The IPCC's new certainty is 95% What? Not 97%??

Just 2% short of the magic 97% number, I’m sure the SkS kidz will be devastated.

From Reuters:

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.

That shifts the debate onto the extent of temperature rises and the likely impacts, from manageable to catastrophic. Governments have agreed to work out an international deal by the end of 2015 to rein in rising emissions.

“We have got quite a bit more certain that climate change … is largely manmade,” said Reto Knutti, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. “We’re less certain than many would hope about the local impacts.”

WARMING SLOWING

The panel will try to explain why global temperatures, while still increasing, have risen more slowly since about 1998 even though greenhouse gas concentrations have hit repeated record highs in that time, led by industrial emissions by China and other emerging nations.

An IPCC draft says there is “medium confidence” that the slowing of the rise is “due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.

Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.

“It might be down to minor contributions that all add up,” said Gabriele Hegerl, a professor at Edinburgh University. Or maybe, scientists say, the latest decade is just a blip.

In scientific parlance, I’d call that a SWAG>

At DNAindia:

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the UN panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s. That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.

That “squeeze out” is about right, look at Dr. Roger Pielke’s minority view with the AGU:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/05/pielkes-response-to-agu-statement-on-climate-change/

His minority view was one of 15 people that made the statement.

That works out to about a 7% minority view (or 93% majority) on that panel

Tom Nelson wonders about the 95% certainty:

[Were those numbers calculated, or just pulled out of some orifice?]

UPDATE:

Kurt Rohlfs writes via email about that statement from Tom Nelson:

Your article asks “Were those numbers calculated, or just pulled out of some orifice?” They were not calculated, at least if the same procedure from the fourth assessment report was used. In that prior climate assessment, buried in a footnote in the Summary for Policymakers, the IPCC admitted that the reported 90% confidence interval was simply based on “expert judgment” i.e. conjecture. This, of course begs the question as to how any human being can have “expertise” in attributing temperature trends to human causes when there is no scientific instrument or procedure capable of verifying the expert attributions.

Meanwhile, they haven’t offered up an explanation as to why reality and IPCC models diverge, perhaps because they can’t.

IPCC AR5 draft figure 1-4 with animated central Global Warming predictions from FAR (1990), SAR (1996), TAR (2001), and AR5 (2007).

IPCC AR5 draft figure 1-4 with animated central Global Warming predictions from FAR (1990), SAR (1996), TAR (2001), and AR5 (2007).

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> 95% likely with just 4% of the CO2… hmmm

Kaboom

97% is for the next report. Unless it is pal reviewed in which case it might be 102%

There was an error in the quote, so I fixed it for them. 😉
=========
Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of advocates, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.
That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a large majority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.
==========

thisisnotgoodtogo

Variations in the WEATHER?
Did I read right?

Latitude

they are 95% certain that 3-4% of the CO2 caused the warming since the 1950’s….
and equally certain that the lack of warming was caused by natural causes
…and I’m 100% certain they are either stupid…..or crooked….more than likely both

thisisnotgoodtogo

Since the definition of climate change and of global warming, is, according to UNFCC, UNEP, and IPCC, warming caused by human activity, AR5 is in conflict with itself.
All warming is AGW according to them, not “most” warming.

Mycroft

See they are still not living in the real world then!!

Taking their lesson from Rusty Limbaugh’s “99.4% correct, as audited by ” To *them*, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Those percentages bear a creepy resemblance to the Free and Democratic election results of Soviet Russia, 1954 -1989. So does the squeezing out of the opposition.

JimS

Well I am 99.99% certain that of the 0.74 C that the global temperature allegedly rose in the last century, mankind is responsible for less than 0.01 C of that 0.74 C.
However, I am 100% certain that the models which the IPCC uses and has used in the past, are 100% crap.

