear tactics, why don’t you discuss the scientific content of the post. Or is that too much to ask?

    Here is the sum total of all the supposed scientific content in their piece:

    We tested the no-trend model, using the same data that the IPCC uses. To do this, we produced annual forecasts from one to 100 years ahead, starting from 1851 and stepping forward year-by-year until 1975, the year before the current warming alarm was raised. (This is also the year when Newsweek and other magazines reported that scientists were “almost unanimous” that Earth faced a new period of global cooling.) We conducted the same analysis for the IPCC scenario of temperatures increasing at a rate of 0.03 degrees Celsius (0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) per year in response to increasing human carbon dioxide emissions.

    This procedure yielded 7,550 forecasts for each method. The findings?

    Overall, the no-trend forecast error was one-seventh the error of the IPCC scenario’s projection. They were as accurate as or more accurate than the IPCC temperatures for all forecast horizons. Most important, the relative accuracy of the no-trend forecasts increased for longer horizons. For example, the no-trend forecast error was one-twelfth that of the IPCC temperature scenarios for forecasts 91 to 100 years ahead.

    So, what they are saying is that they tested whether the rate of temperature increase has been 0.03 C per year since 1851 and found that it hasn’t been: In fact, it was closer to zero then to 0.03 C per year. Would anybody have told them otherwise? The IPCC notes that the temperature rise has been something like 0.8 C over 160 years, which gives a rise of 0.005 C per year. Is it some sort of shock that 0.005 is closer to 0 than it is to 0.03?

    It is like predicting the future path of a ball sitting on top of a tall building after you kick it off the building using the fact that it has sat stationary on top of the building up to that time…Therefore, your prediction would be that the height wouldn’t change with time.

    This is not science. To test the IPCC predictions, they would have to take into account the forcings on the system, just like to test the prediction that the ball would fall vs the prediction that it would stay at the same height, I have to take into account the fact that the forces balance when it is sitting on top of the building but not once it is kicked off.

    The fact that they even went through and wrote a paper about this shows that their real motivation had nothing to do with science and everything to do with just trying to dupe people. (I just went to look at their paper to see if it is really as silly as they described it, hoping that perhaps they had not described their work well here…but, no, their description of what they did is accurate.)

  73. BBould says:

    RGB, well said.

    How exactly would the models look if they included temps rather than only the anomaly? I find that an excellent point and one many haven’t considered, myself for one, but I’m not a scientist or even close.

  74. dbstealey says:

    There goes joel shore with his “political ideology” nonsense again.

    Everything is political ideology to an ideologue like joel shore.

    But this is a science site. And so far, there is no measurable, testable scientific evidence directly linking human CO2 emissions to global warming. There is only a relatively short time, from around 1980 – 1997, when CO2 and temperature appeared correlated. But that was a spurious correlation, as 1997 – 1013 shows. So AGW is still only an unproven conjecture.

    joelshore argues politics because the science doesn’t support his belief system.

    Tallbloke points out: …Joel, rather than engaging in your usual warmist smear tactics…”

    Yes. Dr Soon has been repeatedly smeared by joel shore and his ilk. Really despicable. Those ad hominem attacks are all that the alarmist crowd has for an argument. They have certainly lost the scientific debate.

  75. TomB says:

    michel says:
    October 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    If these are my associates in dismissing the global warming hysteria, I am really quite worried.

    I think you’re missing the point, or perhaps we’ve not made it clear. I think it reasonable to say that the majority of comments on this blog come from people that are very concerned about the environment and science. I know I feel that the global warming scare shakes the foundations of scientific integrity. Since this is being done in the name of environmentalism, it removes a foundation from that concern as well. If this scare continues, the science and environmental advocacy we support could be irreparably damaged.

  76. See – owe to Rich says:
    October 16, 2013 at 12:33 am
    (And Scafetta’s model of two cycles plus quadratic does even better than that, but probably would not if matched to 1800-1850 temperatures.)

    *************************

    The model that you are referring to is quite obsolete. You need to look at the upgraded harmonic models that I have recently proposed. The quadratic trend is not used any more and additional cycles are added.

    For example, look at

    Scafetta, N. 2013. Discussion on climate oscillations: CMIP5 general circulation models versus a semi-empirical harmonic model based on astronomical cycles. Earth-Science Reviews 126, 321-357.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825213001402
    see Figure 24, and Figures 25-27

    see also:
    Scafetta N., 2013. Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs. Energy & Environment 24(3-4), 455–496.
    http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/p7n531161076t3p6/?p=c84512f97a5845ec995057c3818fb1d2&pi=0

    In any case to “forecasts” or better to provide reliable projections one need to well understand the natural dynamics of the climate system and also of the solar activity. This has been provided in my papers.

    see my web-site

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model
    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model_1

  77. Matthew R Marler says:

    Steven Mosher: Quote:‘ on the grounds that the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial—and that the climate is so complex and insufficiently understood that the net effect of human emissions on global temperatures cannot be forecasted.”

    Response The climate is too complex. we conclude the effect of C02 is trivial.

    You missed the key clause in the quote: the climatological effect of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial. They might be wrong, but you should focus on the key claim, imho.

  78. Dan Tauke says:

    An expert in forecasting can most definitely forecast the climate without being an IPCC level scientist, per some doubts above. They would need to borrow the general frameworks and assumptions from the scientists (their expertise) but then put them in more robust forecasting frameworks and analyze them using sensitivity analysis on those same assumptions, among other things. To my knowledge that is what they have done – they do not need to be climate scientists to analyze the forecasting accuracy of different models as long as they include all the same elements.

  79. rgbatduke says:

    ed on It is like predicting the future path of a ball sitting on top of a tall building after you kick it off the building using the fact that it has sat stationary on top of the building up to that time…Therefore, your prediction would be that the height wouldn’t change with time.

    No, it is nothing at all like this. It is like asserting that a nonlinear system that is following a poincare cycle in some ten or twenty dimensions that has a clearly evident and easily computable four parameter secular trend (as Mr. Scafetta is happy to point out although it is equally evident just from looking at the data itself) had one set of (non-computable) causes for the variation in the first half of the data and an entirely different set of (equally non-computable) causes for the variation in the second half of the data and it is just pure chance that they happen to be fit by the same form where the GCMs themselves are not well fit in EITHER half of the data and do not even agree well with each other.

    You cannot reduce this to a one-dimensional linearizable problem because it isn’t one.

    As for Park, I missed the one line about his surface physics papers, perhaps because none of the papers linked in the references section of the article were in this category. But you still miss the point. a) Park hasn’t done any climate science research that I can see (and now I’m working straight from his CV). Indeed, he hasn’t published a paper in physics per se since 1988, and while chemisorption and thin films and surface physics are indeed interesting — I did some work on this myself STARTING at around this same time — he seems to have transitioned away from doing actual physics research and into physics policy in the mid-80’s. b) Even if he had done some climate physics, that would not mean that his conclusions regarding CAGW are correct, any more than the fact that he hasn’t means his conclusions are incorrect. c) Dr. Soon, in fact, has done and published climate research. He has a physics Ph.D. He AFAIK is employed by Harvard, which is not exactly the easiest institution in the world to get tenure in.

    If you want to play the “Argument by authority” card, you are playing Dr. Park’s expertise in detecting supposedly badly done science in a field he has never worked in against Dr. Soon’s expertise in his primary field while employed at one of the most prestigious institutions in the academic world. You don’t “lose” this argument, of course, because the entire argument is fallacious, an excuse to dismiss a piece of work without examining it, but you hardly “win” it either. Note well that I’m not addressing whether or not the work itself is correct or incorrect — I’m even aware of the Bayesian reasoning one might use to reject crank science based on the (lack of) credentials of the arguer — we do this sort of thing all the time, but seriously, are you attacking Soon’s credentials?

