Heidi Cullen's "weather is not climate" moment before congress

Dr. Heidi Cullen testifies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. The nametag is for the person to her right.

I’ve read a number of the testimonies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment yesterday. It had a number of excellent presentations, and you can watch the entire video here.

One presentation made me chuckle though, and that’s the one from Dr. Heidi Cullen.

It was probably the most lightweight presentation of all of them, and was mostly a history lesson combined with overused and well known talking points. It was a bit like watching An Inconvenient Truth. For example, does her Climate Central graphical treatment of the Keeling CO2 curve (at left) make it impart the information to viewer any better than the original?

When I was in TV news, it was called “swish”. “We need more swish on that.” i.e. “we need to add some bling and sound effects because the viewer has the attention span of a gnat and if we don’t make it pretty they’ll change the channel”. Yeah, in retrospect, maybe that works with Congress too.

One of her statements though, made me bust out laughing. It’s a prime candidate for Quote of the Week but I’ve already named one this week.

Here’s what she had to say:

And the urgency is that the longer we wait, the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.

Is it just me, or do you all get the impression the Dr. Cullen really doesn’t understand the differentiations of weather and climate?

Weather has always been in climate, it doesn’t suddenly appear “in climate” based on some imagined metric or maxim. It’s always “been there”, not the inverse.The Merriam Webster dictionary says:

I could forgive her if this was an off the cuff poorly considered ad-libbed remark under pressure before congress, but she wrote this ahead of time. This is just nutty thinking.

She adds:

We are currently in a race against our own ability to intuitively trust what the science is telling us, assess the risks of global warming, and predict future impacts. So when we look at a climate forecast out to 2100 and see significantly warmer temperatures (both average and extreme) and sea level three feet higher, we need to assess the risk as well as the different solutions necessary to prevent it from happening. The challenge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, replace our energy infrastructure and adapt to the warming already in the pipeline.

Three feet huh? Okay, let’s run the numbers. Here’s the satellited measure University of Colorado Sea level graph from our WUWT ENSO/Sea Level/Sea Surface Temperature Page

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global_sm.jpg

Let’s see, at the current rate of 3.1 mm per year, with 90 years remaining, we’ll have 279 mm (0.91 feet) by the year 2100. And of course, if we get some changes in ocean patterns, AMO, PDO, etc, we might very well see a lower rate. Or, it could be higher, but even being generous, and doubling that rate, gives only 1.82 feet.

Scary huh?If I lived on the coast, I’d worry more about hurricanes and strong ocean storms than I would sea level changes. And, what will coastal development look like in 100 years? Who knows? People 100 years ago certainly couldn’t predict what our coastal development would look like today. In fact, who could have predicted that Australia might consider banning coastal development due to such overblown fears?

But, it is often unreported that we’ve had sea level rise all through American history. Of all the talk about sea level rise, it is interesting to point out that at least in Boston, man has easily outraced the sea. The worry about sea level is real, but the ability of man to adapt is clearly illustrated in the comparative maps. See here: The rubbish is coming! One if by land, two if by sea

You can read her entire testimony here: Cullen_Testimony_10-17-2010

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135 thoughts on “Heidi Cullen's "weather is not climate" moment before congress

  1. I watched the event live beginning from Lindzen’s testimony to the very end and, yes, Cullen’s performance was the lightest of them all. Frankly, the only question that popped into my mind as she made her case was what she was doing there. That’s a fair question, I believe, considering how readily CAGW cultists dismissed Anthony Watts as a mere “TV wheatherman”.

  2. Heidi Cullen? Why didn’t they just ask Paris Hilton to testify? I’m sure the input would be just as meaningful.

  3. Bjorn Lomborg says it well in Cool It. Imagine asking and old lady in AD2000 what she regarded as the most important developments in the 20th century. She might mention the two world wars, the rise and fall of communism, the invention of TV and computers, the WWW, etc etc. But you can bet she would never add, ‘and, oh yes, sea levels rose by about a foot’.

  4. The last IPCC-Report 2007 claims that there are important differences between weather and climate, by saying that:
    ”A common confusion between weather and climate arises when scientists are asked how they can predict climate 50 years from now when they cannot predict the weather a few weeks from now. The chaotic nature of weather makes it unpredictable beyond a few days.
    ___Projecting changes in climate (i.e., long-term average weather) due to changes in atmospheric composition or other factors is a very different and much more manageable issue.
    ___As an analogy, while it is impossible to predict the age at which any particular man will die, we can say with high confidence that the average age of death for men in industrialised countries is about 75.”
    The text is from the section FAQ 1.2 : “What is the Relationship between Climate Change and Weather?”, and obviously intended to create the impression that ‘climate science’ is more reliable than weather forecasting. Is this impression wrong? More at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/

  5. I live in N E Alabama. I remember when Ms. Cullen recommended the desertification of any skeptical meteorologists. My thoughts then and now are that science is based on questions. Our good scientists are supposed to be skeptical, if they cease to ask questions, look at other options, opinions, or studies they cease to be scientists and become advocates. Ms. Cullen isn’t a scientist any longer. But by her actions and statements in opposition to the scientific method and the use of threat of sanctions to deny voice to opposing view, opinions, and studies assings to herself the roll of biased advocate.
    Her thoughts haven’t changed even with nearly a decade of conflicting data. Perhaps she should be calling for more freedom to those that are independently studing the climate/weather. After all climate is the result of long term weather and long term weather is the definition of climate. She may have to look back farther than her own memory.
    Just my humble opinion for what it is worth. (not much)
    Bill Derryberry

  6. “against our own ability to intuitively trust what the science is telling us,”
    ======================================================
    fail
    and that’s the problem they have, our intuition is telling us this is all BS……..

  7. I take back what I said about Dr. Curry. A real scientist can make some sense even when speaking in Marxist jargon. A moonbat can’t make sense no matter what language they try to use. Does Dr. Cullen’s brain function?

  8. What incoherent nonsense. Time for a joke.
    Three blonde eco-zealous atmospheric scientists were walking through the forest when they came upon a set of tracks.
    The first blonde said, “Those are deer tracks. Worse, it must be ill or dying, just look at the way it is dragging its feet. A sure sign of Global Warming damage to the ecosystem.”
    The second blonde said, “No, those are polar bear tracks. And it is much worse than anyone thought – polar bears should not even be around these parts at all! This is a sure sign that the ice caps are melting and destroying their habitat.”
    The third blonde said, “You’re both wrong, those tracks are too straight to be anything but a couple of alligators dragging their long tails. It is way worse than we ever thought. Alligators have never been seen this far North! A sure sign we are all doomed!”
    Well in the end, it turns out that the third blonde was right because the three blondes were still arguing when the train hit them.

  9. They should follow up the hearings with a panel discussion on NPR with Heidi, Al Gore, Tina Fey, Bono, DiCaprio, and Paris Hilton, so they won’t use all those “high-falutin'” big words the scientists use that just confuse the average NPR listener. It would have to be quick, since their limos will be outside idling.
    On second thought, they could probably memorize the science jargon—maybe even with an English accent??

