A Tale of Two Facts

Guest essay by Ola Røyrvik

Can the public have confidence in what is presented as science, or do politicians dictate what scientists can say? Well, if Norwegian scientific and political institutions are used as indicators the answer to the first part of the question is a definite NO and to the second a resounding YES. The Norwegian scientific community appears to operate with different facts depending on what is scientific or politically correct as illustrated by the following.

For a number of years we have witnessed a debate about the global climate in a number of different media. It has been an interesting experience to observe numerous nonsensical claims from people on both sides of the aisle that one might think should know better. Even in the scientific literature there are questionable statements that are best ignored. However, some time back I came across something so far out that it raised questions about what can pass as science in scientific literature, and about how taxpayers’ money is squandered.

The following example started with an article written by S-I Akasofu (Climate, 2013, 1, 4-11). This article was a straightforward presentation of some data. In other articles, he has pointed out that until we know the natural variation of the climate, we cannot have any confidence that we can predict the climate variation caused by anthropogenic CO2 (which should be self-evident).

But this article in Climate did not please Nuccitelli et al. who wrote a very incoherent and largely unscientific attack on Akasofu (Climate, 2013, 1, 76-83) because he does not support the climate scare as put forward by the IPCC.

The Nuccitelli et al. paper is worth reading because it attempts to redefine either the word “memory” or our fundamental understanding of physics. But before we dive into this, it is important to realize that among the et al. is The Norwegian Meteorological Institute (NMI) represented by Benestad.

image(1)

Syun-Ichi Akasofu Building, University of Alaska, Fairbanks – Reference: https://www.alaska.edu/uajourney/buildings/akasofu-building/

We can start with a statement that can stand as a standard for what NMI stands behind.

They conclude that Akasofu is “demonstrably incorrect.” However, one statement that is actually demonstrably incorrect is by Nuccitelli et al.: “Furthermore, thermal systems do not contain ‘memory’ of past climate states, as inferred by [4].” And [4] is Akasofu, but I cannot find that Akasofu has mentioned the word “memory” in that article. If he had, he would be right in claiming that the climate has a memory. There were other statements that could be picked on, but I leave them out to avoid overkill.

How can a statement like that quoted above be put into print in a scientific journal? Could it possibly be a misuse of the word “memory” and that the meaning was intended to be different from what it appears to say? That scenario is not very likely since requests for clarification to two of the characters involved resulted in statements that (1) NMI only conducts science of the highest quality, and (2) that Akasofu’s view of the physics involved is like a ball bouncing and that that was wrong. I received no believable explanation to indicate that the intended meaning was different from what the quoted sentence seems to say.

Could it be that the authors actually believe that thermal systems like the earth do not have memory? Definitely not! Not long afterwards, NMI published on its web page something like “the weather has a good memory” (my translation from Norwegian to English). Furthermore, NMI must be aware that when they try to predict the weather for tomorrow they use yesterday’s weather as a starting point, a memory of at least two days. Does NMI suffer from doublethink, or are they consciously lying? I find it very difficult to come up with any other interpretations.

So how could something so outrageous pass peer review and be accepted for publication in a scientific journal? It would be interesting to see the peer reviewers’ comments to some of the revolutionary statements in this paper. So how to get hold of this information?

My first step was to ask some questions of the editor-in-chief of the journal Climate. I got a very polite letter back that I interpreted as saying that the paper by Nuccitelli et al. was never peer reviewed, that it was published behind the back of the EiC (against the rules of the journal), and that it resulted in the replacement of the assistant editor who handled the paper. That was interesting, considering that the governmental department (which pays NMI more than 200 million Norwegian kroner annually) requires NMI to publish a minimum number of peer-reviewed articles per year and that NMI lists the said paper as having been peer reviewed.

Norway has its own version of the “freedom of information act” (OHL). When NMI informed its government department that the paper had been peer reviewed, it became an official government act. Therefore, OHL appears to give any citizen the right to have a copy of any document related to the case. So for NMI to claim that the paper had been peer reviewed, it must have, or have access to, the peer-review report. NMI refuses to let me see this report. Given that the law lists several exceptions, it became necessary to find out if my request for the peer-review report is not covered by the law. Who would be in a better position to answer this than the responsible department? After numerous letters back and forth to various officials, I finally managed to get an answer from the minister in charge that he (the department) could not answer if the law gives me the right to see the peer report. Nor would he instruct the NMI to let me have a copy of the report. Curtain down and case closed.

So what can I conclude from all this? That somebody among the following has a very elastic relationship to the truth: the EiC of the journal Climate, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and/or the minister of the department. I have a hard time believing that the EiC has any reason to be dishonest in a way that is not flattering to the journal. It is very difficult for me to come to any other conclusion than that the Norwegian establishment is lying.

Is it reasonable to suspect the Norwegian government establishment of lying and breaking the law? We can gain some insight by referring to a statement by one politician who admitted that all branches of the government lie if it is for a good cause, including the ministers and the parliament. So would they consider this a good cause? Of course. The parliament of Norway is nearly unanimous that AGW is real and will destroy mankind, so it is therefore a good cause to have all government agencies support this idea in any way possible. One of the ways to do this is to appear to defame Akasofu, who is on record as being dubious about AGW. One of my concerns is that other persons related to governmental institutions use this probably-not-peer-reviewed NMI paper as a proof that Akasofu is “demonstrably incorrect.”

