We can end the climate policy wars: demand a test of the models

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: This is the last of my series about ways to resolve the public policy debate about climate change. It puts my proposal to test the models in a wider context of science norms and the climate science literature. My experience shows that neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics. Resolving the climate policy wars through science will require action by us, the American public.

Ending the climate policy debate the right way

Do you trust the predictions of climate models? That is, do they provide an adequate basis on which to make major public policy decisions about issues with massive social, economic and environmental effects? In response to my posts on several high-profile websites, I’ve had discussions about this with hundreds of people. Some say “yes”; some say “no”. The responses are alike in that both sides have sublime confidence in their answers; the discussions are alike in they quickly become a cacophony.

The natural result: while a slim majority of the public says they “worry” about climate change — they consistently rank it near or at the bottom of their policy concerns. Accordingly, the US public policy machinery has gridlocked on this issue.

Yet the issue continues to burn, absorbing policy makers’ attention and scarce public funds. Worst of all, the paralysis prevents efforts to prepare even for the almost certain repeat of past climate events — as Tropical Storm Sandy showed NYC and several studies have shown for Houston — and distracts attention from other serious environmental problems (e.g., destruction of ocean ecosystems).

How can we resolve this policy deadlock?  Eventually, either the weather or science will answer our questions, albeit perhaps at great cost. We could just vote, abandoning the pretense there is any rational basis for US public policy (fyi, neither Kansas nor Alabama voted that Pi = 3).

We can do better. The government can focus the institutions of science on questions of public policy importance. We didn’t wait for the normal course of research to produce an atomic bomb or send men to the moon. We’re paying for it, so the government can set standards for research, as is routinely done for the military and health care industries (e.g., FDA drug approval regulations).

The policy debate turns on the reliability of the predictions of climate models. These can be tested to give “good enough” answers for policy decision-makers so that they can either proceed or require more research. I proposed one way to do this in Climate scientists can restart the climate change debate & win: test the models! — with includes a long list of cites (with links) to the literature about this topic. This post shows that such a test is in accord with both the norms of science and the work of climate scientists.

We can resolve this policy debate.  So far America lacks only the will to do so. That will have to come from us, the American public.

The goal: providing a sound basis for public policy

“Thus an extraordinary claim requires “extraordinary” (meaning stronger than usual) proof.”
— By Marcello Truzzi in “Zetetic Ruminations on Skepticism and Anomalies in Science“, Zetetic Scholar, August 1987. See the full text here.

“For such a model there is no need to ask the question ‘Is the model true?’. If ‘truth’ is to be the ‘whole truth’ the answer must be ‘No’. The only question of interest is ‘Is the model illuminating and useful?’”
— G.E.P. Box in “Robustness in the strategy of scientific model building” (1978). He also said “All models are wrong; some are useful.”

Measures to fix climate change range from massive (e.g., carbon taxes and new regulations) to changing the nature of our economic system (as urged by Pope Francis and Naomi Kleinclip_image001). Such actions requires stronger proof than usual in science (academic disputes are so vicious because the stakes are so small). On the other hand, politics is not geometry; it’s “the art of the possible” (Bismarck, 1867). Perfect proof is not needed. The norms of science can guide us in constructing useful tests.

Successful predictions: the gold standard for validating theories

“Probably {scientists’} most deeply held values concern predictions: they should be accurate; quantitative predictions are preferable to qualitative ones; whatever the margin of permissible error, it should be consistently satisfied in a given field; and so on.”
— Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutionsclip_image001[1] (1962).

“Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory — an event which would have refuted the theory.”
— Karl Popper in Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledgeclip_image001[2] (1963).

“The ultimate goal of a positive science is the development of a “theory” or, “hypothesis” that yields valid and meaningful (i.e., not truistic) predictions about phenomena not yet observed. … the only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of its predictions with experience.”
— Milton Friedman in “The Methodology of Positive Economics“ from Essays in Positive Economicsclip_image001[3] (1966).

“Some annoying propositions: Complex econometrics never convinces anyone. … Natural experiments rule. But so do surprising predictions that come true.”
— Paul Krugman in “What have we learned since 2008“ (2016). True as well for climate science.

The policy debate rightly turns on the reliability of climate models. Models produce projections of global temperatures when run with estimates of future conditions (e.g., aerosols and greenhouse gases). When run with observations they produce predictions which can be compared with actual temperatures to determine the model’s skill. These tests are hindcasting, comparing models’ predictions with past temperatures. That’s a problem.

“One of the main problems faced by predictions of long-term climate change is that they are difficult to evaluate. … Trying to use present predictions of past climate change across historical periods as a verification tool is open to the allegation of tuning, because those predictions have been made with the benefit of hindsight and are not demonstrably independent of the data that they are trying to predict.
— “Assessment of the first consensus prediction on climate change“, David J. Frame and Dáithí A. Stone, Nature Climate Change, April 2013.

“…results that are predicted “out-of-sample” demonstrate more useful skill than results that are tuned for (or accommodated).”
— “A practical philosophy of complex climate modelling” by Gavin A. Schmidt and Steven Sherwood, European Journal for Philosophy of Science, May 2015 (ungated copy).

Don’t believe the excuses: models can be thoroughly tested

Models should be tested vs. out of sample observations to prevent “tuning” the model to match known data (even inadvertently), for the same reason that scientists run double-blind experiments). The future is the ideal out of sample data, since model designers cannot tune their models to it. Unfortunately…

“…if we had observations of the future, we obviously would trust them more than models, but unfortunately observations of the future are not available at this time.”
— Thomas R. Knutson and Robert E. Tuleya, note in Journal of Climate, December 2005.

There is a solution. The models from the first four IPCC assessment reports can be run with observations made after their design (from their future, our past) — a special kind of hindcast.

“To avoid confusion, it should perhaps be noted explicitly that the “predictions” by which the validity of a hypothesis is tested need not be about phenomena that have not yet occurred, that is, need not be forecasts of future events; they may be about phenomena that have occurred but observations on which have not yet been made or are not known to the person making the prediction.”
— Milton Friedman, ibid.

“However, the passage of time helps with this problem: the scientific community has now been working on the climate change topic for a period comparable to the prediction and the timescales over which the climate is expected to respond to these types of external forcing (from now on simply referred to as the response). This provides the opportunity to start evaluating past predictions of long-term climate change: even though we are only halfway through the period explicitly referred to in some predictions, we think it is reasonable to start evaluating their performance…”
— Frum and Stone, ibid.

We can run the models as they were originally run for the IPCC in the First Assessment Report (1990), in the Second (1995), and the Third (2001) — using actual emissions as inputs but with no changes of the algorithms, etc. The results allow testing of their predictions over multi-decade periods.

These older models were considered skillful when published, so determination of their skill will help us decide if we now have sufficiently strong evidence to take large-scale policy action on climate change. The cost of this test will be trivial compared to overall cost of climate science research — and even more so compared to the stakes at risk for the world should the high-end impact forecasts prove correct.

Determining models’ skill

“Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory — an event which would have refuted the theory.”
— Karl Popper in Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledgeclip_image001[4] (1963).

“We stress that adequacy or utility of climate models is best assessed via their skill against more naıve predictions.”
— Mann-Sherwood, ibid.

How do we evaluate the skill of models? A prediction of warming says little, since the world has been warming since the mid-19th century — so continued warming is a “naive” prediction. A simple continuation of trends is one form of baseline against which to compare a model’s predictions.

The literature proposes more sophisticated baselines which raise the bar for success. These tests will produce data, not black and white answers. What would come next in the policy process? For a summary see “The ‘uncertainty loop’ haunting our climate models” by David Roberts at Vox, 23 October 2015.

clip_image002

From “The uncertainty loop haunting our climate models” at VOX, 23 October 2016. Click to enlarge.

Have model predictions been tested?

“The scientific community has placed little emphasis on providing assessments of CMP {climate model prediction} quality in light of performance at severe tests. … CMP quality is thus supposed to depend on simulation accuracy. However, simulation accuracy is not a measure of test severity. If, for example, a simulation’s agreement with data results from accommodation of the data, the agreement will not be unlikely, and therefore the data will not severely test the suitability of the model that generated the simulation for making any predictions.”
— “Should we assess climate model predictions in light of severe tests?” by Joel Katzav in EOS (by the American Geophysical Union), 11 June 2011.

A proposal similar to mine was made by Roger Pielke Jr. in “Climate predictions and observations“, Nature Geoscience, April 2008. Oddly, this has not been done, although there have been simple examinations of model projections (i.e., using estimates of future data, not predictions using observations), countless naive hindcasts (predicting the past using observations available to model developers), and reports of successful predictions of specific components of weather dynamics (useful if it were to be done systematically so an overall “score” was produced).

For a review of this literature see (f) in the For More Information section of my proposal.

Conclusions

In my experience both sides in the public policy debate have become intransigent and excessively confident. Hence the disinterest of both sides in testing since they plan to win by brute force: electing politicians that agree with them. I’ve found a few exceptions, such as climate scientists Roger Pielke Sr. and Judith Curry, and meteorologist Anthony Watts. More common are the many scientists who told me that they shifted to low-profile research topics to avoid the pressure, or have abandoned climate science entirely (e.g., Roger Pielke Jr.).

We — the American public — have to force change in this dysfunctional public policy debate. We pay for most climate science research, and can focus it on providing answers that we need. The alternative is to wait for the weather to answer our questions, after which we pay the costs. They might be high.

clip_image003

Other posts about the climate policy debate

This post is a summary of the information and conclusions from these posts, which discuss these matters in greater detail.

  1. How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future.
  2. My proposal: Climate scientists can restart the climate change debate – & win.
  3. Thomas Kuhn tells us what we need to know about climate science.
  4. Daniel Davies’ insights about predictions can unlock the climate change debate.
  5. Karl Popper explains how to open the deadlocked climate policy debate.
  6. Paul Krugman talks about economics. Climate scientists can learn from his insights.
  7. Milton Friedman’s advice about restarting the climate policy debate.

259 thoughts on “We can end the climate policy wars: demand a test of the models

    • Exactly. The two camps don’t agree on the accuracy and “truthfulness” of measured temperatures.

      • Indeed. The first step required is to ban post hoc “correction” of the reference datasets such as Karl et al 2015 and the recent revision of the RSS satellite extraction.

        Climatology must be unique of all the ‘sciences’ in permitting constant “correction” of the data. In any other field that would be regarded as fraudulent.

      • In any other field, problems with your data mean you keep the data but increase the error bars.

    • That is the problem. So many data bases have been “corrected” (to fit the model?) that the exercise starts getting recursive. If the uncorrected raw data still exists, the testing should be done on that. The tests should take errors in measurement into account, of course, but that should be considered part of the tests.

    • I have said many times here that it is a nonsense to test the models against HadCRUT4 dataset when many models have been developed before 2010. You cannot calibrate your model by using one dataset and test it against a different one.

      But it is even a larger nonsense to validate an ensemble of models when each one uses a different value for the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide forcing.

      • I have said many times here that it is a nonsense to test the models against HadCRUT4 dataset when many models have been developed before 2010.

        Here let me fix it.

        I have said many times here that it is a nonsense to test the models against any dataset

        The dataset’s average all the data together, models produce global surface data, GCM’s need to not only get the average correct, it needs to do so at the regional level for all major parameters.

    • Um ! Tropical Storm Sandy, was actually a weather event; not a climate event. And on average it didn’t do much of anything.
      Well you can cherry pick some parts of Sandy’s existence and find some local damages, but for the vast majority of its existence, it was just another Atlantic Storm, albeit one that got rather large in area. Only when it got near the US coast did it become a subject for reporters, who can’t ever remember in all recorded history, anything like that happening before.

      Nothing about Sandy’s happening, demonstrated anything climatically as having changed. Storms sine then are still ho hum just as they were before. The only persistent remnant of Sandy ever having happened is all the junk built on the coast line that may not have been cleaned up yet.

      G

      • I believe the comment about Sandy was that money that could have been used to improve the storm protection of the shoreline was used instead for ‘Climate Change’ research and prevention.

      • You obviously, Smith, didn’t live where this ordinary storm slammed into if you think there was little damage.

  1. I’ve been trying to publish that paper for three years. It propagates error through climate model air temperature projections, and shows they are entirely unreliable.

    Modelers write angry rejectionist, incompetent reviews. Journal editors run away, screaming with fear. I now have a lot of experience with this. The current of corruption is very strong in climate science, and doesn’t brook an honest analysis.

  2. Once again, Mr. Kummer, for some mysterious reason known only to himself, mischaracterizes the AGW “debate” by creating the false impression of more or less equivalent blame for the failure of the science realists to agree with the AGW camp.

    Mr. Kummer. There is simply NO DATA to support AGW. The End. The AGWers have yet to make a prima facie case for their conjecture that human CO2 emissions drive climate on earth.

    Those who continue to promote AGW in spite of that fact are hustlers, plain and simple.

    We already KNOW that the climate models are unskilled.

    Apparently, you have not read (among many other model-fail analyses you seem to have missed, such as Roy Spencer’s and Judith Curry’s) Bob Tisdale’s e book: Climate Models Fail;

    Available via Amazon and on his site here: https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/online-cover-climate-models-fail-20.jpg

    • Janice Moore:

      Yet again you identify the crux of a matter when you write to Larry Kummer saying

      We already KNOW that the climate models are unskilled.

      Apparently, you have not read (among many other model-fail analyses you seem to have missed, such as Roy Spencer’s and Judith Curry’s) Bob Tisdale’s e book: Climate Models Fail;

      Yes, but Larry Kummer refuses to face that reality.

      In the thread which discussed his post where he first asserted on WUWT that a “test” of climate models was not the panacea Kummer pretends, I here told him and explained

      It is not possible to provide any test that “both sides will consider fair”.
      This is true whatever Pilke jnr or anybody else suggests as being such a test.
      No such test is possible because if it were possible then it would not be needed: Kiehle’s work would be sufficient to refute all except at most one unidentified climate model.

      Richard

      • Oops.
        I intended to write
        In the thread which discussed his post where he first asserted on WUWT that a “test” of climate models is the panacea Kummer pretends,

        Sorry.

        Richard

      • Hi, Richard,

        You and I disagree about (ssssh… heh), but I am so glad to see that you have been well enough lately to post with your usual vim and vigor. And you get to the nub of the Kummer Conundrum (i.e., why? why does he write what he does?) with the word

        pretends

        .

        Either Mr. Kummer is very confused or is not forthright about what he is really arguing for. In every thread below his articles, commenter after commenter firmly and carefully points him to the facts. He then just goes ahead and writes another article based on the same errors. And trolls come along to back him up…. hm.

        Well, at least his posts provide an excellent opportunity to get out the facts about GCM’s and AGW human CO2 conjecture… so someone out there can learn.

        Take care,

        Janice

    • What Janice says. AGW (or whatever you want to call it) is simply the “excuse”. The goal is (by Liberals) redistribution-ism, (by Greens) destruction of western industrial capacity, (by the young & naive) Socialism, and (by academics) the continuation of the Grant Gravy Train.

      Warming – and models – and fact – have NOTHING to do with it. Never had. never will.

    • Janice I think you’re missing the point – we may know the models have failed but the wider public does not – if you do a “public” test rather than those which are rarely seen, except for those of us who read websites such as this, it could well remove the impasse to proper open scientific debate. It can seem that both sides are locked into this dispute and people like to be locked in to things – what would we all do with our spare time if there was no climate change debate?

      • Mr. Spurrier: The facts are already known. As you wisely point out, the key is to make them known. PUBLIC EDUCATION is, thus, the key. Model-re-testing is not needed. They are known-failed, unskilled, unfit for purpose.

    • Atta woman! Way to go Janice!

      There is a very amusing file in the climategate release where a programmer tries to follow and ‘update’ a climate model.

      It is the typical programmers nightmare of bad coding, tangled spaghetti code with many code jumps, undocumented code, calculations and rationale.

      That programmer did nor redesign nor rewrite the code; they simply updted wht they could understand enough so the thing would run again and spew reams of useless output.

      In the legitimate world, programmers and engineers that are genuinely responsible for their code would be fired for a series of wrong models. There is no corrective process in Climatology for better models, only rewards for staying the course.

      Again, back in the real world, programmers and engineers disassemble models after every run and compare input, results, output, process and timing of the entire program to ensure they understand why and what the output was.

      Any failed models could expect managers and modelers in offices of higher-ups to explain in detail why the model was wrong.

      And this is for models only meant to advise employees and managers, not have their outputs treated as gospel.
      Model output gospel are science fiction, especially as climatology uses them.

      • Thank yooooouuu, THEO! :) Heh. Theo thinking… “Hm. Want to say, ‘Atta girl,’ but, she’s awfully touchy about that kind of thing… hm.”

