Watch LIVE: Gavin Schmidt and Richard Alley explain why paleoclimatology is "robust"

From Smithsonian Magazine

EVENT: “Paleoclimate: Digging into the Past to Chart our Future” streaming live tonight on our Facebook page. The discussion begins at 6:45 PM EST. (not live now, but will be at 6:45PM EST)

In this special program, NASA Goddard director and earth scientist Gavin Schmidt and Penn State climate scientist Richard Alley discuss what makes our paleoclimate models so robust—and how they can be used to confidently predict the future.

As human activities drive Earth’s rapidly changing climate, there is an urgent need to build better models that help us predict and prepare for our future. These models need robust data that stretch far back in time. Enter: the fossil record—a storehouse of climate evidence that paleontologists are getting better and better at deciphering. Join us for an evening with two renowned researchers—Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and an Associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State, and Gavin Schmidt, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies—as they talk about their exciting work weaving together paleoclimate data and computer models to understand the future. Following their talks, Rachel Gross, a science editor at Smithsonian.com, will moderate a discussion and audience Q&A.

This program is part of the National Museum of Natural History’s Earth’s Temperature History Symposium* on March 29-31, 2018.

UPDATE: The archived interview is here

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Edwin

In other words they are selling their project on Facebook in order to gain support for ever more funding. Starting with blaming humans for climate will not sell to many folks.

Pop Piasa

Funny that they push proxies and then ignore historical weather patterns in the 20th century when they proclaim all storms to be caused by worsening climate. I wonder how they’ll deal with the snowfalls this spring? Climate change? Gee, looks alot like 1975 on the record… and weren’t we about to panic over an ice age then?

R. Shearer

I doubt they could predict the winner NCAA men’s bb tomorrow. let alone the final.

John Williams

Go Blue!!

R. Shearer

Wolverines!

Go Blue! Some Australian asked if I had gone to the University of Melbourne, which he apparently thought was the second-best Mechanical Engineering school in the world, did not dignify his question with a reply…

Santa Baby

Until we know what drives “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).” So they should be focusing on that instead?

gnomish

‘robust’ = big fat hairy lie.

MarkW

I thought robust meant it needed to go on a diet.

Yawn. One thing that won’t be “robust” is the exchange of views, since Gavin, being a good climate scientist, believes in debating exclusively with people who agree with him.
Lest we forget our History:
2013
Stossel Event averted
◦ Gavin Schmidt is praised for running away from a critic on national television, preserving the dignity of science.
◦ Early reports suggest the scientist to whose scientific arguments Schmidt narrowly evaded exposure may have been a science avoider.
◦ Colleagues agree that if not for Schmidt’s quick fleeing there might have been a full-blown ‘climate debate’—a theoretical state in which (scientists fear) it might look as if there were two viable ‘sides.’

“, believes in debating exclusively with people who agree with him.”
Huh? Gavin has no trouble debating with me, with Judith Curry, in the past with steve McIntyre,
It is not a good use of time to debate with the 3% ers,
The 3% have a clear task. They have to come up with a More complete, more robust version
of what the 97% have.
Being in the 97% doesnt, of course, make you right; but the 3% wont get any respect or traction
until they actual do constructive science. That means doing everything that existing science does
only better, significantly better in all respects.

Kristi Silber

Thank you for injecting something constructive into the discussion.
I’m curious what exactly you mean by the 3% – do they include those who believe AGW but don’t think it’s effects will be bad enough to try to prevent?
Using a quantity to identify a group has become an unhealthy phenomenon in itself, though I understand it completely – it’s a kind of shorthand for the small minority of scientists who reject the consensus, but this doesn’t mean their views are similar. As you point out, someone among them would have to come up with a better explanation – but for that to gain any ground, others would have to get behind it, and that means some in the 97%, too. But there have been so many insults cast by the minority that they have made enemies of the majority. The minority have very high public and political power relative to their scientific productivity and quality of research produced. Many have had overt ties to political entities and in some cases direct (but less obvious!) ties to FF.
A good skeptic would not just say, “Prove it,” but then take the hard evidence from original memos into due consideration, viewing the whole history of denialism with a desire to see how it evolved, where it’s going, and why.
A good skeptic would look at the “robust” in quotation marks and see that this is a sort of manipulation itself. The site shows not a dedication to science, but a dedication to tearing down the science of the AGW.
(Since when is “robust” unacceptable???)
I’m sorry! I got off-topic. Your post became an excuse to relieve a little pressure after reading the comments.

Jaap Titulaer

Steven, there is no 97%. It is somewhere 50-50 given or take a few %.
And then I mean relevant properly educated people. Like, say, people with actual Master degrees from faculties of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science from one of the global top 100 Universities…

Matthew Bruha

I think Mosh is trying to differentiate between Consensusists and Scientists….

Phoenix44r

Once again your own weird definitions of things. All anybody – not 3%, just a single person – has to do is show they are right or the rest are wrong. No “better”, no “constructive”, just right and that can be destructive, as much science is from time to time.
And the 97% (itself a faked number) have to prove what they claim. Prove it. Them. Not us. The people making the claim have to prove it.
Such basic stuff yet time and again you try to justify your stance with nothing but bluster.

TimTheToolMan

re: 97%
Mosher, in another thread wrote

slice and dice until you find it.

I wonder if Mosher realizes the irony of his belief in the light of how the 97% has been derived in the papers it’s come from.
Reality is that perhaps 97% of people right here believe that CO2 is a GHG and is expected to cause some degree of warming. 97% of scientists dont believe CO2 is responsible for most of the recent observed warming. Only 97% of a select few scientists believe that…

It is not a good use of time to debate with the 3% ers

Dr. Roy Spencer is a “3 percenter” ?!?. Should we be grateful you didn’t use the D word?
I’m just a layman, but from my perspective Dr Spencer has done “constructive science”, and has been recognized by NASA for his efforts (NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal).
As an aside, and demonstrating the profound bias against a rational approach to the climate issue, the Wikipedia reference to Roy Spencer has this heading:

This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links, and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view.

The writeup was entirely fact based, listing Roy’s education background, peer reviewed articles and his opinions under a heading clearly stated as VIEWS.
I don’t think you’d find such a warning under Al Gore’s writeup.

timg56

Steven,
I don’t need to “do my own science” to conclude that the majority of claims and statements related to impacts of a changing climate are not (yet) supported by the science. Nor do I need to “do my own science” to recognize what is empirically based science verses what is essentially computer gaming.
Your using the 97% meme is dishonest. 97% of scientists involved in some form of climate related research are not in agreement concerning impacts. The important questions are not only “Is climate change happening?” or “Are human activities a major factor in changing the climate?” The first is a given and the second probable. One might argue over how much or which activities, but those questions, at least in my opinion, are secondary to the ones concerning impacts. And anyone who claims that the science tells us the impacts are clear is delusional, or has other agendas. (As for example our Governor – Inslee. He is either a clown for believing what he says or a possible genius for figuring out how to get WA taxpayers to fork over $3.3 billion over the next 4 years.)

D. J. Hawkins

Steve;

The 3% have a clear task. They have to come up with a More complete, more robust version
of what the 97% have.

Did someone hit you in the head with a brick today? Surely that’s the only excuse for your gross misrepresentation of the scientific method. It is not a requirement that the “3%” replace the current paradigm, only that they can show it doesn’t actually work. Which they have.

Pamela Gray

Mosher, I am disappointed in your use of a very poorly done social survey report. You rail against solarists and their poorly done research yet use a low hanging piece of rotten fruit to support your opinion. A case of the kettle calling the coal black.