Furthermore, it seems that the Freedom of Information law was not meant to be used to embarrass NMI or contradict any governmental institution. That would not be a good cause. That is perhaps the reason why the law does not stipulate any consequences for any institution that does not live by the law. The law appears to say one thing, but the government can ignore it if it is not in their interest. Or to put it a little differently: the Norwegian parliament passes laws with the understanding that the government does not have to abide with these laws if it could contradict a politically correct theory.

I cannot imagine that Akasofu is terribly concerned about a fifth-rate institution in an out-of-the-way place somewhere in the backwater of a stale continent making utter fools of themselves. But for me who is forced to support this shenanigan with my taxes, I find it utterly appalling that the politicians can be so ignorant of very basic science that they can support the NMI without raising serious questions. But then again we know that the parliament is full of snowflakes and WUPs (willfully uninformed politicians). And these people are the ones who dictate who are on the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

The responsibility for this mess rests squarely with the parliament. The possibility of them being wrong in their support of the AGW crowd does not seem to faze them. It is tempting to refer to “the theory of wicked problems,” where the final point is that planners do not have the right to be wrong. In other words, if you are wrong you are nevertheless responsible for the consequences of making the wrong decisions. It is going to be interesting to see what the parliament will use as an explanation in 10-15 years when they have wasted years of GNP on an AGW mirage.

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104 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Facts

  1. If memory serves me right “Tale” starts something like “they were the best of times, they were the worst of times” and ends “it is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done”.

    The alpha and omega seems to encapsulate the concepts behind modern (climate) science.

    • Norway has for many years been with on the road to unenlightenment and policybased science with its neomarxism. The similarity between a Marxist and a religious person is that both don’t accept the World they experience. A Marxist really hates the World.

      • What makes you believe that a religious person doesn’t accept the world they experience?
        Unless you are one of those people who set yourself up as the standard against all others must be measured.

    • That integrity is sadly much of an illusion, based on a false “feel-good” consensus, where everyone is supposed to agree and feel happy. This illusion does not stand up to stress or scrutiny.

    • Yes but they do still eat whale in Norway. I tried some one time, only to be able to tell any Greenpeace people I meet, that I have eaten whale.

      • Quisling did what he thought was correct for the country, but he was wrong. Afterwards he owned up to his mistake, accepted his death sentence as deserved and urged Norwegians to build a better country.

        (By the way, the Nazis planned to double-cross Quisling, but were thwarted by the sinking of the Blücher and with it the death of their Gestapo and political teams that were planned to take over.)

        The Norway I knew when I was young was already being destroyed by the public schools when I was there. Today, half a century later, the factor that made Norway the moral leader of Europe is no longer there.

  2. “Furthermore, NMI must be aware that when they try to predict the weather for tomorrow they use yesterday’s weather as a starting point, a memory of at least two days. ”

    I don’t think that this is a valid point. Weather yesterday and today being used to predict the weather tomorrow isn’t a matter of “memory”; it’s a matter of an ONGOING PROCESS. Weather yesterday and tomorrow are closely correlated in a way that “weather next year” and “weather last year” are not.

    • Indeed. Their objection is that Akasofu listed recovery from the LIA as a mechanism, and they say that would require a memory of climate a century ago. A valid point.

      • Nick,

        The mechanism doesn’t need to know anything. It just makes the world warmer naturally. Same as it cooled naturally after the Medieval Warm Period. It’s just what the world does.

        Nothing has happened since CO2 took off after WWII that hasn’t happened before during this and previous interglacials, indeed throughout the whole history of the planet. There is thus no signal of a human effect on global air temperature since then. We have had an observable effect in places such as Las Vegas, however. But not from CO2.

      • “Same as it cooled naturally after the Medieval Warm Period. It’s just what the world does.”
        No, it is the later observation of cooling that made you call it a warm period. Otherwise it might have been called a hiatus or some such. “Recovery” from the LIA is just like saying it got warmer because it was colder before. It isn’t a mechanism. And if, like Akasofu, you try to say it was, then you are at least implying a memory.

      • The fluctuations on decadal, centennial, millennial and longer time scales are natural processes. No “memory” required. I don’t see why Akasofu’s mechanism requires any memory on the part of the system.

        Quite the opposite. It requires a change or combination of changes to cause a previously cooling system to start warming.

        And, since warming during the Modern period has so far been less than during previous such secular trends, no human signal is detectable. Same goes for each of the warming and cooling cycles within this secular trend, ie the late 20th century warming was indistinguishable from the early 20th century warming, separated from it by the mid-20th century cooling (which occurred under rising CO2).

      • So, Nick – the past climate has nothing to do with the current climate, much less the future climate. There is no mechanism to be ferreted out of it.