        What a gentleman you are. Thank you for your respect (wow, is that a rare gift for me!).

        Just FYI: If you would say “boy” in any context (well, I THINK “any” context, lol…) I hope you will use “girl” with me, i.e., “atta girl” would be just fine. Going out with the “girls” (for a fun evening) is another example. And I am ONCE AGAIN talking too much about OT stuff.

        Just don’t say, “Well, bless her heart, she tried.” lolololol

        Hope all is well with you down there — are the magnolias in bloom yet? And, btw, I often and often enjoy your comments and don’t say anything…. lol. usually because I have already been talking way too much on that particular thread.

        Take care,

        Janice

        #(:))

      • Janice:
        Interesting thinking.

        Only, I am married to a redhead.

        Even I can learn some things…

        I’m not fond of calling any adults diminutives. There is a gray area where the body and mind are two different maturities, but even then a diminutive is insulting. Far better to err on the side of giving them false maturity.

        All bets are off when talking to ladies near or above the age of twenty nine; when I’m more likely to be threatened with emasculation for using terms like, ‘excuse me, Maam’. Almost certain to cause pancake makeup to smolder into incense.

        There are plenty of non-diminutive comradely terms for friends.

        Magnolias are not in bloom yet. I haven’t seen much of anything in bloom yet. Daffodils are growing, crocuses should be out or past.
        Our Bradford pear is usually our first plant to flower, down the road redbuds and a few witch hazels and shadbushes will flower in the woods. The pussy willow will bud out just afterwards or can be cut and brought indoors for early budding. A buck really laid into our pussy willow last fall stripping the velvet off his antlers.

        Virginia bluebirds, goldfinches and have been nest spot searching around the house and looking in when they perch on the screens.

        I’m looking forward to when the windows can stay open and the bird songs enter.

        I do enjoy reading your comments also along with many that you inspire. The muse of climate? Think about it.

      • ATheoK-

        “Only, I am married to a redhead. ”
        You then sir, are a very lucky man in many ways. And yes, lucky to be alive is one of them. :)
        (I am a redheaded woman, so I can speak to these things)

      • Dear Mr. Theo,

        Thanks for the lovely reply. I thought you were from the deep south! Even in my home area, about an hour due north of Seattle, WA, the pussywillows have come and gone by the end of February. Their silver softness always brightened our Januarys. Well, wherever you are, it sounds like you have many beautiful things to give joy to your poet’s heart (you appreciate, even if you do not write poetry…).

        Re: “I’m married …” — JUST TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR my friendliness was in no way an “overture.” Maybe you were mainly emphasizing the “redhead part.” Yeah, Pamela Gray and Aphan (I see (in comment above), now — and it makes sense, O Bright Fiery One of Fervent and Powerful Opinions :) ) bear out the stereotype as, I guess your wife does…

        Re: “Ma’am” — why would that be an insult? (and I am waaay beyond 29, btw — and except for stage make-up, I will NEVER wear “pancake” foundation — mineral-based powder is much lovelier and more “natural”). I LIKE it when men open doors and speak respectfully. And I try to do what I can to reciprocate, e.g., by using “Mr.” until they seem to have given permission to be familiar (I called you “Theo” because I assumed it was okay and should not have). I think we can have equality of worth along with chivalry. Vive la difference! (and there is definitely a difference — to be mutually admired and respected, imo).

        Well, re: phrases like “girls night out” and the like, I thought I’d just mention it as being okay with me, since a lot of men will talk of “going out with the boys” and they don’t mean it perjoratively. (In your ear –I’m fond of such “terms of endearment” I guess, because… I’mreallyaten-year-oldgirlinaverygooddisguise). Thanks for giving me the respect of someone much older than I will EVER be, lololo.

        And, thank you, for your kind words.

        Spring is almost here! :)

        Janice

      • Janice:
        Don’t bother with mister, Theo works just fine. All of my best friends use it, that is, when they’re not peeved over some prank.

        Married to a redhead was not marking possession, but an understanding of a lady redhead’s wit and finely honed sense of justice; not forgetting their senses of punishment or reward and that the wise avoid a redhead’s anger whenever possible.

        I use ‘boy’ just as infrequently as I use girl and almost exclusively for children 13 and younger.
        I will use ‘boys with toys’ in a generic sense, but that might be it.

        Apparently many of the ladies I’ve met consider use of the title ‘maam’ as belonging to someone much older than themselves. After more than a few threats, I’ve curbed my use of the word. ‘My lady’, works fairly well; a good thing since my memory for names is terrible.

        I’ve lived North of Boston and in New Orleans, grew up in Pennsylvania and am currently in Virginia. I’ve spent a lot of time in the west, and love traipsing in the desert as well as any forested mountain.

        Of course it is spring in the NW, such tepid winters… Try spending a winter in Nebraska and finding that negative temperatures turn transmission oil to thick goo. Warming up the engine does zilch for transmissions.

        I’ve a friend that moved from North Dakota to Minneapolis. He thought he’d get a jump on the trip by loading the truck, sleeping overnight and then driving to Minneapolis early in the morning. He forgot about the sheer cold inertia of his belongings and shivered all the way to Minneapolis with the heater going full blast.

        Every warm spurt of spring we’ve had this year has been followed by a solid hit of cold, so while spring is here as animal behavior attests, the plants are a little behind. A good thing too, I still have pruning to do.

        Aphan:
        I am pleased to hear about your red headedness. I have always had a weakness for freckle faced ladies whose ethereal beauty holds me enthralled; while their fierce emotions and loyalty cause me to smile idiotically.

      • Dear Theo,

        I wish I could just talk away, here, but I’ve had people get very angry with me for that so please forgive me, but, I cannot give your thoughtful letter to me the response which it deserves. Thank you, so much, for taking the time. I enjoyed reading it very much. Your wife is sure blessed to have a husband who so appreciates her personal qualities. Now, you be sure to TELL her all that, too! (you probably do, but, just in case… on her behalf, I wrote that).

        Aphan! Check out what Theo wrote to you! It will make your week year (well, it would mine)!

        Just good to know there are good men in the world, too. You shine, Theo K! :)

        Janice

      • “””””…..
        Aphan

        March 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm

        ATheoK-

        “Only, I am married to a redhead. ” …..”””””

        Can you (both) be more specific ?

        Strawberry Blonde/Red/Ginger/whatever ??

        And yes; both very lucky.

        g

      • For you redheaded women: I am reliably informed, by a redheaded female medical type, that redheaded women genetically have the highest pain threshold of all people. Agony that incapacitates any of the rest of us merely p*sses redheaded women off — hence the stereotype.

        Hey, I wasn’t going to argue with her. 8)

    • That’s the indispensable value of open debate. Even if you don’t convince the True Believer on the other side, you still may convince the cooler heads in the room who don’t have a dog in the fight. Or at least motivate them to look deeper into the issue.

      • Hi, Ron of the wonderful bird and wildlife website (http://wingedhearts.org/ ),

        Thank you! I’m glad you commented where I saw it here. Otherwise, I would have missed your delightfully unvarnished and precisely accurate comment far below. Rarely is a dispute truly 50-50, usually, it is more like 70-30 and the bogus-science AGW “debate” is more like … like 99.99-.01. The moral equivalency fallacy is almost always a crass attempt at manipulation.

        Great minds :)

        Your WUWT ally for science truth and love of wildlife,

        Janice

        P.S. I came across your fine Aug. ?, 2009 Fred-in-bed-with-and-without-blanket analogy (boy, some people on that thread sure did not understand what the purpose of an ANALOGY was). Nice job!

      • Thanks do much Janice. I have been doing some investigative research into US temperature adjustments. I hope to complete in about a month. What I have seen so far is quite a surprise.

  3. A model requires data as input. If you had good data – that is raw data that was not being manipulated – you should be able to produce a set of predictions on broad future climate attributes (a gradual temperature change over a large area, an increase of high intensity storms, etc). Getting scientists to agree on a margin of error would be interesting.

    However, I don’t think you can meet the first criteria – good input data. Besides data coming from a multitude of different instruments, situated in a vaiety of ways, moved around, and polluted by industrial expansion (air conditioners, roads, buidings, etc.), you have people manipulating the data again and again to “fix it” introducing more bias. Satellite data would come closest to “good raw data” and that only goes back half a century limiting your hind casts.

    A computer model is never better than the data it is fed.

    I think it is the manipulation of data and the hiding of data and methods that is the primary force behind all the distrust. If you will not publish raw data and methods used to adjust it – all of it – it isn’t useful for basing science on.

    • You’ve got it half right. Aside from the data, you need an accurate model. rgb has explained several times on this site the pathetic short-comings of the algorithms currently used to “model” (I use that term loosely) the global climate. It frankly wouldn’t matter if you could measure pressure, temperature, humidity, and composition of the atmosphere, terrasphere, and aquasphere to six decimal places at ten meter intervals from the Marianas trench to 100 kilometers up once per second. None of the “black boxes” you could pour this data into are fit for their purpose.

  4. “””””….. “Thus an extraordinary claim requires “extraordinary” (meaning stronger than usual) proof.”
    — By Marcello Truzzi in “Zetetic Ruminations on Skepticism and Anomalies in Science“, Zetetic Scholar, August 1987. See the full text here. …..”””””

    Well some slick words. Carl Sagan used the exact same wording.

    But it’s BS

    Any scientific claim requires (if that’s even possible) requires rigorous proof.

    And as we all know; there is NO proof that is not always facing the threat of that one experiment that disproves whatever scientific claim.

    I have never seen anything; or everything, related to climate modeling, that gives me any more than a ho hum response. Because I’m not aware of any “climate model” or GCM if you wish, that in any way represents a model that in any way resembles the actual physical planet we live on.

    You can’t morph three dimensional heat energy fluxes, into a one dimensional flow, when your model does not even have simultaneity of data in multiple locations. Without real time Temperature differences, you can’t have real heat flows.

    The “anomaly” approach is just that; an anomaly, in lieu of real physically meaningful measurements and observations. Anomaly “data” can be used for only one purpose, and that is statistical machinations, because Temperature anomalies are not physical data. They cannot be observed or measured anywhere; and the statistics is just that; a formal body of numerical origami, that anybody can read in a text book, but nobody can use to compute ANY observational number that you don’t already know. All statistical “information”, is information about statistical algorithms, it isn’t additional information about any data set, that the set itself does not already contain; including the possibility of no information at all, when no two members of a valid data set are related in any way whatsoever, but for which the statistical algorithmic results are equally as valid, as if every member of the data set is calculable by a closed form mathematical equation.

    But I could certainly do without the politicians with agendas, related to climate, energy, and related global matters.

    G

    • Well said. Essentially, the entire quantification exercise for global temperature is simply chasing the distribution and transfer of solar isolation as it moves through the system and then back out to space.

      The energy delivered isn’t hiding, being trapped, or in any way being altered by man. It is just too abundant and actively moving around to pin down with our tools for measurement. Yet folks pretend they can measure a .8 C differential over a year.

      Comedic if not so sad.

    • At the top of this WUWT post is: “My experience shows that neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics.”

      By “both sides” I assume that Larry Kummer means the “usual suspects” versus the skeptics. If that is the case, Kummer slights us skeptics as wanting to win via a political route. I have never seen that from skeptics. We are the ones arguing the science, while the usual suspects use ad hominen attacks, appeal to authority, and other logical fallacies to form their attacks.

      george e. smith posts: “I could certainly do without the politicians with agendas, related to climate, energy, and related global matters.”
      Spoken like a true skeptic.
      He also wrote: “Any scientific claim requires … rigorous proof.”
      I declare george e. smith a bona fide skeptic against CAGW. I’m not so sure about Mr Kummer, who seems to fast and loose with his word choice.

      • More on Kummer’s apparent bias for the Warmists: in his article, Kummer presents a graphic reproduced from “The uncertainty loop haunting our climate models” at VOX, 23 October 2016.
        The upper-left box seems unbiased as it asks how much greenhouse gas will humans produce through 2100?
        The upper-right box reveals sotto voce bias when it asks “how much will global average temperature rise in response to those gases?” This assumes that the climatic response of rising temperatures in response to increasing CO2 and other GHGs has been proven; but what about the counter-example of “The Pause” as covered in WUWT and elsewhere?
        The lower-right box assumes a temperature rise will occur from increased GHG. This reveals Warmist bias.
        The lower-left assumes that the effects of the assumed warming will damage human health and economies. This has yet to be proven! Maybe the authors want to go back to life in The Little Ice Age? There are many examples of societal benefits from increased warmth, which may not occur (see “The Pause”).

      • “…neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics.”

        True. The AGW proponents push their ideology via politics, not science. The skeptics have tried science with the other side, but to no avail – so “politics” it must be.

  5. I had always thought about this after reading the book “Nonlinear Time Series Analysis” with regards to modeling and testing how “good” your model is at forecasting. Went into within-sample and and out of sample predictions and the pros and cons of each. Definitely time to call for some action on looking at these models they made. Hell, a lot of that can be tested using some stats packages in R, adopted from TISEAN.

    Most of them probably have never heard of the book or Nonlinear statistics because they are stuck trying to prove Climate is Linear and we are only headed for certain DOOM! The real question to ask is, did they seek to make their models without bias to warming only warming as the possible outcome? My best guess is no……..

  6. A very interesting programme on the BBC on 8th March 2016 called ‘Saving Science from the Scientists’ . Does this represent a change in attitude in the BBC?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b072jdqm#play
    It covered irregularities with much scientific research, but not a mention of climate change research. I wonder why?

  7. AGW has always been about politics and ideology, and not science. No proof can be presented that would persuade True Believers otherwise,

  8. I will make a prediction about the results of testing the models.

    The warmists will say “Yes, we know that the early models did not provide accurate predictions. BUT the ones we have now are much better, and will work…

    • DG, there is a simple debunking reply. For details, see my guest post here on models. Computational limitations force model parameterization. And parameterization cannot avoid the attribution problem. We know there was not enough change in CO2 to cause the temp rise from ~1920 to ~1945. Natural variation. We know that period is essentially indistinguishable from ~1975 to ~2000. How much of the latter period rise is attributable to natural variation? AGW presumes none. Core to the warmunist belief and written into the IPCC charter. Why TAR went with Mann’s hockey stick. Flat handle erases natural variation shown by MWP and LIA.

      • …And parameterization cannot avoid the attribution problem. …

        Ah, but our new (waves hands) clever statistics avoids that problem. It’s very complicated, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. And anyone who doesn’t is a ‘D-word’, and shouldn’t be listened to…

  9. In the 80’s I did experimental stress analysis on vehicle frames for FORD. The finite element analysis never matched the experimental stress analysis until several iterations when they found out what was wrong with their model (boundary conditions, usually). Now, with thousands (maybe millions) of comparisons to the real world I’ll bet they can do a finite element model of a vehicle frame and get it right the first time. Without those thousands of real world comparisons under their belt there would be exactly zero chance of them getting it write on the first try. But this is where the climate modelers find themselves. For them to validate correctly the first time would be like me swinging a hole-in-one with my first swing at the golf course (and I don’t play golf).

    • Scott, I spend most of the 80’s and 90’s as an electronics’s simulation expert, Analog, Digital, Timing. It’s really part art, you have to understand the prople input for the type of simulation you’re running, as well as understanding what it did.
      But they have the whole physical results analysis all wrong, they blame determinism and that climate is chaotic, weather is chaotic, I’m not sure climate is.
      And that’s what they are trying to get out of averaging suites of model runs, the general boundary of the variations.

      But this is all wrong, a timing analysis is a boundary condition simulation, requires different input conditions.
      GCM are a deterministic simulation, different inputs will matter, and we can’t measure the data we need to the required resolution, and if we could, we’d be able to measure if Co2 has an effect or not. But the GCM will never be right if it has the relationship of water and water vapor with Co2 wrong.

      • Scott, I also worked for Fords.
        micro, they get out EXACTLY what they want to get out of the models, “scare stories” for the IPCC & politicians.
        It is not about “Climate Science”, it is about power and financial control.

      • But they have the whole physical results analysis all wrong, they blame determinism and that climate is chaotic, weather is chaotic, I’m not sure climate is.
        And that’s what they are trying to get out of averaging suites of model runs, the general boundary of the variations.

        Does the graph of interglacial periods over the last half million years shed any light on that? How about this graph of the Holocene?

        If we apply a filter to a chaotic system we should see a smooth graph and the attractors should be obvious. The smoothness of the graph should not fool us into thinking the system is not chaotic. The problem is that all our figures for global temperature are derived from some kind of filter.

        Given the chaotic nature of the system, certainly for weather and perhaps for climate, I am skeptical about our ability to agree on a valid test for models. I would say the problem approaches impossibility.