Mike Maguire

Steven,
My degree is in atmospheric and oceanic science and I have been an operational meteorologist for 36 years. I am a “lukewarmer” and my view would put me in that 97% based on the way that number was calculated.
I am also a skeptic, regarding the so called mainstream view(that dangerous warming is occurring and that immediate and costly actions are justified) that is being sold to us which supposedly includes 97% of atmospheric scientists such as myself.
My complete robust version is the 36 years of observing the global atmosphere, with its modest, mostly beneficial warming, featuring the best weather and climate for life on this planet since the Medieval Warm Period, 1,000 years ago………….the last time it was this warm.
Based on this and historical data going back over 100 years, the warming rate is under 2 deg. C/century.
The only place where it exceeds that is on climate models based on a speculative theory in a world that is verifying cooler than projected.
In my field, we call that a busted forecast, which always requires reconciliation with reality. Since climate science projects out absurdly to the year 2100, there is no need to face the cruel realities of bad science and being wrong in the short run, like in other sciences.
How many changes/adjustments have Gavin Schmitt, Al Gore or Michael Mann made in the last 2 decades to their position, despite global climate models being too warm and many of the other predictions failing?
They only find reasons to justify the belief system based on climate models that they are tied too. This is not honest science. Neither is using that fake 97% number, that does not really represent the views of scientists like me.

drednicolson

I don’t have to reinvent the wheel to point out that yours isn’t rolling.

paul courtney

Mr. Mosher: “The 3% have a clear task. They have to come up with a More complete, more robust version of what the 97% have.” Putting aside that your formulation is a “robust” perversion of the scientific method, please tell us this- What do the 97% “have” as climate drivers before CO2? In other words, have the 97% reached a consensus on why the climate changed before, say, 1950? What is that consensus?
Personally, I don’t care if only 3% or .03% agree, never went in for “consensus” thinking myself, but if one person shows that the 97% (who think CO2 is the current driver) have not figured out why the climate changed before our era, then that one person has done constructive science (by deconstructing the “consensus”), and should send the 97% back to the drawing board. But you can prove me wrong by pointing to the pre-CO2 consensus. Won’t I look foolish!

Michael Jankowski

Gavin debated Steven McIntyre over what exactly? This? https://climateaudit.org/2009/02/03/gavins-mystery-man/

But you ” won’t get any respect or traction ” if you keep thinking that mentioning the 97% figure has any traction with scientists, especially after it’s been so thoroughly debunked.

Joel Snider

‘viewing the whole history of denialism with a desire to see how it evolved, where it’s going, and why’
Kristi – first of all, I’m beginning to think you’re deliberately being provocative with your ‘denialism’ references – and it’s beginning to piss me off – I’ve tried to treat you, honesty, respectfully and fairly – and have encouraged others to do so – but being compared to a Holocaust denier is extremely offensive – and YES, that’ is EXACTLY why the phrase was invented.
Second – ‘Denialism’ started after observation over years and decades put a lie to the alarmism.
Perhaps, you’d be better suited looking into how ‘warmism’ evolved and why – it’s really a much more legible, deliberate, and obvious path.
Third – this is Steven Mosher in his own book: “The idiots running the global warming campaign (and make no mistake, a bigger bunch of idiots would be hard to find) didn’t trust people to react to the truth. They thought you wouldn’t understand and if you understood, you wouldn’t care. So they lied to you, repeatedly and with a smile on their smarmy faces. Catastrophe! Dramatic sea level rises! Unbearable heatwaves every X months! Pick your own stupid pet trick.”
Mosher (and his co-author) basically spent an entire book discrediting the alarmism, but then tries to rescue it with this statement: ‘we believe global average temperatures will rise about 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. But it won’t be even, and it won’t happen smoothly over the rest of the century. It will hit some places like a ton of bricks, and leave others untouched. A slow motion tornado that picks and chooses.’
For crying out loud – we ALL understand there is some effect – the question is, how large and how damaging. I’m sorry, but suggesting that the world will change to some degree, some will benefit, some will suffer, some will be untouched, is exactly the situation we have always had, have today, and exactly the same situation we would have if there was never a belch of human C02 in the atmosphere.
I still believe Lindzen said it best:
“Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.”
And what has happened is that the Global Warming movement has empowered those who don’t believe humanity even has a place on this planet – certainly not one that would allow us to adapt our environment to our needs, and puts human health and life-style as extremely subservient to simply preserving the world as some sort of conservation project. And it doesn’t matter what you do – build a windmill and the same green activists that killed coal will shut it down. Build a dam? Ditto. And don’t even discuss nuclear – that’s a non-starter.
And for all the heart-bleeding over the potential suffering of the poor a century or so down the line, those you have empowered would deny these same people the benefits of cheap, affordable power that could improve their lot – as Obama’s own science adviser said, it’s the single biggest factor that raises populations out of poverty.
Perhaps you should question your own morality.

Pop Piasa

Mosh, congrats on the codependent girlfriend.

Kristi Silber

Joel –
(I generalize here several times, something I try to avoid; it’s a convenience, and i know there are exceptions.
For me “denialism” has absolutely no association with the Holocaust. I’m sorry if that was the idea you got. To me it is the alternative to “skepticism.” I don’t get the impression most of the people around here treat with skepticism their own beliefs, or the “evidence” that is supposed to support them. I see rampant distrust of mainstream scientists – even those who don’t work on climate. Any mention of “model” is liable to elicit condemnation, even if it’s actually a multiple regression. And skeptics/deniers are so focused on the politics that it taints their views of the science.
As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, conservatives have been the targets of decades of propaganda, explicit campaigns to manipulate public opinion.
“Perhaps, you’d be better suited looking into how ‘warmism’ evolved and why – it’s really a much more legible, deliberate, and obvious path.”
Yes, true. Started with theory, proceeded to experiment, accrued ample evidence from many angles that all fit together, and became a theory. That’s how science works.
“For crying out loud – we ALL understand there is some effect”
That’s not true at all. Skeptics are in chaotic disagreement about AGW; the only commonality is disdain for mainstream science.
“…the question is, how large and how damaging. I’m sorry, but suggesting that the world will change to some degree, some will benefit, some will suffer, some will be untouched, is exactly the situation we have always had, have today, and exactly the same situation we would have if there was never a belch of human C02 in the atmosphere.”
I think this is an extremely simplistic way of seeing things. Take just one variable: sea level rise. If indeed sea levels rise a few feet, that could mean the displacement of 10s of millions of people, and that’s a big addition to the vast numbers that are already wandering the world looking for a home. There would be significant economic impact.
My area is ecology and evolution. I have a perspective on the potential impact of climate change that I haven’t seen demonstrated here. This is a terrible gap in knowledge. It may explain why so few biologists seem to be “skeptics” compared to engineers, geologists and meteorologists – biologists are more apt to see the beyond the direct effects on humans to the myriad indirect effects. We may be tech giants, but we are still extremely dependent on the natural world – we are part of it.
“And for all the heart-bleeding over the potential suffering of the poor a century or so down the line, those you have empowered would deny these same people the benefits of cheap, affordable power that could improve their lot – as Obama’s own science adviser said, it’s the single biggest factor that raises populations out of poverty.”
Nonsense. It is not for us to decide how third world countries develop, it’s their responsibility. We can provide advice and guidance if they ask, but the West has for too long meddled in the affairs of sovereign nations.
“Perhaps you should question your own morality.”
Perhaps you should keep your paws off my morality. You don’t know me at all. That is a really disrespectful, disgusting comment. I shouldn’t even have given you my time.

DC Cowboy

“mainstream scientists”.
Can you tell me what a ‘mainstream’ scientist is and how they are distinguished from ‘non-mainstream’ scientists?

TimTheToolMan

Kristi writes (amongst other things)

That’s not true at all. Skeptics are in chaotic disagreement about AGW; the only commonality is disdain for mainstream science.

Wow. This is your opinion and if you spend time here you’ll see its not true. Although there are fringe people here just as there are in the alarmism camp. If you focus on that, then of course your view will be skewed towards “chaotic disagreement” and “disdain”.
Scepticism has a real meaning in science and all scientists are sceptics. Somehow scepticism got twisted by alarmists to equate to denialism as if somehow people who are sceptical of the science behind the warmism arguments straight out deny those arguments.
A good example for me is that I’m highly sceptical of the climate models. I have looked into how they work and understand that they’re not represented well by the AGW community. I dont even think they’re actually understood by most. And since so much of the science behind the AGW theory relies on them, it puts a great deal of doubt in my mind that the arguments of the rate and attribution of recent warming are understood.
Understand this…from my point of view at least, I dont believe that natural variation IS responsible for recent warming, but instead what I believe is that the current science is insufficient to attribute it. And thats very important to “science” because science is about what we know and when people put forward strong arguments about what is “known” based on very sketchy data and poorly understood process then I’m naturally going to take what they say with a large grain of salt.

Ladislav Toman

Oh boy! In which era do you, Steven Mosher live. “Being in the 97%…” Wasn’t this figure shown to be a fraud and discredited long time ago? You are only embarrassing yourself by quoting it.

