Trenberth's IPCC claim of 'no predictions by IPCC at all' refuted by IPCC's own words

Reader Jimbo advises in WUWT Tips and Notes about something Dr. [Kevin Trenberth] wrote that makes you wonder what he’s talking about when there are so many uses of the word “prediction” in the IPCC AR4. It also makes me wonder what the Economist author Oliver Morton was doing running a blog by Nature. Is there no separation between science journalists and science journals?

Trenberth suggests that after the last report “…the science is settled or done and now is the time for action.”. Here we are six years later, and another IPCC report is coming out on that “settled science” and there is no successor to Kyoto. I wonder how many times the word “prediction” will be used in the upcoming AR5?

Jimbo writes: I stumbled on a quote from [Kevin Trenberth] over at the Nature Blog dated 04 Jun 2007.

Trenberth_IPCC_predictions_settled

Source: http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2007/06/predictions_of_climate.html

I thought I’d take a look because I was sure I had seen the IPCC use the word ‘predict’.

[My bolding throughout]

This subsection focuses on the few results of initial value predictions made using models that are identical, or very close to, the models used in other chapters of this report for understanding and predicting climate change.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-4-11.html

—————–

…Some qualitative inconsistencies remain, including the fact that models predict a faster rate of warming in the mid- to upper troposphere which is not observed in either satellite or radiosonde tropospheric temperature records….

…The first IPCC Scientific Assessment in 1990 (IPCC, 1990) concluded that the global mean surface temperature had increased by 0.3 to 0.6°C over the previous 100 years and that the magnitude of this warming was broadly consistent with the predictions of climate models forced by increasing concentra- tions of greenhouse gases. However, it remained to be established that the observed warming (or part of it) could be attributed to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Some of the reasons for this were that there was only limited agreement between model predictions and observations,…

…However, models generally predict an enhanced rate of warming in the mid- to upper troposphere over that at the surface (i.e., a negative lapse-rate feedback on the surface temperature change) whereas observations show mid-tropospheric temperatures warming no faster than surface temperatures….

…..“historical” indicates the signal is taken from a historical hindcast simulation, “future” indicates that the pattern is taken from a prediction……

…Changes in the annual mean surface temperature were found to be highly significant (in agreement with previous results from Hegerl et al., 1996, 1997). The predicted change in the annual cycle of temperature as well as winter means of diurnal temperature range can also be detected in most recent observations….

Estimation of uncertainty in predictions

The scaling factors derived from optimal detection can also be used to constrain predictions of future climate change resulting from anthropogenic emissions (Allen et al., 2000b). The best guess scaling and uncertainty limits for each component can be applied to the model predictions,……

… An example based on the IS92a (IPCC, 1992) GS scenario (whose exact forcing varies between models, see Chapter 9, Table 9.1 for details) is shown in Figure 12.13 based on a limited number of model simulations. Note that in each case, the original warming predicted by the model lies in the range consistent with the observations….

…The range is significantly less than one (consistent with results from other models), meaning that models forced with greenhouse gases alone significantly overpredict the observed warming signal….

…All but one (CGCM1) of these ranges is consistent with unity. Hence there is little evidence that models are systematically over- or under- predicting the amplitude of the observed response/ under the assumption that model-simulated GS signals and internal variability are an adequate representation (i.e. that natural forcing has had little net impact on this diagnostic)….

Original model prediction under IS92a greenhouse+sulphate forcing…

…The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal (and the observed change) are small compared to natural variability, so it is not possible to distinguish an anthropogenic signal from natural variability on five year time-scales….

http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

——————-

…During the early summer season, October to December, both models predict drying over the tropical western side of the continent, responding to the increase in high-pressure systems entering from the west, with MM5 indicating that the drying extends further south and PRECIS further east….

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch11s11-2-3-2.html

——————-

…The IPCC commissioned a Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). Four “marker scenarios” representing different world storylines are used to estimate emissions and climate change to 2100 (IPCC, 2000). Table 16-1 summarizes these climate projections for the polar regions. In almost all cases, predicted climates are well beyond the range of variability of current climate. …

http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=599

——————-

…The chemical and physical properties of aerosols are needed to estimate and predict direct and indirect climate forcing….

…Modelled dust concentrations are systematically too high in the Southern Hemisphere, indicating that source strengths developed for the Sahara do not accurately predict dust uplift in other arid areas….

…For summertime tropopause conditions the range of model predictions is a factor of five for sulphate. The range of predicted concentrations is even larger for some of the other aerosol species. However, there are insufficient data to evaluate this aspect of the models….

http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/161.htm

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250 thoughts on “Trenberth's IPCC claim of 'no predictions by IPCC at all' refuted by IPCC's own words

  1. In some cases, there is an acceptable rebuttal, because the IPCC is referring to the predictions of others. However, that only applies in a few cases. In others, it is clear that any reasonable reader of the document would conclude that the IPCC is making predictions.

  2. Hey Trenberth! It looks like someone has found the missing predictions you say are not there! Too bad you can’t find your hotspot.

  3. The other Phil says:
    August 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    In some cases, there is an acceptable rebuttal, because the IPCC is referring to the predictions of others. However, that only applies in a few cases. In others, it is clear that any reasonable reader of the document would conclude that the IPCC is making predictions.

    That had crossed my mind until I saw this:

    …The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal (and the observed change) are small compared to natural variability, so it is not possible to distinguish an anthropogenic signal from natural variability on five year time-scales….
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

    SAR is short for ‘Second Assessment Report’ of the IPCC.
    There are more uses of the word ‘prediction’ used by the IPCC in other pages. I don’t have 12 hours to spare. 🙂

  4. Now you are jamming, Anthony. Trenberth must be held accountable for what he has said or written about prediction and we must not allow him to get away with casual denials of his record.
    Perhaps the most important word in scientific method is ‘prediction’. To this day, no one who is an Alarmist, such as Trenberth, has set forth a consistent position on the role of prediction in climate science and no Alarmist has shown a consistent use of the word. One reason is that they are terrified of falsification. Another is that they are unconcerned with showing some relationship between their “theories” or “models” and reality. They are totally averse to assessing their ideas in light of the real world.

  5. I seem to recall that Keith Trenberth has also stated that he is a nobel laureate. So is it surprising that he does not know the difference between projection and prediction?

  6. I have been told many times that climate scientists don’t make predictions. So I was wondering about these. Do you think the word kinda slipped through by mistake?

    Dr. James Hansen et. al. – Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres – 1988
    “….spatial and temporal distribution of predicted warming are clearly model-dependent, implying the possibility of model discrimination by the 1990s and thus improved predictions, if appropriate observations are acquired.”
    doi:10.1029/JD093iD08p09341
    —–
    Dr. Filippo Giorgi – Climate Change – December 2005
    Climate Change Prediction
    The concept of climate change prediction in response to anthropogenic forcings at multi-decadal time scales is reviewed. This is identified as a predictability problem…As a result, climate change prediction needs to be approached in a probabilistic way….A review is presented of different approaches recently proposed to produce probabilistic climate change predictions. The additional difficulties found when extending the prediction from the global to the regional scale…
    doi:10.1007/s10584-005-6857-4
    —–
    IPCC – Fourth Assessment Report – Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis
    Tebaldi et al. (2005) present a Bayesian approach to regional climate prediction, developed from the ideas of Giorgi and Mearns (2002, 2003)….Key assumptions are that each model and the observations differ randomly and independently from the true climate, and that the weight given to a model prediction should depend on the bias in its present-day simulation and its degree of convergence with the weighted ensemble mean of the predicted future change.
    —–
    Dr. Judith L. Lean et. al. – Geophys. Res. Lett. – 2009
    “From 2009 to 2014, projected rises in anthropogenic influences and solar irradiance will increase global surface temperature 0.15 ± 0.03°C, at a rate 50% greater than predicted by IPCC. ”
    doi:10.1029/2009GL038932
    —–
    Dr. Virginie Guemas et. al. – Nature Climate Change – 2013
    The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.
    doi:10.1038/nclimate1863
    —–
    Professor Thomas J. Crowley – Science – 22 June 2000
    Removal of all forcing except greenhouse gases from the -1000-year time series results in a residual with a very large late-20th-century warming that closely agrees with the response predicted from greenhouse gas forcing.
    doi:10.1126/science.289.5477.270
    —–
    Dr. Doug M. Smith et. al. – Science – 10 August 2007
    …..We present a new modeling system that predicts both internal variability and externally forced changes and hence forecasts surface temperature with substantially improved skill throughout a decade, both globally and in many regions. Our system predicts that internal variability will partially offset the anthropogenic global warming signal for the next few years. However, climate will continue to warm, with at least half of the years after 2009 predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1139540

  7. Technically, Kevin is correct. They are projections and not predictions. It’s not surprising that a political body like the IPCC uses the words interchangeably thinking they are the same. Kevin, though, seems to be calling this out to be -er- cleverly evasive and not in the spirit of setting the facts straight.

  8. Seems to me they are splitting hairs of the length and width found on the anal end of a gnat.

  9. There’s a big difference between the terms, Pamela.
    An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.
    The latter can be verified while the first can’t be.

  10. The article refers to him as Kenneth. I thought his name was Kevin This is the same Trenberth who lost the heat, right?

  11. Any suggestion that the IPCC and GCMs claim to make merely “what-if projections” and not “predictions” is utterly dishonest. After all, if these “projections” were merely that, then what would be the point? (For the benefit of those who don’t understand what a rhetorical question is: That was one.)

  12. Dear Mr Watts,
    To be honest with you, I think this is a non-issue. I see no evidence of dishonesty in Trenberth’s words. Just look beyond the region you have marked yellow. You’ll see he defines conditional statements (“what if”) as distinct from predictions, and says all statements in the reports are conditional, e.g. based on certain possible emissions scenarios. I’m not sure this last strict assertion is true, but I don’t see that his credibility depends on it.
    Anyway, this distinction certainly explains some of the statements you cite and requires you to check some of the others for their context. For instance:
    “The IPCC commissioned a Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). Four “marker scenarios” representing different world storylines are used to estimate emissions and climate change to 2100 (IPCC, 2000). Table 16-1 summarizes these climate projections for the polar regions. In almost all cases, predicted climates are well beyond the range of variability of current climate.”
    The report makes quite clear that this is a prediction within a scenario, so it does not conform to Trenberth’s momentary definition of the word. The report evidently uses the word prediction more liberally, which is quite acceptable. I agree that maximum clarity would be achieved if everyone agreed what “prediction” means. But I have no problem understanding Trenberth here, as he explains himself properly.
    Some of your citations also refer to history:
    “The first IPCC Scientific Assessment in 1990 (IPCC, 1990) concluded that the global mean surface temperature had increased by 0.3 to 0.6°C over the previous 100 years and that the magnitude of this warming was broadly consistent with the predictions of climate models … ”
    This is a ‘prediction’ of the past, a retrodiction. Evidently, Trenberth isn’t considering these. He’s talking about the future. The “what if” principle, which includes wildly different scenarios, doesn’t apply to the recent past, because we know past emissions scenarios quite well. We also have a fair idea what the sun and other forcings have been doing over the last century.
    Cheers,
    Thomas

  13. It all makes sense. For a scare story all you need is a “projection”.
    To do something usefully scientific you need a “prediction” that turns out to fit the facts – much harder and not necessary if all you want to do is produce scare stories.

  14. It seems like a deliberate strategy: immunize against falsification by making a pro forma statement that any “predictions” are really just projections, and then using the term (and the meaning and context) to try and force political action anyway. Lies, damned lies, and predictions.

  15. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    Technically, Kevin is correct…..

    You make a good point but it does make you wonder why they call the IPCC’s works the ‘Gold Standard’ when the IPCC says:

    The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

    They need to get their act together. How did this slip through the peer reviewers I wonder? Or did they actually used to predict then changed tack? If yes then Trenberth is wrong to say:

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.

  16. @Graphicconception and David, UK: How are you supposed to predict if it will rain in three months if you don’t know what the humidity will be. It is perfectly sound that the IPCC uses projections, because it doesn’t know what the emissions will be. Anything else would be too simple. And to answer your rhetorical question: If, as a young man/woman you you are told that you will probably produce children if you have regular, unprotected intercourse, that is a very useful conditional statement. I am mystified how you can generalise them as being pointless.

  17. (You’ll have to imagine the accent)
    “Pree-dictions?! We don’ make no steenkin’ pree-dictions!”
    Well, I guess I didn’t read what I just read.

  18. DAV:
    At August 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399866
    you wrote

    Technically, Kevin is correct. They are projections and not predictions. It’s not surprising that a political body like the IPCC uses the words interchangeably thinking they are the same. Kevin, though, seems to be calling this out to be -er- cleverly evasive and not in the spirit of setting the facts straight.tive interpretation anyway.

    More than a decade ago scientists from around the world were invited to give a briefing on the science of climate change at the US Congress in Washington, DC. The briefing was on the science of climate change, and it consisted of three Sessions each with a Chairman who was one of the invited speakers. Fred Singer chaired the first session, I chaired the second, and David Wojick chaired the third.
    Questions were invited after the presentations of each session. Attendees included politicians and scientists from US Agencies.
    Following my presentation one questioner made a rather long statement which contained no clear question. I replied,
    Sir, I agree much of what you say, but not all. For example, you say “The IPCC does not make predictions”. The IPCC says the world will warm. I call that a prediction.
    The questioner did not respond.
    Richard

  19. Richard August 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm,
    Call it what you like but the IPCC is filling a position equivalent to that of a marketing staff providing projections of business revenues to a CEO. Effectively, both are (more or less) linearly extrapolating perceived trends and hardly are forming a predictive model. You would think no one in their right mind would think of either is a prediction but too often people do conflate the two.
    Even if the GCMs are truly predictive, the amount of future atmospheric CO2 concentration is an extrapolation without any real basis.

  20. @Brian H: Another thing: A conditional prediction is perfectly falsifiable. If the conditions apply, but the future predicted for this case fails to happen, there you are. If I say “You will die in ten minutes if you jump off this wall”, you do so, and die only after an hour, then you have falsified my conditional prediction.

  21. He’s entirely correct. If in 2005 I predicted the sun would go supernova in 2010, in 2011 the correct description for my prediction would be, “in 2005 he FAILED TO PREDICT the the sun would NOT go supernova.” Thus, the IPCC hasn’t made predictions of the truth. They’ve failed to predict a lot, but actually predict something, not so much.

  22. DAV:
    Your post at August 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399902
    says to me

    Call it what you like but the IPCC is filling a position equivalent to that of a marketing staff providing projections of business revenues to a CEO. Effectively, both are (more or less) linearly extrapolating perceived trends and hardly are forming a predictive model. You would think no one in their right mind would think of either is a prediction but too often people do conflate the two.
    Even if the GCMs are truly predictive, the amount of future atmospheric CO2 concentration is an extrapolation without any real basis.

    Say What!?
    At August 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399874
    you wrote

    An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.