    So please understand — I wasn’t attempting to attack Park’s competence in physics. I was pointing out the logical fallacy of presenting his remarks on Soon as some sort of “expert opinion” that we could rely on to dismiss the work that is the subject of the top article without even bothering to read it. I’d do the same thing if YOU made those remarks, or if Michael Mann or anyone else who WORKS in climate science made those remarks. They are irrelevant to the issue at hand and frankly inappropriate in science, however commonly they are made in the ultimately NON-scientific debate surrounding “climate science”. A logical fallacy is a logical fallacy. I have no idea whether or not Soon is right, wrong, or in between. I have no reason, however, to think that Soon is incompetent in climate science a priori; if anything I have good reasons to think that he is NOT incompetent. Which doesn’t make him right, wrong, or in between, but it guarantees that I’ll look at what he writes now to decide, not what Dr. Park said about something else that Soon wrote long ago.

    So, let’s look at some numerology:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1800/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

    It is a simple fact that a purely linear trend from 1840-whatever to the present explains almost all of the observed climate variation from that time to the present. It is also a simple fact that almost all of the rest of the climate variation can be explained with an additional sinusoid with amplitude around 0.2 C and period somewhere in the ballpark of 50 to 70 years. Since we are fitting an anomaly, one degree of freedom doesn’t count and this is a three parameter fit that would explain the data essentially perfectly if subjected to any reasonable statistical test.

    I cannot meaningfully plot CO_2 on wft, because it will not let me choose the axes and doesn’t include even estimates of CO_2 pre-Mauna-Loa, so the range of the data is entirely different. I cannot really plot the temperature on wft, because we do not know what to add to the “anomaly” to make an absolute temperature, but if we did add 288 K as a not unreasonable guesstimate, we’d end up with a straight flat line with one-pixel noise barely visible on it across all 160-170 years in the case of GAST, while CO_2 would increase by roughly 1/3, almost all of that increase occuring since 1950. Comparing the two graphs, nobody sane could possibly nod their head wisely and say of course the CO_2 graph explains the GAST graph.

    Nor could they say that it explains the anomaly (GASTA) graph, given that the increases and decreases in global temperature can so readily be explained as a linear trend plus a zero-sum oscillation that doesn’t treat the interval post 1950 any differently than it treats the interval from 1890 to 1950, when the increase in GAST/GASTA was almost identical to that from 1950 to 2013 — so much so that if one presents the curves side by side and asks someone to identify which one came from the CO_2 era it is a bit tricky to do so!

    It isn’t as simple as “gravity turned on” in 1950 in the form of CO_2, so all of the increase post 1950 MUST be due to CO_2. CO_2 turned on, but many other things changed as well. Soots. Aerosols. The state of the sun. Albedo. Land use. And we cannot explain the variation from the FIRST half of the GASTA curve, the pre-CO_2 part. We can hypothesize POSSIBLE explanations, sure, but we literally lack the data to be at all certain that any particular hypothesis is correct.

    So here’s the simplest null hypothesis one can imagine. Forget physical models entirely. Is there any reason to think, from the GASTA data alone, that anything changed from the pre-1950 part of the curve to the post 1950 part of the curve. Try to forget that this is supposed to be GASTA (an anomaly). Try to forget that it is temperature vs time. Pretend that it is an electrical signal with a great deal of noise and you have no idea what the source of the signal is. Do you look at this curve and go “Wow, things really changed in 1950, didn’t they” or do you go “Wow, this curve really looks like a linear trend plus a superimposed sinusoid and nothing changes relative to this assumption to any extent I’d expect to be statistically resolvable across the entire range of data.”

    Now let’s apply the right metaphor, which isn’t a static building. Suppose the woodsfortrees data above described the height of a 288 inch tree as an “anomaly” above the ground, and we’ve renormalized so that a year is now 60 years. The noise visible in the graph is the noise in our daily measurements as the top of the tree blows around in the wind. Somebody has asserted that they’ve invented a fertilizer that is guaranteed to double the rate of growth of trees, but you doubt it. Sure, it contains a lot of nitrogen, and nitrogen can definitely make things grow faster in the lab, but it can also burn the roots, or be out of balance with phosphorous and not have much of an effect or it can even have a NEGATIVE effect, killing the tree. You would love to buy the fertilizer if it works, but it is very, very expensive.

    The people selling you the fertilizer present you the data above. They started adding the fertilizer around the “week” corresponding to 1950, which just happened to be mid-November. Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t much growth. They threw on more and more fertilizer in December, January, March — every month they added even more fertilizer than they had the month before, and sure enough, in March the tree started to grow quickly! It grew while they added more and more and more fertilizer, all the way up to (wait for it) September, where the growth suddenly stopped as fall summer came to an end.

    The fertilizer company now offers to sell you a huge mountain of this fertilizer for a trillion dollars (I said it was expensive). They point out how as they added more and more fertilizer during March, the tree went from nearly dormant to simply bursting with growth. They’re not certain why the tree STOPPED growing in August and actually got a bit shorter as September rolled around, but they are confident that this fertilizer will make that damn tree grow all year around, at twice the rate it has ever grown before!

    Do you seriously think that the data from just the two “years” present is at all supportive of such a claim? I don’t. The overall growth in year one is identical to the growth in year two, within a few leaves and a good wind. In both cases there is an average growth rate (the same growth rate) modulated by a seasonal variation. If we didn’t know about the seasons, we would INVENT them looking at this graph. We would NEVER assume that the graph itself is good evidence for the fertilizer doubling the rate of tree growth starting in 1950, and would write off any such claim with a trillion dollar pricetag as somebody wanting to get very, very rich at the expense of somebody very, very gullible. Even if the fertilizer contains nitrogen, even if nitrogen is a well-known tree nutrient, it may well be the case that there are many things that limit or affect the growth rate of the tree, and merely boosting nitrogen alone — however well it might work on paper — might not work in practice.

    When the people who are trying to sell you the fertilizer try to argue that they have solid proof that the tree was really about to get shorter, that insects were attacking the roots and there was a drought and the winter was colder than usual so that their fertilizer really was entirely responsible for the second visible “season” of growth but not the first, well, if you buy that I’ve got a bridge for sale that you might want to take a look at, it could be a really good investment for you.

    With that said, sure, the fertilizer COULD be great, they could be right that insects were in the roots etc. But there is no hurry — with a trillion dollar price tag it seems pretty reasonable to wait another year, or even two, and try to get a lot more, a lot better, data before betting the very lives, wealth and happiness of all the people on the planet all on the fact that nitrogen is definitely a plant nutrient and might have contributed some fraction to the total growth observed in a slowly, steadily growing tree.

    The only weakness in this metaphor is the same weakness as your metaphor of the building. We do not know how to predict the growth rate of the tree. We don’t even know how tall the tree, or building really is. We don’t know if they are sitting on ground that is settling, or being thrust up, due to causes we haven’t figured out yet. We don’t know about the life cycle of the tree, whether the growth rate itself varies in some secular fashion over time. We simply haven’t been studying trees, or even buildings, long enough. We are only two years old as far as trees are concerned — we can’t even properly explain the seasons yet because we haven’t observed enough of them. We are similarly clueless about the effects of moles, drought or rainfall, hot versus cold summers or winters, insects and diseases, availability of other core nutrients, and whether or not the tree is in competition with other nearby growth. We can see that those things should have some effect, but we’ve only really had good instruments to look into those competing and interlocked effects for much less than a year, where we can hypothesize that a cold winter might hurt the tree’s roots but help by killing off tree parasites and could be associated with a wet snowy winter or a dry bitter winter equally easily that further confounds the effects of “cold”.