  10. ArndB says: “The last IPCC-Report 2007 claims that there are important differences between weather and climate, by saying that…Projecting changes in climate (i.e., long-term average weather) due to changes in atmospheric composition or other factors is a very different and much more manageable issue. As an analogy, while it is impossible to predict the age at which any particular man will die, we can say with high confidence that the average age of death for men in industrialised countries is about 75.”
    False analogy. FAIL.

  11. I’ve always thought of it as, weather is what happens, climate is what we remember.
    To project this as looking forward, we’d have to say something like, we will have to have warmer weather so our children remember a warmer climate.
    BUT, since the weather anomalies (pick your favorite time frame) we’ve seen can be attributed to stalled high/low pressure systems, the weather isn’t warmer or colder, its just different from our expectation…

  12. Here’s a little something I found on the web:
    External Committee Member (2001-) [for] Heidi Cullen, Ph.D. 2001: external committee member, Columbia University, 2000-01
    Okay, your assignment is to guess who this external committee member was.

  13. jorgekafkazar says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Well said..
    I always remember this example of false analogy (below) from my college logic textbook. (PS. I wonder if Aristotelian logic is taught any more in any schools?):
    Employees are like nails. Just as nails must be hit in the head in order to make them work, so must employees.
    The fallacy stated by Hypothetical Heidi is, more precisely called a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter; “in English, called the converse accident, or arguing from the qualified to the general, whereupon an acceptable exception is simplified or eliminated.

  14. Ms Cullen produced a segment for The News Hour last year:
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/environment/jan-june09/georgiacoal_05-19.html
    Here’s an excerpt:
    HEIDI CULLEN:…Laura Devendorf lives on the coast, some 40 miles south of Savannah. She’s starting to see change, too.
    LAURA DEVENDORF, Sunbury, Georgia: We’re worried about sea level rise, indeed. I think everyone on the coast is. You can just sit there and see the tides getting bigger.

    NOAA reports the following from the Ft Pulaski gauging station:
    The mean sea level trend is 2.98 mm/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.33 mm/year based on monthly mean sea level data from 1935 to 2006 which is equivalent to a change of 0.98 feet in 100 years.
    Check it for yourself at:
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml
    Ms. Cullen’s authoritative sources must have remarkable vision.

  15. jorgekafkazar says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:56 am
    yes – of course it’s a false analogy – thats why the IPCC used it!

  16. This adds to the golden archive:
    “i feel global warming when flying a plane, you know, that instability”
    “if too many people, Guam could tip over”
    “climate will creep into weather and stay there”

  17. “against our own ability to intuitively trust what the science is telling us,”
    Intuitively trust. Translation – Have faith brother. Halleluiah!

  18. Anthony:
    I get the impression, in terms of analogy, that she regards weather as a healthy organism, and the climate as a flu virus.
    Its like saying that my handkerchief is made of atoms and the handkerchief is the cloth that will work its way into the atoms to change them. For good. (!)
    Actually… living organism: My cat is realising its own demise for working its way into its own cells and molecules. Yes. Luxor, my cat is changing his own DNA just by being Luxor

  19. It looks as if any doctorate this person has – is probably an honorary one (?) – because there is no way a basically (graduate?) educated scientist could produce that kind of carefully composed diarrhoea! (unless of course being paid to write it? – but that denounces the possibility of being a real scientist also!)

  20. P Wilson says:
    November 18, 2010 at 10:47 am
    Yes, they are fraught with tautologies and not afraid to state them!

  21. So when we look at a climate forecast out to 2100 and see significantly warmer temperatures (both average and extreme) and sea level three feet higher…

    3 mm/yr X 90 yr = 270 mm = 10.6 in… <1 ft
    3 ft = 914.4 mm
    914.4 mm / 90 yr = 10. 2 mm/yr
    When was the last time sea level rose for 90 years at an average rate of at least 10 mm/yr ?
    It was back when this was going on.

  22. Bill in Vigo says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am
    “assings to herself the roll of biased advocate.”
    Best, and most appropos, typo all day!

  23. To be very generous, perhaps she meant to say that climate regimes have some influence or set some bounds on the types of weather that occur within them? For example, you’re unlikely to have many tornado-generating supercell thunderstorms in the Canadian maritime provinces because that climate regime is cool and wet rather than a place where cool/dry air masses collide with warm/moist masses.

  24. Your linear trend estimate of sea level rise assumes the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers are stable. Recent evidence suggests otherwise. But you know that.
    REPLY: Which is why I also cited a doubling, and its still not 3 feet whether you believe the Greenland/Antarctic worry or not. -A

  25. I found her appearance and testimony truly inspirational !
    After all, if she was able to obtain a PhD, in a scientific field no less, and even be granted an audience before Congress, well . . . why can’t I !!! In fact, I’ll bet anybody can !
    I’m sure it’s a lot tougher than growing up to be president too; I mean, Obama did that…………………………

  26. After seeing the tortured interrogation of Dr Lindzen I must’ve becoming deaf and must’ve fantasized the beginning because I distinctly heard them say that it was supposed to be about the facts, as in getting down and dirty with the evidence.
    All I heard was mostly gibberish and gobbledygook of demagogue based rhetoric, conjecture and even stuff that sounded pretty much made up on the fly or otherwise bad after-the-fact constructions of too hurried defense.
    Where was Dr. Meehl’s facts? I heard here saying there was facts, i.e. evidence, she was referencing it in an overly generalized manner like there plenty of evidence. Yes but where? If she knows where it’s at, then why did she forget to bring it with?
    The two hippies flanking Dr Lindzen where was their facts and supposed evidence? Did they also forget to bring it with? Even though that’s why they where there in the first place.
    If them hobnob climate religious fanatics don’t want to politicize the issue then why on earth do they keep behaving like politician and religious cultists with their generalizing and vague crap?

  27. Kev-in-UK says: “It looks as if any doctorate this person has – is probably an honorary one (?) – because there is no way a basically (graduate?) educated scientist could produce that kind of…”
    “…B.S. Engineering/Pperations Research, Columbia University, New York
    Doctorate in Climatology and Ocean-atmosphere Dynamics, The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
    Interests & Hobbies: I love animals and have 2 dogs and a cat, all rescues. The dogs are a herding breed called Bouviers. My new hobby is sheep-herding! The dogs and I are taking lessons. Someday I’d love to have a big sheep farm and help foster and train rescue dogs….I’ve waited tables in the Poconos (I actually served Regis Philbin a cup of coffee once)…I was a religion minor in college and seriously considered attending Union Theological Seminary…”
    I’d love for you to have that sheep farm, too!
    http://www.weather.com/tv/personalities/Dr-Heidi-Cullen.html

  28. Actually this doesn’t surprise me at all. For years now I’ve been simply astounded at the lightweights in climate science publishing wildly speculative papers based on the flimsiest of data that would have the toughest time getting to print in most other scientific disciplines. She appears to be pretty standard for climate science, not at all the low end. It must be the easiest branch of science to score a doctorate. You only need to say the “right things” and produce data that can be argued, twisted, bent somehow to support the so-called consensus.