    I said

    The IPCC says the world will warm. I call that a prediction.

    THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID YOU CALL IT, TOO.
    Furthermore, the “committed warming” is a specific theoretical prediction (n.b. NOT a model projection) of the IPCC.
    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’?).
    This disappearance of the “committed warming” is – of itself – sufficient to falsify the AGW hypothesis as emulated by climate models. If we reach 2020 without any detection of the “committed warming” then it will be 100% certain that all projections of global warming are complete bunkum.
    THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.
    Richard

  23. Thomas Traill: You’ll see he defines conditional statements (“what if”) as distinct from predictions, and says all statements in the reports are conditional, e.g. based on certain possible emissions scenarios. I’m not sure this last strict assertion is true, but I don’t see that his credibility depends on it.
    The emissions have exceeded the lower emissions scenarios, so the conditions for the conditional statements to be active are satisfied. So they are predictions now.

  24. Thomas Traill says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm et al
    Sounds like a barrister’s defence.
    Don’t forget that no means no and yes means yes.
    In this context predict means predict.
    Remember the adage about the three great virtues, Faith Hope and Clarity.
    And the greatest of these is Clarity.

  25. Now you are playing games with “prediction” and “projection”.
    The bottom line is that if whatever they said is almost correct it was a good “prediction”.
    What Trenberth is doing is backing out of what they “predicted” because they are not anywhere near accurate. Just like a lawyer getting a guilty client off on a technicality.

  26. Come on! “Might” versus “will” makes all the difference? Not in my book. I can predict it might rain and I can predict it will rain. I can project it might rain and I can project it will rain. Either set of sentences is an appropriate use of the word “predict” or “project” and are equivalent in meaning in this case. But that doesn’t make it good science just because it is a “might” happen scenario, no matter which word you use. So I don’t give a rat’s a## if one uses “predict” or “project”. If it is couched in terms of “might” you are engaged in bad science if the model you have developed can only give you a bunch of “mights”. Let’s call it for what it is. They ran their model a bunch of times and took the average. Based on a comparison to the observations, the results demonstrate the model should hit the editing room floor and in fact should have hit the floor several years ago. That the models keep running is testimony not to the “sciencificity” of the endeavor but to the power of money and the money of power.

  27. I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.
    The distinction Trenberth is referring to is just common sense. Scientists can hope to say how the Earth will respond to human actions. But they can’t, as a matter of science, predict what those actions will be. So they calculate conditional responses based on suppositions of what we might choose to do. It’s our choice.

  28. “””””””…….DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    There’s a big difference between the terms, Pamela.
    An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.
    The latter can be verified while the first can’t be……..””””””
    “Projection ” and “prediction” are two different words.
    Any “model” of a physical system, when applied to actual input data to that system, WILL, within some error limits, PREDICT the actual observed output of the real system ; ALWAYS.
    If the output of the “model” differs from that of the real system beyond some reasonable and consistent error bound; then by definition, it is NOT a model of the given system.
    “””””””……An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.
    The latter can be verified ……””””” Soon it rains…..Verification.
    “”””””…….An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    ………. the first can’t be (verified)……..”””””” Soon it rains……Verification OR
    …..Soon it does NOT rain…….Verification .
    Both statements are equally verifiable.
    But the crux of the matter is, that any process or construction, that DOES NOT consistently PREDICT by emulation, the output of the actual system, is simply NOT a model of that system.
    A projection is result of applying processes or constructions, that ARE NOT a model of the system.
    One can weasel all one wants; but models PREDICT the consequences (within known error limits).

  29. Does a ‘projection’ become a ‘failed prediction’ when the ‘what if’ is satisfied but diverges from future observations?
    On another point this sounds like a ‘prediction’ to me even though the world ‘prediction’ is not used. I wonder whether Trenberth’s use of the words “future climate change is guaranteed” means global warming will pick up?

    The IPCC report makes it clear that there is a substantial future commitment to further climate change even if we could stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. And the commitment is even greater given that the best we can realistically hope for in the near term is to perhaps stabilize emissions, which means increases in concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases indefinitely into the future. Thus future climate change is guaranteed.

    Trenberth has at least given us a guarantee of something.

  30. Nick, you cannot write what you just did with a straight face. Can’t be done. It just makes you look as weasel-y. In the words of John Wayne, “I wouldn’t want to live on the difference”, between ‘predict’ and ‘project’.

  31. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    There’s a big difference between the terms, Pamela.
    An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.
    The latter can be verified while the first can’t be.

    So, …umm what is it when the weather service “predicts” a 50 % chance of rain next Thursday?
    They often do use the word “prediction” even though qualified by some per centage of chance.
    Must one wait ’til after the fact and it is then known that it DID or DID NOT rain to say it was a projection or a prediction?

  32. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    But there is a quote which you might like. What’s your take on this, you may have missed it earlier. The IPCC said:

    The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

    If you feel that the IPCC made a mistake then I would recommend you contact them immediately.

  33. It’s amusing to watch Trenberth dance around the IPCC’s use of worthless projections in place of actual predictions, hoping to both promote catastrophism and avoid falsification at the same time. The only projections that have value in science are predictions.

  34. “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”
    DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    “Technically, Kevin is correct. They are projections and not predictions.”
    I can’t believe anyone is taken in by the illogic of this BS, even DAV, given the last clause that contains -“projections.. that correspond to certain emission scenarios”. What are these certain emission scenarios. They are that we will go on unabated with rising CO2, that we will make some effort to curb CO2 and that we quit emissions all together. Coupled with this is the certainty of the IPCC folks’ theory that increased CO2 means increased warming. And to compound it, when would anyone be justified in attaching certainty bands to projections? If the science is settled, then these are predictions no matter whatever else you may call them (IPCC properly refers to them as predictions). Why does Kevin T think it is a travesty because “we” can’t account for the lack of warming? Because the settled science says it should. The actual record of temperatures falls out the BOTTOM SIDE of the “stopping emissions scenario” while, indeed we have not curbed CO2 at all. KT is completely disingenous here. DAV, on the other hand is a social science semanticist. In science, words mean something and they are related to the theories that are being propounded and the expectations of developments arising from the theories. If Kevin didn’t know the difference between projection and prediction (and many in the CAGW camp don’t appear to) ignorance wouldn’t make it okay.

  35. richardscourtney August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    If we reach 2020 without any detection of the “committed warming” then it will be 100% certain that all projections of global warming are complete bunkum.
    Except that a projection is a statement effectively saying “this is where things are headed.” A projection is never wrong except perhaps when it is inappropriate or outright incorrect. Try to understand that the IPCC mission is merely writing reports and report writers rarely make predictions. It’s not in their task description.
    There IS, though, a tacit prediction which has been falsified — namely, the temperature will rise as CO2 concentration increases. This hasn’t happened in the last 15+ years. Note that this is a climate science prediction and not one from the IPCC.

  36. Thomas Traill wrote: The “what if” principle, which includes wildly different scenarios, doesn’t apply to the recent past

    The alarmists make a mostly tacit prediction that curbing CO2 emissions by taxing fossil fuels to make them more expensive will affect (cool the) climate in a substantive way. This prediction is surprisingly unequivocal when made by eco/green activists, and displays an amazing level of scientific hubris.

  37. I don’t see what the problem is.
    The IPCC is in the business of making scary predictions.
    No scary predictions, then no one would fund the IPCC; then a whole lot of parasitic pseudo-scientists would have to find a real job at a much lower remuneration.
    Therefore, “I make scary predictions in order that I may prosper” is the mantra of those who write for the IPCC.
    QED

  38. Trenberth is an idiot. An if-then statement IS a prediction. I predict that if you try to cross the rotted footbridge then you will end up in the water. If the person tries (as co2 has continued to rise apace) the prediction will either be proved wrong or right.

  39. DAV:
    Having read your post addressed to me at August 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399934
    I wonder if your name is Trenberth.
    My post at August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399910
    (a) pointed out that the IPCC makes a prediction according to YOUR definition of a prediction
    and
    (b) pointed out (with reference to, quotation of, and link to) that the IPCC statement about “committed warming” is a theoretical prediction and NOT a model projection.
    Hence, my post stated that THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.
    Your reply mentions my observation that the failed IPCC prediction falsifies the models which make projections and discusses the projections. Such a reply is disingenuous.
    Your reply then makes the untrue assertion that

    There IS, though, a tacit prediction which has been falsified — namely, the temperature will rise as CO2 concentration increases. This hasn’t happened in the last 15+ years. Note that this is a climate science prediction and not one from the IPCC.

    But that IS a prediction from the IPCC. This is explained in Chapter 9 Section 2 of the Working Group 1 (i.e. the ‘scientific’ working group) of the most recent IPCC Scientific Report (AR4) which can be read at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html
    Richard

  40. THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.
    No. At best they are REPORTING predictions. The net result is a projection based on what they are reporting. They do at times give the impression that the work is their own. I’ll hand you that.

  41. Thomas Traill says on August 25, 2013 @ 1:49 pm: “he defines conditional statements (“what if”) as distinct from predictions, and says all statements in the reports are conditional, e.g. based on certain possible emissions scenarios . . .”
    With a strong background in modeling, I am familiar with the analyst’s distinction between a prediction and a projection based on a scenario’s set of inputs. However, this situation is an example of why climate alarmists have such low credibility among high-information followers of the AGW debate. To claim that there are no predictions because they are discussing model projections is weaseling semantics beyond any sense of credibility. We can examine the values of the inputs of reality vs. the inputs of the scenarios, and the inputs of reality are consistent with the inputs of the scenarios — or higher — and the scenario output in lower than the reality, then the modeler — or the the model’s supporters — should have the integrity to admit that the model is not reliable.
    Instead we have the climate activists claiming that they were not actually making predictions, so there is nothing to see here. No integrity and that removes any chance of credibility.

  42. I am still waiting for a Warmist to address the statement from the IPCC which commented on its own report:

    …The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

    The IPCC has said that its Second Assessment Report made a prediction, therefore the IPCC in the past made a prediction, contradicting Trenberth who said:

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.

    I have shown that Trenberth’s statement is as false as they get.

  43. This is how he gets out of it…

    However, the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate. But we need them. Indeed it is an imperative! So the science is just beginning. Beginning, that is, to face up to the challenge of building a climate information system that tracks the current climate and the agents of change, that initializes models and makes predictions, and that provides useful climate information on many time scales regionally and tailored to many sectoral needs.
    We will adapt to climate change.

  44. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm
    THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.
    No. At best they are REPORTING predictions. The net result is a projection based on what they are reporting. They do at times give the impression that the work is their own. I’ll hand you that.

    That is a fairy tale. See my comment HERE. Would like to repeat your statement that:

    THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.
    No. At best they are REPORTING predictions…….

    Can you read?

  45. Just because a report echoes something without showing the source, particularly in a summary, that doesn’t mean the organization owns it.. People conflate the two all the time so their use of words like will and prediction is just plain sloppiness or maybe a case of making the report sound more “scientific” (IOW: puffery).

  46. Jimbo says: August 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    ” What’s your take on this, you may have missed it earlier. The IPCC said:”

    So the TAR spoke of a prediction in the SAR about the next five years. Well, if you want to be technical (and this is a very nit-picking post) they are correct. IPCC projections are predictions subject to future changes (fossil fuel burnt etc) that they do not claim to predict, but they can calculate for scenarios. The TAR did know what happened to forcings in the five years since SAR, so (if it matched the scenario) it is then correct to refer to it as a prediction.

  47. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    Contexts will matter. We have allowed TV weather people to say that they forecast because we all knew that they make WAGs. Scientists who say they forecast are trying to have it both ways. Prediction is a very well concept within scientific method. To predict, one must use one or more universal generalizations in making an inference to the observation predicted.

  48. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    “I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.
    The distinction Trenberth is referring to is just common sense. Scientists can hope to say how the Earth will respond to human actions. But they can’t, as a matter of science, predict what those actions will be. So they calculate conditional responses based on suppositions of what we might choose to do. It’s our choice.”
    The Stokesian sophistry between predictions of which there are none and projections of which there are as many as GCM model runs, always ends with saying that while a chaotic system cannot be predicted, climate is said to be a boundary condition problematic; which leads us to the conclusion that they may not predict a definitive STATE but they DO predict future boundary conditions. Otherwise why would they demand to do anything in the first place. They predict a range.
    Only when their GCM’s fail as abysmally as now come the Stokes’ out of the woodwork with their attempts at sophistry.

  49. DAV, I am going to ignore you because you ignored my challenge. You have lost the argument now it’s time to go to bed. WUWT is for adults and not for children.
    ———–
    Moving along…………
    Maybe Trenberth believes that the IPCC has never made made predictions but he is aware of predictions.

    Trenberth – Nature Blog
    Of course one can initialize a climate model, but a biased model will immediately drift back to the model climate and the predicted trends will then be wrong.
    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2007/06/predictions_of_climate.html

  50. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    “So the TAR spoke of a prediction in the SAR about the next five years. Well, if you want to be technical (and this is a very nit-picking post) they are correct.”
    It’s too nitpicky for the sophist; maybe he wants it more hand-wavy? Hey let’s throw some trillions away, there’s a fuzzy mirage at the horizon!

  51. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm
    One reason is that they are terrified of falsification.
    =========
    Too true. Einstein publicly made 3 predictions to test general relativity. None of these predictions were obvious at the time. All have been verified to a high degree of accuracy.
    Here is what he had to say at the time:
    The chief attraction of the theory lies in its logical completeness. If a single one of the conclusions drawn from it proves wrong, it must be given up; to modify it without destroying the whole structure seems to be impossible
    What a contrast with climate science, where every failed prediction builds on a long history of failed predictions, and yet another adjustment is made to rationalize the failure.
    The straight line 0.5C/century warming observed since the LIA outperforms the billion dollar predictions of the IPCC ensemble models.
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/present_halting.pdf

  52. Pamela Gray says:
    August 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    Hey Trenberth! It looks like someone has found the missing predictions you say are not there! Too bad you can’t find your hotspot.
    Trenberth and the rest of the Gorebull Warmers have had their hands in their hotspot past their elbows for years!!!
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  53. Whether there are real predictions based on real data or simply predictions/projections dependent on a set of scenarios is not relevant. Common people do not make this distinction when forming their opinions about climate. Governments and politicians know this and exploit it to their own benefit. The lack of emphasis that these predictions/projections are based on many different “what if” situations that most likely will never happen is a lie by omission. The damage is done. I place the main fault at the feet of a supposedly free press that should be the guardians of truth. But alas, sales numbers today are based on dramatic headlines and stories not the truth.

  54. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    Jimbo says: August 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    ” What’s your take on this, you may have missed it earlier. The IPCC said:”
    So the TAR spoke of a prediction in the SAR about the next five years. Well, if you want to be technical (and this is a very nit-picking post) they are correct…..

    If “they are correct” then is Trenberth wrong when he said?:

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.