      • CommieBob-
        “I would say the problem approaches impossibility.”

        The IPCC already said that:

        “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” -IPCC 3rd Assessment Report 2001

    • Scott, I had a rather rudimentary course in ‘strength of materials’ in my high school mechanics (Physics) courses (I went to an unusual and remarkable high school), but I later on (recently) got fiercely interested in the strength of composite materials; not because I wanted to know how easy it was to break a golf club over your knees, but I wanted to design my own type of efficient fly fishing rods (power rods for salt water).

      So I dug out my old high school (replacement) text book; Timoshenko; which I guess puts me in the Stanford camp, and googled a whole lot of information about carbon and glass epoxy fiver composites. I got on the list for a composites journal that was heavily into the aircraft and space applications.

      So I read in one of those journals, a very interesting paper about a sort of round robin inter-agency composites modeling regimens.

      Evidently, NASA, the Air Force, Some British equivalent, NIST and some others, all had their own models of fiber composite modeling, including using things like basalt fibers, and other weird stuff.

      So they got together and defined a homework problem. To design some relatively simple three dimensional structure to be fabricated using some relatively widely available technologies, probably a carbon fiber epoxy resin structure, and each team could use their own presumably available fiber composite layers, to design this gizmo.
      I believe they then all exchanged their design information so each could check the others designs based on the other’s methodology, to catch simple procedural errors.

      Then I believe an independent third part, was contracted, to build every one of these gizmos according to the designer’s recipe, so as to remove possible fabricational differences between the protagonists.

      Then the third party tested the different structures, eventually to failure, to see how well the parts performed to calculated design, and to compare both the designs and also the modeling methods.

      As I recall, there was quite a disparity between the design methods, and also a spread in how each design panned out in a fabricated part.

      But bottom line, there was a pretty good confidence established for at least those participants, that they could design with suitable safety margins, and create parts that worked with reasonable surety of their soundness.

      End result was that my rod blank design problem was much simpler, being basically one dimensional. Somebody actually (a friend) built me my own custom rod out of S-glass composites, that will stop any fish smaller than a Los Angeles class submarine.

      I actually used a sort of one dimensional finite element analysis, to compute the bending flexure characteristics of that rod. In the process, I also spectacularly blew up some carbon fiber rods in my back yard, by hanging weights on them in extreme angular deflection configurations. Actually located and cured a weakness in one of their production carbon rods doing that (and got some free rods to boot).

      Some computer modeling actually works.

      G

      • Somebody actually (a friend) built me my own custom rod out of S-glass composites, that will stop any fish smaller than a Los Angeles class submarine.

        Nooooo … that ends badly.

      • All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

        Mosh frequently says this (up/down thread already I believe).
        While some without simulation experience might deny the second part, Some of us with experience know it is true, so what we are arguing is that they are not useful for stated purposes, and have yet to even prove out their theory of operation (ie Co2 drives surface temps).

        Steve on the other, hand thinks we should accept that premise as true.

      • No one here is disputing that computer models can and do work. They work in all kinds of fields and for all kinds of purposes. Some things can be accurately modeled.

        But there is a HUGE difference between modeling something not very complex -like material strength of specific given materials and modeling something that is VERY complex-like the climate. When dealing with substances for which we have known, predictable parameters, it’s easy to predict with accuracy how those substances will respond to specific and controlled pressures, densities, temperatures etc. It’s possible because you can control all factors but one and see how that individual factor responds in all cases, and then swap it out for another factor.

        There is no climate model currently in the world that can mimic day to day, real world climate accurately…much less PREDICT future world climate. There is no computer in the world currently that can handle every single aspect and parameter of the globe and it’s atmosphere currently known with the resolution required to do it, and we don’t know and understand every aspect of our climate in the first place.

      • Evidently, NASA, the Air Force, Some British equivalent, NIST and some others, all had their own models of fiber composite modeling, including using things like basalt fibers, and other weird stuff.
        So they got together and defined a homework problem. To design some relatively simple three dimensional structure to be fabricated using some relatively widely available technologies, probably a carbon fiber epoxy resin structure, and each team could use their own presumably available fiber composite layers, to design this gizmo.
        I believe they then all exchanged their design information so each could check the others designs based on the other’s methodology, to catch simple procedural errors.
        Then I believe an independent third part, was contracted, to build every one of these gizmos according to the designer’s recipe, so as to remove possible fabricational differences between the protagonists.
        Then the third party tested the different structures, eventually to failure, to see how well the parts performed to calculated design, and to compare both the designs and also the modeling methods.
        As I recall, there was quite a disparity between the design methods, and also a spread in how each design panned out in a fabricated part.

        This is how a task like this should be done. I believe the Space Shuttle had 3 different white room developed Operating Systems, one for each of it’s systems. So a flaw in one is not likely done in the other two.

        You can’t share code and expect to validate the theory by comparing different implementations that aren’t different.

      • micro6500 (and Richard Courtney)

        They LOVE to quote the Box statement out of context as if it says something that it does not say.

        “All models are wrong. Some are useful. ”

        They quote it as if it can be read as saying “All models are wrong, but all models are useful.” Which is does not say. It says SOME (of all) are useful. It also does not say “Some models are wrong. All models are useful.”

        Now, whether or not something is “useful” is in the eye of the beholder of that thing. I have a broken shovel…the head broke off from the handle. It is no longer useful as a shovel, but I used the handle as reinforcement on an outdoor arbor and the head has been used for various needs…so both pieces are indeed useful to ME. But I know many people that would chuck both in the garbage and just go get another shovel without a second thought.

        So while it’s POSSIBLE that all models are useful…if you count using them as paperweights or door stops or step stools or just to keep a hard drive warm on a cold winter’s night…I think that Box meant SOME…when he said SOME…and he never, ever said that climate models were useful. So it’s odd that they bring up his quote as if its some kind of score for their team. :)

      • Naw…they are prolific at it…that doesn’t mean they are good at it. If they were good at it, it wouldn’t look, taste and smell like propaganda…but it does, on every level. Of course, first they wrote endless papers putting forth the idea that propaganda wasn’t “bad” it was helpful. But you read one of those papers and it won’t come off your hands for days, and if you get it on your clothes…forgetaboutit. :)

    • The point of this proposal=(yawn) is, again, to end the “gridlock” etc that you believe is keeping us from doing other things that you believe we should be doing.

      Problem #1- the US Government was designed specifically for this purpose….to promote GRIDLOCK when both sides have valid questions, doubts, reasons for acting on any issue in which they feel there is not sufficient evidence or information available at the time to make the BEST decision possible. Checks and balances my friend.

      Problem #2-you seem to think that the vast majority of people in the US actually agree with your altruistic positions and thus, it’s as easy as merely channeling them all in the same direction, which would automatically result in your desired outcome. Cognitive biases my friend. You’d be surprised how many people think differently than you do.

      Problem #3- Climate models today can only predict the WEATHER with acceptable accuracy up to about 48 hours in advance. Every hour into the “future” past that point, the models become increasingly less accurate. Watch your local news for a week or so. Watch their 5 day forecast vs their 10 day forecast and see how they change as the “future” gets closer to the “present”. Now…if local weather models that only have to take local factors into consideration (vs taking global factors into consideration) and have oodles of daily, hourly, local records taken from observations in that area in the past to work with, cannot predict just that local weather with any accuracy beyond 10 days into the future, it is IRRATIONAL to believe that there could be global climate model that could do it beyond THAT time frame.

      Problem #4-We already KNOW what the weather/climate was going to do from 1990-today…because it has happened already. The climate models of the past, did NOT predict what did happen accurately, because they did not then, and still do not today, accurately represent all aspects of our climate. Some aspects were not included at all. Some were misrepresented based upon what the modeler fed into them. Some interacted with each other in ways the modelers did not expect or predict then, and that are STILL NOT understood well enough today. If we go “back in time” and put in the actual data we now have from “the future” into those same models, you no longer have a “predictive model”!!! You have an observational model….a computer simply replicating a known past!! Well DUH! It’s just another HIND cast….and it would in NO WAY mean that the models can be trusted to predict the unknown future!

      Climate models will never be, and SHOULD never be, accepted as evidence upon which to base current or future policies (by any rational, logical, intelligent humans) UNTIL the day comes that a running model contains every single aspect of our globe’s climate, accurately tracks every single one of those aspects daily, in real time, for a satisfactory period of time, and is THEN run into the future for a given period of time (creates a prediction) and then compared with real world observations as the time between when the prediction was made and the date of the prediction come together. In other words, there is a VALIDATED model that is accurate in both current climate as well as future climate. A model that PASSES the test, so to speak.

      • “Climate models today can only predict the WEATHER with acceptable accuracy up to about 48 hours in advance. Every hour into the “future” past that point, the models become increasingly less accurate.”

        Models are pretty good at predicting that (NH) temperatures in July will be warmer than in December. They may even be better at predicting the average temperatures at a specific location for next July vs temperature at that location at a specific time next month. That they cannot predict weather does not mean they cannot predict climate.

      • “Models are pretty good at predicting that (NH) temperatures in July will be warmer than in December. They may even be better at predicting the average temperatures at a specific location for next July vs temperature at that location at a specific time next month. That they cannot predict weather does not mean they cannot predict climate.”

        My golly be! I’m a model! I can predict that the temperatures outside my house in July will indeed be warmer than in December! I can even accurately predict that for the next 40 years and hindcast it for the past 40 with perfect accuracy! Someone give me a billion dollars for being an accurate model!

        I done read me some historical geological books, and I’m fairly confident that I can predict that the climate is going to do what it has done over and over again…it’s going to warm up until it gets as warm as it’s gonna get, and then it’s going to start to cool down again and get colder and colder. Then we’ll have a spell of cold climate, ice will grow and advance…till the system changes again…like it always has…and starts to warm up again. I don’t need no fancy computers or programmers or grant funds…just an observational record from empirical evidence and the massive scientific literature that has been collected on this planet since humans learned how to read the movement of the stars. The overwhelming consensus from the evidence is-
        Earths climate is constantly changing in one of two directions-warmer or colder. Sometimes it happens really FAST, sometimes it happens slowly, but it is always changing.

        “Hey Earl….there’s seashells in this here field!” (which is currently more than a hundred miles from the shore)

        “Well golly Fred….maybe some child done brought a bucket of sea shells up from the coast and dropped em here…”

        Earl and Fred dig about. There are millions of sea shells, in deep layers of the earth. And all over town too! Reason leads to the conclusion that at some point in Earth’s past…that entire region was covered by oceans! Amazing!

        Now, perhaps, based on the evidence, do you, seaice1, think we should start a movement to Save the Oceans? Obviously they have receded from where they once were, and must be drying up or being sucked into some kind of drain system….but for the earth to have changed SO DRASTICALLY….something unnatural or unprecedented must have occurred! But wait….which state was the “natural, normal, perfect state”?….the oceans being so high they reached Earl’s land….or them now being so far away? Did something unnatural, abnormal happen which caused them to rise….or was it something unnatural, abnormal that caused them to recede to where they are now? Or should they be somewhere in between?????

        Change doesn’t scare me in the slightest. Stupid on the other hand terrifies me.

      • seaice1:

        Climate models cannot predict the climate of the Earth because each model is of a different climate system and, therefore, at most only one unidentified model is of the Earth’s climate system.

        I have repeatedly explained this on WUWT including an explanation to Larry Kummer when he previously made the same silly assertion as he has again made in his above essay.

        Richard

      • Richard. That is why we can not have a perfectly accurate or exact model. That does not preclude a useful model.

      • Aphan,

        “Problem #2-you seem to think that the vast majority of people in the US actually agree with your altruistic positions and thus, it’s as easy as merely channeling them all in the same direction…”

        I lost interest at this point. Quite delusional. I said nothing even remotely similar.

      • From FM-“Aphan,
        “Problem #2-you seem to think that the vast majority of people in the US actually agree with your altruistic positions and thus, it’s as easy as merely channeling them all in the same direction…”

        I lost interest at this point. Quite delusional. I said nothing even remotely similar.”

        I never said you SAID that. I said “You seem to think” that…which is based upon YOUR statements like this:

        “We can resolve this policy debate. So far America lacks only the will to do so. That will have to come from us, the American public.”

        “We — the American public — have to force change in this dysfunctional public policy debate. We pay for most climate science research, and can focus it on providing answers that we need. The alternative is to wait for the weather to answer our questions, after which we pay the costs. They might be high.”

        Now…I’m willing to be entirely wrong here. So please, rather than declare your lack of interest, and project delusion upon me, how about you clarify a few things?

        #1-do you believe that the vast majority of Americans do or do not agree with your positions..such as (1-that we can solve this debate with a model test 2-that we need to be doing something to protect ourselves against future known-to-recur climate disasters 3-that because we pay for most of the climate science research-we can indeed focus it on providing the answers that we need)

        Because if the American public lacks the “will” to do something…and only that “will” can force the change you believe is required…and you DO NOT THINK that the vast majority of people in the US actually agree with your positions in the first place….dude….you’re pretty much hosed before you even begin. I mean, it would completely irrational and illogical to even ATTEMPT to get the American public to use their collective “will” to accomplish something they don’t even agree with on the most basic level! I mean…isn’t that pretty much a definition of “delusional” thinking?

      • seaice1:

        As usual, you ignore what I wrote and pretend I wrote something else.

        You write this non sequitur

        Richard. That is why we can not have a perfectly accurate or exact model. That does not preclude a useful model.

        in response to my having written to you

        Climate models cannot predict the climate of the Earth because each model is of a different climate system and, therefore, at most only one unidentified model is of the Earth’s climate system.

        I have repeatedly explained this on WUWT including an explanation to Larry Kummer when he previously made the same silly assertion as he has again made in his above essay.

        I did NOT say, suggest or imply that “we can not have a perfectly accurate or exact model”.
        On the contrary, I suggested that one unidentified model may represent the climate system of the real Earth.

        And I explained that the present situation DOES “preclude a useful model” because all except at most one unidentified model is wrong, and a model that gives wrong indications is WORSE than no model.

        I can only suppose models that give wrong indications are “useful” to your political objectives.

        Richard

      • “I can even accurately predict that for the next 40 years and hindcast it for the past 40 with perfect accuracy!” You cannot even predict tomorrows temperature with perfect accuracy. You cannot even state todays temperature with perfect accuracy. You can predict that July will be hotter, but that is not what you say you expect of climate models, -you require accurate predictions. Merely “hotter than today” will not do for you to consider climate models useful.

        You say “Climate models will never be, and SHOULD never be, accepted as evidence upon which to base current or future policies…UNTIL the day comes that a running model contains every single aspect of our globe’s climate, accurately tracks every single one of those aspects daily, in real time”

        Yet you you happily use a model to predict next July will be warmer than December, without being able to predict every single aspect of the Globe’s climate. Do you see the inconsistency? Using your criteria we should not stock up on winter fuel and de-icer.

        “Someone give me a billion dollars for being an accurate model!” No, you are using a model to make the prediction.

        “it’s going to warm up until it gets as warm as it’s gonna get, and then it’s going to start to cool down again and get colder and colder.” Probably accurate, but not useful unless you can say when it will get warm and how warm.

        Your analogy with the seashells is pointless. A meteorite destroyed the dinosaurs, does that mean I should not be worried if a planet-buster was heading for Earth?

        “Stupid on the other hand terrifies me.” Be afraid. Be very afraid.

      • Richard – “And I explained that the present situation DOES “preclude a useful model” because all except at most one unidentified model is wrong, and a model that gives wrong indications is WORSE than no model.”

        Look at the quote in the post – all models are wrong but some are useful. Because all models except one are wrong does not mean they are not useful.

        The Newtonian model of the solar syatem is wrong, but it is very useful.

      • seaice1:

        I began my reply to you saying, As usual, you ignore what I wrote and pretend I wrote something else.

        You have responded to that by doing it again!

        You state some of what I wrote but you have ignored everything I wrote and you provide another falsehood that I refuted when you previously provided it.

        You now say

        Look at the quote in the post – all models are wrong but some are useful. Because all models except one are wrong does not mean they are not useful.

        The Newtonian model of the solar syatem is wrong, but it is very useful.

        NO!
        A scientific model is right when it makes predictions that agree with observed reality to within the inherent errors of the observations.

        A scientific model is wrong when it makes predictions that fail to agree with observed reality to within the inherent errors of the observations.

        Scientists amend or scrap wrong models and NEVER USE wrong models as predictive tools.

        The Newtonian model of the solar system is right for its stated accuracy within the range of conditions in which it is still used: that is why it is useful.

        And you have written the nonsense I have here refuted in response to my having said to you

        I did NOT say, suggest or imply that “we can not have a perfectly accurate or exact model”.
        On the contrary, I suggested that one unidentified model may represent the climate system of the real Earth.

