NASA's Dr. Gavin Schmidt goes into hiding from seven very inconvenient climate questions

Guest essay by Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

– FOREWORD: WUWT readers probably remember when the now head of NASA GISS, Dr. Gavin Schmidt, could not stand to be seen on the same stage with Dr. Roy Spencer. Gavin decided to hide offstage while Dr. Spencer had finished his interview with John Stossel, rather than be subject to some tough questions Dr. Spencer might have posed in a debate with him on live TV. Gavin knew he’d lose, so he acted like a child on national TV and hid from Dr. Spencer offstage. It was one of the truly defining moments demonstrating the lack of integrity by mainstream climate scientists.

Gavin-schmidt-stosselNow, Dr. Schmidt seems to be hiding from those inconvenient questions again, as Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. writes below. Dr. Schmidt also hides from me, having blocked WUWT on Twitter, so I’d appreciate it if some other WUWT readers would let him know of this publication. Dr. Schmidt is welcome to publish a rebuttal (or simply answer the questions) here if he wishes. He has my email. – Anthony Watts


 

Questions for Gavin Schmidt – Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York

by Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

On March 18 2015, I submitted a set of questions to Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA GISS, who initially seemed inclined to answer and ask some of his own. However, he now is not even replying to my e-mails. If he were a scientist without leadership responsibilities in the climate community, he certainly can choose to ignore my request. However, he is a Director of a major US federal laboratory and, as such, he (or his staff) should be responding to such requests. As of today’s date, he has not answered any of the questions.

By posting these questions, I am encouraging others to respond to the science issues I have raised, as well as be used in the future when Gavin is required to testify, such at a House and/or Senate committee. In your comments, please focus on the scientific issues and avoid any comments on motives, personal attacks etc.

My questions to Gavin follow:

Gavin,

Below are my questions that you agreed to look at in your tweet. I have copied to Judy as her weblog is an appropriate place to present this Q&A if she agrees. Judy might also want to edit and/or add to the questions.

Thank you for doing this. It shows that there is room for constructive debate and discussion on these issues.

1. There is a new paper on global albedo Stephens et al 2015

http://webster.eas.gatech.edu/Papers/albedo2015.pdf

There is also a powerpoint talk on this at http://wind.mit.edu/~emanuel/Lorenz/Lorenz_Workshop_Talks/Stephens.pdf

Among the conclusions is that

“Climate models fail to reproduce the observed annual cycle in all components of the albedo with any realism, although they broadly capture the correct proportions of surface and atmospheric contributions to the TOA albedo. A high model bias of albedo has also persisted since the time of CMIP3,mostly during the boreal summer season. Perhaps more importantly, models fail to produce the same degree of interannual constraint on the albedo variability nor do they reproduce the same degree of hemispheric symmetry.”

Q: How do you respond to this critique of climate models with respect to the GISS model?

2. In 2005 Jim Hansen made the following statement regarding the GISS model [https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1116592hansen.pdf]

“The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2 , includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.

Certainly the energy imbalance is less in earlier years, even negative, especially in years following large volcanic eruptions. Our analysis focused on the past decade because: (1) this is the period when it was predicted that, in the absence of a large volcanic eruption, the increasing greenhouse effect would cause the planetary energy imbalance and ocean heat storage to rise above the level of natural variability (Hansen et al., 1997), and (2) improved ocean temperature measurements and precise satellite altimetry yield an uncertainty in the ocean heat storage, ~15% of the observed value, smaller than that of earlier times when unsampled regions of the ocean created larger uncertainty.”

Q: What is the GISS update to this summary including the current estimates for the imbalance?

3. There are questions on the skill of the multi-decadal climate prediction models in terms of their use for regional impact studies for the coming decades. These models have been tested in hindcast runs. What are your answers to the following:

When run in hindcast (over the last few decades) where the forcings of added CO2 and other human inputs of greenhouse gases and aerosols are reasonably well known:

Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting average observed regional climate statistics?

Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting CHANGES in observed regional climate statistics?

Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting observed regional extreme weather statistics?

Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting CHANGES in observed regional extreme weather statistics?

4. The issue of value-added by regional downscaling has been discussed in

Pielke Sr., R.A., and R.L. Wilby, 2012: Regional climate downscaling – what’s the point? Eos Forum, 93, No. 5, 52-53, doi:10.1029/2012EO050008. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/r-361.pdf

Among our conclusions is that

“…downscaling has practical value but with the very important caveat that it should be used for model sensitivity experiments and not as predictions….. It is therefore inappropriate to present [downscaling of multi-decadal climate projections] results to the impacts community as reflecting more than a subset of possible future climate risks.”

Q: Can regional dynamic and/or statistical downscaling be used to increase the prediction (projection) skill beyond that of available by interpolation to finer scales directly from the multi-decadal global climate models predictions?

5. There is considerable debate as to where heat has been going in recent years since the temperature increases at the surface and troposphere have flattened. On example of this discussion is in the post

http://judithcurry.com/2014/08/21/cause-of-hiatus-found-deep-in-the-atlantic-ocean/

Q: Since it is claimed that a large fraction of the heat from human input of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has been going into the deeper ocean over the last 10-15 years (as an attempt to explain the “hiatus”), why is the global average surface temperature trend still used as the primary metric to diagnose global warming?

6. The paper

Matsui, T., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L11813, doi:10.1029/2006GL025974. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-312.pdf

writes the following

“This paper diagnoses the spatial mean and the spatial gradient of the aerosol radiative forcing in comparison with those of well-mixed green-house gases (GHG). Unlike GHG, aerosols have much greater spatial heterogeneity in their radiative forcing. We present a measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. The NGoRF is introduced to represent the potential effect of the heterogeneous radiative forcing on the general circulation and regional climate.The heterogeneous diabatic heating can modulate the gradient in horizontal pressure field and atmospheric circulations, thus altering the regional climate.”

The paper

Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, P. Dirmeyer, C. McAlpine, A. Carleton, R. Hale, S. Gameda, A. Beltrán-Przekurat, B. Baker, R. McNider, D. Legates, J. Shepherd, J. Du, P. Blanken, O. Frauenfeld, U. Nair, S. Fall, 2013: Land cover changes and their biogeophysical effects on climate. Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.3736. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/r-374.pdf

…shows that such heterogeneous forcing also exists for land use/land cover change.

Q: What is the relative role of land use/land cover change relative as well as added aerosols with respect to added CO2 and other greenhouse gases in affecting local and regional climate and changes in regional climate statistics?

6. In our post at Climate Etc

An alternative metric to assess global warming – http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/28/an-alternative-metric-to-assess-global-warming/

we wrote

“We present this alternate tool to assess the magnitude of global warming based on assessing the magnitudes of the annual global average radiative imbalance, and the annual global average radiative forcing and feedbacks. Among our findings is the difficulty of reconciling the three terms.”

Q: Please provide your best estimate for the terms.

7. The book

DISASTERS AND CLIMATE CHANGE Rightful Place of Science Series

Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes by Roger Pielke, Jr.

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/publications/special/dcc/index.html

discusses the role of changes in climate in recent decades on disasters.

Q: What is your conclusion on the role of changes in extreme weather as they affect society during the last several decades?

Roger Sr.

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Isn’t blocking out and avoiding other opinions inherently “unscientific.” Just askin’.

It is climato-scientific.

Brute

Speaking of which, has anyone seen our resident trolls?

catweazle666

I have asked why these so called bastions of “Climatescience” do such a disservice to Science – and whilst I have a few ideas – (which range from the unsavoury to downright fraud) – I have had the great pleasure of saying that time will prove only one side or the other right.
First it was said by some that the Pause would not last a decade.
Then it was 15 years.
I wonder what will be said when we “Pause” as we enter a third decade?

Chris Schoneveld

Unfortunately, the pause is about to end with a potentially strong El Nino looming.

D.J. Hawkins

@Chris
Considering that the current pause basically started after the 1998 El Niño, no one should hang their hat on that conclusion. I’m firmly in the camp of “don’t have a clue” with regards to the next few years. If past is prologue, my own personal experience is that it’s getting darn cold, but that would erroneously conflate “local” with “global”.

richard verney

@Chris Schoneveld May 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm
Chris, may be in the short term, but if a La Nina follows it may bring down the temperature in following years such that the ‘pause’ will then lengthen once more.

@Chris Has anyone tied El Ninos to increased CO2? Considering how they come and go and are interspersed with La Ninas, I thought they were independent features of the Pacific.

Not if you’re right and they’re wrong, and you have a 97% consensus confirming this fact prior to the acquisition of any information on those “other opinions”, in which case psychopathic is probably more appropriate than unscientific.

David Wells

Why should anyone be surprised that anyone including Schmidt on the alarmist side would resist the temptation to answer the above questions, it would reveal their bias and ignorance of their chosen subject and that would predicate disaster which of course is unacceptable.