    Trenberth was clear and so was the IPCC. Their two statements are in direct conflict. You really do need to take a break Nick, have a Kit Kat.

  55. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    “I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.
    ============
    Shame. You know better. The IPCC mandate is to report, not create the science.

  56. Nick Stokes says:

    I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    Nick, what forum are you responding to? Yes they did say, “WE”–or do you not know what SAR is?
    Jimbo says:

    You make a good point but it does make you wonder why they call the IPCC’s works the ‘Gold Standard’ when the IPCC says:
    …The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

  57. Let me put the two statements together for better understanding:

    Trenberth
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.

    IPCC
    The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…

    I can’t understand anyone trying to defend this. Come on now!

  58. This has to be the best prediction yet:
    Dr. Virginie Guemas et. al. – Nature Climate Change – 2013
    The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models,
    Didn’t the reviewers gently point out that you don’t predict the past?
    Why does anyone take them seriously? Money and stupidity. I think we can no longer be charitable and blame ignorance.
    Another illustration of Confucius’ concern for the rectification of names. He said that if words did not have a clear and agreed upon meaning, that would lead to moral decay. He got that right.
    I have no hope this will end any time soon. The corn- ethanol program is alive and well, after all.

  59. Jimbo says: August 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm
    ‘If “they are correct” then is Trenberth wrong when he said?:
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.
    Trenberth was clear and so was the IPCC.’

    What Trenberth actually said was:
    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”
    And he’s right. The IPCC says that is what they are doing, and they spell out the scenarios in great detail.
    You haven’t responded to my challenge – instead of a whole lot of quotes of people talking about predictions, find an instance of the IPCC actually making one. Using words like “we predict…”. That’s what you need to refute Trenberth.

  60. Questioner (Q) – Do you predict a rise in global temperatures due to humankind use of fossil fuels ?
    Answerer (A) – No. On the basis of our models we project that it is possible that global temperatures will rise due to increased CO2 concentration in our atmosphere.
    Q – In light of the latest observations that there has been no statistcally significant global warming in the past seventeen years despite increasing CO2 concentration do you maintain that your projections are of concern?
    A- Yes we do. We believe that the underlying trend is masked by natural trends and by the absorbtion of heat by the oceans.
    Q – On the basis that water hotter than its surroundings ( above 4 degrees Celsius) will rise can you expalin why surface sea temperatures have not risen commensuralty?
    A- The warmer water is mixed at deep oceanic depths and so is being absorbed.
    Q- Hmm..If there is no definite warming and you are unwilling to make a prediction what measures in your opinion should be undertaken?
    A- Use of fossil fuels should be constrained if not elimated. We believe that the most effective constraint will require the use of fossil fuels to be uneconomic.
    Q- This will stop your projections becoming predictions?
    A- Possibly. We do not make predictions.
    Q – So you wish to impose taxes on the general populace to offset an unsubstanitated projection?
    To quote the “Kaiser Chiefs” song, ” I Predict a Riot”

  61. Jimbo says: August 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    “I can’t understand anyone trying to defend this. Come on now!”

    You haven’t answered my defence. As Trenberth says, the IPCC makes conditional (“what if”) predictions. When the conditions are known to be satisfied, they become unqualified predictions, and can be referred to as such. That was the case here, six years after the SAR..

  62. Nick Stokes you have huffed and puffed but you have not addressed my point HERE. Is the IPCC wrong or Trenberth? This really is a simple question and requires a simple answer. Are you up to it? I await your response. Thanks.

  63. Theo Goodwin,
    Scientists who say they forecast are trying to have it both ways.
    I agree that would be bad but give Kev his due: he said the IPCC doesn’t make predictions and that is true. He never said HE doesn’t make predictions. Not that the little insert from Jimbo quoting Kevin show even he can conflate the projection with prediction. The way the GCM’s are built amounts to a curve fit (that’s what all that “tuning” does) but, past the end points, the result is a projection.
    The IPCC is not in a position to make predictions even if they claim they do.
    To predict, one must use one or more universal generalizations in making an inference to the observation predicted.
    Not at all. I can predict that the Lakers will win at least 3 out of their next 5 games without any universal generalizations or references to any observation. It may not be a good prediction but it’s still a prediction.

  64. All this flapdoodle about semantics is indicative of not only how shaky the ground under the alarmists is, but how well aware they are that they have no credibility outside of their own little circle.
    Sociopaths are not put off by inconsistencies in their stories, however. They simply ignore them when they are pointed out to them. They obviously firmly believe simultaneously both that the IPCC made predictions and that it did not. Typical Ingsoc doublethink, right out of Orwell.
    And of course it will always be “projected” or “predicted,” never “demonstrated by empirical data.”
    Empirical data? We don’t got no empirical data! We don’t need no stinkin’ empirical data!
    Sigh . . .

  65. Nick, I see you are trying to divert me. You have failed. Address my point HERE. I will not answer any of your question because I asked you first so deal with it. Can you do it? Can you reconcile the two contradictory statements?

  66. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm
    “You haven’t responded to my challenge”
    ========
    What was it again ?

  67. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    Theo Goodwin,
    Scientists who say they forecast are trying to have it both ways.
    I agree that would be bad but give Kev his due: he said the IPCC doesn’t make predictions and that is true…..

    Do you agree that the IPCC has in the past made a prediction? The IPCC says so as I have pointed out repeatedly.

    IPCC
    …The SAR predicted
    an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…

    DAV I have to wonder whether you have comprehension issues. Can you read and understand? The IPCC have said that they have made a prediction in the past. Trenberth is making stuff up. DAV are you in fact Trenberth the Magnificent? 🙂

  68. TRENBERTH LOSES HIS STRAWBERRIES
    (see the courtroom scene in The Caine Mutiny)
    As greenhouse gases still accrete
    This captain of the climate wars
    Is searching for the missing heat
    That he believes the ocean stores
    He’ll prove to all humanity
    That danger in the deep resides!
    The Kraken that he knows to be
    That Davy Jones’ Locker hides
    (The soul’s more heavy than we think
    A truth that everyone must face
    And to what depths a soul my sink —
    Oh! To what dark and dismal place!
    Does Captain Trenberth understand
    That data offers no appeal?
    He tumbles in his restless hand
    Three clacking balls of stainless steel
    MY GEOMETRIC LOGIC PROVES
    HEAT TELEPORTS FROM PLACE TO PLACE!
    FROM SKIES INTO THE DEPTHS IT MOVES
    AND IN BETWEEN IT LEAVES NO TRACE!
    When silent faces stare at you
    Its always best to shut your jaw
    But Trenberth is without a clue
    As he believes they stare in awe!

  69. Whether the IPCC CURRENTLY makes predictions or projections is neither here nor there. I was addressing Trenberth’s 2007 false assertion that:

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.

    I showed that this statement was false HERE.
    The IPCC said:

    The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…

    How many more time do I have to point this out to DAV and Nick Stokes? Can they in fact read and understand?

  70. In my book, and I’m sure this is true for much of the lay public, if the ‘projection’ is strong enough to demand political action, it is a ‘prediction.’ It’s bad enough they are wasting our tax money on this hoax, but now they are trying to weasel word their way to salvaging their credibility.

  71. Pamela Gray says: August 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    “Come on! “Might” versus “will” makes all the difference? Not in my book. I can predict it might rain and I can predict it will rain. I can project it might rain and I can project it will rain. Either set of sentences is an appropriate use of the word “predict” or “project” and are equivalent in meaning in this case”
    _____
    Absolutely correct.
    If making fine distinctions between the use of the word ‘projection’ and the word ‘prediction’ underpins the claim that the IPCC does not make predictions, then the IPCC might just as well set to the task of counting the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

  72. Jimbo says:
    August 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    =======
    Don’t you hate it, when you have the perfect comment in your head, then somehow the keyboard lets you down.

  73. Jimbo,
    Well, that’s an impressive guppy you have stumbled across hauled in. You’re quite the fisher.
    Do you take all of the IPCC claims as true or do you pick and choose? Just because they said it doesn’t make it true. It’s not even remotely possible whoever wrote that doesn’t really know the difference between the two terms?
    Anyway, I thought you said were going to ignore me. Pulling an IPCC saying one thing when you mean another?

  74. Jimbo says: August 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    “Nick, I see you are trying to divert me. You have failed. Address my point HERE. I will not answer any of your question because I asked you first so deal with it.”

    I just did exactly that. You have persistently truncated Trenberth’s quote:
    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”
    And that’s what they did in making a 5-year “what-if” projection in the SAR. By the TAR, six years later, there was no longer any “what if”.
    u.k.(us) says:August 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    “What was it again ?”

    To find where the IPCC is actually saying “We predict…”

  75. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    “To predict, one must use one or more universal generalizations in making an inference to the observation predicted.
    Not at all. I can predict that the Lakers will win at least 3 out of their next 5 games without any universal generalizations or references to any observation. It may not be a good prediction but it’s still a prediction.”
    Sir, must you insist on speaking with the vulgar? Physics is a highly ramified context. In that context, the word ‘prediction’ does not have the same meaning as it has for the man in the street. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion allowed him to predict the motions of the planets. Galileo used those laws and his telescope to predict the phases of Venus. Newton could predict. Einstein could predict. But the claim that you will become transgender tomorrow is not a prediction and cannot be for the obvious reason that it is based on no laws of human nature.
    If the IPCC or Trenberth say that they can predict then they must be using Arrhenius’ work which is highly confirmed in the laboratory though not in the atmosphere. By contrast, the IPCC has not found one new physical hypothesis (universal generalization) that is highly confirmed and Trenberth has never produced one.
    For someone to present himself as a scientist and then, as a scientist, to offer a forecast is nothing less than cheating. Scientists do not forecast. A forecast is a WAG. Scientists predict or not. If a scientist wishes to announce that he is speaking with the vulgar then he may predict that you will be transgender tomorrow.

  76. To DAV and Nick Stokes, yaaaaaan. I am going to bed. Continue to deny that Trenberth was wrong in 2007. The IPCC made a prediction. Trenberth said they never did. You decide on how honest you want to be. Sleep tight.

  77. Just as there is an index for the stock market and a separate index for all the investment classes within the stock market, and just like there is an index for just about everything else we want to measure these days, what about a ‘prediction’ index for the IPCC reports. We could make it simple like how many times the word was used in the document or a little bit more complicated like how many times it is used per thousand of the total words. We could start with a baseline established by the first report and work our way through the subsequent reports to track the rise and fall in the use of the word. We could then analyse the next report (September this year), including in the headings and the captions and text in graphs, charts and diagrams. I won’t predict but I will not be surprised if such an ‘IPCC Prediction Index’ will show a slump in the next report that will be similar to the fall of indices in all the famous stock market crashes.

  78. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    “Jimbo says: August 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    “Nick, I see you are trying to divert me. You have failed. Address my point HERE. I will not answer any of your question because I asked you first so deal with it.”
    I just did exactly that. You have persistently truncated Trenberth’s quote:
    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”
    Can we get serious please? Can we stop speaking with the vulgar? Computer modelers create scenarios. To say that they are projecting into the future is simply to say that they wonder if the scenario might actually play out in the future. The fact that a scenario has been created in a computer run is no reason to call it a projection. No prediction has taken place – unless you want to say that any wild idea that anyone might have is a projection.
    If you believe that a scenario generated by a computer model is about the future then I challenge you to show me the logical connection between that scenario and the future. What is that connection?

  79. A Projection used to justify a Policy
    is in fact a Prediction.
    “The Intent travels with the bullet.”
    http://www.legallyarmedindetroit.com/2009/11/detroit-cpl-class-transfer-of-intent.html
    It is kind of like the difference between “Uncertainty” and “Risk”
    http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/ludic_fallacy.png
    Uncertainty is only an academic study of possible outcomes.
    Risk is when you have something to lose under a condition of uncertainty.

  80. Top post still says “Kenneth” in a couple places. We’re talking about the same guy, right? If we’re going to insist that words have meanings, getting the man’s name right might be a good start…

  81. Good grief, you could light a small city if you could capture the wasted energy resulting from all the keyboard tapping above.
    “IPCC makes no predictions” is true. The models make the predictions. Pachauri, et al., are deceptively trying to have it both ways. They want to be viewed as leading the charge against what they promote as a threat to the world, but they want to be able to say they weren’t responsible for the falsehoods when the whole thing falls apart. That is, they want to be able to claim they were equally duped.
    Except, they have systematically trumpeted only one note, and silenced others. And that makes them responsible. By selecting what to report, and suppressing the rest, they are co-conspirators and at least equally responsible. They are actually far more responsible than the modelers. That is because the models would have no standing, and no world stage to enable policy making. The models alone are not sufficient to wreck economies, take control over people’s lives, and reverse the gains of civilization.
    No, the IPCC bear full responsibility for the USE of the model predictions. They have made them their own.

  82. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    “Technically, Kevin is correct. They are projections and not predictions.”
    As I explained above, they are WAGs. For scientists to use the word ‘projection’ where one might expect the word ‘prediction’ is to cheat. If Kevin is willing to say that the IPCC makes WAGs and only WAGs then he will have reached the level of serious discussion.

  83. Stephen Rasey says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    Are you addressing the highly ramified context of physics or the man on the street? Trenberth presents himself as a physical scientist and the IPCC says that it reports on physical science.

  84. Error in post: the last word in the paragraph should be ‘prediction’.
    Theo Goodwin says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    Can we get serious please? Can we stop speaking with the vulgar? Computer modelers create scenarios. To say that they are projecting into the future is simply to say that they wonder if the scenario might actually play out in the future. The fact that a scenario has been created in a computer run is no reason to call it a projection. No prediction has taken place – unless you want to say that any wild idea that anyone might have is a projection.

  85. Rhoda R says:
    August 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    “In my book, and I’m sure this is true for much of the lay public, if the ‘projection’ is strong enough to demand political action, it is a ‘prediction.’ It’s bad enough they are wasting our tax money on this hoax, but now they are trying to weasel word their way to salvaging their credibility.”
    I understand what you have written and I agree with it but I would like to suggest that you phrase it differently for clarity. The clarification is this: The IPCC offers projections as reasons for political action and, therefore, are treating them as predictions.

  86. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm
    This comment is so sheepishly evasive that you have lost rank among those who post to distract.

  87. Theo Goodwin says: August 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    “If you believe that a scenario generated by a computer model is about the future then I challenge you to show me the logical connection between that scenario and the future. What is that connection?”