    I have to say, I just get tired of people trivializing the problem. It is a damn sight easier to figure out the effect of fertilizer on trees — theoretically or experimentally — than it is to understand the climate and its probable response to a linear perturbation of some sort or another. Yet things nobody would accept in the context of trees, not without extensive, double blind experimental evidence to support it, people are happy to accept in a heartbeat in climate science, where things are if anything MUCH MORE COMPLEX.

    rgb

  80. JohnWho says:

    Great post, rgb.

    Unfortunately, facts and logic do not sway believers in CAGW by CO2.

    Doesn’t appear that facts and logic sway certain politicians, either.

    :(

  81. richardscourtney says:

    JohnWho:

    I agree with you that Robert Brown made a “great post” in this thread as a response to Joel Shore. He often makes great posts and a post he made on another WUWT thread earlier today is among the best things ever put on WUWT.

    However, and with respect, I suggest that it would be good for us all to stand back from commenting, get in the popcorn, and wait.

    As we know from long experience, Joel Shore makes posts which cannot withstand logical scrutiny, he receives a rebuttal, and then he drags the supplier of the rebuttal into the ‘weird and wacky world’ of Joel Shore. And that world is like a lobster pot: falling in is easy but finding a way out is hard.

    If anyone can tear through the wall of the lobster pot then Robert Brown is likely to be the one with that ability. So, we need to stand back and await the show – not get involved in it – because it should be fun.

    Richard

  82. JohnWho says:

    @Richard S. Courtney –

    I am never one to turn down popcorn when freely offered, so I accept your suggestion with popcorn seasoning in hand.

    Perhaps a riddle while we wait?

    What is the difference between the Jersey Shore and Joel Shore?

    Answer: One is a mass of silicon being overwhelmed by a huge ocean and

    the other is, uh, …

    OK, so there is no difference.

    I’ve never been good at riddles anyway.

    :)

  83. joeldshore says:

    Robert Brown:

    You’re missing the forest through the trees here.

    As per the Oregon petition, the basic facts, as Park well-described it are these:

    (1) The paper and petition were mailed en-mass to members of various scientific departments at universities (and perhaps other places) and only YES votes, i.e., people who chose to sign the petition were counted.

    (2) The paper was formatted in a way and Seitz noted his position as a past President of the National Academy of Sciences in a way that was sufficiently deceptive that NAS felt compelled to issue a statement that said that the paper had not and was not even being considered to appear in their proceedings and that the claims in the paper were in contradiction to the Academies own conclusions. You can see their full statement here: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=s04201998

    As for climate, even if everything that you said was true, why did Armstrong and Green not just come right out and say that the rate of increase predicted by the IPCC over the next century is quite a bit higher than the average rate of increase over the last 160 years? Why did they have to hide this behind a bunch of mumbo-jumbo? The answer is probably because they were creating a straw man to destroy but they didn’t want to make it quite so obvious what their straw man was!

    And, what you say has a lot of additional problems. Yes, climate is complicated, but that doesn’t mean that nothing can be determined about it. We are able to very clearly see and predict the local seasonal effects due to changes in forcing, despite all this complication. It doesn’t stop us from predicting the average temperature in Rochester, NY in July will be, say, ~25 C warmer than the average temperature in January.

    And, we don’t just have the instrumental temperature record to go on to understand the relation between radiative forcings and climate response. We can look at changes that have occurred in the past, such as ice age – interglacial periods. We can look at responses to volcanic eruptions. We can look at the pattern of the warming that we are seeing. And, yes, we can create models using the best current understanding of basic physics, such as the fact that as ice and snow melts the reflectivity of the Earth decreases and that as temperature rises, there is more evaporation of water.

    Is it a difficult problem, with lots of uncertainties and potential surprises in store? Absolutely. Is there nothing that we can say about it besides, “Oh well, climate changes…Sometimes it gets warmer and sometimes colder and there is no way we can no why”? Absolutely not.

    And, the best people to decide what the current state of the science is are the scientists in the field. We have accepted ways to evaluate the state of science in the field that have served us well and we should not abandon them to Professors of Marketing simply because they give us an answer that may be more appealing.

  84. JohnWho says:

    I know, I was just going to stand by and have popcorn with RSC, but…

    “joeldshore says:
    October 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    As per the Oregon petition, the basic facts, as Park well-described it are these:

    (1) The paper and petition were mailed en-mass to members of various scientific departments at universities (and perhaps other places) and only YES votes, i.e., people who chose to sign the petition were counted.

    (2) The paper was formatted in a way and Seitz noted his position as a past President of the National Academy of Sciences in a way that was sufficiently deceptive that NAS felt compelled to issue a statement that said that the paper had not and was not even being considered to appear in their proceedings and that the claims in the paper were in contradiction to the Academies own conclusions.

    Point #1 – they only counted the returned, signed petitions as people who signed the petition! What is wrong with that? Doesn’t every poll or survey only report on the answered questions?

    Well, now that I think about it, maybe not – isn’t the “97% consensus of all climate scientists” really just an assumption that they all agree? I guess Alarmist’s have models that predict the responses, thereby alleviating the need to actually poll or survey anyone.

    Point #2 – I’ve gone to the Petition Project website and seen what they sent out and do not see where it was stated that they were including a NAS paper. Even so, I see nothing wrong with NAS pointing out that they (at least some in leadership at NAS) did not support the paper.

    Much ado here about nothing.

    OK, back to the popcorn.

    Apologies to Richard that I left him eating alone.

  85. rgbatduke says:

    Is it a difficult problem, with lots of uncertainties and potential surprises in store? Absolutely. Is there nothing that we can say about it besides, “Oh well, climate changes…Sometimes it gets warmer and sometimes colder and there is no way we can no why”? Absolutely not.

    Actually, I think that this is very close to being the case. I’d be very interested in your explanation of the cause of the MWP and the LIA (in particular the latter) in the event that you disagree. As well as the reason for coming out of the ice age. As well as the reason that that reason stopped in 1950 to be smoothly replaced by CO_2 so cleverly that nobody can tell the difference between the first half and second half of the 20th century from a peek at GASTA alone unless they already know the curves by heart.

    The problem is that it is all too easy to point to something and say, “Look, if we increase albedo, we’ll have thus and such effect” in a one dimensional model. Albedo reflects energy, it appears in simple 1-D power flow models in a very clear context, it appears that it can do nothing but produce a single result. But the climate is full of negative feedbacks and plain old noise. It has multiple reservoirs with very disparate relaxation times and mechanisms. Albedo itself isn’t linear and independent of frequency or context. JUST because one increases an “albedo” number one generated as an average somehow, or decreases it, does not imply that there is going to be a certain response over any time at all. If it were that simple, the Earth would be a giant snowball.

    Similarly, one cannot just say “We’ve increased carbon dioxide, therefore we are certain to get a particular temperature response. This temperature response is certain to increase the humidity, which will further increase the temperature response, which will increase the CO_2 still further as the ocean warms which will increase the humidity etc.” The humidity ALREADY fluctuates enormously, and if it had positive feedback on temperature alone it seems likely that positive fluctuations would have the potential for runaway warming.