David L. Hagen

Statistical Dissonance
In STILL Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs. Measurements, Running 5-Year Means Roy Spencer showed projections of 75 models from 1979 ALL running higher than recent satellite temperature measurements. See Graph
That appears to be >97% FAIL. i.e., > 2 sigma from the mean evidence, or 95% probability that the IPCC’s anthropogenic warming is NOT due primarily to human causes.
For the technical trend probabilities see Lucia’s explorations at The Blackboard. e.g., citing von Storch for the last 15 years (from 1998):

In contrast to earlier analyses for a ten-year period that indicated consistency between models and observations at the 5% confidence level, we find that the continued warming stagnation over fifteen years, from 1998 -2012, is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.

Lucia observes:

Like Von Storch, I find HadCrut4 is outside the 95% confidence intervals for the “all weather in all models”. This results holds even if I account for measurement uncertainty. This means fewer than 2.5% of earth trends fall inside the “all weather in all models” spread. The NOAA/NCDC comparison gives similar results to HadCrut4. However, GISTemp has a higher trend and still lies inside my ±95% confidence intervals.

So much for 97% confidence of anthropogenic causes!!!
Calling all Statisticians.

D.I.

The IPPC are 95% certain that Climastrology is the way forward, and It is Mann made.

geran

The science never worked for them.
The data never worked for them.
Their models fail them.
Then, there was Climategate.
All they can do is desperately cling to the old, tired mantras like “most scientists agree”, and “the heat is hiding in the deep oceans”.
They are desperate.

You’re missing the big news from the Reuters story:
“…the IPCC has added what diplomats say is an improbable scenario for radical government action that would require cuts in global greenhouse gases to zero by about 2070.”
They would like to remove all CO2 and water vapor from the atmosphere. The Environmental Impact Study for that will be interesting!
More seriously, is this just sloppy writing — or does the reporter not understand that “greenhouse gases” are a natural part of the air?

richardscourtney

Friends:
I am 100% certain that the claimed increase in certainty concerning the cause of twentieth century warming is fabricated.
My certainty derives from the lack of any twenty first century warming despite the prediction of “committed warming” in the IPCC’s 2007 report.
Richard
Footnote on Committed Warming
The explanation for this is in IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html
It says there

The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period. This is roughly the magnitude of warming simulated in the 20th century. Applying the same uncertainty assessment as for the SRES scenarios in Fig. 10.29 (–40 to +60%), the likely uncertainty range is 0.3°C to 0.9°C. Hansen et al. (2005a) calculate the current energy imbalance of the Earth to be 0.85 W m–2, implying that the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing. The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios.

In other words, it was expected that global temperature would rise at an average rate of “0.2°C per decade” over the first two decades of this century with half of this rise being due to atmospheric GHG emissions which were already in the system.
This assertion of “committed warming” should have had large uncertainty because the Report was published in 2007 and there was then no indication of any global temperature rise over the previous 7 years. There has still not been any rise and we are now way past the half-way mark of the “first two decades of the 21st century”.
So, if this “committed warming” is to occur such as to provide a rise of 0.2°C per decade by 2020 then global temperature would need to rise over the next 7 years by about 0.4°C. And this assumes the “average” rise over the two decades is the difference between the temperatures at 2000 and 2020. If the average rise of each of the two decades is assumed to be the “average” (i.e. linear trend) over those two decades then global temperature now needs to rise before 2020 by more than it rose over the entire twentieth century. It only rose ~0.8°C over the entire twentieth century.
Simply, the “committed warming” has disappeared (perhaps it has eloped with Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’?).

Margaret Hardman

Why is the headline conflating the confidence level and the consensus figure. They are two different things. This isn’t about what 95% of scientists think. This is a 95% chance that the oberved warming is the result of human activities. This is a simple reading comprehension matter.

Richard M

Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.
I guess they just ignore peer reviewed science. This paper:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JD017997/abstract
covered here:
http://scienceofdoom.com/2013/02/07/ceres-airs-outgoing-longwave-radiation-el-nino/
clearly shows the recent cooling is the result of ENSO changes. They measured it for god sakes. This result supports the hypothesis put forward by Bob Tisdale that ENSO is the driver of global temperatures. Since the PDO is a good index of ENSO activity I like to use it when discussing climate drivers. This is evident in charts like this one:
http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/figure-113.png
That global temperatures have been driven by the Pacific Ocean for at least a century.
It appears the IPCC is going to ignore this strong evidence that human emissions ARE NOT the driver of changes in global temperatures.