    Scenarios are not generated by computer models. Scientists are not expert at predicting future human decisions, so they invite discussion ( see the SRES process) and make projections based on a range of scenarios. The idea is that if you want to know what will happen, look at the scenario range and find the one that you find most likely. The AR4 says, in its glossary:
    Emission scenario: A plausible representation of the future development of emissions of substances that are potentially radiatively active (e.g., greenhouse gases, aerosols), based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about driving forces (such as demographic and socioeconomic development, technological change) and their key relationships. Concentration scenarios, derived from emission scenarios, are used as input to a climate model to compute climate projections. In IPCC (1992) a set of emission scenarios was presented which were used as a basis for the climate projections in IPCC (1996). These emission scenarios are referred to as the IS92 scenarios. In the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (Nakicenovic and Swart, 2000) new emission scenarios, the so-called SRES scenarios, were published, some of which were used, among others, as a basis for the climate projections presented in Chapters 9 to 11 of IPCC (2001) and Chapters 10 and 11 of this report. For the meaning of some terms related to these scenarios, see SRES scenarios.”
    Trenberth is right. The IPCC makes projections for various scenarios, and describes in detail the scenarios that are used.
    “For someone to present himself as a scientist and then, as a scientist, to offer a forecast is nothing less than cheating. Scientists do not forecast. A forecast is a WAG. Scientists predict or not. “
    So what do all the Met offices do?
    But of course scientists makes predictions subject to scenario. Newton says that if you apply a force to an object, you’ll get an acceleration proportional to the force. He doesn’t predict that you’ll actually do it – that’s the scenario.

  88. Whether or not it is a computer model or a thought model, the “projection” of that model into the future provides predictions at any given point along the projection. End of story folks. As in: “The model projection at 10 years out predicts that…”

  89. Nick Stokes says:
    “Trenberth is right.”
    Well, so much for Nick’s credibility. Because Trenberth is wrong.
    “Thus climate projections and climate predictions are the same thing. This means that the climate projections need to be compared with real world data in the same manner as a prediction. Kevin [Trenberth] is not correct when he writes that the  ”IPCC does not do forecasts“. They most certainly do.” ~Roy Spencer [from “Climate Misconceptions” post on his blog, ca 5-11-11]
    Furthermore, Trenberth unprofessionally tried to upend the Scientific Method when he wrote:

    “…the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence.”

    Trenberth is trying to place skeptics in the impossible position of proving a negative, because the Null Hypothesis falsifies his belief system.
    “Say anything” to keep that grant gravy train rolling, eh, Kevin?

  90. george e. smith commented on Trenberth’s IPCC claim of ‘no predictions by IPCC at all’ refuted by IPCC’s own words.

    “”””””…….An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.

    No, I see many making this mistake. That is not the kind of projection the IPCC is doing. It sets various hypothetical start conditions, and uses the models as substitutes for its postulated mechanisms, and then takes the outputs as logical consequences of those starting conditions. So it says, “If it’s cloudy, it will rain.”
    In this case, the start conditions (CO2 emissions and atmospheric content continuing to rise), it said it would get warmer. The projection is now falsified even as a projection! The start conditions did not, in fact, lead to the models’ logical output.
    So it no longer matters if the temperature rise was a projection or prediction; the models are invalidated completely. “Unfit for purpose.”

  91. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm
    “Newton says that if you apply a force to an object, you’ll get an acceleration proportional to the force. He doesn’t predict that you’ll actually do it – that’s the scenario.”
    ===========
    Very good, I like it.

  92. Let us not forget that the IPCC also predicted/projected/forecasted/prognosticated/WAG’ed about ice extent too. Keep your eye on the SH:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-13.html
    And the reality:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
    It matters little what they call it. They put down numbers with error ranges and they reality keeps falling outside of their error ranges. That’s called being wrong.

  93. The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of predictions at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

  94. Perhaps the words relating to predictions have had their meanings altered by McQuarie dictionary.
    For non-Australians, it is an in-house joke.

  95. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm
    THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.
    No. At best they are REPORTING predictions.

    False.
    One of the may crucial fictions and falsehoods the IPCC depends on is that the WG1 does the real science, and everything flows from that. In reality, WG2 & 3 are preparing their “reports” simultaneously with WG1’s work, and simply edit and snip (and sometimes demand rewrites) to make sure the “reported” WG1 output supports the precooked conclusions.

  96. Dear Anthony / Moderators,
    Second paragraph, last line: I wonder how may times the word “prediction” will be used in the upcoming AR5?
    Should be “many”.
    REPLY: Fixed thanks, Anthony

  97. An issue that plagues the place where science and politics meet is that Kevin Trenberth knows the IPCC can’t credibly predict anything but the language used to convince politicians says otherwise.

  98. Cleverly slanted redefinitions of existing words is a common trick in the more political arts subjects. To see a scientists resorting to this kind of thing is sad. Has he no better argument than semantic jiggery pokery.

  99. From IPCC AR4 WG1 8.1.1
    A specific prediction based on a model can often be demonstrated to be right or wrong, but the model itself should always be viewed critically. This is true for both weather prediction and climate prediction. Weather forecasts are produced on a regular basis, and can be quickly tested against what actually happened. Over time, statistics can be accumulated that give information on the performance of a particular model or forecast system. In climate change simulations, on the other hand, models are used to make projections of possible future changes over time scales of many decades and for which there are no precise past analogues. Confidence in a model can be gained through simulations of the historical record, or of palaeoclimate, but such opportunities are much more limited than are those available through weather prediction.
    So, by their own words, the only difference between a prediction and a projection is that the former can be verified by actual events, while the latter cannot. OK fine. But the fact of the matter is that since the IPCC started making “projections”, decades have passed. By their own definition, since we now have actual emissions and actual temperatures to compare to, the “projections” are no longer projections, they are in fact predictions that can be verified.
    And they are wrong.

  100. If it comes true it was predicted, if it doesnt it was just a projection based on assumptions, and the science has moved on, and the models have been updated etc etc. It’s a wonderful thing climate science, it can never be wrong.

  101. old44 says:
    August 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm There is a whole new greenfield opening for Macquarie Dictionary here.
    Lets quantify the paramaters.
    When does the concept of ‘forecast’ or ‘Projection’ become a ‘prediction’?
    a)at 10% confidence
    b)at 50% confidence
    c)at 95% confidence
    d)at 97% confidence
    e)some of the above
    f)all of the above
    Hint The IPCC had a 97% confidence they are right about most things.

  102. Pamela Gray says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm
    Seems to me they are splitting hairs of the length and width found on the anal end of a gnat.
    All of my life I have respected the institution of scientific methodology, among many things, as being the most precise in the use of language. I thought that scientist used Latin for the very specific reason that it was, for the most part, dead and therefore more resistant to misinterpretation.
    But in my life I have watched the protestors of the sixties morph into the administrators of the same ‘higher’ institutions from where they spawned. Now with the added power of crony capitalism via the incestuous student loan-tuition relationship and the totalitarian power of determining who may teach and what they may teach at their madras’s, err, schools. (Kate’s expression ‘The opposite of diversity is university’ applies well in this day. Imagine a campus protest now). Instead of environment being an offshoot of hard science it’s a funding food fest for the most emotive press release that can push the attack on realist that day. Careers, reputations, tons of financial resources and the well being of our progeny are wasted for ‘feel-good’ exploited for political ends.
    I do understand that civilization is something very new to our very recent species. And I believe that humans and their brains with the resultant civilization are still evolving. Religions and superstitions die hard, but they do die and we have a better standard of living and life expectancy than ever. But the power du jour is determined to reverse all of that with yet another religion( Faith before FOI ).
    So in today’s episode we have the Trenberths and the Stokes asking us to invest trillions we don’t have on the distinction between ‘prediction’ and ‘probability’ with the ‘promise’ that the ‘Anthropocene’ will look like one of the bands in the Grand Canyon. Now that was CLIMATE CHANGE you could believe in and fast.

  103. What Nick is trying to say is that the IPCC never makes any predictions, they make projections based on emission scenarios. However, according to Nick, it is acceptable to refer to these projections as predictions if at a later date the known emissions actually fall within the emission scenario range. If Nick is willing to call these predictions, then it is seems to me the IPCC does make predictions even though they are conditional predictions. I wonder if Trenberth would balk at the term “conditional prediction”?

  104. roncram says: August 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    “I wonder if Trenberth would balk at the term “conditional prediction”?”

    Probably not. Here’s how the AR4 glossary defines projection:
    Projection: A projection is a potential future evolution of a quantity or set of quantities, often computed with the aid of a model. Projections are distinguished from predictions in order to emphasize that projections involve assumptions concerning, for example, future socioeconomic and technological developments that may or may not be realised, and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty.”
    Sounds like conditional prediction. Science is all about these. I gave the example of Newton – if you apply a force to a body and it will accelerate proportional to the force. It doesn’t say you will do that, or how much force – that’s the scenario. Then when you check the prediction, when you know how much force and how much mass, you can test it as a prediction. And of course, it generally won’t be right – friction etc. The scenario didn’t exactly apply. Doesn’t mean Newton’s laws are useless.

  105. Trenberth:
    the science is settled or done and now is the time for action

    ================================
    great. if the science is settled, then what possible need is there for climate scientists? there is nothing left for them to discover. they should all be made redundant and engineers hired in their place to make things happen.
    take the 100 billion dollars or so spent on climate science and redirect this to climate engineering. you want it hotter, we will make it hotter. you want it colder, we will make it colder. and for a lot less $$ than currently being quoted. and we will turn a profit at the same time, so that taxpayers and energy consumers aren’t stuck with the bill.
    right now farmers and loggers are getting billions of dollars in free CO2 fertilizer, which is being passed along to the consumers in the form of lower prices. Its time we started kicking some of this back to the power companies, so they can cut energy prices even further, increasing the amount of airborne fertilizer and further increasing food supplies, further lowering food prices and energy prices.
    That will create a true peace dividend. Low energy prices and low food prices. Not the phoney peace we have today, propped up by billions of $$ in handouts. Take this dividends and kick start the space program. Add reflectors in space to light the night and open up the Arctic to exploration. Use the reflectors to shade the deserts and restore the rains where needed. Sure there will be winners and losers, but overall there will be winners. Bring back the spirit of exploration that created the world we know, before we became afraid of own shadows.

  106. Rigidly speaking (out of kindness granting Trenberth a premise) the models make “projections” not “predictions”.
    But the IPCC uses those projections to make predictions. From the projections of the models the IPCC leaps to making predictions.
    Trenberth relies on his definition of “model” to claim that models do not make predictions but projections — but the IPCC does not function like — is not a “model”. His error in critical thinking is to make the assumption that “climate models” and the IPCC are equivalent in nature — that the conclusive process at the IPCC is equivalent to “modeling”.
    The conclusive process at the IPCC is, as we all know, emotional (and the emotions are quite base).
    The IPCC does not just run the numbers like a computer model. We can say of a computer model — garbage in, garbage out.
    But of the IPCC, which does not function like a computer, we can say — garbage in plus garbage people equals self-aggrandizing, self-benefiting incompetence spewing forth as “science”.
    Adolf Hitler said something like — Trust only your heart, your heart will never lead you astray.
    The warmists completely trust their hearts. They JUST KNOW they are doing the right and necessary thing. Their emotions tell them so.
    Eugene WR Gallun
    .

  107. Nonsense. The projection is the entire thing from now into the future. A single point along that projection is a prediction. And when that given point in time (pick one, it doesn’t matter) occurs in real time and is now, the prediction can be wrong, shades of wrong, shades of right, or right. That condition of the point (wrong-kinda wrong-kinda right-right) along the projection does not change the thing from a “projection” to a “prediction” just because it is right, or wrong for that matter. It simply says that the prediction for that projection is what it is. The model got it right or did not at that point. So far, there have been lots and lots of failed predictions along the projection of these models. Every day that passes is another failed predicted point of that projection. And it is mighty entertaining to watch!

  108. Pamela Gray says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    Whether or not it is a computer model or a thought model, the “projection” of that model into the future provides predictions at any given point along the projection.
    ===========
    agreed. for those scenarios where reality matches the assumptions. So for example if the IPCC makes projections based on CO2 growth of 5,10,15%, and the observed increase is 10%, then the 10% projection is indeed a prediction.
    So a prediction is a realized projection. Once the projection is realized, the accuracy of the prediction can be compared with reality for accuracy. Thus, the realized IPCC projections of the past can now be analyzed as predictions to see if they are falsified.
    And they are. In spectacular fashion the IPCC models are running hot for those scenarios where forcings match observations, which should be next to impossible if it is due to chance, given the number of models and the number of simulations. which leads us to conclude that the error is not due to chance. rather, the models are biased hot, or in some other fashion fundamentally flawed.

  109. Pamela Gray says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    Whether or not it is a computer model or a thought model, the “projection” of that model into the future provides predictions at any given point along the projection.
    ===========
    this is actually quite an important insight. it provides a means to turn past IPCC projections into predictions, to see how well they match reality, which is the basis of the scientific method.
    there is no value in analyzing current projections, because nothing can be concluded either way. However, for past projections an analysis can be done:
    A. for those past projections where the forcings match today’s observations, how well do the past projected (NOW PREDICTED) temperatures match today’s observations. If they don’t match, at least within the predicted bounds, then the model has been falsified.
    B. for those past model projections where the forcings do not match today’s observations, nothing can be said either way. except perhaps that the model builders chose poorly in the scenarios they chose to model.
    so, current model projections are without value, as are past projections where the projected scenario does not match reality. only those past projections whose inputs (forcings) match the current observations are of any scientific value from the point of view of validation.

  110. Nick Stokes says: August 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    IPCC projections are predictions subject to future changes
    Gotta love it … is this some sore of ‘double speak’?
    The IPCC make ‘projections’ based on projected future emission scenarios, and predicted (modelled) climate responses to that scenario, but when the emission scenario eventuates and the climate response does not, the failed climate prediction is somehow NOT a failed prediction?

  111. one problem is that the Warmistas use words like…might and may…and then go on to assume that is is fact…journalists do this all the time…the general public is ill informed…and assumes it is fact.

  112. In re this “projection” whiplash: If Trenberth was a photographer, he would be Robert Maplethorpe.

  113. ferd berple says: August 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm
    Pamela Gray says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    Whether or not it is a computer model or a thought model, the “projection” of that model into the future provides predictions at any given point along the projection.
    ===========
    this is actually quite an important insight. it provides a means to turn past IPCC projections into predictions, to see how well they match reality, which is the basis of the scientific method.
    there is no value in analyzing current projections, because nothing can be concluded either way. However, for past projections an analysis can be done:
    A. for those past projections where the forcings match today’s observations, how well do the past projected (NOW PREDICTED) temperatures match today’s observations. If they don’t match, at least within the predicted bounds, then the model has been falsified.
    B. for those past model projections where the forcings do not match today’s observations, nothing can be said either way. except perhaps that the model builders chose poorly in the scenarios they chose to model.

    Well, Pamela is clearly wrong – model projections give you a calculated response to a supplied forcing. Change the forcing and you get a different answer. That is well understood. The forcing is the scenario.
    But ferd’s A and B are right. The projection says, if the scenario happens, then this will happen, That is perfectly testable. We’re used to arguing about whether Hansen 1988 got it right, and which scenario applies. Of course, people disagree, but at least the facts are there to argue about.
    And B is right. If the scenarios completely missed, there’s nothing can be said, and the projections were a waste of time. So they do try hard to get a good range. Of course, no scenario can be exactly right.