    Only they don’t, both because it is not clear that the primary assertion is true — that increasing GASTA increases humidity in the first place and because it takes time for the system to respond and the humidity definitely has negative feedbacks that remove it as it is added. Suddenly what you thought was a simple problem in balancing fixed linear rates with simple assumptions has become a dynamics problem with autocorrelation times and decay rates and with the possibility of nonlinearities that almost completely remove your presumed linearized effect. One rather EXPECTS those negative feedbacks to exist because the climate is if anything remarkably stable over geological time. With the exception the currentype age, of course, which is geologically tied with the OS-transition for the coldest period in the last 600 million years, interglacial and all (and where the OS transition and ice age occurred with over 10x as much CO_2 in the atmosphere as there is today).

    Which doesn’t mean that I do claim to understand this or mean that this is necessarily significant. I rather do not. I just think that you are imagining a set of partial derivatives on a complex hypersurface permit you to predict chaotic orbits around constantly moving attractors and don’t appreciate the true complexity of the problem.

    Either way, GCMs are supposedly the best we can do computationally, and they are not completely naive or one dimensional. Rather they are complex out at the limits of our ability to compute. Do they yield a uniform result? No, they don’t. Not even when applied to a toy problem with none of the complexity of the real Earth. Are they initialized with the same parameters? No, if they were they wouldn’t even fit the training data. They are individually tuned to fit that data, and consequently tend to give very different predictions outside of the training set. Do they give a consistent result from run to run for small perturbations of the initial conditions? No, they actually fill in a rather staggering range of possible futures, some of which actually cool (from what I can tell from looking at examples in AR5). Can one average over the set of GCMs and get a more reliable prediction than the unreliable prediction produced by any particular GCM? No, this is an abuse of statistics and absolutely unsupportable from first principles.

    I’m trying to figure out why you think the GCMs are reliable, given this as their current track record. Oh, and then if one actually deconstructs all of the individual GCM results in figure 1.4 of AR4’s SPM, how many of them would be rejected on the basis of a hypothesis test? Certainly all of the warmest ones, and there are few of the GCM results that anybody would be comfortable asserting as a good approximation of just GASTA.

    Look, I’m actually pretty open to the hypothesis that humans, by increasing atmospheric CO_2 by some unknown but estimated amount (amount subject to the model used to perform the estimation) have increased GAST by some amount (amount HIGHLY uncertain, because we cannot even compute GAST to within an interval smaller than roughly 1% of the absolute temperature). I think that even with the uncertainties, it is reasonable to think that there has been warming of less than 1 C over the last 170 years of arguably computable thermometric records (with rapidly increasingly uncertainties as one moves back from the present, where we don’t have that good a handle on the present). I simply do not think that it is possible to, at this time, make any assertion whatsoever as to what fraction of the overall observed increase — with all of its uncertainties — is due to the supposedly anthropogenic fraction of the CO_2. I especially doubt any assertion that the climate would have been neutral or cooling from 1950 on without CO_2, as that really is an absurd claim, but it does tie right back up with your belief that we can and do know why the climate warmed from (say) 1850 to 1950. Well, actually, warmed, then cooled some, then warmed a lot more, then just started to cool, then stayed nearly constant until the 70’s, then went up the same general way it did in the 20’s and 30’s, then peaked, and now appears to be descending much as it was in the early 50’s.

    I also do not agree that the AR5 SPM should have changed/eliminated the wording that made it clear that the deviation of the real climate from the simulated climates is a problem. I do not agree that the models in CIMP5 that aren’t within a half of a degree of the actual GASTA — let alone the GAST that they predict but never ever actually show — should be included in AR5 as if they are just as reliable as all the rest and hence just as reasonable a contribution to the supposed mean!

    I know that you are actually a reasonable person, and I appreciate it when you correct me when I make an egregious error in my statements. That’s what people are supposed to do. You also are at least somewhat open minded, from our previous conversation in a variety of contexts. That’s why I am puzzled that you don’t seem to care when I point out these fairly specific problems with AR5 and GCMs in general. We aren’t really arguing about whether or not the GHE exists or global warming has occurred. What we are arguing about is whether the claims of near certainty that are being made in a specific document, AR5 SPM, are well founded on the basis of statistics and common sense or are deliberately misrepresenting the actual quality of the actual results of the actual GCMs, considered one at a time and compared critically to the observational data of the real world after the time they were initialized and run.

    We are also arguing about (perhaps) whether the GASTA as produced by HADCRUT4 (as one of many that do not all agree in spite of having what one assumes is a substantially overlapping data foundation) in and of itself supports the simple observation that there is a strong and apparent correlation between atmospheric CO_2 concentration and temperature. I think that it is rather evident that it does not — if anything, it suggests the opposite, that negative feedbacks very likely cancel nearly all of the warming one DOES expect from the excess CO_2, because the structure of the 170 year GASTA curve doesn’t undergo the slightest change as CO_2 “turns on” in 1950.

    “Suggesting” isn’t the same as “proving”, but it is still an important point. The climate is, in fact, not behaving the way one naively expects from all of the naive arguments, nor is it doing what the GCMs predict with their highly nontrivial, non-naive (but as a consequence, more easily mistaken) arguments. I do not know, but I am not convinced that the GCMs are correct, and I am FAR from convinced that any naive argument is likely to be any more correct than numerology on HADCRUT4 of the sort that I’ve already portrayed.

    Why, exactly, do you disagree with this? A lot of very reasonable climate scientists are starting to back off their claims of climate sensitivity, and it was never the case that the majority of climate scientists agreed with “catastrophic” anthropogenic GW, but rather with some degree of AGW that might be anything from net positive to mildly neutral as far as negative consequence is concerned. Also, I repeat — how long does the climate have to remain near neutral before you agree that there is a problem with at least some of the GCMs? Do you agree that this point has already been reached for at least some of the GCMs?

    These questions are the ones I’d love to hear you answer, because they’d give me some feeling for what evidence you would consider sufficient to start to NOT strongly believe the predictions of disaster. I’ll tell you straight up what I would consider as evidence FOR the predictions of disaster — the GASTA increasing by 0.3 to 0.5 C quite rapidly to get it back on track with the GCMs. Do you really think that this is about to happen?

    rgb

  86. Seth says:

    rgbatduke says: It is like asserting that a nonlinear system that is following a poincare cycle in some ten or twenty dimensions that has a clearly evident and easily computable four parameter secular trend.

    We’re only looking at the global mean surface temperature. That parameter is largely constrained by conservation of energy, radiative changes, and ocean currents. It’s not a poincare cycle, because there’s net energy into the system at the top of atmosphere, because of CO2 increases.

    rgbatduke says: c) Dr. Soon, in fact, has done and published climate research. He has a physics Ph.D. He AFAIK is employed by Harvard, which is not exactly the easiest institution in the world to get tenure in.

    There are over 100,000 scholarly papers on climate change in the peer reviewed literature. The qualifications of one contrarian, (and Linzden should be your poster boy), do not make academic weight. In round numbers, since the early 90s at least there have been about 0 scholarly papers (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686.full), and about 0 scientific bodies of national or international standing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Dissenting) that support the contrarian position.

    rgbatduke says: so much so that if one presents the curves side by side and asks someone to identify which one came from the CO_2 era it is a bit tricky to do so!

    The response of the global mean surface temperature to an increase in CO2 takes 40 or 50 years for 60% of the change to have occurred. Looking naively at the graphs won’t spot the interrelationship.

  87. joeldshore says:

    JohnWho says:

    Point #1 – they only counted the returned, signed petitions as people who signed the petition! What is wrong with that? Doesn’t every poll or survey only report on the answered questions?

    Do you not understand the difference between a survey that says “Answer yes or no to these questions and return the survey” and a petition that says effectively, “Return this if you agree…and if you don’t agree, we have no desire to hear from you and no means by which to record your disagreement anyway.”