        And I explained that the present situation DOES “preclude a useful model” because all except at most one unidentified model is wrong, and a model that gives wrong indications is WORSE than no model.

        I can only suppose models that give wrong indications are “useful” to your political objectives.

        Average wrong is wrong and – as I said – a model that gives wrong indications is WORSE than no model.

        Clearly, your misrepresentations demonstrate that your definition of “useful” is anything that supports your political objectives.

        Richard

      • OK Richard – you are using your own definition of “wrong”. You say “A scientific model is right when it makes predictions that agree with observed reality to within the inherent errors of the observations.”

        What doe you mean by “inherent error of the observations”?
        Say we have a model for desease spread. The model predicts 10,000 people will get the disease. We have excellent health recording, so we can measure to the nearest person. We find that 9,950 actually got the disease. That is not accurate within the inherent error of the observations. The errror is 1 and the result is off by 50 times that. Nevertheless, I think it would be a very useful model.

        Say we have a new disease. The infection parameters are not yet fully known, so the model is not as accurate as the one above. The model predicts that in the first week there will be 1000 infections, with confidence limits of 500 to 1500. The result comes in at 450. The model is wrong, but is it useful? What should we do? Abandon the whole idea of modelling infections? Or possibly acknowledge that we don’t know everything yet and refine the model?

        More serious is this statement:
        “Climate models cannot predict the climate of the Earth because each model is of a different climate system and, therefore, at most only one unidentified model is of the Earth’s climate system.”

        How does this make sense if we use your definition of right? Why is it not possible to have millions of climate models that all produce predictions within the errors of the observations? You say the models cannot predict the climate because each model is different, and therefore only one can be a model of the actual system. The way you have put it means that you think there can only be one right model. In fact, by your definition, there can be unlimited right models.

        No model will exactly reproduce all aspects of the system it is modelling.

    • seaice1:

      How dare you!
      I am NOT using my “own definition of “wrong”. I am stating what a scientific model does.

      And you explain with your illustration of a medical model that you don’t know what is by “inherent error of the observations”. In that example there is a sampling error and a model error. Both are important.

      But with the typical arrogant ignorance of a troll you proclaim that the principles of sampling and modeling don’t matter because you know nothing about them.

      Your twaddle is wasting space in this thread.
      The facts are that
      (a) Climate models cannot predict the climate of the Earth because each model is of a different climate system and, therefore, at most only one unidentified model is of the Earth’s climate system.
      And
      (b) Average wrong is wrong.
      And
      (c) You are responding to my pointing out those facts with evasion, obfuscation and nonsense.

      I will not ‘feed the troll’ any more because everybody can see I have refuted your nonsense.

      Richard

      • Richard -you will see in post I ask you what you meant by inherent error of the observations, so no need to get on your high horse.

        I ask you for an explanation of your reasoning. I ask you why it is not possible for more than one model to produce answers that are within the inherent error of the observations.

        Specifically, you say “at most only one unidentified model is of the Earth’s climate system.”
        I answer that no model is of the Earth’s climate system. All models are simplifications and approximations.

        Newton provided one model of how things move. Another is general relativity. Are you saying that since there can only be one model of how things move, then Newton is wrong?

        I am seeking to understand what you are saying. I have stated how it appears to me. If I am right, then I don’t see how your argument stands. If I am wrong please correct me.

      • seaice1:

        Your twaddle becomes more ridiculous and offensive with each of your posts.

        Your evasion by use of an untrue medical anology is NOT relevant.
        On the other hand, you clearly have not read (or have been too thick to understand) the explanation I provided in my link to an earlier post that I now provide you for the third time in this thread. The link fully explains that at most only one of the models emulates the climate system of the real Earth.

        The models are NOT simplified models of the Earth’s climate system.
        All except at most one of them is a model of a different system.

        Also, I said

        The Newtonian model of the solar system is right for its stated accuracy within the range of conditions in which it is still used: that is why it is useful.

        You have replied by asking me if I am saying “the Newtonian model is wrong”. When you pass the second grade in Junior school then you will have learned that the word “right” does NOT mean the same as the word “wrong”.

        And you conclude with this disingenuous falsehood

        I am seeking to understand what you are saying. I have stated how it appears to me. If I am right, then I don’t see how your argument stands. If I am wrong please correct me.

        NO! If you were “seeking to understand” my clear statements then you would have read the link to my explanation that I have now provided for you three times. In truth it is blatantly obvious that you are really trying to disrupt rational discussion because you know the climate models are not fit for purpose and want to conceal that fact.

        I should not ‘feed the troll’ because you are deaf to any evidence and any argument that refutes your superstitious belief in man-made global warming, but I am replying to your post because it is so outrageously untrue that I would not want any onlookers to be misled by it.

        Richard

      • Richard. Lets get this straight. You insult me by claiming I am not yet at a second grade junior school level and calling me a troll, yet you are one taking offense. I have not said anything offensive to you.

        Lets go through this a step at a time. Use a simple analogy so I can understand the subtleties of your argument.
        “So, each climate model emulates a different climate system.”
        I do not think emulate is the best word. But that aside, each model represents a different approximation of a system, or if you like, it represents or emulates a different system. This is why the models are not the same.
        Simple analogy. Take a moving object – a real satellite in orbit around the Earth. Newtonian mechanics models a system where there are no time dilation effects. Relativity models a situation where there are time dilation effects. We could say each one emulates a different system. Is that in agreement with what you wrote?

        Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. “
        OK, in our example we must change climate for satellite. There is only one satellite, so only one model can “emulate” the actual satellite.

        I think we can agree that the relativistic model will be a more accurate model. However, the Newtonian model is accurate enough for many purposes.
        “Climate models cannot predict the climate of the Earth because each model is of a different climate system
        We now have the argument – climate models cannot predict the climate of the Earth because each model is of a different system and there is only one real system. So using our simple analogy, all models but one cannot predict the movement of the satellite because each model is of a different system, and there is only one real system. I think we can agree that when applied to the satellite this is literally correct, but that is what we said all along. All models are wrong, but some are useful. Both models are useful in different circumstances.

        “And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.
        What you are saying here is that the models are bad, and therefore are not useful. This is a reasonable argument as far as logic is concerned. Bad models are not useful, and if the models are bad they are not useful. However this does not follow from your “only one real Earth” argument, which as far as I can tell is spurious, even after reading again your linked post.

  10. Sorry but definitive tests are the last things that win-the-day lawyer politicians are interested in. They are heavily invested in not knowing anything else and not altering course.

  11. ..The models have already failed, some by a very wide margin ! How many chances do they get ?

  12. In a sense, what you propose has already been done, and by the criteria given by climate modelers (15 years BAMS 2009, 17 years Santer 2011) the models have now failed. For CMIP3, scenario A1B closely (not exactly) matches subsequent actual emissions. For CMIP5, RCP4.5 is a bit less than actual; that is OK for these purposes. Neither set of models run with these scenarios projected the actual pause measured by 4 radiosonde and 3 satellite data sets. And both sets of models under these scenarios also ran appreciably hotter than the problematic, much fiddled land/sea datasets.
    But it does not matter, because the policy debate is not about model accuracy. It is about a quasi religious belief system that would hobble modern civilization out of fear of unprovable CAGW via application of a ruinous precautionary principle.
    The warmunist ‘religion’ ignores that CO2 is beneficial to plants (earth is greening), that sea level rise has not accelerated, that the model predicted tropical troposphere hot spot does not exist (itself another test showing the models are unreliable), that polar bears do not depend on summer ice, that weather extremes have not increased,… Warmunists are immune to facts, and distort reality ad litem to suit the meme. AGW went from claiming snow would disappear to claiming it causes more snow, when the snow came. AGW was going to cause permanent Australian drought (hence the mothballed desal plants), and then when the rains came AGW caused flooding. It is not possible to have rational policy discussions with warmunists. Your hopeful proposal is in vain, IMO.

    • ristvan,

      I’ll respond to your comment, since it is a high-level version of almost everybody else’s on this post.

      It’s nice that you have an opinion. The other side has opinions, also — and support from almost every major science institution. The goal of the policy debate is to gain support of the US public, most of whom are uninterested at this point in time.

      Proclaiming that you are right has zero effect on this debate, no matter how loud or confidently you say it.

      The situation could change as either the political winds change (as they often suddenly do), or if one of more large weather events strike — to be attributed to CO2 (of course). As they say in both political science AND the military: defenders need to win every day, insurgents need win only once. If the pubic is panicked into supporting news laws and regulations — as has often happened — then the warmists have won.

      The debate can be resolved. This is an timely moment to do so.

      This proposal offers one step to this: offer a fair test. Warmists will find it difficult to refuse without looking weak (i.e., that they are avoiding a test). if the models fail, as you expect, they will attempt to explain this away — but explaining away failure in a high-profile test seems likely to make them look unreliable.

      “The warmunist ‘religion’ …”

      Whatever. I doubt psychoanalyzing your foes makes any difference in the public debate. The other side does that to you as well. My guess is that most people look at such things and shrug about activists’ folly.

      • They already refuse to debate, they already reject the results of all the test that have shown their models have failed. What makes you think they’ll suddenly react any differently, particularly as long as the lame stream media is on their side?

      • Fabius Maximus-

        To respond to you with your own advice-

        “It’s nice that you have an opinion.” Everyone else has opinions too.
        “Proclaiming that you are right (about some “fair test” idea) has zero effect on this debate, no matter how loud or confidently you say it.”

        If warmists cared about looking weak, they wouldn’t say or proclaim half of the things they do…perhaps more than half. Most of them STILL claim that the models are accurate….so why would they have to agree to a test of something they proclaim already passed the test? “If the models fail”-they already have “they will attempt to explain this away”-they already DO, constantly-“but explaining away failure in a high profile test seems likely to make them look unreliable”-they already DO look unreliable. My lord….everything they produce looks unreliable because it IS unreliable. Why do you think that trust in scientists is at an all time LOW in this country? Why do you think that most Americans don’t take the climate scare seriously?

        From your own blog, linked to in the above article-
        “Let’s discuss what scientists can do to restart the debate. Let’s start with the big step: show that climate models have successfully predicted future global temperatures with reasonable accuracy.”

        YOU actually seem to believe that climate models have “successfully predicted future global temperatures with reasonable accuracy”. BUT for some odd reason you demand in your “test proposal” that those “successful, reasonably accurate models” be fed different, alternative data…which makes no sense at all.

        A-if the models worked accurately, then they would match what actually happened, and no test would be required to prove that.
        B-if the models did NOT work accurately, then testing inaccurate models again, will produce inaccurate results, again.
        C-programming a model with different data=a different model altogether.

      • Aphan, if you look at old IPCC reports they contain a number of lines extending into the (then) future, each one representing a particular emission scenario (business-as-usual, severe cuts in CO2 etc). If we look at these today, we do not know which of the lines represents what actually happened with CO2 and other parameters in the model. Therefore we cannot easily see how good the model was.

        Since we now have the data about exactly what did happen to CO2, CH4, insolation etc, we are in a position to plug the actual data into that same model, in effect choosing one of the potential lines.

        I would welcome seeing these discussed.

        There was a famous prediction by Hansen in 1988. This has three scenarios, A,B and C. The actual forcing levels have been close to scenario B, but it would be instructive to see the output of the same model with the actual levels. The estimate of sensitivity was also a bit higher that todays, so we could also plug in the current best estimate to see how good the model was.

        It would also be extremely instructive to see other models from 1988 that are based on CO2 not having an effect on the climate, and plugging in data for actual levels of whatever parameters these models were based on. We would then have a comparison between the AGW and skeptic models. Unfortunately there do not seem to be any such models. If anyone is aware of any, please let me know here.

      • “There was a famous prediction by Hansen in 1988. This has three scenarios, A,B and C. The actual forcing levels have been close to scenario B”

        Alas….wrong:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/20/how-well-did-hansen-1988-do/

        “So, only Scenario C, which “assumes a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions” comes close to the truth.”
        (In Hansen’s scenario C “assumes a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions such that the net climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000”)

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/15/james-hansens-climate-forecast-of-1988-a-whopping-150-wrong/

        “If we look at these today, we do not know which of the lines represents what actually happened with CO2 and other parameters in the model. Therefore we cannot easily see how good the model was.”

        Here’s a chart of the results of 79 climate models vs reality-

        Now…if, out of 79 models, NONE of them actually matched the temperatures that occurred , then we can easily SEE how BAD the models are. They may have gotten the actual CO2 increases PERFECT, but not something else-like how sensitive the earth IS to increasing CO2 etc. Or clouds. Or outgoing radiation. Or outgassing of the oceans etc. With a hundred different parameters, and a coupled, chaotic non-linear system-how exactly do you expect scientists to EVER be able to fine tune parameters when they cannot control for, and isolate, each individual parameter?

      • Editor

        Your statement “…This proposal offers one step to this: offer a fair test….”

        I assume both sides actually have exactly the same definition of “a fair test” = WE WIN!

        Since this test-the-model fiasco has already been running for 25+ years, please explain how the tooth fairy plans to proceed.

      • John,

        “What makes you think they’ll suddenly react any differently, particularly as long as the lame stream media is on their side?”

        Because they obey the dictates of those who pay them. For example, the GOP could adopt this proposal. The public can put pressure on Congress. Congress can require NOAA to run this test.

    • “It is not possible to have rational policy discussions with warmunists.”
      ——————
      It is not possible to have rational policy discussions with warmunists.

  13. My experience shows that neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics.”

    That pretty much sums it up.

    One thing though. There are really three different, interlocking (non) debates being conducted:

    1. “Climate Science” and specifically the obviously broken models. Conceptually, it is hard to see why this HAS to be a religious war. But is clearly is. Sadly, climate models that actually work would doubtless be very useful. But as long as the keepers of the models hold fast to a “The models are SCIENCE and anyone who denies that is the evil spawn of Satan” position, the models aren’t going to be fixed.

    2. Energy engineering and specifically the capabilities and limitations of renewable technologies. This looks subject to be rational discussion and analysis. But it largely isn’t being discussed rationally. One side is hampered by extreme fact-free emotionalism and rampant wishful thinking. And the other is hampered by self-serving actions of those who would benefit from specific “solutions” — whether the solutions actually solve any problems or not.

    3. A near complete failure on the part of Western intelligensia to understand the problems facing developing countries, how the 80-85% of humanity living in those countries view the issues, and the (frequently mindless) “solutions” being proposed by those who mistakenly think they are running the planet. (Why would anyone want to run this planet?)

  14. “The government can focus the institutions of science on questions of public policy importance.”

    The government (that is neither the elected nor the civil service) has no interest whatsoever in answering the climate change question. They want a continuing “carbon” cash flow based on AGW scare tactics.

  15. Prior to MLO the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, both paleo ice cores and inconsistent contemporary grab samples, were massive wags. Instrumental data at some of NOAA’s tall towers passed through 400 ppm years before MLO reached that level. IPCC AR5 TS.6.2 cites uncertainty in CO2 concentrations over land. Preliminary data from OCO-2 suggests that CO2 is not as well mixed as assumed. Per IPCC AR5 WG1 chapter 6 mankind’s share of the atmosphere’s natural CO2 is basically unknown, could be anywhere from 4% to 96%. (IPCC AR5 Ch 6, Figure 6.1, Table 6.1)

    The major global C reservoirs (not CO2 per se, C is a precursor proxy for CO2), i.e. oceans, atmosphere, vegetation & soil, contain over 45,000 Pg (Gt) of C. Over 90% of this C reserve is in the oceans. Between these reservoirs ebb and flow hundreds of Pg C per year, the great fluxes. For instance, vegetation absorbs C for photosynthesis producing plants and O2. When the plants die and decay they release C. A divinely maintained balance of perfection for thousands of years, now unbalanced by mankind’s evil use of fossil fuels.

    So just how much net C does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 45,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C? 4 Gt C. That’s correct, 4. Not 4,000, not 400, 4! How are we supposed to take this seriously? (Anyway 4 is totally assumed/fabricated to make the numbers work.)

    IPCC AR5 attributes 2 W/m^2 of unbalancing RF due to the increased CO2 concentration between 1750 and 2011 (Fig TS.7, SPM Fig 5.). In the overall global heat balance 2 W (watt is power, not energy) is lost in the magnitudes and uncertainties (Graphic Trenberth et. al. 2011) of: ToA, 340 +/- 10, fluctuating albedos of clouds, snow and ice, reflection, absorption and release of heat from evaporation and condensation of the ocean and water vapor cycle. (IPCC AR5 Ch 8, FAQ 8.1)

    IPCC AR5 acknowledges the LTT pause/hiatus/lull/stasis in Text Box 9.2 and laments the failure of the GCMs to model it. If IPCC can’t explain the pause, they can’t explain the cause. IPCC GCMs don’t work because IPCC exaggerates climate sensitivity (TS 6.2), of CO2/GHGs RF in the power flux balance and dismisses the role of water vapor because man does not cause nor control it.