Sturgis Hooper

Gavin knows he’ll be grilled with these and even tougher questions by both House and Senate committees. He had better come up with some answers.
Legislation has been proposed to take climate modeling away from NASA and concentrate it in NOAA. That’s a step in the right direction, even though NOAA is no more honest than Gavin’s GISS.

george e. smith

Well I read Roger’s questions to Gavin very carefully, and must admit that I don’t understand the import of any of them.
But when it comes to House and Senate committees grilling anybody, I doubt if those people would ask Dr Schmidt ANY of those questions nor understand what the question means.
The times I have watched Dr Roy Spencer make a presentation to such committees, both in written form, which they had in hand before the public session, he was never allowed any where near enough time to get into the meat of any of these issues.
And frankly I am appalled at the way such people (even Gavin) are basically insulted by these no nothing blowhards in the Congress. What a change it would be, if we actually had legislators who actually were competent to be involved in such hearings. They are mostly idiots for sale.
Just my opinion of course.

Bubba Cow

Sold idiots. I agree.
In Vermont Senate debate Friday about renewable siting and community input, a Senator from the Northeast Kingdom speaking to attending to municipal plans, environments, conservation was publicly laughed at in a disgraceful public display by “senators” from left side of the state who have plans for erecting more Industrial Wind Monsters in the Kingdom and, of course, winning bags of crony capital.
Citizens, in prior public input, were insulted by the legislators. Senators and citizens are laughed at and insulted in public. What does that tell us this is about? It is pure conceit and avarice.

Ben Of Houston

George, let me rephrase the questions and I think that their importance will come into focus.
1: This paper shows that you can’t model seasons. Please explain how you can.
2: Your own supporter showed what should be a massive change in your model. How have you changed your model in response?
3: What did your models predict and how well did it work?
4: You can’t predict regional climate patterns at all, why are you making these predictions?
5: Where is the missing heat?
6: What Non-CO2 effects did you really include in your model?
7: Have there really been extreme weather changes?
Giving accurate answers to any of these questions will variously: tie Schmidt down into a storyline that has to be internally contradictory, admit that his model is extremely incomplete and has not been updated with new discoveries, or admit that all his predictions are wrong. As this is a public reply to someone who can fact check the entire piece, he cannot simply give vague handwave or outright lie as that will look even worse for him.

steve in seattle

Thanks Ben, a solid, compact version !

MarkW

Ultimately, it’s the voters who keep sending these idiots back. Until the average voter cares more about the health of the country and less about what govt can do for him, there will be no change.
I’m of the opinion that after the coming collapse, we need to change the constitution so that only those who pay taxes and aren’t receiving income from govt should be allowed to vote.

George,
If they were “competent”…they wouldn’t be politicians. Few people seem to realize that we “ask” our government to solve issues like healthcare, climate change, etc., when in fact they have NO training in any of the fields that are required to even speak intelligently about these disciplines.
And I agree…first, they wouldn’t understand the question, and they certainly wouldn’t understand the answer.
Easy for someone trained in climate-speak to make them all look like the fools they are, and us all the more so for electing them.

richard verney

As regards question 5, one should have added
a) Given that it is now claimed that a large fraction of the heat from human input of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has been going into the deeper ocean over the last 10-15 years (as an attempt to explain the “hiatus”), why was the same proportion of heat from human input of C02 and other greenhouse gases not going into the oceans in earlier years (ie., in the years when the land based thermometer record was showing a warming trend)?
b) What has changed about the physics of the atmosphere/ocean interaction, or the properties of CO2 which has caused the heat fron CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) to no longer remain in the atmosphere, but instead to make their way into the deeper ocean?
c) Why are we no longer seeing the same planetary response to the effects of CO2 as were seen say during the period 1979 to 1997?
PS. I do not like the use of the expression heat. I gueass it is OK when discussing energy going into the oceans, but not so good when discussing the atmosphere, but I have used the wording used by Dr Pielke but expanded upon his question 5 to look at the inconsistencies that lie behind that question.

harkin

LOL on “no-nothing blowhards”.

jorgekafkazar

NASA has its hands full with Muslim outreach. I think that NOAA (who, according to their former mission statement, “know all, see all, understand all,”) could probably be a better fit for the arduous and lengthy task of tossing all the climate models in the can and flushing them.

lee

Is that “Know F all, See F all, understand F all”?

PeterK

MarkW at May 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm
“I’m of the opinion that after the coming collapse, we need to change the constitution so that only those who pay taxes and aren’t receiving income from govt should be allowed to vote.”
To that I think you should add a maximum of two terms for any politician so that we are getting new blood into the system – no 40-year serving Senator (or other elected position).
Additionally, I have wondered could you do away with Parties and make each a grass root candidate who serves the people who elected them. And additionally, donations to a candidate should be from the people with a maximum of say $1,000. No donations from any other sort. Keep it simple and local. Just my thoughts.

George,
Committee members are briefed or at least handed questions by their staff. Roy would find present committees a lot more accommodating than when ruled by Dumbocrats.
There are in fact on the relevant committees a number of members who are well versed in climate issues. They’re not all dopes. Some are medical doctors and others have at least some scientific education.
The members might not ask these questions exactly, but there is no shortage of simple questions that Gavin would find just as hard to answer. I’ve given the GOP representatives and senators from my region plenty of material.
Jorge,
Neat that you’re both named for the same Palestinian saint.
If there’s a GOP president in 2017, NASA will return to its real mission, dropping both “climate change” and Muslim outreach. Even a second President Clinton might cut back on the promotion of Islamic scientific achievements as the prime mission for the agency.

http://science.house.gov/
Note link to WSJ article on CACCA as a religion and other media links.

Robert of Ottawa

There were no “Palestinians” then

Then there is my Senator, who is/was forth in leadership in her party in the Senate, and who Wiki says has a Degree in Physical Education. This doesn’t necessarily mean, that she is not intelligent, since I know of people, who are probably way more intellegent than me, that have no Degrees. But it makes you wonder, who is determining our country’s future, and why it is that some one, that may not be that intellegent, thinks it is THEIR JOB to tell “smarter”/wiser people how to live their lives???

Robert,
Yes, there most certainly were Palestinians in the third century:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria_Palaestina

I should add that St. George came from Lydda, which remained a Christian Palestinian city for more than 1600 years after his death, ie until 1948. It’s now the site of Lod Airport.

Bob Boder

Sturgis;
“Gavin knows he’ll be grilled with these and even tougher questions by both House and Senate committees. He had better come up with some answers.”
That is probably the key he doesn’t want to give anything up now because he knows he will have to answer the same questions later and he doesn’t want to give anyone time to pick apart his answers now. This way he can spew what ever BS he wants, he will be proven wrong and picked apart but it will be later and not in the middle of the congress.

Surely his coming public grilling must weigh on his mind, but I doubt he’d reply to Pielke pere even if he weren’t about to be ritually humiliated and have his funding cut, if not zeroed out.
He may be saved by Obama this time, but the writing is on the wall. Gav and Kev may both be sent packing back to their native isles.

richardscourtney

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.
I take the liberty of asking you two questions.
Q1.
Can you say which – if any – of your questions you think Gavin Schmidt could answer honestly without losing his job?
Q2.
In light of your answer to Q1, would you be willing to agree with me that the least dishonest response that Gavin Schmidt could make to your questions is for him to answer none of them?
Thanking you in anticipation of your replies
Richard

Forgive me intruding, but if Gavin cannot answer any of the questions honestly without losing his job, then it reveals that either he, or his employer, or both are dishonest. Even the “least dishonest response”…that of not answering any of them…is still dishonest.
His silence speaks volumes too.

richardscourtney

Aphan
Thankyou for your post that is not an “intrusion”.
As you say of Gavin Schmidt

His silence speaks volumes too.

Indeed it does! And pointing out why that is was the purpose of my post.
Again, thankyou.
Richard

But to whom? Us?…here?…at WUWT?
Doubt that anyone else has noticed, or cared.

News flash. Gavin doesn’t work for Roger
Roger can answer the questions for himself.

David Chappell

Mosher misses the point

TedM

Yep right on cue.

TimTheToolMan

I think he does, actually.

Gary Pearse

Mosh, I thought Gavin actually did work for all of you.

davideisenstadt

a valuable contribution to the thread mosh.
geez youre in a pissy mood again. have you considered estrogen replacement therapy?

Newsflash: Gavin Schmidt works for all U.S. taxpayers who pay his salary.
Which is one of the many reasons his ridiculous silence is absolutely outrageous and unacceptable.

Mosher
Newsflash- as a public servant he owes every US citizen an answer. I understand that some federal bureaucrats never quite catch on to that simple principle in our democracy. It appears to have gone over your head as well.

wrong again.
gavin doesnt work for any of you. Even when you are paid by the public your superiors still get to prioritize how your time is spent.
EVERY question that roger asks, he can answer for himself.
We all may pay gavin but he doesnt work for us. You dont get to ask him anything. and he is not responsible to answer any one of your questions.
pretty frickin simple.