        Are you therefore going to collect your last paycheck on Friday and go find something more useful to do with your life? The climate will do what it does, no matter what – and you can’t even get a clue as to what it is going to do from what it is doing now, or a hundred years ago. Cease your useless effort.

      • A process without memory is an adding machine that doesn’t keep the sum to add the next figure to. The idea is silly.

        ALL processes have memory. It’s what makes them a process.

        ~¿~

      • “The statistical term for “memory” is auto correlation.”
        “ALL processes have memory.”
        There are things you could call memory. Masses of fluid have momentum and even angular momentum. But it dissipates (diffuses) over days and weeks. Heat moves slowly and diffusively. Diffusion obliterates memory.

        Autocorrelation for surface temperature is significant over months, much less over a year. With LIA, we are talking of over a century.

        It’s often said here that weather and climate are chaotic. That means you rapidly lose memory of the initial state.

      • Well, if it doesn’t know there was an LIA, how can it know to recover from it?
        ===========================
        a pendulum moves higher and lower without any memory. It is clearly a mechanism. Yet if you ask the pendulum was it higher or lower previously, it cannot tell you.

        What you are doing is confusing the mechanism with the observer. It is the human observer that has the memory. The human being knows that the pendulum is moving higher or lower, because the human can recall the previous motion of the pendulum.

        The pendulum cannot. It doesn’t know if it has been through 1000 cycles or still waiting to complete the first cycle, thus it cannot be said to rely on memory of its past state.

      • Seeing that the oceanic circulation takes anywhere up to 1,000 years to complete a cycle, and things like temperature and rainfall are memorialised in the deep waters for hundreds of years, it seems like a no-brainer that the planet contains memory of climate for many centuries.

      • It’s often said here that weather and climate are chaotic. That means you rapidly lose memory of the initial state.
        ===================
        That is incorrect. Chaos places no restrictions on remembering your initial position. Chaos simply says that if you forget your starting position you cannot recalculate it from your current position.

      • I’ve read ahead in this thread, folks. Prepare yourselves for a shipload of sophistry via Nick from NMI.

      • it seems like a no-brainer that the planet contains memory of climate for many centuries.
        ===============
        correct. Some of the earliest computer memories were mercury delay lines. In a way they operate like the 1000 year cycle of the deep ocean conveyor.

        If the climate is warm it will heat one end of the conveyor. 1000 years later this heat will return out of the other end of the conveyor. In a fashion, alternating hot and cold is like a series of 1’s and 0’s entering a 1000 year long delay line. Then 1000 years later the series of 1’s and 0’s (hot and cold) exits the conveyor.

        So I would agree strongly that the deep ocean conveyor has the qualities required to function similar to the early computer memories. The mercury delay line.

      • It’s often said here that weather and climate are chaotic. That means you rapidly lose memory of the initial state.
        ===================
        Nic, you have just made a very convincing argument that a chaotic process has no need of memory, since it rapidly loses memory of its previous state.

        As such, your argument that climate needs a memory to recover from the LIA is contradicted by your claim that since climate is chaotic it rapidly loses its memory. Under your argument there can be no cycles of ice ages or interglacials, because the climate cannot remember that it was in an ice age to recover from.

        Since the climate clearly does have cycles of ice ages and recovery to interglacials, by your argument it must have a memory of at least 100,000 years. But since you claim it requires a memory to recover from a previous state, and since the chaotic climate quickly forgets its prior state and loses its memory, clearly your position is in error.

      • ferd,
        ” Chaos places no restrictions on remembering your initial position. Chaos simply says that if you forget your starting position you cannot recalculate it from your current position.”
        The (very conventional) assertion of Nuccitelli et al is that current position (state) is all Earth has, for determining climate. If there is anything else, where is it?

        “mercury delay lines”
        Well, they didn’t work very well. And it only worked at all with active devices to keep cleaning up the signal. Yes, you can store information in wave packets. But in any transmission through a medium there is diffusion and degradation. Imagine using ocean waves for memory.

        ” Under your argument there can be no cycles of ice ages or interglacials, because the climate cannot remember that it was in an ice age to recover from.”
        No, It is an argument that climate responds to exogenous changes – ie forcing. And that is indeed the conventional explanation of ice age cycles (Milankovitch). And the same is true of seasons, say. The climate doesn’t “remember” that it is time for summer. It responds to orbital tilt and position in orbit.

      • The statistical term for “memory” is auto correlation.

        At last! An explanation of the term that makes sense.
        I must remember that. ;-)

      • Typical Neomarxist policybased science Logic? Climate is product of many factors but it boils down to the Sun more or less. Your idea is that climate has memory. How can this hypothesis be falsified?

      • It is well known that oceanic overturn, glaciers, permafrost, treelines, plus other thingies store in their state information from centuries ago, and the state affects the climate of today. So there is a memory of a kind. But this headpost was not on if there is a memory or not, but how government may disobey laws, and it can be really difficult for a minority (define minority here in such a manner) to try to make goverment obey the law.

        There is very little that can be done when there is wide ‘good cause’ corruption in place to come to a predefined result.

        A similar case happened when, lets call them ‘friends of cannabis’ in Finland, wanted to set up an association to drive legalization. Could not do it. There was a ‘good cause’ corruption that just decided this can’t be done. It took decades to get the association registered because of that.