    The sea ice and sheet ice is expanding not shrinking, polar bear population is the highest in decades, the weather (30 years = climate) is less extreme not more, the sea level rise is not accelerating, the GCM’s are repeat failures, the CAGW hypothesis is coming unraveled, COP21 turned into yet another empty and embarrassing fiasco, IPCC AR6 will mimic SNL’s Roseanne Roseannadanna, “Well, neeeveeer mind!!”

    One can only hope that 2016 will be the year honest science prevails. In the meantime the hyperbolic CAGW hotterist’s hysteria will continue to fleece the fearful, neurotic and gullible, (i.e. the world’s second oldest profession).

    • “…COP21 turned into yet another empty and embarrassing fiasco…”

      Not so fast, did 0bama just write a big check payable to whomever?

      • ..He would have wrote that check no matter what ! It’s his ticket to the top of the U.N. ……

      • What difference does it make if Obama wrote one big check or 400? COP21 STILL remains an empty and embarrassing fiasco…the check writing is merely another fiasco on top of it.

  16. I thought the so called C02 effect is now saturated? That fact always seems to be left out of discussions, or is it not a fact?

    • The saturation argument misunderstands the CO2 warming mechanism. Sky Dragonish. More CO2 pushes the ‘saturated’ IR hindering altitude higher. Essay Sensative Uncertainty has an overview. Google around, as there are other good yet simple explanations. More CO2 warms more in a logarithmic relationship (200 to 400 same as 400 to 800). The issue is how much, and that depends on feedbacks like water vapor and clouds.

      • and that depends on feedbacks like water vapor and clouds

        And those are constrained by the limits of Rel Humidity (remember it gets cold at night, and there’s dew in the morning).

  17. Even more fundamental than the accuracy of models are these questions:
    Why should we assume that the current climate is optimal?
    Why should we expect to achieve stasis in a dynamic system that we only partially comprehend? After all national and world economies are far better understood and the efforts of governments, some with almost absolute powers, have yet to produce a sustained stability.
    Why should we expect peoples living in less than optimal climates now to be content with stability? I’m thinking of the Bedouins and Canadians.
    How would we know the difference between stopping this alleged warming and actually throwing it in reverse? Glaciers that aren’t shrinking might decide to grow.
    And finally, assuming that the problem is real and that government can allay it, what in all of human history would give you confidence that the power to control climate would not be abused?

    • “Why should we assume that the current climate is optimal?” It is not so much optimal, as the climate we are adapted to. If the temperatures had been warmer over the last few millennia, we would have population in different places and cities in different places and agriculture in different places and everything would be fine. It is because we have these things in places suited to our current climate that a change will cause problems. I am sure these changes will be adapted to, but not at zero cost.

      • “It is not so much optimal, as the climate we are adapted to. If the temperatures had been warmer over the last few millennia, we would have population in different places and cities in different places and agriculture in different places and everything would be fine. It is because we have these things in places suited to our current climate that a change will cause problems. I am sure these changes will be adapted to, but not at zero cost.”

        No…think about it. WE were born into this climate. WE did not “adapt” to it. Period.
        “If the temperatures had been warmer of the last few millennia….” What? Temperatures are NOT THE SAME over this entire planet. Some places are MUCH warmer than others! In fact, the majority of the population LIVES in the zones on this planet that ARE the warmest! Humans tend to migrate towards warm and away from cold. And yet you seem to think everything is NOT fine.

        Temperatures have been both warmer AND colder over the 200,000 years since humans evolved on this planet. The fact is, that the most recent 11,000 years has been a time of relatively little climate change compared to the rest of Earth’s history. But even then, there are entire cities in different places that are now submerged…because humans built cities in places where the climate/situation was not static. Things were not “fine” for them. We have abandoned cities and lost populations in places where the ocean did not eat them, and volcanoes did not burn them, and all seems perfectly livable…things were not fine for them. Life on planet earth ALWAYS has a cost. There has never been a time in which humans did not pay some price for what they have, or what they have done, or where they have built etc. Building cities on this planet ALWAYS comes with a risk of some kind. We’re stupid not to build our cities as if the Earth is really in charge, but pretending instead that WE are.

        Lush fertile valleys with rich soil and cities built around them….under the shadow of ACTIVE volcanic mountains. We build nuclear reactors on KNOWN fault lines and rift zones. How many cities have been built on fault lines that are predicted to someday shake them into dust? How many coastal cities have been destroyed by the oceans-and yet stupid, determined humans rebuild them over and over again. Why? Because we WANT to. Because we INSIST on having what we WANT, not what is best for us, or safest for us, or makes the most sense. We IGNORE the forces of nature most of the time, then cry and weep over the destruction of our “stuff”, and then do it all again. That is not adaptation….it’s arrogance and pride.

      • Seaice1, do you really think Canada would suffer if it got 1 or 2 degrees warmer ? Or Russia…Or etc…..

      • 0.8 degrees C warming over how many years? And may I add, supposed warming if we indeed can measure such a meaningless figure and as an average of the whole world (give your head a shake).

        It’s been warmer and colder in the past and will probably be warmer and colder sometime in the future. Who cares. Whatever the climate will be, that will be optimal at that particular point in time and we will have to go with the flow. There is not a damn thing we humans can do to control the climate. The local environment is another thing. Don’t confuse the two!

      • “Why should we assume that the current climate is optimal?” It is not so much optimal, as the climate we are adapted to.

        This is just nonsense biologically. The “climate” is never optimal for species – it’s a constant stressor. Nor are we adapted to it – we continue to adapt to it. Adaptation is a continuum (with occasional step phases popping up). Nor is there “a climate”, biologically. From a biological perspective there are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of “climates”. This remains why the entire discussion about climate change, especially when reduced to the absurd simplicity that physicists and climatologists are wont to take it, continues to render it entirely as a political, even religious discussion. Life gave up the idea of simplified climate model millions of years ago. In order for a model to work, you must have an agreed upon frame of reference. Not. Going. To. Happen.

      • I am not talking about biological adaptation. The societies we live in are adapted to current climate. The population distribution and location of cities is as it is because of the climate. An extreme example to illustrate my point. If everything else were the same but sea levels had been 100ft higher over the last few thousand years, we would have cities in different places. This is obvious as we would not have built cities underwater. Other than this humanity probably would not have had a problem. However, if sea levels suddenly rise by 100ft we will have a problem. It is not the sea level per se that is the problem, it is the change from the sea level to which we are adapted that causes the problem.

        Please not that I am not saying sea levels will rise by 100ft, but using this to illustrate my point.

        There is nothing intrinsic to 100ft higher sea levels that precludes civilisation pretty much as we know it. But if the levels rose 100ft tomorrow we would have a problem.

        We could say that we cannot define an “ideal” sea level, so we cannot say if it should be higher or lower. That may be true intrinsically, but given the current distribution of people, the current sea level is about ideal.

        So test out your argument on an extreme and see if it still stands up. If not, you might need to adjust your argument.

  18. Larry says; ” My experience shows that neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics. Resolving the climate policy wars through science will require action by us, the American public.”

    The “climate wars” are entirely political, so it’s not surprising that the factions strive for political victory.

    It’s not a very subtle shift in language that goes from “win through politics” to “resolve through science”, but the idea that action by the American public is going to achieve that sciencey resolution betrays a deluded sense of the scientific acumen of the populace.
    The premise appears to be that the result of the proposed skill-test of the models will be presented to the public, they will toss their hats in the air and we’ll declare the cessation of hostilities and all agree to do what Larry suggests. Or Michael. Or Gavin. Or Al.

  19. Accordingly, the US public policy machinery has gridlocked on this issue.
    The Zombie hoard continue to batter against the walls protecting our liberty.

    Yet the issue continues to burn, absorbing policy makers’ attention and scarce public funds.
    The Zombie hoard continues to pound. They will not take “No” for an answer.

    Worst of all, the paralysis prevents efforts to prepare even for the almost certain repeat of past climate events
    (cough! WEATHER events… I can tell where this post is going…. )

    — as Tropical Storm Sandy showed NYC and several studies have shown for Houston — and distracts attention from other serious environmental problems (e.g., destruction of ocean ecosystems).
    Well who is stopping you (i.e. public policy machinery) from switching attention to these matters?

    Because hardening cities isn’t the goal.
    The real goal is to transform society.

    It’s just one of those days. Had to vent.

    • Stephen Rasey-seems like its always “one of those days” lately ya know?

      Fabius Maximus is a guy who thinks he understands how people think, act, what they want, need, and that all it would take to unite everyone in the same cause is for some ideal solution to be proposed. Surely all (or enough) would recognize it’s brilliance and irrefutable wisdom, and then happily propel it into success.

      Problems being 1-he has yet to propose a truly ideal, irrefutable solution, and 2-the human race is far more complicated than he understands it to be.

  20. Models?
    Not so sure that is where you start.
    First is there any verifiable climate change?
    Actual measured change?Outside our current knowledge of natural variability?
    Then is there any of this measured “verifiable climate change” that is attributable to acts of mankind?

    Modelling an assumption is no different to endless speculation as to the number of angels who can dance on the end of my hat pin.

    Feeding speculation, made up numbers and output of previous models into computer models will produce interesting computer output. The value of which will remain marginal at best.

    There are two sides of Climatology for a reason.
    Policy driven speculation, designed to support this preconceived policy does not coexist with data driven observations.
    Going where the data leads will always conflict with ideology.
    Science does not respect authority.

    So what is the Fair Test?

    Where are the models defined?
    Where are the defined terms?
    How do you come up with an acceptable test to satisfy two wildly divergent philosophies?
    Gospel IN–Gospel Out versus Garbage In —Gospel Out..
    When blind faith in random modelling is challenged by people well aware of the pitfalls of computer modelling , you look for compromise?

    The war is pretty simple and endless.
    The parasitic hordes will seek to feed upon the herd.
    If a big lie is the most efficient tool to allow the herd to be robbed peacefully, the the hordes will lie.
    Naturally members of the herd will advocate for no compromise, starve the parasites.

  21. I disagree with your proposal on many levels.

    1. It is for those proposing the theory to do the testing and to pay for it themselves.

    2. Before you can test, you need a baseline, which MUST include what natural variation might have caused. Natural variation is huge, so for example, you need to look at several ENSO/PDO cycles, and then your test must be for longer than a whole cycle (60 years?).

    3. Your must have data integrity. This goes,
    *to the data collection process (over 90% of weather stations are not fit for the purpose)
    *to the data “adjustment process” (continuous and in the same direction? Really?)
    *to the error in the measurements (not the least is the spread between the 5 main data sets)

    4. You must demonstrate that humans are causing CO2 levels to be higher than they would have been. Recent evidence reinforces the idea that as temps go up, CO2 is outgased from the oceans toward a new equilibrium. If CO2 from fossil fuels goes into the atmosphere, then less CO2 will need to be released from the oceans. So, quite possibly, even though humans are putting CO2 into the atmosphere, we may not be increasing the total which would have been there anyway.

    5. You must show that any particular rise in human caused global warming, which is above what natural variation might have caused, is catastrophic to the point of requiring mitigation now, rather than adaptation as needed.

    There’s more, but you get the idea. The Alarmists’ task is more than trivial – many would say impossible. So, for you to suggest that I cut the Alarmists some slack, at the same time that they are trying to hurt me with their War on Energy, etc. shows a lack of understanding of the political nature of the issue on your part.

    • I agree in general with all of your points, but if the data were available, I’d actually be willing to kick in a few dollars as a single event fee to get the answer. So I’d say it is in society’s best interest to act on good information, and wouldn’t object to having society shoulder the cost of the test were the data available. I’m not talking about a new ongoing expense to add to the many already unfunded liabilities, but a single test event would be worthwhile to everyone if it was implemented and we acted upon actual, tested, and accurate results.

    • And who exactly does Larry refer to when he says “Climate scientists can restart the debate…and WIN!”??

      There are climate scientists on BOTH sides of this issue. Which side is it that Larry thinks SHOULD win? There are climate scientists who believe in the accuracy of the models and those who find them painfully inaccurate. The only thing that ALL climate scientists will admit is that we do not fully and completely understand the climate on this planet! And if we cannot fully understand it, we cannot fully model it, and therefore ALL results are tainted with the unknown.

  22. A nice idea from Larry except for just one tiny snag: climate alarmists aren’t remotely interested in truth, reality, accuracy or authenticity. Theirs is an ideologically-driven political campaign of activism-based advocacy, and has sweet FA to do with observed reality. You’d get a fairer hearing from a north Korean military tribunal than NOAA, GISS or any members of the Team.

    • Chesire,

      As I’ve pointed out many times. the goal here is to influence the large middle of the US public.

      Now they rank climate change among the lowest of major public policy concerns. That could change with the political winds, or after several extreme weather events (blamed, of course, on climate change).

      Let’s see if we can resolve this debate now, and move forward.

    • Marlolweisjr,

      I don’t see Monckton running any climate models. Just another round of parsing the numbers, which has been done endlessly for 2 decades. The models are run with multiple scenarios, which give the familiar “spaghetti graphs” which — like Rorschach tests — are open to countless interpretations.

      Run them with actual data and see their predictions for the period up to the present. Compare with actual temps. Move forward.

  23. “Do you trust the predictions of climate models? That is, do they provide an adequate basis on which to make major public policy decisions about issues with massive social, economic and environmental effects?”

    The question is do policy makers and regulators feel justified in relying on models to INFORM their decisions.?

    Skeptics will never accept any test of a model. They have a theory. The climate cant be predicted.
    When we do predict with SKILL ( not perfection but skill ), then the response is:

    1) you tuned the model ( totally acceptable practice by the way)
    2) Being correct in hindcasts, is no guarantee of forecast accuracy
    3. Being right over a period X years long is no proof of the future.

    In short, skeptics have an unfalsifiable theory.

    • Steven Mosher-
      “Skeptics will never accept any test of a model. They have a theory. The climate can’t be predicted.”

      Have you surveyed all skeptics and gathered empirical evidence in which they state the above? Or are you making wild arsed assumptions based on something else? The first would be part of the scientific method-observation and evidence. The second would be part of irrational, illogical cognition.

      When you can build an accurate model, that considers EVERY known aspect of the climate fairly and accurately, and then tracks with the actual climate in real time for 5-10 years accurately with no adjustments, I’ll accept that model as being an “accurate model of our climate”. THEN you can project that model another 10-20 years into the future and we’ll observe it and see if it has “predictive accuracy” as well. I think that sounds perfectly logical and reasonable. As a skeptic, I would LOVE nothing more than to have the climate be so well understood in every aspect that it could be predicted accurately. That it currently cannot be predicted does not automatically cause me to conclude that it never will be!

      So, IF skeptic HAD the theory that YOU have assigned TO them, all you have to do to falsify that theory-the climate cannot be predicted-is find a way to predict the climate. It is TOTALLY falsifiable.

      That current models FAIL to predict the weather is not the skeptics problem, it’s the model’s problem. That the climate has failed to do what AGW scientists predicted would happen with increasing CO2 emissions is AGW scientist’s problem-not skeptics. In short, AGW theory is not a validated theory.

      • “Have you surveyed all skeptics and gathered empirical evidence in which they state the above?
        1. I surveyed a very large sample. I have YET to find a skeptic who argues that climate can
        be predicted.

        Or are you making wild arsed assumptions based on something else?
        1. Nope over 7 years of study.

        When you can build an accurate model, that considers EVERY known aspect of the climate fairly and accurately, and then tracks with the actual climate in real time for 5-10 years accurately with no adjustments, I’ll accept that model as being an “accurate model of our climate”.
        1. Luckily we dont have to satisfy you.
        2. the models already tract what they need to track. every known aspect is not important

        THEN you can project that model another 10-20 years into the future and we’ll observe it and see if it has “predictive accuracy” as well. I think that sounds perfectly logical and reasonable. As a skeptic, I would LOVE nothing more than to have the climate be so well understood in every aspect that it could be predicted accurately. That it currently cannot be predicted does not automatically cause me to conclude that it never will be!

        1. That’s already been done.
        2. you dont need accurate predictions to set policy or take action. They just need to be better than Naive guesses.

        That current models FAIL to predict the weather is not the skeptics problem, it’s the model’s problem.

        Models predict weather all the time. they dont fail.

    • No – skeptics know that a theory is merited by the severity of the tests it has been exposed to and survived, and not at all by inductive arguments in favor of it. All real scientists are also skeptics.