“Mosher
Newsflash- as a public servant he owes every US citizen an answer. I understand that some federal bureaucrats never quite catch on to that simple principle in our democracy. It appears to have gone over your head as well.”
Ah no he doesnt.
My postman is a public servant. He has a boss. That boss is not me or you. He has a job description.
he is paid to perform that job. I dont get to demand answers from him on how the postal system works.
Answering questions from the public is not part of his job description.
Roger and you and me dont get to decide what Gavins job description is. You dont get to demand answers
Sorry, life is not burger king and you dont get things your way.

Duster

Mosher,
Schmidt is the “boss.” As director of GISS and a scientist he ought to be able to respond coherently without having to run anything past the director of NASA or the Secretary of Commerce. Since he is directly responsible to directing the production of GIS climate data, he is in fact the very first person one would contact about the reasoning behind the data production. Pielke can’t “answer those questions himself,” since they are aimed at the methodological thought processes of Schmidt himself. If Pielke did “answer” those questions himself, it would be putting words in Schmidt’s mouth. You would doubtless disapprove of that as well.

steve in seattle

So …. YES he should lose his job !

If there is a GOP president other than Bush, Christie, Kasich or Graham, he will lose his job, and maybe even with a Bush the Third.

Richard – this is bull – and you know it!
To say that Gavin cannot answer these questions without losing his job is puerile nonsense!
And you accuse others who disagree with you of being “conspiracy theorists” !!!!

DonM

He can do that … it’s allowed … you obviously can’t understand … you need more of a socialist bent.

Gary Pearse

Dough UK, he is a public servant and his big boss has already signaled the way he wants the science to go. You are a bit naive.

Gary Pearse

Sorry, that should be Doug UK

richardscourtney

Doug UK
Knowing you are wrong, you deflect by adding a straw man.
I do not and I have not accused people of being “conspiracy theorists”.
Your assertion is bull and – to quote an anonymous troll – you know it!
Richard

richardscourtney

DonM
Your silly post says

He can do that … it’s allowed … you obviously can’t understand … you need more of a socialist bent.

Of course he “can do that” if he is willing to lose his job … it’s allowed … you obviously can’t understand … you need more of a socialist bent.
Richard

Patrick

“Gary Pearse
May 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm”
The last time I heard the term “public servant” (Where I am from the term is usually civil rather than public servant) in a discussion with someone who actually was a Govn’t employee in New Zealand and was responsible for negotiating air routes for Air New Zealand said to me when that term came up “I don’t have be civil nor do I have to serve.”
Maybe it is a “civil servant”/Govn’t employee joke, but he seemed to be serious.

Bruce Cobb

If he did by some miracle respond it would be something like:
Yadda yadda deny, yadda deflect, yadda lie, yadda spin, yadda red herring, yadda big fat lie, yadda move goalposts, yadda cherry-pick, yadda play the holier-than-thou, poor-me, stop-picking on us “scientists” card, yadda yadda etc. etc.

RH

You forgot the yadda yadda ad hominem attack.

You forgot the yadda yadda KOCH BROTHERS ad hominem attack

csanborn

And doubling down with more alarmism claims of events that wouldn’t happen until well after his/their respective career is over. Since it would be almost infinitely easier to ACCURATELY model stock exchange forecasts than climate forecasts, you’d think the self aggrandizing alarmists would pursue the market money.

PeterK

May Gavin will retired as a surprise announcement one week before he has to appear before the Committee.

bones

Some of this seems pretty arcane to me. How is quantitative skill measured? What is regional downscaling and how does it affect either behavior of skill of models? How does heat get into the deeper oceans without first showing up in the first 100 meters where the solar input is absorbed?
Schmidt could surely answer some of these questions. Even weaseled answers might help him recover a little from his childish gaffe of avoiding Spencer. He should give it a try.

richardscourtney

bones
With respect, Gavin Schmidt would be a fool to “give it a try”. Please see my above post that is here.
Richard

Richard, I can see and appreciate your point. I truly can. But there’s another point here, and that’s what people can and will logically speculate (I won’t address what they can and will illogically and irrationally speculate) if silence is Gavin’s only response to the questions:
Did he not understand them and didn’t want to expose that?
Does he feel he’s too important to help “communicate” the proper information and education to others, including the public? (Or that Mr. Pielke Sr. isn’t important enough to respond to?)
Is he too busy? Because if he’s too busy to answer such important questions, then we shouldn’t see any blog articles or editorials or other “unimportant” responses from him anytime soon either.
Is he afraid to answer them? Job loss….reputation loss…screaming AGW harpies from the sky converging on him for giving skeptics evidence that the AGW argument is as flawed as they think it is? And if any of those are true-shouldn’t it be made public because he’s being manipulated by someone, and not the science?
A personal tragedy which has removed him from his office/duties at this particular time?
There is absolutely no logical, rational reason I can think of in which Gavin cannot ever answer those questions if he understands them, is duty bound to help educate and inform others regarding climate science, has a spare moment to do it, is not taking care of personal business, and has no reason to be afraid of doing so. Can you think of one?
If you can’t, then his silence indicates an illogical, irrational reaction on Gavin’s part, and brands him “a fool” anyway. And again, while you find that to be the “least dishonest” thing to do, it’s still dishonest. That you seem to be ok with dishonesty of any degree disappoints me more than however Gavin chooses to handle things.

Gavin Smith is does not have the climate knowledge this is why he stays in the background.

richardscourtney

Aphan
As you say, people will speculate but I choose to not do that.
I answer your post because you say to me

And again, while you find that to be the “least dishonest” thing to do, it’s still dishonest. That you seem to be ok with dishonesty of any degree disappoints me more than however Gavin chooses to handle things.

I am NOT “ok with dishonesty” and your suggestion that I am is unfounded abuse. Indeed, this conversation started because I pointed out that not answering was the “least dishonest” thing for Gavin Schmidt to do.
Please note that I was employed by the now defunct UK National Coal Board (NCB). My employment was by an agency (the NCB) owned by UK Government. Hence, I understand the situation of Gavin Schmidt who is employed by an agency (NASA GISS) owned by the US government.
When Gavin Schmidt accepted his job he agreed to assert the views of his employer, the US government. Providing honest answers to the questions of Roger Pielke Sr. would require him to oppose views of his employer, and that is why he would lose his job if he gave honest answers.
Gavin Schmidt’s mistake was to agree to answer unseen questions from Roger Pielke Sr.. This had high risk that he would find himself confronted with questions he could not answer without opposing the views of his employer. And his failure to answer the questions would be dishonest because he had said he would answer them.
Gavin Schmidt’s foolish mistake places him in the position of losing his job or choosing to “eat the biscuit containing the lesser of two weavils”. And he has duty to his family who would suffer if he lost his job.
Richard

Janice Moore

Richard S. Courtney, you prevaricate!
The bottom line (literally) is this: You clearly say that as the lesser of two ev1ls, Mr. Schmidt should l1e to keep his job (serving his duty to his family).
You left out, btw, his duty to his God.
**********************
On a pleasanter note: Glad you are feeling well enough to post! Hope the wedding was a delight for all.
Janice

richardscourtney

Janice Moore
There is no prevarication from me. On the contrary, I raised the issue of dishonesty and I have explained how Gavin Schmidt has put himself into a situation where he has to decide the least wrong option.
I do not know Gavin Schmidt’s religion so I cannot comment on how how he sees his “duty to God”. But part of my “duty to God” is to accept the command “Judge not lest ye be judged”.
Thankyou for your concern about my health. Anyone who knows me can bear witness at my great improvement since the end of last year when the real problem with my heart was discovered and I started to obtain appropriate treatment for it. Now my heart is much better but (not right), the rate of progress of the emphysema of my lungs has reduced, and – I am told – the liver damage is repairing itself. I can now get upstairs unaided and on two legs!
As I was instructed to do, I complete all my affairs long before last Christmas but I made it to Christmas and my appropriate heart treatment then started. As you comment, I later made it to Matt’s wedding last month.
The wedding was a joyous occasion. Matt and Vicki are ‘leading lights’ of the large Methodist Church of St Marks (Matt is senior steward) so it was packed with happy, rejoicing people. Matt quietly heckled the presiding Minister from the start and until the Minister made two big mistakes (one of which was blatant). The Minister then appealed to the Congregation for understanding because he had never before conducted a wedding where he was heckled continuously by the groom. Everybody was rolling around with laughter. And the speeches were good at the reception. Yes, I am glad and thankful I made it there when less than a year ago nobody thought I would. And I am grateful for all the prayers of people who hoped I would make it to the wedding.
I am trying to contribute to thought and debate on WUWT, and next Sunday I am conducting worship at Frogpool in the morning and attending a combined Methodist and Salvation Army Service in Gwenapp Pit in the afternoon. This when only a few months ago nobody thought I would now be around.
Again, thankyou for your interest.
Richard

Juan Slayton

When Gavin Schmidt accepted his job he agreed to assert the views of his employer, the US government.
On government time, maybe. On his own time, not so much. We former colonials have peculiar traditions about such things. The old timers even amended our original constitution so the government couldn’t shut us up. And you have to admit, mere ignorance never yet kept an American quiet. : > )

People may think you a fool for keeping your mouth shut. So don’t speak and prove them correct.