    Well, now that I think about it, maybe not – isn’t the “97% consensus of all climate scientists” really just an assumption that they all agree? I guess Alarmist’s have models that predict the responses, thereby alleviating the need to actually poll or survey anyone.

    There are at least 2 polls that I know of done in at least a reasonably scientific manner (for example, here: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html ) Are they perfect? No, but it is ironic to see AGW skeptics nitpick the details of how the question was phrased in some poll and then turn around and say, “But..;look at this Oregon Petition…” It speaks volumes to the double standards

    Point #2 – I’ve gone to the Petition Project website and seen what they sent out and do not see where it was stated that they were including a NAS paper. Even so, I see nothing wrong with NAS pointing out that they (at least some in leadership at NAS) did not support the paper.

    You didn’t see the mass mailing that was done in 1998. The NAS does not go around regularly issuing statements that a paper is not published by them and does not reflect their views; the fact that they felt the need to do so in this case lends further support to Robert Park’s description of the deceptive way in which it was presented.

    And, another thing worth pointing out is that the petition project is now 15 years old. So, it is not even like the signatures are recently collected. Back in 1998, I was myself was still pretty ignorant regarding the science of climate change…There was much more room to be ill-informed regarding the general conclusions of the scientific community than there is now. It’s not even clear how many of the signers over the years would still re-affirm their opinion now. But, there seems to be no expiration date on the signatures.

  88. Janice Moore says:

    If this were any other problem in physics with similar complexity, nobody would be announcing success, and nobody would be betting a trillion dollars and millions of lives on the predictions of the not-yet-successful models.

    Don’t you agree?

    R. G. Brown at Duke
    *****************
    Yes.

  89. JohnWho says:

    joeldshore says:
    October 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Taking your points one at a time:
    “Do you not understand the difference between a survey that says “Answer yes or no to these questions and return the survey” and a petition that says effectively, “Return this if you agree…and if you don’t agree, we have no desire to hear from you and no means by which to record your disagreement anyway.””
    Not exactly. They didn’t simply say “return this if you agree” they said “return this if you are willing to sign you name at the bottom of this petition”. No anonynimity there. Huge difference.
    “There are at least 2 polls that I know of done in at least a reasonably scientific manner (for example, here: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html )”
    Interesting. The title of that article is “Climate Scientists Agree on Warming, Disagree on Dangers, and Don’t Trust the Media’s Coverage of Climate Change” and much of the article isn’t really at odds with the Petition Project statement “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” The “catastrophic” part being the most germane.
    Without seeing the exact wording of the questions, one should be skeptical of the results. That is, one with an open mind, anyway.
    “You didn’t see the mass mailing that was done in 1998.”
    Did you?
    I don’t see the deception in what is available now, but I do support NAS’s pointing out that they did not support the paper.
    “And, another thing worth pointing out is that the petition project is now 15 years old. So, it is not even like the signatures are recently collected. Back in 1998, I was myself was still pretty ignorant regarding the science of climate change…There was much more room to be ill-informed regarding the general conclusions of the scientific community than there is now. It’s not even clear how many of the signers over the years would still re-affirm their opinion now. But, there seems to be no expiration date on the signatures.”
    Other than replying the obvious; that you still are pretty ignorant regarding the science of climate change, I would ask you the following:
    Do you know whether one can ask to have their signature removed? Unless you are positive one can not, I would say your comment bears no weight.

  90. tallbloke says:

    Joel Shore says:”We can look at changes that have occurred in the past, such as ice age – interglacial periods.”

    Where we observe that changes in co2 lag around 800-2700 years behind changes in temperature.

    “at frequencies where there is significant coherence between the records, atmospheric CO2 lags, or is at most synchronous with, dV/dt. In other words, variations in melting precede variations in CO2. Thus, the relatively small amplitude of the CO2 radiative forcing and the absence of a lead over dV/dt both suggest that CO2 variations play a relatively weak role in driving changes in global ice volume compared to insolation variations.” Roe 2006

    And we also observe that the rate of change of (de)glaciation correlates remarkabky well to changes in 65N Insolation as the Earth’s orbit changes shape and the the equinox precesses
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/ice-ages-driven-by-earth-orientation-changes-not-co2/

    “variations in summertime shortwave forcing exceed the direct CO2 radiative forcing by about a factor of five.” Roe 2006

    So lets talk about forcings some more, because you might learn something. Eventually.

  91. rgbatduke and joeldshore:

    In making arguments in this thread, the two of you use “predict” and related terms. These terms are polysemic (have more than one meaning). When an argument is made, the presence in it of polysemic terms can lead to conclusions that are false or unproved but that seem to be true. In particular, the presence of polysemic terms in your arguments can lead to conclusions that are false or unproved but seem to be true. You can alleviate this concern by sharing with us what you mean by “predict.” What is it?

  92. Seth says:

    >JohnWho says:
    >October 16, 2013 at 7:10 am

    >>Seth says:
    >>October 16, 2013 at 5:32 am
    >>Some of the fake names that were in the petition:

    >>Do you even realize how foolish you are?

    The point is that there is no vetting on the names, and while some obvious fakes that have been pointed out in the media have been removed, that does not raise confidence in the verification process, that they infamously refuse to give any details about. Quite the opposite.

    I’m not sure why showing that the system is flawed is foolish. I can only suspect motivated reasoning. But for any honest person, the powerful fact that it was accompanied by a fraudulent paper would be strong enough evidence to distance them self from it. You should be embarrassed to defend it. It embarrassed me to see it mentioned, and I don’t even associate my intellectual position with theirs: It’s embarrassing that it was done by humans.

    Having said that, no, I don’t realise that point that out makes me foolish. Is there anything you realise about supporting it?

  93. Seth says:

    re: “If this were any other problem in physics with similar complexity, nobody would be announcing success, and nobody would be betting a trillion dollars and millions of lives on the predictions of the not-yet-successful models.”

    I think that the policy is based on the optical properties of CO2, not the predictions of models. It doesn’t matter how quickly or slowly the temperature reaches the equilibrium, or if the equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.5 or 5°C per doubling. It’s still cheaper to engage in amelioration than adaptation.

  94. tallbloke says:

    Seth says:
    October 17, 2013 at 5:33 am
    I think that the policy is based on the optical properties of CO2, not the predictions of models

    Well if that’s true then the cli-sci advocates and policy makers really do need a good kick up the backside. The optical properties of co2 in the lab belljar tell us nothing about its effect in the open atmosphere where it is 0.0004 of the mass and is hugely overwhelmed by the action of latent heat transfer through the convection of water vapour.

  95. rgbatduke says:

    There are over 100,000 scholarly papers on climate change in the peer reviewed literature. The qualifications of one contrarian, (and Linzden should be your poster boy), do not make academic weight.

    Sorry, I already have this square on my bingo sheet. Well, squares, really.

    There are some really pithy quotes from both Bertrand Russell and Einstein here one is tempted to cite, but why bother. Even if the experts do all agree, they can still be mistaken, and historically often have been. And this still is not an argument.

    As far as poincare cycles go — perhaps we fail to understand the consequences of nonlinear mixed positive and negative feedback and the manifest at least bistability if not multistability of the Earth’s climate system. Perhaps we should read a few of Koutsoyiannis’ papers on Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics, and meditate upon Bob Tisdale’s lovely graphs of SSTs advancing and retreating stepwise. Perhaps we also might note that small changes in atmospheric circulation patterns and cloud based albedo alone are sufficient to compensate for the extra forcing produced by CO_2. Finally, we might note that we have been hammered repeatedly over how the heating of the 1980s and 1990s was all due to the extra atmospheric CO_2 that began in the 50’s, and now here you are telling me that all of that heating was just 20-30% of the heating from the previous 30 years, if that, and then in 2000 it just stubbornly STOPPED in spite of the fact that atmospheric CO_2 continued to rise. How is this possible, one wonders? Why is it that the GCMs make GASTA predictions that continue to rise but the temperature stubbornly does not?