    • “Do you trust the predictions of climate models? That is, do they provide an adequate basis on which to make major public policy decisions about issues with massive social, economic and environmental effects?”

      The question is do policy makers and regulators feel justified in relying on models to INFORM their decisions.?

      Strawman alert! In regard to the first question, the second question is irrelevant. Policy makers and regulators have no need to justify anything, because no one is holding them to account. The policy decisions have nothing to do with climate, and any justification required can be crafted on the back of a napkin during a meeting with your media team.

      Then going on to rail about skeptics is simply trying to set fire to your strawman.

    • Climate CAN be predicted. Totally with you on that. Just not yet. Just not based on misunderstanding the radiative properties of CO2.

      So Larry, dude, GO for it. Hindcast those model predictions…who is going to do it? I’d trust you. I’d trust Mosh, I’d trust Nick and all true scientists who “have no buddies by design” and routinely tell people what they don’t want to hear.

      But you guys aren’t going to do it.

      On the other hand, isn’t the testing process as simple as digitizing one of those graphs that shows a zillion model predictions increasing in range of variation with time and only by virtue of extreme low end members engaging observed temperature at all?

      Shucks, here’s my proposal: digitizing scope above, ten grand, done in a week. Throw in comparison with all surface and satellite observational datasets. Could do it in half a day, but, you know, have to assemble a team…

    • The context is that models forecasts/projects/predicts FUTURE behavior.

      1) Tuning is an accepted practice except when tuned to fit a bias
      2) This relates to #1, being correct in hindcasts is not proof of a models future forecasting ability, but unsurprising proof of the model being able to be tuned to a predetermined outcome.
      3) Models are considered right in their forecasts only if one uses the most generously wide, wide as the grand canyon concept of right. Similar to a meteorologist predicting 10 to 20 inches of snow, and then when it snows less than 1 inch takes credit for the accuracy of having forecast snow.

      That is the important part; people, cites, towns, prepare differently when expecting 1/2 inch of snow vs 2 feet of snow. In that sense, the models level of accuracy provide weak basis for taking action.

      Additionally we know the impacts of 2 feet of snow on a city, we do not know the impact of a world 2C warmer. Most likely it will help some regions, hurt others and have no effect for the majority of inhabited regions. But that is just a guess and I would not expect nations to be spending billions on guesses, as the alarmists do.

    • Mosher,

      (1) “The question is do policy makers and regulators feel justified in relying on models to INFORM their decisions.?”

      Some do. So far a majority don’t.

      (2) “Skeptics will never accept any test of a model. ..

      They say the exact same about you. My guess is that both sides are correct: you are all intransigent. But the vast majority of people — public and decision-makers — are not, and might find results of this test useful.

      (3) “skeptics have an unfalsifiable theory.”

      While such finger pointing by you and your foes is entertaining (at least to you folks), it has accomplished nothing for two decades. Let’s try a test to produce actual information, which might provide a basis to set the public policy machinery in motion.

      *** Thank you for your comments, which so nicely show that the you are uninterested in fair tests.

  24. “Thus an extraordinary claim requires “extraordinary” (meaning stronger than usual) proof.”
    — By Marcello Truzzi in “Zetetic Ruminations on Skepticism and Anomalies in Science“, Zetetic Scholar, August 1987. See the full text here.

    1. Its not an extraordinary claim.

    “For such a model there is no need to ask the question ‘Is the model true?’. If ‘truth’ is to be the ‘whole truth’ the answer must be ‘No’. The only question of interest is ‘Is the model illuminating and useful?’”
    — G.E.P. Box in “Robustness in the strategy of scientific model building” (1978). He also said “All models are wrong; some are useful.”

    1. useful for WHO? not readers of the blog, but rather policy makers

    Successful predictions: the gold standard for validating theories

    Really?

    watch

    • “1. Its not an extraordinary claim.” It rather depends on what “it” is. One could argue that CO2 not warming the climate is an extraordinary claim, given what Arrhenius thought all that time ago. CO2 will cause forcing, and it would be extraordinary if the feedbacks were just so that there was no change in climate.

      “For such a model there is no need to ask the question ‘Is the model true?’.”
      Aphan seems to have missed this. I will continue to plan my seasonal wardrobe on my imperfect climate model. Despite being unable to predict the weather in every detail, I will soon put away my winter coat and look out my shorts. The imperfect model is likely to be good enough for that purpose.

      • seaice1-
        Arrhenius also called it carbonic acid, predicted that American would run out of oil by 1953, and that England would be out of coal by now. He was also “a board member for the Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene (founded 1909), which endorsed mendelism at the time, and contributed to the topic of contraceptives around 1910. However, until 1938 information and sale of contraceptives was prohibited in Sweden. Around 1930, conservative members of the society helped to establish eugenic policies in Sweden”.

        So Arrhenius wasn’t always “correct” was he? All things remaining equal, in a closed system, CO2 should cause some forcing when increased…but you have to prove first that all other things have remained equal….oh…and that you know of and have accounted for every other thing, accurately….first. Oh…and that the system is closed.

        Of course a brief snippet of a quote, taken out of context, can mean anything the user of it wants it to mean, and it does not mean he used it in the same manner the original author used it. Box later also stated in regards to models- “Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.”

        I’ve never been one to NEED a climate model to tell me when to put my winter coat away or “look out my shorts” (not even sure what that means). I observe conditions outside every day (models be damned) and make a determination of which attire is most appropriate to wear-along with whether or not I WANT to wear what is appropriate or not.

        Box’s response to the question “Is the model true?” was- If “truth” is to be the “whole truth” the answer must be “No”. The only question of interest is “Is the model illuminating and useful?”.

        So until seaice1 arrives at the conclusion that his model is neither illuminating or useful, he will most likely put on his winter coat and boots if his model recommends it, even if it’s 80 degrees and cloudless outside. I wonder how wrong it would have to be before he decides it’s not useful for determining what is happening in reality?

      • Aphan, I seriously doubt that you do not make plans based on expectations of seasonal temperature variations. Most people plan things like holidays, for example planning to go in “summer” when temperatures are expected to be higher. The model is very useful, even though it cannot predict every aspect of the global climate, and so is “wrong”.

        “All things remaining equal, in a closed system, CO2 should cause some forcing when increased…but you have to prove first that all other things have remained equal” Why should you have to prove that? I have seen a great many comments here suggesting that it should be assumed that changes are “natural” unless you can prove otherwise. The assumption should be that everything else stays the same unless you can prove otherwise.

        People here seem to have a problem with understanding the point. Perfect accuracy is not possible in any model. The only way to be perfect is to reproduce exactly the original, then it is not a model but a copy. Because of this Richard wants to reject all climate models as wrong, and Aphan wants to impose an arbitrary level of accuracy that is way beyond any reasonable test of usefulness. This is demonstrated by models of seasonal temperature that have nowhere near the accuracy demanded by Aphan of climate models, yet are very useful.

        I am not arguing here that the current climate models either are or are not useful. I am saying that the arguments put forward to demonstrate they are not useful are wrong.

    • Lord but your smart-arsery is tedious.

      If your predictions aren’t right, then you cannot base policy on them, So what are you claiming? That the predictions made by your theory don’t have to come true for your theory to be right? That the predictions made by your theory don’t have to come true for us to adopt polices to prevent the predictions coming true?

      Just the usual random collection of statements and claims that don;t stand up together in any logical manner.

    • Mosher,

      (1) “useful for WHO? not readers of the blog, but rather policy makers”

      The US is a Republic. The responsibility for public policy is ours, which we express through elections. Hence this kind of information is useful for us. I am astonished that I needed to explain this to you.

      (2) “Its not an extraordinary claim.”

      Anything for which the recommended public policy response is global action on a massive scale is a “extraordinary claim”. Again, was it necessary to point this out?

  25. I have written this before…

    The whole debate about whether or not the Earth is warming is Meaningless without first addressing issue of whether or not it’s actually a Problem.

    No Idea is more valid than its Premise – if the Premise is Bogus the Idea is Bogus.

    If the Premise that a Warmer Earth is a Problem, is Bogus, the Idea that we should try to stop it is also Bogus.

    Here are the two Logic Syllogisms that dominate this Debate.

    • IF the Earth’s Temperature is rising THEN there is a Problem

    • IF the Earth’s Temperature is not rising THEN there is not a Problem

    The second syllogism would certainly disprove the first if the first syllogism were true. If the first syllogism, however, is False – one doesn’t need to use the second syllogism at all.

    Why do people assume that a Warmer Earth is any more of a problem than it is now? Every type of Climate has its own set of Pros and Cons. A Warm Earth isn’t worse, it’s just different.

      • I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I try to remove the capitals but it causes me anxiety. It’s the way I write. It makes it easy to read things written by Thomas Jefferson, however. He seems to have had the same affliction.

      • It’s a pattern of emphasis. Some people will tell you its like “yelling” on the internet, which is making an assumption about the emotional state of the person writing based only on the use of capital letters, which is irrational. Or that capitalizing certain words makes it seem like you elevate them beyond the accepted form…or blah blah blah. You (Freedom Monger) communicated perfectly well. As usual, seaice1 focuses on the model of your communication, rather than the result of it. :)

      • Yes, Freedom Monger. I apologise for pointing this out. The capitals do not interfere with the meaning, and are perfectly OK as far as I am concerned. I shall not do it again.

        You are correct, if a warmer Earth does not present a problem, then there is no need to worry about the Earth warming.

  26. We — the American public — have to force change in this dysfunctional public policy debate.

    Without disagreeing, How do you propose to accomplish this? AFAICS of the still active candidates, only Sanders and possibly Kasich are remotely analytical. Sanders believes that climate science is “settled” and Kasich doesn’t appear to have any interest at all in the subject. The rest of the crowd appear to be sociopaths who believe in whatever will bring them the most votes on election day. This seems not exactly ideal material for rational decision making.

    BTW, why just the American public? Have the 96% of humanity who don’t live here no voice?

      • Freedom Monger:

        You say

        We don’t need any kind of Climate Change policy, EVER!

        Actually, since at least the Bronze Age all good governments did have a good and useful climate policy; viz.
        climate changes so governments need to prepare for bad times when in good times.

        This was a good policy because governments can survive people complaining at taxes in good times but will be overthrown by food riots that result from lack of preparation for bad times. And the same people who complain at taxes in good times prefer not to starve at any time.

        This policy was so good that religious Scripture provides a story of its origin (i.e. Joseph with the amazing technicolour dreamcoat).

        But in recent decades some governments have abandoned that tried and tested policy and are trying to control climate instead. This new policy of climate control results from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) which claims emissions of greenhouse gases (notably carbon dioxide) alone alter climate significantly. Adopting such an improbable hypothesis as the basis for an untested policy has – to put it mildly – high risk.

        Richard

      • Thank you Richard,

        Your last paragraph described the type of “climate change” policy I think we don’t need.

  27. The other side of this is the simple question…

    Will any of the solutions work ?

    Man and/or governments have no record on fixing weather or climate.

  28. Heh heh.

    Yea, This’ll work: it assumes supposed participants have ethics. Also assumes the “Climate Model Industry” is willing to go all in on their models, and a whole bunch of politicians are willing to risk losing the carbon fear taxes.

    The scientific battle has not been lost, but the political battle was lost when “academia” didn’t severely shame CAGW charlatans when this con-job fist appeared. Turns out academia had the guts of a butterfly and politicians have the morals of a baboon (apologies to Truman Capote). This political charade will run for some time.

    • By prepared for lawsuits from :

      1) politicians

      2) lawyers claiming to represent the majority of living baboons.

  29. Most people, who do not delve into details of climate “science”, only have our word that the models have failed. They also only have the word of the alarmists that CO2 increases will be catastrophic. How do most people, including politicians, know what to believe?
    I agree, what is needed is objective testing. It may not provide conclusive proof one way or another due to all the problems with data, and unknowns, but should be able to provide good indication of whether we should rely on the current climate models for policy making. At least we should be able to produce error bars for the results. If the error bars are huge, as I suspect, then the answer will be no.
    If testing the models proves impossible, then we will have learned something and the answer again will be no. Most people, I think, would not accept model output, that under objective testing, defied rational analysis.
    How about making this a plank in both political party platforms? Since both sides are so sure of themselves they might accept.

  30. I find this article a little tiresome: it gives the impression of seeking for truth (which is commendable) but will only result in paralysis by analysis.

    Firstly; in the title heading, who exactly is “We” ?
    Secondly; there is no “public policy debate”.
    Thirdly; there are NO “two sides”.

    There is no need for testing of the “models”: Marcus is quite right on this; they have already failed.

    Thanks to WUWT we can all see the dash for cash in the “recent studies” from grant-chasers but make no mistake, the gravy train will end and the bed-wetters will have to choke on their own vomit.

    As for debate, the only debate of any real consequence would be Monckton versus Gore.

    • Problem is the “general public” does not read this blob. An independent analysis would not require the “general public” to delve into the details. They are not going to do the research needed to make their own decision.

      • “They are not going to do the research needed to make their own decision”???

        Therefore someone else must do the research for them? Or make the decision for them? Or determine that climate change is an issue that must be addressed on their behalf?

      • What’s your point Chip? That some people are stupid? Well duh.

        Let’s examine the video. It was produced by a man who is a known conspiracy theorist who believes the world is going to hell because “secret organizations” are orchestrating things.

        It’s a 4+minute video in which he talks to 14 different people. About half of them DO know what the nation’s Capital is, and who is was named after. A couple know it’s called Washington DC, and that it was named after “Washington” but they can’t remember his first name. A man clearly hung over is WEARING a Washington D.C. shirt, but doesn’t know the name of the capital or who it was named after or even where he got the shirt. After having what it says pointed out to him, he DOES click into the fact that Washington D.C. IS the capital and that it must be named after someone named Washington. About 4 people don’t know either one.

        So, lets assume for arguments sake that Mr. Dice spent more than 4 minutes interviewing people. And let’s assume, since he was attempting to prove that Americans need to “wake up” because they are stupid….that if he HAD interviewed a lot more people, and there were a lot more who did NOT know…he would have edited the video to include a LOT more people because it would prove his point with greater force.

        So, I’m going to assume that since there were only 4 people who were totally clueless in the video, that he DID interview a lot more people and the majority DID know what the capital was AND who it was named after without hesitation. He ended up with 7 or 8 people who either hemmed and hawed, or took a moment to think about it, got it half right, or didn’t know and made a 4+ minute video out of the longer than normal interviews he did with those people.

        MY point is…it’s most likely a contrived video created for an express purpose…and scientific accuracy is probably NOT that purpose. Do you believe that other people should be making decisions that affect all of us, even if…or especially if… we aren’t all geniuses or trivial pursuit masters?

        If so…who determines WHO is the best/most qualified person to be making those decisions for us? If you are in the hospital and incapable of making medical decisions for yourself, do you want a loved one making them for you….or a politician? Or a scientist? Or an independent analyst? Someone who knows what YOU would want….or someone that is completely neutral….or someone who takes everyone else into consideration and not just you?

  31. “How do we evaluate the skill of models? A prediction of warming says little, since the world has been warming since the mid-19th century..”

    Actually, the world has been warming since the 17th century, for at least 300 years. The consensus climate models cannot explain that warming.

    “During the 17th century, longer winters and cooler summers disrupted growing seasons and destroyed harvests across Europe. It was the coldest century in a period of glacial expansion that lasted from the early 14th century until the mid-19th century. The summer of 1641 was the third-coldest recorded over the past six centuries in Europe; the winter of 1641-42 was the coldest ever recorded in Scandinavia. The unusual cold that lasted from the 1620s until the 1690s included ice on both the Bosporus and the Baltic so thick that people could walk from one side to the other.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/opinion/sunday/lessons-from-the-little-ice-age.html?_r=0

    • Dr. David Evans has developed a climate model which has solar variability driving earth’s temperature, with a lag, and which has carbon dioxide in a minor role. He writes that his model’s predictions of imminent cooling mean that in just a few years the model will be tested.

      http://joannenova.com.au/tag/evans-david/

      • True, it will be. Even if the prediction is correct, does not mean his model is. I have strongly supported him on some points (e.g. Partial derivatives over at the Lucia nonsense concerning same in re climate models), but strongly disagree on other points (model sensitivity to delta 100 meter ‘opacity height’ in a troposphere averaging 15 Km (latitude corrected for curvature), gross divergence from many new energy budget sensitivity analyses…). Through such disagreements and agreements, ‘truer’ knowledge advances.

  32. Even granting for sake of discussion the highly dubious premise that the “public” (i.e. the electoral majority) is, or can be motivated by anything besides how much free [stuff] they personally get from the government, the notion that public demand for a “fair test” will actually result in such a test being conducted AND that the test results, if against current CAGW policy, will actually cause that policy to be abandoned is, to say it as politely as possible, catastrophically naive.