Janice Moore

Dear Richard,
Congratulations! And, thanks be to God (yes, I prayed).
Glad you are here.
Your feisty American science ally,
Janice

sailboarder

If Gavin were a professional engineer he would have no choice but to speak the truth or resign. IMO, there is a problem with the lack of professional ethics in science. The attitude seems to be that it is OK to “partially” speak the truth, such as in testimony to Congress, but not give the “whole” truth. Frankly, it sickens me. The classic example is the statement of “It is the warmest year”, but always without the caution that there is solid evidence of warmer periods 1000 years ago, 1200, years ago, etc, etc. An engineers conclusion would be that the public is being lied to.

Jonas N

Maybe the ‘reason’ Gavin is unable to answer those questions, is that they weren’t posed on the ‘Real Climate’ blog.
Because there, he’s had plenty of time responding, sometimes in length, to all kinds of questions and even statements made on other blogs.
Maybe, this is a ‘can’t control the message’- or ‘can’t edit/delete the follow-up questions/comments’-issue!?
I would very much suspect this to be the case.

Crispin in Waterloo

ECB that’s a good point. How many of these ‘climate professionals’ are members of professional organisations?
Can you imagine how the code of conduct for registered P.Cli members would read? The mind boggles if it were based on the conduct so far.
Above is a comment that says in 27 years no climate model has made an accurate prediction. Wow.
Imagine if a P.Eng designed bridges for 27 years, not one of which remained standing when used. Or perhaps a rocket engineer who in 27 years never managed to get a payload into orbit ‘because it is complicated’ and because they ‘omitted major variables’ for ‘lack of sufficient data.’
A typical climate model is a computer programme claiming a 100 year warranty that, within 10 years, fails 72 out of 73 times. We should launch a class action law suit to get our money back.

richardscourtney

Crispin in Waterloo
You say

Above is a comment that says in 27 years no climate model has made an accurate prediction. Wow.

Yes, and it is worse than that.
There has been no advance in the basic science for 36 years.
This is because there has been no improvement to the determination of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) which is normally expressed as temperature rise for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. ECS is the fundamental parameter whose value determines all calculations of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW). And the poor determination of ECS has not been improved during the last 36 years.
The First Assessment Report (AR1) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC) change was published in 1990 said of ECS

the models results do not justify altering the previously accepted range of 1.5 to 4.5°C

This is a very poor estimate: two values within the error range can differ by a factor of 3.
Improvement to the science of AGW requires improvement to the estimate of ECS.
But the most recent IPCC AR (i.e. AR5) which was published in 2013says ECS is

1.5 to 4.5°C

Climate science is not “settled”: it has been stuck for 36 years.
Richard

george e. smith

My infrared handbook gives the sea water absorption coefficient at around 470 nm; which is very close to the solar spectrum peak (extra-terrestrially and at the surface), as 1E-4 cm^-1
That means that the 1/e (37% remaining) depth is 100 metres. So 99% is absorbed in five times that or 500 meters.
This is the highest energy region of the solar spectrum, that is going that deep.
So 1% is surviving beyond 500 metres depth, and in the sensitivity to change that these scare mongers are quivering at, a 1% uncertainty is big news.
On the other hand, at three microns, beyond which only 2% of BB radiation from a 6,000 K source survives, at a spectral radiant emittance /absorptance is also about 2%, sea water has an absorption coefficient of about 8E3 cm^-1 so the 1/e depth is 1.25 microns, so only 1% of either incoming solar or downward atmospheric LWIR survives after 6.25 microns.
The rate of diffuse conduction of “heat” (noun) once that radiant energy is absorbed, is vastly slower than the radiation propagation, which is largely a beam penetration with clear skies.
At depths like 500 metres, the Temperature gradients would be microscopic, so there is very little Temperature gradient conduction to colder deeper waters, and just plain simple diffusion in a 4 pi steradian isotropic manner, must dominate.
So that heat is just as likely to diffuse upwards as downwards.
It is no wonder that nobody can follow that heat around; it mostly isn’t going anywhere, except by bulk transport of the water itself, in the various ocean currents.

bones

There is nothing like 37% remaining at 100 meters. Your absorption numbers are wrong.

bw

Insolation energy is 90 percent absorbed in the top 10 meters. Just drop a photometer from the surface to a depth of 10 meters. There are very few places where divers can see much below 10 to 20 meters.

richard verney

I agree with others that very little solar penetrates beyond 10 metres. The vast majority of solar is absorbed within just a few metres.
As regards DWLWIR, over 60% of this is absorbed within just 3 microns. Given the omni-drectional nature, it may be more like 75%. This means that if DWLWIR possesses sensible energy capable of performing sensible work in the environ in which it finds itself (ie., the top few microns of the ocean), it would drive copious amounts of evaporation unless it can be sequestered to depth thereby diluting the energy by volume, at a rate faster than the rate at which evaporation would be driven
The issue is what mechanisms can sequester this energy to depth. It does not appear that it can be by conduction since at the very top of the ocean (the top millimetres) the energy flux is upwards and as far as we know energy cannot flow/swim against the direction of the flux.
It is unlikely to be by ocean overturning which is a slow mechanical process and may also be diurnal.
It is unlikely to be by physical mixing caused by wind and waves since this too is a slow mechanical process and there are times and large areas where wind conditions/sea state is no more than BF3 (or below) where there is relatively little in the way of strong wind and wave action.
There is a problem with the concept that DWLWIR can in any meaningful way heat the oceans, and at most it merely goes to fuel evaporation (thereby cooling the very top of the ocean), but as I say from a theoretical point there is too much energy being absorbed in the top few microns and an expalanation is required as to how this energy can be quickly dissipated to volume.

David A

Does anyone know if and how much insolation water vapor absorbs in the atmosphere?

MikeB

David A
The atmosphere absorbs about 20% of the incoming solar radiation. In clear sky conditions water vapour accounts for 75% of this; the second most important absorber being ozone. CO2 absorbs about 2% of insolation in clear sky.comment image
In cloudy conditions water vapour accounts for 50% of solar absorption. The contribution of CO2 is zero.

Mark from the Midwest

Looks like the guy in Chicago that was convicted of fraud when they found he was using 15% sawdust in his “all natural” breads

J

Sawdust is all natural.

Mark from the Midwest

touche

TYoke

“Sawdust is all natural”. So is botulism, arsenate leaching, streptococcus, poison ivy etc. I confess I’ve never quite understood why “all natural” has the marketing magic it apparently does.

Tim

I am glad for how your questions are done and hope Dr. Gavin will respond. A reasonable debate is best for all concerned.

Don’t hold your breath, awaiting sincere debate. The political “answer” was predetermined and therefore “the science is settled”. Many alarmists are but political puppets, and as puppets they do not dare pull back at the strings holding them up.
When it comes to pursuing the Truth, Alarmists resemble a dog pursuing its own tail. This is what they call, “Circling the wagons.”
I think there was an idea that the ends would justify the means, but what they have done is build a house upon the sands of falsehood. It cannot long stand.
Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. is just making the obvious more obvious. I doubt he expects an answer.

Mike Maguire

Dr. Pielke must know that there will be no answer(response).

Willis Eschenbach

No, nobody knows that yet. We can suspect it, but until Gavin offers up proof by rejecting Dr. Pielke’s questions, we don’t know.
Having said that, I’m assuredly not in the breath-holding mode …
w.

How much more time will you give him before you conclude that Gav is not going to put up, but just stay shut up?

Björn from sweden

The hypothesis that Gavin will not answer can never be proven, only falsified by Gavin answering the questions. Unless we lower our scientific standards and adopt the climate consensus epistemological view of what proof is, and consider our hypothesis proven until repeatedly disproven.
(Yes, my english is akward, I am a foreigner.)

Your English is fine. As is your argument.

TimTheToolMan

To be fair, Gavin’s not going to be able to adequately answer those questions off the cuff. It could easily take him a month or more to get some of those answers. And for some, there are simply no answers for!

Tim
You may be right in the specifics but how difficult would it be just as a common courtesy to immediately reply and say what you said. That is how a true professional would handle the situation.

TimTheToolMan

I think he is rightly worried that anything he says will be analysed to death. His answers need to be very carefully considered. Far too many people have blundered with stupid off the cuff remarks and live to regret it. Consider Trenberth’s “Travesty” remark and that wasn’t even a public statement!

Willis Eschenbach

TimTheToolMan May 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm

To be fair, Gavin’s not going to be able to adequately answer those questions off the cuff.