  29. “…climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.”
    This made me laugh! I keep picturing a climate blob with it’s suitcases packed, taking the train into the weather blog and unpacking.
    Was she speaking to Congress or 1st graders? We’re supposed to prevent climate from becoming weather? Huh?
    I’m a science lay person but even I could tell she was full of it.

  30. “We are currently in a race against our own ability to intuitively trust what the science is telling us,”
    They are in a race. A race to get laws and regulations passed before the science proves them wrong.

  31. HEIDI CULLEN:…Laura Devendorf lives on the coast, some 40 miles south of Savannah. She’s starting to see change, too.
    ==============================================
    Wonder if they are both blond
    Laura is seeing erosion/weathering, and Heidi is reporting it as global warming
    But then, no one would expect Heidi to get her facts straight

  32. What do you expect from The Weather Channel’s big ‘Climate” expert.
    I remember her comment that people who didn’t believe in human caused global warming were not scientists. She then noted the support she received from such notable scientist/climatologists as Ted Turner, Richard Branson – I believe there was another, but unfortunately, I can’t recall (or find) the name of the third ‘expert’ she mentioned.
    TWC canceled her but not her ‘science’.

  33. ArndB says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am
    The last IPCC-Report 2007 claims that there are important differences between weather and climate, by saying that:
    ”A common confusion between weather and climate arises when scientists are asked how they can predict climate 50 years from now when they cannot predict the weather a few weeks from now. The chaotic nature of weather makes it unpredictable beyond a few days.
    ___Projecting changes in climate (i.e., long-term average weather) due to changes in atmospheric composition or other factors is a very different and much more manageable issue.
    ___As an analogy, while it is impossible to predict the age at which any particular man will die, we can say with high confidence that the average age of death for men in industrialised countries is about 75.”
    The text is from the section FAQ 1.2 : “What is the Relationship between Climate Change and Weather?”, and obviously intended to create the impression that ‘climate science’ is more reliable than weather forecasting. Is this impression wrong? More at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/.
    The analogy between life expectancy and climate would hold if the people who maintain birth and death certificates were allowed to manipulate the numbers of past births and present deaths to make the trend match their projections.

  34. HEIDI CULLEN:…Laura Devendorf lives on the coast, some 40 miles south of Savannah. She’s starting to see change, too.
    LAURA DEVENDORF, Sunbury, Georgia: We’re worried about sea level rise, indeed. I think everyone on the coast is. You can just sit there and see the tides getting bigger.

    Oh, my! That is so incredible at so many levels.

  35. “And the urgency is that the longer we wait, the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.”
    Uhhh…ummmm…NO! I can do it! This is too easy. Why do they make it so easy???
    ArndB says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am
    “The last IPCC-Report 2007 claims that there are important differences between weather and climate…”
    The reason the IPCC state misleading analogies here is because they are afraid to actually look at the differential equations their GCMs are actually solving…

  36. Oops…that should be…
    “Uhhh…ummmm…NO! I can’t do it! This is too easy. Why do they make it so easy???”
    (I still will refrain on commenting about Dr. (!) Heidi Cullen’s inane statement…)

  37. Well Anthony, I would credit Dr Heidi Cullen for coming up with what is perhaps a definitive dictionary definition of Gobbledegook.
    She gives dumb blondes a bad name !

  38. Heidi Cullen said that any meteorologist who is skeptical about CAGW should not be permitted to work as a meteorologist. This should be pointed out in any post about her and she should have been interrogated about that statement when she spoke to congress. Heidi’s statement was profoundly unscientific, totalitarian, and un-American.

  39. One of the problems of higher education is that by the time one is awarded a doctorate degree any ability one once had to communicate clearly has been badgered to death. A few people survive and a few more manage to unlearn the principles of “piled higher and deeper” (aka Ph. D.).
    Let’s look at Dr. Heidi Cullen’s remark:
    And the urgency is that the longer we wait, the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.
    TRANSLATION:
    Earth’s temperature is warming and that will cause serious weather disturbances. Now is the time to prevent this.

  40. “”””” RockyRoad says:
    November 18, 2010 at 11:10 am
    Climate = ∫ weather “”””
    I agree with you Rocky.
    And a recommendation to Dr Cullen; why not submit your testimony text for the Bullwer-Lytton Prize; looks like a sure winner to me.

  41. You quoted Heidi Cullen as saying,
    “the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.”
    I notice the reference to “the pipeline” and I am reminded of the “heating in the pipeline” which has been said to be awaiting an auspicious moment to manifest itself, and I wonder if Ms Cullen has made “heat” and “climate” synonymous terms in her own mind, so that what she meant was to propose that heat is working its way down the pipeline and into the weather, where it will remain for good. Of course, using the word heat would have made it obvious that the remaining in the weather for good part of the proposition is highly improbable, while using the word climate allows one to “intuitively trust” that the ensuing badness will be permanent. It’s an exercise in reasoning by connotation rather than denotation.

  42. George E. Smith says:
    November 18, 2010 at 11:45 am
    She gives dumb blondes a bad name !
    ====================================
    Heidi isn’t a real blond….
    ,,,that makes it even scarier

  43. does her Climate Central graphical treatment of the Keeling CO2 curve (at left) make it impart the information to viewer any better than the original?
    In a sense, it might. The original conveys the information, Dr. Cullen’s version with a yellow line on a black background conveys a warning, like the yellow and black of a hornet or bee. The key is that she is not trying to show the increase as much as she is attempting to make us fear the increase. My old stats prof would call her version “chart junk”

  44. “…the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.”
    Different pipes go to different places!

    There’s a Seinfeld episode for everything. 🙂

  45. Once the atmospheric increase in CO2 is affecting the weather, it is there for good.
    “Climate” is not more correct than “weather” in that sentence.
    Climate is a average of weather. CO2 affects the climate by affecting the weather.
    (As does every other thing that affects the climate)
    REPLY:CO2 affects the climate by affecting the weather. Uh no, you have it wrong. It’s about equilibrium. And the CO2 warming effect is not linear, and we have most of it already -A

  46. Her statement doesn’t make me laugh, it just makes me do a squishy face, like receiving some strange, foul tasting meal that you can’t figure out why it is in front of you. Anyway, Cullen was never quite the scientist, she is just a media person.

  47. I follow up any data that I can find relating to sea/ocean levels. Of course, the trends I find are very similar to those that are published by the great and good, and which we’ve seen in diagrams here. Dave Middleton’s post (11.00 today) sets out the simple and obvious arithmetic derived from one example of the AGW community’s projected levels at around 2100, with an annual average sea level rise of about 10mm required to meet their projection. He and others have contrasted it with what has actually been recorded over long time periods (around 3 mm per year).
    The questions I would like to put to any alarmists I might meet is “Exactly when do you expect to see a dramatic increase in the rate of sea level rise?” If it isn’t very soon then the catch-up to reach 900mm by 2100 is going to very spectacular indeed. Sadly, I’ll not be around ten years hence, so I’ll miss all the jollity. It would be nice to see a projected plot, drawn by AGWers, of sea levels over the next 10 years. I know it’s much more difficult than projecting for 90 years, but must be worth a try. (Joke?)
    Come on AGW enthusiasts, lay some money on the line, and tell us that the rate in 2020 will be 12mm per year (or some such value).