      • Nick, not a memory per se but behavior of a thermal regime. Something (the sun seems to have fallen into disfavor in this post normal age) caused the dip downwards from the Medieval Warm Period and then this something relaxed returning former conditions. I do think a spring analogy useful even though it has a memory.

        I always find it helpful to exaggerate an effect to see it more clearly. Something interrupted the ‘developing’ regime at the beginning of the Holocene and pushed temperatures down dramatically in what we term the Younger Dryas. When this interrupting effect disappeared, it ‘sprung’ back to where it left off. Indeed I believe it sprung back and overshot its former position much like a spring and 9ver time relaxed back to a more orderly path. Because such an event seems to be singular, I think it highly unlikely to have been a solar event. I know a large bolide impact has also fallen from favor as a cause recently, but certainly an independent singularity was responsible.

      • ferdberple wrote, “Some of the earliest computer memories were mercury delay lines. In a way they operate like the 1000 year cycle of the deep ocean conveyor. / If the climate is warm it will heat one end of the conveyor. 1000 years later this heat will return out of the other end of the conveyor.”

        Well, maybe. One of the things that happens in a warming climate is reduced sea-ice coverage near Greenland, which is where the “warm current” water sinks and becomes the cold return current. Reduced sea-ice coverage means accelerated evaporative cooling of the water, degrading the “warm signal” memory.

        Maybe some of that warmth survives to affect the temperature of the returning North Atlantic Deep cold current. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.

    • @Ken Mitchell: Weather last year and weather next year ARE correlated. It’s called “the seasons”. That’s an ongoing process too. Changes to ground cover affect weather (https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3250) so persistence of such changes also provide a mechanism for correlation between weather last year and weather next year. And of course there are things like ENSO and ADO operating on multi-year timescales that bring about such correlations. And of course if you believe in AGW you have to believe that storage of CO2 in the atmosphere is a kind of memory driving longer-term correlations.
      PS: I suspect that “inferred” should have been “implied”.

    • I would agree that the few-day autocorrelation seen in weather “memory” is not relevant to the question of whether the Earth’s climate has memory, but:

      The heat content of the oceans, the very long-period ‘integral feedback’ mechanism implicated in glaciation and deglaciation cycles, and the fact that ECS is estimated to be about 1.5× TCR because of warming “in the pipeline” (for up to a few centuries!), all reflect “memory” in the Earth’s climate system.

      • The quote went on
        “Furthermore, thermal systems do not contain “memory” of past climate states, as inferred by [4]. Changes to the total energy of the Earth system are dictated by present energy balances, not by prior climatic states.”
        The ocean storage issue, for atmospheric warmth, would be resolved by calculating flux across the interface as part of energy balance.

        The warming in the pipeline issue is misnamed. The issue is that there is a flux (forcing) from GHGs which hasn’t yet led to full warming, because some is being diverted into the ocean. As that slows, more has to be exported to space, and that requires more warming, even if it is the same heat flux.

      • Nick,

        The way you wriggle here reminds me of neomarxists and some sects. I see this is a question of semantics to you.

    • How does gravity “remember” that objects on Earth, when dropped, go down instead of up?

      How does heat “remember” to move from hot to cold?

      How does Earth “remember” to rotate at the same velocity?

      Ascribing memory to non-human entities and processes can be tricky, I guess. It makes us ask, “What, exactly, IS memory?” or “What, exactly, are we allowed to call memory?”

      Humans have memory. Computers have memory. Nature has memory. I don’t think we are talking about the same thing in these instances, nor do I know how one instance of use compares to the other.

      • +100 Robert you are the first to state what the economic and statistics nutters like Nick Stokes haven’t worked out.

        How does a magnet know to attract another magnet is the other classic example.

        Under the stupidity of the statics argument above none of that can happen because you can’t see the stable state and balancing forces and the pseudo science crazies don’t get the issue :-)

      • I think Kevin Kilty has a useful idea below:
        “I define memory as any state from which one may extract information about the past.”
        I would identify memory more with the information. If something happens at present time, it actually does so in response to state variables. Position in orbit, heat in atmosphere etc. If you want to claim that an event 200 years ago is affecting climate now (causing warming, say), there must be some way in which current state variables are different to what they would have been had there been no LIA, in a way that could makea difference to a currently operating mechanism.

        A classic memory argument is against the “law of averages” which says that if a coin hasn’t been coming up heads for a while, it is overdue, and so more likely that tails next throw. The answer is, how can the coin remember the result of previous throws?

      • Memory is not a scientific term, but is often used to imply that given full knowledge of a present state, one can deduce a past state. This works in Newtonian physics, one can run the time arrow either way, but not in quantum mechanics. And it doesn’t always work in simple formal systems. Given a position on the chess board, there are usually many ways it could have been arrived at. Raymond Smullyan wrote a book on this, giving problems in retrograde analysis in chess, where one could deduce what happened earlier in the game. But these are in the minority. And how more complex is the Earth’s climate than a chess game? Fortunately, we have other sources of data on previous climates. Imagine no geological, astronomical, biological and historical data. And just to make it really nasty, no human memory. Who could even predict tomorrow’s weather?