To be fair, the odds of Gavin actually answering those questions from his cuff or any other part of his anatomy, while not at absolute zero, are giving a fair impression of minuscularity. The idea that he’s off composing his careful reply is … well … I’ll just say that it ranks very low on the credibility scale. I’m willing to be surprised, I’d be overjoyed if he answered … but I’m also a realist.
TimTheToolMan May 21, 2015 at 6:02 am

I think he is rightly worried that anything he says will be analysed to death.

As am I and as is anyone who posts on a scientific site, because, well … because science. So what? That’s what we do in science, we put our ideas out there for people whose specific purpose is to analyze them and if possible destroy, demolish, and discredit those ideas. Welcome to science.
I find it ironic that you’ve just repeated Phil Jones excuse for not giving Warrick his data … Phil said he was afraid that Warrick would try to find fault with it. Like I said … welcome to science, where part of a scientists job is to analyze and find fault with the claims of others.
The problem is that Gavin and most other mainstream climate scientists are too uncertain of their “facts” to expose them to the pitiless light of the agora, the open marketplace of scientific ideas.
But heck, Tim, if you want to believe Gav is off somewhere beavering away at the deeply considered and thoughtful answers he’ll someday give to Roger Pielke’s questions, don’t let me burst your bubble.
w.

TimTheToolMan

Willis writes “I find it ironic that you’ve just repeated Phil Jones excuse for not giving Warrick his data”
You’ve picked a sentence (ie “I think he is rightly worried that anything he says will be analysed to death.”) and run with it. The sentence lives in the context of him answering carefully, not avoiding answering altogether.

TimTheToolMan

Willis writes “The problem is that Gavin and most other mainstream climate scientists are too uncertain of their “facts” to expose them to the pitiless light of the agora, the open marketplace of scientific ideas.”
I wholeheartedly agree with that.
But I dont necessarily believe Gavin will answer the questions eventually. I also think it likely he’ll simply ignore them and eventually they’ll go away. I was simply making the point that a well considered answer was never going to come quickly.

Willis Eschenbach

TimTheToolMan May 21, 2015 at 8:22 pm Edit

Willis writes “The problem is that Gavin and most other mainstream climate scientists are too uncertain of their “facts” to expose them to the pitiless light of the agora, the open marketplace of scientific ideas.”
I wholeheartedly agree with that.
But I dont necessarily believe Gavin will answer the questions eventually. I also think it likely he’ll simply ignore them and eventually they’ll go away. I was simply making the point that a well considered answer was never going to come quickly.

Thanks for the clarification, Tim, much appreciated.
w.

He will not answer the questions for one of two reasons, he can’t or he won’t.
If he can’t, then he is not fit to discuss a subject that will cost humanity £/$trillions which could be better spent. If he won’t it is because AGW is discredited and he knows it. Either way I have to ask why is he in such a prestigious post?

Dr. Schmidt may fear the response of the Climate Catastrophe’s True Believers if he dares to acknowledge there is some science to be debated.

These are the questions which elected officials should be compelling Schmidt to answer. He may not be under any legal obligation to take questions from the public, but he can be compelled to answer those questions by Congress.

george e. smith

Not really; the Constitution guarantees anyone the right to not answer questions. Or to put it differently it informs the government that they are not authorized to ask such questions. Now in this case, since Dr Schmidt is a government employee, living and spending on taxpayer’s money, then they do have a right to ask him to explain how he is using those taxpayer funds.

On the grounds that he might incriminate himself. He has to answer questions from Congress under oath, but the answers of course can be blatant gibberish, so that he avoids perjury charges.

MarkW

It should be written into employment contracts for all govt workers, that taking the 5th when being questioned by congress, is grounds for immediate dismissal and loss of pension.

MarkW

Forgot to add, that taking the 5th only applies if there is a possibility of criminal indictment. For purely civil matters, the 5th doesn’t apply.

Hmm, the sight of Schmidt pleading the Fifth would be hilarious.

Gary Pearse

I was a civil servant for 8 or 9 years in the 1970s. We were instructed to answer questions from the public and one could get into some trouble by not being reasonably prompt. It was a different era though I guess. Also, there was a thing called a stick file where correspondence for the day was available for the higher uppers. I learned this when I got a nice memo – also on the stick file- complimenting me on a particular letter. No computer stuff then.

Chris Schoneveld

Elected officials wouldn’t understand those questions nor the answers.

Chip Javert

Chris
Theoretically, that is why they (elected officials) have qualified staff (or access to qualified staff). It’s lunacy to expect 535 (ok, 536, including POTUS) to be experts in atmospheric physics (or cancer cures, or landing men on the moon, or stem cell research). Ain’t gonna happen. Their job is to use experts to ensure appropriate questions are asked and answered. Lawyers (41% of US congress) do this every day.
Admittedly, political biases easily cause you to get tied up in your underwear…

PiperPaul

“Why should I provide answers to your questions when all you’re going to do is find something wrong with them?”

Janice Moore

lol — Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Janice Moore

“Eighty years ago this month, pioneering rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard and staff fired a liquid-fueled rocket to a record altitude of 7,500 feet above ground level.” ***
“… in 1919, he published his now-famous scientific treatise entitled A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. In that paper, the press glommed on to Goddard’s passing mention that a multi-staged rocket could conceivably fly all the way to the Moon.” ***
“The New York Times was especially derogatory in its estimation of Goddard’s ideas and accused him of junk science. *** Even the United States government largely ignored Goddard. The negative treatment to which Goddard was subjected profoundly affected the American rocket scientist. So much so that he spent the remainder of his life completely alienated from the scorning dolts of both media and government.” ***
“… 24 years after his passing. … A terse statement in the New York Times corrected a long-standing injustice. It read: ‘Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century, and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.'”
Source: http://blog.seattlepi.com/americanaerospace/2015/05/18/the-original-rocket-man-3/
*********************************************************
@ NASA: Either re-name your space institute, or replace the director. A small-minded, unprincipled, coward like Schmidt is not worthy of that honor (nor is he, apparently, even competent). Signed: A U.S. Taxpayer Tired of Waste in Government.

LeeHarvey

Huh… according to that article, Goddard didn’t graduate high school until he was 21.

Even much later, I had a high-school ‘science’ teacher who claimed that a rocket could not fly in space “because it has nothing to push against.” I knew better, because of the Third Law, and having long been a fan of Willy Ley’s The Conquest of Space, (with the famous Chesley Bonestell illustrations). Of course the teacher, a Mr. Cooper, had been hastily recruited to fill in for the real science teacher; his previous job had been vice-principal and coach of the girls’ softball team at a school in West Virginia.
Yes, of course it is a disgrace that Dr. Schmidt is heading the Institute named after Robert H. Goddard, and even more scandalous that this Institute has been co-opted in the service of The Great Climate Hoax since the 1980s.
/Mr Lynn

Werner von Braun and Germany did not ignore Robert Goddard. Not at all. US patents are not secret.

richard

Have to say the head of NASA /GISS, hiding off stage, must rank as one of the most childish things I have ever seen.

Jeff B.

Josh should draw a rat persona of Gavin scurrying away down the safe tunnels of academic tenure away from the light of science and reason.
The guy is simply a coward. Period.
And very well paid one using your tax dollars. Demand more from your government!

I wonder whether, if he ever does testify before a congressional committee, he will plea the Fifth Amendment in order to slip away? It would be hilarious

Galvin Smith’s knowledge of climate is probably not very good and is constrained to AGW ideology.
His opinion really does not matter.

Joe Bastardi

Apparently he does not subscribe to this:
There is a value to debate and challenge “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”

Gus

Dr. Gavin Schmidt is a mathematician, not a physicist, not a geophysicist, not an atmospheric physicist, not an ocean physicist, not a planetary physicist, not a geochemist, not an atmospheric chemist, not an ocean chemist, not a biologist–just a mathematician, a specialist in numerical analysis. This is why his GCMs are unphysical Mickey Mouse cartoons. This is why they don’t work.

Exactly the wrong man in the wrong position. It figures.

xyzzy11

The wrong tool for the job 😉

Tom T

Damn Gus you beat me too it.

SkepticGoneWild

That is why he hid like a coward from Dr. Spencer.

Gus
That is very interesting. Not to take shots at Federal employees, but I wonder how many others in all the agencies are academically not qualified for their jobs. Probably more than we want to know.

Reblogged this on The Ratliff Notepad and commented:
Valid questions about AGW.

george e. smith

Why do people come to WUWT to print under their own banner ??
Why don’t you just use YOUR blog, to direct people to come here to WUWT to learn whatever they can.
seems like plagiaristic to me.

george e. smith

My apologies to Joseph Ratliff and others.
It just occurred to me, that Anthony might have given his blessing to the re-blogging of WUWT proprietary stuff.
Were it me, I would just wave the WUWT flag at my site (I don’t have one), and say go to WUWT.
No foul; play on.