Margaret Hardman

This isn’t about consensus but about confidence. You can argue about the confidence but you cannot link the two, as is done in the headline.

rabbit

Speaking as a statistician, measurements such as “97% certain” are generally overstated.
Why? Because such statements necessarily assume a specific model, and the uncertainty in the assumptions behind the model are never fully understood. It’s not possible to do so, since that would require complete knowledge of a situation. In other words, there are things we don’t even know that we don’t know, and we cannot model that.
In short, the IPCC is making a ridiculously accurate statement for a situation that is rife with ignorance and complication. They would do better to simply state their belief that AGW is almost certainly occurring rather than trying to bully with faux mathematics.

Given the undisputed facts that CO2 has increased since FAR, but temperatures have not, the IPCC is setting themselves up for public ridicule.
Maybe down in the fine print they justify the increase in confidence to 95% percent the humans have caused the majority of warming, but I think this is only scientifically justifiable by simultaneously saying human contribution of warming has dropped from 90% to 60% (still a majority), and that the estimate for overall warming due to CO2 has dropped from near 2 degrees to less than 1 deg. But that would be only if they are playing it straight.
There is little doubt in my mind that the “Bum’s Rush” is on. The only thing that will matter is the Press Release before the publication of the Executive Summary which is a month before the publication of detailed report. Bait and switch, headlines matter, fine print be damned.
If that’s the way they want to play the game, then the opposition needs to pull no punches. In FAR, they were 90% confident that humans cause most of the warming through CO2 increases. In the past five years, computer models all predicted higher temperatures. Instead, nature has remained flat to cooling. No objective scientist would increase their confidence given such a poor record of prediction. The only confidence that should increase is the belief that the IPCC is playing the world’s taxpayers for fools. Like Latitude, my confidence is 100% the IPCC is engaging in daylight robbery.
“Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Attempt to fool me a fifth time,
we need to apply the tar and feathers.

richardscourtney

rabbit:
re your post at August 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/16/the-ipccs-new-certainty-is-95-what-not-97/#comment-1392538
I think you are saying 95% of all statistics are made up.
Have I got that right? If so, then with respect to the IPCC I agree.
Richard

milodonharlani

Margaret Hardman says:
August 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm
This isn’t about consensus but about confidence. You can argue about the confidence but you cannot link the two, as is done in the headline.
————————-
I’m sure that AW is aware of the difference. The connection is that CACCA consistently, shamelessly uses baselessly high percentages when talking up support for its ludicrous lies.
There is zero evidentiary basis for the assertion that humans are the main cause of climate change at the 95% confidence level, just as there is zero support for the claim that 97% of “active climate scientists” believe the same, let alone all scientists, as that particular lie is commonly reported.

Correction to 1:39 pm.
“FAR” should be “AR4”

[snip . . stop it , that’s spam . . mod]

So … the predictions and models have proven to be less and less accurate as time goes on, but the confidence that they are right is increasing as time goes on. Why not just go ahead and say “The more I am wrong just proves that I was right.”

Bruce Cobb

The IPCC are nothing but a gang of criminals, guilty of crimes against humanity.

igsy

In 2001 they were 66% certain; now they’re 95% certain. Since then, temperatures are, well, to be kind, flat; but CO2 has gone up by over 35ppm. I’m wondering if the dollar increase in grant money might be the missing factor here.