  48. Enneagram says:
    November 18, 2010 at 11:42 am
    Today it was announced the first case of Cholera in the US……Either it is a case of Global Warming or poverty….

    First case since….?
    Cholera came to North America, US and Canada, in the early 1830’s. I suppose that since we were coming out of the LIA, cholera could have been blamed on GW.

  49. Has anyone reading this any idea how Dr. Cullen could have gotten through two bouts of Columbia without getting a better grasp?

  50. This kind of thing is to be expected when someone teethes on the “weather isn’t climate” meme for too long. Still, it’s an interesting example of how a questionable argument can induce progressive thought disorder.

  51. She said, referring to global warming “we need to assess the risk as well as the different solutions necessary to prevent it from happening. She could have just as well replaced the word solutions with models.
    It is too bad land elevation data is not available from before and after the last ice age.

  52. j ferguson says:
    November 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
    Has anyone reading this any idea how Dr. Cullen could have gotten through two bouts of Columbia without getting a better grasp?
    =======================================================
    That question is way too loaded!

  53. j ferguson says:
    November 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
    Has anyone reading this any idea how Dr. Cullen could have gotten through two bouts of Columbia without getting a better grasp?

    Some people who get a PhD are intelligent, others… not so much.

  54. __Projecting changes in climate (i.e., long-term average weather) due to changes in atmospheric composition or other factors is a very different and much more manageable issue.

    The implication in this statement seems to be that the climate is not chaotic. I find that difficult to believe. Orbital perturbations, changes in the sun’s output, volcanic eruptions, radioactive decay in the earth’s core, cosmic rays, asteroid strikes, cow farts, burning of fuels… Seems pretty chaotic to me, but a much longer time span is needed to detect it.

    ___As an analogy, while it is impossible to predict the age at which any particular man will die, we can say with high confidence that the average age of death for men in industrialised countries is about 75.”

    But can we say with confidence what the average age of death will be 100 years from now? Of course not, and neither can we say with confidence what the climate will be in 100 years.

  55. As far I am concerned, there is no problem with the difference to make between weather and climate. (Crime is crime rates that are weather events to climate. Crime rates and climate are both statistical concepts.) But it seems to me that there is a real confusion between the concepts of climate and climate system. Here are their respective definitions:
    Climate: […] the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation. (Source – tanks to Antony: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/climate)
    Climate system: The system consisting of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, determining the Earth’s climate as the result of mutual interactions and responses to external influences (forcing). Physical, chemical, and biological processes are involved in interactions among the components of the climate system.(Source: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11175&page=200 .)
    So there is a clear cut distinction between these two concepts. Did Dr. Cullen use the word “climate” to mean “climate system”? If yes, then there is still confusion. What she (probably) meant is that modification in climate system implies modification in climate which implies, on the empirical ground of every day life, concrete and perceptible weather changes on the short to long run (nobody can make precise what this means by operational criteria). On the other hand, there is a similar confusion, I think, in this recent post of Roger Pielke Sr. on his blog: http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/the-perpetuation-of-climate-misunderstandings-by-the-u-s-house-of-representatives-subcommitee-on-energy-and-environment/
    P.S.: (1) Excuse my English; (2) I am still trying to understand Climate Science…

  56. Richard:
    Today’s paper told me that scientist have just isolated a super statin drug that just may increase lifespan by a decade or so, so who knows how long we’ll have Ms. Cullen to curry favor from.

  57. That redistributive IPCC quote is, you note, featured by the GWPF. Glad to see it’s on the job.
    So far, just read the opening statement by Brian Baird. Chock-a-block with presumptuous cAGW assumptions. I hope he felt shafted and betrayed by the end of the session …

  58. And we are amused (or bemused) by this why?
    What amuses me, is that anyone here @ WUWT is – amused? Surprised? Corrective? about Cullen’s statement. How many people, including so-called scientist, think “climate” exists? That “climate” can do something? That “climate” has an effect? And does not the statement, “weather is not climate” buy into climate being “something” separate from weather? Only a child would seriously say something as silly as, “A is not B” when A exists but B does not, except maybe in their imagination. And it further amuses and astounds me that supposedly intelligent adults can convert, what is no more than a mathematical byproduct (climate) into something real.

  59. OMG! That’s her. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found her testimony hilarious. At times, she was spewing incomprehensible phrases together like silly putty. I could not stop laughing. I have to admit, at times I was very perplexed by what I was seeing. But that just made it funnier.

  60. j ferguson says: “Has anyone reading this any idea how Dr. Cullen could have gotten through two bouts of Columbia without getting a better grasp?”
    Here’s one clew: Michael Mann was on her thesis committee.

  61. She says:
    “…The challenge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, replace our energy infrastructure and adapt to the warming already in the pipeline…”
    Heidi’s got “pipelines” on the brain
    By “already in the pipeline”, presumably she means in the oceans.
    Am I right here: the only way the oceans (covering 70% of the Earth’s surface) can heat up is by increased incident solar radiation?
    As a layman, I don’t understand how an increase of a fraction of 1°C in the temperature of the atmosphere (whatever the cause) can have any noticeable effect on the 1.3 billion cubic kilometres of seawater.

  62. “Yeah, in retrospect, maybe that works with Congress too.”
    Yes, there are plenty even in Congress that go “Ooh and Ahh” when shiny things are dangled in front of them !!

  63. Until explained by Heidi’s testimony, I didn’t realize that Climate goes through a pipeline to Weather and when it gets there, it goes into Weather and can’t get out. I wonder if Anthony could offer her a guest posting here on WUWT so she could explain to us exactly how this works, particularly why Climate can’t get back out of Weather.

  64. However that UC graph is portrayed I always find it extremely irritating. The notion that satellite altimetry is able to measure MSL to millimeter or sub-millimeter accuracy is a statistical fantasy. I have posted this link here a number of times in the past. It is a PDF of the data products handbook for the Jason 2 satellite.
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/J2_handbook_v1-3_no_rev.pdf
    This is the latest and greatest of the series of sats that have provided the data for UC’s graph. To understand my irritation refer to Section 2.3.1. Accuracy of Sea-Level Measurements. There you’ll find this “The sea surface height shall be provide with a globally averaged RMS of 3.4 CM (1 sigma)”. That’s CENTIMETERS, which still sounds pretty good until you refer to the table that follows. There you find that the accuracy starts at 11.2 cm and only gets to 3.4 cm after multiple levels of statistical processing and each and every level is listed as TBD, i.e. that’s what we’re hoping for but we ain’t guaranteeing anything. If you proceed down the table you come to a line for significant wave height where the picture is even less rosy. When waves are present, which they are over most of the oceans most of the time averaging 2 m and ranging to 8-10 meters daily, they can’t read the surface to 10% of wave ht. or 0.4 m. whichever is greater.
    Still if they are actually able to achieve their claimed levels of accuracy it would be a prize meriting achievement. Personally I’m quite dubious of that they’re getting within +/- a meter. I used to work in the surveying field and, though the quality of equipment available has improved greatly since I was doing it, the best instruments which operate on a very similar, if not identical, method to the satellite altimeters are still only able to achieve +/-2mm+/- 2ppm. That’s reading from a solidly fixed instrument to an equally situated block of high precision retroprisms over 2.5 miles or less and under ideal conditions, with reading times that range from 5 sec to over a minute. Shooting to a natural surface causes an immediate loss of accuracy of 1-2 orders of magnitude.
    The satellite altimeters are orbiting at 1336 kilometers at thousands of miles per hour. Orbit accuracy, although tremendously improved in the latest generation, is still +
    /-10 cm. It used to be 2-3 orders of magnitude worse. They are scanning swaths of ocean hundreds of kilometers across, with reading times of less than a second. At that range to achieve the the +/- 3.4 cm that they claim would mean they are able to measure to one part in 40 million.
    If you take the time to read the entire document, they do a fairly comprehensive job of explaining the process and the very large number of correction factors involved in arriving at the final data. I tried to count them all but gave up. All of them are partially to completely model based. What I found most revealing though, was that the entire process is referenced to the reference ellipsoid and geoid models that are the basis of the GPS, so that the connection of the data to the reality of the world’s oceans is bit ephemeral.
    Still, even if we take their accuracy claims at face value, try slapping a +/- 3.4 cm error bar on that ubiquitous UC graph and see what you have. And as I pointed out earlier this is the latest and greatest data available and the data at the beginning of the record is multiple orders of magnitude worse.