James Allison

Plagiarism in a good way. I notice that more commenters are referring readers to WUWT within the comments section of typical MSM CAGW press releases. Also that less Alarmists attempt to knock or ridicule WUWT as a bad source of climate information. I guess this is because of the tremendous reach WUWT now has on the global stage as a reputable source of climate information. Cheers to Anthony and all the people who come here regularly to read and comment.

Indeed. I refer people to WUWT articles at least once a week. Whether they do and peruse other items, who know. I usually post a section or comment and then reference WUWT.

Tom T

The important thing to remember with Gavin is that he isn’t a climatologist he isn’t even a real scientist. He is a mathematician and there is no evidence that he is a very good one. He went from Oxford a top 5 mathematics department undergrad to London University post grad which isn’t even top 30. That is a huge step down and tells us that his professors were not impressed with him. That he graduated with honors doesn’t really mean anything anymore.
Gavin is a pretend scientist he doesn’t have the physics background to argue with real experts. That is why he refuses to debate. Lindzen mopped the floor with him so easily because once you get past the ‘I’m a NASA scientist’ facade he really doesn’t have the qualifications, education, or god given intelligence.

opluso

I don’t think you need to be one of the world’s greatest mathematicians to work on climate science. Or even a particularly good mathematician, for that matter. The math (outside possibly flawed statistical analysis) isn’t driving the debate. The ideas and beliefs of the participants, far more than skill at math or science, determine where one stands.
I trust that Dr. Schmidt is more than sufficiently intelligent to manage GISS and conduct competent science along the way. Whether he does either in the manner most of us would prefer does not depend on his post grad university.

opluso says:
I trust that Dr. Schmidt is more than sufficiently intelligent to manage GISS and conduct competent science along the way.
You are too trusting. Gavin Schmidt may be intelligent. But he tucks tail and runs away from debating skeptical scientists. That is a fact.
If Schmidt really believed in what he’s trying to sell, he would step up and debate. The fact that he is afraid to debate (like the rest of the alarmist scientists) should tell any unbiased observer all they need to know.

Matt

opluso,
You have managed to write the dumbest comment this year so far. Mathematics is considered to be the ONLY exact science.

george e. smith

By whom ?
Mathematics isn’t ANY kind of “Science”. it is purely a set of completely fictional tools. We made it all up in our heads; and there is not even one single item or object that is DEFINED in ANY branch of mathematics, that even exists anywhere in the real physical universe; not anything.
And as for being exact. It isn’t always. There are many ordinary “sums” which one can add up and get ANY answer that you want. Only certain sums can have a definite exact answer.
And what did Gödel tell us in his undecidability principle ??

IMO it’s more correct to say that math is the language of science. Or if that’s too grandiose, then a necessary tool.

Ha-Ha, George, it’s not the ‘undecidability’ principle! Although I suppose you could call it that.
Gödel said:
That which is true is provable.

That which is not provable is false.

All unprovable assertions are self-contradictory.

He called it his “Incompleteness” Theorem. And yes, it applies to the “dangerous man-made catastrophic runaway global warming conjecture/scare/assertion/head fake.” ☺

DirkH

” And yes, it applies to the “dangerous man-made catastrophic runaway global warming conjecture/scare/assertion/head fake.” ”
No. Gödel states that all axiomatic systems are either incomplete or contradictory. Climate modeling suffers from far more trivial, mostly numerical, shortcomings.

DirkH

…correction: All axiomatic systems that are powerful enough to enumerate the natural numbers are either incomplete or contradictory. This correction is important because Euclidian geometry is complete and not contradictory; while being an axiomatic system, it is not powerful enough to enumerate the natural numbers.

Matt:
Please reread my comment. Mathematical prowess is not the root of the problem in climate science.
Therefore, I believe that criticism of Dr. Schmidt’s post-grad work is a non sequitur in the context of his positions on climate change.

Max Totten

Regarding the exactness of math I have a question which my math skills can’t solve. The ration of volume to surface area should explain heat loss from solid bodies yet the ratio changes when you change units ie inches vs feet. Can anyone explain?
Max

Janice Moore

Tom T — you (as you well knew, I realize, just posting this for others less well-informed) are correct.
Mathematics is not a “science.”
Science:
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Source: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/science

george e. smith

Right on Janice. But it might be quite fair to call it an art form.
Certainly it has given us many ingenious ideas, and concepts.

old44

Climate Science:
The intellectual and practical activity of ignoring the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment and fiddling around with computer data.

Janice Moore

Thanks, George.
@ old44 — lol. Yup.

Chip Javert

Well this “mathematics” discussion is a distinction without a difference; just try doing science without it. It’s like music without notes.
In fact, this thread’s enthusiasm to discredit Schmidt (which, by the way, he’s already accomplished all by himself) because he’s a mathematician resembles something recently fallen from the digestive tract of a large herbivore.

Sun Spot

Without the scientific method you don’t have science, ergo science is a method only or only a method.

Tom T May 19, 2015 at 10:45 am
The important thing to remember with Gavin is that he isn’t a climatologist he isn’t even a real scientist. He is a mathematician and there is no evidence that he is a very good one. He went from Oxford a top 5 mathematics department undergrad to London UNIVERSITY post grad which isn’t even top 30. That is a huge step down and tells us that his professors were not impressed with him.

I think you’re a bit off the mark with your assessment of University College London, last list I saw had them ranked 20th in the world and 4th in Europe, most cited university in Europe from 1999-2009, not to mention 32 Nobel laureates and three Fields medallists (which would suggest a fairly good math dept).

Tom T

It’s a good school but it’s not in the Oxford academic trajectory. Top students at Oxford do not go to London. It’s a step down. Actually 2 to 3 steps down.
You can get a very good gage on someone’s academic performance by their academic trajectory. I the age of grade inflation it’s the best tool we have. It tells you how impressed the professor’s were with their performance.

I don’t see UCL anywhere on this list of Top 50 rated graduate Mathematics programs:
http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2013/mathematics#sorting=rank+region=+country=+faculty=+stars=false+search=
Imperial College London is tied at Number 12, however. To move up from undergrad at Oxford, Gav would have had to go to Cambridge, MIT, Harvard or Berkeley. Numbers six to eight, ie Princeton, UCLA or Stanford, might have been considered a sideways move, but still not overwhelming. I doubt that the ratings have changed much since he graduated.

richard verney

If any of thiese guys were any good at maths, they would never seek to fit a straight line linear trend line to the land based thermometer record.
Indeed, if they were any good at maths, they would acknowledge the wide error bounds that all the data sets are subject to and that most are not fit for purpose such that it is impossible to eek out the signal (if any) to CO2 from the temperature data sets.
That is just basic.

Gary Pearse

Gents, his career trajectory is perhaps more important a measure. CAGW science has basically one highly fortified formula which they refuse to alter it in any way. It is a linear science (this is probably what is wrong with it). Willis Eschenbach simplified it even more for them in one of his articles here at WUWT which was responded to with outrage. I believe it was a measure of climate sensitivity. Surely y=ax+b is taught just as well at UC London as it is at Oxford.

Tom T May 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm
It’s a good school but it’s not in the Oxford academic trajectory. Top students at Oxford do not go to London. It’s a step down. Actually 2 to 3 steps down.
You can get a very good gage on someone’s academic performance by their academic trajectory.

I disagree, at the post grad level it’s more about the subject you’re interested in and who your advisor is that’s important, not the department
sturgishooper May 19, 2015 at 12:43 pm
Imperial College London is tied at Number 12, however. To move up from undergrad at Oxford, Gav would have had to go to Cambridge, MIT, Harvard or Berkeley. Numbers six to eight, ie Princeton, UCLA or Stanford, might have been considered a sideways move, but still not overwhelming.

Case in point, Bhargava (Fields medal, 2014) graduated from Harvard but did his PhD at Princeton with Andrew Wiles, I’d hardly share your assessment of such a move.

Tom T

Arguing between Harvard and Princeton is splitting hairs.
In thd case of Gavin going from Oxford to UCL is a clear cut downward academic trajectory and says s lot about what Gavin’s professors thought of his skill as a mathematician.

kim

The hairs need not be split. What talent he had, considerably more than mine, has been corrupted. Some of his math stinks. His academic trajectory is more a waft.
=================

Phil,
I agree that among the top ten or so, it is a case of splitting hairs. But from a top five to a below top 50 math department is significant.
The fact is however that Harvard is rated a little higher than Princeton, which is why I called the move sideways, not really downward.

John Catley

Come on guys, be reasonable.
You just don’t realise how hard it is to juggle all the balls that Gavin has to juggle.

Yes, it is difficult to juggle balls marked “lie”, “deceive”, “deny”, “mislead”, etc.

If his behavior is any indicator, I’m prone to suspect that there may not be enough to juggle with in the first place. 😛

Everybody put there “Wayback Helmets” on.
I seem to recall that there were a number of people that suggested that Gavin would be much more open and forward about this kind of stuff back when climate activist Hansen retired.
Same ol’ Same ol’

Dang
“their”

According to Amazon Climate Change–the Facts temporarily out of stock and only recently published!