      • How does gravity “remember” that objects on Earth, when dropped, go down instead of up?
        ============
        that is actually a very profound question in science without an answer. Why do events in nature follow the path of least resistance, the lowest energy path? It is almost like nature knows ahead of time the correct path to follow.

        Intuitively we say – that is the way nature works. But the more profound question is what is the mechanism? And quire remarkably, after thousands of years of searching, we have no answer beyond “that is the way nature works”.

        Now if a memory is required to make this work, it is a memory of the future not the past.

      • My survival instinct needs something to refer to, Me and memory? That climate must have memory is more post modern than classical science?

      • Nick Stokes March 28, 2018 at 7:15 pm

        I think Kevin Kilty has a useful idea below:
        “I define memory as any state from which one may extract information about the past.”
        I would identify memory more with the information. If something happens at present time, it actually does so in response to state variables. Position in orbit, heat in atmosphere etc. If you want to claim that an event 200 years ago is affecting climate now (causing warming, say), there must be some way in which current state variables are different to what they would have been had there been no LIA, in a way that could make a difference to a currently operating mechanism.
        A classic memory argument is against the “law of averages” which says that if a coin hasn’t been coming up heads for a while, it is overdue, and so more likely that tails next throw. The answer is, how can the coin remember the result of previous throws?

        Not sure what to make of this. Your para. 1 seems to be adding nothing except a posited mechanism for memory. And “memory” can mean the memory device, not the content of it. It would make perfect sense, if a neurologist scanned a newborn baby’s brain, to say “This child has a correctly functioning memory” even if the child hasn’t observed anything to be remembered yet.
        Re papa. 2. What point are you making? The “law of averages” is a fallacy. A fair coin has a 0.5 probability of coming up heads (or tails) regardless of any previous sequence of throws.

      • History and geological history has what one can say at least is analogous to memory. For example, logically, there could be no basis for alarm about the present if one had no idea about the past.

        We know in the distant past there were much warmer climates than today and proponents of catastrophic climate are at great pains to define the emergency as the warmest in 100k yrs or more. They even tried to flatten the past 1000 yrs to make this the warmest of the past several thousand years or of the entire holocene. Theyve argued the present is slightly warmer than the MWP. When history of wine grown in Scotland, crops and animals raised in Greenland is mentioned, the cracks are papered over with the warm period was only in Europe (where this history resides). All but the most strident now accept that granularity of proxy data is such that the only reasonable comparison between now and the MWP would be to take the entire instrumental period and average it into one data point.

        This type of science defines a new Dark Ages. Clearly Dark Ages No.1 was also a Post Normal Age when learned monks cloistered away in secret knowledge to preserve it from the Philistines of the day. Even in these secure lockups we lost the knowledge that are planet is a ball.

    • Sometimes it is 80 degrees and hot hot hot in Kingman and then the next day it it freezing with sleet. How does “memory” work then?

    • The retention of heat by the solid earth and the oceans from many years ago and just a day previous, is also such a continuing process. The temperatures may not be exactly the same but the underlying lowesrt temperature in the period my be considered as being retained from times past, just as the cloudiness or warm air in tomorrow’s forecast has persisted in that state from yesterday.

    • Akasofu does not seem to have used the word ‘memory’. The critics did. The implication seems to be a question of equilibrium, that is the mechanism that maintains the planet’s temperature within a fairly narrow range. The LIA approached a limit within the conditions currently extant. To say the Modern Warm Period is a recovery suggests to me that it is a rebound from that cool limit.

  3. This seems to be much like the behavior of the Obama administration in the US. Various FOIA requests ended up being slow-walked at best, and redacted into meaninglessness at worst.

    • Australia has its fair share of secretive practices with its bureau of meteorology.
      Whe it comes to “facts” from other countrys bureaus of meteorology or their equivalents. They are in very short supply.
      Jo Nova and her scientific freinds have been stonewalled by ours for years, with assistance from specific ministers. One of “our” bureaus pet blocks when questiond about its methodology in temperature adjustment to current and historical record. Is to tell those asking. You wouldn’t understand that methodology. In my case that’d probably be on the money. But when its fellow scientists asking. That wreaks of hiding something.
      Heres a little of the ongoing bureau wars in Australia being fought by “Jo and freinds” .
      http://joannenova.com.au/2015/09/rent-seeking-parasites-reveal-awful-truth-abbott-wanted-to-investigate-bom-data/

  4. The problem with “memory” is semantic. It seems reasonable that what is meant is thermal mass, inertia, etc. And that clearly exists. But the “authors” get to choose whatever definition of memory they wish, including nonsense, as is expedient to spout in any given conversation about what they meant. Thermal systems obviously do not have neurological pathways in which memory can function.
    But since Akasofu didn’t use that word, this is a strawman. The real problem is lying about peer reviewed journalism and government funding of such lies. The problem is AGW supporters thrashing about trying to claim that obviously true statements are not true, ie “until we know the natural variation of the climate, we cannot have any confidence that we can predict the climate variation caused by anthropogenic CO2”. Blasphemy.