TomRude

Reuters is one of the chief propagandist media enablers: let’s recall Sir Cripsin Tickell is on their board. Of course when AR5 first draft leaked, Reuters was quite discreet. Not one article on low sensitivity or models’ fail. But facts are not the business these people are into. This selective release by Reuters is no coincidence. In France for instance, glaciologist masquerading as a climatologist Jean Jouzel who is supervising the sea level chapter in AR5, is once again touring TV sets with the most alarmist material yet, from increased droughts’ frequency and severity -no one told him that droughts are linked mainly with cold periods- to sea level rise: only the goal posts, once again have shifted since the impending 2012 doom did not happen.
From skeptics are uneducated, old farts to 97% of scientists believe in AGW, claims will now appear in the global media party with increasing frequency: that is no AGW prediction but the result of ABS. Thomson Reuters opens the ball…

Jim Cripwell

This ought to be the battleground over the science in the AR5. As rgbatduke put it, if the IPCC writes this sort of nonsense, “there will be hell to pay”. I am going to be very interested to see how Judith Curry responds to this nonsense.

pokerguy

Jim Cripwell, Me too.

rabbit

richardscourtney:
A more accurate statement might be “uncertainty is always greater than believed.”

Margaret Hardman

Milodonharlani
Two things – no evidence? Mmm, do we agree there is no evidence for the later comment by Bruce Cobb that “The IPCC are nothing but a gang of criminals, guilty of crimes against humanity.” I know this is a different point but if you are going to call me out on lack of evidence then surely…
Second, if AW knows it, why not make that clear? He doesn’t because it is a stick in a wasps nest and, lo, the predictable comments are trotted out. Even you must be bored of reading them every day.

richardscourtney

rabbit:
Thankyou for your reply to me at August 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm
If you have no objection I will adopt the use of your statement; i.e.
“uncertainty is always greater than believed.”
Richard

Peter Miller

Mannian maths and similar dodgy analysis techniques are a pre-requisite for this sort of 95% certainty.
Natural climate cycles can be safely ignored as they are unquantifiable, however the impact of the increase in CO2 levels is 110% quantifiable. Why? Because we the IPCC say so.
On a more serious note, what does the guts of this document say? Note: That’s not the summary section written by spin doctors designed to impress/influence goofy politicians and the liberal media.

RACookPE1978

greg2213 says:
August 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm
There was an very slight error in the fix for the fix for the error in the quote by the U.N., so I fixed it for them. 😉

=========
Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N.likely panel of advocates, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent U.N.likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.
That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a large majority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.

Bryan A

You should produce an additional GIF with future AR5, AR6 & AR7 arrows pointing at the same point the AR4 arrow points to (note, the AR6 arrow pointing straight up and the AR7 arrow pointing backwards)

Richard M

Margaret, is sarcasm really that difficult for you to understand? Well, I’m not too surprised. Anyone that has fallen for the cAGW propaganda machine is several blades short of a nice lawn.

Manfred

So they took 1950 !
This would exclude most of AMO/PDO effects and is quite a good startting point.
But did they also tell that HadCrut4 trend since then is only 0.1K / decade?
And, according to leaked AR5, forcing increase of CO2 during 1950-2011 is only 1.2 W/m2, while total anthropogenic forcing increased by 1.7 W/m2.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j237/hausfath/ScreenShot2012-12-13at43419PM_zps4a925dbf.png
Therefore CO2 contributed only about 1.2/1.7 * 0.1 K/decade = 0.07K/decade since 1950,
and this under doubtful assumptions of zero urban heat and zero non TSI influence from the sun.
The strategy may be to frighten with the strong increase after 1979, which is mostly due to AMO/PDO, but to connect high confidence with another date without conceding that we are now talking about a very little CO2 temperature effect.

milodonharlani

Margaret Hardman says:
August 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm
There is abundant evidence in support of Mr. Cobb’s statement, although “all” might not be as robustly supported. There might still be some real scientists involved in IPCC, who haven’t yet given up all hope in its plainly anti-scientific endeavor.
OTOH, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the IPCC’s assertion that humans are mainly (whatever that might mean, presumably more than half) responsible for climate change (whatever that means today) at the 95% confidence level. Truly they are confidence-persons, or con-men for short.
If you believe that evidence exists to support this conclusion, I’d appreciate your presenting it. Thanks.

davidmhoffer

LOL.
In one paragraph they claim that 95% of scientists agree that humans are warming up the planet, and in another that explain that they don’t know why it isn’t. First the say the warming can’t be attributed to natural variation, then they claim the the lack of warming over the last two decades might be because of…. natural variation!
You just can’t make this stuff up.