Bubba Cow

mine is tracked to arrive today!

I’ve got mine sitting right beside me on the table! It came this morning…neener…neener…:) I plan to pass my copy along to my legislative representative (a neighbor and friend) when I’m done with it.

Svend Ferdinandsen

It is hard to respond to these questions, when you normally just need to say “it is worse than we thaught”. And the average of models must be right, even if no single model or run will give anything like our climate.

John West

With all due respect to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., those are not difficult questions for such an eminent scientist such as Gavin Schmidt.
Q: How do you respond to this critique of climate models with respect to the GISS model?
A: All models are wrong but some are useful.
Q: What is the GISS update to this summary including the current estimates for the imbalance?
A: 0.6 +/- 17
Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting average observed regional climate statistics?
Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting CHANGES in observed regional climate statistics?
Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting observed regional extreme weather statistics?
Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting CHANGES in observed regional extreme weather statistics?
Q: Can regional dynamic and/or statistical downscaling be used to increase the prediction (projection) skill beyond that of available by interpolation to finer scales directly from the multi-decadal global climate models predictions?

A: See #1
Q: Since it is claimed that a large fraction of the heat from human input of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has been going into the deeper ocean over the last 10-15 years (as an attempt to explain the “hiatus”), why is the global average surface temperature trend still used as the primary metric to diagnose global warming?
A: It’s not; we don’t need no stinking metrics!
Q: What is the relative role of land use/land cover change relative as well as added aerosols with respect to added CO2 and other greenhouse gases in affecting local and regional climate and changes in regional climate statistics?
A: Whatever we need it to be to make our models work and keep the meme alive.
Q: Please provide your best estimate for the terms.
A: Refuse to read or respond to anything from JC.
Q: What is your conclusion on the role of changes in extreme weather as they affect society during the last several decades?
A: The role of all weather is to aid in keeping the meme alive through media hype and misperception.
I would like for him (Gavin) to answer questions even his chauffeur should be able to answer. (Apologies to Jerry Clower)
What in your opinion is humanity good at?
A) Altruistic cooperation and sacrifice for the common good.
B) Adherence to authorities dictates for our own good such as prohibition.
C) Exploiting resources for our benefit, adapting to our environment, adapting our environment, and technological advancement.
D) Peaceful coexistence and living low environmental impact lifestyles.
Which strategy for combating climate change (if its a problem) best matches humanity’s strengths?
A) Voluntary global agreements limiting the use of the cheapest energy source available.
B) Mandatory global limitations on the use of the cheapest energy source available.
C) Global education on peaceful coexistence and low environmental impact living.
D) Improving infrastructural and environmental circumstances at the local and regional level while researching and developing a next generation energy source.
What ended the Stone Age?
A) Stone shortage.
B) Development of bronze for tool making, obsoleting stone tools.
C) Global moratorium on stone mutilation.
D) Stones uprising.
What in your opinion will end the fossil fuel age?
A) Thermonuclear war.
B) Fossil fuel shortage.
C) Development of a next generation energy source(s), obsoleting fossil fuels.
D) Edicts from alien overlords our wise leaders based on guidance from infallible experts.
E) Unprecedented global cooperation to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

Phil Cartier

Evaluating climate models is something of a no-win proposition in that they never can be “right” because they don’t model the actual climate. They never get the same answer twice since climate is chaotic- even if the model’s start point is programmed to 20 decimals at some point they will exhibit chaotic behavior. The fact that they all have to use numerical analysis the computers cannot reproduce an analog regime accurately enough and they cannot solve many equations accurately- the finite representation of the calculations results in a residual error, which in a system of non-linear partial derivatives always generates accumulating errors.
I liken it, in a way, to judging figure skating- none of the judges have exactly the same preferences, none can always give the exact same score for an error, and they all have some biases they may not even know. So different groups of judges will give the same performance different scores. All they can hope for is that each of the contestants makes one or more obvious mistakes so the judges can judge based on major errors and not have to deal with fine nuances.
And those are the problems with climate models. They can’t show fine, but very real nuances such as cloud cover, or localized weather, they can’t make consistent runs, they can’t show if they’ve run themselves off the rails so to speak.
Aircraft engineers face many of the same problems on a smaller, simpler scale so while they cannot exactly calculate a predicted performance through a combination of “close enough” fluid dynamics models, experience, and practical judgement they can get very close and make useful predictions of a planned aircraft’s performance. But aircraft engineers have a hundred years of experience and probably millions of well publicized mistakes to inform their newest designs.

PiperPaul

Does this imply that Ben Santer is the Tonya Harding of the climate science ice capades?

AnonyMoose

Maybe he’s still reading everything. Does that book have an Executive Summary for Policymakers?

rbabcock

It has to be extremely hard for these people to see their world crumbling before their eyes.
As the knowledge becomes better on how all of the climate drivers fit together (mostly through WUWT it seems) and the future actually doesn’t seem so dire, panic has to be setting in. If they really are smart they have to see the current climate cycle isn’t moving in their direction, and quite possibly will be moving the other way at a faster pace.
Almost every prediction they have made has been false: sea ice falling, global temperatures rising, extreme weather events increasing, snow never falling in England, sea levels rising faster…. And after this year’s el Niño there will be the inevitable central Pacific cooling and if global temps don’t respond to the current el Niño and rise a little, there could be quite possibly a crash to under the mean in a few years.
Sooner or later the facts always catch up to the myths, unless of course, you are in a George Orwell novel.

James Atkinson

The poor dude is a math junkie, not a climate specialist. The fella is scared people will find out that he has no training in the field. Does he have any physics background at all, any experimmental background?

knr

You need no training , only unquestioning faith in ‘the cause ‘

ossqss

I believe Gavin is exhibiting “self preservation bias”.
I also suspect,,,,,, the questions are flowing in from congress on the justification for the adjustments to the temp records. I would love to see a congressional hearing on that in the near term. The dancing from such would make “Dancing with the Stars” look like amateur hour.
Popcorn futures will skyrocket…..

Charlie

They should of gotten Bill Nye. He is even better at lying and being extremely condescending.

wws

Gavin’s response: “Shut up!”, he explained.

Resourceguy

Gavin is following the same set of instructions as the EPA Director, and that is to stick with the policy marching orders no matter what truth or science process lies just inches off the path. That is what separates it from anything of science.

John West

There’s nothing wrong with Dr. Gavin Schmidt’s educational background.
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/research/rae-2008/21
Educationally he’s as qualified as anyone on either side of this “debate”.
It doesn’t matter what his qualifications are, how high his IQ is, or our popular his ideas are; what matters is whether A) tests of his hypothesis confirm or refute it; B) whether underlying assumptions are valid; and C) whether reasonable conclusions are drawn from it.
For example, even if CAGW was slam dunk established it is not an automatically reasonable conclusion that [insert any emission limiting strategy here] will actually work.

knr

Ph D , piled higher and deeper
Letters after the name do not make the man .

David L. Hagen

PHD aka Praying Heaven Downward

Preconceived Hypothesis Disorder

kim

He must be wondering how all that talent tucked him into such a wicked corner.
=================

kim

Hey Pere,
Go where
James Hansen
Has his lair.
It’s not fair,
Terrible rare,
To expect me
To speak clair.
=========

LarryFine

This is why I love Watt’s website. Freedom of scientific inquiry lives here!

Janice Moore

@ Anyone Still Wanting to (eyeroll) Defend Schmidt’s Refusal to Answer EASY Questions:
Schmidt has opened the door to such questions as Dr. Pielke’s by asserting his competence to answer them (and, lol, in the course of it, confirming his IN-competence by his often ridiculously inaccurate answers) by making such public statements as these:
April, 2015
“Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, spoke last week at the Seventh International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses held in Vancouver. Here is an edited version of an interview he gave to The Sun:
Q: Is it too late to reverse the effects of climate change and global warming?
A: The time scales in the ocean, in the land and in the ice mean that we are not going to see a reversal of global warming for centuries. …
{LOL — laughing because this is SOOO ignorant! 1) overall, earth has been cooling for centuries; 2) recently, the temp. warming has stopped}
***
A. We have to have a price on carbon because right now it’s still free to put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So if you put a price on carbon that is commensurate with the damage that carbon-dioxide emissions cause, then people will be smarter. … and moving away from oil for transportation. *** ”
Source: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Global+warming+here+stay+says+NASA+scientist+with+video/10978871/story.html
*******************************
NASA Director simply = P.R. guy for Big Wind (and Tiny-but-Tenacious Solar).
Lying to put bread on the table, poor, widdo, fella.
Disgusting.

richard verney

And if CO2 does no harm, it should have no price.
The jury is out on whether it does any harm, but from the way that the planet is greening, we can already see that it does a lot of good.
If it does good, should a reward be paid to those who produce carbon?
There is a new tax for the government to take from its people and give to the carbon producers.
Problem it redistributes weath in the developed world from poor to rich (as wanted by those who govern us) but does not redistribute wealth to the developing world.