    • It definitely touches all Western countries. Global – maybe not yet. I think China is not yet taking part. They probably like to keep their population in control instead of letting the xiren import too many anti-growth anti-government ideas.

      • Nor is Eastern Europe in on the scam. Russia only supported Kyoto for the cash they would get.

  5. Of course they are lying. Of course they are being dishonest. Sorry to say, but ClimateGate should have convinced those familiar with it of the malfeasance within CRU. IOW’s, scientists used to be generally revered; now, for the number of the public which has employed critical thinking, scientists are no different than lawyers or politicians.

  6. ” If he had, he would be right in claiming that the climate has a memory.”
    WEll, so you say. What Nuccitelli et al said, more fully, was:
    “Furthermore, thermal systems do not contain “memory” of past climate states, as inferred by [4]. Changes to the total energy of the Earth system are dictated by present energy balances, not by prior climatic states.”
    And that is an orthodox view. You need evidence to countermand it.

    As for
    “I got a very polite letter back that I interpreted as saying that the paper by Nuccitelli et al. was never peer reviewed”
    if you want to rant about the Norwegian government lying etc, I think you need to produce, or at least quote that letter, to support your “interpretation”. It’s normally a reasonable expectation that material in J Climate has been reviewed.

    • “I got a very polite letter back that I interpreted as saying that the paper by Nuccitelli et al. was never peer reviewed”
      I think we really need to see what the letter said. I think there may be confusion with this fuss in which it was the paper of Akasofu, not Nuccitelli, that caused an editor to resign, citing not exactly a lack of peer review, but publication despite the editor’s assessment.

    • “It’s normally a reasonable expectation that material in J Climate has been reviewed.”
      It is, but I got the Journal wrong. It is an MDPI journal, Climate, for which the expectation is less safe. It is the same journal that the original paper by Akasofu appeared in. Still, I think the reference to an editor being replaced sounds like a reference to the Akasofu fuss.

    • So you just removed any sort of inertia with the stroke of a pen Nick ..typical with statistics no understanding you just calculate.

      • You are thoroughly misinformed here. My career was in fluid mechanics. And as we well know there, momentum diffuses – the coefficient is viscosity (modified by turbulence). Where are the storms of yesteryear? And diffusion destroys information (memory).

        You are big on sniping, and nutty stuff about quantum mechanics, but I have never seen you contribute anything relevant.

      • “My career was in fluid mechanics.”
        Nick, I think you’ve flushed your career down the pan… what a waste.

    • “And that is an orthodox view. You need evidence to countermand it.”
      Orthodoxy has nothing to do with science. And saying your view is orthodox is no excuse for not providing evidence for your claims.

      It seems like we finally see Nick’s true colors as a fervent worshipers of the all mighty co2 molecule.
      Recommendation for Nick: I you want to partake in a scientific discussion you should probably find a more appropriate (as with less religious and dogmatic connotations) word to describe your position than orthodox.

    • ‘Changes to the total energy of the Earth system are dictated by present energy balances, not by prior climatic states.’

      Prior climatic states affect on present energy balances. I’m little bit worried on how you subscribe to this. Showing up why energy balances go up and down is another question, or what we call this, memory or something else. Putting words to someone’s mouth or misquoting [4] is some bad behaviour on which a peer review report would be nice. Which brings us to so called good cause corruption.

  7. It is hard to see whether or not there is any case here. The poster says that they “interperated” the response from the editors to mean that the comment paper wasn’t peer reviewed. But they do not provide any evidence. Nor is it obvious why the Norwegian institute would have the power to release any peer review comments given that the first author of the paper in question is Australian and the communicating author is from the US. I suspect that the issue is one of translation. For example with regards the lack of the word memory in the original paper the comment says that a memory is inferred. So you would not expect to find it explicitly mentioned.

    Is is also worth mentioning that in the original paper published in 2013 Akasofu predicted that the temerature would start declining and so the last 5 years have shown that he is wrong.

    • Like everything in science, data are always open to interpretation. It depends on what you mean by rising or declining temperature (trends): https://www.thegwpf.org/state-of-the-climate-report-reveals-23-year-temperature-pause-in-the-stratosphere/.

      I worked directly with Dr. Akasofu (1995-2001) at the University of Alaska on a number of geophysical related subjects and found his scientific methodology, insight, and interdisciplinary approach at problem solving to be exceptionally brilliant. Obviously others know this and are threatened.

    • Actually, comments are frequently not “peer reviewed.” Ideally, the authors of the paper being commented upon will be provided with an opportunity to rebut the comments. I used to like reading Current Anthropology because of the mad food fights that would develop. Unhappily CA was gradually absorbed by “post-modernists.” As a specific clique too over the actual dialog deteriorated into this same form of mutual whatever.

    • Since we have had an intervening 3-year Super El Nino (now ending) and a hot North Pacific Blob, why don’t we give it a few more years before we say he was wrong, Geronimo?

  8. The word memory should have never been used.Nothing in nature has a memory unless it is a brain process or an elastic rebound process.