  114. Sorry Nick. I am right. The scenario is the input (IE set this dial to this number, put this fudge factor in, run it several times to cancel/reduce natural variation, and then use the average trace with error bands as the projection of the scenario). The projection is the entire output, not just the end of it. The prediction is every point along the projection and is compared to actual observations.
    It’s done in rate of improvement calculations all the time. We take baseline data and say this about it. We add something to the educational curriculum (IE the scenario: more time, more repetition, additional time with supplemental curriculum, etc) and say that we want to see an accelerated learning rate and plot one (the projection). We then begin treatment and take observations to compare to our hoped for projected trend to see if our prediction at any point in time is right. If it is we continue with the treatment. If not we let the current treatment run a little longer. If the predictions still are not what we want to see, we change the treatment.

  115. Pamela Gray says: August 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm
    “Sorry Nick. I am right. The scenario is the input (IE set this dial to this number, put this fudge factor in, run it several times to cancel/reduce natural variation, and then use the average trace with error bands as the projection of the scenario). The projection is the entire output, not just the end of it. The prediction is every point along the projection and is compared to actual observations.”

    Well, any computer provides an output that is a response to its input. But if you want to call it a prediction, the question is, what of? In this case, the IPCC says the input numbers are a scenario, and as ferd says, it is then a prediction of real climate subject to that scenario. If that scenario didn’t eventuate, there’s no point in comparing the results to observations. The stated condition didn’t apply.
    Conversely, if the scenario did unfold, it’s a real prediction, and you can say whether it was right or wrong.

  116. Ferd Berble says:
    “great. if the science is settled, then what possible need is there for climate scientists? there is nothing left for them to discover. they should all be made redundant and engineers hired in their place to make things happen.
    take the 100 billion dollars or so spent on climate science and redirect this to climate engineering. you want it hotter, we will make it hotter. you want it colder, we will make it colder. and for a lot less $$ than currently being quoted. and we will turn a profit at the same time, so that taxpayers and energy consumers aren’t stuck with the bill.”
    Difficult to argue with that.
    But then, the climate scientists could be wrong about CAGW – they obviously are – and that means they have sucked at the global financial teat for far too long and should now all be kicked out unceremoniously into the real world on their feather bottomed backsides.
    Either way, it is difficult to argue climate scientists and their ‘research’ are anything other than a huge waste of financial resources, which could be much better spent elsewhere.
    What scares me about the upcoming AR5 is that governments have to approve the final conclusions of this document before it can be published. So no matter how good or bad this document is, the press/media will be reporting on the whims of a bunch of greenie bureaucrats with a remit to produce excuses for new energy taxes.

  117. DAV:
    At August 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399950
    You refute my explanation that

    THE IPCC DOES MAKE PREDICTIONS.

    By saying

    No. At best they are REPORTING predictions. The net result is a projection based on what they are reporting. They do at times give the impression that the work is their own. I’ll hand you that.

    NO! The IPCC reports what it has endorsed and adopted.
    When the IPCC adopts a prediction and then reports the prediction then the IPCC is making the prediction.
    Similarly, I am making a prediction if I run into town shouting “The world will end tomorrow. I know because Mystic Meg told me.”
    Richard

  118. Irrespective of whether they are called projections or predictions, both are falsifiable entities and both have failed the test. So the whole issue boils down to semantics.

  119. Nick Stokes:
    At August 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399987
    you say

    You haven’t responded to my challenge – instead of a whole lot of quotes of people talking about predictions, find an instance of the IPCC actually making one. Using words like “we predict…”. That’s what you need to refute Trenberth.

    It would help if you read the thread before writing such stuff.
    At August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399910
    I quoted IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html
    That quotation says

    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..

    Nick, do you understand the difference between “implying” and “would be expected”?
    They are making a clear and unequivocal prediction based on a stated present situation (i.e. the current energy imbalance of the Earth) when they say

    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.

    And they are explaining what their prediction would be if something additional occurred when they add

    About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios..

    Note the word “expected”. They are discussing what they expect and – as such – they are saying what they think will happen.
    To avert your predictable response, I quote the Oxford English Dictionary
    verb
    [with object]
    regard (something) as likely to happen:
    we expect the best [with object and infinitive]:he expects the stock market to sink further
    [with clause]
    we expect that farmers will harvest 63 million acres of hay
    Richard

  120. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    There’s a big difference between the terms, Pamela.
    An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.
    The latter can be verified while the first can’t be.
    ______________________________________________________________
    But predictions contain uncertainty so your example doesn’t quite work either.
    “It will rain soon” is a prediction that may not eventuate given the uncertainty in your prediction.
    Lets face it there’s bugger-all difference its just BS sematics.

  121. richardscourtney says: August 26, 2013 at 1:34 am
    “Nick, do you understand the difference between “implying” and “would be expected”?”

    You haven’t quoted the whole para. It starts:
    “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”
    and they go on to discuss, as you say, the “committed warming trend” (same condition). This is a scenario projection, in this case of GHG’s held constant (basically Hansen’s original scenario C). It’s in no sense a prediction, because no-one expects that to happen. They are just base numbers.
    And they go on to say
    “About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios”
    again a scenario projection – note the “if”.

  122. Go to the IPCC homepage and type “predictions” into their search engine. One interesting link is to the Policymakers Summary http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf which shows in their table of contents a section on “How much confidence do we have in our predictions? xxvii”. That section wiggles around with all the uncertainties involved but states “For this reason, climate change is likely to be greater than the estimates we have given”. In other words “It’s going to get bad, we’re just not sure how bad”

  123. Nick Stokes:
    re your silly post at August 26, 2013 at 3:10 am which evades the point made in my post at August 26, 2013 at 1:34 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1400177
    I made the full quotation in my original post which I was explaining and I linked to that post from the explanation you have avoided.
    If you had an argument then you would have presented it. Pretending I did other than I did as evasion of the issue demonstrates that YOU know you have no argument.
    Richard

  124. richardscourtney says: August 26, 2013 at 3:46 am
    “If you had an argument then you would have presented it”

    The argument is perfectly clear. Every quote you have given from the IPCC in that post is conditional on future emissions – exactly the kind of projection that Trenberth said they make. You have nothing.

  125. Nick both you and the IPCC are full of recycled hay, they used the words predict and project interchangeably because they knew that the people that these reports were aimed at would not know the difference between them. That is the whole point, by using the words like they have they are guilty of obfuscation and they know it and so should you, if you don’t then you need to stop and take a step back and let some fresh air into your system.

  126. Thomas Traill says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    @Graphicconception and David, UK: How are you supposed to predict if it will rain in three months if you don’t know what the humidity will be. It is perfectly sound that the IPCC uses projections, because it doesn’t know what the emissions will be. Anything else would be too simple. And to answer your rhetorical question: If, as a young man/woman you you are told that you will probably produce children if you have regular, unprotected intercourse, that is a very useful conditional statement. I am mystified how you can generalise them as being pointless.

    You misunderstood, or maybe I was unclear. I meant to say that projections that are not predicted to happen are useless. Remember, Trenberth’s (untruthful) point was that the IPCC does not make, and has not made, any predictions. Lots of projections, but no predictions. This is not true, and would be silly if it were.
    If a man and woman have regular, unprotected intercourse, it is a reasonable prediction that they will produce offspring sooner or later. You could lay reasonable odds on it. And you could also then make projections about, say, how long they will take to conceive, based on frequency of intercourse, quality of sperm, genetic compatibility, and other factors. These projections are useful precisely because they are based on a reasonable prediction (that conception will happen).
    One could also make projections for the scenario that if an alien were to come down and have intercourse with a female, what the various possible outcomes may be. She could give birth to a human-alien hybrid. The pregnancy could fail due to lack of genetic compatibility. Or… well, who cares. An alien impregnating a human ain’t predicted to happen, so is a completely pointless exercise.
    The IPCC of course DOES make predictions, which is why, at least in its own eyes and many others, it is able to claim that its projections are useful, as opposed to pointless.
    Still mystified?

  127. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm
    Theo Goodwin says: August 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    “If you believe that a scenario generated by a computer model is about the future then I challenge you to show me the logical connection between that scenario and the future. What is that connection?”
    “Scenarios are not generated by computer models. Scientists are not expert at predicting future human decisions, so they invite discussion ( see the SRES process) and make projections based on a range of scenarios. The idea is that if you want to know what will happen, look at the scenario range and find the one that you find most likely. The AR4 says, in its glossary:”
    So they arbitrarily attach their own estimate of likelihood. No such estimate can be inferred from the scenario itself.
    “For someone to present himself as a scientist and then, as a scientist, to offer a forecast is nothing less than cheating. Scientists do not forecast. A forecast is a WAG. Scientists predict or not. “
    “So what do all the Met offices do?”
    They do WAGs as all weather people have always done. Their record of success is so poor that they now deny that they do forecasts beyond what the TV people do.
    “But of course scientists makes predictions subject to scenario. Newton says that if you apply a force to an object, you’ll get an acceleration proportional to the force. He doesn’t predict that you’ll actually do it – that’s the scenario.”
    Newton uses his laws which are stated as universal generalizations and are used in genuine inferences to the phenomenon to be explained. There is a logical connection. You do not have a clue what I am saying. Read Hempel’s “Aspects of Scientific Explanation” or Scheffler’s “Anatomy of Inquiry.”

  128. Jimbo says:
    August 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm
    “Do you agree that the IPCC has in the past made a prediction? The IPCC says so as I have pointed out repeatedly.”
    Yes, I agree. They present themselves as summarizing the world’s best science and, therefore, present themselves as making predictions. When challenged, they deny that they make predictions. In sum, they cheat.

  129. Nick Stokes says:
    August 26, 2013 at 4:14 am
    richardscourtney says: August 26, 2013 at 3:46 am
    “If you had an argument then you would have presented it”
    “The argument is perfectly clear. Every quote you have given from the IPCC in that post is conditional on future emissions – exactly the kind of projection that Trenberth said they make. You have nothing.”
    Nick, Nick, Nick. The only thing there is reasonable certainty about IS the emissions of CO2 into the future. When you say lets look at three scenarios -rapid curtailment of emissions from now on, reduced rate of emissions from now on, or business as usual. There is only one reasonable scenario here and it is between a somewhat reduced rate and the business as usual scenario. Shall I predict that for you? Do you disagree with this? Now even if you believe that this is not correct, that tomorrow it is likely we will stop emitting, your “science” has a prediction conditional on the scenario. Are you saying that they make the projection because there is little confidence that, given one or each of the scenarios, we have no idea what the temperature will do, or are we saying, since we don’t know what CO2 scenario is in the offing, we don’t know what prediction is appropriate. So far, what we have is a recent temperature record that falls below a scenario of rapid curtailment of CO2 emissions. Really, the theory as you know it has been grandly falsified. This great disappointment has led to the semantic nonsense that these were only projections and is an attempt to misdirect away from the miserable predictions. The UK Met Office convened a meeting of friends to explore the reasons for UK’s DISAPPOINTING WEATHER! Not its completely upside down predictions for UK weather. UK’s weather is lousy and disappointing as usual.

  130. I agree with Pamela. There is no use trying to convince Nick S.
    He is immune to logic.
    Give him a sandwich board and send him out on the street.

  131. http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf
    Page 5 of the above PDF, for Nick and everyone else to see:
    Based on current model results, we predict:
    • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A)
    emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of
    global mean temperature during the next century of
    about 0 3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of
    0 2°C to 0 5°C per decade), this is greater than that
    seen over the past 10,000 years This will result in a
    likely increase in global mean temperature of about
    1°C above the present value by 2025 and VC before
    the end of the next century […] ”
    There are multiple other instances of the word throughout the document, including the phrase “our predictions” found earlier by another contributor here.
    So, Nick, that’s the answer to your challenge to find the statement “We predict” in an IPCC document – and it’s in the most obvious of places, namely in the “Executive Summary” in the Policymakers’ Summary. If “predicting” something weren’t the main business of the IPCC, why would they put the term in such a prominent place, where it’s sure to be read even (and especially) by those with only very cursory knowledge of the subject and the organization? QED.

  132. Rather than arguing with these guys we should highlight their arguments. I can see the headline now .
    Headline: IPCC claims it has NEVER predicted the Earth would warm
    Subtitle: Travesty Trenberth states “There are no predictions by IPCC at all. There never has been.”

  133. The fact that Trenberth and the IPCC are both playing a semantics game is absolute proof that Trenberth is not practicing science and the IPCC is not reporting the science. It’s called politics. Why should we believe anything either of them say?

  134. I think this quote from Trenberth could be very useful in court cases against the EPA. After all, the EPA has stated that they have based their decisions on the IPCC reports. If the IPCC doesn’t make any predictions then what possible reason could the EPA have to enforce CO2 emission limits?

  135. One has to wonder if this isn’t part of a general retreat by certain climate scientists.
    “Golly gee, it was never us making claims of future catastrophic warming, That was some (unnamed) group of alarmists that must not have understood what we were telling them. We can’t be blamed for the politicians listening to these non climate scientists.”
    Look out Romm, Cook, McKibben, Gleick, et al. The climate scientists just took one big step backwards and left you hanging in the wind.

  136. Anthony, you need to correct the spelling of from Dr. Kenneth Trenberth to Kevin.
    [Revised in story section. Thanks to all for pointing this out. Mod]

  137. Theo Goodwin says: @ August 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm
    …….Physics is a highly ramified context. In that context, the word ‘prediction’ does not have the same meaning as it has for the man in the street. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion allowed him to predict the motions of the planets. Galileo used those laws and his telescope to predict the phases of Venus. Newton could predict. Einstein could predict. But the claim that you will become transgender tomorrow is not a prediction and cannot be for the obvious reason that it is based on no laws of human nature……
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Nice catch-22. The PROJECTIONS are IF-THEN statements made by the models.
    The IF part of the statements are:
    # 1. No change in CO2 emissions – status quo.
    #2. Some modification of human behavior, less CO2 emissions than in #1
    #3. Major Modification of human behavior, much less CO2 emissions than in #2.
    …..
    Special Note
    A Climategate e-mail from Anne JOHNSON has Subject: new IPCC-SRES Zero Order Draft ….a copy of Ged Davis’ IPCC-SRES Zero Order Draft on storylines and scenarios… The e-mail was sent to a long list of IPCC authors. Since Shell’s VP, Ged Davis [d]uring the late 1990s, …served as Director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Global Scenarios and as Facilitator and Lead Author of the IPCC’s Emission Scenarios, it is a wee bit tough to try and say IPCC was not neck deep in the climate modeling.
    …..
    The THEN part of the statements for initial condition #1 (no change in emission habits) for all the IPCC reports are shown in this GRAPH.
    As Thomas Traill says: @ August 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    To be honest with you, I think this is a non-issue. I see no evidence of dishonesty in Trenberth’s words. Just look beyond the region you have marked yellow. You’ll see he defines conditional statements (“what if”) as distinct from predictions, and says all statements in the reports are conditional, e.g. based on certain possible emissions scenarios.…..