  65. Richard Wright says:
    November 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    I can confidently predict that if they get their way, life expectancy will be closer to 35 than 75.
    DaveE.

  66. Dave Wendt says:
    November 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    Agreed. They’re confusing precision with accuracy.
    We may have a realistic approximation of sea level rise in a century because instantaneous measurement is simply not realistic.
    DaveE.

  67. “Here’s what she [Heidi] had to say:
    And the urgency is that the longer we wait, the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.”
    ===============================
    Exactly the way I feel about Catastrophic AGW theory, if becomes any more entrenched, it may be here for good.
    The business models/government subsidies/careers/political favors/ already built upon the theory, is the “heat in the pipeline”.
    Some have noticed the pipeline is near failure, and are running for their lives.
    Some believe in the integrity of the pipeline………
    Some question the existance of a pipeline.

  68. Looks to me as if Dr Cullen’s strange comment may simply be a consequence of multi-tasking –
    – such as, she may have been preparing her Subcommittee presentation at the same time as rehearsing a “voice-over” for a well-known brand of washing machine descaler advert, and got her notes mixed up.
    A busy life for AGW climate scientists seeking a second career when it’s all over?

  69. Is this the same Dr. Heidi Cullen who proclaimed that all meteorologists that did not believe in man made global warming should have their certifications revoked?
    Dr. Cullen and her fellow believers are convinced sea levels are rising based on computer projections using the 2.3 mm/yr “increase” being registered by Quarry Bay Station in Hong Kong Harbor, while ignoring the rest of the stations around the world, which show collectively no significant change at all. Keep in mind this single “increase” is really measuring how quickly the geology Quarry Bay Station rests upon is sinking into the Harbor, not how much the water level is rising!

  70. But at least the warmers like Dr. Cullen are making their idiotic claims on tv and in public view. The more alarmists they become, they more incredible they get.

  71. just as hillbilly here but seems to me that in order to ever become “climate” it is REQUIRED that it be weather first?
    THINK folks, the weather BECOMES the climate doesnt it?
    and the climate does NOT in any way dictate the weather.
    commonly said as the climate is what we expect, the weather is what we get.

  72. Re: jorgekafkazar: November 18, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Okay, your assignment is to guess who this external committee member was.

    Why didn’t that suprise me, and perhaps it’s time to update the SNA charts again. Given her science-lite performance, it’s not suprising she’s another example of mann made global warming.

  73. LAURA DEVENDORF, Sunbury, Georgia: “You can just sit there and see the tides getting bigger.”
    Really? Savanna, Ga averages about a 7′ tide range (today’s high and low tides were 8.4′ and 1.4′ respectively). Laura and the Weather Bimbo can really just sit there and and discern a <3 mm / year rise within a 7' (2,133.6 mm) range?
    Mama always said: "Bimbo is as Bimbo does".

  74. Why would she say (and write!) such a thing? Its nuts.
    Either she is
    a) condescending (thinking that what she says to Congress doesn’t matter – only that it has to ‘sound’ good) or
    b) she truly is an idiot and doesn’t understand the basics of climate (pipeline? Wtf?).
    She hurt herself here – Congress radar is ‘up’ and working. They’re not stupid ….

  75. “It’s a prime candidate for Quote of the Week but I’ve already named one this week.”
    But there’s room for a second isn’t there?

  76. I do wish folks would get past the notion that climate is the average of weather. Consider the action of placing one foot in a bucket of ice water and the other in a bucket of very hot water. You will not keep either foot in its bucket very long. The average, however, is just fine.

  77. Well they certainly showed that it takes all kinds to make a panel, lot of contrast between Cullen and Curry, Lindzen and Santor, and the switch over to the “uncontested OA” theme was really obvious.
    I was sure clear the harm done to the Blogasphere by RC had left an impression Baird.

  78. This is HEIDI CULLEN looking for a pair of alligator shoes:
    A young blonde —who used to work at the WEATHER CHANNEL— was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana. She wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes in the worst way, but was very reluctant to pay the high prices the local vendors were asking.
    After becoming very frustrated with the “no haggle” attitude of one of the shopkeepers, the blonde shouted, “Maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator so I can get a pair of shoes at a reasonable price!” The shopkeeper said, “By all means, be my guest. Maybe you’ll luck out and catch yourself a big one!” Determined, the blonde turned and headed for the swamps, set on catching herself an alligator.
    Later in the day, the shopkeeper is driving home, when he spots the young WEATHER CHANNEL woman standing waist deep in the water, shotgun in hand. Just then, he sees a huge 9 foot alligator swimming quickly toward her. She takes aim, kills the creature and with a great deal of effort hauls it on to the swamp bank. Lying nearby were several more of the dead creatures. The shopkeeper watches in amazement. Just then the blonde flips the alligator on its back, and frustrated, shouts out, “Sheeit, this one isn’t wearing any shoes either!”

  79. Why didn’t they get John Coleman to testify rather that this kool-aid drinking bimbo?
    He would have used provable facts…..

  80. Mike says:
    November 18, 2010 at 11:03 am
    Your linear trend estimate of sea level rise assumes the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers are stable. Recent evidence suggests otherwise. But you know that.
    No. I’m sorry. You made that up. What you are saying is exaggeration from those who run around shouting that the sky is falling. But you know that.