  9. ” …the parliament is full of snowflakes and WUPs (willfully uninformed politicians). And these people are the ones who dictate who are on the Nobel Peace Prize committee.” Not much (any?) diference between the Norweigan parliament and the US congress…well we don’t have the Nobel Peace Prize…

  10. the concept of atmospheric memory is very interesting, It was often talked about when I was in school in the 70s and basically it is pattern repetition For instance Johnstown PA 60 miles southwest of me is about 10% above normal snowfall this winter as are areas about 60 miles southeast.,Where I live, we are 2/3 normal and have watched one storm after another “jump” over us, The analog package I used in late September for the JFM period worked wonderfully for that period, It also predicted a cold April across the northern US, For whatever reason, it appears whatever was going on from the time that analog was formulated is still working now to a large degree. If you want to read about it, its here: https://patriotpost.us/opinion/55023-why-the-weather-if-you-know-the-past-why-not-a-case-study But it would figure that older mets like me that learned from people before me that talked about these things would be open to the idea of that, while a research based person not on the front lines every day scraping for everything he can get his hands on to add value to a forecast, would not. Besides if you want to add value to your cause, dismiss anything that can challenge it from before, especially if its relatively simple concept And that, along with a given agenda, may explain alot Peace to all

    • Aren’t you just using what Lorenz called the method of analogs, which is really the only way to make decent forecasts of chaotic systems? I think he tried this in the 1960s but didn’t have a large enough data base or computer power at the time

  11. Yes. Memory was probably a misleading language analogy. Norwegian to elegant English, more than forgiven. But for sure ‘memory’ exists in statistically autocorrelated time series, as just one example. See McKitrick and Eschenbach for the required Bonferroni stat confidence corrections. As another example, Earth ‘remembered’ the last four ice ages as they were roughly self replicating,
    This is why true scientists try to go to ‘universal math language’, supposedly language nuance independent. Although no less than Bertrand Rusell proved that hope vain, also, via the logical basic math conundrum of defining the set of all sets that does not include itself.
    Now I recognize that WUWT does not and should not encompass all of math and philosophy of science. But a few pointers in those directions can be perhaps be useful to avid WUWT readers, as perhaps here in this comment.

  12. Thermal systems possess memory as long as they have not reached steady state. I define memory as any state from which one may extract information about the past. For example, one may measure temperature down a borehole and retrieve information about the history of surface temperature. Depending on a number of factor one may retrieve information about the past 100 years with reasonable fidelity. Fidelity becomes less and less with time as diffusion, an irreversible process, attenuates and spreads temperature variations. In a glacier the large-scale transport problem is not dominated by diffusion but by convection, and so some information remains in its temperature even after tens of thousands of years, but fine details are again diffused away.

    People have tried to reconstruct temperature over the past thousand years using borehole data, but the results are not credible. Their attempts have involved some of the clearest examples of circular reasoning I know about in the peer reviewed literature.

    Now think about an air mass. It’s temperature gives some information about where it came from, does it not? And if one includes RH then an even better idea of the history of the air is available.

      • “Over a century?”

        Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.

        I tend to agree, though. Seems as silly as teleconnections over vast distances where there was no teleconnection over areas in-between.

      • Jeff, are you saying the “excess heat” cannot be hiding in the deep oceans since there has been no concurrent heating of intervening water layers?

    • In this case the thermal inertia of a non steady state (non equilibrium) system can be viewed as having a ‘memory’ of what state it was in just before it changed simply because it had to ‘be’ something else before it became what it is now.. I KNOW that made it a lot clearer!! lol

  13. The local temperature at any moment in time is the product of of many processes that take place at time scales from seconds (gusts of wind) through to millions of years.
    Some long-term processes continue to act and some don’t continue per se but their consequences do. Recovery from an Ice Age, Little or not, continues long after the Ice Age has finished. After a long period of rainfall even bright sunshine won’t immediately bring warmer temperatures because the sun’s energy is used in evaporation of surface water and moisture.
    Quite separate to events and their consequences are meteorological patterns, often due to seasonal variations and geography (topology, differences in latitude, proximity to oceans etc).
    The term “memory” is misleading and foolish, but what else would one expect from Nuccitelli et al? A thermal system does not operate in discrete chunks of time but follows from a previous state.
    But the whole thing about “memory” is not the focus of the article. It’s that the Norwegian government tries to duck and weave around its own Freedom of Information Act. I see that action as very deliberate. In this instance I see one very basic reason and it’s that to expose the alarmists’ arguments on this matter as questionable would be to undermine their supposed authority all all climate matters. The government can’t risk the public seeing that national policies have little or no scientific justification.

    • “But the whole thing about “memory” is not the focus of the article. It’s that the Norwegian government tries to duck and weave around its own Freedom of Information Act. I see that action as very deliberate. In this instance I see one very basic reason and it’s that to expose the alarmists’ arguments on this matter as questionable would be to undermine their supposed authority all all climate matters. The government can’t risk the public seeing that national policies have little or no scientific justification.”

      BINGO!