    However the THEN part of the “Projection” becomes a “Prediction” once those “conditional statements (“what if”)” are met and the IPCC crows about reality meeting the “Prediction” made dependent on the “conditional statements” (No change in human behavior/ CO2 emissions)

    …The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contribution to global mean temperature of slightly over 0.1°C in the five years following the SAR, which is consistent with the observed change since the SAR (Chapter 2). The predicted increase in the anthropogenic signal…
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/pdf/TAR-12.PDF

    However now that the PREDICTIONS of models based on scenario #1 are failing Trenberth/IPCC are backpedaling and hand waving for all they are worth.
    …..
    I do not care how they slice and dice the language, their actions and hard copy words stand. This type of semantic game playing is the first refuse of rogues and liars. The change from “Global Cooling” to “Global Warming” to “Climate Change” to “Climate Disruption” or “Weather Weirding” or what ever the jingle of the day is shows they are flimflam artists not scientists.

  138. For a discussion of this (artifical in my view) attempt to distinguish between a “prediction” and a “projection”, see these papers
    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2002: Overlooked issues in the U.S. National Climate and IPCC assessments. Climatic Change, 52, 1-11. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-225.pdf
    MacCracken, M., 2002: Do the uncertainty ranges in the IPCC and U.S. National Assessments account adequately for possibly overlooked climatic influences. Climatic Change, 52, 13-23. http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/maccracken2002.pdf
    Also, see the post and comment discussion in the weblog post
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2013/07/prediction-or-projection-nomenclature.html
    Roger Sr.

  139. Nick has become very silent after Thorsten proved him wrong. Be a good sport, Nick, and admit you were blinded by your uncritical admiration for the IPCC.

  140. I am aware of the CURRENT situation regarding what the IPCC calls projections, scenarios and ‘what if’. I don’t care about the current situation. They could play with Voodoo dolls for all I care. My comment was concerning Trenberths clear statement in 2007 that the IPCC has never made predictions. Then we find the IPCC themselves saying very clearly: “The SAR predicted an increase in the anthropogenic contri-bution to global mean temperature……” Either Trenberth is wrong or the IPCC wrong but the can’t both be right.
    Example: I have never been to Spain. Then along comes a commenter showing me in an unaltered photo at a famous Spanish landmark back in 2007. What would people call me?
    Please no one tell me that the IPCC makes projections / scenarios, I know what they do NOW and in the present. I expect Nick Stokes along any minute now to repeat what the IPCC does and ignore that the IPCC itself said The SAR predicted…… Sheesh!

  141. beng says:
    August 26, 2013 at 7:23 am
    “Warmers are predicting, projecting, injecting and ejecting all at once.”
    you forgot “And SEE-LEC-TING” (apologies to Arol Guthrie)!

  142. What the IPCC/ Climate Scientists are saying is “We projected using our handy dandy models that with the worse case CO2 emissions the temperatures would climb.” The CO2 emissions as measured have climbed as projected by the temperature has not.
    There is no problem, we can all go home now. (Given it was 49F in mid NC this morning and I am wearing a sweat shirt in AUGUST, their credibility has sprung a huge leak.)

  143. What I find hilarious about Nick is that he is attributing emotion to the connotation of prediction (as if it is a bad thing to do compared to making a projection). In climate science there is no emotional color to it. You build a model, project it forward, and then make testable predictive statements -the hypothesis- about your projection. The solar folks did it. Some models were better than others. But I don’t hear Hathaway saying, “I didn’t make a prediction, I made a projection”. He fearlessly made a prediction (maximum SSN would be thus and so) based on how he thought his model would work going forward (the projection of the model) in terms of cycle 24.
    IPCC took the projections from the various scenarios and made predictive statements of how things would look in the future and at certain times in the future (IE “…when projected out to year 2100, the mean global temperature will have risen by,,,”). These predictive statements were then placed in the summary for use as guidelines for policy and program development. They didn’t have to say the words “we predict”. They didn’t have to. It is obvious. A prediction is the word that best describes the statements made by IPCC about future conditions as shown by model projections. And I would lay a bet that Nick is far more into this discussion of whether or not IPCC did or did not make predictions than the science panels themselves are.

  144. What I find interesting about the early projections is that the null hypothesis projection was not included. That was a huge failure on the part of Hansen in my opinion. He did not build a model that was the null hypothesis (IE without the anthropogenic fudge factor going forward even though the hindcast would have sucked). He should have done it anyway with that caveat.

  145. Basic tenet of climate science: never do or say anything which can be falsified. (For obvious reasons).
    If you say that something is a prediction, that something can be compared with subsequent observation.
    Hence, if you are wily climatologist you strive to obscure predictions which might otherwise disturb the tranquil luxury of your ignoble field.

  146. Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    Here is a quote with the words “we predict” from the IPCC. [my bold]

    Page 1
    Policymakers Summary – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    …Based on current model results, we predict:
    • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A)
    emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0 3°C per decade…..
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

  147. As far back as the IPCC First Assessment Report in 1990 , IPCC said in their Executive Summary for the Policymakers, Summary of the WG1,
    “Based on current models, we predict: under [BAU] increase of global mean temperature during the [21st] century of about 0.3 oC per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2 to 0.5 oC per decade); this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years; under other … scenarios which assume progressively increasing levels of controls, rates of increase in global mean temperature of about 0.2 oC [to] about 0.1 oC per decade.”
    Clearly they used the word “predict” from day one and now to claim otherwise in the face of failing predictions seems dishonest and will further erode any credibility that they may have left. Instead of simply admitting that they made a mistake and correcting their work [ which by the way , most scientists make one time or another] , they have chosen the denial game which gets them into even a worse situation.

  148. Unfortunately although WE know Trenberth is playing word games (and outright lying) it is he not us that gets the media coverage so the BIG LIE becomes TRUTH. That is the reason propaganda works so well.
    (Thank goodness for the internet and WUWT so at least some reason manages to leak out.)

  149. Thorsten says:
    August 26, 2013 at 6:25 am
    I just realised you already found the same thing before me. I was commenting and searching. So Nick, what you say about WE PREDICT?

    • “philincalifornia says:
      August 26, 2013 at 8:59 am
      Lord Haw Haw
      Tokyo Rose
      Pyongyang Sally
      Baghdad Bob
      Travesty Trenberth”
      And
      Racehorse Stokes.

  150. The IPCC is an unscroupolous organisations. The Policymakers’ Summary is littered with predictions yet the IPCC does not make predictions. Trenberth claim in 2007 is false. Nick Stokes has lost the argument. I counted 62 mentions of the word predict and variations thereof.
    Here is a sample
    “……regional climate changes different from the global
    mean, although our confidence in the prediction of
    the detail of regional changes is low For example,
    temperature increases in Southern Europe and central
    North America are predicted to be higher than the
    global mean accompanied on average by reduced
    summer precipitation and soil moistuic There are
    less consistent predictions lor the tropics and the
    Southern Hemisphere….”
    “There are many uncertainties in our predictions
    particularly with regard to the timing, magnitude and
    regional patterns of climate change, due to our
    incomplete understanding of…”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

  151. Theo Goodwin said @ August 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Physics is a highly ramified context. In that context, the word ‘prediction’ does not have the same meaning as it has for the man in the street. Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion allowed him to predict the motions of the planets. Galileo used those laws and his telescope to predict the phases of Venus.

    Tosh! Galileo refused to read the book that Kepler had sent him. Galileo (like Copernicus) insisted that the planets could only move in perfect circles because that was the will of God. He never used Kepler’s Laws.

  152. Git, don’t you [think] it was possible that Galileo was mincing words due to the bars on his window?

  153. The situation we have [now] is not unlike back then. I think we all know that scientists have to be careful what they say about climate change. Bars are as fearful as loss of grant money.

  154. Hey Dav…
    While we are throwing around “P” words. There is another that it popping up frequently: potential’
    If:
    “An example of a projection: It’s cloudy so it might rain soon.
    An example of a prediction: It will rain soon.”
    Then
    An example of potential: The sky is clear, but it might get cloudy and then it will rain. or….The sky is clear, but it will get cloudy and then it might rain.
    Sounds like the local version of the old saw: If you can’t see Mount Hood it is raining and if you can see Mount Hood it is about to rain. ….In other words: IT IS A JOKE!
    The AMA read the IPCC report an came away with these conclusions:
    “Supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant. These climate changes will create conditions that affect public health, with disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, and the poor.”
    …catch the “will”…the doctors at the AMA think the IPCC made a prediction, and they respond with “potential”:
    “Supports educating the medical community on the potential adverse public health effects…..
    https://ssl3.ama-assn.org/apps/ecomm/PolicyFinderForm.pl?site=www.ama-assn.org&uri=%2fresources%2fdoc%2fPolicyFinder%2fpolicyfiles%2fHnE%2fH-135.938.HTM
    reminds me of:
    Stepmother: Well, I see no reason why you can’t go… if you get all your work done.
    Cinderella: Oh, I will. I promise.
    Stepmother: And, if you can find something suitable to wear.
    Cinderella: I’m sure I can. Oh, thank you, Stepmother.
    [she exits]
    Drizella: Mother, do you realize what you just said?
    Stepmother: Of course. I said, “If.”

  155. Now let me put this to Nick Stokes. First I will show you Trenberth’s clear statement. Then I will show you what the IPCC says in it’s Policymakers’ Summary.

    DR. KEVIN TRENBERTH – 4 Jun 2007
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios.

    POLICYMAKERS SUMMARY
    “…How much confidence do we have in our predictions? xxvu…”
    “…There are many uncertainties in our predictions particularly with regard…”
    “…To improve our predictive capability, we need…”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

    Game, set, and match. Trenberth was making stuff up. And so were you Nick. This is the power of the many over the few – crowds.

  156. “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.”
    From the IPCC:
    “Projection
    The term “projection” is used in two senses in the climate change literature. In general usage, a projection can be regarded as any description of the future and the pathway leading to it. However, a more specific interpretation has been attached to the term “climate projection” by the IPCC when referring to model-derived estimates of future climate.
    Forecast/Prediction
    When a projection is branded “most likely” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained using deterministic models, possibly a set of these, outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections.”
    http://www.ipcc-data.org/guidelines/pages/definitions.html
    They do both.

  157. The issue isn’t whether you call them predictions or projections; the issue is that, whatever you call them, they are wrong — 100% of the time. The question then becomes what value are these projections? Why spend hundreds of millions of dollars, when you can obtain equally (in)accurate results playing the Sims game on your Xbox.
    By design, the models will always be wrong, because the purpose is not to project the future, the purpose is to create doomsday scenarios. This is why they have started pushing the timelines of their “projections” out to 50 or 100 years.

  158. DAV says:
    August 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm
    “… (IOW: puffery).”
    So your contention is that Trenberth is telling the truth because the IPCC lies.
    OK I’ll buy that. The IPCC lies.

  159. Pamela Gray said @ August 26, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Git, don’t you [think] it was possible that Galileo was mincing words due to the bars on his window?

    What bars on his window? What is it you do not understand about house arrest? Kepler’s Astronomia Nova was published in 1609 and Kepler sent a copy to Galileo while he was teaching at the University of Padua. In June 1633, a quarter of a century later he was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. However this was commuted to house arrest on the following day. In 1619 when summoned to Rome for the debate over Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium Galileo had complained bitterly about being forced to leave his home and travel because of his arthritis.
    August 26, 2013 at 9:18 am

    “…think…” I hate windows 8.

    I also hate Office 2013!

    The situation we have [now] is not unlike back then. I think we all know that scientists have to be careful what they say about climate change. Bars are as fearful as loss of grant money.

    Galileo never showed the slightest sign of fear when insulting all and sundry in his day. While he thought he could get away with insulting the pope, this turned out to be… a turning point and he was punished. His attacks on Orazio Grassi and Christopher Scheiner are to say the least bizarre. Galileo insisted that comets were an atmospheric phenomenon; Grassi and Scheiner’s observations indicated that they occurred in the space between the moon and the sun. As was usual with Galileo he never attacked their science; he much preferred insult and polemics.
    The situation back then was quite different to today, but that’s a whole other topic that I will not pursue here.

  160. Nick Stokes:
    I am replying to your post at August 26, 2013 at 4:14 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1400220
    Either you need to take an elementary course in reading comprehension or you are providing a deliberate falsehood.
    You say to me

    The argument is perfectly clear. Every quote you have given from the IPCC in that post is conditional on future emissions – exactly the kind of projection that Trenberth said they make. You have nothing.

    NO! That is a falsehood.
    For the third time I make the same quote from I quoted IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html
    That quotation says

    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.

    Nick, since you claim you lack sufficient literacy to understand that, I will parse it for you.
    Nick, that means a group of people (i.e. Hansen et al.) did a calculation which they reported in 2005.
    They did NOT use any projections or any assumptions about future “emissions”. They did their calculation on the basis of what then existed.
    And their calculation showed “the current energy imbalance of the Earth”. By “current” they meant what then existed. They did not make any projections or assumptions about what would happen to the energy balance in the future.
    This calculated energy imbalance of itself “implies” (i.e. indicates with low certainty) that the “unrealised global warming” is about 0.6°C. In other words, there is a clear suggestion but with unstated confidence that global warming of “about 0.6°C” will occur.
    That is a clear prediction of global warming that is “implied” by the then existing situation and “without any further increase in radiative forcing”.
    Nick, the “committed warming” is a clear prediction, and – contrary to your falsehood – it is NOT “conditional on future emissions”.
    Also, the IPCC’s stresses that the direct “committed warming” IS A PREDICTION by following that statement with this addition of another prediction then a projection which I also quoted.
    The additional prediction says

    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.

    and the projection says

    About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios..

    Richard

  161. The scenarios and projections are the kettle of fish they brought to the table. And now they are being cooked in it. The only reason why they are waiting to jump out is the hope that Mother Nature will develop a strong El Nino before the water gets too damn hot.

  162. richardscourtney says: August 26, 2013 at 11:46 am
    ” I will parse it for you.”

    You can’t parse. Here’s your quote:
    “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.”
    Firstly it’s Hansen et al, not the IPCC. But look at the proviso, which I bolded. The number is from a zero forcing increase scenario. You could even ponder the word “unrealised”. That doesn’t sound like something you’d say about a prediction.
    In fact the term “committed warming” is used to partition the heat components calculated by models. It is certainly not a prediction of temperature at some future point in time (what time?). It might be considered a lower bound for something, but the IPCC (and certainly Hansen) are not expecting zero further increase in radiative forcing.

  163. Well, neo-marxists and post-modernists (the ideology behind most climate alarmists) like to play loose with words because they think that words create reality.
    However many of them have become delusional, some consciously dishonest.