The 3% have a clear task. They have to come up with a More complete, more robust version
of what the 97% have.

Sigh.
That’s not how science works, dude.
The Three Percenters are under no obligation to come up with a better, more coherent, more robust or more anything hypothesis than ours. They can (and should) criticize our model because of its flaws, not because they have a better one.
Do you reject genethliac astrology as a theory of human personality? Really? So you’re claiming to have a more complete, more robust version of what the world’s entire horoscopological and related zodiacal sciences have?
Wow. That’s a big claim, Mosh. Come on then, let’s hear it. If I’m a Pisces, then what’s going to happen to me this week, how should I deal with it and who should I trust: my old friends or a new mentor?
This’ll be fun. Let’s see if you can do what the My Stars section of my newspaper does, only better, significantly better in all respects.
Then, only then, will you get some respect or traction with me.

Chimp

Steven Mosher March 29, 2018 at 9:06 pm
Just to what 97% do you imagine you belong? There has never been a survey of all the tens of millions of scientists in the world. If there were, I doubt that even 47% would concur to all three propositions, ie 1) that earth has warmed since c. AD 1850; 2) that human activity is significantly responsible for whatever warming has occurred, and 3) that such warming will be catastrophic unless stopped.
The source of the totally fake “97%” canard was the 2009 Doran-Zimmerman survey of 3146 government and academic “scientists” (out of more than 10,200 contacted). No private sector scientists need apply. D-Z asked only the first two questions, failing to enquire if the respondents thought global warming and more CO2 good or bad.
Overall, those answering yes to both questions was disappointing, so D&Z cherry picked 79 “actively publishing climate scientists” in order to derive 97%, although even there they fudged the numbers. Other groups were all lower. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 and 64 percent respectively believing in human involvement. “significant” of course wasn’t defined.
So please let us know to what 97% you suppose yourself to belong. Also, why do you consider yourself a scientist?

Kristi Silber

Tim the Tool Man
“This is your opinion and if you spend time here you’ll see its not true. Although there are fringe people here just as there are in the alarmism camp. If you focus on that, then of course your view will be skewed towards “chaotic disagreement” and “disdain””
To me it seems like more than a fringe. I’ve spent a lot of time hear, and also at Breitbart. Even the contrarian scientists have a wide range of views.
I agree that the alarmist end of the spectrum is no different. I think the media have done a very poor job of representing climate change and climate change science, and that has led to all kinds of problems.
Much comes down to trust in science. That is different from trust in scientists, although it is the way scientists use the tools of science that determines the output. As you say, skepticism is part of science, and I believe that this is a widespread value among scientists, as is recognizing sources of bias and working to counteract or eliminate them.
Some skeptics are true skeptics, but my impression is that there are many erroneous assumptions made based on the certainty of one’s ideas. There are many skeptics, for example, that try to show through their own “scientific” treatment and interpretation of the data that they are right, when scientists have long ago explored their ideas in much greater detail. Politics is also a huge source of assumptions.
There is a powerful segment of people who deny AGW altogether, and they are influential in policy. Distrust in the scientific community is a greater problem, because it allows people to succumb to the weight of the empirical evidence without taking responsibility to limit future change.
The fact that there still so much uncertainty in the models is one indication that scientists are practicing honestly. The literature suggests they are keenly aware of the problems, and are coming at them from multiple directions in efforts to resolve them, including through debate. There is movement towards transparency, and better communication among the many modeling groups.
So, I believe that the models are improving and that they will continue to do so. Part of the uncertainty is a product of computing limits. Uncertainty can be a tool to gauge the effect of different parameters, and one can be improved at the cost of another. This all sounds so subjective, doesn’t it? And in a way it is. It’s up to the modeler to decide the information that is most important, and concentrate on developing a model that represents it. This can be done during development and final tuning by choosing that aspect of a past climate or reanalysis to guide the modelers adjustments.
To me it’s crazy that anyone could ever do such a thing and make it work. But then I think about all the work that has gone into this, all around the world, and the incredible amounts of knowledge we’ve accumulated in the last several decades, and the technological breakthroughs that have helped in gathering that knowledge…and I believe it can be done. Models will never “project” all the variation, but trends and averages, yes. They are already getting many right. There is evidence that goes beyond the direct predictions of the models, such as changes in sea life and terrestrial plant phenology. Given the lag time in even noticing and documenting these effects after they’ve begun, and the lag time in the overall warming, and the amount of CO2 we still add to the atmosphere, I believe significant change is inevitable.
Regardless of our emissions, the U.S. has no right to judge any other country as long as we are not in the Paris accord. The accord is about more than capping emissions, it’s about being responsible for present and past contribution to emissions and climate change, and helping the developing world adapt to change and mitigate their contributions through 41 (last I looked) planned projects that are funded by multiple entities, of which the Green Fund is one.
I love my country, and this is a source of shame for me. We do not look like a global leader, we look selfish, and that is exactly what we are. There is an argument that it would be better to help developing countries gain access to cheap electricity, but in some markets solar rivals coal. The Green Fund IS a mechanism to help the developing world, and people won’t shell out the price of a cappucino to take our place with the rest of the world.
It seems that skeptics who believe that there’s an impact but that it won’t amount to much are being rather optimistic. I think that the understandable reaction to alarmism has resulted in dismissal of some significant problems, such as worldwide bleaching of corals. The issue is very partisan, and that may impact the kind of information one gets.
“A good example for me is that I’m highly sceptical of the climate models. I have looked into how they work and understand that they’re not represented well by the AGW community. I dont even think they’re actually understood by most. TRUE. THOSE WHO NEED TO UNDERSTAND THEM DO. And since so much of the science behind the AGW theory relies on them, I DISAGREE it puts a great deal of doubt in my mind that the arguments of the rate and attribution of recent warming are understood.” RATES are hard to predict because we can’t predict human actions. But we know that slowing rates would be a good thing. Rate of change is extremely important for both human and natural adaptation.
Understand this…from my point of view at least, I dont believe that natural variation IS responsible for recent warming, MAYBE PARTLY. but instead what I believe is that the current science is insufficient to attribute it. VEHEMENTLY DISAGREE!!! (CONTRADICTION? BING BING BING DENIAL ALARM! 😉 ) And thats very important to “science” because science is about what we know and when people put forward strong arguments about what is “known” based on very sketchy data and poorly understood process then I’m naturally going to take what they say with a large grain of salt.

Tom Halla

Kristi Silber, your faith in the Paris accord is as misplaced as your faith in solar and other renewables. You do understand that the sun does not shine at night? So the nameplate rating is for only several hours a day?
There has been little improvement in official climate science, as an example, the estimates in the IPCC reports still have the response to doubling CO2 at 1.5 to 4.5C, the same as it was in 1979, when Charney did the original estimate.

Kristi wrote, “It seems that skeptics who believe that there’s an impact but that it won’t amount to much are being rather optimistic.”
No, such people are being unrealistically pessimistic. The best evidence is that the impact of CO2 emissions is large and overwhelmingly positive.

Tony Halla wrote, “There has been little improvement in official climate science, as an example, the estimates in the IPCC reports still have the response to doubling CO2 at 1.5 to 4.5C, the same as it was in 1979, when Charney did the original estimate.”
One thing that has drastically changed is the estimates of the impact of CO2 emissions. It is now understood that over half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions (AR5 estimates 55%) are removed from the atmosphere by natural CO2 negative feedback mechanisms, like accelerated greening and dissolution in water.
30-40 years ago climate alarmists did not anticipate that would happen. In fact, Hansen et al 1988 used the term “emissions” as a synonym for “increases in level.”
So even though the “climate sensitivity” estimates haven’t changed drastically, the past estimates of the impact of CO2 emissions are now known to have been way, way too high.

a

“Kristi Silber, your faith in the Paris accord is as misplaced as your faith in solar and other renewables. You do understand that the sun does not shine at night? So the nameplate rating is for only several hours a day?
Do you understand that a lot of villages are not going to be connected to the grid anytime soon, and that having at least the electricity during the day to run computers and plug in cell phones is a huge boon? Do you understand that some of the projects are to help people prepare for climate change? It is already a problem, you know. I don’t know where “faith” comes into it. The money is not going to governments. That doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for corruption, but that’s always a risk in these places. Have you ever visited the Green Fund site and had a look around? If not. your faith that the Paris accord is a waste of money is not based on the whole picture. Or do you think it’s all a conspiracy, or what?