    To anyone interested in a far, far more realistic assessment of the political situation re “climate” (and it is a political – not scientific – situation, which the piece makes quite clear) I recommend:

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2009/12/climategate-historys-message.html

    N.B. I don’t endorse the prescription in the above, but the diagnosis is 100 percent spot on. And the news isn’t good.

  33. Unfortunately, the idea that “The policy debate turns on the reliability of the predictions of climate models” is likely in error. As EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in 2013:
    “Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/climatechange/10313261/EU-policy-on-climate-change-is-right-even-if-science-was-wrong-says-commissioner.html
    The task of “testing the models” is also fraught by the (Groucho) Marxist paradigm, “Those are my (models), and if you don’t like them…well I have others.” http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1185-those-are-my-principles-and-if-you-don-t-like-them-well

  34. Something that would help more than any models (valid or invalid) and science altogether would be a clear cut between science and politics: The object of science is to describe the physical world and find out about its inner workings in whatever way seems suitable, from physics and mathematics to psychoanalysis. Politics MUST NOT be influenced by this work if both science and politics are to flourish. I do not see it as a grave defect if politicians are laymen when it comes to science, because IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS meddling in things that depend on scientific research. There is no good reason the state should make ANY laws regarding emissions, use of resources, and other more-or-less related fields (e.g. health and safety laws etc.) A democratic government’s purpose cannot be to think and decide for their citizens. Not even the more successful totalitary governments of the past tried such a thing. A minimalist state whose only purpose is to enforce basic laws that guarantee safety from bodily agression of one citizen against another (and safety of private physical property), and at the same time provides the infrastructure enabling everybody to maximize their personal happiness and wealth. Apart from theft and bodily assault, there are few if any things that should be in any way subject matter for laws and regulations. Our problem is not that we have politicians misinformed on climate issues, but that we have politicians who think climate change is their business.

    • Chris

      Do you have a clear-cut example of when telling politicians that IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS (especially when dealing with taxes) has actually worked?

  35. Larry,
    Your attempt is commendable, but naive. Instead of excoriating those who you feel have missed the point, I would encourage you to understand that many of them have fought the very battle you propose. It is you who have missed their points.

    Further, the test you propose has already been done. The IPCC themselves have evaluated the climate models and found them wanting (AR5). They run too hot by their own admission Further, in their own analysis of the negative impacts to climate change that they themselves predict, a plethora of other factors from technology change to population growth are ranked as not only being higher than climate change, but much higher.

    Despite which the world’s political elite stumble along making vague promises to “do something” about climate change, and casting it as the greatest threat there is to humanity when the very science to which they refer says differently. What value in proposing a test when the test has already been done and the very proponents of it carry on as if it has not?

    “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”
    ~ Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair, UN/IPCC WG-3

    • DH, a magnificent comment in many ways. I would only add that folks as diverse as Mike Hulme at UEA and Christina Figueres of UNFCCC have said inmwriting essentially the same things as Edenhofer.

  36. If you want to resolve a scientific issue with science your start will have to be more scientific than this statement.

    That is, do they provide an adequate basis on which to make major public policy decisions about issues with massive social, economic and environmental effects?

  37. In the conclusions there is this: “Hence the disinterest of both sides in testing…”, when it really ought to have read: Hence, the lack of interest of both sides..etc. Unless, of course, anyone can show me how Michael Mann is a ‘disinterested’ party to climate change.

  38. The first problem they’d face is simple: By computer terminology they don’t even have a model or modele’

  39. If you can’t predict the past, how can you predict the future. The adjustment and corruption of data has corrupted the debate. But whether or not the models are right the real issue is ,whether Warmists or realists are right ,what is man’s capability to adjust to temperature changes of 1-2 degrees a century. In my air conditioned house run on fossil fuel generated electricity and about to head to work in my air conditioned office drinking water from my fossil fuelled fridge I would say pretty good. In the early to mid 20th century when we had plenty of hot days I’m not convinced that the death rates were dramatically higher because the effective temperature of ones personal environment was that much higher ( probably by 6 or more degrees). No air conditioning or fridges people managed and they will in the future. Whatever temperatures rises are feared in the future the impact of them on humans will be anything but catastrophic.
    The best we as a race can do is make the cheapest and most effective energy available to all humans so they at least can live in comfort. The only answer is fossil fuels.

    • “If you can’t predict the past, how can you predict the future. The adjustment and corruption of data has corrupted the debate.”

      Yes! The debate shoud be about the “adjustment and corruption of data”, not about the corrupted data itself.

  40. Fabius, “My experience shows that neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics.

    Your experience, then, is restricted to politicians. Classified among the politicians are Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, and the rest of the Hockey Team, who have spared no effort to politicize the global warming debate. Their vile politics of character assassination, defamation, and information suppression is endogenous. Any politics in their opposition has been induced.

    The scientists in opposition I know or of whom I am familiar, such as Willie Soon, Chris Essex, (the late and missed) Bob Carter, Anastasios Tsonis, Demetris Koutsoyiannis, Sallie Baliunas, Will Happer, Dick Lindzen, and our own Anthony Watts, all want a fair test and all want science to win (as opposed to them personally winning political points).

    They have all considered the science and are probably each and all confident that it supports their stated views.

  41. Larry, you reveal a surprising lack of understanding of the position of the true sceptic. Despite the depth of your engagement in the subject you appear to not know that there are those who react against the warmest position as political contrarians without any knowledge or interest in the science.
    This is precisely the position ingenuously taken by the warmists to marginalize serious scientific sceptics and you have been duped by this simple subterfuge. This is the world’s number one science site. This and a few others have talented scientists, engineers mathematicians and economists that have debunked papers and had them withdrawn from reluctant and partisan journals.

    This is vital work that should be done by all scientists but is not being done warm proponents. Larry without a thorough education on what this is all about, you have nothing useful to offer here. Sorry.

  42. As I’ve said before, they will soon just falsify all data so it’s not going to matter. It really won’t matter unless we get rid of the Greens who have infested every country with their propaganda. It’s hard to convince ignorant people when they can’t even read a simple graph and question what the data really says. I mean, the graph goes up and to the right! Dumbest people I know, but if you’re a 22 year old guy it helps to say “I love polar bears and hate old rich people,” if you’re trying to get laid. Seriously, a lot of this is just the ‘protest culture’.

  43. “Even though the projections from the models were never intended to be predictions over such a short time scale, the observations through 2012 generally fall within the projections made in all past assessments …” IPCC AR5.

    =======================================
    So there you have it Mr Editor, the IPCC have tested their models against observations and declared them a success, so far, although as has been shown they succeed through subtle and artful ’chartmanship’:

    As this is the final in your series I think we have to leave it something like: the models’ success or otherwise is in the eye of the beholder and if in future the observations happen to slip obviously below the lowest “projection”, why they can always be tweaked up a bit without too much grief.

  44. I find the “Climate Uncertainty Loop” interesting and telling. It says. “How will those effects translate into damage to human health and economies.” It doesn’t make any mention of the benefits to human health and economies. Why not? Given that everything I have read about the middle ages indicated the benefits of a warmer climate, particularly the longer growing season and higher crop yields. The result was a large increase in population in medieval Europe.

  45. “Summary: This is the last of my series about ways to resolve the public policy debate about climate change.”
    What public policy debate?
    Shall we have a public policy debate on the effect of witches on the harvest?
    There has been endless policy without ever defining the “Climate Change” these policies seek to effect.
    Kind of hard to have a debate when one side studiously evades defining of what they speak.

    So yippee, thankfully this will be the last of a series about ways to resolve a debate we have not yet had and face serious obstruction from our own government officials, in every attempt to initiate this discussion.

    The Guild Of Parasites, attempted to institute a world wide tax without accountability, hardly surprising they will not discuss their thieving ways.Nor their “right” to steal.
    Kleptocracy rules.
    Via the Big Lie.

  46. Judging the temperature vs time performance of a climate model should be simple. Engineers use percent complete vs time to compare actual vs scheduled progress all the time. It’s a simple process that would suit model performance evaluation, but the key is to keep the original and any revised data available and visible at all times.
    The reason for this is simple – because many projects fall behind schedule, revised schedules always start at the current status at that time, falsely indicating the project is always on schedule, assuming the end date is not changed.
    Periodic reviews are represented by a new schedule but the original and any new schedules are always visible.
    This is not rocket science.

    • Judging the temperature vs time performance of a climate model should be simple.

      But it isn’t. First it should be regional temps by area over time, worse still we can’t even do a good enough job of even measuring regional temps at the needed resolution.

    • Rocket science is predictable. Earth science is not.
      And it’s not about judging the temperature vs time performance of the climate models at all!

    • “Judging the temperature vs time performance of a climate model should be simple. ”

      It is.

      Some models do really well

      Other models, not so well.

      But we dont need models to set policy.

  47. We — the American public — have to force change in this dysfunctional public policy debate.

    Good luck with that. Congress literally doesn’t care what we think. We have worse problems than a gridlock on climate policy.

  48. What is needed is an open source climate model and temperature reconstruction. There is 0.000% Chance the Hockystick would ever be recreated in an open source effort, 0.0000%. The IPCC models have an R^2 close to 0.00, and yet they hold them up as credible models. The highest R^2 between CO2 and temperature is reached when temperature is lagged by 800 to 1500 years, meaning temperature drives CO2, not vise versa. Bottom line, climate models are designed to reach a foregone conclusion, and are not designed to reach the truth. An open source effort would prove that beyond any reasonable doubt.

    • No effort, open source or not, can bottoms up from first principles of physics and chemistry model climate. There are ar least seven orders of magnitude computational constraints. See my previous guest post here on same. Parameterization is unavoidable. And that in turn introduces the unavoidable problem of attribution. More extensive comment upthread.

      • Well said Ristvan. Although rather obvious to anyone who’s ever actually tried to describe a complex system in a computerized model.

        Plus (I’ve said this before but I do think it’s relevant) you just have to look at how big an influence major volcanic eruptions have had on the output of models that were tweaked to show how well they could forecast the past. Any model purporting to predict future climate would have to also predict future volcanic activity in the same detail and with the same precision as its future weather patterns.

        Not a hope, in my humble opinion.

      • No effort, open source or not, can bottoms up from first principles of physics and chemistry model a human. Or even a helium atom. Nonetheless, we seem to find human biology and physics useful.

  49. There is simply no point in trying to test the models; they are massive pieces of computer software that were written by a series of people (mostly graduate students) that had little or no training in the field of software design and development. The odds that the models are free of serious errors is almost zero. If you wish to have this done right, they need to start over at the requirements phase with professional software engineers.

  50. Mr, Kummer,

    This is a nutshell description of what I see you doing here;

    A supposed/contrived “climate crisis” has been hawked to the public ad nauseum, but “skeptics” have successfully defused/prevented the public from taking the matter seriously.

    You’ve re-named that failed attempt to convince the public there is a climate crisis; “gridlock”, and are here trying to convince “skeptics” to help the hawkers get another shot at convincing the public to take “climate change” seriously.

    Creepy stuff, as I see it.

    • He says in his own blog comments the following-

      “Most likely of all IMO — there will be no such test. It’s an obvious idea. If it would validate the models it would have been done and publicized widely. Like the “hockey stick.” My guess is that it’s been done, models failed, and so we’ve heard nothing of it — and will not hear anything about this. Unless people speak up.”

      So he KNOWS that the models will most likely fail again even if the accurate CO2 levels are input (and he has no proof that they weren’t accurately input to increase regularly during early model runs either.) Models contain so many aspects that CO2 is only one of them, and he seems to assume that if that ONE factor was correctly controlled through time, it would prove something conclusive…other than “this is the correct CO2 increase over time”. ???

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/09/17/how-reliable-are-the-climate-models/

      Models are a failure. Climate scientists wont run them again as a “test” because they know they will fail again. Skeptics don’t give a rats behind about a re-test because getting ONE thing (like CO2 increases) perfect DOES NOT mean that the end results would then be magically accurate. If you cant get the whole climate system right, getting one thing right DOES NOT make the models RIGHT. The whole suggestion is so stupid it’s never going to get any traction with either side and he admitted that much in his own thread. Why he is regurgitating it here, among a group that almost universally distrusts climate models (not all other types of models) is a mystery.

      • Let me clarify….”CLIMATE models are a failure”..CURRENTLY. Not all models are failures. And maybe someday climate ones will actually get close to modeling our climate. The only thing I believe that current climate models are useful for…is determining to what degree we do not understand the climate yet. And they do that really well.

  51. Ask them to provide a model of actual climate change in action, instead of using data which doesn’t really prove anything. Sit back and wait for the insults, & other derogatory things among the worn out ones is the usage of “denier”

  52. There is no consensus on a climate model, ergo the science is not settled. Let the proponents of AGW first agree on a model that they assert predicts the next 100 years, and then validate it against the last 50 years.

  53. “We can end the climate policy wars: demand a test of the models”

    Test has already been done, with Mother Nature saying wrong!

  54. How about a much simpler model validation?

    The fear of warming rests in large part on the models of PAST climate based on proxies such as, famously, Michael Mann’s tree ring imagery. If the proxy model is valid, then current warming appears to be “unprecedented”. But if the model is flawed, then it is unreasonable to make any claims about how the past two centuries compare to the dozen or so prior centuries.

    So pick a place where the proxies exist, but samples have not been collected or analyzed. Make a prediction, now, about what the results will be. Then go “do the experiment” — take samples, do statistics, draw graphs, etc. How closely does the calculated, modeled, prediction based on theory of past-climate measurement, via proxy, compare to the empirical, experimental, actual density or thickness or variability of the varves and tree rings and stoma … ?

    • But we have many proxy studies that prove that current warming is not unprecedented. Not in magnitude nor in speed. There have been entire cooperative reports written that document that climate change has happened much faster and to much greater extents in the past…waaaaaay before humans could be causing it. The “climate science community” likes to ignore them.

      2002-Abrupt Climate Change-Inevitable Surprises-The National Academies Press
      http://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/1

  55. It is the scientific method versus the highly exaggerated post normal method. Highly exaggerated because they take the observer’s bias and turn it into an excuse for manipulating data.
    Data should not be manipulated, otherwise how do you alter method. The bias is in the method to test the data. Also, bias is in interpretation of the result. That is why the data and method and results must he held to open discussion.
    Yet we find post normal scientists, hiding data and method. Mann is a prime example. Having to go to FOI and courts is not advancing science.
    So, in effect, they have stalled the advancement of science by using a corrupted peer review system.

    Therefore, I do not see testing models will work until these very basic differences are cleared.

  56. Where is the faith in the American public, even Churchill knew we would come thru.
    I mean he famously said:
    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”
    Winston Churchill
    ======
    We’re running out of the “everything else” part.
    Get ready.

    • Maybe “the right thing” is to accept climate change as normal and natural and ignore people who think we can control it. There is no evidence that we need to “do” anything at all. So to me, we’re a long, LONG way from trying “everything else”.

  57. I disagree with the claim here that each side is to blame and that each side is equally intransigent. Those who are skeptical have the scientific high ground. Author also assumes that the climate change debate is about science. Hogwash. While early on it might have been possible to see the disagreement in those terms, that is no longer the case. Climate change is about wealth transfer from the wealthy nations to the poor. You say no? U.S. just gave $500 million to some UN climate slush fund. Canada, now run by a nitwit, has earmarked $1.2 billion. Where do you think the money is going to go? Right. Parties, consultants, salary perks. Put another way, this is socialism, international style. Science? Give me a break.

  58. “Hence the disinterest of both sides in testing since they plan to win by brute force: electing politicians that agree with them.”

    Which is the only way to win a public policy debate.

  59. I have come to believe that many regular everyday intelligent folks are willing to adhere to their preconceived beliefs, at great cost to themselves and those around them, till they sprout daisies regardless of what accurately made observations tell them otherwise. And no amount of gold standard research will persuade them to think they may be mistaken. Further, the more noisy these regular everyday people are, the greater chance the rest of us will have to suffer, along with them, the folly of their beliefs.

    So how do we make progress? Somewhere down the road, when the future dawns, a small step will be taken towards a more informed understanding, one based on facts, not beliefs. But make no mistake, the steps will be small and many pockets of coinage will be lifted in homage to folly and mistaken belief in-between now and that small step forward.

    So for those of us who see logic and the research method as the only way to think, I have also come to believe that the easy path is to retire and go fishing, thus reducing my blood pressure by a substantial amount. That is the upside of becoming jaded. You get to go fishing.

    I just wish my desire to strive towards a more reasoned thought process would cooperate with my desire to go fishing. Sigh.

    • Pam,
      Perfect wrap up here! Absolutely true and wise.