  164. Good to see you back Nick Stokes. As you can see we found your “We predict” and a few “our predictions” as a bonus. My statement is clear: Trenberth was wrong when he said:

    DR. KEVIN TRENBERTH – 4 Jun 2007
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios.

    As you can see and read the IPCC has made predictions. Trenberth’s statement is false. I don’t care whether the IPCC ALSO makes projections, forecasts or scenarios, it’s neither here nor their. My point stays the same and has been show to be subsequently correct.

  165. Nick Stokes:
    Following your having demonstrated you cannot read, at August 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1400548
    you demonstrate you cannot understand.
    You say

    Firstly it’s Hansen et al, not the IPCC.

    No, Nick, it was the IPCC I quoted and not Hansen et al.
    The IPCC were endorsing what they think Hansen et al said by reporting it.
    The IPCC used their words to state the prediction they agreed and endorsed.
    So, the IPCC made the prediction in their own words.
    Nick, you need medical treatment if you cannot understand that.
    Then you say

    But look at the proviso, which I bolded. The number is from a zero forcing increase scenario. You could even ponder the word “unrealised”. That doesn’t sound like something you’d say about a prediction.

    No, Nick, that is wrong on two counts.
    Please read my post you are attempting to reply. It is at August 26, 2013 at 11:46 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1400486
    I quoted the IPCC saying “the number” is NOT from any “scenario”.
    It is from “the current energy imbalance of the Earth”.
    And your failure to understand the word “unrealised” is astonishing: it means the warming has yet to happen. It is exactly what one says about a prediction: i.e a prediction is what is expected to be realised so – at present – it is unrealised.
    Nick, the IPCC is making a prediction when it says

    the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing.

    Then they said – and I quoted – how they expected their prediction to be realised; i.e.

    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.

    Then you make these nonsensical assertions,

    In fact the term “committed warming” is used to partition the heat components calculated by models. It is certainly not a prediction of temperature at some future point in time (what time?). It might be considered a lower bound for something, but the IPCC (and certainly Hansen) are not expecting zero further increase in radiative forcing.

    If it is “not a prediction of temperature” then what is the “about 0.6°C”?
    And how does it provide
    “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.”?
    The “what time” is “over the first two decades of the 21st century”.
    The predicted “lower bound” is “about 0.1°C per decade” and – as they say and I quoted – the SRES projections provide a projected lower bound which is double that predicted lower bound.
    And there is no suggestion of a predicted “zero further increase in radiative forcing”. That is a ‘red herring’ which deserves to remain as a stinking fish on the floor: I certainly will not touch it.
    Nick, I don’t know what you are trying to gain here, but you are losing what little credibility you may have had.
    Richard

  166. If someone found a quote in an official IPCC document that said: “…we predict …”, Nick Stokes would still argue that he was correct because the “W” is “we” wasn’t capitalized.

  167. Ooops! Reading all the comments, apparently someone has found a “….we predict…” phrase in an IPCC document. Nick, please feel free to use my rationale to climb down from the hook you currently find yourself on.

  168. And the warmists say that we “deniers” are the ones who “argue
    like lawyers, not scientists”!

  169. Jimbo says: August 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm
    “As you can see we found your “We predict” and a few “our predictions” as a bonus. My statement is clear: Trenberth was wrong when he said:
    ‘In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.’ “

    Clear but wrong. Just look at how your first “we predict” statement starts:
    “Based on current model results, we predict:
    • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A)”

    Very first thing they do is state the emissions scenario (the “what if”), just as Trenberth said. And OK, they used the word “predict” rather than the term “project” that they later adopted as standard. You had to go right back to the 1990 FAR to find that one. And to find the second, which is simply the use of the word predictive as an adjective. No prediction stated there.

  170. If all this tree-ring divining ‘science’ is all merely about ‘projections’ and not ‘predictions’ then why the heck are they so certain of the very existence of AGW, the continued warming, the influence of mankind, et cetera? And allowing others to attempt to alter the course of world economic history using their ‘science’? Fools and knaves. This is both disingenuous and disturbing.

  171. Nick Stokes says:
    August 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I think you have serious comprehension skills. My point is simple. The IPCC has in the past made predictions. You have said nothing to show this to be false. You try misdirect, but it has failed. Any objective person that comes to this thread can see you are trying to misdirect.

    You had to go right back to the 1990 FAR to find that one. And to find the second, which is simply the use of the word predictive as an adjective. No prediction stated there.

    I can go back as far as I like re the IPCC because my focus of attack is the erroneious Trenberth who said (I repeat AGAIN) that:

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios.

    There was a prediction and you are now lying. “We predict” is clear. “Our predictions” is clear. Now clear your head. I know that climate model work is important and we all must eat and support our families Nick. But the truth has to come out on top. Your interests are not important when it comes to re-organising our entire energy system. By the way the temperature projections of the IPCC have failed.
    THE IPCC MAKES PREDICTIONS and Nick Stokes has FAILED. Badly.

  172. Fabi, you may have given the most concise analysis of these double talking, fork-tounged science-destroying demons yet.
    They predict our future and we commoners must believe it will come true (Climate meltdown and their appearance as world saviors).
    When their predictions come true we hoist them on our shoulders in glory and make them gods.
    The end. So be it.
    addendum: that which may not be uttered: Warning, do not read the following:
    When their predictions don’t come true……uh, oh, wait, verboten. Forgot I said that. Cancel, erase.

  173. Nick Stokes can you read? You said:

    You had to go right back to the 1990 FAR to find that one. And to find the second, which is simply the use of the word predictive as an adjective. No prediction stated there.

    But you lie. You say if found 2. Here are my references.

    “Based on current model results, we predict:
    • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A)
    emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of
    global mean temperature…”

    POLICYMAKERS SUMMARY
    “…How much confidence do we have in our predictions? xxvu…”
    “…There are many uncertainties in our predictions particularly with regard…”
    “…To improve our predictive capability, we need…”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

    Finally, to find Trenberth’s statement false I only need ONE! Nick, you are now sounding desperate.
    THE IPCC HAS IN THE PAST MADE AT LEAST ONE ‘PREDICTION’. Falsify that.

  174. Nick you remind me of a teenage driver trying to explain to the nice officer how the fire hydrant got hit without actually saying, “I hit the hydrant.”

  175. Honest Nick’s first comment was:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    We then found the quote he wanted We predict. I gave him a couple of bonuses with “our predictions”. Nick then misdirects and says they weren’t predictions and ‘what ifs’ and only one reference. This is a sign of a dishonest man. It never needed 100 papers to falsify any of Einstein’s theories, just ONE would do. We gave Nick more than ONE.

    • Would y’all please STOP CALLING HIM NICK!!!!
      He earned his “nick”name honestly!! Call him RACEHORSE @SteveMc!!!
      He is doing a great job of showing you how he earned that RACEHORSE “nick”name!!

  176. richardscourtney says: August 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    “The IPCC were endorsing what they think Hansen et al said by reporting it.”

    They reported what McIntyre and McKitrick said too. That doesn’t make it their statement.
    But the bottom line is, if you think they have made an unqualified prediction, what is it? What will happen when, exactly? And where did they say that?

  177. If I see Nick Stokes back on this thread then I will be convinced that he is worried about his Nintendo model work. Unemployment is a serious thing and I feel for you Nick.

  178. richardscourtney, Nick Stokes is attempting to misdirect you from his initial assertion which has been shown to be false.

    But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    He was shown to be wrong with at least 2 examples. He failed to acknowledge his failure and waved his arms and screamed. Nick Stokes is dishonest. When you are in a hole stop digging my friend.

  179. The AGW theory has been PROVEN wrong already. It will be trashed before this decade ends.
    SOME BASIC AREAS
    AGW theory is wrong because AGW theory has forecasted the basic atmospheric circulation patterns wrong, it has forecasted the basic atmospheric temperature profiles wrong, it has forecasted the projected global temperatures wrong, it has projected ENSO wrong.
    AGW THEORY called for +AO more zonal atmospheric circulation pattern ,reality -AO more meridional, atmospheric circulation pattern.
    AGW THEORY called for lower tropospheric hot spot near equator plus increasing relative humidity in all levels of the atmosphere, reality no lower tropospheric hotspot near the equator lower relative humidity at all levels of the atmosphere.
    AGW THEORY called for Global temp. to increase reality no global temp. increases, for 16 years and counting.
    AGW THEORY called for more El Nino’s , reality less El Nino’s
    AGW THEORY called for Stratospheric cooling (marked cooling) especially near the poles reality no such cooling
    If AGW THEORY can’t call the basic atmospheric circulation patterns and temperature profiles correct , how could it possibly be correct on the climate?

  180. Jimbo says: August 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    “Finally, to find Trenberth’s statement false I only need ONE! Nick, you are now sounding desperate”

    You consistently distort what Trenberth said. Let me quote it yet again:
    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”
    He is explaining what the IPCC actually does. All you come up with is gotchas whenever they use (maybe back in 1990) the word predict. But every substantive example of an actual prediction is exactly of the kind Trenberth described – based on a scenario. And it has to be. The IPCC is describing the results of computer programs that use supposed forcings as input. There’s no secret about that – they discuss it at length. If they stated a prediction without a scenario it just wouldn’t make sense.
    But they don’t.

  181. Nick, a prediction can be a trend calculated from a projection, or any single point on a projection. Again from education: “The actual trend line will be 1.2 additional correct words learned per week of supplemental instruction.” Or: “By the end of 3rd grade the student will be reading 99 correct words per minute.” These statements are commonly made based on a proposed improvement rate drawn with a projected trendline and is stated as a goal. It can be an end goal or an improvement trend. To be sure, projections are easy to make. Any duffus can make one. Predictions and how teachers manage them going forward are what separates quality teachers from not so good teachers. Might I say the same thing about the IPCC summary?

  182. Nick Stokes:
    Having demonstrated that you are sub-normal in literacy, and sub-normal in reading comprehension skills, at August 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1400637
    you demonstrate that you lack both short-term and long-term memory.
    You ask me

    But the bottom line is, if you think they have made an unqualified prediction, what is it? What will happen when, exactly? And where did they say that?

    I have answered each of those questions five times in this thread.
    Nick, you really need urgent medical treatment if you need to ask that question. It is clear that your mental faculties are deteriorating at an alarming rate.
    But, so it cannot be thought that I am being evasive in response to your evasiveness, I will answer.
    Q1.
    if you think they have made an unqualified prediction, what is it?
    A1.
    “the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing.”
    n.b. This eventual temperature rise is a prediction (not a projection) that is based on an estimate of “the current energy imbalance of the Earth” and not on any scenario.
    Q2.
    What will happen when, exactly?
    A2
    “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”
    n.b. This rate of temperature rise between 2000 and 2020 is also a prediction (not a projection) that is based on the same estimate of “the current energy imbalance of the Earth” and not on any scenario.
    Q3.
    where did they say that?
    A3.
    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
    So, Nick, I have yet again given you the information you seek, and it saddens me that the memory problems you say you have will again prevent you from remembering it.
    Richard

  183. Pamela Gray says: August 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm
    “Nick, a prediction can be a trend calculated from a projection, or any single point on a projection.”

    I’m sure it can, but what has this to do with the IPCC? In this case, the issue is that they can calculate projections, or predictions by whatever method, but they don’t know the decisions that will be made in future about emissions. So they have to allow for a range of possibilities, which they state.

  184. richardscourtney says: August 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm
    “Q2.
    What will happen when, exactly?
    A2
    “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” “

    So are you saying that the IPCC is predicting warming of 0.1°C per decade for 2001-2020?

  185. I worked as a camera operator on a movie called The English Patient. The film won an Oscar for best picture. Following Trenberth and Mann’s leads I am now going to claim to have won an Oscar. When people ridicule me I’ll simply point to the AGW scientists and say it was their idea. What’s good for the goose…

  186. Nick Stokes:
    Your post at August 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1400671
    yet again demonstrates your urgent need to obtain medical treatment.
    In response to my answering your questions with verbatim quotes from the IPCC together with a reference to – and a link to – where the IPCC wrote them, you ask

    So are you saying that the IPCC is predicting warming of 0.1°C per decade for 2001-2020?

    No, Nick, I quoted a prediction the IPCC made in their most recent ‘scientific’ report.
    I quoted the IPCC’s own words.
    And I cited, referenced and linked those words.

    Furthermore, previously in this thread I explained the meaning of those IPCC words and their context; see August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1399910
    Your questions to me have all purported to be discussion of that explanation.
    Nick, seek the medical treatment now. You clearly have very great and urgent need of it.
    Richard

  187. Nick Stokes said the following (with my bolding):

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    What follows is my rebuttal taken from the IPCC itself thanks to various commenters.

    “Based on current model results, we predict: • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0 3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0 2°C to 0 5°C per decade), this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years This will result in a likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025 and VC before the end of the next century […] ”
    ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf
    —————–
    Policymakers Summary
    “…How much confidence do we have in our predictions? xxvu…”
    “…There are many uncertainties in our predictions particularly with regard…”
    “…To improve our predictive capability, we need…”
    ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf
    —————–
    Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
    3.1. Definitions and Role of Scenarios 3.1.1. Introduction…
    There is a varied lexicon for describing future worlds under a changing climate; alternative terms often reflect differing disciplinary origins. Therefore, for the sake of consistency in this chapter, working definitions of several terms are presented in Box 3-1.
    Box 3-1. Definitions
    Projection. The term “projection” is used in two senses in this chapter. In general usage, a projection can be regarded as any description of the future and the pathway leading to it. However, a more specific interpretation was attached to the term “climate projection” throughout the Second Assessment Report (SAR) to refer to model-derived estimates of future climate.
    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections….
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=125
    —————–
    “……regional climate changes different from the global mean, although our confidence in the prediction of the detail of regional changes is low. For example, temperature increases in Southern Europe and central North America are predicted to be higher than the global mean accompanied on average by reduced summer precipitation……”
    ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

    Now read what Nick Stokes recently said [with my bold]

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Jimbo says: August 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    “Finally, to find Trenberth’s statement false I only need ONE! Nick, you are now sounding desperate”

    You consistently distort what Trenberth said. Let me quote it yet again:
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios>.”

    Does anyone on this thread stand by Trenberth’s statement?: [My bolding]

    DR. KEVIN TRENBERTH – 4 Jun 2007
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios.

    By the way Nick Stokes, are you a climate modeler? Do you still stand by all of Trenberth’s last quoted statement?
    I’m going to move on now. Let’s hope Nick Stokes experiences honesty.

  188. See scenarios and scenario as well as prediction.

    DR. KEVIN TRENBERTH – 4 Jun 2007
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. ”
    —————————-
    “Based on current model results, we predict: • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0 3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0 2°C to 0 5°C per decade), this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years This will result in a likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025 and VC before the end of the next century […] ”
    ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf
    —————–
    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections….
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=125

    The IPCC has made at least one prediction based on certain scenarios. Nick Stokes needs to seek urgent medical attention for his mental state.