There has been little improvement in official climate science, as an example, the estimates in the IPCC reports still have the response to doubling CO2 at 1.5 to 4.5C, the same as it was in 1979, when Charney did the original estimate.

This does NOT mean there’s not improvement in the science. There are many other facets of climate change, and focusing on this one figure is not productive. It’s a range rather than a mean because it’s based on so many models and to simply give a mean would be wrong. The center of the range is most likely.
Uncertainty is a product of computing capacity, too, and that is always growing. Modeling is a PROCESS, and no model can be seen as the final say. But the important point is that they tend to agree about some things despite quite different development strategies, and they have been successful in predicting things like increase in high-intensity precipitation events and increase in drought severity and region-specific changes. Considering the difficulty of the task, I think that’s pretty impressive.
It seems to me that there are message that get repeated so often that they come to represent truth even if they aren’t. This is always a danger in a site dominated by a political or ideological group, or one that represents one side of a gulf. The gulf here seems to be fundamentally about policy. Is that not the case?
I’m not so interested in policy. I want the public to trust the scientific process.
daveburton March 31, 2018 at 7:05 pm
“No, such people are being unrealistically pessimistic. The best evidence is that the impact of CO2 emissions is large and overwhelmingly positive.”
I see. Huh. What is the best evidence? And what evidence is not good enough to count? Because there is a whole lot of evidence that there is a lot of complexity to the question and that it’s impossible to assess the benefits. Unless you are a plant ecologist, physiologist, evolutionary biologist, entomologist, zoologist etc. rolled into one, or have read heavily in those fields, you have no justification for saying that.
You don’t know what the “best” evidence is, and you can’t just consider what you think the best evidence is, you have to consider ALL of it. Either that or trust in others’ expertise.
Science is useless if the public doesn’t trust it.
There will never be complete agreement in science, and this is good. But a consensus does not come easily, and it should means something when it does happen. This is not a consensus based on traditional belief, but on accruing evidence.

I wrote that “The best evidence is that the impact of CO2 emissions is large and overwhelmingly positive.”
a replied, “What is the best evidence? And what evidence is not good enough to count? Because there is a whole lot of evidence that there is a lot of complexity to the question and that it’s impossible to assess the benefits. Unless you are a plant ecologist, physiologist, evolutionary biologist, entomologist, zoologist etc. rolled into one, or have read heavily in those fields, you have no justification for saying that.”
Thousands of robust agricultural studies, conducted over nearly a century, by hundreds of different researchers in many different parts of the world, have found that higher CO2 levels are dramatically beneficial for most plants, and modestly beneficial for nearly all the rest.
At least 15% (probably closer to 20%) of current agricultural production is due to today’s higher levels of “the precious air fertilizer.” (That’s what Scientific American once called anthropogenic CO2 emissions, long ago, back in that once-great publication’s heyday, before it became hopelessly politicized.)
Here are some trustworthy information sources:
http://ClimateCurious.com/
http://co2coalition.org/ (I’m a member)
http://co2science.org/
The benefits of higher CO2 levels are dramatic and proven. The supposed negative consequences of higher CO2 levels are all either very minor or purely hypothetical (and, in most cases, implausible).
That’s why I say that the best evidence is that the impact of CO2 emissions is large and overwhelmingly positive.”
 
a continued, “Science is useless if the public doesn’t trust it.”
That is an exaggeration. One of the beauties of the free enterprise system is that knowledge gleaned and understood by even a few people can nevertheless benefit all of society.
I do agree, however, that low-quality, untrustworthy science, the co-opting of respected institutions like NOAA (specifically, its OceanService site) and NASA (specifically, its Climate Vital Signs site) for climate propagandizing, and scandals like Piltdown Man, Gleick/FakeGate, ClimateGate, the Karl affair, and the massive Chinese peer-review fraud story, damage public trust, and thereby damage the ability of science to usefully inform public policy.

Gunga Din

Two shamsters agreeing with each other. Big surprise.

Hehe is that, like, a hamster crossed with a weasel? Cos I’ve got a wheelly great idea for an alternative energy source…

Tom Halla

Penn State and “robust” paleoclimatology seem a bit foreign after Michael Mann.

Latitude

what makes our paleoclimate models so robust— fiction

Jimmy Haigh

“Robust”: a pseudo-word made up by pseudoscienists to describe their pseudoscience.

R. Shearer

In reality, it’s more like robusted.

Bruce Cobb

Let me guess; the robustiosity comes from the “carbon”.

• I’ve shoveled bovine scat into and out of farm shi7-wagons.
• During my brief occupation at U.S.Steel, I learned that USS had an agreement with the local community to process their sewage.
• Also at USS, I was one of the chosen assigned to climb inside river water pipes to clean the 0.5″ diameter heat exchanger tubes; hundreds of them. USS used what looked like conical clothespins and high pressure water guns to scrape and blast the tubes clean.
Clean of what? Long dead aquatic creatures and their debris.
That high pressure water came straight from USS’s fire fighting system. Back then, I weighed less than the fire fighting water pressure. Whenever, one of those tube scrapers stopped in a tube, I would get thrown back against the inner pipe wall while desperately scrabbling for a hand hold to prevent falling down a vertical tube of Delaware River Water.
While it was normal to smell for days like fire and brimstone, courtesy of the coal steel making process; going home smelling like weeks old chum steeped in fire and brimstone was a new low.
It was always a bad sign when the Foremen would line up us laborers before handing out assignments. A;; too often they were looking for the small thin guys to crawl inside some disgusting pipe.
• I learned that fact, because I spent a couple of weeks shoveling human feces and other flushed debris.
• After that, I spent a year working as a janitor at Raytheon, cleaning everything from floors to toilets.
• Then as a Father of a young lad who managed to break a toilet’s seal after he plugged the toilet solid. That required that I unbolt the toilet and lift it onto blocks so that I could hand clean the blockage; wearing disposable gloves, of course.
Even with that heady background and a cast iron stomach, watching Gavin Schmidt and Alley spew the foulest of human excrement in pretense of climate science is beyond what this frail body can cope with, without hurling my stomach inside out.

ironicman

You sir, are a wasted talent.

Harry

Holy Sh*t, that’s a story. Thanks.

+10
In any case, Gavin has gone on record admitting that in his field, peer review takes place “up the wazoo,” better known as Schmidt Creek.

Michael Eiseman

Nice! Thanks for the payoff.

Graemethecat

Greatest respect. A real man.

+20

Pat Frank

Paleoclimate modeling has robustocity because the deep past provides no observations that can ruin a perfectly fine projection.
And Gavin Schmidt is not a climate scientist. He’s not a scientist at all. He’s an applied mathematician who has learned to decorate critical global warming theory — a sociological construct — with mathematics.

I think you mean scatological construct—see ATheoK’s pungent tour de force immediately above!

R. Shearer

They are terrible liars.

Calling dishonest activists scientists does not help people separate rent and grant seeking nonsense from science.

Harry

In my humble opinion……I don’t care your political leanings…..we should all publicly, loudly, call out the rent-seekers. My new hobby.

Latitude

They are losing their audience…..

DeLoss McKnight

The Smithsonian needs to be more accurate in their article. Schmidt doesn’t predict the future, he makes projections. That is, he projects onto the future his darkest fears. It’s too bad that their new robust data doesn’t lead to robust “projections”, since most of those projections can’t be verified during the lifetime of anyone alive today except for perhaps small babies. It *is* a bit odd that they can detect the affect of climate change in the latest storm, but can’t use climate science to accurately predict, pardon me, project, the number and severity of hurricanes or tornadoes in the coming season.

Ricdre

“Schmidt doesn’t predict the future, he makes projections. That is, he projects onto the future his darkest fears.”
+1000
This is the most succinct descriptions of Mr. Schmidt’s (and the IPCC’s) “Projections” that I have ever heard. I may have to borrow this comment for use in future discussions.

Louis Hooffstetter

RAH nailed it in a comment made on Real Climate Science:
“Climate model projections are fantasies that climatologists wish they could prove are happening in the real world. They’re climate porn.”

markl

But they do get an audience while skeptics can only lurk in the shadows. Something needs to be done about that. I wish I knew the answer to “something”.