  81. Its a shame because he is an attractive, appealing woman….but the “i likes” end there.
    She is an AGW automaton.
    Just like the Stormtroopers in Star Wars.
    Next!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  82. ArndB says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am
    The reason why weather and climate cannot be functionally different is because they depend on the solutions of the same differential equations.
    Weather was the toy example of deterministic chaos, i.e. a system governed by dynamical equations that displayed unpredictable behavior. Climate, as the conglomerate average of weather quantities depends on the same equations, and that is seen in the General Circulation Models which are just the same models for weather and climate as far as mathematical functions go except for more averages in the latter.
    A dynamically predictive system cannot arise from an underlying one that displays deterministic chaos without a completely novel set of physical axioms and differential equations.
    For example:
    Thermodynamics arises out of statistical mechanics with a completely new axiomatic theory and set of variables.
    This is not the case between weather and climate which share equations and variables, and any analogies to the contrary are just not valid. Thus, since nobody can dispute that weather displays dynamical chaos, climate is also chaotic. It is only with tools of chaos calculations that any predictability can enter into the system, as with the work of Tsonis et al where predictions are given for the next thirty years using neural nets for simulating chaos and the various ocean currents as inputs .

  83. The Heidi Cullen bird is too stupid to get birdseed off my open birdfeeder. You will notice that I did not specify a species for the Hidei Cullen bird unlike, say, Catlin’s warbler. I do not wish to insult the birds.

  84. “Let’s see, at the current rate of 3.1 mm per year, with 90 years remaining, ”
    Is that the current rate?
    It’s only 3.1 mm if you combine two different historical measurement methods, TOPEX and Jason.
    If you use the current method of measurement (8 1/2 years of Jason data), the rate is about 2.5 mm per year.

  85. If I don’t say this now I’ll regret it later.
    I think it is time that some decorum is established in this thread. These “stupid blonde” jokes can be funny only once or twice, not repeatedly. It is a myth that blondes are less intelligent than brunettes or redheads or blue heads. Anyone who disagrees is obliged to produce a study that shows otherwise.
    There are many intelligent blondes out there and Heidi Cullen, whatever her failings, is one of them. And she is pretty too. Quite possibly, prettier and more intelligent than the wives and girlfriends of many guys leaning on her in this thread. Is that the reason?
    It is time to back off with the ad homs, please.

  86. anna v says: November 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    “Thermodynamics arises out of statistical mechanics with a completely new axiomatic theory and set of variables.”
    A technical tool (statistical mechanics) can hardly become “thermodynamics”. The weather (and average weather = climate) is governed by many dozen. Each can be subject to statistical investigation, but two, ten, or many more parameters do not represent WEATHER. The crux is well demonstrated by the AMS-Glossary, which first refers to weather in the sense every layman understand it:
    _____“The state of the atmosphere, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities”
    whereon the AMS Glossary brakes the “weather issue” down to:
    ___The “present weather” table consists of 100 possible conditions,
    ___with 10 possibilities for “past weather”, while
    ___Popularly, weather is thought of in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind,
    ___but is silent on “future weather”.
    More at: http://www.whatisclimate.com
    What this all means is, that any scientist can choose and combine 2, 5, 10 or dozen “thermodynamics” and other “conditions” as it pleases; even worst if he can choose for “average weather” any period of time span, which covers according IPCC-WGI-2007 any period longer than few weeks:
    ___”Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years.”

  87. Let’s see, at the current rate of 3.1 mm per year, with 90 years remaining, we’ll have 279 mm (0.91 feet) by the year 2100. And of course, if we get some changes in ocean patterns, AMO, PDO, etc, we might very well see a lower rate. Or, it could be higher, but even being generous, and doubling that rate, gives only 1.82 feet.
    ——————————
    Your assuming that the sea level rise is linear and taking the 20 year average.
    Data taken from sediment cores show from 1880 to the early 1900’s, sea level was rising at around 1mm per year. Throughout most of the 20th century, sea levels have been rising at around 2mm per year. In the latter 20th century, it’s reached 3mm per year. The five most recent 20-year trends also happen to be the highest values.
    Over the period where the two datasets overlap, there is good agreement between sedimentary records and tidal gauge data so it’s fair to assume that the rate of sea level rise will continue to accelerate.
    3 foot might be in the upper limit of what could be predicted, however given the uncertainties associated with how Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will respond to increases in global temperature it is still within the range of possibilities.

  88. I Listened to the bimbo but I don’t recall hearing anything. Why was she there, she was lost? Did she think that Climate Central was a railway station?

  89. It’s not possible, if one follows this blog, to be unaware of Heidi Cullen. I wondered at times where she got some of her wilder apocalyptic ‘facts’ from, but now I know. I watched and listened to her give ‘evidence’ to the subcommittee and came to the conclusion that she has to be a religious visionary, a priestess of the AGW cult, has heavenly voices telling her stuff no other person can hear and she practices speaking in unknown toungues. Either that, or she is a comic genius and was taking the Mickey.

  90. Sea level rise/fall is not linear but cyclic as a study of Sequence Stratigraphy will show.
    Dr Cullens needs to review weather and climate and stop trying to spread alarmism.

  91. ArndB says:
    November 19, 2010 at 1:43 am
    anna v says: November 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    “Thermodynamics arises out of statistical mechanics with a completely new axiomatic theory and set of variables.”
    A technical tool (statistical mechanics) can hardly become “thermodynamics”.

    !!!!!
    You are maybe confusing statistics with the field of statistical mechanics?
    The order of fields of study in Physics at the moment goes as follows, ignoring strings.
    quantum mechanics, quantum statistical mechanics, thermodynamics
    before the observation of the quantum, classically:
    mechanics, statistical mechanic, thermodynamics
    Each field has its own axioms and theorems, though they are not unrelated.

  92. Hey you’ve got your climate in my weather!
    No you’ve got your weather in my climate!
    Two bad things that go worse together so says Miss Heidi.

  93. I watched and winced at her psuedo science approach, noted “hysterical rhetoric” on my assessment of Heidi Cullen’s testimony, and the committee lost even more credibility by fawning over her, much to her delight and self importance.
    If that is an ad hominem, I’m sorry. I am just reporting exactly how I felt – sad really that this was supposed to be a serious attempt to explore the depth and breadth of climate science not, what she was pedaling!!

  94. _· · anna v says: November 19, 2010 at 3:57 am
    __ArndB says:November 19, 2010 at 1:43 am
    ___anna v says: November 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    Very interesting! Presumably it would be a great help if you could translate your reasoning into a short text what that means for WEATHER and CLIMATE? A corresponding definition would be a big service for many, including for a revision of Article 1 of the UNFCCC.

  95. @anna v
    Chaos is an illusion generated by ignorance. With sufficient information and computational resources everything is predictable backwards and forwards in time.
    The problem is that in any complex real-world dynamic system sufficient information and computational resources is practically impossible to attain. In the case of weather and climate it can’t even be approximated very well and small initial errors quickly multiply into huge errors. So we get weather forecasts for a week into the future that are accurate enough to be useful but climate forecasts are only accurate in-as-much as they use observations of the past to predict the future. Anyone familiar with corporate forecasts of financial performance are familiar with the caveat they all include “Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Unforeseen circumstances may materially alter the projections made herein.”
    Past performance is no guarantee but on the other hand it’s still, flawed as it may be, usually the best predictor we have.