  189. From The Concise Oxford English Dictionary:
    prophecy
     noun (plural prophecies) a prediction. the faculty or practice of prophesying.
    prophesy
     verb (prophesies, prophesying, prophesied)
    1 predict.
    2 speak or write by divine inspiration.
    ORIGIN
    Middle English: from Old French profecie, via late Latin from Greek propheteia, from prophetes (see prophet)..
    Perhaps Nick Stokes and Trenberth prefer to distance themselved from the religious connotations in the word “prediction”

  190. At a late 1970s American Bar Association seminar in New York, famous Texan criminal defense attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes explained how to plead in the alternative:
    “Say you sue me because you say my dog bit you. Well, now this is my defense:
    My dog doesn’t bite.
    And second, in the alternative, my dog was tied up that night.
    And third, I don’t believe you really got bit.
    And fourth, I don’t have a dog.”

  191. Nick Stokes says: August 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    Clear but wrong. Just look at how your first “we predict” statement starts:
    “Based on current model results, we predict:

    Nick, aren’t all “predictions” based on something. The fact that the IPCC identified what they based its prediction on doesn’t change the fact that THE IPCC PREDICTED.
    I make an appeal to the readers of this thread. Let’s give Nick some better reasons for sticking with his claim that the IPCC “never predicted” anything. I have a few.
    (1) Misuse of capitalization.
    (2) Someone hacked into the IPCC and changed the document without the IPCC’s knowledge.
    (3) The IPCC misspelled “project”.
    (4) IPCC is singular, not plural. A singular entity wouldn’t use the plural “we” when referring to itself.
    (5) The IPCC author who wrote “we predict” was stoned out of his/her mind at the time.
    (6) Nothing the IPCC writes should be taken as written. If you want to know what it meant to say, consult Nick Stokes.

  192. If the IPCC doesn’t make predictions, then it’s not scientific, but unscientific, indeed anti-scientific.
    If however its “most likely” projections are, as any rational person would conclude, in fact predictions, then the forecasts have been falsified & the assumptions & models upon which they were made have been shown worse than worthless GIGO.

  193. milodonharlani, the IPCC says that when a projections is labelled “most likely” then it becomes a prediction.

    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections….
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=125

    So in TAR they have defined ‘prediction’ for us, yet they have never made any predictions according to Trenberth. So why did they define what prediction is?

  194. Jimbo:
    I write to provide an addition to the excellent point you provide in your post at August 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1401336
    As you say, the IPCC defines in its terminology

    When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction.

    However, Trenberth (supported by DAV and Nick Stokes in this thread) has disputed that a projection can be a prediction. Trenberth claims the IPCC only makes projections but not predictions.
    As I have shown in this thread, even if one were to agree with Trenberth’s version of what constitutes a prediction then Trenberth is wrong. The IPCC has made at least one prediction on the basis of an “energy balance” and NOT on the basis of a projection.
    Trenberth is wrong – as you have shown – according to the IPCC
    and
    Trenberth is wrong – as I have shown – according to his own version of what constitutes a prediction.

    Richard

  195. Reed Coray says: August 27, 2013 at 11:55 am
    ‘Nick Stokes says: August 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    Clear but wrong. Just look at how your first “we predict” statement starts:
    “Based on current model results, we predict:
    Nick, aren’t all “predictions” based on something.’

    No, you’ve cut the next sentence, just as in this thread Trenberth’s statement was cut to distort what he was actually saying. His point was that the IPCC projected, or predicted, subject to scenario. In later years, they consistently used the word projected to emphasise this. Back in 1990, they didn’t have that convention, but as I quoted, in that 1990 statement they immediately stated the scenario, as Trenberth said.

  196. Jimbo says:
    August 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    I guess in this one instance, IPCC statements are rational then, since they recognize their “most likely projections” as the predictions they obviously are & must be, to resemble science.
    In which case, massive fail.

  197. Nick Stokes,
    Trenberth is wrong. He was wrong then and he is wrong now. Why would anyone think he is credible? He’s just another tax-sucker riding the grant gravy train at everyone else’s expense. You are being his enabler. Shame on you for supporting the “carbon” scam.

  198. “”””””…….milodonharlani says:
    August 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm
    If the IPCC doesn’t make predictions, then it’s not scientific, but unscientific, indeed anti-scientific.
    If however its “most likely” projections are, as any rational person would conclude, in fact predictions, then the forecasts have been falsified & the assumptions & models upon which they were made have been shown worse than worthless GIGO…….””””””
    A rational person would presume that the “””…”most likely”…””” projections are a consequence of applying the “most credible” theory to the “most robust” experimentally available data.
    Anything other than the “most likely” projections ought to then be discarded, as being inconsistent with the best available evidence.
    And if those “most likely” projections are NOT in fact PREDICTIONS of the eventual outcome; then they too must be discarded as simply garbage ; and certainly not Science.
    Stop trying to weasel meaning into words, that is contrary to their well accepted meaning. (all of us)

  199. Nick Stokes is now an official LIAR.
    Nick Stokes is an official DENIER.
    Nick Stokes should no longer be taken seriously. [Look at his first comment & lie]

  200. Nick Stokes is back again trying to defend his JOB.
    Nick Stokes is trying to defend failure.
    Should I take Nick Stoke seriously?

  201. richardscourtney you are in touch with reality. Nick Stokes has lost but won’t admit it. He made a challenge which was met. Being a climate modeler is not easy. Good luck Nick Stokes, the temperature standstill can be a bummer.

  202. Nick Stokes,
    A ‘projection’ can be a ‘prediction’ according to the IPCC. Yet, you argue that the IPCC does not make ‘predictions’. Have you informed the IPCC of their error?

  203. Jimbo,
    You haven’t met the basic challenge of this post – quote the IPCC actually making a prediction about future climate that is not of the kind that Trenberth said they do make – subject to a scenario.
    And no, I’m not a climate modeller, though I think they are smart guys.
    Your post is a collection of juvenile gotchas. What Trenberth said, when you don’t just pluck out a few words, was clear, correct and not controversial.

  204. At the risk of boring you all the following is why I initially commented to WUWT tips and notes.

    Trenberth
    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.”

    This is my point. Trenberth either did not know what he was talking about or lied.

  205. Nick Stokes you said:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    I see quoted many uses of the word “prediction”, perhaps not always carefully distinguishing from projections. But no quotes where the IPCC actually says “We predict …”.

    Game, set and match. You have lost and failed. Give it up my friend.

  206. Nick Stokes is a persistent character. Even when he is wrong, he is right. LOL.
    How is the climate modeling going Nick Stokes? How are global mean surface temps hanging over the last 16 years?

  207. Nick Stokes says:
    August 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    Jimbo,
    You haven’t met the basic challenge of this post – quote the IPCC actually making a prediction about future climate that is not of the kind that Trenberth said they do make – subject to a scenario.

    Nick Stokes cannot read. Nick, look upstream, I addressed it. I even mentioned ‘scenario’ and ‘scenarios’. It was still a prediction! The IPCC have been so kind to provide a page where they actually define what they say are predictions. Have you looked at the page?

    IPCC
    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections….
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=125

    Nick, you really do need to get in touch with the IPCC or a head doctor.

  208. Nick Stokes, do you agree that the sign of any good THEORY is the ability to make a PREDICTION? Einstein did it. He was so smart that he did not need to project or forecast a damned thing, he predicted and is waiting to be falsified on relativity. Why can’t climate scientists?

  209. Jimbo says: August 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    “Nick Stokes, do you agree that the sign of any good THEORY is the ability to make a PREDICTION? Einstein did it.”

    Almost all theories predict subject to a scenario. You can make some absolute predictions about astronomical matters, because there is no possibility of human intervention. But not otherwise. Can you think of any events on a human scale that Einstein predicted? Time and place?
    Sending a rocket to go around the moon is something that scientists have good theories about. But you can’t just say – hey scientist, predict the path of this rocket. He’ll say, well, it all depends on what you do with the controls. That’s the scenario. Without it, no prediction. But he can tell you what would happen under a number of scenarios. That’s basically how rocket journeys are planned.

  210. Nick Stokes,
    I hope sincerely that you get my main point and it’s a simple one. Trenberth said in 2007 the the IPCC has never made a prediction.

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios.

    Subsequently it has been made clear by the IPCC’s own definitions page that they in fact do make predictions. Whether it’s based on ‘what if’, a scenario or forecast does not matter. The language is in conflict with Trenberth’s assertion that “there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been.

    IPCC
    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections….

    As you can clearly see the IPCC says when they label a “projection” as “most likely,” it becomes a “prediction”. How a prediction is arrived at or formulated is not important. The FACT is that the IPCC has made predictions in the past. It also creates scenarios, forecasts and projections.
    Below they have not even bothered with “what if” but flat out make a prediction based on model results under a scenario.

    “Based on current model results, we predict:
    • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A)
    emissions of greenhouse gases
    , a rate of increase of
    global mean temperature during the next century of
    about 0 3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of
    0 2°C to 0 5°C per decade), this is greater than that
    seen over the past 10,000 years…

    Having read all this as well as other examples above I can’t see how you could possible stand by Trenberth’s assertion in bold, when the IPCC goes so far as to define what constitutes a prediction!

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable.

    As you can see it does not matter how a prediction is formulated. The IPCC clearly tells us that it makes predictions which contradicts Trenberths’s false assertion that:
    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. “

  211. Compare and contrast these two statements.

    Trenberth
    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. …….

    IPCC
    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections….

  212. In concluding that the IPCC climate models predict, the IPCC and richardscourtney draw a conclusion from an equivocation thus being guilty of the equivocation fallacy.. An “equivocation” is an argument in which a term changes meaning in the midst of this argument. By logical rule, a proper conclusion may not be drawn from an equivocation. To draw a conclusion, as the IPCC and richardscourtney do, is the “equivocation fallacy.” Here, the term that changes meaning is the word-pair prediction/projection wherein the two words are treated as synonyms even though each of the two words has a different meaning.
    A model that predicts conveys information to a policy maker about the outcomes from his or her policy decisions. A model that projects conveys no such information to a policy maker. It can be demonstrated that each of the climate models referenced by AR4 projects and that none of them predict. Thus, none of these models support policy making on CO2 emissions. The equivocations of the IPCC and richardscourtney, among many others, obscure the uselessness of the fruits of past global warming research in making policy. Details of my argument are available in the peer-reviewed article at http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=7923 .

  213. Terry Oldberg:
    Your post at August 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1402561
    is fallacious nonsense.
    You very recently made the same daft and ignorant assertions on another thread, and I refuted it at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/27/the-hottest-temperature-game/#comment-1402152
    To save others needing to find it, I copy my refutation below.
    Richard
    ———————-
    richardscourtney says:
    August 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    Terry Oldberg:
    At August 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/27/the-hottest-temperature-game/#comment-1402076
    you are being egregious when you accuse Tim Ball of making an equivocation error in his article but you do not state what it is.
    The accusation is especially offensive because your post demonstrates you do not understand what you have written.
    You say

    An equivocation is an argument in which one or more terms change meaning in the midst of the argument. By logical rule, a proper conclusion may not be drawn from an equivocation. To draw an improper conclusion is the equivocation fallacy.
    A term that is capable of changing meanings is said to be “polysemic.” In the language of climatology, the word-pair predict/project is polysemic in the frequently observed circumstance that the two words in the word pair are treated as synonyms. As I show in the above referenced article, “predict” has a meaning and “project” has a meaning and the two meanings differ. When the difference between the two meanings is observed, it is found that none of the climate models referenced by AR4 predict. All of them project.

    No.
    I list some of the misunderstandings concerning equivocation and of IPCC predictions stated in your words I have quoted here.
    1.
    You are incorrect when you say

    An equivocation is an argument in which one or more terms change meaning in the midst of the argument. By logical rule, a proper conclusion may not be drawn from an equivocation.

    That is not true. The truth is
    An equivocation is an argument in which one or more terms change meaning in the midst of the argument. By logical rule, a proper conclusion may not be drawn from an equivocation THAT AFFECTS THE CONCLUSION.
    2.
    You mislead when you claim

    As I show in the above referenced article, “predict” has a meaning and “project” has a meaning and the two meanings differ.

    In its definitions the IPCC says
    Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections…..
    So, the IPCC defines a prediction is the projection with highest confidence.
    The definition does NOT provide an equivocation because the definition makes a clear distinction between
    a prediction (i.e. the forecast with highest confidence)
    and
    a projection (i.e. a forecast with less confidence than another forecast).
    Furthermore, a projection can be converted to become a prediction if it gains confidence, and this does not create an equivocation.
    It is important to note that a projection can become a prediction without there being an equivocation. And whether or not your paper has been peer–reviewed has no relevance to this.
    3.
    You are plain wrong when you say

    When the difference between the two meanings is observed, it is found that none of the climate models referenced by AR4 predict. All of them project.

    The IPCC defines that a model’s projection with highest confidence is a prediction.
    When the IPCC provides a forecast that the IPCC says is a prediction then the IPCC has made a prediction.
    How and why the IPCC made that prediction does not – and cannot – prevent that prediction from being a prediction.

    4.
    You make a logical error when you refuse to accept a forecast as being a prediction when the forecaster states the forecast is a prediction.
    The forecaster alone knows the intention of the forecast. And it is not possible for anyone else to know the intention of the forecaster is other than the forecaster says.
    Therefore, when the forecaster says the forecast is a prediction then there is no possibility of anyone disproving it is a prediction: the most anybody can do is to show the prediction is improbable.
    In light of the above, I am willing to accept that your unsubstantiated affront to Tim Ball derives from you not knowing what you are talking about. But, whatever your reason for that affront, you need to withdraw your assertion or substantiate it.
    Richard

  214. Friends:
    I think it important to add information for others following my post to Terry Oldberg at August 29, 2013 at 3:33 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/25/trenberths-ipcc-claim-of-no-predictions-by-ipcc-at-all-refuted-by-ipccs-own-words/#comment-1402713
    Firstly, I answered Oldberg because his objection was to me and the IPCC. However, as anybody can see, Oldberg was disputing the point made by Jimbo in this thread but I have been making a different argument. I have been pointing out that the IPCC has made at least one prediction which is based on existing “energy ballance” and not on the basis of any scenarios or projections. Until Oldberg raised his complaint at me I had not addressed Jimbo’s point because Jimbo needed no support.
    Secondly, and very importantly, I have been refuting Oldberg’s fallacious twaddle for some time because – as I have repeatedly said – that twaddle provides an excuse to the IPCC for its errors. (That is why Oldberg addressed his post to me and not Jimbo).
    As the subject of this thread shows, Trenberth has adopted and has now proclaimed – the same fallacious excuse for the IPCC errors that Terry Oldberg has been promoting.
    Richard

  215. The IPCC has defined what makes up a prediction. The IPCC has made at least one prediction. If anyone has a problem with that go raise it with the IPCC. Trenberth lied.

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