“Robust” does NOT automatically mean right — it just means something like “strong and durable, well-constructed, able to hold up”.
But this could characterize crap too.
There is a tradition at my house, where we gauge the well-being of a large German shepherd dog partly by the quality of his poop. When it is of respectable girth, not too hard, not to soft or infused with other, undesirable qualities, then I dare say that “robust” would be a great description for it.
But it’s poop (an alternative word rhymes with “Schmidt”) !
Need I say more ?

Excerpt from above article:
“In this special program, NASA Goddard director and earth scientist Gavin Schmidt and Penn State climate scientist Richard Alley discuss what makes our paleoclimate models so robust—and how they can be used to confidently predict the future.”
pa·le·o·cli·mate
/ˈpālēōklīmət/
noun
a climate prevalent at a particular time in the geological past.
OK, I accept that paleoclimatology is a robust science, in that there are ample reasonably-accurate proxies (NOT tree rings) that enable us to understand ancient climates on Earth.
What I reject as false is the contention that the likes of Gavin Schmidt have the objectivity to adequately understand climate science and to develop competent models to predict future climate, based on paleo history. Their critical flaw is the bizarre contention, unsupported by ANY credible observations, that atmospheric CO2 is THE major driver of Earth’s climate.
CO2 lags temperature by ~~800 years in the paleo record, and does not lead it, and thus Gavin and his minions are saying the future is causing the past. CO2 also lags temperature by ~9 months on a shorter time-cycle in the modern data record. So again, the future cannot cause the past (at least, not in this space-time dimension).
Those who agree with Gavin and friends are invited to explain how the future causes the past. Right here, right now. I’m waiting…

Mickey Reno

Yes, indeed. If Gavin had a good explanation for the 800 year lag, other than the same magic that made Mann claim Briffa’s proxy suddenly stopped working around 1960, he should replace this embarrassing explanation on his web site (RealClimate.org) ” All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.”
Please note the tacit argument that whatever caused the first 800 years must turn itself off for CO2 to take over and “cause” the last 4200 years. They don’t know what it is, what turns it on, what turns it off, but they know it must have turned itself off and then CO2 took over. They have no clue, and they know it, but they think they can get away with another instance of Mike’s Nature trick, knowing that the lefty media and the rest of the useful idiots will swallow whatever they tell them to swallow.

Is there such a thing as “revisionist paleoclimatology” ?

coolclimateinfo

I just met Gavin last week, and found he is absolutely unreachable. Given a chance to learn the real deal, he wouldn’t. These guys are obviously working together to continue the brainwashing of the whole world.
This is the academies and associated warmist strongholds using their ‘prestige’ to carry the day, and there’ll be more of it all the time now. Listening to them you’d never know there were thousands of scientists who disagree with them.
March 6 on a NAS program, I saw Richard Alley and associates self-identify as liberals, as though that should matter in a science issue, but it really does to them. Today we have the AAAS and the NAS telling their members to become political activists. They are literally campaigning for a liberal platform, so they should all be registered as political action committees.
Gavin and the NASA guys do give a small nod to solar but they always come back with the warmist carnard that the solar influence is riding on top of the long-term CO2 influence, and is ‘minor relative to CO2 warming’.
They are getting out in front of the public because they are afraid the public will catch on in spite of all the warmists’ efforts. The American people are showing signs they want to roll the warmist scientists for how badly they’ve been lied to by these self-serving left-wing climate activists. The warmists are motivated to get the public in their corner by any means necessary while they have a chance. They are seeking a permanent solution to their problem: us. This makes them very desperate indeed. Don’t they seem that way?

Kristi Silber

Bob Weber –
“I just met Gavin last week, and found he is absolutely unreachable. Given a chance to learn the real deal, he wouldn’t. ”
Are you suggesting you took the opportunity to converse with him to try to convince him of his folly with your “real deal”? Is that really what you’re saying? Because that would be nuts. Why on Earth do you think he hasn’t heard the arguments ad nauseum?
If I had been you I would have taken the opportunity to ask questions. If you have doubts about the way models are constructed, that would be the time to ask about them, learn what is being done to address your concerns. It’s absolutely ludicrous to expect him to be receptive to your version of reality.
I keep tell people, if their case is so original and so well-substantiated, publish it in the peer-reviewed literature. Take the approach real scientists do. The fact that so often this does not and cannot happen says everything about the credibility of the work.

The scientific method is only about 500 years old. Rational thought goes back to Aristotle.
I keep hearing this straw man that you have to come up with a better idea if you are going to criticise AGW.
No. The burden of proof is on those making the claim. The default is we don’t know.
A lot of science is We Don’t Know. The temperature of the Sun’s Corona being one.
The scientific method also allows hypotheticals with real world assumptions. Results and conclusions are valid within the context of initial assumptions.
What we see with AGW scientists are people thinking that their work is at the same standard as a verification engineer and thinking it can be used in the real world for real action. It’s an ideological viewpoint not a scientific one.

coolclimateinfo

Kristi why don’t you just assume you know everything that happened then? Doh you did already!
I asked a lot of questions of him and others. I spent more time asking questions than talking about my work btw. The close minded like you assume you know …. don’t you? They do. You do.
” It’s absolutely ludicrous to expect him to be receptive to your version of reality.” My reality is your reality.
What is nuts is you said to publish it then you said “this [so original and so well-substantiated, publish it in the peer-reviewed literature. Take the approach real scientists do. ]… cannot happen”, then asserted whatever you meant there says everything about the ‘credibility of the work’. Why publish if it ‘CANNOT happen’ as you say? You’re not even thinking.
Did you know of all the great conversations I had with other scientists about publishing my work? What do you know about last week? How do you end up being so much more knowledgeable about it than I who was there?
You and the warmists are nuts for not even recognizing reality: you misrepresent reality, continually, as do the warmists. That is part of the ‘real deal’ – understanding the groupthink, the peer pressure, that you are invoking. What you and the others want to do is dismiss and deflect my work as it if didn’t happen or isn’t real.
My work stands on it’s own quite well without peer-review btw – with no references to other work.
Gavin still has every opportunity to learn more of the 100% dominant solar influence, as do you.
Come on Kristi, snark your way out of it…. that’s what Gavin does….

RAH

I always find it amusing when those that support the contentions of the IPCC start talking about the scientific method, ignoring the fact that the IPCC reports are political documents with every word in the summaries parsed and edited as needed by political functionaries.

timg56

Kristi,
Do you know what peer-reviewed means?
And if you do have an accurate understanding, are you aware that as much as half – if not more – of what goes through peer review is not reproducible?

paul courtney

Kristi: I see from Bob Weber’s reply that he has already pointed out that your assumptions are wrong. For my part, I see you chide him for not asking questions (one wrong assumption). If YOU had that chance, you would ask questions, right? But your last paragraph indicates that when you have a chance, you don’t ask questions, you “keep tell people….” You had the chance, but instead of asking Bob what he’s done, you just tell him (and every other person who has the ill fortune of meeting you). Really, if you want to continue to tr0ll this site, I’ll take this opportunity to ask you, can you think before you post?

Kristi Silber

Bob Weber –
I’m sorry. You are absolutely right, I made many, many assumptions I shouldn’t have. I do get snarky sometimes, even though I try to avoid it. It’s stressful reading dozens and dozens of comments that insult my groups, but that is not your fault – it’s my choice to be here.
My sincere apologies, Bob.

There is real denial in the alarmist refusal to confront evidence that is contrary to the expectation of catastrophe.

I suggest that we sample a couple of dozen randomly picked trees worldwide every few years (at the end of the season for them) to model the worldwide temperature for the previous few years. Certainly would be a lot cheaper than collecting weather station temperatures daily, doing balloon releases, launching satellites etc. But apparently, it would be accurate enough.

At least you could pinpoint the date a little closer than the several hundred to thousands of years resolution of paleoclimatology.

commieBob

I can’t prove that paleoclimatology is not “robust” but I know a selling job when I see it.

Chimp

I feel that my sizable investment in Trump has been squandered because Gavin still roams free and GISS still exists.

Jeanparisot

Another magazine to drop.

Chimp

Since long, long ago.
Gavin is no kind of scientist, let alone “earth scientist’. He has the ignominy to be a computer programmer. His doctorate is in applied math.