Until you define what you mean by “main cause of warming,” it is quite impossible to assign any confidence levels. “Main” must be expressed as a quantity. I also note that even if man is the main cause of warming, it does not follow that we should be concerned. As always, the issue is “how much” are humans responsible for, not whether warming is occurring.

Randy

Bizarre, as more and more data has piled up ripping the theory that co2 is a major driver to shreds, the IPCC became more and more certain. This simply is NOT science or a struggle to find the truth.
As it becomes more obvious this theory was wrong, Im rather concerned it will have negative impacts on ACTUAL environmental causes. the boy who cried wolf and all that. Very sad.

Robert of Ottawa

“We have got quite a bit more certain that climate change … is largely manmade,”
And why, precisely … because it isn’t changing this century perhaps?

RockyRoad

I can go one better–I’m 100% certain that since there’s been no statistically-significant warming in over 16 years, what the IPCC asserts is only correct if human activity has not increased in all that time.
Now, I believe the global economy has been slowing down, but it hasn’t leveled off–not for 16+ years!
And it doesn’t take a “panel of experts” to come to that conclusion.

Robert of Ottawa

“due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.
So, they are here for the first time admitting that “weather”, note not climate, can vary naturally. It is up to the IPCC to show that all climate weather variation is not due to natural causes, including “factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface”.
These guys are juggling like crazy to keep their
grant fund receiving hairy balls in the air.

Robert of Ottawa

Rats, formatting problem in the last post. This is how it was supposed to look:
“due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.
So, they are here for the first time admitting that “weather”, note not climate, can vary naturally. It is up to the IPCC to show that all climate weather variation is not due to natural causes, including “factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface”.
These guys are juggling like crazy to keep their grant fund receiving hairy balls in the air.

William Astley

Come on man….
“… or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.”
The planet has not warmed for 17 years. The gig is up. A lack of warming is only possible if the planet resists forcing changes (negative feedback) rather than amplifies forcing changes (positive feedback).
The IPCC is 95% sure that some of the warming in the last 70 years is due to AGW (primarily the increase in CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere).
We are 100% sure that the IPCC is a rigging a process to cover up scientific evidence that the warming due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will be less than 1C as planetary cloud cover in the tropics increases or decreases to resist forcing changes, negative feedback.
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf
On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
Richard S. Lindzen1 and Yong-Sang Choi2
….We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. …. … However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1C (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of well mixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5C to 5C and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling. Clouds also change so that their visible reflectivity decreases, causing increased solar absorption and warming of the earth. Cloud feedbacks are still considered to be highly uncertain (IPCC, 2007), but the fact that these feedbacks are strongly positive in most models is considered to be an indication that the result is basically correct. …

Jimbo

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

So some of the ’cause’ was natural? So most of the ’cause’ of the other sharp rise between 1910 to 1940 were natural? With the 16+ year temperature standstill you have to wonder whether the main cause of the warming since 1950 is due to human activities.

clipe

Margaret Hardman says:
August 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm
Why is the headline conflating the confidence level and the consensus figure. They are two different things. This isn’t about what 95% of scientists think. This is a 95% chance that the oberved warming is the result of human activities. This is a simple reading comprehension matter.

Margaret, you just failed the reading comprehension test.
“Just 2% short of the magic 97% number, I’m sure the SkS kidz will be devastated.”

Theo Goodwin

“Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.”
Are they really going to publish this nonsense? Are they going to explain to the world that the heat that might have warmed the atmosphere escaped to the deep oceans? Do they expect someone to believe that? Why did they not know about this ocean phenomenon before the seventeen year “pause” in warming? Are they going to explain the concept of “ad hoc” hypotheses (from Popper, Logic of Scientific Discovery) used to save a favorite hypothesis from falsification?
Are they really going to say that the climate might be less sensitive to CO2? Would the general public not understand that to mean that CO2 is less important than had been thought before the seventeen year “pause?” Do they expect that the public will not ask if the sensitivity could possibly prove to be zero?
The IPCC will try to wear a happy face but the best they can expect from this report is public ridicule.