      • It’s relevant to see someone staying on topic amidst the hundred posts I had to sort through to get to this. What everyone needs to realize is the atmospheric memories or that warming not related to CO2 emissions doesn’t matter if rational people who try and look at physical evidence that hasn’t been altered or inappropriately disregarded are silenced. Having a seat at the table is more important then how wrong the AGW are in this instance.

  14. One has to wonder how the AGW narrative has received so much world wide blatant lying, obfuscation, misinformation and denial to support it. Call it conspiracy theory or anything you want but it’s obvious the truth is being warped in an organized manner.

    • It’s not that hard to understand. There is a certain segment of the population that enjoys the feeling that they are ‘fighting the big guys to save the world’ and ALL politicians love to claim a ’cause’ that gives them access to more money and more influence to perpetuate their existence.

      AGW offers people the opportunity to ‘feel good’ that they are David fighting the Corporate Goliath (and ‘winning’).

      • I’m skeptical of a co-ordinated, society-wide conspiracy being at work (outrside of intramurtal ones in the inner circles of the IPCC and other official agencies).

        What I think is that the public and the press has a mental “template” or stereotype that automatically puts a white hat on persons “fighting for clean air, water” etc., and a black hat on those they oppose—corporations who are seen as mustachioed villains from the Monopoly game. This is partly a manifestation of the primarily emotional, good-guy / bad-guy, kindergarten-level of evaluation that mass society is liable to. But there is a progressive bias there too.

  15. The magic term is time invariant. It refers to a system whose parameters don’t change with time.

    How would a system’s parameters change with time. If I have a beaker filled with salt water, its boiling point will change as the water evaporates. Important parameters will not be the same as they were ten minutes ago and not the same as they will be ten minutes from now.

    A time invariant system would be a spring-mass-damper system. If I know the position and velocity of the mass, I can predict that its behavior will be the same every time the mass is in that position with that velocity.

    Is the climate time invariant? Probably not. The planet has greened 14% in the last three decades. That will probably have an effect on the climate. That means the planet’s response to forcings has been changed. So, do we say that the planet has memory? That’s one way of looking at it.

    • +1. It seems to me ‘memory’ is used as a strawman/herring because it is not so clear concept and allows some tinkering.

  16. Writing laws w/o teeth is a common gov’t tactic. Where I live they have done this in regards to the child services so the gov’t can say they have the laws “protecting” children from child services but no penalty is or can be assessed for failure to follow and everything is “confidential” so absolutely no sunshine.

  17. …It is very difficult for me to come to any other conclusion than that the Norwegian establishment is lying….

    It is very difficult for me to come to any other conclusion than that the establishment is lying.

    There. Fixed that for you…

  18. the journal Climate, which exist to promote ?
    Like the IPCC it has very ‘good’ reasons to take a line on AGW.

  19. You can fairly ask has there ever been in the history of science such wide scale use of smoke and mirrors for that which claimed to be ‘settled ‘

  20. I suppose this put the NMI very much on the same rung of the corruption ladder as the BBC, BOM, BBC, Guardian, NYT, MO, UEA ….. But perhaps not quite on the same rung as the IPCC, NOAA and NASA. If you peddle politics as science, you are corrupt.

  21. Ola: brilliant! I shall certainly pass this on. And you write a lot better than many native English do. :-)

    Rich

  22. “Science has become an opinion…bought and sold to the highest bidder with a demonic agenda. Is man-made global warming true or not or can favorable research be produced for 30 pieces of silver?”

  23. It always amazes me when people insist on putting anthropomorphisms on objects and concepts.

    “Memory” as a word is ascribed to human brain activity. It is a description of the brain’s ability to define self and describe place-time through the capturing of previous activities and mental pictures and storing them to be recalled. “Memory” is what helps us comprehend our current moment and future potential by having a database of previous moments to access at will. It is entirely an abstract construct which we then ascribe to other biological entities based upon our understanding.

    However, everyone is aware that objects and especially concepts cannot have a “memory”, that is unless you believe a concept has a life of its own.

    It is interesting to point out that the original poster indicated that he could not find anywhere that Akasofu used the word “memory” in the article. Since “memory” is an anthropomorphism and a vague and difficult one to describe, it is a perfect strawman to use to attempt to destroy credibility.

    We all comprehend that “memory” is an anthropomorphism and yet because it is used so often for so many things we actually put meaning into it that isn’t there. The climate isn’t alive so it does not have “memory”, not unless you believe in Mother Gaia.

  24. WUPs – I like that and think it should have wider use.

    When anyone goes to a lot of effort to avoid answering your query you can be sure you are right. ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks.’ as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet. The BBC spent £250,000 of licence (tv tax) payers’ money to avoid revealing who attended the global warming conference that decided the BBC should break its legal Charter and support the scam. The suspicion that the conference was biased was proven correct that when one attendee, joyous at having been invited to attend, provided the sought information on the internet. The FOIA in the UK has the Information Commissioner to enforce it but the punishment for transgression lacks teeth and in the Climategate scandal, the case was strung out to exceed the timeframe for getting punished. I think our UK system must work quite well given that the Blair creature that introduced it thinks it should be scrapped.

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