Alan Tomalty

I no longer believe in science. First it was the physicists that invented the pink elephants of dark energy and dark matter to try to explain why the cosmos was expanding in an accelerating manner. Why didn’t they just say we don’t know why the universe is accelerating? However new studies put into question even that supposed truth. So where does that leave dark energy and dark matter? Hanging out on a very slim branch. then it was the medical and biological and drug studies that depended on each other and that had confidence intervals of only 2 sigma. So if a study depends on another study which depends on another study…….etc each with only a 95 % confidence interval for a false positive then eventually the studies at the bottom have no way in hell of being correct. That is exactly what has happened. A mathematician has proved that most biological and medical studies are now flawed and cant be replicated. They should have stuck to the 5 sigma standard like the chemistry and physics world. The problem was of course cost. Now we are in one hell of a mess. Climate science is even worse. Not only do they not try to replicate any climate study for its validity, climate scientists wont even let you have their data. Then they top it all off by worshipping their models as Gods. You heard it in the talks how much they worshipped their models. Even worse Pat Frank has proved that every climate model has a cloud error factor so bad that it makes them worthless for projections. Even worse than that is that the cloud scientists admitted in 2003 that there was no aircraft instruments providing measurements of the supersaturation of clouds. So what did they do? They turned to their own models. So by 2012, 4 of the best cloud scientists in the world ( 2 of them on that earlier study in 2003) never even bothered to discuss what efforts were being made on in situ (on site) measurements. They just went ahead and parameterized dozens of equations on cloud saturation BASED ON COMPUTER CLIMATE GENERATED DATA. Yes you read that right. So now they are describing reality and forging climate science based on computer calculations . THE CLIMATE WORLD HAS REALLY VENTURED INTO THE LAND OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND THEY ARE DRAGGING ALL SCIENCE WITH IT.

nn

We don’t even know that the “universe” is expanding, other than through inference from signals that may or may not represent the emitters with any accuracy. We have barely reached, let alone reproduced, near observations at the edge of our solar system, but modern science makes proclamations about what lies beyond, near and far, and forever, backward and forward. Unfortunately, as people want to believe and leverage something, science has been deprecated and expanded to conflate logical domains. It’s no longer constrained to the near-frame, speculated in the philosophy domain (the possible), but embraces faith (the unattainable, without trust or support) and hopeful fantasy (the improbable), too.

Kristi Silber

Alan:
“I no longer believe in science.”
Who “believes in” science? What does that even mean? Sounds like rejecting a religion.
I imagine it means distrusting the credibility of the profession, and rejecting its products. This is what the denialist movement has done, and i think it’s terribly damaging to society. What does this statement represent but anti-science ideology?

bitchilly

you got one thing right kristi. climate science is a religion.

lee

Kristi, have you determined the error bars on the “robustness”?

Pop Piasa

Kristi, there is no such thing as the denialist movement. That is a bogey-strawman created by the left to draw attention away from the actual socio-political agenda of the progressive movement to create world government (with scientific licence) and pare down the human population through despotism. If you see things you don’t agree with here as insults, then you need to step back and ask yourself if you have been indoctrinated by that movement and see all of us from an adversarial perspective because of that.
We are largely lukewarmers here, and only question the validity of the supposed climate emergency based on the data as it stands, noting that current tactics for fighting this phantom threat will only make the world very difficult for most of humanity to thrive in. There is no central organization or funding as there is in a political or religious movement, just individuals resisting that sort of thing taking control of them and replacing critical, unfettered reasoning.

Pop Piasa

Please good lady, take a moment to reflect on your ability to commune here with both sides of the argument, and our gracious host who only mods or bans people for repeated noxiousness instead of all those disagreeing with him being erased from the blog. Try questioning the meme on Gavin’s turf sometime.
You have an open mike here, just remember everybody else does too, and grow some skin as an intellectual.

Roger Knights

I imagine it [disbelieving in science] means distrusting the credibility of the profession, and rejecting its products. This is what the denialist movement has done, and i think it’s terribly damaging to society.

Yeah, where would we be if our designated drovers hadn’t been setting us straight about nutrition for the past 40 years.

Rick C PE

I watched the Alley/Schmidt show (feel like I need a shower) and found it to be as expected. Seemed to be aimed at pre-teens with no convincing scientific content. At one point Gavin shows photos of the Mendenhall glacier from 1894 and 2004 as an example of AGW effects. Of course there’s no photo from 1929 when the lake that appears in the recent photo formed and no mention that the rate of retreat was greater from 1894 to 1942 than it has been since 1942. Apparently post war CO2 increases somehow caused faster glacial melting in the first half of the century.
They really go all in on claiming “skill” for their models without addressing any of the well documented failures in predicting recent observations. These guys would be destroyed in real debate with a knowledgeable skeptic.

coolclimateinfo

If Gavin showed a glacier that melted through to 2004, the end year of the solar modern maximum (1935-2004 rip) without also mentioning that fact about the 70yr solar max, then he lied by omission.
“These guys would be destroyed in real debate with a knowledgeable skeptic.”
which is why he couldn’t and wouldn’t talk to me for long when he had the chance.
Don’t get me wrong, Gavin is personable with a keen sense of humor, but there’s that well-established defensive posture that flares up (aka Stossel – Spencer)….

nn

Paleoclimatology is “consistent with”, the gold standard of an evolved science:and the consensus.

TimTheToolMan

Super frustrating discussion of models that was completely expected.
Neither Richard nor Gavin seem to understand the absolutely fundamental difference between the GCMs and the models they quoted to do with bridge design and aircraft design and so on where those models are modelling instantaneous effects.
So for example bridge models look at immediate loads and stresses and those calculations are well known and work just fine. What those kinds of models dont do is take the loads and stresses at points in time and feedback those loads and stresses back into themselves to see how the bridge design evolves. Because it simply doesn’t evolve based on the history.
There is never any discussion of this and they simply cant afford to acknowledge it because then they need to address the propagation of error. And they know that they cant go down that path without every engineer on the planet immediately recognizing their limitations.

Kristi Silber

There are many engineers who post here, aren’t there?
” And they know that they cant go down that path without every engineer on the planet immediately recognizing their limitations.”
It seems to me that engineers would be well-advised to recognize their own limitations. Their experience with modeling, vast though it may be, does not enable the capacity to judge a very different kind of model. I know how incredible it seems that people can build models that represent climate realistically, and I also can imagine how important uncertainty is in engineering. It could take a veritable leap of faith to trust that the models really mean something, I suppose.
But engineering is not climate science. Would you trust a meteorologist, even a skeptic, to construct a safe and lasting highway bridge? I trust that the engineers will have done their jobs – even despite past bridge disasters (I live in Minneapolis) – because of their training and experience, and feel safe in my man-made environment because of it.

No. Not true.
When politicians chose “politically-connected” bridge design teams based on gender and political donations and political connections – as the Obama White House and the FL democrat representatives CELEBRATED with national honors and awards for the 14 million dollar 175 foot pedestrian walkway FIU Advanced Bridge Design – people die. Did their “models” work? Probably. (If their models were incorrect, the design team is liable for the deaths and the lead designer should be convicted and imprisoned. If her deign was built “wrong”, then the minority-owned construction firm owner should be convicted and imprisoned. If both were wrong – and that is what the forensics now indicate, both should be imprisoned.
But the politically-connected designers and builders only killed a few innocents. The self-called “scientists” and bureaucrats and politicians and academic teams who are using their CAGW models to push damaging fossil fuel restrictions and artificially high carbon prices for the benefit of themselves, their labs, their political power and their reputations (and their near-religious belief in their theory) ARE KILLING millions, condemning billions to squalid lives in the dirt and dark, dying needlessly of poor water, no sewage and no sanitation, bad food, and poor lives.
I cannot forgive them for their deliberate harm. For their false and misleading models and deliberate propaganda using their priest-garments of the white lab coat and “PhD incantations” of self-selected peer-review by partners and fellow operators.
Yes, innocent lives depend on a valid engineering model. And, too often today, the universities are sending out unqualified people (of all faiths, sexes, and races) that do NOT know the math, the curves, the equations, the metals and the concrete and the steel and the real physics of their material.
Politically correct? Certainly! But factually correct? No.

tty

“Their experience with modeling, vast though it may be, does not enable the capacity to judge a very different kind of model.”
Well, I have an physics/mathematics background but I have worked extensively developing computer models in an engineering context. These were for logistics, a considerably simpler subject to forecast than climate, and my considered opinion is that models with more than two, or just possibly three, parameterized variables are utterly useless.

coolclimateinfo

Kristi, you are so full of it
As an electrical engineer who learned control system theory back in the day, it was a piece of cake to understand how the climate system works, all the while the scientific high-rollers are off on this never-ending lark.
You just smeared one of the most intelligent and societally useful groups of people of all time.
Engineers have to understand things on first principles to make things that work.
Do you know the LASP TSI data is studied and finessed by scientists all round the world every day, but it was engineers and inventors who built the equipment? The lead scientist on LASP TSI decades ago said so.

timg56

Kristi,
This comment tells me you don’t understanding modeling or engineering.
Engineering is the application of science to real world design objectives. How do we design and build an airplane which can carry x amount of passengers and cargo x amount of miles, with a safety factor of 99.999% and do so as efficiently as possible? Is modeling used in this process? Yes. Do they do a good job of providing engineers with the information they need? Yes. Does this mean one can model anything and get results as good as the ones used for aircraft design? Not even close. Any model is only as good as the parameters it operates with and the data inputted to them. Whether you believe it or not, there is a huge difference between modeling based on well known parameters and modeling based on vague or generalized parameters which are essentially assumptions.