  96. “The worry about sea level is real, but the ability of man to adapt is clearly illustrated in the comparative maps. See here: The rubbish is coming! One if by land, two if by sea…”
    _______________________________________________________
    A bit of interesting history about the filling in of the Boston area:
    A fellow by the name of Asa Sheldon (1788-1870) literally moved “Pemberton Hill into salt water, north side of Causeway Street” with teams of oxen. The story and many other interesting details of life in the 1800’s is documented in a self-published autobiography called Life of Asa G. Sheldon: Wilmington Farmer published in1862. It was republished as Yankee Drover: being the Unpretending Life of Asa Sheldon, Farmer, Trader, and Working Man 1788-1870
    Read the book if you want to know how the CAGW crowd wish us to live (and pointers on how to do so.)
    The online version can be found at: http://www.ponyspot.com/asa/asa-sheldon.html

  97. “”””” Dave Springer says:
    November 19, 2010 at 6:49 am
    Heidi Cullen giving her doctoral dissertation:
    http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/8152/pnts.jpg
    I’d have given her a passing grade that’s for sure but it would been a grueling interview that made her squirm in her seat for many hours. “””””
    Well I would fine her for Jury tampering.

  98. Dave Springer says:
    November 19, 2010 at 7:30 am
    @anna v
    Chaos is an illusion generated by ignorance. With sufficient information and computational resources everything is predictable backwards and forwards in time.
    I am not sure quantum phsyicists would agree with that statement! as far as I am aware predicting the nature of a photon as a wave or particle still eludes them! and as for ‘where’ the blasted ‘thing’ actually ‘is’ – hmm, I think they long since gave up on that idea years ago and just deal with probabilities of spatial location as actual location is ‘everywhere’ (as I remember?) – surely being everywhere and nowhere at once that counts as pretty darned chaotic?

  99. “”””” sHx says:
    November 19, 2010 at 1:42 am
    If I don’t say this now I’ll regret it later.
    I think it is time that some decorum is established in this thread. These “stupid blonde” jokes can be funny only once or twice, not repeatedly. It is a myth that blondes are less intelligent than brunettes or redheads or blue heads. Anyone who disagrees is obliged to produce a study that shows otherwise. “””””
    So you are the official decorum referee ?
    If you check with Dr Richard Lederer; the world’s foremost authority on the English language, you will learn that “dumb blondes” , has become a figure of speech; just as “rube Goldberg” and “mickey mouse” have.
    If you want to take it as a sexist comment, you can do that, since some dumb blondes are women.
    I don’t speak for anyone else but my own comment re Dr Cullen, was entirely directed at her testimony; not at the person who delivered it; about whom, I know absolutely nothing.
    I think that Anthony’s moderators are more than capable of maintaining the level of decorum that he wants for this forum; and as I see it; most of the posters here are fairly self regulating.
    There’s always c-r, where they simply do not allow any dissension to erupt, and ruffle the decorum.

  100. “”””” anna v says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    ArndB says:
    November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am
    The reason why weather and climate cannot be functionally different is because they depend on the solutions of the same differential equations.
    Weather was the toy example of deterministic chaos, i.e. a system governed by dynamical equations that displayed unpredictable behavior. Climate, as the conglomerate average of weather quantities depends on the same equations, and that is seen in the General Circulation Models which are just the same models for weather and climate as far as mathematical functions go except for more averages in the latter.
    A dynamically predictive system cannot arise from an underlying one that displays deterministic chaos without a completely novel set of physical axioms and differential equations. “””””
    I’m not sure who said what here; BUT , I should point out that differential equations and other mathematical functions describe only the expected behavior of MODELS; which are totally fictional contructs.
    They do not describe the behavior of the real universe. Only Mother Gaia knows what the real universe is doing and may do in the future. Heisenberg teaches us that we can’t determine what happened in the case of even a single particle, in the past; so we have insufficient information, despite any level of mathematics to predict what will happen next; let alone what will happen 100 years from now.
    But statistical mathematics, and mechanics can give us the probabilities of various outcomes that our models will produce; which can often lead to fairly good agreement with what we observe the real universe to do; well what we think we saw it do.

  101. ArndB says:
    The last IPCC-Report 2007 claims that there are important differences between weather and climate, by saying that:
    ….
    “As an analogy, while it is impossible to predict the age at which any particular man will die, we can say with high confidence that the average age of death for men in industrialised countries is about 75.”
    —————————–
    The life expectancy of the average Japanese before WWII was in the low 40s. By the 1980s, they had the highest life expectancy in the world, into the 80s. If we continue with that trend, the Japanese should have an average life expectancy of 120 by 2030 arithmetically or 160 as a percentage increase. If that sounds believable to you, then you could easily believe we’ll be under 50 feet of water by 2100.

  102. Kev-in-UK says:
    November 19, 2010 at 8:58 am
    I said: “Chaos is an illusion generated by ignorance. With sufficient information and computational resources everything is predictable backwards and forwards in time.”
    U said: “I am not sure quantum phsyicists would agree with that statement!”
    Most do but some notables do not. It boils down to whether information can be lost or whether it, like many other things, is governed by a conservation law. If quantum events can truly be random then information can truly be lost. If further interested in the controversy you can start here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_information_paradox
    [my emphasis]

    The black hole information paradox results from the combination of quantum mechanics and general relativity. It suggests that physical information could disappear in a black hole, allowing many physical states to evolve into the same state. This is a contentious subject since it violates a commonly assumed tenet of science—that in principle complete information about a physical system at one point in time should determine its state at any other time.[1] A postulate of quantum mechanics is that complete information about a system is encoded in its wave function, an abstract concept not present in classical physics. The evolution of the wave function is determined by a unitary operator, and unitarity implies that information is conserved in the quantum sense.
    There are two things to keep in mind here: quantum determinism, and reversibility. Quantum determinism means that given a present wave function, its future changes are uniquely determined by the evolution operator. Reversibility refers to the fact that the evolution operator has an inverse, meaning that the past wave functions are similarly unique. With quantum determinism, reversibility, and a conserved Liouville measure, the von Neumann entropy ought to be conserved, if coarse graining is ignored.

  103. Heidi Cullen made a remarkable mistake about Svante Arrhenius’ Nobel prize in her presentation. It is perhaps wishful thinking by Dr. Heidi Cullen that Arrhenius won his Nobel prize as a result of his contribution to climate science but this is not so.
    Dr. Cullen told the committee that Svante Arrhenius ”got the Nobel prize in chemistry 1903 for doing the back-on-the-envelope calculation Dr. Meehl spoke about, which is if we double CO2 in our atmosphere our planet would warm approximately 8 degrees F”.
    But according to Nobelprize.org:
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1903/
    “The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1903 was awarded to Svante Arrhenius “in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered to the advancement of chemistry by his electrolytic theory of dissociation””.
    This is further discussed in the biography of Svante Arrhenius:
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1903/arrhenius.html
    Arrhenius work on the electrolytic dissociation theory is described in the second and third paragraphs of that biography. The third paragraph ends:
    ”The paramount importance of the electrolytic dissociation theory is today universally acknowledged, even if certain modifications have been found necessary”.
    Climate science was one of many topics Arrhenius was interested in and this is mentioned in the following sentence in his biography:
    “He took a lively interest in various branches of physics, as illustrated by his theory of the importance of the CO2-content of the atmosphere for the climate, his discussion of the possibility that radiation pressure might enable the spreading of living spores through the universe (panspermy) and by his various contributions to our knowledge of the northern lights”.
    Sorry, Dr. Cullen, but Svante Arrhenius’ Nobel prize cannot be used to glorify the pro AGW view.