So, did “Judy” “agree”..? If so it would be nice to have a LINK. If “she” didn’t “agree” Why not?
I checked her site but didn’t find the questions…..”wattsup” with that?

For starters, he is not a climatologist and shouldn’t bill himself as such, or allow himself to be so billed. He’s a computer modeler, and arguably the crummiest of a crummy lot.

Roger A. Pielke Sr

Judy was going to post both the questions and Gavin’s answers (and any follow up Q&A). Gavin did not answer.

Frank K.

I think the larger question beyond Gavin Schmidt’s competence in his job is why NASA is spending our thinly-stretched taxpayer dollars to run a research unit in one of the most expensive places in the country – New York City! It makes NO sense except to justify bankrolling Columbia University faculty and staff to the tune of millions of dollars per year.
Then there is related question – why are we funding yet ANOTHER climate modeling group in the U.S. government when we already have a center of excellence at NCAR (and similar at NOAA)? The GISS Model E is a crappy code which is STILL poorly documented (despite recent “updates”) and nowhere near as good as NCAR’s CESM. Why do we pay two groups to do the SAME modeling? Yet another waste of taxpayer dollars…

GOP members of Congress are asking some of the same questions.
Since GISS has become such a BS mill, best just to shut it down. Or at the very least take away its climate modeling brief and move it out of NYC.

Tom T

4 letters NASA.
NASA carries more clout than any other acronym with the general public when it comes to science.
The NASA brand is critical for climate alarmists and they will fight tooth and nail to keep from losing it.
No one give ls a damn about NOAA or NCAR.

DirkH

“The GISS Model E is a crappy code which is STILL poorly documented (despite recent “updates”) and nowhere near as good as NCAR’s CESM. ”
There’s a good climate model? Did it get something right? When does it say will Earth become a Venus-like inferno?

Janice Moore

Re: #3 — 2 years ago.

Paul Westhaver

The AGW activists do NOT want dialogue.
They want & need only preachers, priests, and evangelizers.
Gavin Schmidt only wants to “inform” the world with his opinion. He wants to preach from on-high, the doctrine of global warming from the religion of the Green God. He is a priest, plain and simple.
The perfect scenario, which should never be forgotten, was him getting up and leaving John Stossel’s set and Dr Spencer coming in and sitting down, with a grin as wide as he could fit on his face. Somebody who knows how, should make an infinite loop of that moment on youtube.
It is the most absolutely anti-science & obstinate, act of fear and arrogance that I have ever seen.
It should be carved into the marble frieze above the columns of the entrance to the Cathedral to Gaia.

Just Steve

Like most progressivism, the Warmists follow to a tee the characteristics of Groupthink.
Groupthink is often characterised by:
■A tendency to examine too few alternatives;
■A lack of critical assessment of each other’s ideas;
■A high degree of selectivity in information gathering;
■A lack of contingency plans;
■Poor decisions are often rationalised;
■The group has an illusion of invulnerability and shared morality;
■True feelings and beliefs are suppressed;
■An illusion of unanimity is maintained;
■ Mind guards (essentially information sentinels) may be appointed to protect the group from negative information.

rpielke

Here is my most recent e-mail to Gavin Schmidt (on April 22nd) which has remained unanswered. He had been replying earlier and gradually moved from answering some of the questions to going silent. The origin of these question goes back to a set of tweets on his site Gavin Schmidt@ClimateOfGavin.
“Gavin. I am asking for your views on several subjects. If I were a reporter for the Economist or other major publication , would you still relegate my queries to such a low priority? Or if you were asked these questions as part of testimony at a House or Senate committee?
You are not just a scientific colleague but have a senior federal government position. This does obligate you to respond even if you delegate to your staff.
You asked for patience. Okay – please tell me when you will be able to answer the questions. At some point, we will just post the questions to you. I prefer, however, a constructive discussion between us which can than be posted.
Roger Sr”
I have posted on WUWT since it has become clear these questions are too inconvenient for him to address (or delegate to his staff). In years past, colleagues would be glad to engage in such constructive discussion.
P.S. Please focus on the science in your comments, not on his behavior.

rpielke,
Since he has presented no science, his silence is all that we can comment on. Or were you hoping that no one would say anything UNTIL he responded…..?

Roger A. Pielke Sr

I would like science response regardless if he responds or not.
[Rather, “.. a scientific response regardless .. “? .mod]

Just what kind of “science responses” do you wish from us? Can’t say I have any desire to play the role of Surrogate Gavin for you.

nutso fasst

I’m unqualified to surrogate a science response, but would welcome an attempt to do so.

James Allison

Rat like Gavin Schmidt scurries into a dark corner to avoid the bright light being shone on him.

More like a cockroach, IMO.

MarkB

I have posted on WUWT since it has become clear these questions are too inconvenient for him to address (or delegate to his staff).
I’m curious how you might think this post on WUWT will facilitate a meaningful conversation. It seems odd to suppose that publicly “calling out” a colleague will do anything but reinforce partisan behaviors. One might be excused for thinking this is simply theater.

Roger A. Pielke Sr

He is not a colleague. He is the Director of GISS with a very major and public role in the developing the science basis for gov’t policy.

MarkW

It became obvious long ago, that there never was a chance at “meaningful conversation”.

patmcguinness

Perhaps it’s an attempt to shame him publicly to reply. In fact, these questions are not that controversial nor difficult. I too would like to know what the latest ocean heat estimates are in the models.

MarkB

“Colleague” was your term, not mine. Regardless, my question was “What do you hope to achieve with this post?”

Janice Moore

Well, this is one U. S. taxpayer (I pay Mr. Schmidt’s salary) who was glad to have such malfeasance (yes, “mal,” for it is clearly intentional and not mere negligence) exposed.
Mr. M0sher, Mr. Schmidt DOES work for Mr. Pielke.
Questions testing his basic competence for his job should be answered.

Bruce Cobb

The debate actually is over, has been for a while, and they know it. That is why they’ve refused to debate, or even discuss the actual science. Pretty tough to, when all they’ve got is pseudoscience.

Louis

If the debate is actually over, then all relevant answers should already be known, which means there should be no reason for them to be afraid to answer questions. They should be happy to educate us, unless they’re afraid their answers will reveal the truth, that no debate was ever held, and that they are only pretending to know the answers.

MarkW

The debate is over, however the conclusion reached is not one they want to talk about.

highflight56433

Rogue bureaucratic Federal Agencies doing only what is in “their” best interest excludes any principles such as truth. There is no fear of applied punishment for their incredible pathetic lawlessness.

Have you stopped beating your data yet?

knr

Gavin was Dr Doom hand-picked successor, has he is know to to have the ‘right views’ , while like others in ‘the Team’ if he where not on the CAGW bandwagon it would be hard to see him getting any serious job in science, given his wholesale rejection of good scientific pratice .
So it looks like a dog , walks like a dog and barks like a dog , then a dog is what get and why would you expect anything else .

Janice Moore

Hey, hey, hey! #(:))
Heeeeere’s Gav….. er…. Tommy Flanaygan (okay, okay, he’s TRYING)!
He got help!

(yeah, a little relapse here and there, but he is on the mend — now in recovery!! Clean and honest for…. (look at watch)…. 10 minutes, now!)
Hopefully, all his L.A. (Liars Anonymous) friends will give him the courage to appear on WUWT!

Russ R.

I find it really irritating to read sentences like the following:
“Gavin decided to hide offstage while Dr. Spencer had finished his interview with John Stossel, rather than be subject to some tough questions Dr. Spencer might have posed in a debate with him on live TV. Gavin knew he’d lose, so he acted like a child on national TV and hid from Dr. Spencer offstage.”
Either everyone who holds a PhD ought to be called “Doctor”, or else everyone ought to be referred to by their given names.
Please just be consistent, otherwise it looks like you’re playing favourites.

wws

I disagree. Someone who has demonstrated that they are not worthy of the respect given to a professional, due to their childish behavior, should not be referred to with a meaningless (in their case) honorific.

TimTheToolMan

Russ r writes “I find it really irritating to read sentences like the following:”
I think Roger might have been irritated as well when he wrote that.

nutso fasst

Roger…wrote that.
It’s my impression that’s Anthony Watt’s FORWARD to Roger Pielke, Sr.’s post.

TimTheToolMan

Yes, I believe you’re right.

Chip Javert

Wow. Guess you missed the concept of “earning respect”.

son of mulder

In summary, the answer to all your questions is that the human race is doomed by inevitable climate catastrophe. You are trying to nitpick. The science is settled. It is chaos that prevents the truth to be seen. I am the eggman coo-coo-cajoo.

john schieldge

Maybe his zipper malfunctioned. Climate change is insidious you know.