AGW is not Science

@RACookePE1978, couldn’t agree more. What’s next? Maybe they can have psychopaths design skyscrapers, so that they’ll feel “included.”

beng135

Kristi, do you understand modeling? Aerospace engineers use state-of-the-art supercomputer programs to design the newest commercial and military jet airplanes. The models aren’t perfect, and still ultimately require wind-tunnel and flight tests to confirm and modify the design, but are the most complex programs on the planet.
Now, many so-called climate scientists present their climate models as evidence of present and future CAWG. Really? The best/most complex models can just barely model airplanes, and then require real-world testing for finalization. How big is an airplane compared to the Earth? The extrapolation & hubris is astonishing — making such claims is like modeling a red-blood cell and saying they can now predict how a human being will function.
I hope you get my meaning……

Kristi Silber

Bob and timg56 – I’m so sorry! You completely, totally misunderstood me!!! I wasn’t smearing engineers at all! I’m just trying to understand how people’s background influence their perspective on climate and modeling. Mine does, why shouldn’t others’? No shame in that!
timg56’s comment illustrated it nicely:
“Engineering is the application of science to real world design objectives. … Any model is only as good as the parameters it operates with and the data inputted to them. Whether you believe it or not, there is a huge difference between modeling based on well known parameters and modeling based on vague or generalized parameters which are essentially assumptions.”
Believe me, I understand what you mean, and that’s my whole point! You have a different perspective on modeling. That’s not wrong at all, it’s essential to your profession. My point is that the parameters are not essentially assumptions. Your comment that “it was a piece of cake to understand how the climate system works” suggests overconfidence and simplification, since no one completely knows how climate works. It is extremely complex. The biotic interactions and feedbacks are poorly understood. The models are not intended to represent reality – they are models – but they are based solidly in reality. I may be completely, totally wrong, but I suspect you might have some impressions of model building, tuning and testing that are not quite right. There seems to be widespread misunderstanding about these things. I’m not accusing you of anything or making any assertions, but as you well know, expertise in a field counts for something.
Meteorological forecasts are based on the same chaotic, complex systems. Are they useless?

TimTheToolMan

Kristi writes

Meteorological forecasts are based on the same chaotic, complex systems. Are they useless?

Can you describe the fundamental difference between a weather forecast and a climate projection in terms of what the models have to do?

timg56

Kristie,
Regarding your question on whether Meteorological forecasts are useless?
Beyond 10 days, basically yes.
And they have actual data entered into the models.

Kristi Silber

‘What those kinds of models dont do is take the loads and stresses at points in time and feedback those loads and stresses back into themselves to see how the bridge design evolves. Because it simply doesn’t evolve based on the history.”
Actually, this got me thinking about cracks. It seems like once you have a crack, the freeze and thaw cycles will work on it in a kind of feedback? Or a bit of metal exposed to corrosion that shouldn’t be, causing spread within the formerly protected area?
(Apart from that, your description doesn’t apply to climate models any more than it does to bridges.)

Kristi Silber

(Apart from that, your description doesn’t apply to climate models any more than it does to bridges.)

From Campus Reform ^ | Mar 23, 2018 at 9:45 AM EDT | by Toni Airaksinen

A recent academic journal article claims that “meritocratic ideology” and “depoliticized” classroom environments contribute to a sense of exclusion and isolation among female students.
The professors argue that the emphasis on “meritocracy,” “individualism,” and “technical prowess” in engineering all contribute to a “masculine culture” that marginalizes women.
Four professors are warning that the “hegemony of meritocratic ideology” and other manifestations of “masculine culture” in engineering courses are detrimental to women.
Led by Carroll Serron, who teaches at the University of California-Irvine, the March 1 study contends that the sense of exclusion and isolation felt by female engineering students is exacerbated by the overwhelming “meritocratic ideology” in the field.
Though some scholars argue that engineering culture upholds hegemonic masculinity, Serron and her team take a different approach, arguing that it is not specifically “hegemonic masculinity” that hurts women but rather “meritocratic ideology.”
[RELATED: Meritocracy is a ‘tool of whiteness,’ claims math professor]
The professors are especially concerned with how engineering courses tend to be “depoliticized” compared to classes in other fields, which they contend is due in part to engineering culture’s emphasis on meritocracy and individualism.
“Socialization into the ideologies of meritocracy and individualism, coupled with a valorization of ‘technical’ prowess at the expense of ‘socially focused’ work processes, depoliticizes the gendered structure of the profession,” they write.
The professors add that this can be problematic because “students learn that raising concerns about marginalization—of themselves or others—is tangential or even distracting to what counts as the ‘real’ practical and objective work of engineering.”
“In its commitment to empirical science, technical thinking, merit, and individualism, engineering culture allocates what it sees as political issues, such as gender equality, to the realm of the social and subjective, therefore, off-limits,” the paper asserts. “Thus, the depoliticized culture of engineering also constitutes a degendered space where issues that may be of social concern to women in science are also devalued and marginalized.”
Based on a review of diary entries from three-dozen female engineering students, the professors conclude that female students are also guilty of upholding this problematic culture through their unwillingness to critique it.
“Rather than telling what [some researchers] describe as a subversive story…these women engineers are often reproductive agents of the ideology of meritocracy, helping perpetuate existing relations of power and inequality,” they write.
“Rather than resisting hegemonic meritocracy, these brilliant young women engineers are its active promoters,” they say, later adding that this commitment to meritocracy undermines women’s best interests, as it unwittingly reinforces the “gendered consequences of engineering professional hegemony.”
The study—“I’m not a Feminist, but…”: Hegemony of a Meritocratic Ideology and the Limits of Critique Among Women in Engineering”—was published in the recent issue of the journal Work and Occupations.

TimTheToolMan

Kristi writes

Actually, this got me thinking about cracks. It seems like once you have a crack, the freeze and thaw cycles will work on it in a kind of feedback? Or a bit of metal exposed to corrosion that shouldn’t be, causing spread within the formerly protected area?

You could certainly model failure like that. And the stress at the crack would be well known at every time step given the modeled reduction in component strength so any uncertainty would come about from the modeled specifics of the component’s condition at points in time.
But none of that alters the bridge design per se. Well it doesn’t “alter” the bridge until complete failure anyway. And at that point its again, a simple calculation of loads and stresses given that one component has failed.
So can you model a component failure by repeated freeze and thaw cycles on a crack? Sure…but that isn’t a feedback in the same way a CGM does it. Not by a long shot.

To say that it is impossible to model the climate in all possible worlds may not be correct,but,is cycles within cycles as the world chases its tail trying to find equilibrium. Outside of these worldly cycles are more cycles within cycles.
The sun and the moon and space weather, then we have seemingly random events like volcanoes and earthquakes that stir the oceans with tsunamis, these are but a few of the epicycles that stir the pot in a chaotic world system trying its best to get back to peace.
Those that are so egotistical that they think they can model the climate, then tell us all good citizens that any change is our fault need to take a good hard look at themselves, in the mirror.

lee

Some models have utility. To date climate models have demonstrated none.