    If you argue that natural forcings are cancelling this predicted warming, then, well, we’re right back to poincare cycles and neglected causes in the models, which consistently underestimate the impact of natural variation BECAUSE they were all designed to make all of the warming in the 1980’s due to CO_2. Your own argument seems inconsistent. If it takes 50 odd years to see only half of the warming, then the warming we have seen so far has almost nothing to do with CO_2 (and in any event has paused for over a decade, consistent with a persistent cycle at least 170 years long). If it doesn’t, then it should be warming. Either way, it seems difficult to argue that the magnitude of the predicted warming and climate sensitivity are correct, and indeed there are scholarly papers that are busily reducing the sensitivity to better fit the new data.

    We just don’t know how MUCH they will have to reduce it if the current flat patch continues. It is down in AR5 from AR4, and down from AR5 given the more recent data, to around 2, which is barely amplified from the 1 to 1.5 expected from CO_2 alone. Sure, maybe it will suddenly start to warm and spike way up in GASTA next year. Or maybe not. At the moment, the behavior of the climate is not strongly supporting the predictions of catastrophe.

    rgb

  96. joeldshore says:

    tallbloke says:

    And we also observe that the rate of change of (de)glaciation correlates remarkabky well to changes in 65N Insolation as the Earth’s orbit changes shape and the the equinox precesses
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/ice-ages-driven-by-earth-orientation-changes-not-co2/

    “variations in summertime shortwave forcing exceed the direct CO2 radiative forcing by about a factor of five.” Roe 2006

    Unfortunately, your lack of understanding of the science is causing you to take some technical discussion and misinterpret it in a belief that it supports your position when it does not.

    You seem to be attacking a strawman version of the argument regarding CO2 and the glacial – interglacial cycles that goes something like this: “If we assume that CO2 is responsible for all of the change in temperature that occurs in these cycles, then that implies a climate sensitivity for CO2 in the IPCC range.”

    However, the actual argument is this:

    “As has been generally accepted since at least the mid-1970s, the glacial-interglacial transitions are initiated by Milankovitch cycles that redistribute the solar insolation over the Earth (without directly changing the global radiative forcing very much) in such a way that ice sheets grow and shrink and CO2 (& other greenhouse gas) levels change, although various details of exactly how this occurs are still being debated. The change in the ice sheet coverage and vegetation and the change in greenhouse gas levels then both contribute to a total global radiative forcing that can be estimated. (There is also understood to be a small contribution to forcing from changes in aerosol levels in the atmosphere.) Using this estimate of the total radiative forcing (of which only about 1/3 is due to changes in the level of CO2) and knowing the approximate global temperature change, the climate sensitivity can be calculated to be about 0.75 K per (W/m^2). Given the known forcing due to a doubling CO2, which essentially everbody, including Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer, agree is about 4 W/m^2 +/- 10%, one finds a climate sensitivity of about 3 C per CO2 doubling (with error bars of roughly 1 to 1.5 C in either direction).”

    The issue of the exact timing of the sequence of events in the case of these lacial glacial-intergcycles is still being debated, but has very limited relevance to the above argument. It is worth noting that Roe expresses just one opinion and a recent paper expressed a different opinion about the relative timing of the events: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6123/1060.short

    It is also worth noting that your out-of-context quote from Roe regarding the ratio of summertime shortwave forcing discusses variations in the local (in both space and time…i.e., seasonal) forcing and how they affect the initiation of the ice sheet growth or decay. It is not a discussion of the global radiative forcings and their effect on the average global temperature. That being said, as I already noted, it is generally agreed that the contribution to the global radiative forcing from CO2 is only roughly 1/3 of the total forcing, with the largest contribution coming from the albedo change due to the ice sheet growth and decay (and vegetation changes). [CO2 is, however, believed to play the important role of synchronizing the temperature change in the two hemispheres.]

    So, basically, you have cherrypicked one paper, ignoring others, and then badly misinterpreted it to try to support a view that it does not support.

  97. joeldshore says:

    John Who says:

    Interesting. The title of that article is “Climate Scientists Agree on Warming, Disagree on Dangers, and Don’t Trust the Media’s Coverage of Climate Change” and much of the article isn’t really at odds with the Petition Project statement “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

    You might want to read beyond the title. To summarize some of the main points:

    * 85% of the scientists surveyed believe global climate change will pose a very great danger or moderate danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years (with the split between very great and moderate being 41% and 45%, respectively); only 13% believe there is relatively little danger.

    * 64% find Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” to be very or somewhat reliable (with the breakdown being 26% and 38%, respectively). By contrast, only 1% rate Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” as being very reliable (they don’t say how many list it as somewhat reliable).

    It is also worth noting that although they tend to characterize this poll as representing the views of the climate scientists, it sounds like the survey methodology (of finding members of either APS or AGU) actually surveys a broader sample of geophysicists and meteorologists. Other surveys have shown that generally the more you narrow down the sample to actual climate scientists in the field, the more strongly they agree on the issue of climate change. For example, the survey as constructed would have likely interviewed some broadcast meteorologists, who are generally known to be more skeptical of AGW than those working more closely in the climate science field.

    Without seeing the exact wording of the questions, one should be skeptical of the results. That is, one with an open mind, anyway.

    I agree, which is why it is useful to read beyond the headline. It would be even more useful if they had a link to the exact survey questions and results, although I haven’t been able to find one.

    However, this seems like rather one-way skepticism if one is very skeptical of this scientific poll conducted by a reputable organization but not way, way more skeptical of a completely unscientific petition conducted by people who strongly worked to get a desired result.

    Other than replying the obvious; that you still are pretty ignorant regarding the science of climate change,

    And yet, I am way more knowledgeable than almost all signers by the sort of metrics that the petition organizers have discussed, such as having a PhD and being in a physical science / engineering field. I am sure I am also way, way more knowledgeable than almost all signers in terms of having read scientific papers in the climate science field and having read textbooks on atmospheric science and climate.

    Do you know whether one can ask to have their signature removed? Unless you are positive one can not, I would say your comment bears no weight.

    The point is not whether one could remove one’s signature with a lot of effort, but rather whether the fact that one signed something 15 years ago should be taken as evidence that one still holds the same view. I would imagine that many signers might have had their views evolve but have not bothered to try to get their name removed. (Many may not even remember that they signed it…Or even know what became of it.) How many? We have no way of knowing because no effort has been made to my knowledge to see how representative this is of current views of the signers.

  98. Seth:

    The policy is based upon the equivocation fallacy ( http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=7923 ).

    By the way, contrary to repeated utterances by rgbatduke, the IPCC climate models do not make predictions. They make projections. The appearance that they make predictions is created when people including rgbatduke conflate the two terms. By conflating them, they create a polysemic term from which they then draw improper conclusions via the equivocation fallacy.

  99. joeldshore says:

    tallbloke says:

    Well if that’s true then the cli-sci advocates and policy makers really do need a good kick up the backside. The optical properties of co2 in the lab belljar tell us nothing about its effect in the open atmosphere where it is 0.0004 of the mass and is hugely overwhelmed by the action of latent heat transfer through the convection of water vapour.