      But you already HAVE a more reasoned thought process…you know how to think accurately. And its not “jaded” to accept the reality that many people don’t know how to, or don’t care enough to want to learn how to. Going fishing is a productive and comforting thing to do. It beats smacking stupids in the head with blunt objects until they lock you up instead. :)

  60. Dear Gust Blogger,
    This is *observational* science and not *experimental* science. Testing the models is not a matter of going out of your way to *do* things. It is a matter of not bothering to do anything at all. That is, sit on your duff and simply *wait.* Time tests the models with, or without, our help.

    Which is to say, if replication is everything in science, then in observational science replication means that *patience* is everything. Time will disprove everything it needs to.

    So when it comes to observational science and a ‘sound basis’ for public policy? The prescription is: Stick a sock in it, hold your horses, and simply wait.

    If you don’t like that, turn to experimental science for your diktat needs.

  61. This article is total rubbish.
    The models have already been shown to be totally inaccurate and incapable of producing correct predictions.
    Further, the models are simply curve fitting exercises; finagle with the variables and their interactions (this assumes you know ALL the relevant variables), until you get, hopefully, something that appears reasonable. But even this has produced ZERO models that have predicted the warming “pause.”

    In fact, how many models can replicate the climate from the onset of the Medieval Warm Period, through the LIttle Ice Age , until say, 1890 (before humans really began spewing mass quantities of carbon into the atmosphere)?
    Let me guess; NONE.

    • It is very reassuring to know that one’s opinions are well founded, but I agree that the models are irrelevant. Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and their followers do not base their opinions on the models except as maybe third hand hearsay.
      It is politics, as a mass movement usually is, and dealing with it as politics is the only real approach.

  62. Qualitative based on experience versus quantitative based on unsound models predictions — in USA few years back with reference to a severe Hurricane, modellers predicted a path with later several modifications and at it failed but a meteorologist who was regular at TV presentations and retired gave a prediction, which has come to a factual path and thus helped the government in taking timely action — southern USA.

    In India the weatherman based on ground data presenting excellent weather forecasts using their local experience and by adding satellite cloud pictures. The model based predictions never reached to that level even to date though the governments are patronizing the modellers.

    Models rarely account the local realities and thus variations go beyond 100% while the qualitative predictions account this and thus variations are minimum.

    In the case of long range forecasts, even with sophisticated computers, the predictions are far from the traditional forests.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  63. “My experience shows that neither side of the climate wars has much interest in a fair test; both sides want to win through politics.”

    Lost me right there. The two sides have no equivalence whatsoever. I am a disbeliever because the theory is clearly disproved by hard evidence. Skeptics have strenuously called for public debates of the science and alarmists thwart it. Anyone who libels us by implying any kind of equivalence on this issue is a flyweight without an opinion worth listening to.

  64. For estimates of the coming cooling and a discussion of the length of time required for testing see
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-epistemology-of-climate-forecasting.html
    Here is a quote..
    ‘Ava asks – the blue line is almost flat. – When will we know for sure that we are on the down slope of the thousand year cycle and heading towards another Little Ice Age.
    Grandpa says- I’m glad to see that you have developed an early interest in Epistemology. Remember ,I mentioned the 60 year cycle, well, the data shows that the temperature peak in 2003 was close to a peak in both that cycle and the 1000 year cycle. If we are now entering the downslope of the 1000 year cycle then the next peak in the 60 year cycle at about 2063 should be lower than the 2003 peak and the next 60 year peak after that at about 2123 should be lower again, so, by that time ,if the peak is lower, we will be pretty sure that we are on our way to the next little ice age.
    That is a long time to wait, but we will get some useful clues a long time before that. Look again at the red curve in Fig 3 – you can see that from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2009 solar activity dropped to the lowest it has been for a long time. Remember the 12 year delay between the 1991 solar activity peak and the 2003 temperature trend break. , if there is a similar delay in the response to lower solar activity , earth should see a cold spell from 2019 to 2021 when you will be in Middle School.
    It should also be noticeably cooler at the coolest part of the 60 year cycle – halfway through the present 60 year cycle at about 2033.
    We can watch for these things to happen but meanwhile keep in mind that the overall cyclic trends can be disturbed for a time in some years by the El Nino weather patterns in the Pacific and the associated high temperatures that we see in for example 1998 ,2010 and especially from 2015 on………………
    The climate models on which the entire Catastrophic Global Warming delusion rests are built without regard to the natural 60 and more importantly 1000 year cycles so obvious in the temperature record. The modelers approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. They back tune their models for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial. This is scientific malfeasance on a grand scale.
    The temperature projections of the IPCC – UK Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them have no solid foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless.”

    The current climate model outcomes are irrelevant and untestable because the range of outcomes will fall outside the range of real world outcomes when, as seems most likely, we are on the cooling leg of the natural millennial cycle which peaked in about 2003.

  65. “We can end the climate policy wars: demand a test of the models”

    This has to be the funniest and most misguided title at this site in a long time. I really got a chuckle out of it.

    It is almost as if the author thinks the alarmists or the luke-warmers either one care a fig about facts and real data. Of course the climate models are useless for showing how climate works, heck, they are built on top of idiot physics. The idea of CO2 warming the planet (another Carl Sagan idiocy) and being the “control knob” of the planet is only believed by … well … knobs.

    But alarmists know they are riding a dead horse. It is a funny dead horse since it is dead only if facts and observations are important to you. If politics and destruction of our industrialized society is your goal then the horse is not as dead as advertised. It keeps on scaring the people and that is what it is for.

    The alarmists are not going to give up. They are not going to agree to a fair and open debate. You might as well expect honest out of Mrs. Clinton on what she was doing with that e-mail server and all that illegal data on it. Good luck with both.

    ~Mark

  66. …It has never been about climate. It has been about wealth redistribution and the destruction of capitalism !

  67. Have you looked at the model-hindcasting/fabricated-aerosol issue, as described below? I would be interested in your comments.

    Hypothesis:

    The climate models cited by the IPCC typically use values of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 (ECS) values that are significantly greater than 1C, which must assume strong positive feedbacks for which there is NO evidence. If anything, feedbacks are negative and ECS is less than 1C. This is one key reason why the climate models cited by the IPCC greatly over-predict global warming.

    I reject as false the climate modellers’ claims that manmade aerosols caused the global cooling that occurred from ~1940 to ~1975. This aerosol data was apparently fabricated to force the climate models to hindcast the global cooling that occurred from ~1940 to ~1975, and is used to allow a greatly inflated model input value for ECS.

    Some history on this fabricated aerosol data follows:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/new-paper-global-dimming-and-brightening-a-review/#comment-151040

    More from Douglas Hoyt in 2006:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/02/cooler-heads-at-noaa-coming-around-to-natural-variability/#comments

    Regards, Allan

  68. Ignoring the argument that both ‘sides’ of the argument will never agree about models, they can be tested.

    Run the model from start up to today and freeze its operation, 12 months later, if CO2 has increased over those 12 months, then input that change into the model. The same for all of the other measurable and variable model inputs. We then unfreeze the model, wait until it completes the 12 month.

    Compare its outputs with measured values.

    It will be either within a defined level of agreement or not.

    As aerosols and volcanic output etc would have been input there can be no excuse that they have produced a projection not a prediction.

    I and most others suspect it will be in great error,

    • steverichards1984

      When you assert that today’s climate models can be tested your assertion is true. When you imply that the projections of today’s climate models can be falsified by the evidence this implication is false. As they are not examples of propositions, projections cannot be falsified.

  69. The climate uncertainty loop is an interesting exercise in bias and loopy thinking.

    It does acknowledge that we do not know how much greenhouse gases will affect global temperature, but yet it is certain that it will rise by assuming natural variability is inconsequential.

    It goes on to acknowledge that we do not know how nature will react to rises in temperature, but again ignores that nature is part of what creates the temperature. In this loop nature is not an agent in global temperature but only a subject of human behavior. I wonder how nature feels about being cast as a victim and not an agent.

    The worst it saves for last, that whatever happens it will certainly damage human health and economies. That is a wild guess/wish/speculation. Certain disaster is not a valid null hypothesis, it is more reasonable to speculate a potentially warmer earth will help some regions, hurt others and have no effect for the majority of inhabited regions.

    The concept of a loop is what is really loopy. It makes no sense. It suggests things can get only worse by going though the loop. But each time through the loop things would have to get better as damaged economies and decreased human population decreases CO2. Hint: It is not a loop, it is just a flat time line to 2100. Yeah sure, these are the people we want making policy decisions.

  70. Since there is nothing “wrong” with the climate, nor indeed anything we can do about climate except what we’ve always done which is to adapt, then we don’t even need a “climate policy”.

    • Bruce Cobb:

      I refer you to my above post that pointed out the error of your assertion in response to Freedom Monger when he made the same assertion.

      I copy it to here to save you needing to find it.

      Richard

      Freedom Monger:

      You say

      We don’t need any kind of Climate Change policy, EVER!

      Actually, since at least the Bronze Age all good governments did have a good and useful climate policy; viz.
      climate changes so governments need to prepare for bad times when in good times.

      This was a good policy because governments can survive people complaining at taxes in good times but will be overthrown by food riots that result from lack of preparation for bad times. And the same people who complain at taxes in good times prefer not to starve at any time.

      This policy was so good that religious Scripture provides a story of its origin (i.e. Joseph with the amazing technicolour dreamcoat).

      But in recent decades some governments have abandoned that tried and tested policy and are trying to control climate instead. This new policy of climate control results from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) which claims emissions of greenhouse gases (notably carbon dioxide) alone alter climate significantly. Adopting such an improbable hypothesis as the basis for an untested policy has – to put it mildly – high risk.

      Richard

      • Preparing for the future, whatever that may be is not climate change policy. Rather, it is plain common sense, something sadly in short supply these days, particularly within the government brain trust.

      • Bruce Cobb:

        Preparing for effects of climate changes that recur is a climate policy.
        For example, Australia suffers climate periods of floods interspersed with periods of drought and the policy responses to this are a matter of serious political disagreement there.

        Choosing not to prepare for the effects of recurring climate change is also a climate policy.

        And so is trying to control the climate, but I oppose that policy because its costs are greater than the improbable benefits it may provide.

        Richard

  71. Re: Dr. Norman Page:

    The public, corporations, politicians and institutions will only accept cooling when they are alone, freezing in the dark.

    Canada and the US have strong leaders who believe strongly in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. It is percolating into corporations who want to be SEEN as “Politically Correct”.

    Personally, I don’t think warming has peaked, but I agree it will. Only I may not be around to see it.

    Conversely, I don’t think I will live to see the electrification of the railways in North America so they can be run by renewable energy; or that diesel electric will be converted to bio-fuels. But CP Rail may already be lobbying for grant money to help them go “GREEN”:

    CORPORATE BUY IN TO CAGW

    Many on WUWT think the CAGW meme has lost its luster in the public eye. Polls would agree. But the GREENS have a new target and they are being successful.

    Today the American CEO of Canadian Pacific Railways based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada announced:

    “People need to get their heads around the idea that fossil fuels are “probably dead,” It would seem he is following the lead of Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau. Perhaps he wants to get a grant to run the CPR on electricity from Solar and Wind. Perhaps he learned from their little scam on shipping biofuels back and forth across the US-Canada border. Perhaps he will also stop shipping coal and oil on CPR trains. /sarc

    Or in reality, he is simply going with the politics de jour to keep his GREEN shareholders and big institutional investors happy by mouthing the words.

    I am trying to envision the practicality of 10’s of thousands of miles of electrified train tracks and where the power to run them would come from.

    Looks like a very political meaningless statement after you look at it.

    But the fact that he felt compelled to say it at all says volumes.

    https://www.timminstoday.com/national-news/fossil-fuels-probably-dead-says-canadian-pacific-railway-ceo-hunter-harrison-263722

  72. My observation is the the people most worried about climate change are those who stand to gain the most from inducing governments and other sources of funding to form policies to throw money at the problem.

  73. It’s true that successful predictions are the gold standard for validating theories but untrue that today’s climate models make predictions. They make projections. A prediction is an example of a proposition. A projection is not.

    • Terry,

      Please read the post. I’m discussing predictions, climate model outputs over time periods for which the inputs are known — not projections using scenarios. See the definitions from the Glossary of AR5:

      Climate prediction

      A climate prediction or climate forecast is the result of an attempt to produce (starting from a particular state of the climate system) an estimate of the actual evolution of the climate in the future, for example, at seasonal, interannual or decadal time scales. Because the future evolution of the climate system may be highly sensitive to initial conditions, such predictions are usually probabilistic in nature.

      Climate projection

      A climate projection is the simulated response of the climate system to a scenario of future emission or concentration of greenhouse gases and aerosols, generally derived using climate models. Climate projections are distinguished from climate predictions by their dependence on the emission/concentration/radiative forcing scenario used, which is in turn based on assumptions concerning, for example, future socioeconomic and technological developments that may or may not be realized.

  74. An example of the confusion about climate “predictions”
    From “What Weather Is the Fault of Climate Change?” by Heidi Cullen, op-ed in the NYT, 11 March 2016. Bold emphasis added.

    “Here’s an example that underscores the predictive power of extreme event attribution: A recently published study in the journal Nature Climate Change analyzed record-breaking rains in Britain that flooded thousands of homes and businesses and caused more than $700 million in damage in the winter of 2013-14. Scientists found that such an event had become about 40% more likely. As a result, roughly 1,000 more properties are now at risk of flooding, with potential damage of about $40 million.”

    Heidi Cullen is chief scientist at Climate Central, a climate research and communications organization, and the author of “The Weather of the Future.”

    Ms Cullen — “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.”

    The study she mentions is “Human influence on climate in the 2014 southern England winter floods and their impacts” by Nathalie Schaller et al, Nature Climate Change, in press. Abstract:

    A succession of storms reaching southern England in the winter of 2013/2014 caused severe floods and £451 million insured losses. In a large ensemble of climate model simulations, we find that, as well as increasing the amount of moisture the atmosphere can hold, anthropogenic warming caused a small but significant increase in the number of January days with westerly flow, both of which increased extreme precipitation. Hydrological modelling indicates this increased extreme 30-day-average Thames river flows, and slightly increased daily peak flows, consistent with the understanding of the catchment’s sensitivity to longer-duration precipitation and changes in the role of snowmelt.

    Consequently, flood risk mapping shows a small increase in properties in the Thames catchment potentially at risk of riverine flooding, with a substantial range of uncertainty, demonstrating the importance of explicit modelling of impacts and relatively subtle changes in weather-related risks when quantifying present-day effects of human influence on climate.

  75. YOU WROTE:
    “Successful predictions: the gold standard for validating theories.”

    MY RESPONSE:
    Let’s say climate change is caused mainly by changes involving our sun.

    Let’s say those changes are not happening in a regular cycle, perhaps happening at random.

    If you KNEW climate change was caused by the sun, but could not predict what the sun was going to do in the future, then you would have a GOOD THEORY, but could not make predictions with it.

    Right now we have a bad climate change theory dominating the mainstream press, and 40 years of bad climate predictions that the press ignores.

    How can a model EVER fail a “test” when the people who own the model, also own the average temperature measurements used by the mainstream media, and they constantly “adjust” average temperature measurements to better match their model predictions?

    Governments control the predictions AND the actuals — they can’t fail a test … unless it happens to get so cold that people begin to notice it doesn’t feel like global warming outside!

    YOU WROTE:
    “Resolving the climate policy wars through science will require action by us, the American public.”

    MY COMMENT:
    The American public has been dumbed down by public school / mainstream media propaganda, and too much time texting / watching videos online — almost no one has made any effort to independently study climate history, for even one hour of their entire life.

    Those people who think they HAVE spent time studying climate history, usually base that claim on seeing Al Gore’s film, or an article featuring Michael Mann’s hockey stick chart.

  76. The models have been tested. And everyone of them failed to predict temperatures over the past 18 years. QED.

    • The models said the temperature was going up, and it finally did, thanks to El Nino.

      It’s a 100 year model — who cares if it’s wrong for 18 years?

      I’ve bought stocks that went down before they went up — but I was right in the long run.

      Head for the hills where it’s cool !

      If the EL NINO rise continues for 35 more years, we’ll all be like frogs in a big pot of water heating up on a stove.

      It will be so hot people will explode spontaneously.

      Fat people will be the first to go.

      Al Gore is in BIG trouble.

      I am not making this up — I have a complex computer model that extrapolates with 97% accuracy.

      While I made the same prediction for the 1998 EL NINO, I later found an error in the computer model — the current version is 257% better, and I am 105% confident of the current prediction, although this could take 34 years, or 36 years, rather than 35 years.

      You should take climate change as seriously as I do.

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