AGW is not Science

@RACookPE1978, Reading that makes me want to vomit – preferably on the fools that contributed to writing it.
I don’t give a damn about how many of what gender, race, nationality or anything else enter a given field. In particular, I WANT engineering to be forever a “meritocracy” – it’s more important that the bridge doesn’t collapse than it is how many of its designers were [fill-in-the-blank “protected group”]. FFS!

Kristi Silber

AGW is not Science –
I agree with you. What’s wrong with meritocracy? I have no idea why that was directed to me.
I worry that conservatives (generalization!!!) have been complaining about academia so much that young conservatives will not want to go to college, get advanced degrees, and become academics themselves. Education needs a diversity of views, and the liberal dominance is not good for the country. But it’s up to conservatives to do something – encourage their kids to get PhDs and become professors rather than complain about academia. The country needs highly educated conservatives. (I’m not saying one can’t be educated without a degree – not at all. But a PhD is no small accomplishment.)
Cheers all,
Kristi

comment image
The above link shows you how a models output is shown to be right when the observations show it to be wrong. Just make the confidence level wide enough.

Oldseadog

Why are they bothering? I thought the science was settled.
Of course, silly me, no-one would give them a proper job to do and they have to keep reassuring themselves that they are right.

Robert Clemenzi

I attended the lecture. The auditorium was perhaps 75% full, perhaps less. I thought that both speakers did extremely well .. until the bridge analogy. Just how many “well modeled” bridges have failed?
Gavin’s discussion about models was excellent. He admitted that there were errors but deflected that by covering what the models got mostly right. Of course, his temperature graph did not contain the pause, but he convinced me that he truly believes that his group is doing the best science possible.
At the end, there were questions from the audience – written on cards, reviewed by someone, and given to the moderator. There were lots of cards turned in – but (IIRC) only one was read. I was really hoping to hear how they responded to the skeptics. After the cameras were off, they went through the cards. Unfortunately, I did not get to hear what was said.
If anyone was on the fence, this presentation was good enough to convince them that the presented view was the only correct view. Extremely well done.

Phoenix44

And if the models get the thing they are designed to model -future temperatures – wrong, who cares what they supposedly “get right”? And if they get right some stuff but get wrong other stuff, then they are getting it right through chance. It always amuses me for example when people claim theur models are right if they underestimate what happens. No, your model is just as wrong as if you overestimate – and may in fact be more wrong.

Phoenix44

Yet when we compare proxies to known, modern temperatures we know the proxies can show the opposite of the instrument record.
And since we can never actually know whether the reconstructions are accurate, we should always treat them with a great deal of scepticism.

Stephen Richards

The stupid thing about Alley is that he was the first to announce that rapid climate change was normal and that it had happened many times in the past. His analysis of GISP proved it.
Two fricking clowns on one stage.

Bitter&twisted

Is this an early April fool, or a comedy show by Schmit and Alley?

ivor ward

“In this special program, NASA Goddard director and earth scientist Gavin Schmidt and Penn State climate scientist Richard Alley discuss what makes our paleoclimate models so robust—and how they can be used to confidently predict the future.”
Confidently predict the future. ??? Predict the future? What utter crap. Never has happened; never can happen and I confidently predict that it never will happen.
(need I put a tag on this)

Mark - Helsinki

Now this should have been in the Friday funny section

Nassim Nicholas Taleb lectures at length on the fragility of robustness. Things are robust only in the anticipated dimension, hence the hazard of the Black Swan hiding camouflaged in fractally complex reality.

Not at all surprised this would be from Smithsonian Magazine.
My in-laws for the past 5-6 years have been giving subscriptions to Nat Geo and Smithsonian. I’m too polite to tell them they they are NOT the same quality from about 40-50 years ago.
In the latest issue from Smithsonian:
“Do Trees Talk to Each Other?
A controversial German forester says yes, and his ideas are shaking up the scientific world”
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-whispering-trees-180968084/

drednicolson

Some plants, when stressed by pests, emit pheromones that attract predatory insects. That’s a far cry from communicating with an actual language, though.

Yirgach

I’ve heard of this forester from his earlier book, The Hidden Life of Trees, mostly unsubstantiated anthropomorphising little understood natural relationships. He is best described as a naturalist, modern term being environmentalist. He might actually be onto something. I know many foresters in Vermont who have expressed similar viewpoints based on their experience.

JBom

Paleoclimatology is as “robust” as a whorehouse at low tide.
Ha ha

Mike McMillan

You misspelled “warehouse.”

KT66

There are lots of things that are robust in paleoclimate studies. Such as the LIA, the medieval warm period, the Roman warm period, co2 concentration increase following warming…….and so forth………and so forth….

AGW is not Science

The WARMEST PERIOD IN THE CURRENT EPOCH, the Holocene Climate OPTIMUM,…

AGW is not Science

“Robust” – ORIGIN – mid 16th century: from Latinrobustus – ‘firm and hard’
Like a cadaver?! LOL

Pamela Gray

Paleodata has its place. It helps pinpoint ice advances in the past. It helps find and date volcanic eruptions that clearly took place given abundant ice core evidence, and helps date evidence of ancient human taking of prey when obvious tools and human remains are absent.

Joel Snider

Schmidt is a good example of how once-respected institutions become corrupted by stacking the decks with the like-minded – and they can go a long way on exploiting trust established in past generations.
In a nutshell, that’s also what’s wrong with modern universities – close minded communities of opinionated ideologues never challenged by reality.

Yirgach

Having experience with Transportation Gravity Models, used in long term planning studies, I can appreciate the thinking behind the climatological models. In my case, it was dealing with only a 20-30 year horizon, in their case an 80–100 year period. The major difference being the transportation model used well known relationships validated by on the ground historical measurements.
Even then (almost 50 years now!), I noticed that the cumulative errors caused a very gray scene when rendered 20 years in the future. The fog was caused by the uncertainty of the model, even though the current temporal relationships were well understood. It was because there were too may exogenous variables involved. Economics, politics, land use (even birth rates) being the major questions. Because of that, the results were not taken as gospel and only used as a general guide, with the understanding that things would be routinely reviewed every 5 years and completely reevaluated every 10 years.
The emphasis placed on the current climate models is way overblown. I have a strong feeling that the current crop of modelers, if honest, feels the same way. No one their right mind would ever consider a model’s output for a future scenario as “robust”.

Jasg

I have no trouble believing that Alleys Gisp-2 paleo-climate reconstructions are very robust but since they show that current warming is much less than medieval warming, roman warming and the climatic optimum warming then they don’t actually support any argument for man-made warming. Neither btw do they show CO2 and past warming in lock-step. He clearly believes in man-made warming because for some reason he he wants to believe it despite the fact that his own data utterly refutes it!
The kicker for paleo data is that when it comes to modern warming the warmists say we must look at the arctic to see manmade warming but not at the antarctic because that is naturally cooling yet for past climate they say look at the antarctic but not at the arctic (for reasons explained above). This willful blindness to adverse data and constant contradiction is typical of climate ‘science’.
Exactly why they believe in thermageddon remains a mystery to me but it sure as heck isn’t scientific. Perhaps moral panic, middle class angst, funding, anti-capitalist dogma or an inexplicable desire to blame fossil fuels for anything bad; having already tried to blame them for global cooling and acid rain that didn’t happen either.

M E

Reality is what is real. There is no such such thing as a reality which conflicts with another reality.
One of them is unreal.
In palaeoclimatology measurements of past climates, in the few places where the measurements are taken ,are used to generalise the temperatures and weather conditions in surrounding areas. Can this always be done? I don’t think it can.
More caution in the correlation of data would be a good idea
If we can’t be sure of the basic measurements we can’t be sure of the computations made from those measurement whether we use an abacus or an electronic device. We don’t have much knowledge of the past so we can’t use that small amount of knowledge to predict the future.
Uncertainty is a fact of life. That is my assertion. One can never be sure what happened in the past and we may have missed the important bits. That’s the way it is.
( Given certain news about Facebook in the last few days it may not be a good idea to use it until it is possible to regulate it’s behaviour with user’s contacts)

mkuske

I’m sorry, I saw the names “Gavin Schmidt and Richard Alley” and misread “robust” as “a bust”.

Kenneth Hunter

Any honest examination of the Earth’s climate will show that the general trend is toward cooling. Any suggestion of anthropogenic must founder on the inescapable fact that mankind did not even exist during the most radical eras.

Kenneth Hunter

Please enter “influence” between anthropogenic and must. Sorry about that.