    Convection cannot get heat out of the atmosphere…only radiation can…and we know the limits of convection in equalizing temperature within the atmosphere, which are that it only operates until the lapse rate is reduced to the adiabatic lapse rate, beyond which the atmosphere is no longer unstable to convection.

    The only way that your friends Nikolov and Zeller were able to get convection cause the radiative greenhouse effect to disappear in a simple model of the greenhouse effect was to force the atmosphere to be driven to an unphysical state where the lapse rate is driven to zero. You naively defended this as being somehow irrelevant even though it is easy to show (and easy to read in a textbook!) that it is EXACTLY what is relevant, and that the silly little nitty numerical details of how one implements convection that Nikolov & Zeller claimed to by relevant are in fact what is completely irrelevant.

  100. JohnWho says:

    joeldshore says:
    October 17, 2013 at 8:05 am
    You might want to read beyond the title.

    I did and stated such in my previous reply. You should learn to read replies carefully before making ignorant remarks.

    Without seeing the exact wording of the questions, one should be skeptical of the results. That is, one with an open mind, anyway.
    I agree, which is why it is useful to read beyond the headline. It would be even more useful if they had a link to the exact survey questions and results, although I haven’t been able to find one.

    Then we agree here. Further, without knowing the exact wording and context of the survey questions the results can be considered useless.

    64% find Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” to be very or somewhat reliable (with the breakdown being 26% and 38%, respectively).
    That is enough right there to make one highly suspicious of the survey. There are so many misrepresentations, half-truths, and blatant false statements in “An Inconvenient Truth” that it should not be considered reliable overall at all. Since 64% said it was, this should make anyone wary of the use fullness of this entire survey. (I do not choose to enter a discussion of the problems with AIT – they are documented clearly on many websites.
    You are welcome to believe this survey, but I doubt if too many honest scientists would.

    However, this seems like rather one-way skepticism if one is very skeptical of this scientific poll conducted by a reputable organization but not way, way more skeptical of a completely unscientific petition conducted by people who strongly worked to get a desired result.

    Evidentially, you do know understand the difference between a biased survey or poll and a petition. Simply stated, a petition states “if you believe the above it true, are you willing to sign here?” Most people, including real scientists, value their name and signature and will only attach their signatures when they are willing to defend their stance.

    Other than replying the obvious; that you still are pretty ignorant regarding the science of climate change,
    And yet, I am way more knowledgeable than almost all signers by the sort of metrics that the petition organizers have discussed, such as having a PhD and being in a physical science / engineering field. I am sure I am also way, way more knowledgeable than almost all signers in terms of having read scientific papers in the climate science field and having read textbooks on atmospheric science and climate.

    In your mind, perhaps, but often what you display here, not so much. For example, see above – if you feel it is important to believe that Gore’s “AIT” is reliable, really, how knowledgeable on climate science can you be?

    Do you know whether one can ask to have their signature removed? Unless you are positive one can not, I would say your comment bears no weight.
    The point is not whether one could remove one’s signature with a lot of effort, but rather whether the fact that one signed something 15 years ago should be taken as evidence that one still holds the same view. I would imagine that many signers might have had their views evolve but have not bothered to try to get their name removed. (Many may not even remember that they signed it…Or even know what became of it.) How many? We have no way of knowing because no effort has been made to my knowledge to see how representative this is of current views of the signers.

    I would like it to be more current as well. However, if there is a method to remove one’s name, then your concern is unwarranted. If you go to the site, it does appear that one could still download the form and have one’s name added. I do not know either way. If anything though, my opinion would be that information and data on climate related matters since the Petition was originally started, would tend to solidify a signees position rather than give him or her pause to change their position.

  101. JohnWho says:

    @ Seth

    * Seth says:

    Yes, foolish when you first said:
    “Seth says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:08 am
    The Oregon Petition includes fictional names,..”

    And then said:
    Seth says:
    October 16, 2013 at 5:32 am
    Some of the fake names that were in the petition:

    You’ve shown to us all that you were wrong by admitting that the fake names have been removed.

    The point is that there is no vetting on the names,…

    Where are you getting this information. The Petition Project website clearly states the manner in which they verified each signature.

    I’m not sure why showing that the system is flawed is foolish. I can only suspect motivated reasoning. But for any honest person, the powerful fact that it was accompanied by a fraudulent paper would be strong enough evidence to distance them self from it. You should be embarrassed to defend it. It embarrassed me to see it mentioned, and I don’t even associate my intellectual position with theirs: It’s embarrassing that it was done by humans.

    Only embarrassment I’m experiencing is that I’m actually engaged in a conversation with you.

    Your assertion that the Petition was accompanied by a fraudulent paper assumes facts not in evidence.

  102. Chris R. says:

    The predictions mentioned were from 1851 forward to 1975. It’s striking
    that for that period, the result of a ‘no-trend’ model results in much
    smaller errors than IPCC-endorsed models.

    Now, someone needs to help me out here. I believe that it was stated
    somewhere that 1975 was the beginning of the era in which CO2 began
    to dominate global temperature trends. Can someone point me to the
    source of this assertion?

  103. joeldshore says:

    Chris R says:

    The predictions mentioned were from 1851 forward to 1975. It’s striking
    that for that period, the result of a ‘no-trend’ model results in much
    smaller errors than IPCC-endorsed models.

    Your statement is not correct. They did not show that the “predictions” for the IPCC-endorsed models were worse than no trend. What they showed is that a prediction of a trend of 0.03 C per year, which is what the IPCC is predicting for the average trend (in some medium range emissions scenario) ****for the period 1990-2100****, performed worse over the 1851 to 2007 period than no trend.

    Or, in other words, they are saying that because the temperature did not rise by anywhere near 4.8 C between 1851 and 2007 (and hence that the rise during that time period was much closer to 0 than to 4.8 C), the IPCC models don’t perform well.

    If this argument makes no sense to you, that is because it indeed is a silly argument. They have demolished a straw man that nobody would endorse. The IPCC has never claimed that the temperatures rose anywhere near 4.8 C between 1851 and 2007.

    Now, someone needs to help me out here. I believe that it was stated somewhere that 1975 was the beginning of the era in which CO2 began to dominate global temperature trends. Can someone point me to the source of this assertion?

    I am not sure exactly where you can find it stated as such. Certainly, the levels of CO2 before that were having some effect. However, that does seem to roughly mark a point where the effect of CO2 became consistently larger than the negative radiative effect of aerosol pollutants and also was large enough to generally dominate over any natural variations (over some long enough period of time that the year-to-year variability is not a dominating factor).

  104. joeldshore says:

    Actually, there is is a contradiction between what their paper says they did (10,750 forecasts) and what they say they did in this blog post (7550 forecasts). If you believe their former number, then they allowed their forecasts from each year to go from 1 to 100 years, but no further than 2007 (since that was the last year that they had verification data for). If you believe their latter number, then they only allowed their forecasts to go out to 1975.

    So, it is not even clear if the data from 1975 on was included in evaluating the models. But, of course, this makes little difference since everyone agrees that the trend per year even averaged over the period 1851 to 2007 would be nowhere near 0.03 C per year. Needless to say, the average trend for the period from 1851 to 1975 would be smaller still!

    I think very few people who are touting this paper actually understand just how ridiculous their comparison was. It is sort of an exercise in how totally idiotic an argument can be and still be uncritically accepted by people who want to believe it!

  105. JohnWho says:

    ” It is sort of an exercise in how totally idiotic an argument can be and still be uncritically accepted by people who want to believe it!”

    A brief, but adequate, description of the CAGW by CO2 concept.

    Thanks.

  106. joeldshore says:

    JohnWho says:

    A brief, but adequate, description of the CAGW by CO2 concept.