  104. [snip]
    [If you want to join in, say somthing that adds to the thread and can not be viewed as offensive ~jove, mod]

  105. “[If you want to join in, say somthing that adds to the thread and can not be viewed as offensive ~jove, mod]”

    I already joined the thread and made my views known. Why don’t you check up? I take it you find endless “stupid blonde” jokes endlessly funny too.
    [I did – your previous comments were fine, laudable even, berating others for ad homs. Your snpped comment was an ad hom and added nothing. ~jove, mod]

  106. On the difference between weather and climate there is an interesting old post from Roy Spencer that in my view explains things very well. Key is that today’s weather influences future weather, i.e. today’s climate influences future climate. This is one of the reasons the IPPC’s analogy with individual versus mean life expectancy does not hold.
    Here is how Roy Spencer puts it:
    “First let’s review the ‘scientific consensus’ explanation of the difference. In weather forecasting, you take a snapshot of global weather patterns with weather balloon, satellite, surface, and aircraft-based measurements, and then extrapolate them out in time using a set of equations. And as Ed Lorenz demonstrated in 1963, any unmeasured weather on very small space scales can cause huge differences in the forecast the farther out in time one projects the weather. This is the classic example of the chaotic, nonlinear variability inherent to atmospheric circulation systems. Even the flap of a butterfly’s wing will eventually change global weather patterns. Mathematically speaking, this is referred to as sensitive dependence on initial conditions.
    Global warming forecasting, in contrast, has been claimed to be possible because we are instead dealing with a small change in the rules by which the atmosphere operates. The extra carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere, it is argued, changes the Earth’s greenhouse effect slightly, which is then expected to change average weather (climate) to a lesser or greater extent. Mathematically speaking, this is referred to as a change in boundary conditions.
    But upon closer examination, I have come to realize that the two kinds of variability – weather and climate – maybe are not so different after all. The only major difference between the two is just one of time scale.
    The weather today is impacted by what has happened on the Earth, in the atmosphere and on the surface, every day previous to today. In a very real sense, today’s weather retains a memory of all weather which has occurred in the past.
    But climate variability is really no different. This year’s climate is a natural result of average weather and climate in previous years. For instance, the slow overturning of the ocean can bring water to the surface which hasn’t been in contact with the atmosphere for maybe hundreds of years. Therefore, the climate we are experiencing today can be related to average weather conditions which occurred hundreds of years ago.
    So, one might argue that climate variability is just as good an example of chaos as weather variability. Mathematically speaking, the ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’ we associate with chaos might also be called ‘sensitive dependence on continuously changing boundary conditions’.
    In fact, nature does not distinguish between changing initial conditions and changing boundary conditions…it is all just change. The real question is how a human source of change (e.g. carbon dioxide emissions) stacks up against all of the natural sources of change.
    “But”, one might object, “Nature has been the same until humans came along and changed it!” Well, is it really valid to think of nature as unchanging? I don’t think so. Nature causes its own changes, all the time. And each of those changes forever alters the future direction of both weather and climate.
    But we aren’t aware of these continuous subtle changes — only the spectacular ones. For instance, a major volcanic eruption can inject millions of tons of sulfur into the stratosphere, leading to a couple of years of global cooling. But what isn’t mentioned is that such an event will also forever change the future course of weather and climate on the Earth simply because future weather and climate retain a memory of that event.
    Similarly, a chaotic change in precipitation patterns in the Pacific Ocean will change ocean salinity, which will then change the circulation of that water into the deep ocean over time, which maybe a hundred years hence will then reemerge as a change in surface waters which will, in turn, affect weather patterns once again.
    So, are these changes in initial conditions, or boundary conditions? I think the question is only one of semantics…it is all just change. And change in nature is ubiquitous.
    The possibility that mankind can change climate, even for hundreds of years down the road, does not impress Mother Nature. She has been changing climate all by herself since time immemorial. Millions of tons of sulfur spewed into the stratosphere by a volcano illustrates the power of nature, and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets that result vividly display nature’s beauty.
    Of course, if humans did the same thing as a volcano does, it would be called the greatest pollution disaster in history. But I digress….
    The climate modelers assume there is no such thing as natural climate variability…at least not on time scales beyond maybe ten years. In effect, they believe that chaos only exists in weather, not in climate. But this view is entirely arbitrary, and there is an abundance of evidence that it is just plain wrong. Chaos occurs on all time scales. Climate change happens, with or without our help.
    And maybe there is one more difference between weather forecasting and climate forecasting…a difference which has allowed climate alarmism today to flourish. When the TV meteorologist blows his forecast for tomorrow’s weather, people will remember his error, and hold him responsible. But climate modelers get to forecast any kind of climate change they want, knowing full well that no one 50 or 100 years down the road is ever going to remember how good – or how bad — their forecast was.”

  107. [I did – your previous comments were fine, laudable even, berating others for ad homs. Your snpped comment was an ad hom and added nothing. ~jove, mod]

    It was an unmistakably sarcastic response to a freelance Referee-In-Chief who, citing a learned friend, said that stupid blonde jokes were just figure of speech like Mickey Mouse jokes. (See, above. George E. Smith, November 19, 2010 at 9:12 am)
    Maybe he is right but I can’t say it looks pretty in the thread. Definitely not with so many of them.
    Anyway, we can’t all be perfect everyday. Think nothing of it.

  108. BillT says:
    November 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm
    please enlighten me as to how climate is arrived at if it is NOT the AVERAGE of the past observations?

    Think patterns. The average temperature in the tropics is in the 20s (°C). And it hardly varies at all. The average temperature in parts of the SW US isn’t much different, but it can swing between -20°C and +40°C. VERY different climates, very similar averages.

  109. sorry but those 2 areas do NOT have very similar averages…….the average high and low are VERY DIFFERENT.
    and the climate for both areas is derived from the averages from that area.
    please face the FACT, climate is nothing more or less than the average weather over the past 30 years or so for ANY given area.

  110. “does her Climate Central graphical treatment of the Keeling CO2 curve (at left) make it impart the information to viewer any better than the original?”
    Yes, it does. The mirror effect is a nice touch.

  111. HEIDI CULLEN:…Laura Devendorf lives on the coast, some 40 miles south of Savannah. She’s starting to see change, too.
    LAURA DEVENDORF, Sunbury, Georgia: We’re worried about sea level rise, indeed. I think everyone on the coast is. You can just sit there and see the tides getting bigger.
    Meanwhile back in reality, this past week, there I sat on my 35′ sailboat (with only a 3′ draft and according to the charts supposedly in 5’+ water) stuck twice in the Chesapeake Bay and once in the Pamlico Sound witnessing the lowest tides seen in the area(s) in recent memory. At the time, I thought it was simply the position of the moon playing havoc with my supposed median depths.
    Upon my return, imagine my disappointment learning from Heidi and Laura that it can all be attributed to climate which hasn’t traveled further down the pipeline from Savanah as yet, working its way into the weather of the central US coastal region.

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