    Owww…Burn on me! Good way to avoid providing a substantive defense of an indefensible piece of work. Maybe others won’t notice.

  107. JohnWho says:

    Serious comment @ Joeldshore –

    If you applied the same level of skepticism toward, say, the article/survey you and I have discussed above that you seem to be doing toward the Petition Project, you would demonstrate a somewhat reasonable and rational capability.

    I look at the Petition Project and feel that the accompanying literature that was sent out shouldn’t have had much effect on the bottom line of whether a “scientist” would affix his or her signature to the petition. Either one believed the following when they signed it:

    “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gasses would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    (From http://www.petitionproject.org/ )

    or one does not believe it and does not sign it.

    A small amount of accompanying literature should not be enough to change the mind of a person who has demonstrated the ability to research and analyze information and data, either in the discipline of “climate science” or any other. Signers are putting their names and reputations on the petition and I doubt if any of them did this lightly.

    On the other hand, you agree that we do not know what the questions were in this survey – http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html – and yet you are willing to accept the results without question.

    Seriously, you have fallen for totally idiotic arguments and you are uncritically accepting them because you want to believe them.

    I’m not going to waste any further time discussing this with you.

  108. dbstealey says:

    JohnWho,

    Very good comment.

    Don’t waste your time with Joel Shore, who is only a small time political ideologue covered by a thin veneer of pseudo-science. He has no credibility. As you point out, he accepts the climate alarmist view because he wants to believe it, not because there is scientific evidence supporting it. Because there is no such evidence. None at all. AGW is an evidence-free conjecture.

    You are correct that thirty thousand scientists and engineers would not have signed the OISM petition lightly. It took courage to take such a stand. Therefore, they meant it when they co-signed the statement that there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. That is an unequivocal statement. They also stated that in addition to being harmless, CO2 is, on balance, beneficial.

    It takes no courage whatever for someone like joelshore to ride the grant gravy train, while being employed by the climate addled .edu system. Rather, it would take courage to oppose the group-think.

  109. joeldshore says:

    I said:

    Actually, there is is a contradiction between what their paper says they did (10,750 forecasts) and what they say they did in this blog post (7550 forecasts). …

    So, it is not even clear if the data from 1975 on was included in evaluating the models.

    Actually, it is clear once I read their paper more closely. The paper considers several different scenarios and the one discussed in this blog piece is indeed the one that only used data until 1975!

    Basically, the more closely one looks into this, the more pathetically ridiculous it gets! It is worth revisiting tallbloke’s comment that get me into this morass:

    Now, Joel, rather than engaging in your usual warmist smear tactics, why don’t you discuss the scientific content of the post. Or is that too much to ask?

    Now that I have evaluated the scientific content, I can safely say that it is much worse than I ever imagined. I suppose these exercises are worthwhile to do every once in a while just to remind oneself of how bad the scientific arguments are that are accepted uncritically by many “skeptics” here.

  110. Chris R.:

    The term “prediction” has several meanings. What do you mean by this term?

  111. Shawnhet says:

    Joel, you make some good points in regard to the paper presented above (I pretty much agree with you) but I wish your same level of skepticism to the GCMs. It is pretty much undeniable that the central estimates of ~95% of all the temperature trends in the satellite era (when we have the best records globally) are too high. Too often, the pro-consensus folks just ignore these inconvenient truths.

    What is it that the better performing models do that the worse performing ones don’t? Why is it that strongest proponents of the use of models almost never express any interest in this question? I am pretty sure that if took a look at the forcing estimates and other feedback parameters in the 20 warmest models and compare them to the same for the 20 most accurate ones we would get some interesting information.

    I guess this would be my biggest problem with the models is that when you get right down to it – even their proponents don’t seem to have any faith in a model individually, they only have faith in the ensemble of models after being averaged together in a big amorphous mess. If individual models had value as scientific hypotheses, they could stand on their own and not need to have their results hidden amongst a bunch of its (sometimes very different) cousins.

    Cheers, :)

  112. joeldshore says:

    Shawnhet: This sort of thing is being done: http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov/cmip5/

    CMIP5 – Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 – Overview

    CMIP5 promotes a standard set of model simulations in order to:
    * evaluate how realistic the models are in simulating the recent past,
    * provide projections of future climate change on two time scales, near term (out to about 2035) and long term (out to 2100 and beyond), and
    * understand some of the factors responsible for differences in model projections, including quantifying some key feedbacks such as those involving clouds and the carbon cycle

  113. joeldshore says:

    And, here you can see the various publications that have come out of the CMIP5 project: http://cmip.llnl.gov/cmip5/publications/allpublications

  114. joeldshore says:

    JohnWho says:

    That is enough right there to make one highly suspicious of the survey. There are so many misrepresentations, half-truths, and blatant false statements in “An Inconvenient Truth” that it should not be considered reliable overall at all. Since 64% said it was, this should make anyone wary of the use fullness of this entire survey. (I do not choose to enter a discussion of the problems with AIT – they are documented clearly on many websites.
    You are welcome to believe this survey, but I doubt if too many honest scientists would.

    I think this reveals a lot…Basically, the survey doesn’t get the results that you think it should; therefore, the survey is wrong.

    Nevermind that it was conducted by a reputable polling firm and one that is affiliated with a university that is generally known to be amongst the most conservative / libertarian schools in the nation. (See, e.g., http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/George_Mason_University and http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/09/01/309543/americas-top-5-most-conservative-colleges/ ), in fact the school where Edward Wegman and Pat Michaels are and S. Fred Singer used to be.

    Nevermind that this is just one of many pieces of evidence that you ignore that point to the idea that you are out-of-touch with the views of the scientific community:

    (1) The IPCC continues to reach the conclusions that it does regarding AGW.

    (2) These conclusions continue to be supported by the relevant major scientific societies, including the NAS and the corresponding societies in all the G8+5 nations, as well as the Councils of the AGU, APS, AMS.

    (3) Scientists, like Michael Mann, who you guys have demonized and claim are totally discredited, continue to win awards from their scientific peers.

    How much longer can you guys continue to believe that every scientific survey is biased, that every council of the major scientific societies has been taken over by people who don’t represent their members, …? Is there any point at which the cognitive dissonance becomes too large to bear?

  115. Shawnhet says:

    joeldshore says:
    October 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Thanks for the links. There’s a lot of stuff there I’m sure. I was hoping you could point me to what progress has been made on the following:

    “* understand some of the factors responsible for differences in model projections, including quantifying some key feedbacks such as those involving clouds and the carbon cycle ”

    Because frankly, to me, the fact that we still include such a wide number of models that are way off the actual observed behavior suggests to me that very little progress has been made on that issue at all. I may be missing something here but I wouldn’t think it would be a terribly difficult process to lay out the relevant parameters of each GCM and see which ones have the better long-term track record and which have the worse. We can then adjust our long-term forecasts accordingly.

    I could talk some more on this but I don’t want to take this thread any further OT.

    Cheers, :)

  116. Brian H says:

    Shawnhet;
    I wonder, decade to decade of projections, whether the “best performing” models don’t change randomly. At any point, some few are bound to be less erroneous than the rest. But can they maintain it?

  117. Shawnhet says:

    Brian H,

    I would think, personally that some(or maybe all) models just have too high a climate sensitivity so over time they will get further and further from the observed results. For the ones that are reasonably close, you are right (I’m sure) that some of those are just lucky. If all of those are just getting lucky, they won’t be able to maintain it for too long.

    I do think that we should have enough information to start ruling out the ones that are off by the most in any case even if we can’t tell if any of them will be left standing at the end of the day.

    Cheers, :)

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